Daily Archives: September 21, 2012

Wooing the Reaper

Thanos: The Final Threat #1
“The Final Threat” and “Death Watch”
Writer/Pencils/Cover artist: Jim Starlin
Inks: Joe Rubenstein
Colors: Petra Goldberg
Letters: Tom Orzechowski & Annette Kawecki
Editor: Archie Goodwin
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Price: $4.99 US

Earlier this month, Marvel released a one-shot collecting the 1990 two-part limited series Thanos Quest. I didn’t pick it up, because I bought and read the original issues back … Jesus, 22 years ago. I enjoyed them, just as I enjoyed quite a bit of Jim Starlin’s cosmic super-hero comics of the time. But I’ve always wanted to read his classic Thanos story from the late 1970s from Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2. I was thrilled to learn those two comics were being collected in this one-shot, separate from other Thanos stories I’ve read and already own. These 1977 scripts certainly show their age, but they’re also well-crafted in other ways. Starlin’s accessible stories are full of action and energy, but maybe what makes this reprint one-shot really stand out is the title character. Though almost cartoonish in his villainy, Thanos’ motive is oddly compelling. It’s not often a nihilist is driven to commit crimes on an unspeakable scale simply because he’s lovelorn for an abstract concept. Despite their overwrought qualities, these are great comics that every fan of the super-hero genre should experience.

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