’Tis the season for noble eradication! Many fans of various fandoms have hopes this spring of being relieved of villains that have been plaguing their favorite characters for way too long. Earlier this month, Seth Rollins opened Wrestlemania 35 by slaying the beast, Brock Lesnar, for the WWE Universal Championship. Wrestle fans everywhere rejoiced of a new champion that actually cared about showing up to work and being a fighting champion. April also marked the beginning of the end of Game of Thrones. Cersei has proven to be an effective queen, but not without an excessive amount of deceit and a whole lot of massacre. Most fans are in agreement: she’s got to go.
For Marvel fans, meanwhile, I hope we’re all in one, cohesive understanding that there is no reason Thanos needs to stay alive. Whether you know this already or you need more convincing, here are four major reasons why Thanos needs to die.
Be warned: this list contains spoilers from a variety of Thanos-related comic series and from Avengers: Infinity War.
1. It’s in His Blood to Kill
The Eternals A’Lars and Sui-San were a peaceful couple who created life on Saturn’s moon Titan. If you’re not a comics reader, you may not know Thanos was birthed by this harmonious couple. But he was born with the Deviant gene: a mutation passed from his parents that gave him purple skin, a massive body, and, apparently, a violent temperament. Sui-San took one look at newborn Thanos and tried to kill him. She was driven mad not because he looked different but because she saw death in his eyes (Thanos Rising).
At first, Thanos was a kind, studious child who wanted to know more about why he was so different. Unfortunately, that curiosity caught the eye of a mischievous little girl. She coerced him into killing lizards, and it all went downhill from there. His murderous disposition was also the reason Frank Castle—known by many as the Punisher, but also Cosmic Ghost Rider these days—took toddler Thanos to raise him to be a good man and cancel out all the bad things he’d done. The spectacular series Cosmic Ghost Rider by Donny Cates shows the struggle of an adoptive father with a violent past trying to keep a baby prone to murder away from violence. You can only imagine how smoothly that went.
2. He’s Nearly Incapable of Feeling Regret
There’s a bigger chance of someone garnering sympathy if they express regret. It doesn’t erase wrongdoing, but regret can make the accused more sympathetic and less difficult to work with. Arguably the only time Thanos has felt regret is after he sacrificed Gamora for the Soul Stone in Avengers: Infinity War. Unfortunately for anyone in the Marvel Universe, Thanos has no true regrets. Cosmic Ghost Rider was forced to give Thanos a Penance Stare every day—through his eyes, every sin against the innocent that the looker has committed basically gets thrown right back in their face, and they become regretful and agonize over their actions (Thanos). Not the Mad Titan, though. He basks in his own glory as if to hype himself up to do it again the same day.
3. He Revels in Mental and Emotional Pain
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has shaped Thanos into the deadliest force any of our heroes have ever seen. He is feared among many, and it has never been a good sign when his name has come up. Thanos does not thrive off of murder alone; if there is any spark of hope when he is around, he would love nothing more than to throw it on the ground, burn it, and throw the ashes in your face. Cosmic Ghost Rider has seen many of his malicious achievements (Thanos Annual, 2018). Thanos can find fulfillment in visiting the same human once a year to cause repeated devastation—not killing them but making their life a dreadful living hell. He’s also gotten satisfaction from looking into the future with the Time Stone and finding a forthcoming success he can interrupt. If you love it, he wants to kill it.
4. He Loves Death, in More Ways than One
Mistress Death has been a part of Thanos’s existence literally his entire life. From birth, she saw his lethal potential and became the catalyst that triggered his dormant Deviant Syndrome (Thanos Rising). She took the form of a girl when he was young and did her best to both entice him and bring out the worst in him. She guided him into a very traumatic experience and continued to convince him to seek answers about his mysterious existence through killing his fellow Titanians. Thanos’s questions were never really answered, but she continued to be the ultimate instigator throughout his life.
Thanos only loves two things: death and destruction. He traveled the universe as a space pirate, bedding lots of women who bore many of his children. He wanted to feel something from them, but he got nothing out of it. He eventually reunited with Death after returning to Titan and told her she was the only one who understood him. Mistress Death constantly takes advantage of this. She wants to see death; Thanos wants to cause it. It would be a perfect match if she held him to a higher standard. In some comics, Thanos kills to please Death and used the Infinity Stones to do it faster (Infinity War, 1992). Thanos is in a constant battle with himself over wanting to be Death’s equal and giving her what she wants versus being her servant and never fully satisfying her. No matter how unhappy she makes him, he always goes back. She sowed the seed of dependency into him at a very young age, and he cannot shake her off.
At the end of the day, Thanos has no sympathy for anyone else, so there’s no reason to give him any. He sees himself as the savior of the universe, but he’s a savior no one asked for. He’s obsessed with balancing the universe but doesn’t have the decency to think maybe some planets don’t suffer from overpopulation as his planet once did. It does not matter to him. He deserves no exile, no Prison 42, and no inappropriate last-minute spouts of rage (damn you, Star-Lord). Even without the Infinity Gauntlet, he still needs to feed off of misery. Without Mistress Death, he still needs to fulfill his murderous instinct. Throughout Marvel Comics history, a good number of heroes have put Thanos in the dirt. Even though we now have Captain Marvel, the path the Russos are taking for the MCU is still unknown. All we can do is hope for the best and enjoy the conclusion of a stellar cinematic era.