THANOS

Hey Marvelites and non-Marvelites! For the next few weeks we’re putting a spotlight on some of our favorite lesser known Marvel comic books and letting you know why you should be reading them! This week’s pick is THANOS by Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato Jr., and German Peralta.


THANOS by writer Jeff Lemire and artists Mike Deodato Jr. and German Peralta is one of the best books on the stands. Unfortunately, the book hasn’t been selling too well, which means it could be in danger of cancellation on any given month. It’s been lingering around the 100th spot on the Diamond monthly preorder sales charts. In May, it sat at the 101st spot and in June at the 99th spot. While not as poorly selling as some other great Marvel books, it’s teetering on the brink.

However, with AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR on the horizon, hopefully more fans will pick up the book. It’s a great introduction to the character. A combination of an engaging plot, unique storytelling devices and fascinating art make THANOS a book that should have more recognition.

Thanos No More?

Here’s the basic plot of the book’s first trade paperback. Word spreads throughout the universe that Thanos, the Mad Titan obsessed with death and destruction, is dying. Lemire never outright says what he has, but Thanos learns that he only has weeks to live. Angered by this, he travels the cosmos in search of a cure. Unfortunately, he finds none. He realizes that his former love, the physical embodiment of Death, turned on him and gave him his plague.

In the past, he would have embraced his impending doom in order to be with his love. Thanos’ infatuation with Death began due to his extreme nihilism. He even killed half of all life in the universe in her name in THE INFINITY GAUNTLET. Now that Death has turned on him, though, he feels scorned. He no longer pines after her. He wants to live in order to spite her.

THANOS
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Thanos’ son, Thane, learns of his father’s illness. Death visits Thane and tells him of a plan to kill his father and rule the universe. Thane excitedly accepts and puts together a ragtag team consisting of Starfox, Thane’s uncle; The Champion, an Elder of the Universe; and Nebula, Thanos’ granddaughter. Will this uneasy alliance hold? Read THANOS to find out!

READ: Here’s a review of the most recent issue of THANOS!

The Return of the Narration Box

One of the most interesting facets of the book is Lemire’s use of narration boxes to help move the story along. Instead of just putting some text saying the location of any given scene, Lemire decides to have fun with his writing. He uses an omniscient narrator with a cheeky sense of humor who introduces nearly every scene and sometimes gives a closing to the scene, too. This gives the book personality as well as an old, silver-age comic feel. Not many books feature this anymore, which makes the THANOS series unique.

In addition to the narration boxes, Lemire also adds in many sequences of humor throughout the book. This works especially well because of the overly dark subject matter. Instead of making this a depressing look into the dwindling life of a former despot, he adds many humorous scenes with Thane’s motley crew. Fans of the MCU will love this because, much like the films, the book includes quite a bit of quip-riddled banter.

The Art of THANOS

THANOS
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Another marvelous aspect of the book is Thanos’ character design. Deodato and Peralta don’t just make Thanos a relatively big person. They make him into this hulking, monstrous figure. Thanos isn’t much taller than many of the other characters. However, he looks like he’s made up almost entirely of muscle. On top of that, every part of his body just looks huge. He almost looks ridiculous picking up his relatively small helmet with his grotesquely gigantic hands. Not only does this make Thanos an imposing figure, it also highlights a great contradiction between his physical state and his outward appearance. He looks like power personified, but a mere disease takes him down.

READ: Here’s a description of the AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer which features Thanos!

The colorists, Frank Martin Jr. and Rachelle Rosenberg, create the perfect atmosphere for the grim book. They use various dark colors in order to convey the bleak nature of the book. Thanos, a dismal character, should not be surrounded by bright, cheerful colors. Martin and Rosenberg understand that with their fantastic dark coloring.

INFINITY WAR

Aside from those listed above, another reason to read the book is to get to know Thanos better. Fans of the MCU films have been enamored by Thanos ever since his first appearance in the mid-credits scene of THE AVENGERS. THANOS is the perfect jumping on point to learn more about his character and motivations. Thanos is a character defined by his obsessions. You’ll see how far he can go to satisfy these obsessions. It also focuses in on the character himself. You’ll be able to see what his motivations are and what his personality is like. It’ll get you pumped to see Thanos on the big screen in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

Pick up THANOS!

If this article piqued your interest, go to your local comic shop or online comics retailer and pick up THANOS. Save it from any fear of cancellation. Lemire got to write a great run which is ending soon. Make sure incoming writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw have their fair shake at creating the story they want to tell.

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