Why did Thanos snap in the comics? The Titan's 'deadly' wish, explained

The Infinity Gauntlet comic (Image via Marvel)
The Infinity Gauntlet comic (Image via Marvel)

Thanos is perhaps one of the greatest villains in the Marvel universe. Adorning all the Infinity Stones, the Mad Titan made a lasting mark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) when he snapped his fingers and made half of all sentient life in the universe wither away in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers movies, specifically Infinity War and Endgame, do well to tie up all the loose ends in Thanos' pursuit of absolute power, but they are wildly different from the source material. While MCU's Infinity Saga was heavily inspired by the 2013 crossover comic Infinity, the comic where the villains removed half of the universe's population was the six-issue miniseries Infinity Gauntlet.


Contrary to movies, Thanos destroyed half the universe to impress Mistress Death

What happened in the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries?

War for the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)
War for the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)

A precursor to Infinity Gauntlet, The Thanos Quest reveals how he acquired the Infinity Gems. By the time we start with Infinity Gauntlet, the Titan already wields a gauntlet full of gems. By the end of the first issue, he snaps half of all sentient life in the universe out of existence, which is the first thing The Avengers notice, indicating that something bad has happened.

Eventually, the Avengers come for a fight, but what they get is an absolute onslaught. The Mad Titan turns Wolverine's bones into rubber, suffocates Cyclops by trapping him in an airtight cube, and turns Thor into glass, only to shatter him. While he does not kill Drax, he sends him back in time when dinosaurs roamed about everywhere. However, the story only gets more complicated from there.


Why did Thanos do all this?

The Mad Titan with the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)
The Mad Titan with the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)

The answer is not what you think. All that stuff about Thanos watching his planet go to ruins is not what was said in the comic series. Instead, he used the Infinity Gauntlet for all this destruction because he wanted to impress Mistress Death - the anthropomorphic manifestation of Death as a cosmic entity in the universe.

In the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, Death had ordered him to remove half of the universe's population from existence, but he didn't stop there. He trapped Nebula in a state of constant pain and suffering one experiences from death. He also transformed her fortress into a shrine for her worship.

All this havoc-wreaking made many cosmic entities wary of the Mad Titan. That is ultimately how his downfall began in the comics.


How did Thanos' snap get reversed?

Nebula plotting revenge (Image via Marvel)
Nebula plotting revenge (Image via Marvel)

Galactus, Kronos, Epoch, the Living Tribunal, and other anthropomorphic manifestations of Chaos, Order, etc., came to battle with the Mad Titan. While he did win the fight, his own hubris brought his immaculate downfall.

Nebula has seen a fight between some of the strongest beings in the universe and Thanos. After the Titan won the fight, he got too excited about his victory. To show off his power and establish his place in the universe, Thanos turned himself into a cosmic, corporeal entity.

Nebula quickly grabbed the Infinity Gauntlet since the Titan's hand, which was the only thing that connected him with the power of the stones, was no longer attached to it.

In a desperate attempt to get back at him for bringing unimaginable suffering upon her and the rest of the universe, Nebula snapped her fingers to restore the universe to the state it was 24 hours ago. With Nebula now considered a threat, the ending results in a banished Thanos on the planet, where he has to live out his time in peace.

Nebula after taking the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)
Nebula after taking the Infinity Gauntlet (Image via Marvel)

Final thoughts

Time and again, the Mad Titan has proven how powerful he is. However, the case of villains who threaten the universe always comes with a major blindside - their belief in their grandiosity ends up bringing about their downfall.

With Jonathan Majors' Kang The Conqueror finally ready to make his debut in the MCU, fans should probably not get their hopes up by studying all of his major storylines. However, it would provide deep insight into how Marvel Studios tend to adopt things from storylines that are somewhat believable in their presentation.


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Edited by Shreya Das