Thanos has been one of the apex villains in the Marvel Universe for decades, but it has only been his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has made him part of contemporary pop culture. Since his big screen debut in The Avengers, people have wondered the extent of his powers.
Now that we’ve seen all of him as of Avengers: Endgame, it makes sense to rank the powers we saw him display in the films, along with those he always had in the comics. For this list, we’ve considered the powers with the Infinity Gauntlet as part of Thanos’ powers, since those stones are only as powerful as the one commanding them. Here are all of Thanos’ powers, ranked.
In generally all of Thanos’ interpretations, he doesn’t have the power of flight. However, in a rather recent comic book event in 2014, Thanos took to flying in order to combat Star-Lord. It’s a surprise Thanos hasn’t been given this power, which is something second nature to most heroes.
Seeing as the power of flying isn’t Thanos’ usual skill, we can’t consider as it being among his topmost capabilities. Being able to fly is incredibly useful in comic book universes, but if it’s implemented rather arbitrarily to a character who doesn’t generally possess it, then we’re going to have to count it as Thanos’ lowest skill.
11 Energy Beams
These beams were made out of high-grade tech Thanos had saved just for the occasion of battling Galactus. The latter is seen as almost the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe, so you can imagine the kind of awesome power it had to make Galactus stumble.
However, Galactus would then pick himself up and make Thanos his playtoy soon after the Titan hit him with his best shot. Since these beams are rarely - if ever - used, they can’t be counted as being the very best in Thanos’ arsenal of weaponry.
10 Genius Intellect
You might think this isn’t a superpower, but get this: Mr. Fantastic’s main attribute is his supermind. In the Marvel Universe, being a genius can spell the end of super-powered beings, so it qualifies as a power in its own right.
Thanos has demonstrated genius tendencies, such as predicting the end of Titan when no-one else was able to do so. Along with that, Thanos crafted his entire armada and equipment from scratch after studying various kinds of tech. His tactical mind has been possible due to his genius supplementing it. Given preparation time, Thanos can put incredible plans into motion. Oh, and he made a cool chair that perpetually floats in space.
Sometimes, immortality can feel like a curse, which is why we haven’t placed this feature of Thanos too high up on this list. As it is, though, Thanos doesn’t actually need food to survive (despite what Avengers: Endgame’s soup preparation scene might tell you), he’s functionally immortal in that he can live for centuries unless someone does harm to him.
He’s immune to diseases, problems with stamina, and most toxins. Having immortality has led to Thanos’ genius expanding exponentially, as he’s able to retain most of his memories from centuries’ past. The drawback here, however, is that he can potentially be sealed away, with his immortality then becoming more of a problem.
8 Super Strength
Thanos’ super strength is such, that he’s been able to beat beings who control magic. We’ve seen this on occasions where Doctor Strange has attempted to conjure weapons to battle Thanos, only for the latter to be able to shatter these things because of his immense strength.
His greatest use of super strength has been being able to beat the likes of Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk. Since Thanos is centuries’ old, his super strength is amplified due to his vast knowledge of fighting styles, rendering attacks from Thor and the Hulk moot. Beings with incredible magic or larger super strength have been able to counter Thanos’ strength, though.
7 Super Durability
This is a greater power than strength since Thanos’ durability has allowed him to survive the biggest and the toughest. In a story that saw the Mad Titan attacking Galactus, the latter doubled back with a powerful attack against Thanos, who only survived because of his durability.
Thanos’ tough exterior enables him to escape situations where he should’ve been killed, such as when Scarlet Witch had him crushed at the end of Avengers: Endgame, but Thanos’ durability saved his life. Being attacked by Thor’s incredible thunder powers would normally end most foes, but Thanos was able to shrug such attacks off.
6 Soul Detection And Control
The true power of the Soul Stone is even more incredible than what we’ve seen, but Thanos hasn’t shown complete control over it. Still, the stone outstrips any innate power he might have, giving Thanos dominion over the dead.
Essentially, this means he can command armies of deceased souls and sic them on his enemies. Along with that, Thanos has access to the Soul world, where he can escape to. In Avengers: Infinity War, we saw him detect the soul of Doctor Strange when the latter almost beat him, using the stone to attack the real Strange and defeat him.
5 Power Blasts
Like the Soul stone, the Power Stone also has been used rather inconsistently by Thanos. On one hand, he’s been shown to destroy moons and planets with its incredible power, only to not be able to harm normal beings like Iron Man with full blasts.
However, let’s not discount what the Power Stone grants Thanos, as he does have the potential to decimate worlds like Xandar with this Infinity Gem. In Avengers: Endgame, we saw Thanos use the stone in its raw power to punch Captain Marvel indefinitely away from the battle. It’s Thanos’ own reluctance to use the stone at full capability that makes it rather inferior.
Despite possessing this power, Thanos doesn’t seem to want to use it much. But the fact of the matter is that a telepath can still fry your brain, making it one of the most powerful features to have. Thanos’ telekinesis has mainly manifested owing to the plot, although he was seen pushing back a herald of Galactus with ease.
With the Mind Stone, Thanos’ control over other beings’ minds is boggling to consider. The MCU most likely didn’t have Thanos use his telepathic powers with the Mind Stone since it would’ve granted him an easy victory. Due to him not using this power much, we won’t be placing it at the top, but just the idea of it enables the power to reach this high.
Battlefield Removal generally trumps every other physical power. After all, if you can throw someone away anywhere you want without engaging them, then that’s all you ever need in a fight, don’t you? With the Space Stone, Thanos can travel instantaneously anywhere he wants.
In the comics, he traveled all the way over to Lady Death. There’s nowhere you can hide from him if he knows your location, as the Space Stone will send Thanos there in a jiffy. Along with that, the stone’s powers allow Thanos to painfully compress anything he wants; literally crushing his foes. If the stone is not available, Thanos can always turn to his transport chair.
2 Reality Warping
Again, as Thanos didn’t use this power to its complete usefulness, it falls just shy of the top spot. Just the idea of changing reality however you want is an easy victory, and Thanos could do just that with the stone in his possession.
He could throw a person into a real-life projection, without that person ever knowing that reality was a fake. He could turn matter into whatever he wanted, be it a weapon or simply turning mountains into ash. With such warping powers, there could be no limitations for Thanos in the universe.
1 Time Manipulation
We only ever saw Thanos use this power once in Avengers: Infinity War, and that’s because controlling time is just about the most powerful one can get. Think about it, Thanos can stop anyone from doing anything to him. All he needs is to command this stone to heed to him, and Time is Thanos’ to conquer.
He can travel to whatever timeline he wants; can turn anyone from an adult into an infant; finally, he can make anyone fall into a continuous loop with no hope of escape. Being able to control time is the greatest weapon one can have, and Thanos is infinitely powerful with this in his arsenal.