Sci-Fi Heroes That Could've Beaten Thanos

Thanos was the fearsome villain that the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe built up to. After the original Avengers narrowly survive their battle with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) during their first team-up in Joss Whedon's 2012 film, a post-credit scene revealed that an even more intimidating antagonist was in their future.

Thanos' plan to bring together the Infinity Stones became clear in the subsequent films. 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy" revealed that he had raised Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) as his assassins. In the post-credits stinger of 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Thanos finally wears the Infinity Gauntlet. His invasion of Earth in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" forced the Avengers to face their first major defeat.

It takes time travel, self-sacrifice, and a team reunion for the Avengers to finally defeat Thanos in 2019's "Avengers: Endgame." While it's ultimately Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who sacrifices himself to kill Thanos, the entire extended team had to work together to pull off their victory.

Besting Thanos is no easy task, but any character that manages to outwit the fearsome warlord may have a chance. We think that these heroes from other science fiction films would be able to defeat Thanos.

Robby the Robot

Thanos prides himself on his ability to create pragmatic schemes. Every truly great villain is indeed the hero in their own story. Thanos doesn't view himself as evil. He sees wiping out half of the population of the globe as a logical solution to overpopulation. Thanos saw the firsthand consequences of having sparse resources during his upbringing on Titan. Despite Thanos' seemingly "rational" approach to orchestrating his operation, he is still vulnerable to his emotions. So would he be able to defeat an actual robot?

In terms of iconic movie droids, few are as groundbreaking as Robby the Robot in the 1956 classic "Forbidden Planet." He is programmed by Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), who orders him to assist their new visitors. Compared to other movie robots at the time, Robby was unique because of his personality. Robby's intelligence and wit would make him a natural fit for the Avengers.


If you're looking for a group of science fiction heroes that are worthy of the Avengers, look no further than the Jedi Order from the "Star Wars" franchise. Even after their ranks are purged by Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), the spirit of the Jedi Order manages to survive and ultimately brings justice to the universe and balance to the Force.

Of all the Jedi Masters in the "Star Wars" franchise, there is no one wiser than Grand Master Yoda (Frank Oz). Yoda served as the leader of the Jedi Council for hundreds of years and learned a lot about the ways of the galaxy during his experience. Yoda is responsible for training many of the greatest Jedi Knights of all time. Yoda's leadership skills aren't limited to only the Jedi. He was able to inspire the Wookiees to defend their home planet, Kashyyyk, in 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith." He clearly could put together a team that would be able to defeat Thanos.


There's no point in arguing about Marvel and DC. Both comic book brands have developed loyal fanbases for a reason, and a majority of superhero buffs enjoy both. Comic book fans should simply be thankful that we're getting so many films inspired by both publishers. You can love both the Avengers and the Justice League! There's no point in trying to pit them against each other.

That being said, if the Avengers were able to pull together and defeat Thanos, it's reasonable to think that the Justice League could do the same. If we had to single out just one member of the Justice League to defend Earth against Thanos, it would have to be Superman. We're specifically selecting the version of Clark Kent played by Christopher Reeve. While Henry Cavill's version of Superman from the modern DCEU may be too ignorant of collateral damage, Reeve's Superman has the one quality that has always eluded Thanos: compassion.

Although Reeve's version of Superman will always be a charming farm boy at heart, that doesn't mean that we would want to get on his bad side. In "Superman: The Movie," Superman flies around the Earth to turn back time and save Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) from death. He's also no novice when it comes to battling super villains. In "Superman II," Superman defeats General Zod (Terrence Stamp) in battle.

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon is one of the most iconic science fiction heroes of all time. "Flash Gordon" had many adventures in comic books, novels, animated projects, serials, and radio dramas. In 1980, "Flash Gordon" was finally granted the film adaptation that he deserved. Like the source material, 1980s' "Flash Gordon" is gleefully silly, self-aware, and enjoyably campy.

We think that the version of Flash Gordon played by Sam J. Jones in the 1980 film would be able to best Thanos in combat. While Flash isn't exactly the brightest bulb in the universe, he's certainly not lacking in the heroic traits that allowed the Avengers to defeat Thanos. Flash is also no slouch when it comes to battling evil. He is at the peak of his physical abilities. Flash was a successful football star for the New York Jets. He's also an expert pilot. Before he crashlands on an alien planet, Flash is able to fly his allies to safety.

