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Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Dimension of Manifestations) doppelganger

Occupation: Strategic advisor to the Magus

Group Membership: "Infinity War Doppelgangers"

Affiliations: Magus, Iron Man doppelganger, Mr. Fantastic doppelganger

Enemies: Alpha Flight (Aurora/Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, Northstar/Jean Paul Beaubier, Puck/Eugene Judd, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Shaman/Michael Twoyoungmen, Vindicator/Heather Hudson, Weapon Omega/Kyle Gibny), Avengers (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Crystal/Crystalia Amaquelin, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Doctor Druid/Anthony Ludgate, Hercules/"Harry Cleese", Iron Man/Tony Stark, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Sersi/Silvia Sersi, Thor/Eric Masterson, Vision/"Victor Shade"), Avengers West Coast (Hank Pym, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Living Lightning/Miguel Santos, Moon Knight/Marc Spector, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, USAgent/John Walker, Wasp/Janet van Dyne, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Darkhawk (Chris Powell), Fantastic Four (Invisible Woman/Susan Richards-Storm, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Dr. Doom (Victor von Doom), Dr. Stephen Strange, Hulk (Bruce Banner), Eternity, Galactus (Galan), Goddess, Agatha Harkness, Infinity Watch (Drax the Destroyer/Art Douglas, Gamora, Moondragon/Heather Douglas, Pip the Troll/Pip Gofern, Adam Warlock) Kang (Nathaniel Richards), Master (Eshu), New Warriors (Firestar/Angelica Jones, Namorita/Namorita Prentiss, Nova/Richard Ryder, Silhoutte/Silhouette Chord, Speedball/Robbie Baldwin), Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), Sleepwalker, Thanos, X-Men (Archangel/Warren Worthington III, Beast/Hank McCoy, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Forge, Gambit/Remy LeBeau, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Jean Grey, Psylocke/Betsy Braddock, Rogue/Anna Marie, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett, Professor X/Charles Xavier), X-Factor (Havok/Alex Summers, Polaris/Lorna Dane, Multiple Man/Jamie Madrox, Strong Guy/Guido Carosella, Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff)

Known Relatives: Thanos of Titan (the original)

Aliases: Shade Thanos, "my friend" (nickname used by Magus), "the creature" (as Thanos referred to his copy)

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
                                  formerly Magus' fortress in a pocket dimension at the end of a Dimensional Corridor;
                                  formerly Dimension of Manifestations

First Appearance: Infinity War#1 (June, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Like all natives of his realm, the being that became the Thanos doppelganger (or Shade Thanos) was initially a living fractal, able to shape himself in an infinite manner. Forced by the Magus to become an exact replica of Thanos of Titan, the doppelganger possessed all the physical attributes, mental faculties and most of the knowledge of the real Thanos. His powers allowed him to go toe to toe with the Titan himself. Effortlessy able to lift well over 100 tons and gifted with limitless stamina, superhuman durability, agility, speed and the ability to manipulate cosmic energy (unleashing it through his hands or his eyes). What set Thanos apart from the other doppelgangers in Magus' employ was the fact he was imbued with an aspect of the real Thanos' personality, which the Titan lost shortly after the affair with the Infinity Gauntlet. This made the doppelganger far more cunning and devious than the original. During the final conflict between Thanos and the doppelganger, Magus secretly enhanced his henchman's strength to make sure he would win out. 

Height: 6'7"
Weight: 985 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: No hair

Thanos doppelganger in the doorway


(Infinity War#1 - BTS) - In preparation for his revenge on a reality that tried to deny him his existence, the Magus used the cosmic containment units he had collected to create a Thanos doppelganger by way of the fractal creatures that make up the Dimension of Manifestations. This Thanos was more than a mere copy, Magus imbued him with the Titan's legendary combat genius and natural tactical insights. Together, they started to lay the groundwork for the Magus' plan.

(Infinity War#1) - Tending his farm on a nameless planet in a backwater region of the galaxy, Thanos of Titan became aware something was amiss in the universe. His suspicions increased when he felt the presence of his doppelganger, who briefly appeared behind him before vanishing. Later, after learning some unknown force had rendered Eternity catatonic, Thanos once again spotted the mysterious lookalike studying him from a distance.

   After picking up vaguely familiar energy readings in the sector of space where Eternity was struck down, Thanos followed the trail to a pocket dimension at the end of a dimensional corridor. There, he discovered a massive, man-made construct he couldn't help but explore. Once inside, he was greeted by the Magus and the Thanos doppelganger.

