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This is clearly a one-sided problem, but surprisingly a rivalry that goes places you may not expect. The Merc with a Mouth wouldn’t bow to anyone, let alone Thanos, after all.
The Mad Titan is certainly not one to find the humor of a very capable and nearly impossible to kill nuisance to his liking.
Neither of these reasons is where the feud stems from. It all kind of really starts with love.
In this look at one of the most loved rivalries in all of the Marvel Universe, we’ll look at how it is Death that brings these two together. Lady Death, that is.
Tale of the Tape
Deadpool, AKA Wade Wilson
- Abilities: Super Fast Regenerative Healing, Slightly Increased physical attributes including enhanced strength, toughness, peak human speed, and agility.
- Most Impressive Victory: There’s a comic where he kills everyone. It doesn’t really count, so I’m going with The Hulk. This victory is impressive because he has no healing factor or powers during the fight. He has to rely only on dodging and skill, eventually leading Hulk to impale himself so he can steal some of Banner’s blood and get the hell out of dodge. Impressive.
- Most Brutal Defeat: I’m going with Moon Knight. The reason that Deadpool has all the tools to win this fight but doesn’t just lose the first round because of getting distracted loses round 2 after luring Moon Knight into a carnival’s house of mirrors. Moon Knight shattered the mirrors and slashed the crud out of Deadpool, leaving him for dead. Of course, Deadpool doesn’t die, so there’s that.
- Characteristics: Always cracking jokes, actually insane, a decent sense of loyalty, breaks the fourth wall.
- Main Advantage: His healing factor and access to good weaponry that lets him teleport, among other things.
- Abilities: Superhuman Strength, Nigh Invulnerability, Immortality, Superhuman stamina and durability, Superhuman agility and reflexes, Healing Factor, Energy Projection, and you get the idea.
- Most Impressive Victory: I mean, he won. He fought every hero in Marvel, in canon, and won. At the same time. Adam Warlock finds him hiding away as a farmer at the end of the first Infinity Gauntlet comic arc. Adam admits that he knows Thanos didn’t lose the fight but no longer desired to win. Even the “death” he allowed heroes to believe they garnered was false, and he gave the Infinity Gauntlet up. That is canon in the comics and even now in the films. Thanos wins.
- Most Brutal Defeat: He’s lost a handful of times but rarely in a one-on-one encounter. That being said, for brutality’s sake, Drax finally got his revenge on Thanos once. He managed to get behind him and literally punch his heart right out of his body. Ouch.
- Characteristics: A genius, methodical, patient, committed, and often power-hungry.
- Main Advantage: All of them, he’s Thanos.
I will always mention one thing they both have in common when given a chance.
They both got whooped by Squirrel Girl, true story. Squirrel Girl doesn’t lose.
How Did They Meet?
Lady Death. Thanos is in love with her, and she falls in love with Deadpool, who eventually returns her love. She became the happy place he went to each time he died. Thus, jealousy that would shake up the Marvel Universe was born.
Here’s a little history on Lady Death and the two who would fight for her affection.
See also: Superman vs Darkseid: Battle of the Gods
Thanos, the Eternal Romantic
Death, for the record, is technically non-gender, but ultimately decided she preferred to be a she because that’s how these two beings who loved her perceived her to be. Thus, Lady Death became the most common form the omnipotent being takes.
The Grim Reaper. An All-powerful being. She is not a mutant or “god” like Thor, no, but the living embodiment of actual Death in the Marvel Universe. If removed from the Marvel Universe, it screws up death itself as a concept of their reality.
So, obviously, Thanos fell in love with her the first time he met her. He freaking hates life.
The thing is, she didn’t really dislike him. She didn’t share the feeling. Still, she decided to play along with his affection a bit. In a long, drawn-out romance that went nowhere, she tells the Mad Titan that he isn’t powerful enough to be her suitor. She challenges him to get the Infinity Stones.
Yeah, that is how the real quest began in the old comic lore. Thanos wanted to impress the woman he loved. It was a fantastic comic book arc. The fact he did it all for love somehow made him relatable even though he was generally just a horrid character. What he put his daughter through, good lord.
