Who was first Marvel’s Thanos or DC’s Darkseid?
From a strictly factual point of view, Darkseid was created in December 1970 by Jack Kirby while Thanos creators Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin brought him to life in February 1973. There is no question that Darkseid was first.
Was Thanos based on Darkseid?
That is a more interesting question, in an interview by Jon Cooke, Jim Starlin said,
“Kirby had the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that. You’d think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron… Roy (Thomas) took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said: “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”
So Thanos wasn’t originally drawn like Darkseid but he became closer after Roy Thomas’ suggestion. Before all of you, Thanos lovers argue this, read this light-hearted cartoon.
What is the best story for each?
One of the greatest twists in all of comic history happened when a peace offering was given between New Genesis and Apokolips. The ruler of the lush and wonderful New Genesis, Highfather, offered his son, Scott Free to Darkseid. Darkseid gave his son, Orion to Highfather to be raised on New Genesis. There were many winners in this situation but the obvious loser was Scott Free. He was raised in the fire pits of Apokolips by the ironically named Granny Goodness. While Scott Free, Mr. Miracle, suffered under the nightmare conditions set in place by Granny Goodness, Orion enjoyed good parenting. In that desolate place, Scott met Big Barda who he married. This story resonates because it’s multilayered, it talks about the greater good versus individual good and about how environment and genetics go into making someone.
In this time just before the Avengers Infinity War is to be released and the comic book world is holding its breath, can you pick a story about Thanos that doesn’t include Infinity Stones? No, you cannot! Infinity Gauntlet written by Jim Starlin is a great story that includes a warped romance with death, the concept that love cannot be bought and that power is deceptive and fleeting. Heroes sacrifice themselves willingly for the greater good. It’s interesting that Thanos was created in the early 70’s and remained a minor character until the early 90’s when he exploded in popularity. Now Thanos is one of the popular kids!
Best Fashion Accessory
The Mad Titans pointed shoulder pads and matching helmet are mega sweet but I guess his best accessory is his gloves. What? Do I have to say “gauntlet”?
In his original look, Darkseid had thigh high boots which were more like a scene from Pretty Woman than a threat to humankind. Wait, didn’t he have a skirt too? Now his Omega symbol which means “the end” is significant and powerful.
Mister Miracle – Mister Miracle #1 (April 1971)
Granny Goodness – Mister Miracle #2 (June 1971)
Thanos – Iron Man #55 (Feb. 1973)
Please notice that I didn’t say one was better than the other. You choose.
by Ron C.