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  1. #1

    Default The differences between Thanos and Darkseid explained

    It's a few years old, but i think it's a Worth read for Marvel Cosmic fans and Thanos fans, or for people who wants to know the character better after watching Infinity War, or for those who wondered what makes Darkseid and Thanos different characters.


    http://whenwillthehurtingstop.blogsp...e-mistake.html

    Really well written, professional quality article. I agree with his thoughts on Thanos, especially the differences between the character and DC's Darkseid(anyone who labels Thanos as a Darkseid wannabe has next to zero familiarity with the character and Jim Starlin's stories).

    However, i think theres some flaw on what he thinks how Cosmic comics should be:

    “That’s what cosmic is all about. Cosmic isn’t about telling crime stories or action stories or thrillers in an exotic setting. Cosmic is about heightened reality, a form of storytelling defined by the absence of familiar referents, riven with symbolism, and steeped in fanciful mythology.”

    I respectfully disagree. Things like Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Warhammer 40,000 shows that cosmic stories can be done with the tropes of action-packed pulp adventure stories, dramatic war stories and political intrigue stories tweaked with a outer space setting.

    Heck, Silver Surfer stories can be compared to tv shows of the ''walking the earth''(see TVTropes) genre like ''Kung Fu'', ''Fist of the Northstar'', ''The Pretender'' and, uh, ''Xavier Renegade Angel''.

    Even many of Kirby comics were this same grade of re-hash. Sure they’re steeped in altered reality, epic fantasy and over-the top visuals, but they are firmly based on a kid-friendly smattering of older tales, mundane tales of other media, or like the author of the article himself said; mythology. Frankly, we have modern mythology, and the Silmarillion with Lord of the Rings, Conan the Barbarian, or Seven Samurai are just as much a part of that as Camelot, the illiad and the Odissey.

    Unfortunately, nearly all of the stuff we see in comics is unoriginal and borrowed from somewhere. Everything has an eye test. Doing a version of Game of Thrones or Saving Private Ryan in space works if its done right. To me, I call it cosmic more on a subjective feel. Honestly, just being bizarre and ''Castaneda-esque'' or ''Kirby-esque'' is almost an acceptable descriptive adjective on its own that needs little dissection. (or vivisection in Thanos case LOL) For the most part, Cosmic is about space and adventure.

    However, the core message of the article, that Thanos is supposed to be more epic and mystical than being ''Jeffrey Dahmer in space'' is spot on. Thanos deserves better and the author really understands what makes the character tick.

    I had similar issues when i read Thanos Rising. Marvel editors wants this simplistic re-invention of characters that only manage to fail to grasp the classic stories and the authors.

    I see it all the time with things like Star-Lord being written as ''Han Solo meets X'' or Adam Warlock being ''Jesus Christ meets X''. They want everything simple. Thanos has only gotten worse until this point. Even since Aaron wrote him he’s been even more the generic “mustache twirling villain in the black hat” in comics, cartoons and videogames, more than even those ''My Friend Dahmer'' tropes. I’ll be honest, Donny Cates's run on Thanos had an interesting premise, but it quickly became a mediocre read, with Thanos acting more like a thuggish cosmic potentate like Mongul or Blastaar than Starlin's Thanos, and the only thing the series accomplished was getting rid of Thane (i know, spoilers).

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    I thought one telling part of the article, was that it was possible to accept Thanos retiring happily to farm at end of original Infinity Gauntlet) as a possible and satisfying end for the character.

    Darkseid could never be written that way. (I suppose I shouldn't use "never".... in reference to what a comics writer might do.....)

  3. #3

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    Yes, Thanos is supposed more morally ambiguos and sympatethic than Darkseid, who's little more than a Hitler metaphor.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    For me the article’s definition and your definition are discussing entirely different things. You seem focused on stories with a cosmic backdrop or setting, the article is talking about a specific type of story. For example Star Wars just isn’t a comic story by that definition and I myself would never classify it as Cosmic.

  5. #5
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    Darkseid is a fascist who wants to remake the universe in his own image because he believes that is the best thing to do (except when Starlin writes him, then he's just a mad and crazy goofball who loves chaos).

    Thanos is a nihilist who wants to selfishly kill everybody so he can be with Death.

    They're both about as bad as you can get.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Darkseid is a fascist who wants to remake the universe in his own image because he believes that is the best thing to do (except when Starlin writes him, then he's just a mad and crazy goofball who loves chaos).

    Thanos is a nihilist who wants to selfishly kill everybody so he can be with Death.

    They're both about as bad as you can get.
    Except that by the end of Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was no longer a nihilist villain as he learned that he is his own worst enemy and that genocide and macguffins won't convince Mistress Death to love him and he became a reclusive farmer and explorer who would occasionally help Adam Warlock and other heroes save the universe from a common threat, as seen in Infinity War, Crusade, Blood & Thunder, Cosmic Powers, Infinity Abyss and The End.