   The doppelganger kept quiet and acted deferentially while Thanos and Magus had as civil a discussion as possible about the villain's goals and ambitions. When Thanos' attempt to convince the Magus he should abandon his plans of universal conquest failed, the doppelganger stood ready to defend his master. However, Magus simply tapped a button on his control console, teleporting in a large number of corrupted doppelgangers of Earth's heroes for protection. Another pushed button sent Thanos on his way with the request to tell Adam Warlock he was coming.

(Fantastic Four I#366) - Overjoyed by the initial success of his campaign, Magus boasted that victory already seemed assured. The doppelganger advised caution, reminding his master that experience has shown humans to be very tenacious. However, Magus assured his creation he had foreseen every possible defense. Later, when they watched how Iron Man (Tony Stark) was attacked, defeated and replaced by his evil doppelganger, Magus' seemingly frivolous approach to the campaign angered Shade Thanos, who wondered what purpose toying with the heroes served. Magus told him that while some holes are merely holes, others were meant to house mighty foundations. To prove his point, he started a chain of events that saw Mr. Fantastic getting replaced by a doppelganger.

(Infinity War#1) - Magus and the Thanos doppelganger watched from their control room as Thanos travelled to the Monster Island headquarters of the Infinity Watch to inform Adam Warlock his evil future self had returned. They then turned their attention to the Mr. Fantastic doppelganger who was busy carrying out his orders, alerting both Avengers groups, X-Factor, X-Men, Alpha Flight, the New Warriors and several solo heroes of a mysterious, deadly threat he had uncovered. Everyone he contacted, agreed to come to Four Freedoms Plaza first thing in the morning. 

(Infinity War#2) - Magus and Shade Thanos watched on as Warlock, the Infinity Watch and Thanos travelled to the Infinity Well inside Mistress Death's palace. Shade Thanos mentioned that, while he wasn't able to find any fault with Magus' plan, he did wonder if it would ensnare Magus' "other self". Disturbed by this presumed slight, Magus grabbed his lackey and forcefully pointed out that Warlock is his shade, not vice-versa. Humbled, Shade Thanos agreed.

   Magus then asked Shade Thanos for an update on the Galactus Contingent (an alliance of Galactus, Dr. Strange, Nova (Frankie Raye) and the Silver Surfer), who were investigating the vast energies Magus was releasing. When they found them ahead of schedule Magus decided to come up with a way to slow down this rapid progress. Then, the duo checked back on the Infinity Watch who were accessing the Well to gain insights into Magus' schemes. Convinced they'd learned enough, Magus indirectly alerted Mistress Death of the Watch's presence. The diabolocal duo then witnessed how the Reed Richards doppelganger detonated a gamma bomb in the FF's headquarters with the bulk of Earth's heroes present.

Magus and Thanos chat (Infinity War#3) - Moments after the Invisible Woman and Thor had managed to save the assembled heroes and New York from the effects of the detonated gamma explosive, the Thanos doppelganger and Magus opened an interdimensional gateway in the middle of Four Freedoms Plaza. While Thanos used his cosmic energy blasts to keep the heroes at a distance, the Magus rushed the doppelgangers of Iron Man and Reed Richards through the portal.

(Fantastic Four I#368) - The doppelganger fought off Sasquatch and Colossus while Magus guided the duplicates of Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man through the interdimensional gateway he had generated in Four Freedoms Plaza.

(Wonder Man I#13) - Already battlecrazed from the infighting instigated by the Mr. Fantastic doppelganger and the unexpected detonation of the hidden gamma explosive, Wonder Man was distracted by seeing the Scarlet Witch injured. This kept him too preoccupied when Magus and the Thanos doppelganger teleported in to collect their thralls.

(Marc Spector: Moon Knight I#41) - Moon Knight, too consumed by fighting his fellow heroes and his own psyche, was unable to stand up against Magus and the Thanos doppelganger's blitzkrieg incursion.

(Infinity War#3) - Later, Shade Thanos, Magus and the two rescued doppelgangers watched as the heroes of Earth stumbled across a set of interdimensional coordinates the master strategist had planted there for them to find. Later still, Shade Thanos alerted Magus that Galactus was about to reach the dimension from which he was sending his energy transmissions. With a sigh, Magus noted that the world eater was getting too far ahead of schedule and decided to delay him by destroying the devourer's ship with the push of a button. Astonished by the raw power at his command, Shade Thanos inquired why Magus still hungered for more. Magus smugly declared that his horizons stretched farther than those of the Titan and that while his power might appear infinite, he still had grander dreams. Confused by these cryptic statements, Shade Thanos continued to monitor the operation and interrupted Magus' monologue when he noticed the real Thanos and the Infinity Watch were approching the relay dimension. He also pointed out minor energy fluctuations (the cloaking field of Doctor Doom and Kang the Conqueror's vessel), but Magus summarily dismissed this.

