The protagonists of both the DC versus Marvel have faced each other many times throughout the years, but the antagonists have only had a few opportunities to do so. The conflict between Thanos and Darkseid, on the other hand, was so catastrophic that it took a slew of superheroes from both planets to keep it controlled. Currently, we’re looking back at how Thanos and Darkseid clashed in Peter David, Ron Marz, Claudio Castellini, Dan Jurgens, Paul Neary, Josef Rubinstein, Bill Oakley, and Gregory Wright’s DC Versus Marvel in 1996, and how their battle almost clashed with the destruction of both universes.
Contrary to popular belief, The Brothers, cosmic symbols of the DC and Marvel Multiverses, colliding and causing havoc is the central theme of Marvel. The duo resolved to settle their disagreements by selecting warriors from their universe, believing that a conflict between them would result in the annihilation of all beings. In an 11-fight contest, the champions would face up against their most opposites. The universe with the most wins would survive, while the defeated universe would perish. The Marvel and DC Worlds were momentarily united in the process, allowing heroes and villains from both universes to face-off, even outside of the big battles.
Originally, Thanos, the Marvel Universe’s Mad Titan, stands by and observes the havoc, amused by the mayhem wrought by the tournament. When he’s faced by Darkseid, his counterpart from the DC Universe, things change a little. For a brief while, the two exchange glances, with Thanos remarking that a Disciple of Death vs a Lord of Destruction would be fascinating combat. Darkseid, on the other hand, is eager to attack Thanos, referring to him as a poor replica of Apokolips’ Tyrant of Apokolips. The two fight in the background of the novel, locked in a conflict in which neither can gain an edge. The Spectre and the Living Tribunal attempted to impose a compromise by combining the Marvel and DC Universes into a single Amalgam Universe, which saw the two momentarily united into a composite creature known as Thanoseid, as their secret conflict continued.
When Access is able to return Captain America and Batman to their original forms, as well as the rest of the worlds, the two Brothers get infuriated and fight. While the Spectre and the Living Tribunal attempt to contain the new turmoil, the characters of the two universes are drawn into Thanos and Darkseid’s battle. Despite the possibility of the annihilation of all existence, the two mighty villains continue to try to murder one other. Despite the attempts of Wonder Woman, Thor, Shazam, Storm, Green Lantern, and Silver Surfer, Wolverine is able to injure Thanos before being swatted away. Darkseid’s Omega Effect even knocks Thor to the ground for a brief while, proving that the Asgardian is resilient enough to withstand them and that the New God’s lasers are intense enough to knock out an Asgardian.
In a nutshell, the war between the Brothers begins to devour both of them, as well as the two hero realities. The events astound all of the characters, as Thanos and Darkseid stand in awe of the darkness that engulfs all that was and ever could be. Thanos can scarcely control his joy at the death of all things, confessing it’s the most glorious thing he witnessed, while Darkseid observes everything with cruel satisfaction. Fortunately for both worlds, Access, who has the capacity to direct forces towards the Brothers, is able to communicate the lives of Captain America and Batman to the cosmic twins, inspiring them to abandon their fight and determine that both worlds are worthy of existence.
Thanos and Darkseid were finally restored to their own realms, with no clear winner in the war. However, it’s worth noting that combat between the two managed to keep some of the Justice League and Avengers’ most powerful members at bay with relative ease. It’s possible that a fully realized fight between the two universes might be more than any reality could handle.