When you’re a big baddie known across the universe, you’re bound to make a few enemies. Well, Thanos made dozens, but one of them stands out. Drax the Destroyer was literally created to kill Thanos, but can he do it on his own? In a death match between Drax and Thanos, which brawler would win?
Although Drax managed to defeat Thanos a couple of times in the comics – even kill him – Thanos is above and beyond more powerful than Drax, both in the comics and the MCU. The Mad Titan would win 9 out of 10 times, as he’s stronger, faster, more durable, more intelligent, and overall more powerful.
Now, that doesn’t mean Drax the Destroyer stands no chance – at least in the comics. He was literally created by two very powerful cosmic entities, Mentor and Kronos, for the sole purpose of defeating Thanos. Meaning he is equipped with all the necessary tools to do so, as he did on two occasions. Let’s explore this brawling green and purple matchup in detail.
Thanos is an Eternal from Titan, born with Deviant Syndrome. It made Thanos’ physical constitution colossal but stumpy, yet it gave him a level of strength and durability that’s super powerful, even for Eternal standards.
The Mad Titan was highly durable and strong, to begin with, but as time progressed, he only got even stronger. Thanos spent his entire life trying to improve himself and his physiology. He did so through every means imaginable, from bionic enhancements and training to occult practices and mystical artifacts – even magic.
The cherry on top of the sundae was the moment Thanos died, and, for reasons we won’t discuss here, Death had banished him from her realm, making The Mad Titan essentially immortal.
Long story short, as time went on in the character’s comic book history, he only grew more powerful, and his physiology was improved as well, even though, as an Eternal, he was insanely powerful to begin with.
On the other hand, Drax’s real name was Arthur Douglas – a human jazz musician from California who got killed by Thanos’ starship while driving with his family through the Mojave Desert.
Two cosmic entities, Mentor and Kronos, took Arthur’s living consciousness and put it inside an artificial body they created to defeat Thanos.
That’s how Drax the Destroyer came to life – with one goal to fulfill only. Kill Thanos, or die trying. The body of Drax the Destroyer was enhanced with incredible superpowers, including incredible strength, durability, and more. However, it was an artificial body that, quite frankly, couldn’t match the Eternal standards of Thanos, let alone after all the enhancements.
And in the MCU, the disparity is even larger, as Drax was simply a member of an alien species known as Kylosians from the planet of Kylos. Not much is known about the species, except that they can’t understand metaphors and are quite literal (and have sensitive nipples. Or, at least, Drax has).
Even with Drax’s amazing strength and durability, he’s just nowhere near Thanos. He’s nowhere near Ronan the Accuser, who was Thanos’ subordinate. And as for the comics, while Thanos’s physiology and power improved over time, Drax was ‘weakened’ with each revision of the character in the comics.
This point goes to the Mad Titan, and it’s a landslide.
Point: Thanos (1:0) Drax
Powers & Skills
Drax the Destroyer only has one thing on his mind – avenge his family, and kill the Mad Titan. He was created for that purpose alone. Now, he’s an incredible fighter and wields his two knives with perfection, but as far as some other unique skills go, he doesn’t have too many.
Drax does have superhuman strength, speed, durability, and stamina and is an excellent combatant. In the beginning, he could also deflect psychological attacks and cast powerful psionic blasts, and even fly. Those powers were removed from the character after a while in the comics, and now, Drax is closer to the power levels of his MCU counterpart.
As for Thanos… where do I begin? Superhuman strength capable of matching the Hulk. Superhuman speed and reflexes capable of tagging Spider-Man. Superhuman durability capable of outlasting Thor. Stamina so high that Thanos practically never gets tired.
On top of that, he has strong telepathic abilities, nigh-immortality, energy projection, unfathomable genius-level intelligence… And we haven’t even gotten to his skills, such as his knowledge in basically every science, technology, or even magic area. How about his phenomenal combat skills?
Thanos is a phenomenal leader and a great strategist. I mean, there’s a reason why he’s one of the most dangerous creatures in the universe – his powers and skills beat Drax the Destroyer in almost every way.
