By: Jason Aaron (writer), Simone Bianchi (artist)
Format/Source: single issues 01 – 05; my copy
Thanos rises as the unrivaled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of death and destruction come from and…more importantly what does he want?
Hmm, I was about to start off this entry by saying something that may or may not be a spoiler for movie-goers (hmmm, let’s leave it out, just in case, yes?). But anyways, Thanos is a curious villain and it was pretty interesting that Marvel went with a prequel series to introduce new readers to the villain (great for me!) as well as set him up for the Infinity series that’s started recently. I’m also pleased that they got Jason Issacs to write the story as I’ve been impressed with his storytelling for Thor: God of Thunder (review).
This prequel series follows Thanos from his birth and rise to the villain he is. It’s pretty straightforward but it’s interesting to see how Thanos was not always the villain readers know him to be. In this story, it raises questions to what extent did Thanos make the decisions he made out of his own desires and to what extent was there something seriously wrong with him and how much of it was the result of his environment, his upbringing. Given the number of issues/set time period that the writers were working on this, I can see why certain aspects of his journey were not fleshed out and at times I felt like something was missing in the questions he was asking (why was he like this? why can’t he stop? what does he really want?). The presence and motivation of one character definitely kept me glued to the story and had me wondering what exactly was the deal with her and her contribution to Thanos’ story.
The art was a real highlight for me. Simone Bianchi does such a wonderful job; despite of the brutality and gruesomeness of some of the scenes, his art really carries with the texture, colours and just the overall scene and feel of the moment. You can check out some of his work for this prequel over at his website, the work he did with the covers were pretty awesome.
Like much of the Marvel universe, I don’t know a whole lot about Thanos so I thought this series was a great introduction to his backstory. It’s bleak, it’s dark, it can get pretty gruesome and gory at times (which made me stop and wonder why I picked it up in the first place, lol) but it was an interesting read.