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Origins of The Mad Titan: Thanos

Updated on April 22, 2015

I know i promised to give you folks an article about movies and characters that would work well for Marvel's Phase 4, but after sleeping on it, i realized that a lot of what i've already written wouldn't make sense if i first didn't explain who Thanos is.

The Mad Titan made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2012 during the after credits scene of the Avengers. We see him a few times during Guardians of the Galaxy, but other than him being the puppet master behind Loki's deal with the Chitaur, Ronan's quest to find an infinity stone and that he is Gamora's adopted father, they haven't revealed anything about the cosmically powered super villain.

Before i can explain who Thanos is, i have to explain what he is; a Titanian Eternal with a mutated Deviant gene... i know that doesn't help much, but to understand, i have to take you back hundreds of thousands of years into Marvel's fictional history.

The Celestials

Asking what the celestials have to do with Thanos, is like asking what Adam has to do with god.

The Celestials are a race of colossal-skyscraper sized aliens who, for some unknown reason, scour the universe for sentient life and have been conducting a massive experiment since this universe supposedly began.

Whenever the Celestials find a sentient race they create three genetically distinct versions of that species. Normally the three different species battle each other for dominance and one species eradicates the other two, but Earth was the exception to the rule. All three variations of the human races they created have survived to this day and in many cases cross bred with one another.

The Kree, Skrulls and Humans are the only known species to have been experimented on by the Celestials.

Nathaniel Grey is an Omega Level Mutant.
Nathaniel Grey is an Omega Level Mutant.

Mutants and Mutates

The closest version of the origin, or baseline, species are typically gifted with an unlimited potential for genetic mutation. When mutations finally begin to appear, the population erupts with thousands of random abilities within the first generation, rather than a single ability slowly proliferating through a species for generations.

In the case of humans, mutants, Homo Superior, such as the X-Men seem to be the result of the Celestials tampering with human DNA. Although creating mutants is the slowest evolutionary process the Celestials test, it typically results in the most powerful version of the three species.

Omega Level mutants, mutants with god-like reality warping powers who can exist as pure energy, such as Jean Grey, Iceman, Vulcan and Franklin Richards, seem to be the inevitable result of the Celestial's experiments, which seems to be to create a race of beings equal to their own godlike powers. An example being the Beyonder, the only known Inhuman mutant, who after going through terragenesis essentially became an all powerful god.

Seeing as the MCU can't use mutants, thanks to 20th Century Fox owning the rights to the X-Men, Its unlikely that this part of the story will be incorporated in the movies.

However, the Celestials experiments had an unintended side effect. If not for their efforts, super heroes, such as spiderman and races, such as the Inhumans and Atlanteans, would have never been possible.

In the Marvel Universe, people who possess superhuman powers but do not have an X-gene are classified as Mutates, as in some external force caused their DNA to mutate. Some humans are more likely to becomes Mutates than others. For example, most people would die if exposed to large amounts of gamma radiation, but there are small groups of human beings with a greater potential for mutation, who when exposed to gamma radiation, become creatures like the Hulk and the Abomination.

The dominant blue skinned Kree race is their species version of baseline Humans.

Human Deviants
Human Deviants

Deviants

Deviants are what happens when the celestials destabilize the genetic code of the species they experiment on. In the case of the Skrulls, the Deviant race became the dominant species, but the only difference between them and the baseline version is their races ability to shape shift.

Human Deviants are cursed with unpredictable genetic mutations from one generation to another. a Deviant with feathers could give birth to a child with gills. The only thing Deviants have in common is that no deviant looks anything like another.

Skrull Deviants become the dominant species of Skrulls by exterminating their Eternal and baseline variants.
Skrull Deviants become the dominant species of Skrulls by exterminating their Eternal and baseline variants.

Unlike the Inhumans who learned to embrace individual differences, Deviants banish or kill offspring who are deemed to be too different from their human ancestors.

The Deviants spent most of their history at war with the Atlanteans, an aquatic evolutionary offshoot of the main human race, and the Eternals, the third offshoot of the human race created by the Celestials.

Their distrustful nature toward their own kind caused constant infighting, which eventually led to Lemuria, the Deviant homeland, sinking to the bottom of the ocean and the Deviants became a disjointed race.