I highly suggest you pick up the original Infinity Gauntlet compilation in graphic novel form.
As you know from above, he didn’t come out on top with the Infinity Gauntlet, but that had NOTHING to do with why Lady Death just straight up shuns him. After he acquires the Gauntlet, he doesn’t even go directly to “let me be the ruler of the entire cosmos and existence,” but to Lady Death.
She still shuns him. Before, he wasn’t powerful enough to court her, and now he has too much power. He kind of gets the hint when she joins other cosmic entities to try and kill him because he has too much power. His fall down lovers’ lane leaves him in the spin, resulting in half of all living things getting snapped out of existence.
Deadpool Dances with Death
Deadpools interactions with Lady Death were gradual. The thing is, he actually dies(or meets near-death) quite often. His body just regenerates and pulls his soul back from the void.
It isn’t long before Death itself takes notice, and it just so happens, Wade Wilson is the first person to ever notice her back.
She is instantly enthralled by him. Over the course of only brief interaction, she becomes smitten. She wants him to embrace her, but he just isn’t dying for some reason. It’s because his newfound healing powers are working, just not how he or the people experimenting on him expected them to.
As he is being tortured to better understand the Wolverine genes injected into him, he would drift in and out of the plane of existence where Death kind of rules. Each time he went into it, she would make fantasy worlds for them to enjoy together. They were just having the best of times, between all the torture, that is. So, he started calling out the guy who did it to piss him off and get him to do worse.
This started to turn him into a hero to the other people in the facility who were also failed experiments. The ‘dead pool’ on his life went up, and they began to cheer him and follow in his footsteps, even if he wasn’t doing it for any of them. He just wanted to die and get his sweet kiss.
That was the problem. Deadpool couldn’t actually kiss her until he accepted his fate and died. Which his thirst for vengeance prevented him from doing. Not for what was done to him but to those who started to look up to him. They saw him as their one ray of hope in the hellhole they shared.
It’s one of the better origin comics I’ve ever read. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.
After all, was said and done, it didn’t matter if he chose life and Death stopped talking to him because of it. Word got around to the Eternal, Thanos, and jealousy ached through his bones. The man literally beat the Universe for her, and here, some human had won her affection.
It was on.
Their First Conflict
It didn’t go well for Deadpool, as one might expect. Worse yet, Thanos wouldn’t permit him to die because it would make his whole point of targeting Deadpool moot. No, he had more complicated plans for this confrontation.
Deadpool, on the other hand, doesn’t back down from anyone. So, he tried to fight back. Thanos had no trouble aside from finding the mutant’s constant quips annoying. It was a one-sided affair.
Thanos had cursed Deadpool with actual immortality. When combined with his healing factor, that meant no more visits with Death. Sadly, Thanos had won not just the fight but seemingly the war.
Didn’t Deadpool Kill Thanos?
Eh, that’s not real but also accurate. There’s a fun run where Marvel has Deadpool kill everyone in the Marvel Universe.
In that run, Thanos hired Deadpool to steal the cosmic cube. Wade tricks Thanos and uses the infinity gem to blast Thanos into pieces. Thanos is also flying his infamous comic in this issue for some reason, more or less ensuring that it doesn’t happen in canon.
In other words, it was writing for the fun of it. However, they do have an all our brawl eventually.
See also: Guide to Image Comics: The Plucky Underdogs
The Odd Couple
In Deadpool VS Thanos, the mini-series, death has stopped happening to everyone in the known Universe. The dead just aren’t dying, which means only one thing: Lady Death is missing.
Deadpool believes it must be Thanos (after consulting a famous witch doctor in a chicken suit, Black Talon). He goes after Thanos pretty quickly without really much of a plan.
This is a fun read, and more so, Thanos brutalizes Deadpool with some kind of violent elegance here. At one point, his body looks like mush in a suit.
Thanos is ready to grant him actual death out of pure annoyance. The problem, Thanos is trying to save the woman he loves. The bigger problem, she seems only to be sending messages to the man she loves, Wade Wilson.
