Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Germán Peralta
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 6/14/17
Thanos continues to prove its worth among Marvel titles. The Mad Titan has long been one of Marvel’s more complicated villains, at times also showing heroism and a concern for the universe. Now he finds himself on the outside looking in, powerless, and making deals that could cost him his very soul to get back to where he once sat as a cosmic giant.
Writer Jeff Lemire borrowed an idea from his son to create the concept of the God Quarry and it’s as brilliant as anything you’d expect from the mind of a child. Its simplicity makes it that much more awe-inspired and the way the art team of Germán Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg drew it up gives it the gravitas you’d expect of such a perilous journey. A huge thanks to Gus Lemire for giving the world a concept as unique as the God Quarry and kudos to Jeff for finding a way to bring it to us in an incredible fashion.
Plot: Having gone through a black hole, beyond space and time, in a previous issue, Thanos and Eros find themselves in front of the Witches of Eternity, using various different approaches to try and get the sisters to open up about the powers within the God Quarry. Thanos first threatens the sisters, who remind him that he’s a powerless fool, Eros tries to use his powers of persuasion, only to anger the witches, who cast a spell on him turning him into an elderly man. Meanwhile, Thane and Death have a tiff over the next steps now that he possesses the Phoenix (Thoenix).
Thoenix returns to Titan and finds Thanos missing. Just as Death was trying to convince Thoenix to deliver her the six billion souls of Earth, Thane notices two figures crouched behind the rocks, one of whom is wearing Thanos’ old helmet. After a brief interrogation, Thoenix learns that his old team of Nebula, Tryco, and Eros picked Thanos up. Death tries to convince him to pursue the Earth matter, but Thoenix puts his foot down, deciding to finish Thanos once and for all. He kills the couple that gave him the information, adorns his father’s old helmet, and makes haste for his old team.
Back on the ship, Tryco and Nebula are still waiting for the two brothers to return when Tryco begins to complain incessantly about his boredom. Nebula, realizing she’s bored and has needs of her own, suggests to Tryco that they find out if has any other talents besides his current title of “Champion of the Universe.” The two slip into the bedroom and the story flashes back to Eros begging the witches to reverse their curse. They do and Thanos demands the sisters explain how he can get his powers back.
The witches tell the brothers that the powers they guard are not theirs to give or take away. It depends on the individual as to whether or not they are able to gain power from the God Quarry. They explain the quarry allows those who enter to participate in a trial for their soul. If they succeed, the power they wish to have will be theirs. Should they fail, they join all the other gods frozen for eternity. Back on the ship, the warning sounds go off and Tryco and Nebula see an enraged Thoenix coming for them, but back in the God Quarry Thanos climbs down the quarry only to be frozen in place. A panicked Eros is then informed by the witches that his trial has begun.
Story: There was a lot of meat to this story. It may have been one of the most in-depth issues we’ve seen. There is an obvious attempt by Death to convince an empowered Titan to deliver her Earth. Tryco and Nebula have begun something of a relationship. The possibilities that await Thanos in the trial for his soul are endless and will likely be as rich as the rest of the book. The Witches of Eternity are an interesting group. They are bound to one another by chains and surely there is a substantive story behind that. Even as Thanos and Eros argue and fight in their presence, the sisters are amused and find it to be similar to their own relationship.
There is a lot of setup in this book, which makes it a little difficult to critique. Not because it lacks substance, far from, but because the paths are being lain. Until the journey has been taken, it’s just a series of endless possibilities, most of which are very intriguing. Next month’s issue looks like it could have Thanos heading up the Avengers. How Thanos fits into that story is something I can’t wait to see. Lemire et al. continue to do rock solid work with Thanos, the story in this book took that work to a different level.
Art: Germán Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg did an outstanding job of bringing the God Quarry to life in this issue. Lemire said he had been sitting on the concept of the God Quarry for about four years. One would imagine he had a lot of input on how he saw the Quarry, but Peralta and Rosenberg had to bring that to life and they did it perfectly. I’m probably as excited for the trial in the Quarry next month as they are to bring to life in an artistic way.
Another thing they’ve done very well is handle the drawing of Thane as the Phoenix. The image of Thane putting his father’s helmet on while giving an evil grin that would send Dick Dastardly running for the hills was nothing short of outstanding. There were three places of interest in this story and all of them were drawn with great detail and befitting of the mood and scenario. The art team has been a little fluid for Thanos, it’s nice to see these two settling in and finding their groove in a big way.
Verdict: Thanos surprised me this issue with its creativity. The God Quarry is an outstanding concept and it’s so cool that Lemire not only used an idea from his son, that he sat on it until he found the perfect time to use it. Thanos perfect for the God Quarry and it fits with his past adventures. The Quarry is so perfect that non-Thanos readers would be forgiven if they thought it was an older concept. That’s how unique and perfect it is for this book. The entire story is a winner from cover to cover. — JW
Rating: 5/5 Stars