Today, their are less than 1,000 Deviants on Earth. They live in small underground colonies and physically deformed mutants, such as Night Crawler, Beast and the Morlocks may be the result of having a Deviant ancestor.

Human Eternals
Human Eternals
Kly'bn is the last living member of the Skrull Eternals.
Kly'bn is the last living member of the Skrull Eternals.
Ard-Con, AKA Ultimus, is the last of the Kree Eternals.
Ard-Con, AKA Ultimus, is the last of the Kree Eternals.

Eternals

Eternals are the genetic offshoot of any species the Celestials experiment on by infusing them with the ability to manipulate cosmic energy.

All Eternals, whether Human, Skrull or Kree, are gifted with superhuman speed, strength, durability, reflexes, flight and immortality. All Eternals can harness cosmic energy to fire concussive blasts of energy and possess varying psychic abilities. They can join the Uni-Mind, a hive mind that connects all Eternals to one another, and can manipulate matter at a subatomic level.

Any differences between Eternals comes from their ability to specialize into whatever ability they choose. For example, if an Eternal decided he wanted to be a speedster, he could slowly manipulate the molecules in his own body to become faster, but doing so may reduce his psychic abilities or physical strength. In this manner, Eternals can specialize or even develop abilities other Eternals do not possess.

Earth's Eternals created the most technologically advanced civilizations on the planet. Shortly after the last time they went to war with the Deviants, the Eternals had their own civil war.

The leaders of their race, Kronos and Uranos, were divided. Kronos believed in peaceful coexistence between all of the human races, while Uranos wanted to wipe out all of the other races on Earth.

Kronos won the war and banished Uranos' forces to the planet Uranus where they established a colony. While Earth's Eternals began a long era of peaceful coexistence with the Human and Atlantean races, Uranos' forces were plunged into another civil war with the Eternal A'lars.

A'lars followers settled on Titan, one of Saturn's moons, and established a second Eternal colony.The inhabitants of the colony were known as Titans, at least until Thanos eradicated them.

Mutants with the power to channel cosmic energy, such as Cyclops and his brothers, Havok and Vulcan, are believed to have an Eternal ancestor.

Who is Thanos

Thanos is A'lars eldest son. Thanos, in all regards, is considered to be an Eternal mutant. Unlike any other Eternal, ever, Thanos was born with the same gene that causes Deviants to physically mutate, a condition known as Deviant Syndrome.

While all other eternals are incredibly beautiful, Thanos' Deviant gene caused him to develop purple skin, a bulkier body, and the vertical ridges on his chin. In addition to all of the abilities Eternals normally possess, Thanos is stronger and physically more durable than other Eternals. In the comics he has even displayed the ability to use magic. Through meditation, Thanos surpassed the abilities of all other Titans.

Thanos has also further augmented his abilities using cybernetic implants, making him one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe.

As a child, Thanos became obsessed with death and his lust for conquest became unquenchable. He eventually stole a ship, recruited his own private army and returned to Titan where he then detonated a series of nuclear bombs, leaving him and his younger brother Eros, who then joined the Avengers, as the only two Titans left in the universe.

After declaring himself Titan's ruler, Thanos travelled the universe, conquering as many worlds as he could find, fathering dozens of children along the way and adopting young men and women with a talent for killing, such as Gamora, as his own twisted made to order family.

In the comics, Thanos eventually meets and falls in love with the physical personification of Death herself. He then began searching the universe for all of his offspring and killed them as a sick wedding present for his love. His quest eventually led him back to Earth where he faced and was ultimately defeated by his Inhuman son, Thane.

What to expect from Thanos in the MCU.

The Tesseract, Aether and purple orb from the MCU movies thus far, are three of the six infinity stones.

In the Comics, any being that can gather the six stones can form the Infinity gauntlet, and with it gain god like power, rending its user omnipotent and indestructible. A weapon Thanos has searched for relentlessly in the comics and seems to be his prime motivator in the movies.

With the third and fourth installments of the Avengers movies having to do with the Infinity War, its safe to assume Thanos will get his hands of the stones and that the ultimate showdown will be the Avengers Vs the Mad Titan with the powers of a god.

Stay tuned and my next article will be my complete list for Marvel Phase 4... i promise.

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