Space is a common setting for comic book stories, with both heroes and villains taking to the stars to for their adventures. However, while many characters require space suits or ships in order to have their cosmic journeys, there are those who appear to need nothing at all to survive the final frontier -- including Thanos. It begs the question: how does he breathe?
Now, one Marvel fan is using science to explain exactly how the Mad Titan is able to survive in space. Over on Quora, Thaddeus Howze breaks down the basics of how Thanos is able to breathe in the expanse of space -- or, rather, what tricks he has up his sleeve that allows him to survive in an otherwise inhabitable environment.
For starters, Howze is clear: there is no breathing in space. Space is a vacuum, completely devoid of matter and that includes oxygen and atmosphere. You can't breathe in space and there certainly isn't sound in space. With that important piece of information out of the way, Howze breaks down the real question that people should ask, not can he breathe in space but how is he pulling it off. The answer to that is a little less direct since its comics and writers can use creative license to make almost anything work. However, from a scientific standpoint the answer comes down to factors: biology and technology.
On the biology side of things, Thanos is an Eternal -- a member of a genetically-enhanced and modified subspecies of humanity. This gives him all kinds of interesting bonuses as it were, including the ability to process cosmic energy to sustain himself, something that alone gives him an increased durability. While that alone doesn't allow him to breathe in space -- after all, there is nothing to breathe in space to begin with -- it's an important aspect of things because it influences his use of technology.
As Howze goes on to explain, Thanos is a tech whiz like Tony Stark and like Stark's Iron Man, Thanos also has his own armor. Thanos' armor is specifically designed to enhance and extend his biological abilities. That includes the ability to create a force field of sorts -- Howze gives the specific example of Thanos using it to protect him from the Power Cosmic. It isn't too much of a stretch to consider that it’s the force field or even just the armor at a minimum that gives him a microenvironment in which he could breathe in space.
The idea of a super suit being able to protect its wearer and provide them the ability to breathe in oxygen-limited or devoid environments such as space is one that Marvel fans have actually seen in action and specifically referenced in movies. In Avengers: Infinity War, as the Q-Ship Spider-Man is clinging to the side of heads into space, the hero quickly begins to run out of oxygen. This prompts Tony to send the Iron Spider suit to protect Spider-Man and give him the ability to breathe again. While it's not detailed exactly how the Iron Spider suit does that, the most likely explanation is the nano-technology is somehow able to create an oxygen-providing microenvironment inside the suit.
Though, if that's the case, we have quite a few more questions about how it is that Tony is about to run out of oxygen in the Avengers: Endgame trailer.
What do you think? Do you think that its Thanos' armor that allows him to breathe in the vacuum of space or do you think it's just good old comic book liberties? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Fans can further puzzle the concept of breathing in space when Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters on April 26, 2019.