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Thanos is big in terms of the way he is feared. I want to know if he is part of only the galaxy. For example, the heroes known as "The Guardians of the Galaxy" are so named because they protect only the galaxy. Think of it like this: Where does Thanos lie on the list of big villains?

Earth: The mob. I mean Hydra.

Solar System: Hydra still

The galaxy: If not Thanos then maybe Ronan

The universe: If not Thanos then maybe Celestials

The multiverse: Galactus???

  • On multiple occasions he's tried (with varying degrees of success) to destroy the entire universe; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel:_The_End – Valorum May 2 '18 at 20:48
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    “the heroes known as "The Guardians of the Galaxy" are so named because they protect only the galaxy” — are they? [citation needed] – Paul D. Waite May 3 '18 at 0:03
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    Also I think Galactus mostly just eats planets. – Paul D. Waite May 3 '18 at 0:08
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    Gunn has said the GotG were in the Andromeda Galaxy. I don't think this has been stated in-story, but it would suggest a universal scale to Thanos' threat, not merely galactic. – user33616 May 7 '18 at 20:03
  • There seems to be a bucket of confusion in the answers and comments whether this question is Comics, Movies or Both. And nowhere in the question are the Infinity Stones mentioned. Thanos was a universal threat in the comics before the term "Infinity Stones" had ever been conceived. – Blaze Apr 11 at 21:41
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Thanos’s aim (in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least) is to kill half of the living beings (at least, the roughly-humanoid-looking ones) in the universe. As a time-saver, he’s trying to collect all six Infinity Stones, because with them he can do it with a click of his fingers. (Instead of going from planet to planet executing half the population manually, which gets surprisingly burdensome after a while.)

He hasn’t mentioned a multiverse, and neither has anyone else in the MCU. (Except maybe the Ancient One, it turns out?) So I guess he’s a universe-level threat? But only half of it. He’s quite specific about that.

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    It bears mentioning that, by design, he mostly doesn't care about which half – geewhiz May 3 '18 at 0:19
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    @geewhiz: sure he does! Specifically, the MCU Phase 3 half! – Paul D. Waite May 3 '18 at 9:33
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    The Ancient One mentions the 'multiverse' a handful of times when she first sends Dr. Strange on his tea trip. She says there are an 'infinite number' of universes, with the scene implying the Dark Dimension, Quantum Realm, etc., are these other universes. – user33616 May 7 '18 at 19:55
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    Well, i suppose you could call him a whole universe half-threat. – Misha R May 8 '18 at 5:06
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    @MishaR: or a half-universe triple threat! Which I guess is a threat and a half? Although there are six stones. And one gauntlet. Whichever way you look at it, the maths is difficult. – Paul D. Waite May 9 '18 at 7:18
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Universal. His only goal in the MCU is to use the infinity stones to wipe out half the population.

Infinity stones only work on their respective universes. one set of infinity stones cannot affect another universe under the domain of another set of infinity stones.

  • “one set of infinity stones cannot affect another universe under the domain of another set of infinity stones” — which MCU movie said that exactly? – Paul D. Waite May 7 '18 at 23:17
  • Stones are rooted in the rules of the universe they exist in, other universes have different rules. The explanation is not in a movie, it's Marvel world building in the literature. – Patrick Hughes Apr 10 at 18:37
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    @PatrickHughes "the literature" couldja be more specific there? – Paul D. Waite Apr 10 at 22:32

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