Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 2/22/17
Thanos has a special place within Marvel lore. For all of his domination, he has always been his own biggest downfall. All of his machinations are designed to fail because he doesn’t know how to be happy. This is what makes him so fascinating and interesting as a villain. In many instances, he is actually Earth’s savior. As with most of their more well-known villains, Marvel does an outstanding job of creating layers for each of them. As people peal away those layers, far more interesting aspects of character are made known to the reader.
Thanos fancies himself a thinker, a scholar of time and space. He is that and so much more. Thanos unveils the wonders of the cosmos for the readers and has helped push the boundaries of what a villain can accomplish once he is determined and resourced enough. He literally courts Death and would have her if only she would give herself to him. Now Death is digging deep in the trickbag of “messed up ish” and courting Thanos’ son and using him to carry out her plan to kill him. This is the Jerry Springer of all that is evil, but so very believable because that’s the era in which we live. We see these types of things in the news — to a lesser extent — but it always plays out the same way; it’s a catastrophe and someone’s gonna end up getting dead at the end of it all.
Plot: They say that the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, no matter how rotten the apple. For Thane, son of Thanos the Mad Titan, an attraction to Death (literally) runs in the family. After years of hoping Thanos would become something he cannot, Death has wriggled her way into Thane’s life and has put it in his head that it’s time for him to kill his father and take his place as a god. Taking down Thanos is no small ask, so Thane has put together a crew of familiar faces to help him take down the larger-than-life villain.
Story: Jeff Lemire has created an interesting twist on an oldie but a goodie. Everyone is familiar with Thanos’ plight to win Death over, but how will he react when he learns that Death now favors another. Add in the brotherly drama with Eros, and Lemire has gone out of his way to assemble a trainwreck waiting to explode for our enjoyment. With Mike Deodato helming the artist renderings, the story is brought to life in a vivid and very real setting.
That the return of the Cull Obsidian is only a jumping off point for this series should serve as notice that Lemire and Deodato have big things in store for one of Marvel’s biggest baddies. Thanos has long been one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel multiverse. Wise beyond his years, Thanos remains driven by matters only known to him. Thanos and Thane were always likely headed to this point, but Lemire and Deodato have gone out of their way to insure that wars waged in the name of Thanos are deserving of the titular character.
Art: The style of art used by Mike Deodato has been a favored style for Thanos for some time now. It works for the content within the books, which is darker in its tone. Deodato retains the violent edge that Thanos books have always had, but also does a masterful job with the flashback visuals, as they set the tone for our characters. It’s always good to see this version of Death roaming the Marvel universe again. Brooding but seductive, Death continues to be the baddest woman on the planet and proves time and again that she can scheme, plot, and machinate with the best of them
Verdict: Thanos has long been a personal favorite of mine in the Marvel universe. In fact, he’s the centerpiece of a very costly sleeve dedicated to the Infinity Wars. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I highly enjoy this series and would recommend it to just about anyone who would listen. This series goes beyond my love for the character, it incorporates everything I love about Thanos, including the seedy underworld of henchmen he occasionally has to kill when they get a little too big for their britches. Lemire and Deodato have combined artistic quality with a rich history of blood lust, betrayal, and all the Oedipal greatness that makes Thanos and his family such a great addition to the Marvel lore. — JW