Review: Thanos Rising #1

I heart Simone Bianchi’s art so much. I would probably have read this series regardless of the writer as long as he was on the book. That way if the story sucked I could just look at the pictures and pretend everything was okay. As it turned out this was the most tolerable Jason Aaron book I’ve ever read. It takes zero chances and is pretty predictable. In fact I can sum it up for you pretty quickly; ever watched a horror movie where the kid was evil and killing everyone? Well now add in the twist that Thanos hasn’t quite gotten to the murderous part yet and that’s all this is.

The story kicks off with Thanos returning to his home world that is one big grave yard. He’s there to visit his mother’s grave which transitions us into his birth. Thanos, contrary to what you might have thought, is a genetic mutation and the rest of his people are pretty normal looking. There’s a nod to his connection to death with his birth because he comes out with the umbilical chord wrapped around his neck. His father finds him to be perfect and strong and asks that the doctor’s not test him to find out why he’s turned out the way he has. Later, Baby T is handed to his mother so that she might gaze upon him for the first time. She looks at him and everything about her face says, “I’m going nuts!” Instinctively she picks up a knife and tries to kill her child, screaming that it’s evil and needs to die before it kills them all but Baby T’s dad intervenes.

Years later Thanos sits alone at school drawing dead lizards that strangely look exactly like iguanas. A boy approaches him and asks him about his intelligence level and they all talk about him being the Mentor’s son. The Mentor aka Thanos’ dad is the ruler of the planet you could say. They ask him if he wants to play and soon enough Thanos has friends and is acting like a normal child. Well, as normal as a bunch of children wearing black and gold onesies. Eventually, Thanos visits his mom who is in a mental institute and as he talks she sits crying the entire time. Other stuff happens, etc, etc.

There really aren’t any surprises to this story and while it didn’t suck, it just wasn’t exciting either. There was one part that stood out to me and I know its nitpicky, but I found its inclusion to be too intentional to ignore. When we meet young lad Thanos he’s drawing a dead and decomposing lizard, but later he’s asked to dissect a lizard and he runs away and throws up. It was a very blatant and inconsistent set of moments for me. I get that Aaron was attempting to show that Thanos’ love for death didn’t come until after the events later on in the issue, but he was literally staring at a very dead animal sketching it and it had no effect on him. Really should have picked one way to go with it. Frankly, I would have found it more interesting if death just never bothered him.

Did I mention that the art is fantastic? Thanos has never looked cooler and I hope that the series touches on his gauntlet days so that I can see him rocking all of the gems. The art saves this book; otherwise it would just be a boring regurgitation of a familiar story. What impressed me the most was that the coloring on the series actually fit Bianchi’s style. His previous work with Marvel has never been colored properly making his art look awkward. Here it actually fits and compliments the strengths of his style.

I’m assuming this is a mini-series, but if it’s not then I would only recommend it to fans of Marvel’s defunct Cosmic line. This book would have been terrific a few years back when the line was huge and not just being produced for the sake of the movies. Thanos is an interesting character, but I think the world that he comes from is actually more interesting. Too bad we’re not likely to see if for very long. The story is pretty “meh”, but the art should be the main factor for you in deciding to purchase it or not.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Simone Bianchi

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 4/3/13