Most comic book characters – superheroes or supervillains – use aliases when they’re operating. On top of that, however, most of them have iconic nicknames that sometimes even transcend their names or monikers. One such character is Thanos, who became one of the most popular Marvel villains ever after Josh Brolin’s portrayal of the character in the MCU.
His most well-known nickname is The Mad Titan, but there are numerous other nicknames that the Eternal from Titan is known for. Some are iconic, some are funny, while some are just downright terrifying. So, without further ado, here are the ten most iconic Thanos nicknames you absolutely need to know about. The list is not ranked but rather alphabetically ordered.
This one might sound menacing, but it’s actually a humorous nickname for Thanos, meant as a joke. In What If…? Season 1 Episode 2, Star-Lord T’challa manages to convince Thanos to drop his plans of wiping out half the universe, and Thanos becomes a more loving person.
The guy still believes his philosophy has some merits but realizes it’s not the way to go. So, he got the nickname Captain Genocide, poking fun at his murderous plans but keeping it lighthearted.
This is probably my favorite Thanos nickname ever, barring the one used among fans that’s not so PG-13 as Chins. The fan-favorite one I’m referring to involves balls and a sack when referring to Thanos’ chin, if you catch my drift.
The one from the comics, Chins, was actually used in Avengers Assemble Vol. 2 #8. Obviously, it refers to Thanos’ ridge-cut chin that looks like somebody ran over his face with a lawnmower. It’s a witty nickname, even if it is a bit insulting.
Dark Lord is a nickname flung at Thanos by his most loyal servant, Ebony Maw. The Maw talks about Thanos in superlatives, so when he referred to him as Dark Lord, I was kind of surprised. I mean, sure, Thanos is his lord, and his plans are dark, but Thanos himself doesn’t see it that way. He sees his actions as righteous, not dark. But, oh well.
Another reason why I kind of liked the nickname, though, is because it’s such a common moniker for fantasy supervillains. In Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort is referred to as Dark Lord, whereas Sauron is known under the same name in The Lord of the Rings. Mr. Thanos joined some awesome company of Dark Lords here, am I right?
This is probably the eeriest one on the list, and it was used by Thanos himself in Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 1 #1. If you followed up on Thanos’ story from the comics, you know that he had somewhat of an oddball relationship with Death herself – the cosmic entity. He fell in love with her and wanted nothing more than to become, well, the Death’s Consort.
As he described in the same issue: “Death is with me every second of the day! My every moment is spent in either dealing out death or worshiping it! So tell me, who under the stars is better suited than I to be Death’s consort?”
It backfired on him later, though, as he was forever banished from Death’s realm. Talk about a deadly relationship.
Dione is actually not a nickname but a real name for Thanos. In Thanos Vol. 2 #14, we learn that his parents chose the name Dione for him before he was born. However, as he was born with the Deviant Syndrome and looked ugly, with a stumpy build and purple skin, they renamed him Thanos.
I found it to be an interesting piece of information about Thanos. Who knows? Maybe if he felt more loved from the get-go, and were named Dione instead of Thanos, perhaps he would never have become The Mad Titan.
The nickname Genocidal Maniac, or rather the insult, was flung at Thanos in the MCU a couple of times. It’s really self-explanatory, though. I mean, how do you call a guy whose main intentions in life are to literally wipe out half of all living things in the universe? That’s not genocide; it’s so much more.
Anyways, I’m not sure if the nickname ever appeared in the comics, but it’s certainly very popular among fans on forums and social media when referring to Thanos.
The Angry Titan
The nickname Angry Titan, once again, came from What If…? Season 1 Episode 2, and it’s one of the coolest changes of the narrative about Thanos’ nickname to date. People have long resented Thanos’ original nickname, The Mad Titan, as it’s been viewed as rather insensitive towards people with actual mental issues.
The ‘Mad’ in The Mad Titan is viewed as meaning ‘insane’ instead of meaning ‘angry,’ giving off the vibe that all mentally ill people are generally violent and aggressive. What If…? Changed the nickname to Angry Titan to be more sensitive and even threw in the nickname Thanos the Furious.
And it works well, even in the context of the comics or the main MCU continuity. Thanos started with his devious idea because he was cast out ever since he was a kid, simply because he was different. Nobody cared that he was an absolute genius – all they saw was the stumpy legs, purple skin, and ridge-cut chin. It made him angry; hence, Angry Titan suits him well.
The Mad Titan
There’s really not much to say about this one other than the fact that The Mad Titan is the most iconic Thanos nickname ever, becoming almost as popular as his original name itself. The nickname stems from Thanos’ planet of origin Titan, and the fact that he’s a mad dude trying to murder half the universe.
In the comics, it’s one of his most common aliases, while in the MCU, it doesn’t appear as often.
This particular nickname came from one particular issue of Marvel Comics – Ultimates Vol. 3 #5. The nickname The Outcast stems from Thanos being, well, an outcast his entire life. Despite being physically stronger and more intelligent than most other Eternals on Titan, Thanos was cast out simply because he looked different.
He was made fun of and bullied his entire childhood – even his mother hated him. So, The Outcast did everything in his power to get as much knowledge as possible and become the most powerful version of himself imaginable. At one point, he became the most powerful entities in the entire universe (barring The One Above All). Who’s The Outcast now, eh?
Warrior Thanos/Philosopher Thanos
Last but not least, these nicknames for The Mad Titan were actually a behind-the-scenes way for the MCU producers to refer to Thanos based on a particular movie where he appears. Philosopher Thanos was the nickname from Avengers: Infinity War Thanos, whereas Warrior Thanos was the nickname for the character in Avengers: Endgame.
The nicknames were revealed in a book called The Art of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, filled with exclusive interviews and concept art behind the first three phases of the MCU.
As Anthony and Joe Russo explained, in Endgame, we see a younger Thanos in the armor that’s still a raging, reckless warrior, whereas, in Infinity War, he is more refined, philosophical, and knows that it’s not just brute force that’ll get you to where you need to be. It’s, in fact, the reason why he succeeded in Infinity War and failed in Endgame.