Thanos is a fictional character that appears in comic book and other media published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Iron Man #55 (Feb. 1973) and was created by writer-artist Jim Starlin.
Debuting in the Bronze Age of comic books, the character has featured in over three decades of Marvel continuity and a self-titled series. The character's name is a derivation of Thanatos, the personification of death and mortality in Greek mythology. One of his most prominent storylines to date - the Infinity Gauntlet series - portrayed him as a mad cosmic tyrant bent on slaying half of all sentience existing then in Marvel's multiverse in order to appease the Marvel Universe's actual (and more powerful) embodied personification of Death in an attempt to win her love.
Thanos has consistently recurred as a powerful villain, and has been featured across nearly Marvel's entire product line, including animated television series; arcade and video games; toy and trading cards.
Writer-artist Jim Starlin originally conceived Thanos of Titan during college psychology classes. As Starlin described:
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Official Site: Marvel Comics
Links: Thanos' Wiki Profile The Marvel Directory: Thanos Marvel's Official Page on Thanos