    Darkseid would never do that.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    For me the article’s definition and your definition are discussing entirely different things. You seem focused on stories with a cosmic backdrop or setting, the article is talking about a specific type of story. For example Star Wars just isn’t a comic story by that definition and I myself would never classify it as Cosmic.
    My point was that a space opera story doesn't necessarilly need trippy metaphysical themes to be good. In the marvel universe, you Can have both gritty military science fiction stories like DnA stuff and trippy spiritual stories like Starlin's stuff.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree View Post
    My point was that a space opera story doesn't necessarilly need trippy metaphysical themes to be good. In the marvel universe, you Can have both gritty military science fiction stories like DnA stuff and trippy spiritual stories like Starlin's stuff.
    Absolutely but to qualify as a cosmic story by the definition of the article it needs to be a lot more than just a story set in space with characters also seen in cosmic stories. Books like the recent Ultimates volumes would qualify, whereas recent Silver Surfer wouldn’t.

    Note, I have no problem with differing definitions, but disagreeing with somebody’s idea of what makes a good cosmic story without first coming to an agreement on what should be included as a cosmic story would seem counterproductive. The article wouldn’t include the kinds of stories you are citing and therefore it isn’t passing judgment upon them as bad stories or bad examples, or comparing them in any way with its own definition.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Absolutely but to qualify as a cosmic story by the definition of the article it needs to be a lot more than just a story set in space with characters also seen in cosmic stories. Books like the recent Ultimates volumes would qualify, whereas recent Silver Surfer wouldn’t.

    Note, I have no problem with differing definitions, but disagreeing with somebody’s idea of what makes a good cosmic story without first coming to an agreement on what should be included as a cosmic story would seem counterproductive. The article wouldn’t include the kinds of stories you are citing and therefore it isn’t passing judgment upon them as bad stories or bad examples, or comparing them in any way with its own definition.
    So What you are saying Is Grant Morrison's Animal Man would be considered more cosmic than Star Wars?

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Thanos always seemed more approachable and accessible than Darkseid. Darkseid whether it's Kirby's comics, Grant Morrison's comic or the DCAU Timm cartoons was this distant, almost Lovecraftian threat. Thanos by contrast feels like some guy you can know. Josh Brolin's Thanos is basically the Dark Lord you can hang out with and have beer and shoot pool with and so on. Whereas Darkseid is so distant, so remote and so on.

  11. #11
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    Always thought Darkseid was basically O'Brien from 1984: a fanatic for controlling everything down to the last thought in the back of your mind.

  12. #12
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
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    I always thought Darkseid was a more one dimensional villain. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing... I don't necessarily think EVERY villain needs to be relatable or sympathetic or anything like that. But Thanos has layers that Darkseid lacks.

    Plus I think post Crisis Darkseid jobs way more. He doesn't have a Starlin protecting him the way Thanos did.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Thanos always seemed more approachable and accessible than Darkseid. Darkseid whether it's Kirby's comics, Grant Morrison's comic or the DCAU Timm cartoons was this distant, almost Lovecraftian threat. Thanos by contrast feels like some guy you can know. Josh Brolin's Thanos is basically the Dark Lord you can hang out with and have beer and shoot pool with and so on. Whereas Darkseid is so distant, so remote and so on.
    Darkseid and the society of Apokolyps were conceived by Kirby as a satire on fascism. Like what if you put Morgoth from Silmarillion, The Big Brother from 1984 and Ming the Merciless in a blender. Darkseid is a great villain, but not a very complex character, although i must say after Kirby only Giffen, Levitz, Simonson and Morrison got Darkseid right.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by XPac View Post
    I always thought Darkseid was a more one dimensional villain. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing... I don't necessarily think EVERY villain needs to be relatable or sympathetic or anything like that. But Thanos has layers that Darkseid lacks.

    Plus I think post Crisis Darkseid jobs way more. He doesn't have a Starlin protecting him the way Thanos did.
    Agree. Theres a good reason why Morrison turned Darkseid into a rainbow colored Eldritch Abomination in Final Crisis. Jurgens, Loeb (grrrrr) and Johns wrote Darkseid pretty badly, although Morrison could have come up with something less silly than Superman singing Rainbow Darkseid to death.

  15. #15
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree View Post
    Agree. Theres a good reason why Morrison turned Darkseid into a rainbow colored Eldritch Abomination in Final Crisis. Jurgens, Loeb (grrrrr) and Johns wrote Darkseid pretty badly, although Morrison could have come up with something less silly than Superman singing Rainbow Darkseid to death.
    I think the problem is most writers just didn't really understand what Kirby was doing with the New Gods. They weren't just really powerful aliens... they were beings existing on a higher level of existance. Written as Kirby intended, Darkseid should almost never lose to someone on this plain of existance. He shouldn't just be someone you can punch out and call it a day.

    MOrrison I think is the only one that even tried to capture what Kirby was doing.

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