Thanos is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. Having ties to the Eternals, Thanos was born with a lot of power and a desire for destruction. As he grew, he only became more powerful, having access to cosmic abilities and physical feats that most couldn't even dream of having. Since his creation, Thanos has been one of the greatest threats to Marvel's many heroes both in comics and film. With Thanos often taking on half the universe in one fell swoop, there aren't many characters that can go against him and live to tell the tale. As a matter of fact, most Marvel heroes lost their lives in "Infinity Gauntlet". It took some a crazy strategy for the Avengers to win. Is there anyone that can challenge the Mad Titan alone and come out on top?
To answer that question, one needs only to hop over to the DC Universe. DC's characters boast godlike powers and abilities that make them stronger than most beings in the universe. They are extremely powerful characters, and that includes villains too. If some DC characters were to pick a fight with Thanos, it wouldn't be much of a competition. They would make the Mad Titan look like a complete joke. There was even one character lucky enough to fight him and win. With Thanos threatening the Marvel Universe many times over, we look at how he'd far against DC's characters. Here are 19 DC characters that could take down Thanos and one that actually did.
20 DOCTOR MANHATTAN
Most of the characters in Watchmen are little more than regular men that use their combat expertise to become vigilantes. The only member of that world that has powers is Doctor Manhattan. What an impression he leaves too. Doctor Manhattan has access to essentially any power he desires. He can change his body, heal from virtually any injury, and even reshape reality if he so desires.
He defeated beings that destroyed multiverses just by himself. If Doctor Manhattan were to take on Thanos, it wouldn't be much of a competition. He's essentially a walking Infinity Gauntlet and could turn the Mad Titan into a pile of ash in seconds.
19 DOCTOR FATE
While Doctor Strange is one of Marvel's most powerful characters, he didn't have enough spells to take on the Mad Titan and win. However, DC's all-seeing wizard/protector of the universe would stand a much better chance against him. On top of having access to all sorts of crazy spells, being that he is a godlike entity, Doctor Fate also has super abilities. Imagine someone with the strength of Superman but magic much more potent than Doctor Strange's.
That's essentially what you're given with Doctor Fate. Thanos wouldn't even know how to fight such an omnipotent being, and he'd likely lose even with the Gauntlet.
18 MR. MXYZPTLK
Mr. Mxyztplk isn't a constant threat to the DC Universe solely because he chooses not to be. This imp from the fifth dimension has powers and abilities beyond one's own imagination. He can do anything he wants, whether it be transforming into a helicopter or making someone disappear in a matter of seconds.
He doesn't look like much, but Mr. Mxyzptlk has control over time, space, reality, and everything in between. Even if Thanos had all six Infinity Stones, he could only work in the reality that the Stones were created in. Mr. Mxyzptlk can move to other dimensions and realities. Before Thanos throws a punch, the fight would be over.
17 THE FLASH
There's a lot to be said about the speedsters of the DC Universe. Just about any of them could've fit in this spot, but we're going to give it to the most noticeable incarnation of the Scarlet Speedster: Barry Allen. The Flash runs very fast, but the implications of such an ability are greater than show gives them credit for.
Barry could tap into the Speed Force and run faster than anyone could comprehend. If Thanos had the Gauntlet, Flash could simply run faster than he could detect and remove it before any damage was done. Barry would neutralize Thanos before he even had a chance to blink.
It makes sense that DC's golden goose would be on this list. Superman's powers are essentially limitless. While it's difficult to pinpoint where the endpoint of his powers is, there's no denying just how much potential the Man of Steel has on a base level. He can tow planets over his shoulder, jettison himself through the vacuum of space, and freeze people just by breathing on them.
Part of the reason Thanos is such an effective character is his strength. He can overpower the Hulk by himself. However, we'd wager that he probably couldn't do the same to Superman, who has seemingly taken on bigger and stronger villains than the Mad Titan.
