Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thanos Rising #1

I admit to being a fan (if that's the right word) of the character Thanos since his first appearance in an issue of Iron Man in the early '70s.

He was a figure of mystery who quickly became one of Marvel's greatest villains after becoming a godlike figure (temporarily) in the pages of Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell, that is).

Created by writer / artist Jim Starlin, Thanos manages to combine sheer power with vast intelligence and a ruthless nature - but in a brilliant twist, his attempts at gaining ultimate power doesn't come from megalomania, but is inspired... by love.

The problem is, he's in love with the personification of Death.

But despite his recurring appearances over the years in battle with, well, the entire Marvel Universe, Thanos is still largely unknown to the general public - as was obvious when he popped up at the end of The Avengers movie, and most of the audience responded by saying, "Who was that?"

So he's been in the spotlight a bit more lately (including a star turn in the Avengers Assemble comic), and now we have this series (or is it a limited series?) designed to tell the origin of the title character.

Starlin himself skated over this part of Thanos' life quickly - just that he was born on Titan as son to Sui-San and Mentor (the leader of the moon of Saturn inhabited by Eternals), and brother to the handsome Eros.

We get more details here in a solid story by Jason Aaron, with some impressive art by Simone Bianchi and colors by Simone Peruzzi. The art has a painted look to it that serves the dark story well.

So far the story is rolling out a bit slow - and it's definitely not for young readers, as dark forces swirl around the Titan's childhood - but it's a solid start on a definitive origin story, and should help keep Thanos on the mind of the comic-reading public - at least until his next movie appearance.

Grade: B+


No comments: