Thanos vs Darkseid, it’s time to argue who would win between the two genocidal maniacs from Marvel and DC. In this article, I will be detailing the strength, speed, and durability of each character and doing my best to determine who would win in a fight if these two Goliaths ever battled.
While this should be really obvious, it’s always good to remind everyone that we’re talking about the “Movie Versions” of these characters, not the comic book version. So this means material from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Zack Snyder‘s live-action DC Universe will be the only sources considered for this article.
For DC, I will only be considering feats from Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Additionally, I will not be considering the respective armies that these characters command. This is a 1V1, no holds barred, steel cage, money match for the movie world title. But if you want to know how powerful these characters are in the comics. Then we’ll also talk about it but at the end of this movie comparison.
How Powerful Is Thanos In The MCU?
Speaking of Thanos, he is the Mad Titan who destroyed half of all life in the universe by obtaining the six Infinity Stones. And it’s safe to say that Thanos is the greatest villain in the MCU, just like Darkseid is the greatest villain in the DCEU. He is just as powerful as the Hulk, if not more so. The Hulk was no match for him, and he also had no trouble snapping Loki’s neck and kicking Thor around like he was nothing.
He was able to exhaust worthy Captain America as well as Thor. S mashed through Iron Man’s armor, crushed Vision’s Vibrainium skull, and ripped out the Mind Stone from his forehead.
There is also the fight with Captain Marvel. We were constantly told that Carol Danvers was the MCU’s toughest hero for almost a year. She was portrayed as the one who would defeat Thanos and make things better for The Avengers. Yes, the first time Captain Marvel truly faced off against Thanos, he was able to overwhelm her without the use of the Gauntlet and send her flying.
The second time when Captain Marvel managed to hold back Thanos’ hand and actually overpowered him, he knocked him to his knees. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Captain Marvel is stronger than Thanos because Thanos had the Stark Gauntlet at the time. This gauntlet with the Infinity Stones had enough power to completely ruin Hulk’s arm and kill Iron Man. Even significantly injured Thanos himself the second time he used it.
So putting it on here definitely weakened him to at least some degree. And yet, Thanos was still able to hold his own, actually hold her back for a time, just one hand, while she was using both of her hands. On top of that, Thanos has taken attacks from Hulk, from Ironman. Really he’s taking attacks from almost all of The Avengers and all of the Guardians with No problem.
He’s taken lightning blast from Thor and Captain America and got right back up. Taken a photon blast from Captain Marvel, then right back at it. He was also able to survive Scarlet Witch’s attack, and she actually has enough power to destroy an Infinity Stone; she is the Scarlet Witch.
Also, just wielding the Infinity Gauntlet is an incredible durability feat. Tony said that the glove was able to direct enough energy to power an entire continent. Hulk was the only Avenger who could possibly wield the stones, Thor even Captain Marvel, couldn’t do it. Yeah, Thanos was able to wield the gauntlet and snap his fingers on multiple occasions. Or wield the garnet and still fight against Captain Marvel.
Thanos’ Power In Comparison To Other Avengers
Thanos is, without a doubt, the most powerful being The Avengers have ever faced as a unit. He’s a maniacal warlord who has traveled the cosmos for millennia, becoming the Genghis Khan of the universe. Defeating the most powerful heroes in every world that he visited and never looked back.
But after he visited Earth, Thanos proved that he was the strongest to ever live, defeating Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and anyone else who dared cross this path until he claimed each and every Infinity stone. He then wiped the universe of half of all sentient life with the snap of his fingers.
But even without the Infinity Stones, Thanos is more than a match for most of The Avengers. As I previously mentioned, he was able to take down Thor and Hulk back-to-back during the events of Infinity War without breaking so much as a sweat. Beating them both in submission and leaving them for dead. And just to elaborate on this a bit more, both Hulk and Thor are incredibly durable.
The God of Thunder’s durability is especially notable here as he has one of the best durability feats for any of The Avengers, enduring the full force of the star during the events of the Infinity War. The act of creating or destroying a star is not the same as the amount of energy that a star can output. In fact, the amount of energy isn’t anywhere close to the star level.
The total amount of energy that Thor was enduring per second is roughly 855 Giga tons of force or roughly in terms of power scaling large island level. Because Thor was taking this amount of energy for so long, it’s not a stretch to upgrade his durability slightly to at least a small country level.
