Thanos’ Grandfather Is a Greater Threat Than Marvel’s Mad Titan

Thanos’ meeting with his grandfather highlights what makes the ancient Eternal even more terrifying than the Mad Titan has ever been.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Eternals: The Heretic # 1, now on sale from Marvel Comics

Uranos is quietly one of the most important of the Earth-based Eternals, although he has been largely removed from the events of the Marvel Universe. In the past, the Eternal sought a different, path away from his species’ standard purpose – to fight Deviants – and his return highlights his connection to one of Marvel’s most dangerous forces.

Eternals: The Heretic # 1, by Kieron Gillen, Ryan Bodenheim, Edgar Salazar, Chris O’Halloran and VC’s Clayton Cowles, formally introduced Uranos to his great-nephew Thanos – and, by the end of the issue, transformed the obscure Eternal into Thanos’ even more terrifying “Grandfather.”

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Introduced in 1980 by Thanos creator Jim Starlin, Uranos has only made a handful of appearances before, but his return in the present day comes as a result of Thanos’ power grab within the Eternals. After having been named Prime Eternal, Thanos was able to tour the various cells of the Eternals constrained by their peers, including Uranos, who revealed his true origin to Thanos. Hundreds of thousands of years before humanity would claim Earth, Uranos had been one of the three foundational Eternal Patriarchs, alongside his brothers Kronos and Oceanus. Eventually growing tired of serving at the behest of “the Machine” as essentially a glorified clean-up crew for Deviants, Uranos decided on a new plan: He would wipe out potential threats to “the Machine” by destroying all non-Eternal life on the planet, and taking control of the Celestials.

Reimagined with an appearance more befitting his connection to Thanos, Uranos led a crusade across all of creation that wiped out countless ancient lives. Horrified by his plans, Uranos’ brothers resisted his plans. This conflict with the Eternals over his plans eventually led to the eradication of early races on Earth and extended into an Eternal civil war. It was ultimately Druig who solved the conflict, faking a “betrayal” to Uranos’ side that allowed the other Eternals to defeat him. After the battle, Kronos and Oceanus sentenced Uranos to Exclusion – contained and hidden away from the rest of the universe. However, he could never be killed or have his memory altered safely without risking activating an unknown doomsday device he’d constructed, with those weapons seemingly lying in wait even in the present day.

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Uranos in his modern incarnation has a great deal in common with the current Thanos. Both are dark and powerful figures with ties to the Eternals, but with a deep resistance to their ideals. Uranos may see Thanos ‘”schoolboy crush” on Death as a childish endeavor, but he at least admitted he saw potential in Thanos’ murderous commitment to a “purpose.” While Thanos wanted to wipe out half of all life (and has), Uranos wanted to destroy everything not “perfect.” Both are more than happy to kill to achieve their goals and with his redesign, Uranos is a dead ringer for Thanos in appearance. Notably, Thanos and Uranos seem to find a common ground by the end of the issue, with Uranos secretly gifting Thanos the key to his weapons vault while the Mad Titan called his murderous Great-Uncle his true “Grandfather.”

It’s a potentially ruinous alliance between the pair given their power and ambitions, and a legacy that could carry over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the film version of Thanos dead but his family, like Starfox, poised to become more prominent, it would not be surprising to see Thanos’ connection to the Eternals explored more thoroughly with Uranos. A version of the character could appear within the future of the MCU, and could even more or less replace his deceased “grandson” as one of the universe’s most epic enemies. In Eternals: The Heretic, even the narration boxes do not want anything to do with Uranos – hinting at the danger he truly poses to the universe with his desire to wipe out all things save for Eternals and their Machine. Uranos might be the perfect upgrade for the MCU to explore following the defeat of Thanos.

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