Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thanos Annual #1

   There are certain characters who only seem "right" when they're handled by their creator.

   It's not that no one else can do them properly, it's just that no one else has done them as well as the original. At Marvel, has anyone provided better dialogue for Spider-Man or the Thing than Stan Lee? Has anyone written Darkseid better than Jack Kirby?

   The same is true for Thanos. The Mad Titan was created by writer / artist Jim Starlin to be one of the premiere villains in the Marvel universe, and he's lived up to that promise (nice to see him getting more attention in the wake of The Avengers film).

   Starlin kept Thanos to himself for a long time, pitting him against Captain Mar-Vell, Adam Warlock and the Silver Surfer.

   The character has been handled by other writers, but (in my opinion, natch) no one has captured the unique, alien menace of Thanos like Starlin.

   Since Thanos is featured in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy, he's back in the spotlight, and happily they've brought Starlin back, too. He writes this adventure, with the artist of many of those Silver Surfer adventures, Ron Lim, back to provide the pencils - and Andy Smith inking.

   The Annual is mostly an overview of the career of Thanos, with some original insights and a shocking tease for a near-future event that promises to change the Marvel universe.

   But a lot of it is retread, so I can't give it the highest recommendation - but I'm happy to see this character back in true form - smart, powerful and bristling with mystery. Now if they'll just allow Starlin to bring back Warlock, the fun can commence.

Grade: B+




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