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Drax the Destroyer (Arthur Douglas) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Mike Friedrich and writer/artist Jim Starlin, the character first appeared in Iron Man #55 (February 1973).

Arthur Douglas was a human whose family was attacked and killed by the supervillain Thanos. Needing a champion to combat Thanos, the being known as Kronos took Arthur's spirit and placed it in a powerful new body, and Drax the Destroyer was born. Drax's powers included enhanced strength and resilience, flight, and the ability to project energy blasts from his hands. The character often battled Thanos, and on occasion the superheroes Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock. He was also a member of the group known as the Infinity Watch.

In 2004, the character lost his flight and energy blasts, and a portion of his strength and resilience. This version of the character played a role in the crossover comic book events Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest, and became a member of the relaunched Guardians of the Galaxy. He has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys, trading cards, and video games. Drax appears in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy, portrayed by Dave Bautista.

Early life

Real estate agent Arthur Douglas, his wife Yvette, and daughter Heather, were driving across the Mojave Desert from Las Vegas to Los Angeles when a spaceship carrying the mad Titan named Thanos passed overhead on a surveillance mission to Earth. Wishing to keep his existence a secret, Thanos destroyed the automobile in case its passengers had seen his ship, and then landed to make certain they were dead. Satisfied that they were, Thanos left. Unknown to the Titan, his father Mentor had been monitoring his activities on Earth to examine his son's latest handiwork. Mentor discovered that Heather Douglas was still alive, and took her back to Titan to be raised. She later returned to Earth as Moondragon.

Destroy Thanos

Mentor determined that the threat of his son Thanos could no longer be ignored and wanted to create a being of sufficient power to defeat Thanos. Enlisting the aid of his father Kronos, who millennia before had become a discorporate wraith, Mentor had Kronos seize the astral form (living consciousness) of Arthur Douglas before it had completely fled from Douglas's body. Kronos and Mentor then fashioned a humanoid body from the Earth's soil, granted it superhuman powers, and cast Douglas' spirit inside it. Thus they created the being who would become known as Drax the Destroyer.

Mentor blocked all of Drax's memories of his old life, instilling in him monomaniacal hate for Thanos. For years, Drax served as Thanos' nemesis, thwarting certain of the Titanian's plans, but never crushing Thanos himself. One particular battle between them led Drax to befriend Iron Man of Earth, an ally that he would come into contact with various times over the next few years. Later, Drax battled Thanos in order to stop him from obtaining the Cosmic Cube. He lost to Thanos, and went to the Avengers for help.

Finally, in Thanos' campaign to possess the Cosmic Cube, Drax, in the company of the Avengers, Captain Mar-Vell, and Moondragon, saw Thanos destroyed. Suddenly lacking a reason for existence, Drax wandered space in grim contemplation. A couple of months later, while releasing his anger out on a nearby planet, Drax crossed paths with Captain Marvel. Enraged at Mar-Vell for destroying Thanos himself, Drax battled Captain Marvel until a mental construct of Rick Jones gave him the location of the newly resurrected Thanos.

Once again on a campaign to destroy Thanos, Drax attacked Gamora, an assistant of Thanos at the time, by destroying her spaceship. Gamora escaped, and it was unclear what happened to Drax immediately afterwards, for he was not present when the Avengers, Captain Marvel, Moondragon, Adam Warlock, Spider-Man, and the Thing defeated Thanos when he tried to snuff out the stars using the six Soul Gems.

Travelling through space, Drax came across a space station. He did not sense any life forms on board, but he entered the space station to investigate for clues on Thanos' location. Drax found Thanos, whose body was now turned into solid granite by Adam Warlock. Drax had felt like he had lost all purpose in life once again, for Thanos was once again slayed. Enraged, he quickly assumed that it was Captain Marvel who had slain Thanos. Drax traveled to Earth, and attacked Captain Marvel. The battle carried on for awhile, neither party giving up, but it finally ended when the human personification of ISAAC, the network computer which controls/governs over Titan, came to them requesting aid to save Titan from Thanos' remaining forces. Captain Marvel and Drax accepted the request, and traveled to Saturn.

