Thanos is one of the most iconic villains to ever grace the pages of Marvel Comics, and besides playing a part in some of the greatest catastrophes, he regularly left his schedule open for some small and random acts of cruelty. One such act of cruelty is when Thanos consistently tortures a random man named David, on his birthday, for at least 45 years, and many fans are wondering why. Thanos, as a cosmic warlord, should have a meaning and purpose behind his every interaction. Still, the Mad Titan always managed to surprise us; let’s see why Thanos tortured David every year.
There is no real reason why Thanos tortured David on his birthday. He did it because he is a nihilist and ultimately believes that life is meaningless. David once thought he figured out what drives Thanos to return every year to spite him on his birthday, and it seemed like a plausible explanation until Thanos eventually revealed that David is wrong and he doesn’t really care about David at all, he simply wants to ruin his life without any particular goal.
Now that we’ve covered, to the best of our abilities, why Thanos showed up every year to kill off David’s pets, parents, friends, and other important people in his life, it’s time to analyze it in more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Thanos enjoys small acts of cruelly more than grand evil schemes
In ‘Thanos’ #1 Annual, released in 2016, Cosmic Ghost Rider narrates what appears to be the story of Thanos’ life and the fact that he is the single most evil individual in the known universe. We knew that Thanos did plenty of wrongs, both in the cosmic and in the MCU. He is considered to be an avatar of death and destruction, and some of the most powerful forces in the universe collaborated on multiple occasions to put a stop to him.
But there’s something especially evil in how Thanos approaches small acts of cruelty.
First, Thanos can be seen “training” Gamora. Ghost Rider explains that he often razed entire civilizations to the ground only to bring to his ship a single survivor for Gamora “to play with.” Gamora was forced to kill these wretched souls. If she refused, she would be tortured as well. This eventually turned her into the deadliest woman in the galaxy as we know her today.
But Gamora’s story is, in the larger scheme of things, not the most cruel we’ve witnessed in the issue. That unflattering honor goes to David, a random human that Thanos decided to visit every year on his birthday in order to ruin it.
Thanos started torturing David on his first birthday
David’s and Thanos’ story began on David’s first birthday. As soon as he was covered with a blanket by his parents, Thanos showed up and stole it, which resulted in David hysterically crying. This was just the first small evil that Thanos did to David, and this evil will progressively worsen with each passing year.
When David was around five, he had already figured out that the “big purple monster” shows up only on his birthdays. He noticed the pattern and begged his mother to cancel the celebration. His mother naturally didn’t believe him, and he was only 5 minutes late. Instead of showing up with a cake, his father got into a car accident right in front of the house and seemingly died. David knew that Thanos was behind it.
On his 16th birthday, Thanos showed up and sent a nasty message to his girlfriend, which prompted her to break up with David.
On his 21st birthday, Thanos poisoned all of David’s friends, and on his 25th birthday, Thanos burned down the grad school that David applied.
On his 27th birthday, David got fired, but this wasn’t the work of Thanos, allegeldy; it was just pure bad luck. However, the Mad Titan ruined his birthday by killing his cat.
David’s 30th birthday Thanos missed because he was defeated by the Avengers and cast out into space at the time. David couldn’t believe his luck. He was finally free from the curse, or was he? Thanos returned on David’s 31st birthday and resumed his duties.
David finally thought he figured out Thanos
On his 45th birthday, we can see David sitting in a decrepit apartment, completely alone and desperate. Thanos shows up, just like almost every year prior to this, and goes with his task of ruining his birthday. David finally has Thanos figured out. He claims that Thanos keeps torturing him because he wants to see him broke and dead, his ultimate goal being that David commits suicide out of desperation, but the reality behind Thanos’ goals is far more depressing.
Thanos doesn’t care at all. And he tells David as much shutting down all of his assumptions and theories as he proceeds to break the water pipe in the apartment and, as a consequence, flood it.
Thanos tortured David all those years without any particular goal in mind. He just liked inflicting pain and was a certified nihilist that ultimately believed that all of existence is meaningless. The fact that Thanos was able to personally witness what kind of chaos he was inflicting on David’s life brought him more pleasure than the mass genocides he orchestrated on various planets.
There is no cruel act small enough that Thanos will be able to pass up on it. However, a different perspective on the issue comes later in the story when we witness Thanos delaying the bus randomly, which eventually results in Stephanie Kricher never meeting her soulmate and never accomplishing things that she was supposed to accomplish, like curing diseases and ending the world hunger.
Not meeting her soul mate eventually led Stephanie to become nothing and no one. Thanos was resposible for it. The explanation for this? Thanos considered that there is nothing sweeter than the death of hope, and it’s possible that he tortured David for the same reason. He simply liked seeing hope die ever since he discovered that he could literally kill ideas and futures and use it as a way to get closer to Lady Death.
What do you think why Thanos tortured David? Let us know in the comments below!