What Christmas Revelation Does Thanos Want to Keep a Secret?

Summary

  • Thanos raised Gamora as a little girl, and even celebrated Christmas with her
  • Gamora saved Thanos’ life with her doll, but he realized it showed that she was too “weak” to be the perfect killing tool he wanted her to be
  • Thanos’ secret is revealed that he still cares about Gamora, all of these years later


It’s our yearly Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar! This year, the theme is the Greatest Christmas Comic Book Stories Ever Told! I had you all vote for your all-time favorite comic book Christmas stories and I collected all the votes, and now I am counting down the results! Each day will spotlight the next story on the list as we count down from #24 all the way to #1!

Every day until Christmas Eve, you can click on the current day’s Advent Calendar post, and it will show the Advent Calendar with the door for that given day opened, and you can see what the “treat” for that day will be! You can click here to see the previous Advent Calendar entries.

The drawing for this year’s Advent Calendar, of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Wolverine celebrating Christmas together is by Nick Perks.

And now, we open the third door on the calendar…

as we continue the countdown with #23 on the list, 1992’s “Yule Memory” from the 1993 Marvel Holiday Special (due to the vagaries of release dates versus cover dates, the 1993 Marvel Holiday Special came out in time for Christmas 1992) by writer Jim Starlin, artists Ron Lim and Terry Austin, colorist Tom Vincent and letterer Brad Joyce, where we learn about a secret from Thanos’…Christmas past?!

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What was Thanos’ deal with Gamora?

Jim Starlin’s 1991 epic crossover event, Infinity Gauntlet, began as part of Starlin’s popular run on Silver Surfer. Even before the event ended, though, Starlin transitioned off of Silver Surfer, giving the book to a new writer just breaking into comic books, Ron Marz, and Starlin concentrated on the crossover. When it finished, Starlin’s next step was to continue featuring a number of the characters from the event (all characters that Starlin either created for Marvel or, in the case of Adam Warlock, dramatically revamped enough that he practically created a new version of the character) in a new series called Warlock and the Infinity Watch. The idea was that Warlock was intent on making sure the Infinity Gauntlet was never re-formed, so he formed a group with people that he could trust, and had them each guard a different Infinity Gem (now better known as the Infinity Stones thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

The protectors then formed a loosely affiliated team together. One of the characters in this new group was Gamora, who Starlin had introduced during his original Warlock run as an assassin trained by Thanos who helped Warlock and Thanos bring down Warlock’s evil future self, the Magus, but once that was finished, Gamora realized that Thanos had deadly ulterior motives, and now that Magus was out of the way, Thanos was the new threat, and so she teamed up with Warlock to stop Thanos. She died along the way (so did Warlock and Thanos), but they were all resurrected for Infinity Gauntlet.

Now that these characters were part of an ongoing series, Starlin had more time to explore their backstories, and while the series tied in with the 1992 crossover sequel to Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Starlin took an issue, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #9 (by Starlin, artists Angel Medina and Bob Almond, colorist Ian Laughlin and letterer Janice Chiang), to explore Gamora’s backstory, showing a time in her past when she went on a trip with Thanos, and was left on her own. Her cockiness in her skills led to her being attacked by a gang of thugs…

infinity-watch-9-2

Raped and beaten nearly to death, Gamora was rescued from death by Thanos…

infinity-watch-9-3

who we see murdered all of the men who attacked and raped Gamora…

infinity-watch-9-4

Thanos then healed her by rebuilding her body using technology, but in the process, Gamora also hardened herself off from the world, turning herself into essentially a weapon…

infinity-watch-9-5

These were attributes that wouldn’t begin to be fixed until her time with Warlock.

With that flashback in mind, it only makes sense that Starlin would turn to that time again later in that year in the Christmas story.

Related

Thanos’ Greatest Weakness was Revealed in a Marvel Holiday Special

A classic Marvel Holiday Special revealed the single greatest weakness of the most powerful villain of the MCU, Thanos.

What is Thanos’ Christmas secret?

In “Yule Memory,” Thanos is going through some of his old headquarters, looking for anything he can use for his current life. In one of the bases, his robots discover a box of items, including a scarred doll. As it turns out, as he raised Gamora, Thanos would actually celebrate events like her birthday and holidays, including an approximation of the Earth holiday of Christmas.

One year, when she was five, he gave her a doll (she then asks if they could spend the holiday visiting the lagoon)…

Gamora gets a doll

What an adorable sequence, right? Well, some bad guy that Thanos had past dealings with sneaks into Thanos’ headquarters, and actually gets the drop on the Mad Titan, but Gamora saves her master by throwing her doll at the attacker, distracting him long enough for Thanos to kill him…

Gamora saves Thanos

In the process, the doll is badly burned. Thanos offers to get Gamora a new doll, but she insists that she will instead fix THIS doll. This, of course, foreshadows Gamora herself being “fixed” by Thanos after her future assualt…

Gamora's doll is toast

Thanos feels bad for her, and takes her to the lagoon, and this brings us to the present day framing sequence, where Thanos now explains that the doll can be thrown away, as it doesn’t matter to him, while he notes that Gamora’s sentimentality is why she was never going to succeed as the master assassin he was training her to be…

Thanos realizes that Gamora was never going to be a villain

However, even as Thanos insists that he is not nostalgic for his time with Gamora at all, we all know that he is obviously lying, and thus his insistence that he does not have any sentimentality instead clearly reveals his secret, that he DOES care for people, or at least Gamora.

Thanos pretends that he doesn't care about Gamora, but we know he does

Well done stuff, and you can really tell that James Gunn built off of this side of the Gamora/Thanos relationship in the films (although maybe not this specific story).

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