On the way to Titan, Drax reiterated his plans of destroying Captain Marvel after this problem on Titan was resolved. Mere moments after arriving in Titan, Drax and Captain Marvel came across Starfox and Mentor being attacked by giant spiders. They rescued the two, and went off to save the others, passing through a system of underground tunnels, by Mentor's request. Being cosmically aware and having noticed something suspicious, Captain Marvel then accused Eros of being an impostor. To Drax's surprise, both Eros and Mentor were impostors, leading them to the domain of Gaea, the earth god. They let the two impostors free, and made their way through the tunnels, arriving at Gaea's lair. Gaea's forces attacked Drax and Mar-Vell, but they managed to overcome them. Defeated, Gaea told Drax and Mar-Vell ISAAC's plan to continue Thanos' schemes. After which, Drax made a pile of rubble fall on Gaea. Drax and Mar-Vell wandered through the caves, and eventually made it outside, where they met Dionysus, god of wine. Dionysus invited them to have a drink. Drax drank some, and then he was knocked out for the wine was drugged. He woke up a few hours later with Mar-Vell at his side, about to be eaten by huge snakes. They fought off the snakes, but Drax was knocked unconscious again. Drax woke up a few moments later, and Mar-Vell told them that Elysius, the one ISAAC had sent to kill them, had a change of heart, and decided to help them. They took a flying pirate ship to get to ISAAC quicker. They arrived in ISAAC's lair in a couple of hours, and after many obstacles and many of ISAAC's forces, the three managed to defeat ISAAC.

However, the battle was not won, for ISAAC had the power to shut off the air supply of Titan, and ISAAC had sent his right hand man, Stellarax, to Earth. Captain Marvel and Drax made the decision to return to Earth first, and then save Titan later. They decided to attack on multiple fronts, Drax would attack Stellarax's spaceship, and Captain Marvel would attack Stellarax himself down on the surface. While attacking Stellarax's spaceship, Drax came across Rick Jones and his girlfriend, and rescued them from captivity. They saved Earth in the end, and made their way back to Titan to save it from ISAAC. They made it back to Titan, and even though they faced trouble on Saturn's rings, they managed to get through to face ISAAC and his forces yet again. During the battle, Captain Marvel nearly gave his life defending Drax, and so this prompted Drax to decide not to destroy Captain Marvel anymore. In the end, Captain Marvel saved the day, and the two were celebrated as heroes. Drax decided to travel the stars, and think about how he could be a "creator" instead of a destroyer.

Moondragon

After travelling the stars for a couple of weeks, Drax still hadn't found a purpose for his life. He felt grim, so when he came across a group of creatures that threatened to destroy him if he didn't leave them alone, Drax attacked them, in hopes that they may kill him. On the contrary, the group of creatures sacrificed one of their own to save the collective, by attaching themselves to Drax's head. Drax's daughter, Moondragon, sensed this from her own spaceship, so she went to his location to find Drax unconscious. With no knowledge of the situation, she decided to go to her friends at the Avengers Mansion. However, only Thor was there at the moment. While they were deciding what to do with him, Drax woke up. Confused, he attacked Thor and Moondragon, but Thor struck Drax with lightning, which made the creature detach itself from Drax's head. Aftewards, Drax and Moondragon decided to travel through space together, and return the creature back to its collective.

Later, the two came upon the planet Ba Banis, a world of humanoid aliens caught in a vast civil war. Moondragon decided to used her mental powers to quell the conflict and then decided to set herself up as the world's goddess. Drax recognized that her ambitions were ignoble and so sent their ship to Earth with a holographic distress message. The Avengers responded and discovered Moondragon's world of mentally enforced tranquility. Freed by the Avengers from his daughter's mental domination, Drax advanced toward her, seeking to end her menace. In order to stop him, Moondragon mentally forced Drax's life essence to vacate his artificial body. Later, after subduing Moondragon and returning to Earth, the Avengers placed Drax's body inside Sensia and sent it into space programmed to self destruct. Without Drax's spirit inside it, Drax's body was destroyed when the Sensia exploded.

