Alright, this article has been a long time coming. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY!!
I feel it necessary to explain that this article represents my personal opinions and my personal views. So this is purely subjective although I fully believe my claims. Why do I mention this? Well because my previous articles have always garnered hate from Marvel fans. Not constructive criticism but personal insults. I'm not asking or expecting anyone to agree. If you take the time to read my other articles, you will find that I have been critical and complimentary of both Marvel and DC. Am I biased? Absolutely, but not to spite Marvel or Marvel fans. My articles are intended to express my points of view. I really hope that is the last time I'll need to say that but personal experience tells me that it won't be.
So let's keep the debate civil. You don't agree? Great, post a comment explaining why. Let's avoid all manner of insults and have a conversation. If you cannot be civil, then just leave or create your own article, but by all means, do not be immature and curse in some poor and ignorant attempt to show your frustration. Also, I'm not limiting myself to information from a single source. So I may pull information from a comic book, television series, animated series or live action movie. That said, there will likely be some spoilers on whatever sources I cite. That's your warning!
I will provide qualities for each character including their idiosynchrasies, weaknesses, strengths, backgrounds, motivations and tragedies, if any, that will support my claims. I will also go over how each team ranks when they battled collectively and/or individually against several of their enemies including their counterparts from each universe. So Thanos/Darkseid, Ultron/Brainiac, etc. as best I can, assuming each character has a counterpart. Finally, I will also take issues like teamwork and real world impact, (longevity, history, presence, etc), into consideration and provide an analysis supporting my conclusions.
For Part 1 of my article, I will go over Thanos and Darkseid and their history dealing with the Avengers and the Justice League, respectively. In addition, I need to clarify something. I will be talking about Thanos and Darkseid, the characters. I have heard arguments before about the Infinity Stones and Gauntlet and how it tips the scale in Thanos' favor. Although I, as a DC fan think the Gauntlet and Stones is a sweeter concept than the Anti-life equation, I won't be including them as part of my conclusion. What I am basically saying is that even if the Stones and Gauntlet are more powerful than Darkseid, and even if I agree they are, all that means is just that, that the Stones and Gauntlet are more powerful, not Thanos. Thanos using them against Darkseid is more powerful? Doesn't matter. We're talking about Thanos and Darkseid.
I will continue part 2 with each team member and so on. For now, I hope you enjoy the read, whether you agree with it or not.
I decided to use the current roster of characters for each team. For the Avengers, it will be Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon and Vision.
And for the Justice League, it will be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg and Aquaman. You're free to add any other character for each but since these characters are currently in the spotlight, I chose them.
Let me start by providing a background on the main antagonists for each group. Starting with Thanos and Darkseid. This will provide a qualitative gauge, which will illustrate each team's strengths and weaknesses.
Regardless of who you believe to be more powerful remains a purely subjective and opinionated preference. The fact remains that both Darkseid and Thanos occupy the same position in their respective universes. I enjoy both but obviously, Darkseid is a better character in my opinion. He is the original and despite how each character has deviated from his origins through character development over the years, they both are titanic in nature. Both have limitless strength and finally, they are both, without a doubt, the greatest threat to their universes on a recurring basis. Also, both Thanos and Darkseid seek similar weapons or abilities that will allow them destructive cosmic powers of death. For Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet and for Darkseid, the Anti-life Equation. So you can see, they're about as evenly matched and motivated. For purposes of this article, it doesn't matter who you believe is a more powerful character. In addition, both Marvel and DC have acknowledged through their AMALGAM crossover series that both Thanos and Darkseid are functional equivalents. All I am simply pointing out is that they are equally as powerful with respect to their universes.
A. THANOS and the Infinity Gauntlet
I pulled the following relevant information about Thanos from comicvine.com:
Growing in power and infamy as he traveled the universe, Thanos once met Death itself, as it appeared to him embodied in a female form. Thanos was infatuated with the being, and endeavored to make himself worthy in order to earn her love in return. With an army under his command, he nearly destroyed his former home of Titan, declaring himself its ruler. He then sought out the powerful Cosmic Cube, and a number of Earth's heroes assembled to confront him. With the Cube's power, Thanos made himself unto a god, and he easily fought back Captain Marvel and the Avengers. However, Captain Marvel managed to convince Thanos that he had drained the Cube of its power, and the mad Titan discarded it. This allowed Mar-Vell to grab the Cube and restore the universe to its rightful order and drain Thanos of his power. Thanos was shunted back to where he had first launched his bid for power, and was rescued by his starship, Sanctuary II.
ii. APPEARANCES WHERE DEFEATED
From what I learned about the character, Thanos has been defeated 6 times in comics. But please, correct me if I'm wrong. Again, according to comicvine.com, Thanos has appeared in 679 issues total, but here are issues where he was either defeated or killed.