Now, these terms may be a little bit confusing for people that don’t know about power scale, but they’re pretty simple. A small country or large island essentially means that Thor can endure the amount of force it would take to destroy a large island or a small country, so it’s just that easy. Thanos easily reaches these powers throughout both Infinity War and Endgame, as he’s able to beat Thor to a bloody pulp in nearly no time at all.
Durability: How Durable Is Thanos?
As for durability, we could take the easy way out. Just apply Newton’s third law as “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”, Thanos needs to be able to endure the amount of force his strikes can output. But I want to look more closely at his durability. Iron Man exhausted the entire arsenal he had at his disposal against Thanos and was only able to put a scratch on his face.
And he was dropped but ultimately unaffected by Thor’s lightning, which in the First Avengers film could easily obliterate Leviathan. After recovering from this lightning blast, Thanos is pierced in the chest by Stormbreaker, which could destroy the holes of Outrider drop pods. Despite being pierced in the chest, Thanos was able to still snap and then recover from this attack before snapping again, which he survived less than a month later.
And during Endgame, Thanos was able to hold the Power Stone in his hand for a brief period, using it to blast away Captain Marvel. And as we learned in Guardians of the Galaxy, holding the Power Stone is no small feat, as holding on to it was going to kill Peter Quill half Celestial with the same power as his father Ego. Thanos may even be able to amplify his durability using the Power Stone within the Infinity Gauntlet as well.
As Ronan wasn’t viewed with the power of the Infinity Stone during his invasion of Zandar, allowing him to know cell and attack from the Hadron Enforcer, a weapon built by Rocket Raccoon that could shatter moons. While Thanos hasn’t shown this same ability to harness the Power Stone’s capabilities in this way, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to allow him to use the Power Stone as he is one of the most knowledgeable beings in the universe when it comes to Infinity Stones.
Speed: How Fast Is Thanos?
And in the speed category, Thanos is seen reacting to Captain Marvel, who, in her solo film, has shown reaction and combat speeds exceeding Mach 100. And during Endgame, she’s able to fly down to Thanos’s planet, search it, and return at insane speeds, reaching a Mach 300 at the low end and over Mach 1000 to the high end and that’s over 750,000 mph.
And Captain Marvel can fly much, much faster than this, exceeding speeds far beyond the speed of light. That is her travel speed, not necessarily her reaction speed or combat speed. So that’s not really applicable when you’re talking about a one-on-one battle. While Usain Bolt is very, very fast, I don’t think anyone’s gonna sit here and argue that he is the fastest striker in the history of the world, it’s just not the same.
Of course, as we already mentioned, Thanos holds the ultimate weapon in his universe, the Infinity Gauntlet, which houses the Infinity Stones: Space, Power, Mine, Soul, Reality, and Time. Thanos can use each of these stones individually or in various combinations to devastate his opposition.
The Power Stone alone gives him planet-busting potential. The Space Stone allows him a whole host of spatial manipulation abilities. The Mind Stone allows him to command the will of his enemies. The Reality Stone allows him to rewrite the fabric of the universe. The Soul Stone allows him to manipulate life and death itself, and the Time Stone gives him the power to dominate destiny. With all six stones combined, a simple snap of his fingers would be enough to erase Darkseid from existence.
How Strong Is Darkseid In DCEU?
But Darkseid isn’t going down without a fight, and while you may think he doesn’t really do much in the Snyder cut of Justice League, there is more than enough information for us to gauge how powerful the “Darkness before the daylight of history” really is. To figure out how powerful the great one is, we need to first discuss the weaker Steppenwolf, as he is pivotal for our power scale.
If you’re a big fan of these Zack Snyder DC films, then you probably already know this. But for those of you who are not aware, there was a Doomsday that was created on Krypton before the planet was destroyed. That Doomsday escaped the planet but not before doing some damage. During the Man of Steel watch party hosted by Zack Snyder himself, he states that the shattered moon we see in the sky during Man of Steel was actually destroyed by this Doomsday.
And at some point Steppenwolf battled Doomsday, and they both lived to tell the tale. So using this feat, we can pretty easily surmise that Steppenwolf and Doomsday should be able to output and endure forces up to or exceeding 25 Exatons, which would be around Multi Continental to Moon level. So how does this relate to Darkseid?
