Is Drax Autistic & On the Spectrum?
Guardians of the Galaxy franchise introduced us to many lovable characters, including Drax the Destroyer. Even though Drax is an older character from the comics, he rose from relative obscurity to become a comedy relief in almost every MCU movie that he appeared in. He wasn’t exactly introduced as a hero but evolved to become one of the most cherished Guardians of the Galaxy members, mostly due to his funny lines. And while entertaining, Drax’s inability to understand metaphors is nothing new to people familiar with autism and other disorders on the spectrum. Due to that, we’ve decided to analyze Drax’s character in a bit more detail to see whether Drax is autistic.
Drax is not autistic; he has trouble understanding metaphors because he belongs to a race of Kylosian people who are famous for being extremely straightforward and not understanding metaphors. Since they are a literal race, none of the Kylosians can be described as having autism since a lack of understanding of metaphors is a common occurrence and perfectly normal for them.
Now that we’ve covered that Drax cannot be described as having autism, it’s time to analyze exactly why. We have no doubt that Drax’s train of thought can easily be reminiscent of someone diagnosed as being on the spectrum. However, this is completely normal in Drax’s corner of the universe. If you’re interested in more detail, stay with us and keep reading!
Drax rose from being the most dangerous criminal in the galaxy to a hero
The first time we met Drax, we saw a hulking beast of a man wanting to hurt everybody in his path. We soon learn that Drax had beef with Gamora due to her connection with Thanos and Ronan. Thanos indirectly and Ronan directly were responsible for killing his wife and daughter.
Thanos ordered a massacre of the Kylosian people to conserve the resources. The population of an entire planet was divided into two parts, with Drax ending up on the side that would proceed to survive the events and his wife and child ending up on the losing side. Drax never forgot what Ronan and Thanos did to him, and so he went on a path of destruction, killing 22 people before he was eventually arrested by Nova Corps and put in Kyln prison, earning the nickname “Drax the Destroyer.”
Drax is bloodthirsty and out to get his revenge, but it is revealed that he has a noble heart and his mind is in the right place. We also found out that Drax has severe difficulties when it comes to understanding metaphors, customs, and humor in general.
Many fans initially thought Drax had autism and was on the spectrum. However, that was never officially confirmed, and it was revealed that Drax doesn’t have any kind of disorder and that he is a normal Kylosian. So what does that mean exactly?
Kylosians are considered to be backward people who take things to literally
Drax is obviously not human; he hails from a distant planet called Kylos. Much of what we know about Kylosians comes from Rocket Raccoon, who was happy to educate the rest of the team about the strange people with a warrior spirit.
Although physically similar to humans, Kylosians are a very literal and straightforward race. They do not have use for metaphors in their speech and culture, deciding always to communicate matters directly. Their behavior may seem strange to other races, leading to a reputation that Kylosians are primitive and barbaric people, underdeveloped in terms of their intelligence and customs.
The issue is further supported by the fact that they are a tribal culture oriented toward warfare. Their bulky appearance doesn’t help matters either.
Drax is a prime example of how Kylosian would react and would be unable to understand metaphors as he took great offense at Peter Quill calling him a thesaurus, and he once stated that he fell in love with his wife because it appeared as if she didn’t enjoy their tribal festivities.
Drax is not autistic, he is a normal representative of his race
Drax’s reactions and behavior led many fans to assume he is on the spectrum and has autism; however, this is not the case. Each person with autism is different, and autism can manifest in a plethora of ways, sometimes obvious and sometimes hidden, but many people on the spectrum have difficulties understanding figurative language and thus have trouble understanding metaphors, irony, humor, sarcasm, and even idioms.
Drax cannot be considered autistic because he is not human, and thus human developmental disorders don’t affect him. He is simply a part of the race that takes things literally all the time, and this is the simplest explanation that we can give you.
Despite sometimes having trouble coping with language that other races use, and I’m fairly certain that Drax has no idea what is going on half of the time, he did, on several occasions, demonstrate that he can be humorous on purpose and that he is able to “act” if necessary.
In Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Drax shows his childlike side when he attempts to communicate with children that High Evolutionary experimented upon. He mentions that he sometimes imitated a monkey to cheer up his daughter and that it sometimes worked.
However, he then proceeded to imitate some completely random animal. But that’s not the point. The point is that Drax was able to “roleplay” to cheer up the children, and he was successful at it; he even managed to communicate with them despite his vocabulary being quite limited.
Additionally, like most long-time Guardians of the Galaxy members, Drax seems to understand Groot most of the time, which wouldn’t be possible if he took everything that he said at face value.
As you can see, it’s not that Drax is completely incapable of understanding the figurative language. It’s just that he isn’t used to it because his race doesn’t use figurative language. It’s simply not their way. On numerous occasions, he proved that he could understand “the hidden meaning” behind words, be humorous intentionally, and roleplay if needed.