Writer: Donny Cates
Penciller: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 2/28/18
One of my favorite things about comics are the issues that combine so many of your favorite characters that you just have a smile on your face when you’re done reading. That’s exactly what happened with Thanos #16 and myself. Thanos, Ghost Rider, Frank Castle, Galactus, and Norrin Radd all come together for an explosive and jaw-dropping new issue. So much fun are the characters in the series that Marvel has announced they will be be creating a mini-series around the Ghost Rider from the Thanos series.
Plot: Frank Castle is a dying man. He and the rest of the world’s heroes have been snuffed out by Thanos as he makes his final push toward ruling the universe. As he lays dying, Castle says he would do anything to kill Thanos and Mephisto hears his call, turning him into the Ghost Rider. Galactus arrives on Earth seeking help to defeat Thanos. Galactus imbues Castle with the power cosmic in exchange for finally being allowed to eat Earth. Unfortunately for Galactus, his head doesn’t stay attached to his body long enough for him to get that last meal. Thanos defeats him with one blast, taking his head clean off.
Thanos knows he cannot defeat the Rider and instead offers him a deal in exchange for his service; more evil than the Rider could possibly punish in a thousand lifetimes. As they set out to destroy, the Silver Surfer returns with the hordes of Annihilus, which Thanos and Rider easily defeat. But Thanos immediately senses something is not right and it turns out he is right. Surfer shows up and tells Thanos it is his time and Thanos asks what took him so long. At that moment Mjolnir flies into the Surfer’s hand and he tells Thanos he was waiting to be worthy.
Story: There are so many different elements in this book to dissect and they’re all a good time. Taking over for Jeff Lemire, Donny Cates has picked up the ball and run with it. Cates’ introduction of the Cosmic Ghost Rider has been nothing short of spectacular. Making the Rider even more fun is the fact that it’s actually Frank Castle. Think about the amount of destruction that Galactus, Thanos, and Frank Castle have wrought alone, nevermind Castle having the ability to punish people into damnation.
As mentioned earlier, Cates will bring the Cosmic Ghost Rider to life in a mini-series this summer, but the job he’s done weaving that story into Thanos has been nothing short of incredible. Bloodlusted Thanos is a man on a mission, but he needs the help of regular Thanos and the Rider just to take on a worthy Surfer and his hammer. I have no idea how Cates will end this story, but it’s already been set up for greatness.
Art: The art for Thanos has been crisp and clean since the book’s beginnings, but the new art team of Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela have taken the book to the next level. Giving the characters a darker edge, everything from the storyline to the fight scenes seem more dramatic and definitive. Some of the deaths in the book are up there with some of the more brutal in recent memory. One of the cooler images in the book features Galactus tearing through the atmosphere of earth. The blues and blacks allow the cosmic colors to stand out.
The Rider is also given a new look, almost a Deadpool feel to it all. The mannerisms and the way Shaw draws Frank will have people feeling like they’re reading a Wade Wilson book. Each character is drawn in such a way that they feel original and rooted to the series all at once. Thanos is one of Marvel’s cleanest books. The art, lettering, and coloring are all done to perfection. You really can’t ask more of an art team than what you’re getting out of Shaw and Fabela.
Verdict: Thanos hit a homerun with this book. The easiest way to my heart is through Thanos or Frank Castle. You combine them both, give it a powerful story and you’ll have me at hello. If you have been sitting on the fence about reading this book, pick up the Thanos Wins run and just enjoy Marvel at their very best.– JW
Rating: 5/5 Stars