Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being released in a few days, and before the movie premiers worldwide, the years-long discussion is still taking place – will Drax the Destroyer die in the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Even if he really dies, it won’t be the first time Marvel fans have seen Drax dying. The Thanos Slayer died multiple times in Marvel Comics, and the character’s powers changed for better or worse each time. Inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie, we decided to explain each death of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel Comics.
Arthur Douglas, also known as Drax the Destroyer, died four times in Marvel Comics. First, he died as a human Arthur Douglas; secondly, he was killed by his daughter Moondragon and the third time he was killed was before the Annihilation event, at the hands of Paibok. Each death changes Drax’s character, but mostly, the character’s powers have been “nerfed.” However, the true (fourth) death occurred in the Infinity Wars comic book story from 2018, when Drax is split into Arthur and Drax, and each of them left living happily ever after in the Warp World, inside of Soul Gem. Since then, Drax’s character has lived through his clone after Universal Church attacks the Earth.
Drax the Destroyer’s character, went through a lot in Marvel Comics, and it might have been confusing for some fans to follow his story. But don’t fret; we are here to clarify some things and explain Drax’s death in Marvel Comics. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
All 4 times Drax died in Marvel Comics
Drax the Destroyer is one of the characters in Marvel Comics who has been changed many times. The character first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1972 and was one of the characters heavily connected to the Avengers and Infinity Wars comics of the 1980s. Drax the Destroyer’s origin story is quite interesting since he is one of the rare characters who is closely connected to Thanos; besides Gamora and Death – Drax was created to kill the Mad Titan.
The story goes something like this; one day, a family of three, Arthur Douglas, his wife Yvette, and their daughter Heather were driving across the Mojave Desert from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Suddenly, a spaceship carrying the Mad Titan, Thanos, passed Earth on a secret surveillance mission. Seeing that humans saw his arrival on Earth, Thanos destroyed the family car driving through the Mojave Desert, causing the accident that killed the Douglas family.
During the whole thing, Thanos’ father, Mentor, follows his son’s actions and gets worried by his mercilessness, which prompts him to do the unthinkable – hire Kronos to kill his son.
The plan is in session – Mentor and Kronos work together to create the perfect killing machine, whose purpose will solely be on killing Thanos. They pull the dying consciousness of Arthur Douglas and put it in a humanoid body enhanced with superhuman powers.
Mentor and Kronos created a being known as Drax the Destroyer. The superhuman creature followed the Mad Titan across the universe to kill the Mad Titan, but interestingly enough, Drax was never killed by the hands of Thanos. The first time Drax was killed in the comics was at the hands of his daughter Heather, better known as Moondragon.
Remember Heather? Well, Douglas’s family wasn’t the only ones who saw Thanos surveying the Earth; his father, Mentor, was present as well, and when he saw the family slowly dying, the Eternal saved Heather from the car rubble and took her back to Titan, where he raised and trained her.
Drax’s first death was during the Avengers run from 1963, where issues from #219 to #220 showcase Moondragon and her killing her father with her psychic powers. During their travels across the universe, Drax noticed Moondragon hungry for power. They discovered a planet called Ba-Banis, a world covered with conflict and death. Moondragon resolved the conflict through her mental prowess and put herself as the population’s goddess.
Drax realizes that his daughter isn’t in the right state of mind and calls for the help of the Avengers to help him stop Moondragon. After the conflict is resolved, Drax wants to reach Moondragon and finish her once and for all, but she separates his life essence from his body, killing him.
Drax was resurrected by Kronos several years later, but the Titan God didn’t realize that Drax was still mentally damaged by Moondragon and her fiddling with his psyche. However, the superhuman being started recovering after his stint with Infinity Watch and other adventures, and one day, Drax found himself trapped on Earth.
This is where the second death comes into play – Drax, Paibok, Lunatik, and Blood Brothers are imprisoned for supposedly killing 200,000 Skrulls. The prison crashes on Earth, and Drax befriends a teenager named Cammi, who observes as Paibok suddenly turns into Thanos. The “fake” Thanos shocks Drax and uses the confusion to kill the Destroyer on sight by piercing him through the head. The death occurred during Drax the Destroyer issue #2 from 2005, which was rather sudden. However, Drax got his new body with enhanced powers and a stronger body.
This death occurred before the Annihilation event, which saw Drax killing Thanos by snatching Mad Titan’s heart from his body with bare hands. All of these deaths were legitimate, but the one that changed the continuity of Drax in Marvel Comics, softly rebooted the character, was the one that occurred in Infinity Wars comic book run from 2018. What happened to Drax in this comic book story? Let’s find out.
Drax’s final death and revival
All deaths that occurred in Marvel Comics changed the Drax character. After the first death, Drax was vastly different from the character in his first run, but this next death changed the character to what we have today. During the Infinity Wars comic book run in 2018, Avengers, Adam Warlock, and other heroes are trying to gain control of the Infinity Stones that appeared on Earth.
After bizarre happenings that saw the universe’s destruction and Gamora trapping everyone inside of the Warp World inside of Soul Gem, Drax’s body and Douglas’ life essence separate after Adam Warlock “un-warps” everyone from each other. Drax is separated because he is already “two people” in one.
When the heroes decide to return to Earth, Arthur Douglas and Drax stay behind in Warp World to keep the portal open, making them the heroes that saved everyone. Soul Gem awards them the happy endings they always wanted, with Douglas reuniting with his wife and Drax killing enemies for the rest of his lifetime. This whole comic book run confused some of the fans, but it’s still canon to the Marvel Comics and Drax’s character.
Drax was no more, but not until the next revival, this time in the form of the clone. The alternate version of the Universal Church attacks Earth with its army of Drax clones. Rocket saves the Guardians and day by doing a “switcheroo” and trapping all Drax clones but one in generator pods.
Eventually, the alternate version of Moondragon uses her powers to transfer all knowledge and memories of Drax from the heroes to the mind of the remaining Drax clone, reviving the character for the last time. This version of Drax is still the current Destroyer, while the original Drax is still in the Warp World of the Soul Gem.
The clone quickly joined the Guardians of the Galaxy team and appeared in the comics regularly. Drax the Destroyer is still an essential part of the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, who died and returned every time. This can only mean that MCU Drax could return one day to the MCU if the character dies in GotG 3 – if comics can do it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe can also.