Thanos has so far been the biggest villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with him being so strong that every superhero from the movies had to fight him and his army at once just to beat him.
But what would happen if the strongest Avenger introduced so far, Captain Marvel, was to fight Thanos one-on-one?
They did have a brief fight in the movie Avengers: Endgame, but with them both being super strong and talented fighters, deciding who would win in a fight can be a tough choice to make.
The answer may also change depending on whether we are talking about the movies or the comics, as their fights have had different results in both.
So to try and decide a winner, let’s take a look at the strengths of both characters, and their history in the movies and comics.
How Strong Is Thanos?
The character of Thanos is very different in the comics compared to the movies, but both show him as incredibly strong, ruthless, bloodthirsty. He is an enemy of almost every superhero that exists and has earned himself the nickname of the Mad Titan.
Thanos, who was born on Saturn’s moon of Titan, is an Eternal, which is a type of superhuman that is meant to protect the people of the Earth. However, he was born with the Deviant gene, which is kind of like the evil Eternals.
This explains his massive height, purple skin, and misshapen appearance, while other Eternals look more like normal humans. Still, as he is an Eternal, he is a very powerful being.
Both in comics and in the MCU movies, Thanos has several abilities that have earned him the title of the most powerful being in the Marvel universe.
Thanos, like other Titans, is invulnerable to almost all forms of damage. He is nearly completely resistant to injury, invulnerable to almost all types of poison and disease, and telepathic attacks hardly affect him.
He is so strong that in the movies Gamora, his adopted daughter, wasn’t even sure if he could be killed.
As a Titan, Thanos can lift, move, or exert millions of tons of force, which was shown throughout the movies, like when he crushed the Tesseract with his hands, or ripped the Mind Stone out of Visions forehead easily, tearing through Vision’s seeming unbreakable Vibranium skin.
He was also able to break through Doctor Strange’s super strong magical shields and escape from his Eldritch whips.
While Thanos can withstand attacks from almost all of the Avengers without being injured by any of them, the real show of his durability can be seen when he holds the Infinity Stones.
No other character in the MCU can hold a stone in their bare hands without dying or at least being in immense pain. Thanos on the other hand was able to hold many with only a little discomfort felt to him.
The Power Stone for example usually destroys anything organic that it touches, but Thanos was able to hold it with the only side effect being a small amount of pain.
Speed And Stamina
Despite being very tall and muscular, Thanos is surprisingly fast. He can dodge and counter attacks from other fast Avengers like the Hulk and Iron Man pretty easily.
Thanos also produces little to no fatigue toxins, meaning that he can keep fighting almost indefinitely, while the Avengers would need to stop eventually.
Agility And Reflexes
This can be seen best in his hand-to-hand combats, as he is very easily able to dodge and counter multiple attacks in one go.
In Endgame, he was seen dodging bullets and other projectiles and was even able to catch Thor’s weapon Stormbreaker mid-air, a move no one else was able to do.
Regenerative Healing Factor
No matter how severe the wound was in the MCU movies, Thanos always seemed to recover relatively quickly.
When he first arrived on earth, the wounds made by Iron Man not too long before were no longer visible, and the axe cut on his chest made my Stormbreaker also heal very quickly.
The only wounds of his that did not heal were those made by the Infinity Stones when Thanos snapped his fingers and erased half of the life in the universe.
The Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet allows Thanos to use all of the powers of the Infinity Stones at the same time, making him even stronger than he already is.
He can manipulate time, space, and reality in battle by using these stones, making him practically unbeatable while he is wearing it.
That is why the Avengers fought so hard to remove this from him, as with it on they would have almost zero chance of winning.
In The Comics
Thanos has a few extra powers in the comics that were not seen in the movies. His greatest ability might be that he has essentially conquered death. There are a few ways he can cheat death, with one of them being his very close relationship to Death herself.
In the comics, Thanos is in love with the Goddess of Death, and so in an attempt to woo her, he plans to wipe out half of the universe (which is what happened in the MCU just under different circumstances).
Because of his close relationship with Death, Thanos claims he can control and move souls from one body to another and can decide what form their next life will take.
Death also once gave Thanos a techno-mystic chair, which was able to transport him across the universe.
Thanos can also cheat death by sacrificing others so he can live again, or by biding his time in death and recharging his inner strength, so that when he returns he is even more powerful than he was before.
Other powers include psychic abilities, possession of the body and mind of others, and sustaining himself on only cosmic energy.
Captain Marvel, A.K.A Carol Danvers is the most powerful Avenger introduced in the movies to date, and one of the most powerful in the comics.
She got her powers by becoming a Kree-Human hybrid, though the way she got to this point varies between the comics and the movies.
