While Thanos is easily one of the worst villains Marvel’s heroes have ever had to face, he is nothing compared to Santa with the Infinity Gauntlet!
The cosmic power of the Infinity Gauntlet and its ability to corrupt the one who wields it whether they use it for good or evil, proves during one Marvel Christmas that Santa Claus is more dangerous than Thanos while wielding the Infinity Gems. When Santa finds himself in a bind right before his big night, he must call upon the Avengers to help him out, but in the process Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick becomes one of the greatest threats Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have ever faced.
In one story in Marvel Holiday Special Magazine titled “Santa Claus vs The Illuminati” by Brian Reed and Val Semeiks, Santa is reeling from the realization that every one of his famous reindeer are actually Skrulls in disguise. To make matters worse, Santa finds this out right before Christmas and can’t possibly make all of his deliveries under the circumstances. In a last ditch effort to save Christmas, Santa asks the Avengers as well as the whole of the Illuminati if he can use the Infinity Gauntlet to make up for his lack of transportation and successfully deliver presents to good little kids around the globe. The heroic members of the Illuminati agree to let Santa use the power of the Infinity Gems, a decision they quickly learn is a huge mistake.
Once Santa Claus takes the cosmic power of the universe in his jolly hand, he is immediately corrupted by the raw power of the gems. When the Illuminati try to save Santa by taking the Gauntlet away from him, Santa lashes out and attacks the heroes until he is finally taken down by a snowball to the face thrown by Namor. The unpredictability and susceptibility to the gems exhibited when Santa holds the Gauntlet makes him a way bigger threat to the universe than Thanos. While Thanos is a deadly villain, he has complete control over the gems when he holds that power and is very deliberate in his actions, making sure to use the Gauntlet to further his own villainous pursuits without destroying everything and everyone around him. Santa, however, could have ended the universe in his fight with Marvel’s heroes without meaning to, proving his time with the Infinity Gauntlet to be way more dangerous than when Thanos wielded its power.
Santa Claus’ stint with the Infinity Gauntlet and fighting against the Illuminati wasn’t the first time Saint Nick was a Marvel villain. In King In Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1 by Christopher Cantwell and Salvador Larroca, Santa Claus falls under a different kind of corruption as Knull’s symbiotes take control over him. Iron Man and Doctor Doom are discussing how to defeat the Symbiote God when Santa comes out of nowhere and starts attacking them. Together, they use their brilliance and their tech to rid Santa of the symbiote infection just as the Illuminati do with the Infinity Gauntlet.
It seems as though Santa Claus, while previously confirmed to be an Omega-level mutant, is fairly susceptible to corruption. Because of Santa’s immeasurable power, he becomes quite a dangerous threat when he is corrupted, especially by something that enhances his already great power like a symbiote or the Infinity Gems. While in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, Santa Claus proved he was a greater threat to the universe than Thanos as he didn’t have control over that power as Thanos had, making Santa Claus’ unpredictability way more dangerous.