Drax the Destroyer, played expertly by Dave Bautista, has quickly become a fan-favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But as fun and funny as the character’s onscreen portrayal has been, there’s actually much more depth to the version of him in the comics. Drax has a long and storied history with Thanos. A payoff between the two would have been interesting to see on the big screen.
So what is that history, and how should it have paid off? Let’s take a closer look at why Drax and Thanos should have faced off in Avengers: Endgame.
Drax’s arc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In the MCU, Drax is known for being a blue-skinned, fierce warrior. He speaks in a monotonous way, taking everything literally. This has led to some humorous moments when Drax has misinterpreted an expression or figure of speech.
Along with being tough in battle, Drax is known for being loyal to his friends as well. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film sees him meet up with Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot. They become a team and a de facto family for Drax.
But what happened to Drax’s actual family? This is where the films and comic books diverge significantly. According to the MCU wiki, Ronan the Accuser killed Drax’s wife and child. He was the main villain from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. At the culmination of that film, Drax gets his revenge, avenging the death of his wife and child by offing Ronan.
That represents quite a stark difference to what happens in the comics.
Drax’s story in the Marvel comic books
According to Marvel’s official website, Drax’s storyline and origin in the comics vary greatly. In the comics, he starts out as a man named Arthur Douglas who lives on Earth. When coming back from an Elvis concert one evening, he is spotted by the Mad Titan, Thanos, who’s on a scouting mission to Earth. Fearful that the family has seen him, Thanos destroys the vehicle they’re riding in. This tragically kills them all. Douglas’s soul travels to space, where a Titan named Kronos inserts it into a warrior’s body he’d made specifically to defeat Thanos. The green-skinned Drax the Destroyer is born.
From there, Drax had only one mission in life: kill Thanos. He’s attempted to do so many times throughout the various iterations of his character in the comics and even succeeds in a few attempts.
How the MCU should have resolved the Drax-Thanos dispute
A Reddit thread discussed how Drax was handled in the MCU, which contrasts with his character in the comics. Within the MCU, Drax isn’t quite on the same level of significance as characters like Iron Man or Captain America.
The way the story played out, it was fairly predictable that one of the Avengers would be the one to take out Thanos. But Marvel certainly could have had Thanos play a bigger role in Drax’s story and filmed a face-off between the two.
A Drax-Thanos showdown could have been epic. They’ve had many confrontations on the pages of the comics and all of them have been quite compelling. While Thanos and Drax briefly fight in Avengers: Infinity War, a prolonged battle between them in Avengers: Endgame could have made for great cinema.
Of course, this would have meant Marvel would have had to weave Thanos into Drax’s backstory even more carefully, and perhaps removed the idea that Ronan killed Drax’s wife and child. There’s a way they could have included both, however.
Drax’s backstory as Arthur Douglas is never introduced in the MCU and his wife and child are aliens like he is. By giving him two families — one Earthbound family and one alien family — they could have preserved the Drax-Ronan storyline and incorporated the Drax-Thanos rivalry at the same time.