- Avengers Assemble #1-8
- Avengers Annual #7
- Infinity #6
- Thor Annual Vol 2 #2000
- Annihilation Series
Now, why is this information relevant? It explains what I believed before reading it. The fact is that the entire Avengers team could not take down Thanos. Neither individually nor collectively. The narrative provided is not the only source that explains the same result however. In Avengers Assemble, the Disney FX animated series, Thanos smacked down every member of the Avengers with little to no effort. And at one point, he began ignoring them as if they were flies. In other words, everytime Thanos was handed a defeat, it was a collective effort that required players outside of the Avengers' team to do so.
I have found nothing through basic web searching that suggests that Thanos was ever taken down by the Avengers collectively or any individual on that team. Current storylines have pitted Thanos v. Hulk but I've found nothing to suggest that an Avenger, namely Hulk or Thor, have an advantage over Thanos. Quite the opposite rather, all information I found repeatedly shows Thanos outpowering all Avengers. If I am wrong, please correct me.
I have not read the Thanos v. Hulk series, but from what is available on the internet, I did not find any evidence that changes what I've said thus far about Thanos and the Avengers.
Again, as with all things in comic books, fictional characters can be strengthened and/or weakened in some fashion by a simple stroke of the pen, it is important to understand that I am attempting to provide some sort of gauge or measurement of strength. Is the Disney FX version of Thanos and the Avengers the definitive version? No, I am aware of that but again, it's meant to provide some sort of qualitative gauge.
B. DARKSEID and the Anti-life Equation
I pulled the following information from comicvine.com:
Worshipped as the "God of Evil", Darkseid is the supreme monarch of planet Apokolips. Considered one of Superman's greatest adversaries, the greatest enemy of New Genesis and the greatest threat to the DC Universe, he seeks to control all living things with the Anti-Life Equation.If he has been defeated elsewhere, by all means, please correct me. But here is what I would like you to focus on. The Avengers have not been able to defeat Thanos on their own. Not individually or collectively whereas there have been several storylines where Superman and Wonder Woman have both stood up individually and collectively to Darkseid.
ii. Appearances where defeated
Darkseid's comic book deaths or losses
- issue #2 of Countdown to Final Crisis - killed by Orion
- Justice League #6 (New 52) - defeat
- Our Worlds at War - defeat
- Superman/ Batman: Supergirl - defeat
In Superman the Animated Series, Darkseid was a recurring character. On several occasions, he defeated and temporarily injured Superman. He instigated battles in attempt to prepare the Earth for his arrival and imminent control. Initially, he tried controlling Superman but failed. After invading Earth and nearly succeeding before retreating after Highfather intervened, Darkseid kills Detective Dan Turpin, a friend and supporter of Superman. This enrages Superman who goes on the offensive and nearly killing Darkseid. After Darkseid's defeat, the Apokolips's inhabitants and slaves retrieve and carry Darkseid's body, much to Superman's surprise since he assumed that Darkseid's death would set them free. Not realizing that Darkseid is not worshipped out of fear.
Moreover, Superman took on Darkseid in an episode called Twilight of the Gods, during the Justice League series. In the end, Superman took Darkseid out before the planet or rock they were on exploded.
And again in Batman/Superman "A New Girl In Town," Superman and Supergirl take Darkseid on and hold their own.
In the New 52, specifically Justice League: War. Darkseid took on the entire league by knocking Superman with an Omega Beam, thereby increasing his odds. As Thanos treated the Avengers like flies, Darkseid did the same with the remaining members of the Justice League. But in Darkseid's case, it was a mistake. Wonder Woman led the fight and held her own.
What I am suggesting here is simple. Individual members of the Justice League have matched up against Darkseid. Including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl. Superman alone has been able to take on Darkseid whereas the Avengers combined have not taken out Thanos. Darkseid is primarily Superman's antagonist but his stature has allowed DC Comics to repeatedly make him a threat for the entire Justice League. As with Thanos v. Hulk, I have not read the current series, The Darkseid War, which I believe takes place after the events of Justice League: War. I also have not followed Convergence so whether or not it undid the events in War may or may not be relevant.
But my final conclusion and it should be to nobody's surprise is, the Justice League is far more superior to the Avengers.
We've lost their trust! The people are afraid of us! Power corrupts after all, and who has more power than Superman?