Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Germán Peralta
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 6/14/17
What is it like to have ultimate power and still feel empty? As Thanos once found out, now Thane, his estranged son, is finding out. Jeff Lemire continues to scribe a masterpiece the Mad Titan has long deserved. The apple also doesn’t fall very far from the tree and it’s nice to see Lemire spending a hefty dose of time exploring this angle, even if it isn’t overt. The very things that once put Thanos in Death’s thrall now plague Thane, even though he’s blind to its effect.
Thoenix (Thane+Phoenix) continues to kill as Thanos once killed for Death. Lemire does an outstanding job of referencing the Infinity Gauntlet several times, almost as if he’s telling the reader that it’s required reading if you’re to understand Thanos as he’s currently being written. This latest book may be the best that Lemire has written, I can’t wait to see how this saga plays out and what happens to Thane as the void inside him grows.
Plot: As Thoenix lays waste to an entire planet, Starfox, Tryco, and Nebula attempt to recruit Thanos to kill Thane and save the planet. Nebula sees Thanos in a tremendously weakened state and decides she is going to kill him. Starfox uses his powers to calm her down and the quartet of would-be saviors set about to the literal end of the universe, seeking a trio of witches known as the Witches of Infinity.
Calling upon the Infinity Gauntlet on more than one occasion, Lemire is encouraging readers to understand Thanos and how using ultimate power to win over Death is a fool’s errand. As long-time Marvel readers will know, Thanos grew tired of serving a master who used him but never returned the love he had for her. Even though it looks like the completion of this simple task will sate Death, Thanos knows what Thane will likely have to find out for himself, she cannot be satisfied and there are always multiple layers to her plans.
Story: Jeff Lemire is creating a definitive iteration of Thanos and he’s doing it by honoring the legacy of the Mad Titan and introducing creative cosmic forces not yet encountered by Thanos, but definitely worthy of the tradition of the Titans seeking out ultimate power. Each book is another layer Lemire creates for the reader and they’ve all been gloriously complex, enticing, and suspenseful to say the least. There have been attempts at giving one of Marvel’s best villains his own book, but the version created by Lemire feels a step above and like it’s a masterpiece being written before our very eyes.
I’ve always been partial to Thanos, but few stories have grabbed me the way Lemire has and kept me engaged throughout. Thanos is more than just a simple story of a complex man, it’s a modern link from the current universe to the past; an era that fans know and loved. This is a time capsule, of sorts. It’s a wonderfully crafted vehicle driving in the present, but packed with enough history that older fans feel right at home. Thanos is engaging on every front and Lemire deserves more attention for the work he’s doing with this series.
Art: Germán Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg continue to fill in for Mike Deodato and Frank Martin. I can’t find anything stating that they’ve replaced the two on a permanent basis, but I would not be sad if that were the case. They do a remarkable job creating emotion on the faces of each character. You can feel the hurt, pain, anger, and depravity behind each action. The work in the action scenes is incredible.
Thanos is a deep character. Much like Doctor Doom, not everything about Thanos is sinister. It’s usually a safe bet, but it’s not always the case and layering him in an artistic way isn’t an easy thing to do. Peralta and Rosenberg have very detailed line work and know how to use a zoom-in effect to create an intense amount of emotion. It’s very similar to the way the MCU used Thanos’ smile at the end of Avengers for effect. Same deal going on here and it’s done very effectively in this series.
Verdict: Thanos is currently one of my favorite books in production by Marvel. This book is a great example of why that is the case. It’s well-written, extremely well-drawn, and makes creative use of definitive Marvel lore. As I stated, Thanos is a vehicle being driven in the present, but packed with a large amount of history. People familiar with major arcs involving Thanos will feel like this series honors the past while carving out an impressive piece of work in the present. It truly is a masterpiece. — JW
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars