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.
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.