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"The entire time I knew Thanos, he only ever had one goal. To bring balance to the universe by wiping out half of all life."
Gamora[src]

The First Decimation[3] was the massive fallout across all civilizations and species in the universe, which wiped out fifty percent of all life in random succession after the Infinity Gauntlet was activated. The mass genocide was initiated by Thanos at the end the Battle of Wakanda, marking the end of a campaign to retrieve all six Infinity Stones.

BackgroundEdit

Infinity WarEdit

Thanos' Killing SpreeEdit

"This universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correction."
"You don't know that!"
"I'm the only one who knows that. At least, I'm the only one with the will to act on it."
Thanos and Gamora[src]
In his quest to obtain the Infinity Stones, Thanos invaded Nidavellir and forced the Dwarves to create an Infinity Gauntlet, which was capable of harnessing the Infinity Stones. He later massacred every single one of them, save for Eitri. After, he invaded Xandar, destroyed the Nova Corps, and stole the Power Stone from the Orb, which he effortlessly destroyed. Having gained the Power Stone, he slaughtered half of the Xandarians as part of his desire to balance the universe.
File:Thanos & Black Order Teleport (Statesman).png

After having retrieved the Power Stone, Thanos and the Black Order intercepted the Statesman, which was carrying the Asgardian survivors of the cataclysm, Ragnarök. While the Black Order slaughtered half of the ship's population, Thanos personally confronted and defeated Thor, the new king of the Asgardians with Asgard having been destroyed. He then stole the Tesseract from Loki, whom he murdered along with Heimdall. Thanos crushed the Tesseract in his hand, revealing the Space Stone as its power source. Having gained the next stone, he destroyed the Statesman with the Power Stone, leaving Thor and Asgardian corpses in space.

File:IW Total Film Still 01.jpg

On Earth, Hulk, who was saved by Heimdall's Bifrost Bridge, crashed into the New York Sanctum and warned the Masters of the Mystic Arts of Thanos' incoming arrival. Doctor Strange, Wong, Iron Man, and Hulk gathered at the Sanctum and discussed the history of the Infinity Stones' history across the Nine Realms. However, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian launched an assault in New York City, prompting the four to fight back. During the ensuing battle, however, Doctor Strange was abducted by Ebony Maw, while Wong sent Cull Obsidian through a portal to the Arctic. Iron Man and Spider-Man managed to sneak onto the Q-Ship. Eventually, Iron Man and Spider-Man rescued Doctor Strange and created a hole in the ship which sucked Maw into deep space, killing him. The three then decided to confront Thanos on his home planet, Titan. In Edinburgh, Vision and Scarlet Witch were ambushed by Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, who attempted to draw the Mind Stone out of Vision's head. The couple then received combined reinforcements from Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon. Thanos' two children retreated and the five Avengers traveled to the New Avengers Facility to discuss the Mind Stone.[2]

Obtaining the Reality StoneEdit

Meanwhile, Thanos personally traveled to Knowhere to obtain the Reality Stone, which was entrusted to the Collector after the conclusion of the Second Dark Elf Conflict. He infiltrated the Collector's museum and located the Reality Stone, which was in the form of the Aether. He then solidified the Aether into the Reality Stone and added it to his Infinity Gauntlet. As the Guardians of the Galaxy arrived on Knowhere to confront Thanos, he conjured a false illusion of him interrogating and torturing the Collector into revealing the location of the Stone, as he accurately predicted that the Guardians of the Galaxy would pursue him to Knowhere.[2]

Obtaining the Soul StoneEdit

File:Thanos holding the soul stone.jpg

He eventually abducted Gamora and forced her to divulge the location of the Soul Stone with the threat of torturing her sister Nebula with the Power and Space Stones. Thanos's threat forced her to reveal the stone's location, Vormir. Thanos and Gamora then traveled to the mysterious planet, where they were greeted by the Red Skull, who became the stone's guardian as a punishment for abusing the Tesseract's power during World War II. After hearing Red Skull's elucidation that he would have to sacrifice Gamora in order to obtain the Infinity Stone, he tearfully threw her off a cliff and was given the stone.[2]

The Last ConfrontationsEdit

Battle of Titan

Thanos being restrained by the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Doctor Strange

"We're in the endgame now."
Doctor Strange[src]

On Earth, the Avengers traveled to Wakanda as Shuri had knowledge of Vision's stone. However, Wakanda soon was attacked by the Black Order and Thanos' army of Outriders, who demanded the Mind Stone. Acting on Captain America's orders, the Avengers, Bucky Barnes, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje, Jabari Tribe, Border Tribe, and the Wakandan Royal Guard fought back. Thor arrived on Wakanda with his newly forged weapon, along with Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The Outriders and the remaining members of the Black Order were eventually defeated and killed. Meanwhile, on Titan, Thanos was confronted by the combined efforts of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis, and Nebula. Although the seven managed to briefly overwhelm Thanos, he used the power of the four stones to gain the upper hand. A beaten Doctor Strange then relinquished the Time Stone to Thanos so that he wouldn't kill Stark. Having obtained the fifth stone, Thanos teleported himself to Wakanda.

File:ThanosStranglingVision.jpg

In the forests of Wakanda, he appeared out of the Space Stone and used the stones to subdue the Avengers before making his way to Scarlet Witch, who was using her powers to destroy the Mind Stone in Vision's forehead. Although she managed to destroy the last stone, Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse Wanda's act and restore Vision to his former state so he could proceed to pull the Mind Stone from Vision's head. However, Thanos was suddenly attacked by Thor, who impaled him with Stormbreaker.

