Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 4/26/17
Thanos has always delivered and this book is no different, but I do have a complaint. The battle, if you can call it that, between Thane and Thanos was over so quickly that saying the alphabet would literally take longer than just reading that portion of the book. But let me say why it shouldn’t disappoint even when the first instinct is to explode and send them hate tweets. .
We know that Thane and Thanos are going to have a worthy battle at some point and it will be glorious. It would have been totally unbelievable for the reader if, after an extensive and exhausting battle against an entire prison, Thanos were somehow able to take on Thane imbued with the Phoenix Force. Remember that this series is predicated on the fact that he is dying. So, I had to check my ego at the door on that one and I hope that these words are able to uplift and provide reasons for why it went down like that.
Plot: After lying, using, and disrespecting his team so they would help him seige and take control of Terrax the Destroyer’s flying fortress, Nebula ends up killing Thane Greedo-style, while adamantly telling him that he will not be opening the egg. She was right, but the Phoenix can only rise from the ashes in rebirth if death has taken place. Nebula basically helps Death’s plan right along. On the Thanos side of things, he’s not having any more of the flying gulag that had been holding him. Upon arriving home, he is greeted by Death and Thoenix, which is my portmanteau of Thane and Phoenix. Suffice it to say, Thoenix was not there for a pipe and a crêpe. After a Catwoman/Bane in Dark Knight Rises-style fight, Thanos finds himself on the edge of death and everything he ever had taken from him
Story: Jeff Lemire could write me the alphabet and I would pre-order it at this point. He has taken a simple revenge mission and created a weaving narrative that delivers on every side. I’m very curious to see how this will play out and the art of Mike Deodato Jr. brings this story to life in a way that has me wanting more and more with each book. Even on a book like this, where I wanted a bigger battle, I had to sit back and remind myself that Lemire has been laying eggs and putting pins in events that he can circle back to later on. He also just create a new portion of the story that sees Thanos given a form of power able to compete with the Phoenix Force.
Marvel is all about killing people off these days and while they haven’t yet said that the Mad Titan is on the block of characters to see an unfortunate end, that doesn’t mean that it is coming in a secret manner. Regardless of that, Thanos has been a book worth picking up since day because of the story. It keeps the reader coming back for more and left curious about now things will play out. I applaud Jeff Lemire for his ability to create a powerful and thought-provoking story and pile up the body count in such a way that readers or fans of Thanos don’t feel too departed from one of Marvel’s greatest villains.
Art: Mike Deodato always kills it. He and Frank Martin go together like peanut butter and jelly. But on this particular issue, they outdid themselves. The cover of this book is probably one of my favorite covers of all time. It might illustrate a slightly different version of events than those that play out in the actual book, but I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much I don’t care. The idea of Thanos going up against a force such as the Phoenix Force, it just sends chills down the spine. The work in the book is up to their usual excellent standard, but that cover deserved a little attention.
Verdict: Thanos is definitely worth picking up. The battle might not be the best, but Lemire is setting the reader up for something magnificent. It’s easy for me to set that aside knowing that he is going ot be coming with something incredible down the line. This may be the defining run for Thanos, let’s just hope that there are enough people buying this book that it will get a decent and warranted run, There are a lot of iffy books out there, but this is not among them. If you’ve ever enjoyed the big guy in any arc, event, or series, then you owe it to yourself to pick it up and read this one… — JW
Rating: 4/5 Stars