While being a hybrid is the main source of her powers in the comics, in the movies she also gained her powers by absorbing the energy of the Space Stone.
Despite this small change in her backstory, it seems that Captain Marvel in the movies will have almost identical powers to her comic counterpart.
Binary And Cosmic Energy
Captain Marvel can absorb huge amounts of cosmic energy, which is what she uses to fuel or more explosive and stronger powers. One of these powers is Binary.
In this state, Captain Marvel is essentially invulnerable. She can control all forms of radiation and gravity, absorb all energy, fly faster and further, and produce an extremely powerful photon blast that could kill or at the very least knock out almost any villain.
This is a very powerful projectile Marvel can shoot from her hands. While she can use Binary to make them even stronger, they are already powerful enough to cause extreme damage to anyone or anything she aims at.
These are also powered by her cosmic energy.
Super Strength And Stamina
In an MCU movie when the Avengers first meet Captain MArvel, they run some tests to see just how strong she is. During these tests, they find that she can carry 92 tons, though she says she could probably hold even more.
When she activates Binary, she can carry the strength of a whole star.
Her huge levels of stamina allow her to be able to continually use all of her powers without getting tired, as well as fly thousands of miles at speed easily.
Speed And Flight
Captain Marvel is capable of incredibly fast flight, allowing her to travel across the universe to whatever planet needs to help the most.
On top of this, she does not need to fly in a ship when traveling through space, or even need an air tank to breathe. She is protected from the elements of space thanks to her cosmic energy.
Captain Marvel is one of very few heroes that can travel through space in this way.
Captain Marvel can withstand almost anything, from punches, weapon hits, the vacuum of space, and toxins. This means that no matter what is thrown at her, there is very little chance of her being injured or killed in any sort of fight.
Thanos Vs Captain Marvel – The Movies
In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos and Captain Marvel squared up for the first and only time in the movies. For a while Captain Marvel seemed to have the upper hand, not seeming fazed by any of the attacks Thanos threw at her, and even easily withstanding a direct headbutt from the Titan.
While Thanos was able to briefly shake her off by throwing her very far away, Captain Marvel flew back quickly and managed to get Thanos on his knees while nearly removing the Infinity Gauntlet from his arm.
In the end, Thanos had to remove the Power Stone from the Gauntlet and hold it in his hand while he punched Captain Marvel, which eventually was enough to beat her.
So while in the movies Thanos won the battle between the two, it is implied that he was only able to do this due to the Power Stone’s abilities.
Thanos Vs Captain Marvel – The Comics
There have been a few different versions of Captain Marvel in the comics, as it’s usual for the names of superheroes to be passed from one character to another when the universe is being rebooted or the writers want to make a change.
So far the only version of Captain Marvel that has fought Thanos in the comics is the original Captain Marve, Mar-Vell.
This battle took place in the 1974 comic Captain Marvel Vol 1 #33.
A few issues previously, Thanos has used the Cosmic Cube to turn himself into a god, but sidekick and friend of Mar-Vell convinced the titan to return to his physical form so that he and Mar-Vell can fight in hand-to-hand combat.
Unfortunately for Captain Marvel, Thanos is very strong and he is just not able to match the god-like powers of Thanos, even with his fast reflexes and his own super strength.
Thanos very quickly and easily beats Captain Marvel into a state of unconsciousness. Thanos then leaves to get on with other battles in the area, and eventually, Captain Marvel wakes up to find that the titan is now fighting the Avengers.
Through twists and trunks in the story, Captain Marvel knows that he must destroy the Cosmic Cube to destroy Thanos. For this, he enlists the help of Drax and the other Avengers.
In an attempt to stop him from reaching or breaking the Cube, Thanos rapidly ages Captain Marvel.
He had hoped to kill him before he could crush the cube, but it’s too little too late, as the now dying hero destroys the Cube with a karate chop. Thanos then dwindles away until he no longer exists.
Reality then returns to normal, and that is the last we see of Thanos for now.
In this comic, Thanos does very obviously beat Captain Marvel in a hand-to-hand fight, doing it with such ease that it seems like this hero didn’t pose any threat to him at all.
And while in the end, Captain Marvel did beat the titan, that was mainly through cunning and team strategy over physical strength, so this perhaps should not be counted as a win for Captain Marvel either.
While Captain Marvel is an extremely powerful superhero, in both the comics and the movies it is clear that Thanos has the upper hands when it comes to their fights.
Even without the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, he was able to hold his own against her in the movies, and in the comics, Thanos was able to beat Captain Marvel like he was nothing.
While we probably won’t get to see any more fights between Thanos and Captain Marvel in the moves as this phase of the MCU is now over, there is always the change of a rematch in the comics.
Then we may know once and for all who is the stronger character in the Marcel universe.