(Warlock & The Infinity Watch#8) - While the real Thanos was busy recalibrating his systems to continue the search for the Magus, his devious nature caused frustration within the Infinity Watch. The doppelganger and Magus watched the Titan's machinations from their control room, leading Magus to comment that Thanos is a great gamesman thanks to his talent for bringing out the extremes in those he encounters. Seemingly unfazed by this, the Thanos doppelganger commented that Earth's expeditionary force was about to depart, before thinking to himself how Magus had duplicated him too perfectly and that he too craved ultimate power.

(Infinity War#3) - Moments after Earth's expeditionary force had left to trace the location of the mysterious dimensional energy transmissions, the Thanos doppelganger sent in an army of evil doppelgangers to fight the heroes who had stayed behind on Earth. Meanwhile, the Infinity Watch was surprised by the sudden arrival of Earth's heroes in the far off dimension they'd travelled to.

Thanos and Magus kidnap Adam Warlock

(Infinity Watch#4) - Magus delighted in the chaos he had managed to create, but ordered his thrall to nonetheless keep him updated on Phase III of his operation. Shade Thanos told him it was going according to plan, but once again tried to warn his master about the energy signatures he picked up (Doom and Kang closing in on their location). Magus still didn't want to hear any of it, and ordered his minion to check on Galactus instead. They were right on time to watch him rebuild his destroyed World Ship, seemingly none the worse for wear. Magus then chided Shade Thanos for continuing to check in on the doppelganger army he had sent to Earth, calling it no concern to anyone other than those directly involved.

(Fantastic Four I#369) - Magus and the Thanos doppelganger focused their attentions on the fight between the heroes of Earth and the Infinity Watch. With only Warlock, Drax and Thanos left standing, the conflict came to an abrupt end with the arrival of Galactus who summoned all combatants aboard his vessel. The doppelganger was momentarily worried about an alliance between the devourer and the earthlings, but Magus assured him their teaming up was crucial to his grand scheme.

(Infinity War#4) - After Galactus had finished debriefing the assembled heroes, Adam Warlock needed a moment of solitude, unaware he was being spied on by the Thanos doppelganger who had arrived in person to observe the situation. However, when the original Thanos showed up to join Warlock and noticed his presence in the corner of his eye, Shade Thanos quickly vanished again.

(Fantastic Four I#369 ~ Infinity War#4) - Shortly after Galactus and Gamora had left to cure the catatonic Eternity  (so he could petition the Living Tribunal to repeal its decision preventing the Infinity Gems to work as one), the heroes were surprised by the sudden arrival of Magus and the Thanos doppelganger. They quickly grabbed Adam Warlock, who was still wearing the now powerless Infinity Gauntlet.

(Infinity War#5) - The Thanos doppelganger held Adam Warlock while Magus grabbed the Infinity Gauntlet. Donning the glove, the Magus laughed off Warlock's boast that the gems were useless, claiming that power would be returned to them soon enough. He then ordered the Thanos doppelganger to prepare for the arrival of Thanos and the heroes of Earth, which he did.

(Infinity War#5 - BTS) - In his absence, Doctor Doom and Kang made their move. Aided by Warlock, Magus defeated Kang but was about to lose the gauntlet to Doom when the Living Tribunal repealed its verdict and allowed the Infinity Gems to work in unison again. Spotting the increased energy levels with Galactus' instruments, Captain America ordered the heroes to move in while Magus was still getting used to his newfound godhood. Thanos was more than happy to use his teleporter and send them to Magus' frontdoor, where his doppelganger already had an army of doppelgangers awaiting their arrival.

(Infinity War#5) - Standing by as the heroes marched towards what he considered their certain doom, Thanos reprogrammed his teleporter to deliver him inside the Magus' stronghold instead. There, to his surprise, his doppelganger was waiting for him in the shadows. Exchanging some pleasantries, the doppelganger revealed he had inherited Thanos' dreams of universal domination and planned to betray Magus at the earliest possible opportunity. Both Titans agreed the universe would be best off without the Magus, but when the real Thanos proposed an alliance his duplicate instantly saw through this deception and attacked.

(Warlock & the Infinity Watch#10) - During the fight, the real Thanos noticed his copy was actually more fierce and forceful, fighting with a zeal he had found lacking within himself of late. Without no time to ponder the implications of this, they were surprised when the Magus emerged from his quarters with the active Infinity Gauntlet. Extending an invitation to whoever managed to defeat the other, he went back in and sealed the door shut. Realizing that Magus, thanks to the Infinity Mind Gem, was undoubtedly aware of his planned treachery, the doppelganger took Thanos up on his earlier offer and joined forces against the nascent deity. However, when their combined cosmic force barrage proved unable to put even the slightest dent in the door to the Magus' domicile, they were forced to consider his words more carefully: the door would open only after one of them was dead. Moments later, they continued their struggle.

