Thanos #1, Writer: Tini Howard, Artist: Ariel Olivetti, Colorist: Antonio Fabela, Letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, Cover Artist: Jeff Dekal, Marvel Comics, April 24, 2019
The Mad Titan
Thanos is known as the Mad Titan for a reason. This Thanos is not your MCU skewed logic, calm killer. Here he is a bloodthirsty, obsessive, and crazy. We meet him just before he steps foot on Gamora’s planet. He is there to fight the only real threat to his violent campaign. He meets Gamora and finds they have something interesting in common.
Tini Howard’s writing gives you insight into the “real” Thanos. She writes a man in love with Death to the point of addiction. When he needs his fix, even his crew are not safe. He needs to kill to please her. As a comparison, in the MCU, his motivation is one of saving humanity by wiping out half the population, instead of pleasing death. His motivations are to have enough resources for everyone instead of the blood lust in this comic.
Howard also gives us a deeper look at Thano’s crew and what kind of beings work for such a man. Thanos is the MCU may order his squad around, but they are more his children then expendables. Here they are a means to an end. Finally, she brings us to his first meeting with Gamora and we see why she became special to him.
Gamora or Thanos?
Jeff Dekel’s cover is slightly misleading. This story is about Thanos and although it starts and ends with Gamora, her presence on the cover leads you to believe she is a bigger role in the comic. This is likely due to capitalizing on her popularity in the MCU. That being said, the look on Thanos’ face clues you into the malice inside. I will also say the color of Gamora’s face is eye catching and the skull intriguing.
Inside the comic artist Ariel Olivetti does a great job of making each race unique, as well as drawing the characters we love with care. Seeing Proxima Midnight in all her glory was great.
Antonio Fabela’s colors accentuated the book nicely. The two page picture of Gamora’s ship in the beginning is a striking space shot in purples. Gamora’s green again Thano’s purple was also a nicely done juxtaposition.
Overall, I enjoyed this insight into Thanos’ story. I think with Avengers: Endgame coming out, Marvel was smart to have a comic featuring why he is called the Mad Titan. The story is a brutal jaunt through Thanos’ life before Gamora. Also, how he was challenged by others as manipulative as he was.
We also see why Thanos has a need to kill, but also why he has a soft spot for Gamora. In her beginning we also see she still has a soft spot for her adoptive father. This story of their relationship is a love note to the connection pain can bring to those that have suffered. I think the comic was a well written introduction to the character, his relationships, and his life. Although, this felt like more of a one shot, we will see where Howard takes us.
Verdict: 4 out of 5