Artist: Simone Bianchi
Although not the biggest fan of Thanos I have been a fan of his for quite a while now, and have began to like him even more in recent years, but I still shamefully don't know as much about him as I should, and when I heard about this origin story I was happy as it'd be a good point to learn more about his background, something that I know hasn't been to far developed in the past.
Thanos is born on Titan, and is the son of Mentor, and Sui-San. He grows up wanting to be a scientist like his father Mentor, and vows not to kill any creature, so what makes him become this evil villain?
This was an excellent issue, and although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, it was still very good, and a brilliant opening issue to this mini series. Jason Aaron has done some brilliant work in the past, having had a brilliant run on Wolverine, and currently doing a marvellous job on Thor: God of Thunder, but his Incredible Hulk series was very disappointing, and his Wolverine and the X-Men series became boring real quickly, so I wasn't too sure how he'd fare on Thanos, but so far he's done a fabulous job, and I hope he keeps this level of quality throughout. What I liked most about Aaron's writing was that he portrayed a different side to Thanos than we've seen before, which was nice, but I'll talk more about that later on in my review.There was however the odd moment were this issue was slightly slow, but with this being the opening issue of an origin story it's expected, and it wasn't that bad, with the rest making up. I also felt that Aaron handled the birth of Thanos brilliantly, as there was plenty of emotion in his birth, and that was a very interesting, dramatic, and entertaining sequence.
I wasn't too sure what to make of the art, as I liked some points, but disliked others. Overall I feel that Simone Bianchi has done a very good job on the art in this issue, and although I'm in tow minds whether I like it, I do think that it's unique, and better than a lot of other artists. I've loved Bianchi's his work in the past, both interiors, and covers, and especially his work on Wolverine, but at the same time I've felt that his art hasn't always suited everything, as I didn't feel his art suited the likes of the Green Lantern issue he drew, but overall I've enjoyed his art over the years. Most of the art I loved, but the only real thing I questioned whether I liked was the way he drew Thanos, as he was awful grotesque, and much more gruesome looking than he usually is, and although this wasn't necessarily a bad thing I wasn't entirely sure if it was a good thing. I did however like how it was unique though, and overall his style suits this type of story. The detail in Bianchi's art was also brilliant, and the emotion was also fabulous, as you could really see innocents in the younger Thanos, which was nice. The colours from Simone Peruzzi were also fantastic, and really helped set the tone for this series, making it look even more beautiful.
I'll take this opportunity to talk about the credits page, and the page that preceded that, as it continues to have the same motive that all the cosmic series have had showing the vastness of space, and I liked how this time it had Saturn as the sole planet (as Titan is a moon of Saturn). Now the credit page doesn't really have anything to do with the quality of the issue, but I thought that I'd mention it due to it being the motive that the Marvel cosmic books have shown.
The birth of Thanos was probably the best thing in this issue, and I really enjoyed it, and felt that Aaron handled it perfectly. As far as I know the actual origin of Thanos hasn't been fully shown, or at least how he was born (although I may be wrong), so it was nice to see it in this series, and especially with it being an origin story. What I loved most about this sequence was how the characters involved were divided as some felt that he was a monster that should be killed, whereas his father felt that he was beautiful, and prevented anything bad from happening. I also liked how before this we saw Thanos return to his home world, and reminisce about his past, which was a brilliant way to open the issue, and the birth just continued making the opening even better.
The child version of Thanos was also a curious thing, as he was very different than the adult version we've came to know over the years, as he is much more innocent, vowing never to kill a living creature, which is very different from the adult version of Thanos. I also found it very interesting how he all of a sudden started to make friends, and was curious as to whether they were true friends or just friendly due to who is father was. Either way it was a brilliant addition, as it continued to show the innocent side to this younger Thanos, and as I continued reading I started to ask about what sort of thing could turn something so innocent into a violent monster? But I guess that's what the series is going to focus on, and look forward to finding out.
There was another character that neither acted as friend or enemy to Thanos, but did seem to try and manipulate him, seeming to know what his destiny was. I found this woman very interesting, and although I know nothing about her, with nothing much really being explained I did find her very intriguing, and interesting. I do however look forward to seeing more of her, and learning who she is, and what she hopes to gain from manipulating Thanos (besides the obvious).
Although not a perfect issue, this was a brilliant opening to this new mini series that explores the origins of one of Marvel's biggest villains, Thanos. It also makes for the perfect starting point for new readers of Thanos, as it will give brilliant insight into the character, making you understand him more, which is brilliant considering he'll play a big part in the Infinity story arc. I would highly recommend this issue, and look forward to seeing it progress, and hope it keeps this level of quality, or gets even better.