Marvel Has Nerfed Thanos From A Genius To A Total Fool

Warning: Contains spoilers for Eternals #12

Marvel Comics just made Thanos look like a total fool. In Eternals #12, the Mad Titan, who in the past outwitted some of the smartest creatures in the universe, was utterly defeated by the Eternal Druig with a simple trick.

Thanos’ most recent storyline saw him being resurrected by the Eternal Phastos to be used as a tool in his machinations. Thanos however killed first Phastos and then the Eternal’s leader, Zuras, making Thanos the new Eternal Prime, planning to fuse with the Machine – the Eternal device that regulates natural phenomena on Earth – and destroy the planet. Thanos also recruited the treacherous Druig to help in his plan, brainwashing him so that he would forget how to activate a failsafe device that Phastos put into Thanos to kill him if he went rogue. With Druig’s help, Thanos discovers the truth about his ancestor, Uranos, and the weapons of mass destruction he had kept hidden.

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Related: Thanos’ New Origin Just Permanently Changed His Role in Marvel’s Universe

In Eternals #12, by Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic, and Matthew Wilson, Thanos finally decides he has no more business on Earth and activates the Eternal Uranos’ doomsday device. However, he is then immediately consumed by his Deviant cells going rogue. Druig, in fact, programmed the Machine to trigger Phastos’ failsafe device in case anyone activated Uranos’ weapons, as a security measure in case Thanos wiped his mind.

This is a rather anti-climatic conclusion to Gillen’s first narrative arc on Eternals. Thanos taking control of the powerful race of immortal beings and their advanced technology was an interesting, and scary, development, that could spell doom for Earth. However, despite the long buildup, everything was resolved with Druig’s clever trick, but it makes little sense that Thanos was so easily outsmarted. In the past, he entered a battle of wits with some of the most intelligent and cunning creatures in the universe, including the Grandmaster and the Demon Lord Mephisto, and Thanos always came out on top. Thanos even had Mephisto working for him for a time. In The Infinity Finale graphic novel, Thanos successfully bargains with the One-Above-All, the supreme being in all of the Multiverse, convincing them to recreate reality after Adam Warlock had inadvertently destroyed everything in existence. During Infinity Gauntlet and his many other attempts at gaining absolute power, Thanos proved that his plans almost never fail, and he always thinks of every possibility in advance.

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Because Thanos outsmarted even God, it doesn’t make sense that he would fall for Druig’s deception. Marvel Comics’ handling of Thanos has been controversial over the past few years. The cunning, contemplative side of the Mad Titan has been mostly overshadowed by portrayals that focus on his bloodlust and desire for destruction. Gillen’s Eternals was a breath of fresh air because it gave readers once again a nuanced Thanos who is a fighter as much as a schemer, but the conclusion of the story doesn’t give justice to the Mad Titan and his unmatched intellect.

Next: Eternals Just Made Watchmen’s Most Famous Line Relevant Again

Look for Eternals #12 available now from Marvel Comics!

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