Beings with levels of power to destroy entire worlds appear quite frequently in comics. It’s kind of the nature of the game. But there are always some characters that stand out as incredible threats, and for more reasons than just their power levels.
Watchmens Dr. Manhattan and Marvel’s Thanos are very different characters, each incredibly dangerous in their own way. If the two ever clashed, the results would tear the fabric of reality completely, but there has to be a winner, although whoever is victorious would pay a heavy price.
eleven THANOS: A Titanian Eternal
From day one, Thanos’ birthright sets him apart from even his closest companions. Born on Saturn’s moon, Titan, this colony was a branch of the Eternals who lived on Earth. That gave Thanos incredible abilities, but it wasn’t the end of what made him different.
Thanos was born with Deviant syndrome, which essentially turned him into a mutant within his own race. Due to this syndrome, Thanos was purple and much larger than other Titans. These differences led to him suffering significant abuse, which put him on the path of becoming the Mad Titan.
10 DR. MANHATTAN: Omnipotent
There are powerful, then there are Dr. Manhattan’s power levels. Jon Osterman used to be a nuclear scientist working on experiments for the US government, but an accident gave him incredible powers, something the rest of the Watchmen did not have. Osterman turned completely blue and became Dr. Manhattan. His power levels were on the charts, making him practically unstoppable. He knows everything and can accomplish practically anything.
9 What: super genius
When it comes to being a super genius, Marvel has more than a few heroes and villains that fit into that category. Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and others use their vast intellect in various ways, many of which do not function well in the world.
Thanos is a unique super genius for a great reason. Your intellect is informed by an understanding of the inner workings of the universe that few can match. Thanos knows about the things that others theorize about. And that knowledge makes it powerful.
8 DR. MANHATTAN: Can manipulate reality
The most obvious uses of Dr. Manhattan’s powers are as impressive as they are devastating. It is known to grow to enormous sizes and then generate destructive explosions to destroy entire armies. Once Rorschach disintegrated with ease.
But the most terrifying thing Dr. Manhattan is capable of is his manipulation of reality, both on a macro and micro scale. Honestly, it would be smart if anyone around them didn’t fully trust what they perceive to be real. The world is literally what Dr. Manhattan makes of it.
7 THANOS: Death has its back
Love can be a powerful motivator. In the MCU, Thanos was driven by a desire to balance the entire universe. In the comics, he took half of life because he was literally in love with Lady Death. While she has not always approved of everything he has done, and is disappointed by his frequent failures, Lady Death has feelings for the Mad Titan. The fact that he has Lady Death helping him, even if it’s just a manipulation, still gives Thanos an advantage.
6 DR. MANHATTAN: Absolutely emotionless
If Dr. Manhattan doesn’t seem to care, it’s because he literally doesn’t care. Jon Osterman’s transformation into Dr. Manhattan cost him any emotional connection to the world around him. This is why he ended up moving to Mars at the end of the original. Watchmen.
This level of disconnection from the world makes Dr. Manhattan incredibly dangerous, as Rorschach discovered firsthand. The combination of having virtually unlimited power and not caring about the impact of using those abilities means that he is literally capable of anything.
5 THANOS: Brilliant Strategist
Thanos has many options at his disposal. He is a skilled and powerful fighter with an impressive array of cosmic weapons at his disposal. Thanos has a seemingly endless range of abilities that give him the advantage against almost any enemy.
But your biggest advantage is, without a doubt, your mind. Thanos is a virtually unmatched strategist, capable of developing and implementing impressive plans. That being said, you have a tendency to unconsciously build ways to defeat him in those same strategies.
4 DR. MANHATTAN: Absolute understanding of everything
Besides using his abilities to blow things up and rewrite reality, Dr. Manhattan has another incredible advantage that goes far beyond just being smart. Jon Osterman was a genius before getting his powers and becoming Dr. Manhattan made him cosmically conscious on a whole different level. For all intents and purposes, he has absolute knowledge of all aspects of time and space.
3 THANOS: Wide variety of abilities
What makes Thanos so impressive is that he has such a diverse range of powers. Being an Eternal automatically grants you a level of immortality, which means that you don’t really age and you are immune to almost all diseases and toxins.
But he is also superhumanly strong, seemingly without any upper limit. That adds up to increased speed, reflexes, senses, durability, and more. Thanos can manipulate energy, is somewhat telepathic, and is even trained to some degree in the mystical arts.
two DR. MANHATTAN: invulnerable to all attacks
There is another side to the awesome and overwhelming powers of Dr. Manhattan. Man is invulnerable to each and every attack. While there might be a way to bring it down, it’s honestly hard to imagine what it would be.
Dr. Manhattan is basically a god. He has the power to do anything and apparently there is nothing capable of stopping him. This, understandably, scares everyone on your Earth.
1 WHO WOULD WIN?
Thanos is not to be underestimated in any fight, but unless he’s wearing the Infinity Gauntlet or has a literal sack full of Cosmic Cubes, he’s not beating Dr. Manhattan. Without the help of super-powered objects, or pants for that matter, Dr. Manhattan could easily eliminate Thanos from existence.
The Mad Titan has dedicated his life to finding ways to gain the power that Dr. Manhattan already has. Simply put, Thanos would need the most brilliant strategy he’s ever devised, plus all the cosmic weapons he’s ever wielded, to have a chance of surviving this encounter.
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