If you're looking for a ruthless villain who is as powerful as Thanos, look no further than the wicked dictator Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow). Ming rules the "Flash Gordon" universe with an iron fist. That being said, Flash can defeat him.

Snake Plissken

Thanos initially brings the Avengers to their knees in "Avengers: Infinity War" because he is able to take advantage of their compassion. Doctor Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) makes the mistake of prioritizing Tony's life over potentially beating Thanos. If you're looking for a hero who would be able to put the mission first, then you have to find someone who doesn't have any soft edges. There aren't a lot of heroes in science fiction history that are as grim and non-nonsense as Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken, the lead character in 1981's "Escape From New York."

Thanos' challenging childhood on Titan gave him a harsh perspective on the universe. By comparison, the Avengers have never experienced what it's like to be constantly living in danger. In "Escape From New York," the United States is overrun with crime. To contain the potential violence, the American government turns New York into a maximum-security prison for dangerous criminals.

Snake is also no stranger to making the types of challenging decisions that would be necessary to defeat Thanos. In the 1996 sequel, "Escape From L.A.," he decides to deactivate all the technology in the world to bring down the totalitarian regime.

David Lightman

Thanos isn't defeated by strength alone. It takes a nuanced strategy on the Avengers' part to ultimately end his reign of terror. Thanos is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so anyone that faces off against him has to know what it's like to hold the fate of the world in their hands. Ironically, the hero that the universe needs may actually just be a geeky teenage gamer. David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) would be able to develop a strategy that could stop Thanos' plan.

David is the hero of the underrated 1983 science fiction classic "WarGames." In "WarGames," David starts as a teenage slacker, who isn't completely dissimilar to Broderick's titular character from 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." He uses a computer hacking code to skip classes. However, David proves to be too smart for his own good. He accidentally activates nuclear weapons, thinking that they are just part of a computer game. He is forced to prevent a nuclear holocaust when both the United States and Soviet Union start preparing for war. David didn't need all of the technology that Tony Stark had to save the world.


It takes the ultimate team of superheroes to defeat the evil Thanos. In "Endgame," the entire extended cast of the MCU joins forces to face off against the villainous alien warlord and his army. Although the Avengers had been split into different factions after the battle between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War," they realize that the only way they can save the universe from Thanos' wrath is by working together.

The Avengers could have used the help of an alien superhero like Starman (Jeff Bridges). Although Starman doesn't know anything about Earth, he begins to learn about human behavior through his interactions with a woman named Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). Throughout the film, Starman learns compassion, humility, courage, and selflessness — all the traits that might help defeat a villain like Thanos. He is also a fast learner and could assess Thanos' weaknesses.

Doc Brown

The Avengers fail in their initial attempt to stop Thanos in "Infinity War." It takes a time travel plot developed by Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to defeat Thanos in "Endgame." Getting a second chance using time travel was a major advantage. If Thanos were facing off against a different team of heroes, it might be useful to bring in another powerful time traveler to stop him. There aren't a lot of time-traveling characters in history that are more beloved than Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown from the "Back to the Future" trilogy.

Doc Brown wouldn't need all the technology that Stark Industries had at their disposal to create a time-traveling device that could help him outsmart Thanos. He could certainly find the tools in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that could help him build an even more powerful device. We're talking about the guy who was able to use rudimentary technology in 1885 to put together a time machine.

Max Rockatansky

Thanos thrusts the MCU into a dystopian future. Although the Marvel films have had their fair share of science fiction elements, they've always taken place in a somewhat recognizable version of reality. The references to modern popular culture make the films more endearing. A post-apocalyptic future is unlike anything that the MCU has ever had before. This takes the Avengers out of their comfort zone.

If Thanos created another dreary future, it would take a hero who has already experienced living in a post-apocalyptic world to defeat him. Look no further than the iconic character Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) from George Miller's "Mad Max" franchise. In 1979's "Mad Max," the titular character is a good-natured cop who watches the world descend into chaos. By the time that the world has truly gone "mad" in 1981's "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior," Max has already learned how to survive in a cruel, lawless world. He certainly would have the stamina to hold his own against Thanos.