(Warlock & The Infinity Watch#10 - BTS) - Watching the fight, Magus confessed to the captive Adam Warlock that he found Thanos a truly unique blend of evil ambition and flawed nobility. He then revealed the outcome of the battle was already ensured, because he was secretly augmenting the might of the Thanos doppelganger. After the original had perished, he promised Warlock, he would personally deal with his disloyal thrall.

(Fantastic Four I#370 ~ Warlock & The Infinity Watch#10) - Leaving the battlefield outside the Magus' stronghold, the Invisible Woman made her way inside to look for her husband and the other heroes replaced by doppelgangers. She came across Thanos fighting his duplicate and, unsure who was the real one, decided to just pick one and aid him, hoping that he would go on to challenge Magus. Luckily, she chose the actual Titan who sensed he was being aided, even though he didn't realize who his mysterious benefactor was. After helping Thanos win the fight, Sue left the scene.

Thanos eats the doppelganger

(Warlock & The Infinity Watch#10) - In the midst of their final confrontation with his double, Thanos realized that the doppelganger was more than a mere copy: when Magus created him, he stole some aspects of the soul of the original Thanos. Fired up by this notion, the original Thanos managed to defeat Shade Thanos. As the copy lay dying, Thanos disrupted the reincarnation cycle and forced his foe to start his new existence right then and there. Moments later, Shade Thanos resurrected as a butterfly, only to be grabbed and eaten by Thanos who sought to reclaim his lost essence. As a result, Thanos regained that which had been taken from him, plus the duplicate's own memories, including Magus' insightful observations on the nature of Thanos himself. Once more complete in mind, body and soul the one true Thanos of Titan went forth to confront the Magus.

(Infinity War#6 - BTS) - In the aftermath of the fight against Magus, Thanos revealed to the members of the Infinity Watch that the behavior of his duplicate indicated Magus was powerful but not invulnerable. The fact his doppelganger kept making unplanned appearances, proved Magus didn't have as firm a handle on his schemes as he claimed to have. Thanos delivered his double's unofficial epitaph when he called him a creature that stank of betrayal and ambition.



Comments: Created by Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks)

While the Thanos doppelganger didn't actively fight all the enemies listed above, he was instrumental in the Magus' campaign against them, thus warranting a credit.

Sure, he's a clone (kind of), sure he's evil... But can I just go on the record to say how much I love the Infinity War? I'm sure that opinion is mostly due to the fact I was 10 when I first read it. One always connects the most with stories from his childhood. But the Thanos doppelganger was something else... It wasn't until the late 90s that I got my hands on the Warlock & The Infinity Watch tie-in issues. They blew me away, especially #10 was memorable. As if having Thanos hold an issue long, beautifully worded and deeply psychological inner monologue on fighting and overcoming yourself wasn't enough, the concept of astral suicide and the eating of his enemy-turned-butterfly (subtext!) really hit home. It's 16+ years later and yours truly still gets excited by it. Now that's good storytelling, doppelganger or not...

Profile by Norvo.

The Thanos doppelganger should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Infinity War#5, p38, pan1 (main image)
Infinity War#1, p3, pan5 (first appearance, stepping through Thanos' door)
Infinity War#3, p17, pan1&2 (Thanos doppelganger & Magus talk)
Infinity War#4, p33, pan3 (Thanos doppelganger & Magus kidnap Adam Warlock)
Fantastic Four I#370, p10, pan3 (attacked by Thanos and Invisible Woman)
Warlock & Infinity Watch#10, p21, pan1 (Thanos consumes reincarnated doppelganger)

Infinity War#1 (June 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Fantastic Four I#366 (July 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Infinity War#2 (July 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

Fantastic Four I#368 (September 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Infinity War#3 (August 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Marc Spector: Moon Knight#41 (August 1992) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Gary Kwapisz (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Joey Cavalieri (editor)
Wonder Man I#13 (September 1992) - Gerry Jones (writer), Jeff Johnson (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Fabian Nicieza (editor)

Warlock & The Infinity Watch#8 (September 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Tom Raney (pencils), Keith Williams (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Infinity War#4 (September 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Fantastic Four I#369 (October 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Infinity War#5 (November 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Fantastic Four I#370 (November 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Warlock & The Infinity Watch#10 (November 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Bob Almond (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Infinity War#6 (December 1992) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

Last updated: 01/07/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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