Thursday, July 7, 2016

Face-Off: Darkseid or Thanos?


Karen: Today's Face-Off question is:

Darkseid...



...or Thanos? Who do you prefer?


23 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Thanos. I know very little about DC so I don't even know who Darkseid is :D

J.A. Morris said...

I love them both and I acknowledge that Thanos was somewhat inspired by Darkseid. But Thanos wins because his attraction to Death adds a creepier element to hi villainy.

Redartz said...

Boy, that's just about a toss-up. I'd give Darkseid the edge if you factor in his great assortment of underlings and stooges. But on a personal level, I go with Thanos- I've read more of his stories, and some of those stories left more of an impact on my memory...think Avengers Annual 7...

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that both are Mega-baddies, but are conceived as part of a much bigger, unifying universe than just being the enemy of a particular super hero.

I used to love the way Thanos would pop up like Moriarty, threaded through Iron Man, Captain Marvel, DD, Avengers, Warlock, Team Up, Feature and 2-in1. There was almost not a super hero who didn’t encounter him. It was like a huge uber-storyline was going on somewhere, and we were just seeing bits of it, which is, of course, how other people’s lives are to us in real life.

Whilst Thanos is clearly partially ripped off from Darkseid, I think he is the much richer creation. As I understand it, in Kirby’s original vision, Darkseid was part of the massive Fourth World epic, but the actual character himself was just Super-Hitler (yet again).

Thanos, born I imagine from Jim Starlin’s twin preoccupations (his psychology course and massive amounts of mind expanding hallucinogenic love drugs) is an altogether richer creation, with his heritage in the tantalisingly-named gods of Titan, his on-again, off-again love affair with Death herself, the yin-yang of his relationship with Drax, who is actually more single-minded than Thanos himself, and going toe-to-toe with Warlock, who is kind of a paranoid schizophrenic, and Mar-Vell who is alternately a Christ-like space saviour, a multiple personality disorder sufferer (by which I mean the body-swapping with Rick) and then gets a day job working for Eon as a cosmically aware saviour of, well, everything really.

I mean, it’s kind of a happy hunting ground for psychological over-interpretation, isn’t it?

I don’t know much about Darkseid, but it always seemed to me that Apocalypse was more obviously ripped off from him than Thanos.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Thanos is probably a more nuanced character, but Darkseid just feels... mythic.

Mike said...

Darkseid because I factor in Kirby's whole "New Gods" mythos with him.

Prediction ... (taking into account the BvS and Civil War films) in a few years after the Justice League and Avengers movies with these characters have been released, I will be enthusiastically changing my vote to Thanos hands-down.

Rip Jagger said...

DARKSEID RULES!

Jack "King" Kirby created the most potent arch-villain of the Bronze Age when he fabricated the Ruler of Apokalips. His relentless quest for the Anti-Life Equation (the ability to enslave anyone) made him the most dangerous villain of his time. He cares not about anyone save himself, utterly consumed with is own desires and goals. He wants everyone to bow before him, to be at his command.

THANOS SERVES!

Jim Starlin claims I know that Thanos was not inspired by Darkseid and in his earliest appearances he does diverge visually. But as he developed in the first Captain Marvel story he became more and more Darkseid like to me. His worship of death, his nihilistic desires are dangerous and provocative, but he only wants us dead to encourage Death itself to embrace him.

Thanos worries me but at least my life matters to him in some tiny fashion, but Darkseid scares me, because he wants to make me an animal, something less than human.

Rip Off

William said...

This is a tough one because Thanos was the main antagonist in one of my all-time favorite Marvel stories. I'm talking about Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2. Definitely one of the most epic Avengers tales ever told. (And it had Ben and Spidey too). Masterfully written and drawn by Jim Starlin.

On the other hand, Darkseid was the main baddie in another of my favorite stories, DC's "Cosmic Odyssey" mini-series. Written by Jim Starlin, with art by Mike Mignola. (Dang, I really dig me some Starlin).

I also loved all of Darkseid's appearances in the various DC Animated Series and movies. They do a great job of presenting him as the ultimate bad guy.

And even though I like them both as villains, I have to give the win to the all powerful ruler of Apokolips! He's just a little more eeeevil, scheming, and confident.

Whereas Thanos always comes off a just a bit whiny to me. Always crying about winning the favor of his beloved death, and begging for her love, and groveling at her feet. (Darkseid would never beg or grovel to anyone or anything).

So, in overall villainy and bad-assery, I must side with Darkseid. (It is decided!!!)

William Preston said...

Darkseid bothers me for same reason Apokalips bothers me: The clunky Kirby adolescent names. No one ever says, "Have you noticed that we live on a world called Apokalips?" (Having said that, the word "apocalypse" doesn't originally mean end-times; it's a revealing, an uncovering (thus the other title for that book of Greek scripture: revelation).) Love the anti-life beam, despite/because of its angular travels.

jeirich said...