Resurrection

Several years later, when Thanos was resurrected by Mistress Death, Kronos chose to re-animate the Destroyer as well to again combat his mad grandson, and granted him with even greater physical power. However, Titan's God did not take the means of Drax's death into account, and the Destroyer's mind retained the damage done by Moondragon. Despite this setback, following Thanos' defeat and the subsequent breakup of the Infinity Gauntlet, Drax was chosen by Adam Warlock to safeguard the Power Gem as part of the Infinity Watch. Eventually, due to internal strife, the Watch fragmented and went their separate ways. Afterwards, Drax returned to Titan with Moondragon, who successfully petitioned Kronos to restore Drax's mind to its former acuity, at the cost of some physical power. Thus, Drax was restored to his original condition.

A short time later, Drax was accused of the murder of Elysius and several other individuals. Warlock, along with Gamora, Pip, and Genis, tracked Drax down and subdued him in time to find that the real culprit was the re-animated corpse of the original Captain Marvel. Using his soul-gem, Warlock traced the being controlling the corpse, a creature within the Negative Zone known as Syphon who was using the Nega-Bands as a conduit. Felled by a backlash of psychic energy, Warlock was unable to stop the transfer of the Nega-Bands to the unconscious Drax, who flew off into space. Warlock then gathered his allies and pursued Drax, finding that Syphon was using Drax and the bands to rip a portal into the Negative Zone, a portal which threatened the structure of the Universe.

Summoning all of his strength, Warlock yanked Drax free and removed the Nega-Bands, causing the portal to shrink. But, before the portal could completely close, Syphon yanked Warlock into the negative zone, and in front of the audience of Blastaar and Annihilus, Syphon took Warlock's gem, and used it to re-open the portal. Warlock recovered, and fought back, but without his soul-gem he had little chance of subduing both Blastarr and Annihilus before Syphon was successful. Fortunately, Drax arrived with Pip, Gamora, and Genis (who was once more possessor of the Nega-Bands) in tow. As his friends fought on, Warlock went on to damage Syphon's conqueror wheel, thus closing the portal once more. Syphon attempted to use the soul-gem to kill Warlock, but found his attack turned upon his own soul. He fought back long enough to flee his own body. Warlock again claimed the gem, and along with Drax and his other companions, returned to their Universe.

Drax's condition began to revert. His mass and strength climbed back to previous levels, and his mind became clouded once more. Finally, he sought out Moondragon, which led to an altercation with Genis-Vell, son of Mar-Vell and the new Captain Marvel. In the course of this struggle, Drax was transported to the microverse with Genis, where he found acceptance and happiness on the planet K'ai and remained for some time.

Earth Fall

Drax was later seen on a prison ship with Paibok, Lunatik, and the Blood Brothers after being accused of murdering 200,000 Skrulls. They were being transported to an intergalactic prison when the ship crashed on Earth under mysterious circumstances and some prisoners, including Drax, escape. For unknown reasons, Drax's intelligence sometimes changed from somewhat intelligent to quite dumb. While on Earth and at a low-point of intelligence, he wandered through Alaska and confused a young girl named Cammi for his daughter. As he slowly wandered through the country side, he encounters Paibok yet again. Paibok ruthlessly murdered him, yet Drax emerged with a new, slightly smaller body and with a higher intelligence. This "new" Drax killed Lunatik and one of the Blood Brothers. After Drax saved the town from his fellow prisoners, he and Cammi were taken onto another working prison ship.

Annihilation

Surviving Annihilus' attack on the intergalactic prison known as the Kyln, Drax and Cammi teamed up with the last member of the Xandarian Nova Corps, Richard Rider. Together they fought against the advancing Annihilation Wave. Drax taught Nova the power of concentration so that he might contain the entire Nova force. Moreover, Nova asked Drax to teach him an important lesson: How to destroy.

