I know that everyone is in love with this book, but it’s not very good. I hate that I don’t love it, but I really can’t see what all the hubbub is about. I’m sure that a lot of Marvel fanboys will write this review off saying that I’m just playing to the moniker of the site, but if you look at our reviews this week there is a lot of love. Frankly, this is an art book to me since the only thing I enjoy is Bianchi’s craft and I wonder if people are giving the story a free pass because of it.
Here’s the story, Thanos is a serial killer. Why? Because he listens to some girl that speaks in riddles and pretends to know everything about him. Does this woman become the mistress known as Death? Not likely since she treats him like total shit not once, but twice in this issue alone. Thanos is growing smarter faster than anyone can teach him so he takes it upon himself to study animals via dissection. Why is the anatomy of an animal the only thing he can teach himself or be bothered to learn is beyond me. Oh and that’s right, things have changed a lot since his days of, “ew gross a dead thing.” Now he dissects anything and everything looking for the answer to his question… “who am I, what am I supposed to do?” Who knew that serial killers ask themselves the same questions that every child/teenage asks themselves at one point or another. It was also clear that a decent amount of time has passed since the last issue and yet they were still dissecting lizards in class… no wonder he’s not learning anything since the school curriculum is extremely limited.
My problem with this issue was the narration. The dialog was fine even if it was mostly cheesy or generic serial killer dialog. The narration on the other hand was just ridiculous. “Until the one called Thanos invented it” that line right there was so frustrating to read. Who is this narrator that is giving us the history of Thanos and his dead planet? Remember, the entire planet is dead by his hands. There is no recorded history so lines like that are utterly out of place and ridiculous since no one was there to learn them or record them. The same general idea is conveyed one or two more times using different wording, but the core was the same: a recorded history of a dead planet that had no one to write the history. Now if we get to the end and discover that Thanos left someone alive to write everything down… I’d still call bullshit because why would he allow for anything personal to be written about him? When the narration began interacting with the story in such a manor, I stopped believing a word it said.
Sadly, there is one other aspect of the story that I don’t understand. The girl that’s helping Thanos makes no sense what so ever. She basically claims that Thanos is the only thing that doesn’t bore her, but turns away all his attempts at affection and really has no reason to know anything about him. She’s way too wise for her age and frankly it doesn’t make any logical sense for her character to be guiding Thanos’ actions. What’s her character motivation? Why doesn’t she kill if she’s so bored? There’s no point to her character other than to push Thanos forward and it’s blatantly obvious.
What was worse was that Thanos asks her to come along to help him bury bodies… she just stands there and lectures him. Also, after loudly denying that he enjoyed killing the people, thirty seconds later he whispers to her pathetically that he actually enjoyed it. As the reader we already knew that he was lying to himself so this entire transaction of dialog was pointless drawn out and comes across as a bad romantic comedy all of the sudden, rather than a teenage serial killer burying bodies in the desert.
I loved the art. How can you not? Simone Bianchi is at the top of his game and his Thanos design is fantastic. The classic Thanos garbs are iconic for sure, but seeing a younger developing T-man in his newish uniform is geekily cool. His art does what it can to save the story, but at the end of the day it’s just a bad serial killer remix with a sage like love interest that awkwardly pushes the plot forward. I don’t recall who the original creative team was supposed to be on this series, but I wish Marvel had kept the writer at least. Maybe then I would have enjoyed this series rather than watch it pretend to bring something to one of Marvel’s few iconic space villains and fail.
Score: 2/5 (Almost gave it a 3 for the art, but I couldn’t)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Simone Bianchi
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 5/1/13