Thanos #17
You won't regret picking up THANOS #17. It's an exciting issue filled with action, tremendous art thanks to Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela, and even some truly touching emotional moments courtesy of Donny Cates. Only one more issue left, jump on now!
94 %
Exhilarating Fun

Artists Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela get the spotlight in THANOS #17. A very art-centric issue, THANOS #17 tells the story of the two Mad Titans’ battle with a Mjolnir-wielding Silver Surfer. While the issue is light on dialogue, the scenes where characters do talk are quite stirring thanks to writer Donny Cates’ brilliant plotting and dialogue. One particular spotlight scene concerns the Fallen One meeting Bruce Banner for the first time in a multitude of years. The issue also serves as a great twist, since we learn we’re clearly rooting for the bad guys this issue. The heart of THANOS #17 lies in the art, though. Shaw’s keen way of drawing characters in motion makes this issue feel energetic. Find out why you should pick up THANOS #17.

Frank Castle’s First Ride in THANOS #16

The Fallen One Ascends in THANOS #17

Last issue, we saw the origin of Frank Castle’s Ghost Rider, and old and young Thanos fought back the Fallen One’s Annihilation wave. In THANOS #17, the final battle commences. The Fallen One, the Silver Surfer who fell from grace and, eventually, became worthy enough to wield Mjolnir, swore to take down Thanos. He nearly does this issue. First, Frank goes after the Surfer. Ghost Rider has been a very humorous character this arc, so his possible death is portrayed somewhat funnily. The Surfer destroys his chest and head with ease, almost immediately after Frank attacks him. It’s an undignified way to go, but it fit the character perfectly.

Thanos #17
THANOS #17 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

One aspect of Cates’ run which I love is the dialogue boxes narrating the story in a grandiose manner. They fit the epic tone of the story of Thanos conquering the universe. Unlike Lemire’s run, where he used the boxes for, mainly, witty asides, Cates’ dialogue feels suitably monumental. It almost feels like a slightly more down-to-earth version of Stan Lee’s old descriptions. The boxes were filled with flowery, bombastic dialogue to get the reader pumped for the issue to come as well as to give the issue gravitas. Similarly, this first page about the Fallen One got me incredibly excited for what’s to come.

Two Defenders Reunite in THANOS #17

My favorite part in THANOS #17 comes when the former Surfer, AKA Norrin Radd, comes face to face with Thanos’ supposed ace-in-the-hole, the Hulk. Norrin fights the Hulk for a bit, but eventually, he speaks to Bruce as a friend. It seems like the sight of the Hulk took him out of his rage against Thanos and made Norrin a bit more clearheaded. It’s touching to see Norrin refer to him as Bruce and carefully try to calm him down without using violence. That’s classic Silver Surfer material. He uses compassion to fell an enemy. The Hulk reverts back to Banner for the first time in years.

I love this little moment of calm amidst a grand battle. Not only is it a sweet moment between two very old friends, it also serves to humanize the Fallen One even more. It’s this moment when I realize that the Surfer isn’t some twisted, evil version of himself. He is the same Surfer, and he is on a mission to destroy Thanos because of his Universe-spanning rampage. The Surfer isn’t crazed and out for blood. He wants vengeance. Cates did a great job showing this by using Norrin’s famous compassion. He’s one of the most thoughtful and sensitive characters in the Marvel Universe when he wants to be. This scene made me wish for a Cates-led SILVER SURFER book because it’s clear he gets the character. Marvel, take note!

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Shaw and Fabela’s Spotlight Issue

Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela’s artwork truly elevates this issue. They pull most of the weight in THANOS #17. It would be a boring issue without dynamic artwork. Thankfully, Shaw and Fabela outdo themselves this issue. The outstanding part of the issue for me is their way of showing the characters in motion during the battle. It feels incredibly kinetic. I could see this easily being adapted into animation. In this page, the energy coming from the lines around the Surfer makes you see the incredible speed he’s traveling at. You can almost hear Mjolnir whirring as the Surfer twirls it.

Thanos #17
THANOS #17 page 5. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This is one page where, while I love how the sound effects look, you don’t even need them. You can imagine them just by looking at the artwork. Bravo to Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela for this beautiful work.

Final Thoughts: THANOS #17

THANOS #17 lives up to its role as the climax of Cates, Shaw, and Fabela’s run, as well as the thrilling final battle of the series. It’s an exhilarating issue filled with beautiful art, kinetic battle sequences, and even touching little moments of emotion. If you love Cosmic Marvel books, you owe it to yourself to pick up this issue.

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