When DC Comics introduced a cosmic beefcake that posed a threat to its entire universe in 1970, Marvel Comics needed one too, and sure enough, along came Thanos three years later, in all of his Darkseid-inspired glory.
Thanos's creator Jim Starlin has addressed the blatant similarities between the two characters over the years and explained how he never set out to emulate Darkseid. The Mad Titan was originally inspired by another of DC's New Gods, Metron.
When Starlin presented his sketches to then-Marvel editor Roy Thomas, he was told to return to the drawing board and rip off Darkseid instead of Metron, a meeting he spoke candidly about in an interview with Jon B. Cooke for Comic Book Artist.
"Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!"
That seems like shrewd, if somewhat unethical advice from Thomas, because the success of Thanos has seen him become one of the most anticipated movie villains of the modern age ahead of his full MCU debut in next year's Avengers: Infinity War.