During a doomed battle between the Annihilation Wave and the United Front on Daedalus 5, Drax stayed behind to fight off the invaders while Nova and the rest of the group (including Cammi) finished the evacuation. Drax fought his way to one of the Annihilation Wave's ships in his quest for Thanos. He found the Titan attempting to release Galactus from his prison on Annihilus' mother ship. Before Thanos could release Galactus using his unique energy signature, Drax broke through Thanos' defensive shield and punched a hole through the Titan's chest. Drax then realized that they could "trick" the security system into shutting off by using the Silver Surfer, which succeeded. Once Galactus was freed, he teleported Moondragon and Drax to a far-off planet to spare them from his wrath on the Annihilation Wave. Afterwards, Moondragon said Drax just "disappeared", heavily implying she was covering for him.

Annihilation Conquest

After the events of the Annihilation war, the Kree empire was invaded and cut off from the rest of the universe by the Phalanx, led by Ultron. Drax was hunted down and captured by former allies Gamora and Richard Rider, who were assimilated into the Phalanx by the transmode virus. Drax was likewise infected with the same virus and was dispatched to hunt down Nova, along with Gamora, after Rider regained control of his mind thanks to the Nova force inside him. The pair tracked Nova all the way back to the Phalanx's home world of Kvch where they are all cured of the virus by the Technarch mutant Warlock and his ward Tyro.

Armed with the knowledge of how to beat the Phalanx and cure the virus, Nova, Gamora, Drax, Warlock, and Tyro breached the barrier surrounding the Kree empire and assisted a recently resurrected Adam Warlock and the new Quasar (Phyla-Vell) in destroying Ultron. Drax became a member of the newly formed Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Star-Lord and served alongside such characters as Phyla-Vell, Adam Warlock, Rocket Raccoon, and Gamora. He was one of the team's more grim and solitary figures, but was a force of destruction which bailed them out of many predicaments in the team's first few missions.

​Powers and abilities

Drax's powers initially included superhuman strength, stamina and resistance to physical injury as well the ability to project concussive blasts of cosmic energy from his hands. He can also travel at high speeds in outer space and hyperspace without air, food, or water. Drax also possessed the ability to sense the presence of Thanos across vast distances.

After his first resurrection, his physical capabilities are greatly enhanced beyond their original levels but he suffered severe mental disability in his new incarnation. Instead of his ability to sense Thanos across vast distances, he now possessed the ability to sense when beings have been in recent contact with Thanos, and a precognitive ability to sense when beings will be in contact with Thanos in the near future. For a time, Drax possessed the that had the potential to grant him superhuman physical powers with no feasible limit. However, because of his severely reduced intellect, he lacked the mental capacity and imagination to use the gem for anything other than bolstering his physical strength. While possessing the gem, Drax's strength has been compared with that of the merged incarnation of the Hulk , but lacking the latter's rage-fueled potential.

With the second ressurection, Drax undergoes a physical change resulting in a much smaller physical form, his superhuman physical powers greatly reduced to a level comparable to those of his original form and the loss of his energy projection and flight capabilities. However, his intellect has returned to its original level, and he has taken a liking to using knives and hand to hand combat in battle. At least temporarily, he had the ability to pass through Thanos' force field; his power levels seem to increase the closer he is to Thanos.

​Quotes

Hello. I am Drax the Destroyer. My daughter desires a box of mint cookies, please.
~ Drax to a girl scout.
Hear me, Thanos! Titan or God, I shall yet obliterate you!
~ Drax.
The Guardians have always been a serviceable distraction, but this is my life's work. I must get my revenge against Thanos, and with the entire team following their own agendas, I will follow suit. I will kill Thanos.
~ Drax.
Tell Mephisto Drax sent you.
~ Drax to Lunatik.

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