Well, a young Darkseid known as Uxas at the time did battle against the old gods, being Zack Snyder himself says were the only ones who could stand up against him. When someone asked Zack Snyder “how strong Uxas is?”, Zack said, “Young Uxas is super powerful compared to the rest of the beings. The only thing that can really stand up against him is the old gods”.
Is Darkseid Stronger Than Superman?
During that battle with the old Gods, Uxas is able to briefly block an attack from Zeus before being overwhelmed by Aries. Later we see Zeus crack the Mother Box Unity with a similar lightning blast, and conveniently Superman has the same feat of tearing the mother boxes apart.
While you may say, well, Cyborg was there too and probably helped Superman. If you remember the fight scene against the rest of the Justice League earlier in the film, the combined strength of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg did absolutely nothing to Superman. So Cyborg’s assistance with tearing apart the unity at least physically, is negligible. He’s a drop in the ocean; that is Superman’s power.
Superman is, of course, light years beyond what Steppenwolf is capable of. He no-sells a massive attack from Steppenwolf and bullies him into submission. From what we’ve seen in the film, Steppenwolf seems to be in the realm of Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman’s power level. Meanwhile, Superman is far beyond this and is easily more than three times stronger than Steppenwolf. So let’s get this all summarized and relate it back to Darkseid.
Superman is three times more powerful than Steppenwolf, who matches the strengths of Doomsday. Superman’s power is relative to Zeus, who is two of the characters who busted the Mother Box Unity. And a younger, weaker Darkseid was able to block a blast from Zeus. And Zack Snyder himself says that only the old gods could stand up against Uxas.
Meaning that a Superman-level character would be needed to battle against him. And keep in mind that’s a younger, more inexperienced, less powerful version of Darkseid. By the time of the Justice League formation, Darkseid has become much, much more powerful, as Zack Snyder detailed during the digital red carpet premiere of Justice League. Not to mention that in the Nightmare Timeline, Darkseid pretty much bullies Aquaman, and it’s implied that he killed Wonder Woman as well.
Darkseid’s Speed And Omega Beam
So with durability and strength out of the way, let’s talk about his speed, which is pretty simple. In the guidebook for Batman V Superman, it is stated that Superman’s heat vision is a beam of light, therefore making it light speed as well. To support this, his heat vision beams function as beams of light. They always move in a straight line, and they reflect off of surfaces just like a beam of light would. Wonder Woman is consistently able to react very casually to and deflect these light beam attacks even when fired at point-blank range.
Additionally, in Man of Steel, Superman is able to outfly a singularity, confirmed multiple times to be a black hole, which sucks in anything doused in Phantom zone energy. Because Superman was doused in this energy, he would need to fly faster than the speed of light to escape this singularity.
And in the same guidebook we mentioned earlier, Superman’s travel and combat speeds are stated to be equal. Meaning that he can not only travel faster than light but can react and fight at this speed as well. This is relevant because Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg all scaled to BVS Superman and Steppenwolf are roughly equal to them in speed, if not a little bit faster.
Darkseid would of course, need to scale to this at minimum to tag Aquaman and Wonder Woman during their battles, and his Omega beam seemed to be even faster than his base combat and reaction speed. While the speed of force seems to affect how time works when The Flash begins traveling at Lightspeed, this doesn’t seem to affect the reaction speeds of the other characters. And Barry himself states that he needs to go far, far beyond the speed of light, to reverse time.
As for other unique abilities, Darkseid of course, has his Omega beams which we just mentioned, and he does eventually get his hands on the Anti-Life equation, which allows him to dominate all life in the infinite multiverse and bend every being to his own will.
Who Would Win In A Fight Between Thanos And Darkseid?
So in a battle to the death, who comes out on top? Well, Thanos, unfortunately, doesn’t have a prayer. While Thanos theoretically has the power to destroy the universe and tear it down to its atoms and then remake it with his own vision in mind, he simply wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so as the Marvel Cinematic Universe really only reaches massively hypersonic to relativistic speeds at a high end. Unless, you know, you want to misconstrue speed scaling to get the universe higher.
So Thanos likely gets Omega beamed before the synapses in his brain can even fire, and then it’s a wrap. Even when equalizing speed, the Anti Life equation should be more than enough for Darkseid to subjugate Thanos. And in an equal-speed scenario, it really comes down to who uses their Trump card first. Does Thanos snap and destroy Darkseid or does Darkseid invoke the Anti Life equation and control Thanos?
