Monday, June 7, 2010

The Thanos Imperative #1 (of 6)

Falling into the category of "I can't buy everything," I must admit that I haven't been following the cosmic storylines in the comic books Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova.

This was apparently a mistake, because the stories have been (more or less) universally hailed as being mighty good. One of these days, I'll tackle the collections.

But even my hard heart was melted when this mini-series was announced, because I've been a longtime fan of Thanos.

That powerful villain was created by writer/artist Jim Starlin back in the '70s and he quickly became one of Marvel's premiere characters. Incredibly powerful and intelligent, his motivations are unique. He is in love with the embodiment of Death, and seeks her love in return. He attempts to gain her affections by assorted galactic-scale schemes, only to be thwarted by as assortment of heroes.

This mini-series starts on a big scale, as the Guardians, Nova and their allies face an invasion from a parallel universe known as the Cancerverse. It's a reality where Death does not exist, and lots of incredibly powerful, Cthulu-type creatures seek to take over the Marvel Universe.

Our reality's only hope may be Thanos, who is recruited to oppose the invasion. But first he has to overcome the fact that he just returned from the dead.

(A lot of that going around these days.)

This issue, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, makes it easy to pick up the story from this point even if you're not familiar with the previous adventures (like me).

The art by Miguel Sepulveda with color by Bill Rosemann is mostly outstanding, although a few panels in the frenetic battle are a bit hard to follow. Still, especially considering how much is going on here, it's an amazing job keeping it all intense and galloping at full speed.

The main thing I get out of this issue is the urge to kick myself for not picking up the previous adventures from this team. Ah well, live and learn.

Grade: A-

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