Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, longtime comic book villain Thanos is now one of the most famous antagonists in the world. The iconic Mad Titan managed to defeat Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: Infinity War and snapped away half of all existence, and he came incredibly close to besting them again and rewriting reality in Avengers: Endgame.
While some viewers believe that Thanos initially had noble intentions in his plan to "bring balance" to the universe, its hard to deny that he ended up getting far too power-hungry and villainous by the time Tony Stark gave his life to take Thanos down. Believe it or not, Thanos is actually even more evil in the comics, as his mission to eliminate half of all life was just an attempt to impress his crush, Mistress Death.
There's no doubt that the Mad Titan is one of Marvel's most dangerous and diabolical characters, but a close look at the comics can reveal that his family actually isn't much better. With "loved ones" like these, it's no wonder Thanos became a supervillain! Here are 20 Things Everyone Chooses To Ignore About Thanos' Family.
20 THANOS' MOTHER TRIED TO END HIS LIFE WHEN HE WAS A BABY
When Thanos' mother Sui-San first gave birth to him, she looked down at her baby and somehow immediately recognized the threat that he'd one day grow to become. She was disgusted by his purple skin and feared that it was a sign that he'd one day become a monster.
Sui-San begged the doctors to end Thanos' life and eventually tried to commit the unspeakable deed herself. Her husband, Mentor, ordered the doctors to instead sedate Sui-San.
19 HIS APPEARANCE CAME FROM HIS DEVIANTS GENE
Thanos' appearance was a source of fear and disgust for his mother, but the Mad Titan's purple skin wasn't actually all that uncommon for those in his bloodline. While Eternals were typically known for their physical beauty, Thanos also carried genes of the Eternals' cousin race, the Deviants, who were known for possessing random physical or cosmetic mutations.
18 THANOS' PARENTS DIDN'T STOP PEOPLE FROM FEARING HIM
Since Thanos' father Mentor was the leader of his colony on Titan, he could have ensured that his subjects treated his son with respect. Unfortunately, he was too busy in his duties to notice that the people of Titan feared and made fun of Thanos, and since Sui-San shared those negative feelings towards her son, she didn't do anything to change anyone's minds about him.
Thanos thus grew up without friends and didn't feel like anyone truly cared about him.
17 HIS "HEROIC" BROTHER IS A HUGE WOMANIZER
While it was never mentioned in the MCU, Thanos actually grew up with a brother named Eros, who was basically his polar opposite. Eros was handsome, popular and incredibly charming. He went on to become the superhero Starfox and even joined the Avengers, but he definitely had his share of flaws, too.
Starfox was a huge womanizer, and used his ability to control the emotions of others to seduce those he was interested in.
16 MENTOR WAS TOO DISTANT TO STOP THANOS FROM GOING DOWN A DARK PATH
Mentor's duties as a leader on Titan kept him from paying appropriate attention to Thanos as his son was growing up. He didn't notice that his son had seemingly taken on an imaginary friend—who was later revealed to be the manipulative Mistress Death.
Thanos started experimenting on animals, and eventually progressed in his "research" to start eliminating his fellow Titan residents. Mentor had no idea that his son was going down this dark path until it was already far too late.
15 HE EXPERIMENTED ON HIS MOTHER FOR SCIENCE, NOT REVENGE
Thanos was aware of how twisted his growing fascination with death was, but he couldn't stop himself. His scientific curiosity was too strong, and eventually, he started to seek out answers about his monstrous appearance to determine if there was a genetic cause for his bloodlust.
This led to Thanos experimenting on his mother, to see if anything inside of her could be responsible for his problems. He could've eliminated Sui-San out of revenge for her lifelong cruelty to him, but when he took her life, it was simply for research purposes and he actually regretted doing so.
14 THANOS' GRANDFATHER MADE DRAX IN AN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY HIM
When Thanos first traveled to Earth to acquire the powerful Cosmic Cube, his vessel destroyed a nearby car. Thanos' grandfather, the cosmic entity Kronos, saved the spirit of a man in that car and gave it new form as Drax the Destroyer.
Kronos intended for Drax to eliminate Thanos, to put an end to his madness and undoubtedly save countless lives.
13 THANOS WAS BRIEFLY FATHER TO SEVERAL CHILDREN
While Thanos spent most of his childhood alone, only socializing with a version of Mistress Death whom only he could see, he actually grew up to become quite the ladies' man. The Mad Titan traveled from planet to planet and sired numerous children with various different women in hopes of creating a new life for himself and putting an end to his loneliness.
Unfortunately, he didn't find any fulfillment in the idea of being a father, so when Mistress Death asked him to wipe out all of his children, he took their lives without question.
12 NEBULA USED HER "GRANDFATHER'S" NAME TO EARN HER REPUTATION
Nebula's relationship with Thanos has been a bit unclear ever since she first arrived in the comics. She initially claimed that the Mad Titan was her grandfather, took over his ship once he was believed to be dead, and used her supposed kinship with Thanos to earn a reputation as a feared and respected space pirate.
When Thanos came back into the picture, he tortured Nebula for lying about their familial bond. However, later comics referred to Nebula as his adoptive daughter, and the MCU made the same claim.
11 NEBULA HAD EVEN WORSE PLANS FOR THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
In the comic version of Infinity War, Thanos assembled the Infinity Gauntlet so he could wipe half of all life out of existence in order to impress Mistress Death. It's hard to believe that the Gauntlet could be used for a more twisted purpose than that, but Thanos' "granddaughter" Nebula had even worse plans for the weapon.
Nebula wanted to use the Gauntlet to conquer the entire universe. Once she stole it, Nebula proved to be a greater threat than Thanos had been and the remaining heroes of Earth actually teamed up with the Mad Titan to stop her.
10 THANOS DID ACTUALLY LOVE GAMORA
While Thanos didn't have much love for Nebula in the comics or the films based on them, his feelings for his adoptive daughter Gamora were actually entirely genuine. Thanos took her in after wiping out her family and half of her home planet, and while Gamora never stopped resenting him for this, the Mad Titan grew to truly care for her.
Thanos proved this in the MCU, when he tearfully threw Gamora off a cliff to obtain the Soul Stone. If he didn't love her, that act of sacrifice wouldn't have worked.
9 HIS FATHER REFUSED TO HELP HIM IN HIS TIME OF NEED
In Thanos' 2016 solo comic, the Mad Titan discovered that he was dying due to some unknown malady. He went to his father for help, and was shocked when Mentor initially refused to save his son's life.
It wasn't until Thanos threatened Mentor's life and the lives of the inhabitants of Gilgrath that his father finally agreed to study him. Mentor's studies revealed that Thanos only had weeks left to live, though, while a cure would take years to develop due to Thanos' complex biology.
8 MENTOR TOLD THANOS HE REGRETS NOT KILLING HIM AS A BABY
When Mentor told his son that he wouldn't be able to develop a cure for him in time, Thanos was outraged. It was clear that he was going to end his father's life for this failure, so Mentor made sure to spend his last breaths telling Thanos exactly what he thought of him.
Mentor boldly stated that he wished he'd let Sui-San end his life when he was a baby, adding that he was glad Thanos was finally dying. This cruel statement prompted Thanos to punch a hole right through Mentor's body.
7 EBONY MAW WASN'T EXACTLY A LOYAL "SON"
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Eboy Maw is Thanos' most loyal and powerful minion. The Maw bested Doctor Strange in battle in Infinity War and nearly obtained the Avengers' Infinity Gauntlet for Thanos in Endgame, but in the comics, he's not exactly that good of a "son."
When Ebony Maw discovered Thanos' son Thane and saw how powerful he was, he started disciplining him in secret to train him to become even greater than the Mad Titan. This proved that he's more loyal to power than to Thanos himself, leaving Thanos with very few trustworthy allies.
6 CORVUS GLAIVE TRIED REPLACING THANOS WITHOUT PERMISSION
Even Corvus Glaive, one of the most trusted and longstanding members of Thanos' Black Order, has been known to betray the Mad Titan in the comics. When his adoptive father briefly went missing, Corvus Glaive saw Thanos' absence as an opportunity to seize power for himself and replace his master.
He began to make his own Black Order and built an army all over the galaxy. Of course, when Thanos returned, he was furious. The two battled, and after realizing that he didn't want to perish by Thanos' cruel hand, Corvus took his own life.
5 A TIME-DISPLACED THANOS WAS RAISED BY FRANK CASTLE
In an alternate Marvel Comics future, a much older Thanos rules over the universe. He turns the Hulk into his own personal attack dog and makes the Cosmic Ghost Rider, Frank Castle, his herald. Castle eventually travels back in time to eliminate Thanos back when he was just a baby, but after realizing he didn't have the heart to do that, he simply took baby Thanos and tried to raise him as his son in hopes of changing the future.
Nature proved to be more important than nurture, though, as even Castle's parenting wasn't enough to stop Thanos from turning evil.
4 HE INITIALLY HAD A FAMILIAL CONNECTION TO THE GREEK GOD ZEUS
We now know that Thanos is one of the Eternals, but creator Jim Starlin initially had a much different origin in mind. In 1973's Captain Marvel #29, Starlin wrote that Thanos' father once lived on Olympus with his father Chronos and brother Zeus. Yes, that Zeus.
This would make Thanos Zeus' nephew, and since both Hercules and Ares have been members of the Avengers, it'd mean Thanos would have three family members in Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sadly, this origin story was later retconned.
3 THANOS' FAMILY AND PEERS REFUSED TO LISTEN TO HIS WISE ADVICE
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos' mission to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet was prompted by the tragic destruction of his home planet of Titan. Overpopulation led to the depletion of Titan's natural resources, and its residents were dying from starvation. Thanos wanted to eliminate half of the planet's population to ensure the other half's survival, but Thanos' family and peers ignored his advice. As a result, all of Titan perished.
The idea of taking out millions of innocent lives is absolutely horrible, but Thanos turned out to be right and his plan would have saved millions.
2 EVEN THANOS' CLONES TRIED ELIMINATING HIM
In order to train to defeat his most formidable heroic foes, Thanos created clones known as the Thanosi and gave them special abilities. There was an armored clone who allowed him to practice fighting against Iron Man, a magical clone with gifts like those of Doctor Strange and a bulbous-headed clone whose powers resembled Professor X's.
His creations weren't appreciative of the way Thanos just used and then abandoned them, though. They joined forces to try to take him out and end the universe, proving yet again that Thanos couldn't trust anyone—not even his own creations.
1 THANOS' SON THANE STOLE HIS LIFELONG CRUSH
Years after Thanos destroyed all of his children at Mistress Death's request, he discovered that one of his offspring survived. Thane shared his father's purple skin and incredible power, and Mistress Death decided to create an epic family rivalry by siding with Thane over the man who'd dedicated so much of his life to pleasing her.
The manipulative Mistress encouraged Thane to absorb the all-powerful cosmic Phoenix Force and try to put an end to Thanos. Thane immediately fell in love with his father's crush, so he did exactly as she instructed.