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the ultimate survivor. There's a reason that Ripley is one of the most beloved characters in both science fiction and horror films. She's both an action hero worthy of Luke Skywalker from "Star Wars" and a "final girl" worthy of Laurie Strode from "Halloween." Ripley survives the events of the "Alien" franchise due to her grit and determination. She learns important skills from each installment in the series, which would prepare her to face off against Thanos.

In 1979's "Alien," Ripley manages to outsmart the Xenomorph when it kills the crew of the starship "Nostromo." In 1986's "Aliens," she faces off against hordes of Xenomorphs to save the orphaned Newt (Carrie Henn). In 1992's "Alien 3," Ripley learns the power of self-sacrifice. You can count on Ripley to keep a cool head when things get dangerous. Thanos is cocky, but Ripley never underestimates her opponents.


The Avengers are able to pull together in the end to defeat Thanos, but that doesn't mean that they always have made the best decisions. Sometimes, the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" sure act like a bunch of idiots. In 2012's "The Avengers," the group descends into chaos when Loki gets under their skin. It's Tony's ignorance that unleashes a new villain in 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and it's Steve's unflinching loyalty to Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) that splits the group in half in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War." When the Avengers finally use time travel in "Endgame," they create even more chaos during their adventure.

If you're looking for a leader who can inspire temperamental heroes, think about Rufus (George Carlin) for a moment. If he managed to guide wacky goofballs like Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) into becoming the basis for a utopian society, then surely he could put together a team to defeat Thanos. Rufus also knows his way around time travel.

Sarah Connor

Thanos may be merciless, but he's also vulnerable to his emotions. After being forced to sacrifice his adopted daughter, Gamora, Thanos breaks down in tears. As evil as he is, Thanos has a heart. That's not something that Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) ever had to deal with when she faced off against her opponents. Thanos may be psychotic, but the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and T-1000 (Robert Patrick) are completely devoid of emotions. Sarah has to rely on her strength and perseverance alone to survive their attacks.

Thanos likes to overwhelm his enemies by putting their loved ones in danger. This probably would not be a good idea if he was dealing with Sarah. When Sarah's son, John (Edward Furlong), is targeted by Skynet in 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," it only empowers Sarah to be even stronger. She trains herself for judgment day, even when everyone else dismisses her as crazy.


There aren't a lot of science fiction movies that have opening scenes quite as exciting as 1999's "The Matrix." In the first major action sequence in the franchise, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) eludes the forces of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). She immediately proves that anyone that dares to cross her will ultimately regret it. 2021's "The Matrix Resurrections" only reinforced Trinity's importance in the franchise. She isn't just Neo's(Keanu Reeves) love interest. They are equals.

Trinity has been fighting the agents sent by the Matrix, so facing off against a character like Thanos would hardly be a challenge for her. Between martial arts, gunplay, and operating science fiction vehicles, Trinity is skilled in many forms of combat. Ultimately, the Avengers are only able to defeat Thanos through Tony Stark's self-sacrifice. Trinity learns the power of accepting one's fate when she initially dies in Neo's arms in 2003's "The Matrix Revolutions."

Professor X

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Of Madness" includes many exciting cameos, including the return of Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X. Stewart's performance in the "X-Men" franchise is one of the best in the entire comic book genre. Although the "X-Men" films have their fair share of action, the scenes between Professor X and Magneto (Ian McKellen) explore the political and social relevance of the source material. Professor X is logical and tactful and leads the X-Men through many conflicts.

Professor X has faced off against many of the most powerful villains in the "X-Men" universe, so it is reasonable to imagine that he would be able to overpower Thanos. Professor X is one of the smartest Marvel characters in the comics. He would be able to use his powers to unite any heroes that could aid in the protection of Earth. He could also use his abilities to shut down Thanos' mind.

Katie Mitchell

If you haven't seen the 2021 Netflix animated film "The Mitchells vs. The Machines," you're missing out on one of the most endearing science fiction films in recent memory. In the film, a young girl named Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) travels with her family on a cross-country road trip to her future college. Katie fears that her family will embarrass her. Being a teenager is stressful enough, but Katie and her family also have to save the world from robots.

Katie not only outwits the dastardly robots, but she also brings her family together. Katie has very different ideas about her future than her father, Rick (Danny McBride). However, they are able to find common ground. Essentially, the Avengers are one big, dysfunctional family. If Katie could stop a robot uprising with her wacky family, then surely she could find the allies that she needs to defeat Thanos.