Galactus and Thanos are two of the most popular villains in the Marvel Comics Universe. Despite having very different motivations and different sources of powers, they are often grouped together on the lists due to their unimaginable powers and storylines threatening the destabilize an entire universe. Due to their legendary status fans are often wondering who would win if it ever came to a fight between Galactus and Thanos, and we decided to explore it in more detail.
Galactus is way more powerful than Thanos, and generally, he would win a fight against him with little to no effort. Thanos and Galactus fought several times in the comics, and surprisingly Thanos had the upper hand in two of these fights. During the ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ storyline Thanos had the advantage of Infinity Stones, which made him the most powerful being in the Universe at that time. During the ‘Annihilation’ storyline, Thanos faced Galactus without the benefit of the Gauntlet and practically had to beg the Devourer of Worlds not to kill him.
Now that we’ve summarized who would win and what happened in the comics, it’s time to explore it in a bit more detail. We’re going to summarize the powers and abilities of both characters as well as their most notable fights in the comics. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Is Galactus more powerful than Thanos?
Galactus is both stronger and more powerful than Thanos, and the simple reason is Galactus’ nature. Galactus was created by the Sentience of Cosmos or Black Winter (the accounts differ) eons ago during the twilight moments of Galactus’ native Universe.
Yes, you read that correctly. Galactus is not from this Universe. He inhabited the sixth incarnation of the Universe as a presumably mortal humanoid alien under the name Galan before he was transformed into the cosmic entity we know today.
With the transformation, Galactus gained an incredibly potent source of power called ‘Power Cosmic’ as well as insatiable hunger. Galactus’ hunger is what drives him to destroy the planet, although there have been instances in which his hunger was transformed, notably during the Lifebringer Galactus storyline, and the most current version of Galactus hungers for knowledge rather than for energy-rich worlds.
Galactus wouldn’t be able to stand against the combined might of an entire Universe if he didn’t have Power Cosmic at his side. Power Cosmic allows him to manipulate elements, various forms of energy, gravity, and objects on a molecular level. He can also manipulate his own size, has practically unlimited strength, and cannot be truly killed, as the balance of the Universe depends on it.
Thanos, on the other hand, is an Eternal with Deviant syndrome. It was obvious as soon as he was born that he would grow up to be a monster, at least to his mother, who attempted to kill him the first time she laid her eyes on him. Thanos developed from a malformed baby into a brawler of incredible physical strength and incredible energy-manipulation abilities. But what Thanos truly does have going for him is his unrelenting ambition and his intelligence. He might not be the most powerful or the strongest villain in the Marvel Universe, but you can bet that he will find a way to give himself every advantage he can come across. So, why is Galactus so much more powerful than Thanos? It’s simple it lies in their origins.
Thanos himself admitted that Galactus is well beyond his powers
The truth of Galactus’ supremacy over Thanos lies in his nature. Galactus is a cosmic being of almost immeasurable powers. He has the capacity to destroy entire realities if he is adequately fed. The more energy Galactus consumes, the more devastating powers he can conjure up. His powers are also beyond conventional forms of measure since he can seemingly conjure up any effect he wishes in a given situation.
Thanos ranked Galactus to be on the same level of power as Odin and other Skyfathers and Celestials, but he is also significantly weaker than Eternity, Infinity, and the Living Tribunal, who are abstract entities and, quite frankly, among the most powerful characters in the Marvel Comics.
In ‘Thanos Annual’ (2014), Thanos admitted that he had to be out of his mind to face Galactus and called him a cosmic powerhouse. But, despite Thanos seemingly being afraid to face the Devourer of Worlds, the two did fight several times, and the results of the fights might surprise you.
Thanos managed to imprison Galactus with the help of Infinity Gauntlet
The ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ storyline was one of the greatest in Marvel history. Thanos managed to get his hands on one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe and went on a rampage that threatened to destabilize the Universe as a whole.
He knew that every living thing with a modicum of power would be on his trail, and he was, for the large part, unconcerned with it, except when it came to Cosmic Beings.
Galactus and Epoch, as Cosmic entities, were quite aware that some kind of imbalance was brewing in the Universe, and they went to confront Galactus. Earth’s mightiest heroes were to first to join the attacks on Thanos but were likewise the first to fall. Then, Galactus, Epochs, Mistress Death, Mephisto, and other entities of practically immeasurable powers also attacked Thanos, but it was like hitting a brick wall. Thanos had the Gauntlet and imprisoned the cosmic entities in a stasis.
Once he was rid of the threat against him, he wanted to replace Eternity as the arbiter of power within the Universe; while he was in his Astral form Nebula used the opportunity to steal the Gauntlet and banished him to drift through interstellar space.
The first fight between Galactus and Thanos (and other cosmic beings) ended in Thanos’ favor because he basically had power over reality itself. Infinity Gauntlet has long been known as one of Galactus’ weaknesses, and as you can see, other, more powerful cosmic beings were likewise affected by its powers.
Thanos begged Galactus for mercy during ‘Annihilation’ storyline
If you’re wondering how the fight would end up if Thanos did not have Infinity Gauntlet, the ‘Annihilation’ storyline is the right thing to glance at.
Following the Annihilus’ attempted conquering of the Universe, Galactus was attacked by Proemial Gods that survived the onslaught, Tenebrous of The Darkness Between and Aegis Lady of All Sorrows.
Following that fight, Galactus is severely weakened and doesn’t have a chance to recuperate before he is attacked by Thanos, who orchestrated the attack and planned to experiment on the Devourer of Worlds in order to use him as a massive weapon. What most Thanos fans often like to remember from that conflict is this panel that shows Thanos hitting Galactus so hard with his energy-projection powers that Galactus losses his signature helmet. They also like to mention this Galactus’ quotes where he never had to exert himself so much to pierce a mere force field that Thanos generated.
The reality and the actual outcome of that conflict ended very differently for Thanos. Galactus managed to overpower the Mad Titan and would blast him into nothingness if Thanos hadn’t begged for his own life then and there.
Galactus menacingly towered over Thanos and held him upwards with a single hand as Thanos listed the reasons why he should spare his life. So Thanos lost this fight without the Infinity Gauntlet, even if he did manage to land a few good “punches.”
Thanos managed to kill Galactus during the ‘Thanos Wins’ storyline
‘Thanos Wins’ is not a canon storyline, but it was interesting enough and showcased what would have happened if the Earth’s mightiest heroes failed during the Battle of Earth and Thanos managed to go through with his plan of impressing Lady Death. It showed us what would happen if Thanos truly won.
Now, this story takes place in an alternate future and features two versions of Thanos, King Thanos and younger Thanos, that found himself in Earth-TRN666 reality because King Thanos sent for him by using a piece of Time Stone.
Anyway, several thousands of years in the future, after Thanos defeated Avengers and pretty much all other powerful characters in the Universe, one of the few remaining beings remained were Cosmic Ghost Rider and Galactus.
Cosmic Ghost Rider was driven insane by the solitude on Earth and his burning desire to get his vengeance on Thanos. Things changed when Galactus stumbled onto Earth looking for Richards and the rest of the heroes to help him in his fight against Thanos.
Cosmic Ghost Rider decided to join Galactus’ crusade against the Mad Titan and was even transformed into Galactus’ herald. The two were successful and offered resistance to Thanos’ forces in the faraway corners of the Universe, but Thanos eventually caught up with them and practically one-shotted Galactus with all his might. Cosmic Ghost Rider then joined Thanos’ side.
As you can see, Thanos can win in a non-canon storyline where he is overpowered with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet. Relying on his brute power and strength, he stands little chance against Galactus.
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