Nova vs. Thanos: Who Is More Powerful & Who Would Win in a Fight?

nova vs thanos who would win and who is more powerful

In the MCU, Thanos is a well-known thorn in the Nova Corps’ backside. He was responsible for the annihilation of their fleet and the whole of Xandar, and it’s questionable how they recovered in the meantime. This set the perfect ground for Nova to be introduced to the MCU, and due to that, we decided to compare them in terms of their powers and abilities to see whether Human Rocket would be able to take down the Mad Titan if the circumstances aligned perfectly. 

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Thanos is more powerful than Nova and would have no trouble beating him in a fight.
  • Nova has access to powers that are comparable to Thanos’ but lacks the experience to use them.
  • Thanos has vastly superior physiology, being both physically stronger and more durable than Nova.

Nova has access to Nova force, but Thanos is way more experienced 

Several characters over the years held the mantle of Nova, but for the purpose of this comparison, we’re going to use the current version of Nova in the comics, Sam Alexander. Sam’s powers completely rest on the fact that he has access to the Nova Helmet, through which he is connected to the Nova Force, an unimaginable source of power.

Sam, like other Novas, can concentrate the Nova Force to unleash energy beams or balls, create protective force fields, power star ships, and form energy razors for ship decimation. He can enhance his striking power by imbuing blows or his entire body with Nova Force energy, detect and eliminate toxins in living beings, and, similar to his predecessor, create hyperspace portals to shorten distances across the Universe.

Nova redirects missile

Nova Force grants Sam access to Molecular acceleration, energy manipulation, Xandarian world-mind, and plenty of other attributes superhuman in nature. He can also create various constructs out of energy, just like DC’s Green Lantern’s can do. Overall, Nova is pretty overpowered, which is understanding, taking into account his purpose as a galactic policeman. 

Thanos, on the other hand, never had an exactly defined power set, and neither does he have access to some specific force that powers him (we’re not taking Infinity Stones into account here.) Thanos instead mastered everything from energy manipulation to elemental manipulation and even occasionally dabbled in magic. He is also quite skilled in mind manipulation and is known to generate rather powerful force fields. 

Thanos Energy blast vs galactus

Both Nova and Thanos have highly versatile skill sets, but in lethality, Thanos always has an edge, and he has way more experience. Nova is also limited in using the Nova Helmet to the full extent, while Thanos’ physiology can handle just about anything, and this is why the point goes to him. 


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Nova (0-1) Thanos

Nova is faster, but Thanos is stronger and more durable

Nova Helmet also augments pretty much all the physical abilities of its wearer. This is why Sam is known to be among the physically strongest characters in Marvel Comics, as he can bench 30 tons with relative ease. He is capable of reaching incredible speeds in flight, reaching mach-2. He can lug heavy objects while flying and excels at speed-blitzing his enemies. Understandably, lifting 30 tons and flying at eye-watering speeds in space would severely cripple Nova’s human physiology. 

Nova lifting 30 tons

This is why the Helmet also grants him superhuman durability. Nova can withstand the harshest environments. He is extremely capable of sustaining injury and walking away unharmed. He tanked hits from Gamora, Ms. Marvel, Annihilus, and Beta Ray Bill and served as target practice for Stormbreaker, walking away relatively unharmed. 

Thanos, on the other hand, represents peak physical perfection as an Eternal- deviant hybrid. Thanos is incredibly strong, and although attempts were made to measure the upper limits of his strength, it’s quite possible that it is infinite as he is classified in the highest grade regarding his physical strength. Where Thanos lacks, however, is his speed. He still has superhuman speed at his disposal, being capable of moving as fast as 700 miles per hour and even more in some instances. 

He still can’t measure up against Nova and his blitzing. Nova can hope to outrun Thanos, but he can’t outlast him. Thanos is highly invulnerable to most forms of damage; he was effectively banned from dying by Death, and even when the ban was lifted, it’s theorized that due to Thanos being an essential component of the Universe, he will resurrect himself at some point.

Nova Helmet offers quite the upgrade when we take into account Sam’s physiology. He can’t, however, compare to Thanos, who has a reputation for being extremely difficult to kill. 

Nova (0-2) Thanos

Nova has access to Xandarian Worldmind 

Sam’s Nova helmet, housing the remnants of the Nova Corps’ Xandarian Worldmind, grants him unique abilities. These include universal translation, allowing him to understand any alien language as English, cosmic awareness represented by flashing colors for different scenarios, and enhanced intellect through vast knowledge of the Universe. The Helmet enables Sam to project hard-light holograms, serves as a cosmic atlas for navigation, and allows him to recognize individuals and their affiliations across the Universe. There’s a catch, however, as Xandarian Worldmind sometimes makes Sam mentally unstable. 

Thanos is known far and wide to be in the company of super-geniuses in Marvel Comics. His intellect is his most dangerous weapon, and Thanos stands behind some of the most brutal, evil, but brilliant plans in existence. Ever since he was a child, Thanos has been interested in science and the occult. He was able to invent new technologies, new races, and new planets. He often experiments on his victims and constantly plans to dominate an entire universe.  

Thanos Intelligence

It’s true that Sam has access to vast knowledge through his Helmet, but his dependency on it and the fact that he can’t use it to its full powers is what ultimately lost him the point here. Thanos wins. 

Nova (0-3) Thanos

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