Five real life super-villains who could DEFINITELY beat Thanos


With Avengers: Endgame shattering box-office records, moving nostalgia-filled super-fans to tears and dominating our cultural conversation it’s safe to say that Thanos, the Mad Titan himself, who eliminated half of the universe in Avengers: Infinity War and is back to his old tricks in Endgame, has never been more popular or talked about. He’s the madman of the hour with crazy destructive power. 

An Endgame-obsessed internet is full of clickbait articles about comic book super-villains or superheroes who are more powerful than even the famously lethal Thanos. That seems lazy and pandering to us so instead of cynically comparing Thanos to other heroes and villains we’re presenting, straight from my beat-up Dell laptop in my mom’s garage (AKA my “office” and “home”), a list of five real life super-villains from my own epically fucked personal and professional life who makes Thanos look as harmless as a golden retriever puppy by comparison. 

5. My ex-wife Shirley 

When we were watching Avengers: Infinity War, and the “Snap” happened I said to my best friend Tim, or rather, my soon to be former best friend Tim, “Hey, I think this movie is secretly about my marriage! Because that damn woman took HALF of everything I own.”

I laughed and laughed and laughed. I thought I’d made a good-to-great point in a funny way until a visibly uncomfortable Tim said, “Dude, it’s been six years since the divorce. It’s unhealthy to fixate on something like that. I don’t want to be critical but your bitterness is costing you friends and ruining your life. Also, she’s always made more than you, so all those alimony jokes don’t really make sense.” 

Gee, I would have preferred a laugh and maybe even an encouraging back slap and some sympathy but I guess being stridently guilt-tripped by someone who pretends to be your friend is just as good. 

Even a figure as towering and oversized in his evil as Thanos could learn a thing or two about doing the devil’s work from my ex-wife Shirley, who insisted on taking an electric guitar given to me by Ace Frehley himself (it’s a long story) in the divorce despite being, by her own admission, not a Kiss fan at all. 

And I’m pretty sure that if Thanos’ wife nagged him to “grow up” and get his teaching certification for years, even though Thanos had his heart set on being a screenwriter or comic book artist, and then divorced him anyway when he couldn’t land a full-time job, AND took cats she felt ambivalently about at best, the devastation that would ensue would make the end of Avengers: Infinity War look like a slap fight. 

4. Michael, the extension course screenwriting Instructor 

Superheroes have wonderful teachers who inspire them to reach their full potential. Think Professor Xavier or whoever the teacher guy was in the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus. 

Cursed figures like me, on the other hand, are doomed to be taught by real-life super villains who teach screenwriting for beginners at the local community college. I’m pretty sure even Thanos’ famously strong will and determination to succeed would crumble if every time his screenwriting teacher said “Screenwriting will never be more than a pipe dream for the overwhelming number of people who want to do it full-time, so don’t delude yourself into thinking you’re going to be making big bucks writing movies” he made direct eye contact with him. 

I can’t even imagine how Thanos would have handled it—badly, no doubt—if his screenwriting teacher told him to meet him in his office after class and offered to personally refund his class fees on the basis that “Some people just don’t have it” and “it’s a waste to throw good money after bad.”

If Thanos were to subsequently discover that a mere six years after repeatedly being told to drop out of a screenwriting class due to a glaring lack of talent his screenwriting teacher sold a screenplay in the same genre as the one he said proved I had no future as a writer he’d be steaming mad—mad enough to kill half of everybody the way that horrible man destroyed more than half of what was left of my self-esteem. 

Were it not for these detestable rogues I could now have a thriving career as a television writer, or maybe work in advertising instead of shitting out clickbait articles so I can kick in 300 dollars for the rent every month. 

3. My former best friend Tim

The trope of the best friend who betrays the superhero and becomes his biggest arch-nemesis is a common one in comic books. Tragically, it appears in my life as well. But before Tim became my most hated enemy, Lex Luthor to my Superman, he was actually a pretty chill dude . 

Then he got married and I got divorced and Tim turned into an uptight robot who just said the same thing over and over again: “Get over your divorce. Bleep Bloop. I am No Empathy Bot. I just say “get over your divorce.” I think I’m so great because I’m married to a professor who has written some dumb books that got turned into even dumber movies. Bleep Bloop. Get over your divorce!” 

Boy, Tim sure seemed invested in me not romantically pursuing Shirley, supposedly because she “doesn’t want to see me” and “has taken out a restraining order” and “this is getting ugly” The real reason? He probably wants her for himself, a twist that would offend even Thanos’ rather lenient and perverse sense of morality. 

