The Character Spotlight – Issue #10: Arthur Douglas (Drax The Destroyer)

Drax

It’s time for the tenth edition of The Character Spotlight! This will be my second feature on one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in anticipation of their upcoming movie in 2014. It was announced just over two weeks ago that former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista would be portraying Drax the Destroyer on the big screen but when that news hit I wondered to myself just who was this guy? I’m sure I wasn’t alone with that question so I set out to answer it and pass on my findings to you. Arthur Douglas, the Spotlight is yours:

DebutIronMan55Iron Man #55 (Cover Date: February 1973)

Biography: On a trip with his family, Arthur Douglas’ vehicle is attacked by a spaceship piloted by Thanos after fearing they had spotted him and wanting his existence to be kept a secret. Arthur’s daughter is the sole survivor of the attack but all is not lost for him. Arthur’s spirit is captured and placed in a new body as he had been chosen to be the one to end the threat of Thanos once and for all. His powers consisted of super strength, tremendous resilience, flight, energy projection, and a special sense that allowed him to detect Thanos. He is given the name Drax the Destoryer and his sole programmed desire is to kill Thanos. He encounters the villain countless times and fails each time in reaching his goal until Captain Marvel is able to finally end the villain. Drax lashes out at Captain Marvel upset that he robbed his purpose from him but he soon learns that Thanos has rematerialized himself and sets out into space to find him once again. Unfortunately for him, Captain Marvel, the Avengers, and Adam Warlock beat him to the punch and kill the villain yet again before Drax is even able to locate him. Sometime later, Drax is possessed by an alien entity and is forced to do battle with Thor and his grown-up daughter now known as Moondragon. After the entity is expelled, he joins his daughter and they travel through the vastness of space until they come across an alien world caught in the throes of a civil war. Moondragon uses her powers to stop the conflict and decides to set herself up as their Goddess but Drax realises this is wrong and asks the Avengers for help in stopping her. It does not end well for Drax as during the conflict Moondragon forces his spirit from his body, essentially killing him.

Later on, Thanos is resurrected and in retaliation Drax is brought back to life with even greater physical power than he held previously to resume his feud. Unfortunately, his mind is damaged from his previous death and he suffers from a severe mental disorder that leaves him nothing more than a mindless brute with a thirst for killing Thanos. He manages to reconcile with his daughter and then teams up with some other heroes in a battle to stop Thanos and Nebula from possessing the Infinity Gauntlet. Upon victory, he is chosen to guard the Power Gem of the Gauntlet as part of a group led by Adam Warlock named the Infinity Watch until they eventually fail in their task of safeguarding the gems by having them stolen from them and subsequently splitting-up. After their failure, Drax successfully has his mind resorted to its former glory at the cost of some of his physical power. In the following years, Drax is falsely accused of murder and controlled by a sinister force before being transported to the Microverse where he finally finds peace and happiness until his mind slowly starts deteriorating yet again. He leaves the Microverse and is then recruited by Adam Warlock to do battle with the Champion of the Universe.

In the ensuing years, Drax finds himself as a prisoner on a prisoner transport ship that crash lands in Alaska. While there, he encounters a young girl named Cammi whom he mistakes for his daughter and tries to protect her from the other prisoners but seemingly dies doing it. Talks of his death were exaggerated and from the shell of his larger body emerges a slimmer, smarter Drax but one with less strength and no more energy projection and flight abilities. Another prison ship comes to collect the escapees and captures Drax and Cammi in the process. They are taken to an intergalactic prison which is subsequently attacked by the villain known as Annihilus. Now free, the duo teams up with Nova to battle the oncoming threat of the Annihilation Wave and Drax imparts his skills as a warrior onto Nova. Drax soon learns that Thanos has kidnapped Moonstone and threatens to kill her if her father pursues him. As the galactic war rages on, Drax manages to fight his way to the Annihilation Wave’s mothership, encounters Thanos, and manages to finally kill his longtime foe. He escapes the battle after freeing Galactus who teleports him away safely as thanks. His safety is short-lived as he is assimilated into the Phalanx hive mind and is sent to capture his former student, Nova. He is freed from the Phalanx and then joins the heroes in defeating the Phalanx’s master, Ultron. He is then recruited by Star-Lord to joins his team of galactic heroes called the Guardians of the Galaxy. He abandons the group after learning that a fellow team member was using mind control on the team, under Star-Lord’s orders, to have the team function better. He teams up with Moondragon’s girlfriend Quasar in order to find his lost daughter even getting killed and journeying to a land called Oblivion to accomplish this goal. After succeeding, they return and rejoin the Guardians before entering into the War of Kings and then battling a now villainous Adam Warlock. In an attempt to overcome an alternate reality that is plaguing the cosmos called the Cancerverse, the Guardians soon find it necessary to ally with a once again resurrected Thanos in order to bring death to the deathless. While in the Cancerverse, Drax is overcome by hatred and disgust and attempt to kills his hated foe Thanos once again but ends up vaporized by the villain instead. Currently, it’s unclear how, but Drax is once again resurrected and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy yet again.

