Since the release of Avengers: Infinity War, MCU fans have had many questions about the main antagonist of Infinity Saga. While some questions have been explained, such as the story of the planet he comes from, others remain unexplained.
Among these major questions, some of the main ones are related to Thanos’ appearance, questioning why the Mad Titan is purple or why his chin is that way, especially after the suggestion that he is connected to the Eternals.
Why is Thanos Purple?
In the comics, Thanos is said to be part of the race of Eternals, who were created by the Celestials. In general, the Eternals are closer in appearance to humans and have a predominantly more peaceful disposition.
The Deviants, who are also the creation of the Celestials, were supposed to be a “derived” race, whose appearance was generally uglier, with their behavior being more warlike. However, after the changes made by the Celestials, the Deviants became a race with destabilized DNA, which resulted in various mutations.
The two groups have a long history of conflict, but the Mad Titan makes this animosity somewhat complex since he has a particular connection to both sides.
Simply put, the reason for Thanos’ appearance is that the antagonist was born with Deviant Syndrome. Despite this, he is not a Deviant per se, since, in the comics, it is shown that his parents, A’lars and Sui-San, were both Titan Eternals.
Thus, he is an Eternal born with the Deviant gene, manifested through his appearance and other physical features and abilities.
Because of this gene, he is pretty different from other Eternals. Besides this being the explanation for his purple and more resistant skin, the character is much bigger than others of his race and has many superior physical attributes.
In addition, his peculiar chin is another trait resulting from this fact. So although the shape of his chin is similar to the shape of the Skrulls‘ face, they are not directly related.
Thanos‘ chin shape seems to be a trait commonly found in races that originate from Celestial experimentation, which is also the case for shapeshifters.
Besides these reasons within the story itself, it is worth noting that there were external influences on the creation of the character, coming from the experience of his own creator, Jim Starlin.
According to him, his work was influenced by Jack Kirby‘s New Gods comics.
Thanos’ creator revealed to CBR that his biggest inspiration initially was Metron, but he was instructed to adapt Darkseid instead of the character he was initially based on.
“Kirby had done the New Gods, which I thought was terrific. He was over at DC at the time. I came up with some things that were inspired by that.
You’d think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, but that was not the case when I showed up. In my first Thanos drawings, if he looked like anybody, it was Metron.
I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do, which became Thanos and the Titans.
Roy took one look at the guy in the Metron-like chair and said: “Beef him up! If you’re going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”
What Other Impacts Does the Deviant Syndrome Have on Thanos?
As explained, possessing the Deviant gene led Thanos’ appearance to be as it is, significantly distancing himself from the other Titan Eternals.
This, however, is not the only result of the mutation, which increased the powers that he naturally possessed due to his race. As if this were not enough, his body has undergone many modifications over the years.
As shown through Mad Titan’s adopted daughters, Nebula and Gamora, he has become adept at cybernetic changes and enhancements, so he has improved himself.
In Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files, an excerpt about the character demonstrates his superior strength and abilities to the other Eternals, describing:
“Thanos possessed incalculable superhuman power. By far the most powerful of the Titanian Eternals, Thanos was a mutant whose massive, heavy-bided body was born with the capacity to synthesize cosmic energy for certain personal uses. […]
Thanos augmented his power in still other ways, enabling him to tap, transform, and direct vast quantities of cosmic energy for destructive force. His skin is nearly invulnerable, […] he can survive indefinitely […].
Deadliest of all Thanos’s attributes, perhaps, was his mind, whose superhuman level of intellect was totally dedicated to the annihilation of life.”
At the same time, he has equal or inferior abilities to some of the Eternals in the comics. But, like the other members of his race, the Mad Titan is immortal, immune to disease and infection, and does not age.
On the other hand, although more resistant than the other Eternals, his powers of regeneration are not as developed since he cannot regenerate any destroyed tissue. Thus, the Deviant Syndrome can be considered a mutation, leading Thanos to appear very different from other Eternals.
But this does not take away his qualities in common with his race, such as many of his powers. So, in reality, what happens is that, concerning most of his abilities and attributes, the character is superior to the other Eternals, being stronger, more resistant, and powerful.