Teams like the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy have struggled to find a permanent solution for Thanos, but it turns out that the X-Men may have what it takes to stop him once and for all. In fact, all it would take for Marvel’s mutants to defeat the Mad Titan is one specific team member.
Many heroes have managed to temporarily take down Thanos over the years, but no matter what, he always seems to come back. One cause for the murderous villain’s constant returns is the living embodiment of Death, whom Thanos has been infatuated with for most of his life. In his efforts to court her, he’s taken countless lives, but instead of being impressed, she’s rejected his advances and banished him from her domain. This essentially means that Thanos can never actually die. Additionally, Thanos: The Infinity Relativity discusses Thanos’ role as a cosmically relevant being. Basically, the universe, in some way, regards him as so important that he’s extremely difficult to dispose of for lesser beings. Kill him, exile him to another dimension, he’ll always find a way back. For this reason, even beings of immense power like Galactus and the Celestials would struggle to get rid of him forever, much to the dismay of Thanos, who simply wants to die. Luckily for him, there is a loophole that could allow for him to finally meet his end at the hands of Magik.
Kieron Gillen, Daniel Acuña, and Joe Caramagna’s Uncanny X-Men #15 gives readers their first glimpse at how Thanos could be defeated as Magik and Colossus make their way to the Crimson Cosmos to confront Cyttorak. Having previously been imbued with the powers of the Juggernaut and now controlling a fifth of the Phoenix Force, Colossus hopes to convince the demonic villain to release him as his avatar. When Cyttorak refuses, citing how much he enjoys having Piotr serve him, Colossus tries to attack. This fails, however, with Cyttorak explaining “A Demon Lord in his domain is outside natural law.” Not only does this make any attempt to harm Cyttorak futile, but it also means that he is capable of nearly anything when he’s in the Crimson Cosmos.
Later on, in Uncanny X-Men #20, it’s revealed that Cyttorak’s words also apply to Magik when she is in Limbo. As a Hell Lord herself, she’s capable of near-limitless power when on her home turf. In this issue, she uses this insane ability to lift Cyttorak’s influence from Colossus using her Soulsword, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of her powers. While in Limbo, she can defeat entities as powerful as the Phoenix because she has practically no limitations. Without having to follow any set rules, it also stands to reason that Magik could unknit Thanos from his place in the cosmos and put him down for good.
With the potential to negate Thanos’ special place in the universe completely, Magik cements herself as a massive powerhouse among Marvel’s heroes. Even the combined forces of the Avengers’ Phoenix and Starbrand could only possibly kill Thanos, so Illyana’s capacity to permanently beat him is quite impressive. Of course, this massive power boost is only available to her while in Limbo, but since she has the ability to teleport herself and others wherever she wants, this isn’t a huge issue. The X-Men aren’t often the ones to deal with Thanos, so any opportunities for Magik to actually prove her skills against the Mad Titan would be few and far between, but if he truly wants to escape the mortal plane, Krakoa would be the best place to begin his search.