Thanos is among the most iconic Marvel villains, and his place in the hall of fame was further solidified by his appearance in the MCU as the primary antagonist of the Infinity Saga. Many articles have been written about his powers, the reasoning behind his actions, and even his heritage has been explored and explained in great detail. One thing that makes Thanos stand out in the universe, inhabited by different kinds of aliens and superpowered beings, is his hulking appearance and purple skin. Let’s see why Thanos has purple skin.
Thanos has purple skin because he is an Eternal-Deviant hybrid. His Deviant genes make him look different from the rest of his species by giving him his brutish physique, height, and iconic chin. These Deviant genes likewise resulted in him having a completely different skin tone – purple. Thanos was born with purple skin, and even though the shades varied over the years, just like in the MCU, his skin always remained more or less purple.
Now that we’ve cleared up the origin of Thanos’ purple skin, it’s time to explore it in more detail. If you’re interested in more and how Thanos looked over the ages, stay with us and keep reading!
Why does Thanos look different from the rest of the Eternals?
To explain why Thanos looks different from other members of his kind, we need to take a long look at the history of Eternals. Eternals were created by Celestials and were known under the name Homo Immortalis. As the name says, it’s obvious that Eternals are extremely long-lived and difficult to kill. Celestials likewise created Deviants who predated Eternals.
Deviants are the polar opposite of Eternals. Known as Hommo Descendus, Deviants were powerful but extremely grotesque and brutish in their ways. Both Eternals and Deviants were created 100 at a time, but there was one significant difference between the two species. While Deviants could reproduce through natural means, Eternals couldn’t.
This led to Deviants eventually outnumbering Eternals manyfold. Eternals were tasked with watching over humanity, while Deviants created general chaos and were regarded as enemies. Due to both being created as the offshoot of humanity, Eternals and Deviants have some overlapping genes. And this is where Thanos comes in.
Thanos’ parents were Sui-San and A’Lars of Titan, a pair of Eternals that fell in love and desired to have a child. This wasn’t possible, and they broke some natural laws to achieve it. They used Quantum Bands and eventually managed to reproduce, which resulted in two sons being born, Eros and Thanos.
Eros turned out to be 100 % Eternal, but Thanos did not. As soon as he was born, Thanos’ mother noticed that he had Deviant genes and actually tried to kill him. Thanos was born with purple skin and pitch-black eyes, and his general physique was so much different than what they would have expected.
Since birth, Thanos has been different, and this is because of his hybrid Eternal – Deviant physiology. The Deviant genes manifested, so he inherited mostly their grotesque looks, behavior, height, and strong violent urges. However, he inherited his intelligence from Eternals, which made him even more dangerous.
Growing up on Titan, Thanos noticed quite early that he looked completely different from the other Titans. However, it would surprise you that Thanos did not always look different than the rest of his people. In the comics, Titans were initially portrayed as purple-skinned like Thanos. This was ultimately changed, and the skin color of Titans stopped being purple. The artists needed something to distinguish Thanos from the rest of his people, he needed to stand out, and the purple skin seemed like a perfect way to showcase his twisted genes.
There are some instances where Thanos, in the comics, appears to be a lighter shade of purple, but he is always purple.
Why is Thanos purple, but Eros isn’t?
As we’ve mentioned, Sui-San and A’Lars had two sons, Eros and Thanos, and even though, in the comics, they are biological brothers, they look almost nothing alike. This is because Eros did not inherit the same Deviant genes that Thanos did, which resulted in both the differences in their outward appearance and the differences in their behavior.
It’s all down to genetics. The MCU resolved this issue by retconning Thanos’ origin story. In the comics, Thanos is simply Titan and not Eternal. He and Eros are not related despite growing up together on Titan.
Thanos is a Titan in the MCU, still his purple skin remained
As we’ve mentioned before, Thanos’ origin story changed in the MCU. Not in a major way, but enough to impact the Eternals that likewise debuted in the MCU. We know that Thanos has nothing to do with the Eternal genes, and he instead belongs to a race called Titans. We can’t say whether Thanos looks different from the rest of the Titans in the MCU since all members of his species are extinct, but we can assume as much because it is a known fact that Thanos experimented upon himself and gave himself many modifications.
Fans also noticed have Thanos’ skin color varied between the movies. It has nothing to do with the properties of Thanos’ skin; it’s simply because the costumers decided to create Thanos’ look with makeup and aesthetics instead of going down the CGI road, it was cheaper, and it made him seem so much more life-like.
Even though Thanos’ skin tone varies in the movies, he is always purple.