Thanos had a purpose. In wiping out half of the known universe, the Marvel supervillain hoped resources would be saved and society born anew. But the creator of the "Mad Titan" thinks President Donald Trump is far more evil without any purpose at all.
On Tuesday, Marvel Comics creator Jim Starlin, who created Thanos and had a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, shared his thoughts on Donald Trump and the current unrest across the nation on his Facebook page. In a five-paragraph post, Starlin expressed his distaste for Trump, who has said is "driven only by ego and impulse" as "our once-vibrant democracy is reduced to less than a banana republic" that will be torn apart "by an extremely avoidable civil war."
"Since the beginning of quarantine I’ve chosen to pretty much keep my opinions to myself," Starlin wrote, reasoning that there "were already more than enough angry voices." But the comic book creator feels that President Trump's actions "finally went too far."
On Monday, President Trump declared himself "the president of law and order" in a speech at the White House Rose Garden. In a statement directed towards state governors, Trump also threatened to deploy the National Guard — in other words, using the U.S. military against U.S. citizens.
"If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said as explosions boomed from outside, according to CNN's Jim Acosta. Following the speech, U.S. Park Police dispersed protesters at Lafayette Park with tear gas, rubber bullets, and shields to make way for Trump to walk to St. John's, where he posed with a Bible (not his own) for a photo op against the wishes of the church.
It was a dark moment for America, one that infuriated many, including the Marvel Comics creator.
"I can no longer stay silent," Starlin said. He continued:
"Bad enough a minimum of 36,000 people are now dead because an incompetent narcissist chose not to listen to his intelligence services and scientific advisors and is now hastily and dangerously pushing for the economy to reopen without first doing the hard work required to safely do so (while at the same time pulling out of WHO In the middle of the pandemic) that he has given tacit sanction and moral support to this country’s racist fringe and done absolutely nothing useful to quiet the civil unrest presently rocking our country. The list goes on. You would have thought it couldn’t get any worse. Wrong!"
Of Trump's actions Monday, Starlin unloaded on the president for his tear-gassing of protesters to clear the way for Trump's very awkward picture with a Bible in front of a church. Wrote Starlin:
"Yesterday President Liar, after yet another angry tirade, had federal law enforcement tear gas PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS outside the White House so that he could march across Lafayette Square to have his PHOTO taken in front of St. John’s Cathedral, holding up a bible. Talk about throwing gasoline onto an already blazing inferno! This crazily irresponsible act will do nothing but further inflame an already perilous situation, infuriating those rightly protesting against those horrendous police killings of men and women of color and adding to those demonstrators’ numbers. I hate to think how many additional Covid-19 cases and deaths this horrible situation is going to add to the roster."
Finally, Starlin said that the video of George Floyd, a Black man who was choked to death by Officer Derek Chauvin for allegedly using forged money at a corner store, was a measurement for one's ethics.
"After watching that video of George Floyd being murdered and this administration’s reckless response to the incident, anyone with any semblance of a conscience must question and worry that we are being led by a madman who seeks only self-aggrandizement at the cost of all else," he wrote.
In 1973, Jim Starlin introduced the comic book villain Thanos in the pages of Marvel's The Invincible Iron Man. In 1991, Starlin reused Thanos as the main villain of The Infinity Gauntlet, an event miniseries in which Thanos collects all of the "Infinity Gems" to amass great power, all to win the affections of Lady Death. The story was heavily adapted into the billion-dollar Marvel film franchise, culminating in the two-part movies Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). The character, portrayed by Josh Brolin, has penetrated the mainstream to the point that even Trump depicted himself as Thanos — casting himself as a failed supervillain in the process.
“I had always thought he was too weird and esoteric to actually get into the mainstream,” Starlin told Inverse in a 2019 interview. “No. I didn’t see him hitting this level of popularity. I just thought he was too off the mainstream to get where he is today. No one is more surprised than I am.”
"I may have made Thanos Of Titan an insane villain," Starlin says in his final paragraph on Facebook, "but his schemes always had a purpose, albeit usually quite dark. The current Bad-Guy-In-Chief is driven only by ego and impulse, recklessly acting without any true thought or direction. Our fate is now in the hands of a narcissistic nihilist far worse than my creation. Pray for us all."