As Thor denigrated Thanos because of his actions during the Attack on the Statesman and warned him that he would die for murdering Loki, Heimdall, and half of the Asgardians, Thanos simply replied and taunted him that he should have aimed for his head. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers, sending out a blinding light and causing Thanos to pass out.

He awakened in the Soulworld where he approached a younger Gamora, who asked him if he completed his mission, to which he solemnly replied yes. Gamora then asked what it cost him, to which he replied "Everything". Thanos then returned to his conscious and used the Space Stone to transport himself to Titan II where he intended to peacefully spend his retirement after he fulfilled his goal.[2]

DecimationEdit

"Thanos did exactly what he said he was gonna do. He wiped out fifty percent of all living creatures."
Natasha Romanoff[src]
The destructive toll of the Decimation quickly became apparent, as half of all life in the universe disintegrated into ashes. Outside Earth and Titan were several Asgardian casualties, such as Sif and an Asgardian actor who portrayed Loki in The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard.[4]

EarthEdit

On Earth, there were at least 3,200,000,000 humans confirmed deceased/missing worldwide (with the tally continuing to grow), according to a statistic in the New Avengers Facility.[5]

File:Avengersdefeatedwakanda.png

In Wakanda, as Steve Rogers questioned Thor as to Thanos' whereabouts, Bucky Barnes suddenly crumbled into dust in front of Rogers. The Battle of Wakanda quickly winded into a ceasefire as many Wakandan soldiers corroded into dust, while M'Baku watched in horror. T'Challa, attempting to help Okoye up and encourage her to fight, fell into ashes before her eyes. As Okoye desperately yelled for her King, Rocket Raccoon tearfully watched Groot vanishing into dust. Hidden in long grass, Falcon disintegrated as James Rhodes called out to him, not realizing his companion was already gone.[2]

File:FuryInfinityWar2.png

The United States of America had broadcasted a state of emergency in the wake of the erasing of many of the country's citizens.[6] In Atlanta, Nick Fury and Maria Hill while driving witnessed the Decimation claiming the lives of the civilians around them, plunging the city into chaos. As Hill disintegrated before Fury's eyes, the former Director hurried to retrieve his last resort Transmitter Pager. Realizing he was disintegrating as well, Fury managed to use to transmit a last-ditch distress call to distant Captain Marvel before crumbling to dust.[2]

File:Janet, Hope & Hank Death.png

In San Francisco, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne planned to send Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm to extract quantum energy for Ava Starr. Using the portable Quantum Tunnel in Luis' Van, Lang made his way to the Quantum Realm and harvested needed energy. However, Pym, Hope, and Janet were all erased from existence, leaving Lang stranded in the Quantum Realm.[6]

Among the billions of other victims of the Decimation on Earth were ShuriBetty Ross, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent[7], Sharon Carter ,Midtown School of Science and Technology students Ned Leeds & Michelle Jones, and Erik Selvig.[8] along with Laura, Lila, Cooper, and Nathaniel Barton.

TitanEdit

File:The Death of Spider-Man.png

On Titan, in the aftermath of their defeat by Thanos, the effects of the gauntlet began to claim some more lives, Mantis was alerted to what was happening and soon became the first to vanish followed by Drax and then Star-Lord, Doctor Strange claimed there was no other way to win and soon vanished. Lastly Spider-Man also being alerted by his Spider-Sense succumbed to the effects of the snap desperately begging to live before giving in and dying in Iron Man's arms leaving him and Nebula as the only survivors on Titan.

As the effects of Thanos' mass genocide took hold across the Universe, the remaining survivors could do nothing, unable to do anything but accept the reality of Thanos' overpowering ascendancy and the consequences it had for them and the rest of the Universe.[2]

AftermathEdit

File:Captain Marvel meets the Avengers.png
"This is a nightmare."
"I've had better nightmares."
Captain America and Black Widow[src]
Main article: Ambush on Thanos

In the aftermath of the Battle of Wakanda, the remaining Avengers on Earth, returned to the United States of America. Discovering the Transmitter Pager Nick Fury had activated prior to his death, they took it to the New Avengers Facility. Here, they bypassed the pager's battery to prevent the pager from dying. While the pager was still transmitting, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, James Rhodes, and Bruce Banner monitored the immense casualty reports coming in from Thanos' actions.

Rhodes, tasked with overseeing the pager, informed the others that the signal had stopped transmitting. As Rogers requested them to reboot the pager and resent the signal, with Romanoff adding that she wished to know whom the pager was signaling, Romanoff turned around to find Captain Marvel standing right in front of her, who inquired into Fury's whereabouts.[5]

TriviaEdit

  • The term "decimation" is formally defined as the "killing of one in every ten of a group of people as a punishment for the whole group", deriving from the Romans, and is therefore not necessarily suitable for an event in which fifty percent, rather than ten percent of a group of people were killed. However, as language has developed, the word has fallen into more colloquial use to often mean merely the "killing or destruction of any large portion of a population", explaining its usage in The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath to describe this event.
  • Kevin Feige has said that half of "all life" in the universe was erased from existence, including all sentient and insentient beings.[9]

ReferencesEdit

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