When taking away the Infinity Gauntlet and the Anti-Life equation from the combatants and then equalizing their speed, it still doesn’t end well for Thanos, who at best this large island-to-country level. While Darkseid scales far above Steppenwolf, who could battle with Moon Busters.
Finally, if we equalize everything, meaning the two have equal speed, attack potency, and durability, we also remove the Infinity Gauntlet and the Anti-Life equation from the battle. Thanos likely has the advantage, at least in skill, from what we’ve seen, but Darkseid still has Omega beams, so this battle would be a lot more contentious. But it’s hard to choose a definitive winner in this scenario as we don’t have that much information about Darkseid, at least compared to Thanos.
So in my opinion, I think Darkseid wins, and pretty much every single scenario except for an equalization of all stats and abilities. Other than that, Darkseid just completely stomps. He’s just too fast and he’s too strong. That’s not to say Thanos isn’t incredibly powerful. Of course, he could destroy the universe, just not in time.
How Powerful Is Thanos In Comics?
Thanos is Eternal with the Deviant gene, making him unique and extremely powerful, even among his own kind. Above all else, Thanos loves and worships Mistress Death, the embodied entity of death in the Marvel Universe. Few can equal his intelligence, strength, and ambition for power. He’s one of the cosmic cubes, the Infinity Gauntlet, even the heart of the universe.
Being an Eternal, Thanos is exceedingly powerful, and you can even argue that he is in the same tier as some of the Godly beings like Odin. Thanos amplified his physical power so that he is far stronger than any other Eternal and is possibly one of the strongest beings in the universe.
He’s been able to overpower Beta Ray Bill, beat Silver Surfer by an inch of his life, defeat Thor even while Thor held the power Gem, and send Hulk flying with just a single punch. Thanos is also durable enough to easily brush off attacks from those heroes. And perhaps what’s even more impressive is the durability of energy attacks. He is seemingly unaffected by Thor’s massive lightning strikes and Surfer’s full-power blast and stands up against Odin and Galactus.
Thanos is able to tap into, transform and direct vast quantities of cosmic energy and commit can powerful blast of energy from both his eyes and hands. These blasters sent a fully-fed Galactus flying halfway across the planet. Although, to be fair, didn’t really hurt him. They’ve instantly knocked out The Thing and considerably knocked out both Thor and Hulk.
But this energy manipulation can also do other stuff, like lobotomized and mind control to follow one. He’s able to create force fields that could easily stand punches coming from a raged Hulk. He can also trap beings or objects traveling at high speeds like Thor’s hammer and Beta Ray Bill’s Storm breaker.
Thanos is a powerful telepath and can project Sonic Blast, travel to the astral plane, lobotomize powerful beings, and have mind control. Like all Eternals, Thanos has a natural ability to teleport. Finally, he is also highly intelligent, as he has spent his entire life acquiring intelligence from knowledgeable beings in the universe.
How Powerful Is Darkseid In Comics?
Darkseid is considered to be one of the Justice League’s worst adversaries, the greatest enemy in Genesis, and one of the greatest threats to DC Multiverse. He seeks to bend everything and every one to his will, and we’ll make the Cosmos in his image, all while searching for the Anti Life Equation.
Darkseid is the most powerful beings in the entire universe. He consistently has overpowered the entire Justice League all by himself, including the heavy hitters like Superman and Wonder Woman. Destroyed Green Lantern’s ring off with his bare hands, and he’s fought against the Anti-Moniter on her in one-on-one combat. Though he is not as fast as true speedsters like Superman or flash, he has caught them by surprise and can keep up with them in a fight.
Darkseid is insanely durable, so much so that Lobo actually just injured himself by punching him. He has taken a blast from Anti-Moniter, and Planter explosions. And if he is ever injured, Darkseid has an incredible healing factor. He can heal from any wound instantly. Darkseid is fueled by the Omega effect, which you can use in a lot of ways. His most effective attack is Omega beams, which he fires from his eyes and can control his path instantly.
His attacks allowed him to teleportation, transmutation, and instance integration. It’s been said that nothing has been able to survive the full Omega effect. Dark Side is also an insanely powerful telepath, who can control minds, has telekinesis, and can fly. He is able to manipulate matter, unleash energy-enhanced strikes and create powerful energy force fields. He can travel through dimensions, resurrect the dead and souls, alter his size and teleport and project himself onto the astral plane.