As his name suggests, Brainiac is one of the smartest individuals in the DC Universe. Seemingly having access to all of the knowledge to have ever existed, Brainiac knows everything about his foes before they even meet him face to face. The worst part of it all is that Brainiac doesn't fight in the traditional sense either.
His superior technology and powers allow him to sit back and relax as his enemies struggle to find a way to defeat him. Thanos would meet a similar fate. Because Brainiac would know all of the Mad Titan's moves, he could easily have strong enough tech to cause him to stumble and fall. On his own, Brainiac can also throw a good punch, so he's covered from all fronts.
Doomsday is a character who would defeat Thanos by default. He is a monster designed to adapt from his losses and grow stronger. He was bred with that in mind, which was what made him strong enough to destroy Superman. Going against Thanos, it's possible that Doomsday could lose the first time.
However, when he becomes reborn, his body would become familiar to the Mad Titan's strength and be able to overpower it with ease. Doomsday is a character that grows stronger with each battle, and with Thanos always edging for a fight, it would be only a matter of time before he fell to the monster that beat Superman.
13 PHANTOM STRANGER
Phantom Stranger is an entity that exists only as a guide. He seemingly knows and sees all, which makes him a serious player in the DC Universe. However, he is never allowed to interfere, making all his powers somehow without any great purpose. If Phantom Stranger were allowed to join the fight, he has seemingly limitless magical powers at his disposal.
He can travel through time, is immortal, and can bend anything to his will. Thanos wouldn't stand a chance against the Phantom Stranger. The Mad Titan might have cosmic abilities at hand, but Phantom Stranger transcends that with his magical skills alone.
Spectre is essentially DC's version of Ghost Rider. It is the spirit of justice, assigned to rid the world of whatever sadistic being is on the list next. No matter which foe the Spectre goes up against, it is rewarded with the abilities to take them down. Because that is the core function of this spirit, a battle against Thanos would be fairly one-sided.
With his malicious actions, Thanos would make for a prime target of the Spectre. Granted powers that could bring the Mad Titan down, Spectre would only have to exercise his insane abilities to win the fight. Thanos would have no counter move.
Trigon is a demon with powers that go beyond the natural realm. He has children that are stronger than most of DC's heroes. He has all the abilities that one would expect: immortality, invulnerability, and even telekinesis. If Trigon sets his sights on a world, it's only a matter of time before it bends to his will.
He also gets stronger with the more people he destroys. In the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic, he was able to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Mxyzptlk. If Trigon were to fight Thanos, it wouldn't be much of a confrontation. Even if the Mad Titan had the Infinity Stones, Trigon would likely come out on top.
10 THE PRESENCE
Every universe has a beginning. For the DC Universe, that beginning comes in the form of the Presence. This is the "god" of the DC Universe, similar to Marvel's The One Above All. While the Presence often takes an unassuming form, his powers are greater than anything else in the multiverse.
Being this ancient being at the center of the universe, the Presence can do anything he wishes. In one breath, he could make an entire universe disappear. In another, he could create an entire race of new beings. It's safe to say that Thanos would be a non-issue for him, as he would just need to say the word and the Mad Titan would be gone.
9 MICHAEL AND LUCIFER
Spiritual beings have a lot of power in the DC Universe, and that is best shown with Lucifer Morningstar and Michael Demiurgos. Both of them are insanely powerful angels that are just below the Presence himself. Despite not being at the top of the list, both characters still have a serious set of powers.
They have all the strength and skills of DC's greatest heroes as well as abilities beyond that of even Doctor Fate. They can destroy just about any being that gets in their way, and no one would be able to do anything about it. A fight between Thanos and any of these two characters wouldn't be much of a fight.
Nekron is one of the most dangerous creatures in the DC Universe. While he has threatened reality, he cannot be judged by someone like Spectre because he has no soul. Seemingly immune to both physical and spiritual attacks, Nekron is a serious threat. He was responsible for creating the Black Lantern Corps, as he helped to raise heroes from the grave.