Point: Thanos (2:0) Drax
I won’t spend too much time on this category, as it’s quite evident. In the MCU, Drax is portrayed as a kind-hearted dimwit. He’s essentially a dumb, muscle guy who can’t even understand metaphors. And, although he wasn’t like that in the comics at first, the character’s intelligence dwindled over time, and now he’s pretty much like his MCU counterpart.
On the other hand, Thanos is not just a genius – he’s a super-genius, even by Eternal standards. Take the most intelligent folks on Earth – Dr. Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, etc. – they don’t really come close to The Mad Titan. Sure, he’s crazy and radical, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a brilliant mind. Thanos takes this category, embarrassingly towering over Drax.
Point: Thanos (3:0) Drax
Strength & Speed
Strength and speed would usually fall into the ‘physiology’ category. However, I chose to compare them separately, as superhuman strength is basically Drax’s main attribute nowadays, both in the comics and the MCU.
And yet, he pales in comparison with Thanos. During Drax’s most powerful version – which was after Moondragon killed him, and he was resurrected by Kronos once again, but with more power – he was comparable to the Hulk in strength, but only while having the Power Gem.
A regular version of Thanos can go toe to toe with the Hulk, even without the Infinity Stones. If we take the most powerful version of Thanos… well, he’d snap both Hulk and Drax into oblivion.
As for their speed, neither of them has, like, Quicksilver speed, but they are quick when it comes to reflexes. Still, I’d give the Mad Titan a slight advantage, as we saw him tag some of Marvel’s best speedsters without too much hassle.
Point: Thanos (4:0) Drax
Finally, we arrive at the main reason why this comparison is brought up: how can we say Thanos is so much more powerful when Drax killed him in the comics?
Well, Drax indeed got Thanos – twice, but in every other situation, the Mad Titan had the upper hand, especially one-on-one.
The first time Drax defeated and killed Thanos was during the ‘Annihilation’ event. Drax was powered up by the writers during Annihilation, having an aura that made him more powerful the closer he was to Thanos. He ripped through the Mad Titan’s protective force field and literally took his heart out with his bare hands.
That being said, Thanos was kind of suicidal at the time, saying he was ‘more than ready for the ultimate rest.’
The second time Drax managed to defeat Thanos and kill him was when he managed to place an anti-matter bomb on the Mad Titan’s chest and disintegrate him. That being said, he had the whole Guardians of the Galaxy team behind him.
Thanos even thanked him for it later in the comics after coming back due to his nigh-immortality.
But then, we get back to all those times they fought in the comics while Drax was super powerful and forward. Thanos won in ‘Iron Man #55’ (1968), ‘Captain Marvel #31’ (1968), ‘Logan’s Run #6’ (1977), and ‘The Thanos Imperative #4’ (2010)… you name it.
The point is that Thanos had actually won more of their confrontations in the comics and the MCU – but Drax did have two major wins, so I believe points are due to both characters in this category.
Point(s): Thanos (5:1) Drax
Drax Vs. Thanos: Who wins?
In the end, it’s pretty evident that the Mad Titan is on another level compared to Drax the Destroyer. Even though Drax was created for the sole purpose of defeating Thanos, his lack of control and intelligence often put him in a predicament that saw Thanos quickly and easily dismantling him.
The Mad Titan has far more advanced physiology, strength, speed, durability, intelligence, and skill. He has many more awesome powers and displayed his ability to defeat Drax numerous times in the comics.
Drax was incredibly powerful at the beginning when he was just created, but he still couldn’t kill Thanos until the Annihilation event, where he got that ‘aura-around-Thanos’ power-up. And, in the MCU, it’s not even a contest – Drax couldn’t even defeat Ronan, and Ronan was nothing but a pawn for Thanos.
So, in Marvel Comics, Drax has a slight chance to win, as he managed to do so twice (out of a million battles), but in the MCU, his chances are even slimmer. Thanos stomps the Destroyer, hands down.
Who do you think would win in a fight between Thanos & Drax? Let us know in the comments!