Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Mike Deodato
Color Artist: Laura Martin
I remember reading interviews about this series long before it came out saying how it would be “Marvel’s version of Darth Vader” and if you’ve not read that series I recommend doing so. For those of you who don’t get what I’m saying I guess I’ll just have to preference it with this to sum this review up it is oh so satisfying to see Thanos go back to doing what Thanos does best. To be honest despite how much attention and limelight the character has been given thanks to all the MCU winks and nods at him and yes foreshadowing too. In terms of the comics it’s been no blessing since the last time Thanos was actually a threat at least a legitimate one is still Infinity Gauntlet. Yeah sure Infinity somewhat redeemed him and tried to bring him back to being this force to be reckoned with but it ultimately collapsed in on itself.
Point is with a character with as much history as Thanos he’s been nothing more than Marvel’s whipping boy as of late and it’s good to see him back to form and back to doing what he’s actually good at. Seeing a writer like Lemire take the character seriously again after such events as Secret Wars and Civil War 2 and getting his ass kicked by the Guardians and Thor in the most recent relaunch of Guardians and Unworthy. Seeing this character taken seriously and living up to his name and potential once more is refreshing as while Marvel continues to tarnish the character’s reputation by having things like Drax kick him in the nuts. At list this series is so far removed and distant enough that it can’t affect it and despite Thanos’s appearances in other titles being a mess of continuity errors right now. I can at least say the series is solid and good that is if it is.
Well, is it? With great pleasure, I can say we’re off to a great start seeing Thanos as such a cold hearted, relentless, malicious, and brutal villain once more is a great way to reinvent the character. Taking him back to his roots was the best thing you could do with this character and there are a lot of great character moments for him here I can ultimately say I like the fact that this series is cosmic and separates itself from everything going on in Marvel right now. It’s a solid, isolated, and self-contained little series that sets itself apart from everything else Marvel has on its selves right now. This first issue is nothing more than mindless killing but for fans of the character it’s a worthy entry and a much needed return the form. The artwork is stellar the writing is superb as well as the dialogue and interactions between characters the storytelling feels natural and is progressing and unwinding itself organically as the plot thickens and the story unravels. The story telling is masterful and is weaving itself, setting itself up, and planting the seeds for a must read Thanos series. Lemire also manages to reference all of Marvels mishandlings of the character as of late such as Secret and Civil War and he also manages to incorporate not only Thanos lore but Marvel Cosmic Lore too.
Honestly this issue is looking to be the start of something great as Lemire has the entirety of the Marvel Cosmic section to play with and at his disposal. It’s pleasing to see this villain handled with such care and passion and see him return to his own playing field once more. The game is set all the players are here and with characters such as Thane, Champion (yeah when was the last time you saw him), and Starfox. And each character has a pretty good and well intentioned reason and motivation for being here. Again, it’s great that Lemire doesn’t shy away from any of this lore established for the character already and just dives in addressing basically everything regarding Thanos to just regarding every player here (he even mentions Starfox’s run as an Avenger). What this series is setting up is going to be big and I’m all for it the only really gripe I have is Death’s redesign but that’s a minor one. It ends on a pretty big twist that I’m sure no one saw coming and seeing Thanos fight Corvus Glaive for the fate of the Blackstar Quadrant was oh so awesome and honestly a long time coming. Lemire using everything at his disposal to tell a compelling story befitting of the character and proving the character can still be an interesting one even after all this time. Because while he may do horrendous, vile, despicable, and downright unspeakable evils there is only one Mad Titan.