Annihilus is a truly horrific villain in the Marvel Multiverse, hailing from the Negative Zone, which he has conquered numerous times. He consistently tries to invade the regular universe. Often he is rebuffed by various heroes, including, but not limited to the Fantastic Four and Avengers.
If he sounds a lot like the other major cosmic player in the Marvel Universe, Thanos, then he’s on that scale as a threat. Thanos even helped the heroes thwart Annihilus’s major attempt to conquer the universe, known as the Annihilation Wave.
10 Annihilus Can Go Toe to Toe With the Most Powerful Heroes
Annihilus can face off against some of the most powerful heroes in the Universe. Usually, he only does so with the aid of his Cosmic Control Rod, but even without it, he’s a force to be reckoned with. More recently, he faced down the Avengers and fought Thor, Nova, and the Vision separately. When united, they were able to stop him.
Annihilus tries never to give up the advantage. When he was without the rod, he made use of other means and still nearly destroyed the Earth. It’s no surprise that he’s provided a true threat to the Marvel Universe just on his conquering instincts alone.
9 Thanos Has Gone Toe to Toe With the Strongest Heroes Too.
A lot of talk about Thanos’s power focuses on the Infinity Gauntlet. Even without it, he’s on par with heroes like the Hulk and Thor. He’s wielded not just the Infinity Gems, but the Cosmic Cube, adding to his already impressive physical power.
Most of this power comes not just from being one of the Eternals of Titan, but one with activated Deviant genes. With absolutely no fear of death, Thanos is capable of taking out any opponent in his path.
8 Annihilus Consistently Wields the Cosmic Control Rod
The Cosmic Control Rod is the badge of office for the ruler of the Negative Zone. Annihilus has wielded it for most of his time as a threat to the universe. His Annihilation Wave was powered in part by the rod. Most importantly, the Cosmic Control Rod has allowed Annihilus to cheat death several times.
Annihilus uses the rod to increase his physical power, already impressive in its own right. He has used it to alter matter, creating objects, and destroying force fields. He can even lend a portion of its power to his agents without giving up control of the Rod.
7 Thanos First Collected The Infinity Gauntlet.
Before Thanos collected them, no one had wielded the Infinity Gems in unison. Thanos set out on a quest to retrieve each gem from its protector. In doing so, he cut his first path of murder, killing cosmic beings on his way to godhood. He wielded the Gauntlet to impress Death. Unfortunately, Death was not impressed.
As Thanos lost the gauntlet, it set a dangerous precedent for gathering the gems together. Many entities have since wielded a form of the Gauntlet. Thanos was the first one and went across the universe to collect them. Others had not so long a quest to gather these gems.
6 Annihilus Plans Around His Technology
Annihilus’s plans are almost always contingent upon a piece of technology that he is using as an end to his means. Most recently, he used the Nega Bands that were a bridge between the main Marvel Universe and the Negative Zone. His Annihilation Wave was dependent on the overwhelming numbers and planet-destroying weapons.
Of course, this usually gives his opponents an easy way to stop him. In the case of the Annihilation Wave, they had to resort to bargaining with God and traveling back in time to stop the wave with a comparable army of dead warriors.
5 Thanos Has Already Killed Annihilus Once
When Thanos and Adam Warlock went back in time, the problem of the Annihilation Wave was solved in the most Deus Ex Machina way possible. Mephisto’s charade was exposed and he was sent back to rule his dimension. The control tower that coordinated the Annihilation Wave was destroyed. Finally, Annihilus is devolved back into a harmless insect form.
Thanos, who has learned to never leave a job unfinished, decides to eliminate Annihilus once and for all. He lifts a boot and squishes his enemy into the pavement. It is one of the most ignominious ends for a villain ever.
4 Annihilus Almost Always Controls An Army
The thing about insects is that they always work as a swarm, and reproduce fast. Even if he’s controlling the entire Negative Zone, he relies upon the insectoid races for the bulk of his troops. Conquered races usually have three choices, join the army, be enslaved, or die.
Of course, the second option usually leaves enemies alive that can thwart his plans. Against the Avengers, this was his undoing, since he left the youngest Avengers with the means to his defeat in Nova’s helmet. If he’d taken it from them, Tony Stark could never have modified it to strengthen the Vision.
3 Mephisto Never Bowed Before Annihilus
When Thanos gathered all of the Infinity Stones, the first lackey that found his way to his side was Mephisto. Of course, Mephisto betrayed him when Thanos showed weakness, but for the longest time, Marvel’s Satan was afraid of Thanos.
During the Annihilation Wave, Mephisto served under Annihilus, but without his knowledge. Mephisto disguised himself and had his agenda that he was pursuing during the Annihilation Wave. He helped to orchestrate the Annihilation Wave more than serving under its leader.
2 Even On His Own, He Can Terrorize
When the Fantastic Four went on a vacation to the Negative Zone, Annihilus crossed over into the Baxter Building and erected a force field around it. He nearly succeeded in using the field with an opposing energy field to destroy the Earth before the Fantastic Four and Avengers thwarted him.
The real terror here is how he brutalized Franklin Richards and Alicia Masters. His force field rendered the Vision inert for months and set up a crisis that endangered the world again. Alicia was terrified to be left alone afterward, and Franklin nearly died.
1 Thanos Has Already Killed Half The Universe
One of the first major offensive moves Thanos made upon acquiring the Infinity Gauntlet was killing half of the universe to win the favor of Death. This was the legendary snap that was adapted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It was catastrophic and followed by a tantrum-sparked energy wave that shook the Earth out of orbit. Of course, this brought the attention of Earth’s remaining heroes and led to the battle that eventually cost Thanos the Infinity Gauntlet. Annihilus is not the only cosmic-level villain that provides the means to his defeat.
Thanos and Annihilus are both huge threats in Marvel comics – but who is the stronger villain?