Yeah, so Thanos is forced to work alongside Deadpool and follow her messages to find where she is being held. However, when death stops working, everyone and their mother’s first guess as to who is responsible; is Thanos.
Deadpool and Thanos have to fight through The Guardians of the Galaxy, among others, just to get back to Earth. They capture a man returned from Hell who was targeting Deadpool and bring him to Black Talon.
They have the uniquely dressed master of zombies(Talon) portal them to literally Hell using their detainee as a gateway.
They confront Mephisto Blackheart and finally find their way to an empty space. The embodiment of the entire Universe has trapped Lady Death in a cage because they are tired of feeling the beautiful things inside of them disappear.
Thanos and Deadpool don’t stand a chance, so instead of fighting, they sneak toward Death’s cage while the Universe is distracted. It’s there that Thanos screws up royally. As he goes toward Lady Death to confess how he fought through time and space to save her, Deadpool just straight up bypasses him to kiss her. Likewise, she only seems to notice Wade.
Thanos doesn’t take that well. He blasts Deadpool in rage, and the Universe notices.
A fight that neither can win rages on, but Death is free, and she grants the two of them her gift. With it, they go toe-to-toe with one of the most powerful entities of all time.
Deadpool recognizes they should quit it. Killing the Universe would destroy all life. ALL. Thanos doesn’t give a crap. This Universe trapped the woman he loved; now they must pay.
It’s soon that Wade realizes this is what Death wants to happen, this is her design, and she takes her gift away from him. Deadpool tries to stop Thanos, but he is hurled into the Cosmos.
There are no chances here; he is confronted with a being known as the Uni-Power, whose job is to protect the Universe from only this type of destruction. This Uni-Power chooses him as the champion and gives Deadpool their energy.
Deadpool returns with this colossal power boost as quickly as he can. He whoops Thanos’s but for a bit, but Thanos is not a pushover just because you now have his strength.
During their fight, Wade points out a truth, in earshot of Death, who recognizes this truth, Thanos loves life as much as anyone. He respects those that come from nothing to survive, to be more, and in this way, he cherishes life more than most.
Wade fought back from being a failed experiment after cancer ate him up and endless torture to become Deadpool. Thanos fought back from being a child whose mother tried to murder him and a people who shunned him as a villain before he ended up becoming what they feared despite them. They both fought their hardest for life, not death.
Death turns her back on Thanos and steals the gift away. In a moment of pause, Thanos is wrecked by Cosmic-Powered Deadpool, presumably killed for the time. Yet, like always, he’ll pop his head up again later.
As for these two, that’s the last comic book interaction they had, with Deadpool coming out on top.
The Silver Screen
Both characters have also made big splashes into the cinema. Deadpools first big splash in Wolverine: Origins will be excluded from my writing for, um, reasons.
Deadpool 1 & 2
The Merc with the Mouth breaks the fourth wall in well-received comical performances by a man who may have been born to play him; Ryan Reynolds.
He seems to keep almost every bit of his original powers in the films and has no new limitations. He hasn’t got the great teleporting technology he keeps on his belt yet, but I’m sure it’ll get there.
He has teamed up with his “bestie” from the comics, Cable. That on-again, off-again friendship isn’t just enjoyable here; it’s subliminally important to this article.
Cable is portrayed in the films by Josh Brolin, the actor who also plays Thanos.
The Avengers get Schooled
Josh Brolin brings life to the newly imagined Thanos in the two movies Avengers: Infinity War and End Game. He brings a sense of inner conflict and self-righteousness brought about by a sense of duty to an ideal that is, in all honesty: madness.
His outstanding acting and some good writing quickly made Thanos the most famous villain in a Marvel movie to date. Not to mention, he wins his first fight, and in the second fight, he still technically beats all of their asses. Except for Wanda, but that’s neither here nor there.
He doesn’t have energy blasts or a healing factor, or even his immortality in the film franchise, it seems. He has his genius-level intellect, incredible fighting skills, overwhelming strength, and durability. Withstanding blows from Thor’s Hammer and kicking Hulk’s ass without an Infinity Stone.
