I’m calling it. It’s only April and 2013 is definitely Marvel’s year.
As a furtive and ardent reader that has historically sat squarely on the DC Comics side of the comic book ledger, even I have begun to slide my way over to the “House of Ideas”. And why? Cool storytelling with a sci-fi bent!
I haven’t been this excited by a space odyssey since the “Sinestro Corps War” storyline in the pages of DC’s Green Lantern. That was in 2007. But Marvel Comics, specifically writer Jonathan Hickman, has grabbed my attention with his current run on Avengers, New Avengers and the promise of his upcoming universe-shaping mega-story, Infinity, due later this summer and fall.
That last publication will co-star the villain known as Thanos. And Thanos Rising, the first issue of which is released today, is that evil entity’s origin. And it’s a must-read.
Written by: Jason Aaron
Illustrated by: Simone Bianchi
Published by: Marvel Comics
A story featuring the origin of Thanos was first announced in the summer of 2012. If Marvel does one thing well – better than any of their competitors – it’s formulating mid-to-long term storyline planning. The do it so well, it seems nearly effortless. And that, I believe, is a hallmark of good storytelling.
At his worst, Thanos is simply a derivative of the Darkseid character that exits in competitor DC’s universe. At his best, Thanos is the true “Mad Titan” – one of the most formidable foes in the Marvel Universe. He is synonymous with some of the most well-remembered crossover storylines in comics known as The Infinity Saga, comprised of four separate titles of varying length: The Thanos Quest, The Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity War, and The Infinity Crusade, all written by fan favourite, Jim Starlin. Those that don’t read comics but love comic book based films, would recognize Thanos as the smiling, big purple bad, revealed as a teaser at the end of last year’s Avengers film. (You did stick around post-credits for that one scene, right?) In that short spell of celluloid, viewers instantly absorbed the character’s evil intent.
Thanos. They don’t get much worse.
And now, Hickman is driving his larger story forward towards another showdown between him and earth’s mightiest heroes within the pages of Avengers, New Avengers and Infinity.
As much as I currently enjoy – nay, LOVE! the first two titles listed above, I’m really starting to get geared up for Infinity. To get as ready as possibly for it later this year, I’ll be reading the five-issue Thanos Rising series. Think of it as a “year one” origin for the character: who he is, and how he rose to power. Written by Jason Aaron and brilliantly illustrated by Simone Bianchi, Thanos Rising is a must-read for anyone already excited (or just starting to get interested) in what’s to come for the Marvel Universe this summer and fall.
So run to your local comic book shop today and find out what makes the most evil of super-powered beings in the Marvel Universe tick. That knowledge will be a primer for everything that comes next.
And I mean everything.
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!