Notable Series/Key Issues:

Iron Man Vol. 1 (#55, #88)
Captain Marvel Vol. 1 (#27-#34, #42-#44, #46, #58-#62)
The Avengers Vol. 1 (#125, Annual #7, Annual #16,#219-#221)
Warlock Vol. 1 (#10, #15)
Marvel Spotlight Vol. 2 (#1-2)
Thor Vol. 1 (#314, #466, #469-#471)
Marvel Graphic Novel #1
Silver Surfer Vol. 3 (#35, #37, #40, #42, #44-#49, #52, #59, #87-#88, #93-#94, #98)
Infinity Gauntlet #1-#6
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #33, #35
Warlock and the Infinity Watch (#2-#3, #5-#8, #11-#21, #24-#42)
Infinity War #1-#6
Alpha Flight Vol. 1 #111
Quasar Vol. 1 #38
Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #369-#370
Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #5
Wonder Man Vol. 2 (#14-#15)
Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection #1-#4
Infinity Crusade #1-#6
Web of Spider-Man Vol. 1 (#106)
Warlock Chronicles #6-#8
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (#52-#55)
Rune/Silver Surfer #1
Cosmic Powers Unlimited #4
Warlock Vol. 4 (#1-#4)
Captain Marvel Vol. 5 (#3-#7, #12-#13, #15-#16)
Thanos #1, #4
Drax the Destroyer #1-#4
Annihilation Prologue #1
Annihilation Nova #1-#4
Annihilation #1-#6
Nova Vol. 4 (#6-#7, #9-12)
Annihilation: Conquest #6
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (#1-7, #9, #11-#13, #15, #17, #19-#25)
War of Kings #3
Realm of Kings #1
The Thanos Imperative #1-4
Avengers Assemble Vol. 4 (#4-#8)
Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #1
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (#0.1-#1)

Appearances In Other Media:

Silver Surfer (TV)
Guardians of the Galaxy (MOVIE 2014)

My Take: When I first saw Drax I thought he was mainly a green version of Kratos from the God of War video game series. How wrong I was. What I found was a character with a tragic history, a character that has had to overcome great hardships, a character that has had to deal with his ever-changing mental state and physical abilities, and a character that would give Jean Grey a run for her money in the death/rebirth department. He was originally created to be the archenemy for Thanos but when the villain proved more popular than his hero Drax was killed off and replaced by Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel as Thanos’ defacto archenemies. He overcame a stretch where he was simply a joke character, being used primarily for comedy relief which would have killed most character’s chances at ever being considered credible ever again. In 2005 he was reinvented to fit more in line with what he was originally intended to be but even better than originally envisioned. Drax had a second chance and he ran with it, finally succeeding in killing Thanos after all these years. I find it funny that with a villain that constantly dies that the man whose sole mission was to kill him has only succeeded once. Nonetheless, after learning more about him I can’t wait to see his live action debut in 2014. Thus ends Issue #10 of Character Spotlight. Any thoughts/opinions on this character? Comment below!

drax-the-destroyer

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4 thoughts on “The Character Spotlight – Issue #10: Arthur Douglas (Drax The Destroyer)

  1. Great summary. I really like Drax, but I am most familiar with him by the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY series of a few years ago. I honestly didn’t realize just how many appearances he had!

    • Thanks for the compliment and for reading! I too thought he was a pretty recent creation until I embarked on this adventure. Whenever I focus on my third member of the GOG it will be Gamora. Bit by bit I will educate myself on the whole team.

  2. He should be called Drax the Phoenix for his resurrections haha. This is great, I didn’t know any of this stuff before. Just heard some possible casting news on Gamora … Look forward to your next spotlight.

    • I heard the casting and if it becomes official this is a fantastic choice. From Star Trek to Avatar to Guardians. From her natural skin colour to being blue to being green. 🙂 Fingers crossed this works out!

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