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Thanos #6

Review by Paul Bowler

A reunion is on the cards in Thanos #6 as the Mad Titan faces his greatest battle of all in this stellar Marvel Comic series from Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin. Thanos is dying! Defeated as he searched for a cure by the Shiar Imperial Guard, he was imprisoned. Now, as Thanos seeks to escape from his interstellar jail, Thane’s secret pact with the mistress Death to kill his father finally nears fruition, and soon two of the most powerful entities in the Marvel Universe face-off as the galaxy trembles before their might!

Yes, the cosmic you-know-what hit’s the proverbial fan in Thanos #6 after that certain “something” Thane’s audacious heist with Starfox, Nebula, and Tryco Slatterus set out to steal from Terrax the Terrible actually turned out to be a Phoenix Egg, and writer Jeff Lemire quickly addresses the grievances that Thane’s allies have about being so grossly misled into doing his dirty work for him. The Phoenix Energy will enable Thane to reclaim everything that he’s lost since his powers were taken from him, but his associates aren’t going to stand idly by and just let him take it either! Meanwhile, Thanos faces an army of jailers, but even with his powers faltering the Mad Titan’s resolve is undiminished, and he confronts his fate as a warrior, a conqueror of worlds, and a God who has even make reality itself cower before his power.

The distinct air of all-pervading doom that closes in around Thanos in this issue is brilliantly offset by his determination to be free of those who have so blatantly disrespected him. Jeff Lemire has skilfully crafted the events around the Mad Titan’s rapidly declining health to a point where you feel like you are right there with Thanos, as every step, every bone-crunching blow, begins to feel weaker and more laboured that the last. Likewise, Thane’s betrayal of his allies is master class in characterization, snappy dialogue crackles with tension, hitting all the emotional beats, before the realization of the ultimate sacrifice that has been made finally becomes frighteningly apparent.

When it comes the depiction of Thanos’ plight in this issue, artist Mike Deodato’s rendition of Thanos’ pure rage and undiluted contempt for the wave after wave of opposition he’s forced to bulldoze his way through to obtain freedom, is stunningly realized with an opaque series of panel layouts that dynamical relay the bone-crunching action. I especially like how Deodato angles the entire page during two key instances to accentuate the drama, giving added credence to Thanos’ waning power and the shock turn of events over on Terrax’s starship. There are some stunning emotional scenes from Dedato as well, the fury of Tryco Slatterus, self styled Champion of the Universe, feels at being betrayed is so palpable in one scene it almost eclipses Thanos‘, and Thane’s anguish at betraying Tryco is so clearly evident its almost heartbreaking. Color artist Frank Martin uses a palette of rich vivid tones to accentuate every scene, even the panel layouts are heightened as they intercut between sold backdrops of burnt orange and stark white hues that uncannily seem to give an almost cinematic quality to the visuals they frame as each scene moves seamlessly into the next.

But it is in the showdown between father and son where Jeff Lemier’s powerful storyline comes full circle. Mistress Death’s machinations have brought everything and everyone in this saga to this point, there is no turning back now, and Mike Dedato and Frank Martin pull out all the stops to ensue that the final scenes in this issue are every bit as breathtaking and jaw-dropping as the journey that has brought Thanos to this fateful moment.

Thanos #6 brings the first chapter in this epic storyline to a shocking close. The fantastic creative team of Jeff Lemir, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin have done amazing things with this new Marvel Comics series already. The scope and scale has been unparalleled, its been unflinchingly brutal at times, and I’ve been gripped by every twist and turn in the plot since the first issue. Now they’ve set Thanos on a path unlike any he’s walked before and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the aftermath of this issues cataclysmic standoff.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

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

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

Variant Cover: Jamal Campbell