So, even though Deadpool gets to keep all of his tricks and Thanos is dwarfed a tad, it’s still not really a fair fight between their silver screen counterparts.
The Final Verdict
With the odds so clearly tipped, and even though Deadpool wins in the mini-series, it doesn’t take much to see that Thanos wins this one.
Walking both competitors, with time for them to prep, into a fair fight as I like to do in these versus article brawls… it’s still not even a long one. Thanos is too good.
I am not a big fan of overpowered heroes or villains. But I give Thanos one of my rare passes. He is complex enough that it works, and he manages to keep Marvel Heroes in check when they need to be reminded there is always someone bigger.
Wait… what’s happening? Oh no.
Dang it, you see, I knew writing about a fourth-wall-breaking character would bite me in the but eventually. Fine…fine…let me wrap my brain around all the facts and writing from the history of these two and see if there is a chance for Deadpool.
Thanos did curse Deadpool with Immortality, and Deadpool does heal. So, what could he really do to win in the long run? Not much, unless Thanos is willing to let Lady Death and Deadpool have one another. Which he would not want. After the events of Deadpool VS Thanos, he does get Death to admit she has some “love” for him and even gets a kiss.
So, no way he’s letting Wade get in the way. Best case scenario? Lock him in a room he can’t escape from. In response to this confinement, Deadpool would constantly try to take himself out to get into Death’s embrace. This leads to only one option, Death has to choose how to help Wade.
She gives him a weapon, a scythe if you will. One made from her own bones. If Wade pierces himself with it, he will finally die.
Thanos won’t let this be and comes to stop Deadpool. How does he know what’s going to happen? Because the Merc with Mouth blabs about it as loud as he can. Rubbing his soon-to-be victory in Thanos’s purple, smug face.
Thanos coming to stop him is all part of Wade’s plan. Just as Thanos breaks Death’s Sickle, Deadpool snatches up a piece of the shattered bone-blade and jams it into Thanos’s heart.
There you go, a relatively believable way for Deadpool to win this fight based on all the information I’ve collected. Let’s move on to trivia before I get attacked by the fourth wall again.
See also: Common Comic Book Terms and Phrases Explained
- Thanos admits to respecting Deadpool in the Deadpool VS Thanos comics. He rarely gives this praise, putting Deadpool on an extremely short list.
- Deadpool didn’t start off popular; in fact, he didn’t even start off as anything more than the usual assassin/villain. It wasn’t until he started breaking the fourth wall that he really popped off as a popular character.
- Thanos once got arrested by the NYPD. Power creep is real.
- He also used to fly a funny little helicopter and constantly be a problem for New York superheroes.
- In Deadpool: The End, Wade gets to spend eternity finally making out with his beautiful bone-faced Mistress of Death.
- Thanos has been a hero quite often in the Marvel timeline. Sometimes fighting alongside Adam Warlock, his respected Arch Rival, or Lady Death herself.
Question: Is Thanos Stronger than Deadpool?
Question: Does Deadpool Kill Thanos?
Answer: Technically, yes. Twice even.
Question: Is Deadpool an Avenger?
Answer: He was, once. Not for a long time, but. Yes.
Question: Why does Thanos hate Deadpool?
Answer: This common question I address very fully throughout the article. It’s love, simple old love. Jealousy, if you will. Also, he finds his quips really annoying.
Question: Will Thanos and Deadpool have a movie together?
Answer: Doubtful, Thanos does not look prime to make a comeback in any live-action movie. An animated film may happen, but nothing is in the works as of this writing.
This is one of the more interestingly mismatched feuds in all the Marvel Universe and one that makes a lot of sense at the same time. A powerful villain that can kill every hero put to page, and an assassin who will take any job regardless of how outmatched he is. It makes for some fun and really out-of-this-world story arcs.
I hope you learned everything you were looking to on the history of Deadpool and Thanos from this article. They are two of my favorite characters. Any of the comics listed here are highly recommended reads from us to you.
As long as clever writing has a say, the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool, can kill anyone. And Thanos, well, his greatest weakness turns out to be loving the wrong lady.
If you mess with her, though, even being a god can’t save you from the Mad Titan.