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I'm up to the first appearance of Thanos in my Marvel reading project, and i was doing some googling to see if there's anything behind the "Thanos is a rip-off of Darkseid" claims that you often hear when i found this cool group shot of Marvel & DC's villains - apparently fan art. As for the claims... i don't know. There's no doubt that they look very similar today, but Jim Starlin says he created Thanos, along with Drax the Destroyer, while sitting in a psychology class, and he crammed them into an early Marvel assignment (Iron Man #55, Feb 73) when he got the chance. Darkseid appeared a few years earlier, (in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olson #134, Nov 70), but Starlin never cited him as an influence for Thanos, even in later years. In his first appearances, Thanos was much skinnier, and Starlin said it was at editor Roy Thomas' suggestion that he bulk him up. Was Thomas secretly trying to push Thanos into something closer to Darkseid? It's possible, but Thomas usually wears his influences on his sleeve, and it's known that in the mid-70s Kirby's art was out of favor with Marvel editorial. I think, like the Man-Thing/Swamp Thing incident, this was just a coincidence that was probably taken advantage of in later years on both sides. Not that it really matters all that much.

By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 1:27 PM | Comics


I think some of the comparisons between Thanos and
Darkseid come from not just in appearance, but also in
personality and backstory. There is definitely some

I also don't see Starlin not mentioning Darkseid as an
influence as proof that he wasn't. He could easily not
be mentioning it to avoid 'lawsuit,' even after all
these years. It proves nothing either way.

While the King wasn't as popular as he used to be, I
believe his New Gods was quite popular among creators,
even at Marvel, where they'd pass around the first
few issues before they were even published. (I read
this on Evanier's site, I think). Starlin has also
claimed Kirby as an influence generally.

I do think that there is enough similarity to warrant
accepting that it is possible that Starlin 'ripped him
off.' But, not enough to really be too upset over and
it's not really provable either way.

Did I mention Starlin's writing the New Gods right now?

HAHAHAHA At least i don't wear a skirt!

a miniskirt, at that. NICE LEGS!