Tim acts like he won the marriage Olympics just because he’s still “happily” married. I guess that’s what gives him the right to judge poor, lonely, miserable me just trying to rebuild his life by living with his mom for a couple of years after a rough divorce.

I’ll be doing my funniest ex-wife material, jokes I’ve honed to perfection over the course of the many, many years I have been doing them to near-universal acclaim, and Tim will just glare at me and say, “Your anger is making you toxic and hard to be around.” 

Tim is not only a shitty friend, he ’s a shitty audience as well. And, considering how much cocaine he used to do in college, he’s a phony for acting like he’s the high judge of morals. Or maybe he is the “high” judge of morals because of all the blow he used to do. 

Gee, Tim, it’d be a real shame if some dastardly evildoer were to anonymously email your superintendent pictures of you doing cocaine at a Violent Femmes concert in college, but if you don’t get out of my personal business and stop staging lame, unsuccessful interventions for me that might just happen. 

Yes, for his hypocrisy and all-around a-holeness, my former friend Tim embodies a level of super-villainy Thanos would barely be able to comprehend even with his giant purple brain, let alone defeat in battle. 

2. My former boss Mr. Menken

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos wreaks harm on an almost unimaginable level. But it seems safe to assume that if Thanos were going to fire a longterm employee three days after their birthday he would at least buy the poor, doomed man a sandwich on the anniversary of his birth. That would, by definition make him better than grumpy old cheapskate Mr. Menken. 

Even someone who thinks nothing of killing half off the universe would never be that cold-blooded and inconsiderate. 

Marvel has dreamed up some legendary villains over the years. Loki. Killmonger. Thanos. Yet none can hold a candle to the monsters in my own life when it comes to wanton cruelty. 

1. My sophomore biology teacher Mr. Henlotter

It’s entirely possible that Thanos, like all healthy, well-adjusted children, liked to draw his favorite superheroes when he was just a little boy in Super-Villain Space School. It’s also possible that he liked to draw his favorite superheroes, like Batman and Superman, with very well-defined muscles BECAUSE THEY HAVE WELL-DEFINED MUSCLES. It’s canon! They do! There’s nothing wrong with drawing superheroes with muscles. It’s actually very natural and right. 

Despite what Mr. Henlotter might think, there’s NOTHING gay about drawing superheroes who are totally ripped. It’s called ACCURACY. Is it gay to say that Hawaii is in the United States? No, it’s accurate, just as it’s accurate to draw Superman with powerful thighs and well-developed abdominal muscles and biceps. 

Not even Thanos could have withstood a mad tyrant like Mr. Henotter telling him that he “drew like a girl” in front of the entire class. How is that even possible? Do women and men draw differently or was Mr. Henlotter just an asshole on a power trip who always smelled like beer and got fired a few years ago and is probably dying a lonely death somewhere on account of being such a dick all his life?

The Mad Titan and preeminent nemesis of the Avengers probably would have done much worse than start crying in front of a girl he had a crush on if he was cruelly told, at a very impressionable age, that the only job he could get as an artist or an illustrator would be for some “gay version of Playgirl.” 

I don’t care if it was the 1970s, specifically 1979, and the world was a much different place, and a lot less culturally sensitive. That kind of treatment could seriously fuck a young Thanos up. It would probably destroy his confidence to the point that he barely graduates from college despite having a very high IQ and being told by his mother that he is very creative. Then Thanos would probably spend a couple of decades substitute teaching, living paycheck to paycheck and writing a bunch of unmade screenplays and unpublished books about an eccentric, depressed young man who solves mysteries with a wisecracking talking kangaroo despite being told over and over again by his novel-writing Facebook support group that that is an extremely commercial subject for a series of novels. 

Not even Thanos would shit all over an innocent boy’s dreams of being a comic book artist that way. 

Yes, Thanos has his hands full battling the Avengers. They’re a formidable team by any standard or definition but they can only hurt Thanos physically, whereas the super-villains in my own life have pretty much destroyed my fragile psyche, reducing me to a blubbering, bitter, resentful failure forever shaking an angry fist at a world that does not understand him and his innocent, shattered dreams.


It’s enough to make a guy want to wipe out half of the universe. I understand, Thanos, I do. God knows that if he dealt with half of the adversity that I have Thanos would have done much worse than kill half of the universe or write articles his hating-ass editors deem “excessively, bizarrely, unnecessarily personal” and “unpublishable, in this, or pretty much any other form.” 

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