Darkseid, hands down.

Anonymous said...

You people are crazy! DARKSEID BY FAR! Darkseid = Apokolips; Darkseid = Anti-Life Equation; Darkseid = The Omega Effect. Darkseid has Jack Kirby written all over him.

Thanos is nothing. Thanos entire goal is nothingness. Thanos is boring.

Pat Henry said...

Toe to toe in a fist fight, I'd have to give it to Darkseid. The Justice League breed of heroes were generally speaking all on order of magnitude more powerful than the Team Marvel roster (it's one of the problems with DC heroes, really—ultra-power but rather bland and interchangeable personalities, while Marvel took pains to keep their creations limited in abilities for dramatic appeal). But Darkseid was able to laugh off the entire League. Not too many bad guys can take a full-on punch from Superman and be able to launch immediately into a long and arrogant diatribe about Ultimate Power and the Nature of Existence.

Anonymous said...

I like Thanos, but DARKSEID IS.

DARKSEID was more than just Space Hitler or the villain no one can beat. As pointed out by others, his goal is the eradication of free will. That's more insidious than killing enough beings to score a date with Death. Apocalypse is not just a world destroyed but a world in which nothing exists except despair, sadism, and cold efficiency. Darkseid's lieutenants are twisted parodies of humanity, one of whom is the ultimate torturer and another of whom destroys childhood. It's fun to see him go up against super-heroes, but it's more effective to have him warp the universe to reflect his evil.

Thanos is a grandiose super-villain, but Darkseid, is terrifying.

- Mike Loughlin

Edo Bosnar said...

Based on just their initial appearances in the '70s, I'd give it to Thanos. He was just a more chilling presence in that epic that played out in Captain Marvel and Warlock, and then concluded in the Avengers and Marvel 2-in-1 annuals.
The first story that really showed me how terrifying powerful Darkseid could be was the Great Darkness Saga in Legion of Super-heroes, and since then I think he's been a sort of embodiment of ultimate evil who wields almost limitless power.

Anonymous said...

I'd go with Thanos, mainly because I could never quite figure out what Darkseid's motivation was...it seemed like he was just evil for the sake of being evil; Darkseid seems like a personification of evil, whereas Thanos seems like a person who IS evil. At least Thanos had an actual personality, especially when Starlin wrote him.

Mike Wilson

Martinex1 said...

I haven't read much involving Darkseid, but even if I had I'd have to give it to Thanos for his Thanos-Copter in Spidey Super Stories. Boom Tube, Schmoom-Tube... A helicopter with Thanos' name emblazoned on it wins hands down. Just think....a death loving Titan who can handle traffic reports in his spare time...winner!

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, man, Martinex, those would be some pretty grim traffic reports: "It would appear that there is a 10-car pile-up on the southbound I-50. A possible feast for my beloved..."

Pat Henry said...

Thanos does seem to be a more “hands on” kind of bad guy. Beats Gamora to within an inch of her life. Tortures Pip and leaves him for dead. Just sucks the life out of Adam Warlock before disfiguring him. Smiled while doing it all, whereas Darkseid is mostly dour. Lots of job satisfaction with Thanos. Sweetheart of a fella.

Phil said...

Darkseid since he came first and is Kirby. Though Thanos gets points for being created when Starlin was partaking heavily of ... Stuff. Reportedly.

William said...

On my website "BillsComics.com" I did a 4-part series entitled "CROSSOVER" in which the Marvel and DC universes meet (or crossover). At the center of it all is a team-up between Thanos and Darkseid who are of course behind the main evil plot.

The good guys are naturally the classic 1970's Avengers and Justice League teams , with a little Spider-Man and Daredevil thrown in for good measure (plus some other surprise guest heroes).

I always thought that a Thanos/Darkseid team-up would be a natural catalyst for a big Marvel/DC event, but it never happened, so I did it myself.

Anonymous said...

Ooo boy what a matchup! While I've been a Marvel junkie since I was a little boy I have to give my vote to Darkseid, but just by a hair. Both are living embodiments of evil, whose sole purpose seemed to be the ultimate destruction of all life.

Thanos was terrifying too, but Darkseid edges him because a) he came first, and Thanos is partly derivative of him, b) Kirby created him! c) gotta love the name 'Apokalips'!


- Mike 'until they make a Kalibak the Cruel spinoff on CW' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Darkseid for me (although Thanos is cool character as well)

William Preston said...

Wasn't there a Thanos/Darkseid combo in the Legion/X-Men (is that what it was?) crossover drawn by Perez?

Also, to add to my thoughts about Darkseid, I want to somewhat echo what those above said regarding Thanos having a personality and motivation. I never found Darkseid or his milieu credible. Completely Evil Torture World just seemed like an adolescent idea that couldn't ever go anywhere interesting—which was a problem with a lot of Kirby's writing and worldbuilding.

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