If there’s one thing comic book fans prize more than a nice, crisp cover, it’s a good ol’ fashioned character match-up. Is the Hulk stronger than The Thing? Could Batman really take Superman? And if you’re reading this post, you’re probably wondering in a match-up of Captain Marvel vs Thanos… Who wins?
Um, we’re about to get into some Avengers: Infinity War spoilers in a sec, so turn away if you don’t want to know.
Okay, so if you’re still here you probably know this, but the post-credit sequence of the movie finds Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calling Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) on his very 1990s pager. That’s because next March, we’re getting a Captain Marvel movie that takes place in the ’90s. In it, we’ll learn the origin of Carol Danvers, how she gets her powers, how she gets mixed up with the alien races the Kree and the Skrull… And probably what she’s been doing for the past few decades/why she hasn’t shown up in any previous Marvel movies.
But good news after that: she’s also going to be appearing in Avengers & The Infinite Sadness, which is probably the title of the next movie. (But seriously, if you’re wondering “when does Avengers 4 come out” and what’s next for the MCU, we’ve got you covered). The Avengers are going to need her, particularly as there are only half of them left. But can Captain Marvel really go toe to toe with the Mad Titan? Could she be the one who kills Thanos? Is Captain Marvel vs Thanos even close to a fair match-up?
There are a few caveats here, of course. One is that it’s up to whatever the writers want to do. If they decide Captain Marvel is as powerful as Thanos, then that’s all you need to know. We also haven’t seen her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, so who knows? She could be vastly underpowered.
In the Marvel Comics, though, Carol is one of the most powerful superheroes on Earth. She’s able to fly, has super strength, and can shoot concussive energy bursts from her hands. That said, she’s usually only fought Thanos as part of a team. Interestingly, her predecessor, a Kree soldier named Mar-Vell has fought Thanos mano a mano. But Carol, not so much.
Related: What Comic Is Infinity War Based On?
So how to determine who could win in a match-up? As always, we need to go to Marvel Superheroes Trading Cards.
To make this match-up as even as possible, I found a set of cards from the same year, though slightly different sets: Thanos is from the 2013 Marvel Fleer Retro set; while Captain Marvel is from 2013 Marvel Fleer Retro – Metal. I don’t know if this makes a difference. I’m sorry.
The point is, for those who don’t know, that these cards include “official” breakdowns of stats. Meaning we can compare apples to apples. Except also not exactly, because the MCU is a different beast. And in 2013, Captain Marvel was still called Ms. Marvel. And Thanos was probably inside out or something, comics are complicated.
Ignoring all that, let’s go to the cards.
Captain Marvel Vs Thanos
First, let’s take a look at Thanos’ stats (via the Trading Card Database):
According to this, Thanos’ stats are:
Energy Projection: 6
Fighting Ability: 4
Meanwhile, here’s Ms. Marvel’s card (again via the Trading Card Database):
Don’t read about her status quo unless you want your brain to start bleeding, but her stats are:
Fighting Ability: 4
Energy Blast: 5
So just going on pure stats, Captain Marvel and Thanos are surprisingly well matched on Fighting Ability and Durability, while Thanos wins on everything else. But for my money, Durability is the important one here. Captain Marvel can keep pushing, and pushing which would help her go ten rounds on this. I’d also disagree with the Intelligence stat, tbh.
Ultimately in the fight of Captain Marvel vs Thanos, Thanos would probably win, based on this. But Captain Marvel isn’t going to have to take him on solo in Avengers: Hey Where Did Everybody Go… What she will be able to do is give them all a fighting chance.
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