Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thanos Rising # 3 Review Or…“See You, Space Black Man”


Earlier in the year, Marvel hinted at a new big event called Infinity starring Thanos. Many eyes have been on the Mad Titan since his appearance at the end of the Avengers movie and Marvel has further pushed the villain with his own miniseries. Thanos Rising explains how the man became the monster and how the monster amassed his power. Since Thanos is my favorite Marvel villain, I had to check this out and I wasn't disappointed.


This issue picks up where last issue ends off with writer Jason Aaron painting a very vivid picture of Thanos' self-image. We flash forward to see him laying in bed with one of the many women he will sleep with and impregnate in this issue. When we get to his time as a navigator for a group of bloodthirsty space pirates, we notice that our boy has cooled his heels and hasn't killed anyone in a while in hopes of living a normal existence. Thanos and the reader soon realize that he is not about that life; with the most he can hope for being total isolation. His time aboard the pirate ship and his hopping from woman to woman only illustrates his sense of displacement and evokes sympathy from this reviewer. When in either setting, Thanos often mentions his mother whom he killed last issue and how he wish she'd been allowed to take his life as a newborn. He also talks about the nameless woman whom he loves and how much he's tried to forget about her, of course he can't.


Honestly, I prefer Aaron's rendition of Thanos to any other. We've seen the power mad schemer, we've seen the opportunist and the purveyor of mass genocide. What we never see is the lost, lonely child searching for someone to love and love him. Thanos' nihilistic introspection at times of boredom and his quick wit while in situations of danger color the character perfectly. When we meet the nameless woman on his home planet of Titan, we can see very clearly, who she really is and just how crazy in love Thanos is. Aaron does a good job of explaining; even in the comic book work, love makes you do things-- crazy, violent, psychotic things.


Simone Bianchi's art is always breathtaking but does better as cover work than a story telling device. That being said this book is pretty to look at but something about Thanos' movement is off. He also seems to have taken many references from “Star Wars” as almost every one of Thanos' ladies looks like Jedi, Aayla Secura. Nonetheless, Ive Svorcina does a good job of coloring, which I imagine is hard given Bianchi's level of detail and his colors help set the tone for this dark space saga.

The Real

Something I noticed about Thanos is that he conforms to many of the stereotypes of a black man. He's large, devious and has sex with as many women as he possibly can, though this could be my sensitivity. The fact that his mother doesn't want him reminds me of the film "Losing Isaiah" and the way people on his planet treated him reminded me of a line from "Boyz in the Hood" about black boy’s becoming criminals when they grow up. Maybe that is why Thanos always resonated with me, maybe he's just a misguided black man who loves his woman so much he'd do anything. I will keep reading Thanos Rising to see if my feelings are right until then.

Rating 3/5

All images credited to Comic Book Resources

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