It’s a mad mad mad mad Titan
Jeff Lemire (W), Mike Deodato (A), Frank Martin (CA)
Cover by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
You know, you’d think that this comic would have come out a long time ago. I mean, Thanos has been hitting a bit of a resurgence lately, in no small part thanks to his inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the cosmic epics of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. There have been a number of spotlights with the Thanos Rising mini-series as well as the recent Infinity graphic novels of Jim Starlin.
Maybe they were just waiting to get a hand of Jeff Lemire to come to Marvel.
By the way, Mr. Lemire, if you somehow heard my opinions on your runs on Hawkeye and Justice League: United, I take it all back.
The comic starts with the reintroduction of Corvus Glade of Thanos’ Black Order. Since Thanos’ departure to Earth in the prologue to Civil War II, Glade has taken control of Thanos’ Black Sector and is ruling it in his own fashion.
This is short-lived, as the Mad Titan himself returns and wreaks retribution upon his one-time acolyte.
Meanwhile, the Champion of the Universe, Tryco Slatterus, has been tasked by Thane to recruit Thanos’ brother Starfox (an Avenger and an older character than the one you’re thinking of) to go after the villain.
Thanos maims Corvus Glade and coaxes him into killing himself at the risk of Thanos doing far worse to him.
Thane has been given the task of assassinating his father by Death herself, who has knowledge that Thanos is dying of an unknown cause. The comic ends with Thanos coughing up a not insignificant amount of blood into his hand.
This comic did exactly what it needed to do to make an impact. It displays Thanos in his full glory, fighting off Corvus’ forces and Corvus himself with ease. He shows no mercy and a great amount of brutality towards his former servant, giving him the macabre choice of killing himself or dying slowly by Thanos’ hand. He is, frankly, very badass in this comic.
The inclusion of such classic cosmic characters like Starfox and the Champion of the Universe is a cool choice and appreciated.
The twist of Death’s inclusion and of Thanos’ failing health seem a bit predictable. It does raise the stakes some, as who knows Thanos better than his former lover? They also need to provide a means of even Starfox, Thane, and Tryco providing a decent threat, so the mysterious illness was sensible if somewhat predictable.
The true dilemma of making Thanos terminal is the fact…well, Thanos has died so many times it’s not really that much of threat to the reader. That’s the problem when you essentially kill death in your continuity (Thor, Captain America, Jean Grey, Magneto, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Star-Lord, Nova soon). Having a character with failing health just seems a little ancillary
Mike Deodato’s artwork is perfect for this title. I’ve always loved his work since he did the art for Brian Michael Bendis’ Heroic Age New Avengers title. He uses the realism of the likes of Alex Ross and Adi Granov, the muscular bulginess of Ed McGuinness, and a bit of shading to create his own unique look. It’s fantastic and displays Thanos in fantastic and terrifying glory. He manages to bring a bit of gravitas to the scenes that display Thanos’ illness with detailed facial expressions that show the desperation and horror of the Mad Titan.
This comic succeeds in starting off with an impressive bang. It was exciting, and it had plenty of browbeating and physical beatings, which is appropriate for a Thanos comic book. The story is interesting, and the art is fantastic. I recommend this comic for anyone who, like myself, is always looking out for great villain titles.
Final Score: 8/10