Even when the Anti-Monitor, the being responsible for "Crisis on Infinite Earths", Nekron sent him away like he was nothing. Nekron's mastery over the afterlife would be more than a match for Thanos, who wouldn't be able to compete in any reality.
The only weakness of Eclipso is that he is bound by the orders of the Presence. Other than that, he is free to do what he wants. Essentially a physical form of God's wrath, Eclipso was the one responsible (in the DC Universe) for many biblical, world-altering events like the Great Flood.
As such, Eclipso is a nigh all-powerful being who not only has just about any superpower one could think of, but is also master of a sword. Even if he weren't an immortal being, he would still beat Thanos just by having better combat knowledge and skill with a sword. If the Presence allowed him to fight the Mad Titan, the battle would take but a few short minutes.
The Anti-Monitor has more blood on his hands than just about any other villain in the DC Universe. Alone, he managed to wipe out thousands of universes, which prompted heroes from several realities to band together and try to stop him. Birthed of the anti-matter universe, Anti-Monitor knows how to rid the world of life.
He can absorb the very essence of reality, taking the power of entire universes into his own body. As a result, Anti-Monitor was nearly unbeatable. Such a monstrous being would wipe the floor with Thanos if given the chance. Even if multiple Thanoses from several realities banded together, they wouldn't be able to take him down.
5 GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE
The Guardians of the Universe have spent years understanding the power of will as well as how to utilize it in protecting the universe. As such, they are some of the strongest characters in the DC Universe, capable of many feats that Green Lanterns can only dream of having. The Guardians have shown the ability to send other beings back in time, thus have the power over time travel.
Furthermore, the Guardians could crack planets with just a thought and were even strong enough to hold back the Anti-Monitor. Such strength would be more than a match for Thanos, who wouldn't have a way of getting rid of even one of them.
Imperiex and Thanos share a lot of similarities. They both have a fascination of destruction and both are tyrannical, cosmic forces that can tackle several heroes at a time. There are two big differences between them, though: the first is that Imperiex is a being of energy and nothing else, making his potential much more dangerous in reality.
The second is that Imperiex succeeded numerous times in destroying realities where Thanos has yet to succeed even once. These two battling wouldn't be much of a competition. Imperiex is a superior version of Thanos in every way, and would laugh in the face of the Mad Titan.
The Hulk might be a strong force, but even he was defeated by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. DC has its own version of the Hulk in the form of Damage, and he's much stronger than Banner's second personality. Damage has all the abilities of the Hulk and then some. He was able to hold back Wonder Woman and seemingly has greater strength than Superman.
He was able to stop the Flash in his tracks and can break Green Lantern constructs with little effort. Damage can only sustain his form for an hour, but that would be more than enough time to leave Thanos broken and destroyed.
It's hard to talk about Thanos and the DC Universe without bringing up Darkseid. The Mad Titan's creation was heavily inspired by Darkseid, so it's easy to make comparisons between the two. However, Darkseid has a bit more power than his Marvel Universe counterpart. On a surface level, his Omega Beams can disintegrate living organisms with a single touch.
He can also take on the entire Justice League, a team that is significantly stronger than the Avengers. Darkseid can also absorb energy from other beings to make himself stronger. All these abilities make Darkseid the clear winner to us.
1 BEAT THANOS: KYLE RAYNER
While there have been several crossovers with Marvel and DC, there was one time that Thanos actually went head to head with a DC superhero. Of all the characters to fight the Mad Titan, who would've thought that it would've been Kyle Rayner? For those that don't know, Rayner became one of the strongest Green Lanterns after bonding with Ion.
He became imbued with the energy of all the Green Lanterns, which made him one of the strongest superheroes in the universe. Having the ability to drain energy from other beings, that was Rayner's strategy for defeating the Mad Titan, who was helpless in the process.