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Thanos #5

Review by Paul Bowler

Thanos #5 finds the Mad Titan incarcerated in a top secret prison in deep space after his ignominious defeat at the hands of the Shiar Imperial Guard; something that would never have been possible but for the startling fact that Thanos is dying! Thanos’ ailing condition and his desperate attempts to find a cure might ultimately prove to be his undoing, but the Shi’ar Empire are not the only ones seeking to destroy him… Thanos’ own son, Thane has forged an alliance with Starfox, Nebula, and Tryco Slatterus to kill Thanos, but non save Thane are aware of the real power behind his dark scheme – the mistress Death herself!

He may be down, but Thanos is certainly not out, and this latest issue of Marvel Comics superb ongoing Thanos series from writer Jeff Lemire, artist Mike Deodato, and color artist Frank Martin illustrates just how abominable and devious the Marvel Universes big bad can be – especially when the stakes are this high.

The space station where Thanos is being held utilizes the highest security and fail-safe measures imaginable, its capable of restraining cosmic-level menaces, and the initial stages of Thanos’ imprisonment have even been overseen personally by the Shiar Imperial Guard itself. The ruthless Warden Daak has the utmost confidence in his facility, but despite his weakened state Thanos’ predicament has made him more dangerous than ever, and writer Jeff Lemire quickly builds the nerve-jangling tension as the Mad Titan’s confinement brings dire consequences for those foolish enough to imagine that such a feat could ever be possible.

As Thanos languishes in his interstellar gulag, Thane’s plot to destroy his father takes a new turn when he, along with his uncle Eros, the former Avenger known as Starfox, with the mercenary Nebula, and Tryco The Champion of the Universe set out to steal something from Terrax the Terrible that they need to further their nefarious cause. Of course, Thane’s new allies know nothing of his secret pact with Death, let alone the full extent of the web of deceit he has woven around them to entice their help in acquiring his goal.

Mike Deodato’s artwork stunningly realizes the deep space prison facility where Thanos is being held. This huge impregnable fortress is an imposing sight, suspended in the depths of space, and the detail Deodato lavishes on the oppressively gloomy interiors equally matches the awe-inspiring spectacle of the exterior. Likewise, the scenes on Terrax’s space craft are equally as impressive. The distinctive bold overlaying panel structure Deodato employs perfectly conveys each and every beat of Lemire’s fast-paced script, with some brilliantly crafted character moments, and Thanos’ inevitable breakout being the undoubted highlight of the issue. The colors by Frank Martin accentuate the deep shadows of Thanos’ detention with a vivid contrast of orange and red hues, whilst the dusky metal shades withing Terrax’s ship are offset beautifully by the stealthily progress of Thane’s colourful associates towards the vault deep inside the hulking vessel.

This issue of Thanos has a quirky interstellar a heist movie vibe to it. There is some great banter between Thane’s team as well: with Starfox’s gift for the gab getting their foot in the door, Tryco’s wry observations of Eros’ conversational skills are priceless, whilst Thane continues to play his cards close to his chest, and my favourite bit of the whole escapade comes when Nebular acrobatically steals Tryco’s thunder before he can even finish his sentence! While Thanos himself doesn’t feature quite as much as I would’ve liked, the antics on Terrax’s ship more than makes up for it, and everything builds towards a cliff-hanger so jaw-dropping it will totally blow you away.

Thrilling, brutal, and epic in scale, Thanos #5 elevates this new Marvel comic book series to a whole new level. Jeff Lemir, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin continue to bring remarkable new aspects and compelling insights into the Mad Titan’s shady world, with Thanos #5 potentially setting up one of the biggest smack downs Thanosthusiasts have ever seen!

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Mike Deodato / Colorist: Frank Martin

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles / Cover: Mike Dedato and Frank Martin

Variant Cover: Rob Guillroy

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