Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Germán Peralta
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 8/30/17
Thanos is a fascinating character. Driven by his anger and rage, the Mad Titan is focused on wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. For as much as he craves power, however, he is the chief architect of wrecking his own plans, often self-sabotaging just as he is about to gain complete control. While the latter portions of Thanos’ personality are hidden from our view while he is powerless, the craving of power and the willingness to do whatever it takes is still fashionably on display in Jeff Lemire’s new series.
Like father, like son – Thane has the Phoenix Force and Death on his side, but he still craves ultimate power and seeing his father dead by his hand. Only these things will satisfy Thane, but he doesn’t know that his father visited the Witches of Infinity. As Thanos does whatever it takes to win his power back, Thoenix is traveling through space to hunt his father down, kill him, and claim the mantle of deadliest Titan. This is a crown that is currently up for grabs and would almost surely involve Earth in some way, but for the precautions taken after Civil War II and prior to Secret Empire. At least for right now, these two are waging war at the edge of the universe.
Plot: Thanos has slipped into the God Quarry to receive his test. If he passes said test, he will be free to leave with his powers. Should he fail the test, he will be stuck in the Quarry for all of eternity. Odd as it may seem, the God Quarry fails to test Thanos in any manner that would truly require inner strength from him to escape. In fact, it takes Thanos virtually no time at all to figure out that he isn’t the leader of the Avengers and that he has no desire for the inner peace being offered at the God Quarry. Thanos easily transcends the God Quarry and finds Thane just in time to keep him from finishing off Tryco Slatterus and Nebula. .
Story: The idea of Thanos leading the Avengers is a fun one. It’s a shame the book didn’t devote any more than two pages to the notion. By then, Thanos had figured out that things were amiss and it turns out that the Witches of Infinity didn’t have any great tricks up their sleeve, all they had to offer was inner peace. It’s not something that is going to motivate Thanos to stick around. He’s not in the business of becoming a better person, he’s in the business of dealing out pain.
There is a moment after escaping the God Quarry where Thanos states that their great trial was pathetic and it’s hard not to agree. The Witches fire back at Thanos, stating that the Quarry was exactly what it needed to be and the Mad Titan was able to get exactly what he came for, making little to no sense at all. In the end, this is a story that felt like it could have been better told over a couple of books, but it also brings me back to my thesis at the start of this review: Thanos knows who he is, what he stands for, and how far he will go to get it. At a certain point, there is no needed to drag the story out. Lemire drives this point home as Thanos frees himself from his temporary prison.
Art: Germán Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg continue to provide a stable art team to the Thanos project. The facial features are outstanding and really help represent the pain and anger driving these two beings. When Thanos states he stands ready to kill, the look on his face by Peralta and Rosenberg suggests he means business. This might be one of the best art teams ever tasked with drawing Thanos. At the very least, they know how to bring life to the characters and their environments.
The Marvel cosmos is one of the most gorgeous and imaginative places in literature. While Peralta and Rosenberg have the advantage of a visual aid, but it only becomes an advantage if they’re able to make it one and they do so in a big way. Attacks are vibrant, full of cosmic energy and power. They’re everything that comes to mind when the reader pictures a cosmic battle involving the Phoenix and the Mad Titan.
Verdict: Thanos let me down a little this week. The whole Avengers storyline was fun, but it hardly lasted long enough for anyone to to enjoy it as anything other than a taste test. The reason the overall rating was able to recover a bit is because the book did hit on all of things that make Thanos who he is in the Marvel universe. Here is to hoping that the conclusion of this book is as fun as the ride has been. In the grand scheme of things, the truncated God Quarry storyline will seems like a blip on the radar if they execute a proper ending to the Thoenix and Thanos battle.. — JW
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars