Review by Paul Bowler
Thanos #1 marks the return of the most evil, villainous being to have ever stalked the Marvel Universe! Yes, the mad Titan, Thanos is back, and in this new ongoing Marvel Comics series from Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin, Thanos is hell bent on seeking revenge on anyone who stands in his way. Get ready to walk in the shadows as Thanos embarks on a deadly journey, where a reckoning with his own family soon awaits him…
Thanos is a godlike being of almost unimaginable power and he has returned to wreak his own unique brand of devastating wrath against those foolish enough to oppose him. Thanos is arguably the biggest, big bad the Marvel Universe have ever known. He’s left an untold level of destruction and chaos in his wake during his many attempts to conquer the universe, more often than not solely to impress the cosmic embodiment of death herself. Even Thanos’ homeworld, the moon Titan, is now in ruins, and following his most recent battle with the Earth’s mightiest heroes during Civil War II, where, despite their advanced foreknowledge of his scheme provided by the new precognitive Inhuman Ulysses, his enemies still paid a heavy price.
Everybody loves a good villain, and there’s something instantly compelling about them, and its great to see Thanos being explored in a new way in this series. Thanos #1 quickly establishes the new order former stooge Coryus Glaive has forged for himself since Thanos became more concerned with other matters, and under Glaive’s reign, the Black Order has prospered as order superseded chaos. Now the deposed tyrant Thanos has returned, and writer Jeff Lemire instantly presents us with a Thanos who is every bit as powerful and as ruthless as ever, but there is also a sense that something far more ominous is driving the mad Titan’s bid to reclaim his seat of power.
The characterization is absolutely spot on, but as well as capturing the pure malevolence and evil of Thanos, Jeff Lemire also quickly builds the mystery and intrigue in this issue as the self styled Champion of the Universe, Tryco Slatterus, goes in search of Starfox, with an important message and new mission that will in turn herald the ultimate challenge. The dialogue positively sparkles with dark wit at times as the plot begins to take shape under Lemire’s assured guidance, as Thanos returns to power, and these characters who have been circling each other for so long gradually embark on the dark paths that will inevitably bring them into conflict.
Right from its majestic opening in the Black Quadrant, through to Thanos’ titanic show of force to reclaim his throne, and the sweeping scale of the story as it unfolds, artist Mike Deodato ensures Thanos #1 is a blockbusting spectacle in every respect. Concisely structured pages deftly balance the action and character moments, glorious full page layouts dazzle as interlocking panels splice story and characterization seamlessly as one, and Deodato‘s rendering of the characters, especially Thanos, and the numerous locals are stunning. The palette of rich tones and shades from colorist Frank Martin complements Deodato’s art perfectly; sombre hues and deep shadows dominate the relentless advance of Thanos, while cool blue, green, and violet tones reflect the seedy nature of the space station Starfox is frequenting when Tryco Slatterus tracks him down.
Following some poignant reflection on a distant ruined world, the issue is rounded off with an epic secret that is so shocking it could quite possibly become the greatest betrayal of all… Thanos #1 is everything that fans of Marvel’s ultimate evil nemesis to creation itself, Thanos, could’ve wished for, and then some! I swear you can almost feel every thunderous step as Thanos inexorably stomps, blasts, and smashes his way back to reclaiming his throne, and Thanos even offers a deliciously wicked act of mercy too for good measure.
It’s clear from this first issue that we are in for one hell of a journey for Thanos and his extended family. Thanos #1 is a welcome darker themed offering from Marvel, with its great story by Jeff Lemire, superb art by Mike Deodato and colors by Frank Martin, and letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles, this is one Marvel Now title that you won’t want to miss!
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Mike Dedato and Frank Martin