Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thanos Rising #1

I hadn’t planned on picking up this book, but when push came to shove, I trust that Jason Aaron would do a good job re-telling Thanos’ origin. Once I actually go into the book, I think my trust is well-founded. I certainly don’t remember any of this from past Thanos appearances. I know the character pretty well, but my main familiarity is from early 90’s Silver Surfer and later, so I can’t say if this retcons anything or not.

Thanos is the child of Mentor and Sui-San. While Mentor seems to be oblivious to the darkness in Thanos, his mother tries to kill him almost immediately after he is born. I always thought that the Eternals of Titan had more physical variation, so Thanos’ purple gorilla look wouldn’t stick out as much as it does here. In this story, Thanos sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s a genetic freak, although most of the kids around him seem to be willing to look past that. Aaron drops in a few hints of the darkness within Thanos, but he really seems to be trying to be a good kid. Eventually, though, Thanos is manipulated into a tough situation that seems to change his entire outlook. Or it may just be unleashing his dark side.

Any good tendencies in Thanos are in spite of his distant, calculating father, Mentor. Simone Bianchi really changes up Mentor’s look; I’d never recognize this as the same guy from my old Marvel Universe handbooks. My one other complaint is the lack of Starfox. He gets mentioned a few times during the issue, so I’m hoping that Aaron is going to give ol’ Eros a good, dramatic introduction next issue.

How old is Nebula? She’s a character with a lot of Thanos-ties, so I’m keen to see if she shows up in this mini too. At first I thought the girl manipulating Thanos might be Death, but since everyone talks back to her, I’m hoping for Nebula.

As I said, Bianchi really changes the look of the Eternals. His painted look, combined with the tremendous detail on every page, make this a very beautiful comic. The facial expressions are crystal clear throughout, with fine acting even on Thanos’ insane-looking face. I like the iguana lizards that seem to be the main other occupants of Titan. Tough planet!


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