This post of Thanos Rising by author Jason Aaron, Illustrations Simone Bianchi, Simone Peruzzi, Clayton Cowles, and Ive Svorcina has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Spoiler Free Review
I would wager that most people only know Thanos through the movies Infinity War and Endgame. Those movies tweak Thanos’ motivations a bit and make his acts way more PG13 than his history in the comic books.
If you’ve followed Thanos in the comics you know that he has a long standing one sided love with Lady Death and his motivations for killing rest far more with trying to impress her than with some noble conservationist plan.
Thanos Rising gives us the least sympathetic profile I’ve yet seen of the great Titan. It starts all the way back at his birth and follows his development into a monster. If you’re saying “Thanos was right” after this one you’re a psychopath.
There is nothing redeemable about Thanos in Thanos Rising. He’s truly despicable and does unforgivable things. It actually gets pretty dark for the average Marvel comic. But really that’s what makes him such an interesting character that I keep coming back to. He’s not a typical Marvel villain, he’s almost too human in his motivations, it’s scary and familiar.
In addition to being a good story the art is wonderful. It’s nice to see the different jewel toned pallet that comes with celestial comics. So many great and unusual landscapes and scenery deep into space.
I think this is my favorite Thanos run that I’ve read so far. It adds a new depth to the character and takes away any doubt that he could ever be a hero. He’s not a hero, he’s always going to be on the wrong side and doing things the wrong way.
If you are a fan of Thanos comics this one is a must read. If you watched the movies and are curious to see more this one can be read as a standalone. You won’t have to worry about not having read any of his previous runs in order to follow the story. An absolute rariety in comics!
I would like to see more complex dives into Marvel villains. Ones with depth, not some of the totally phoned in ones I’ve seen for a few others. Villains are fascinating characters and there’s a whole universe of them to explore. Give them all their due! Let’s see who the heroes are really up against!
I strongly recommend this run and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to reading even more Thanos in the future as well.
Thanos Rising Summary
Thanos Rising is basically a Thanos prequel. It starts at his birth and brings us all the way to him being an evil warlord who kills indiscriminately. It takes us on the absolutely wild journey in between and gives us some insight into how a monster is created.
In other Thanos books or even in the MCU movies Infinity War and Endgame, Thanos can be seen in an almost sympathetic light. His actions may be wrong to most of us but his intentions might not be. He might just have some unusual methods, as in killing trillions of life forms.
Thanos Rising takes away any doubt that Thanos is a cold blooded murderer. We see him here as never before, a serial killer and nothing more.
Thanos is born deformed. He’s a titan but is bright purple and doesn’t look like the other titans. His mother sees what he is immediately, she senses his evil and tries to kill him fresh out of the womb. Her doctors and husband chalk her up as crazy and basically keep her sedated for the rest of her life.
Clearly, this is not a good start to a well adjusted life. Thanos will forever be an outcast and forever have mommy issues.
So Thanos starts his trip down a road of existential crisis. He is exceedingly intelligent but cannot find answers to why he is different. He decides the way to figure this out is to study biology and anatomy. So he starts killing and dismembering animals.
Classic serial killer starting point. This escalates to him eventually killing and disecting his own mother. Can’t have mommy issues if you don’t have a mom right?
From there he decides to travel the universe and search for the meaning of life by having sex with anything until he feels something. This doesn’t work but it does get him A LOT of illegitimate sons.
He returns home after years of bedding conquests of all species and finds the girl he always had a crush on. She looks suspiciously like his mother but she seems to actually like who he is. Maybe a little too much.
She encourages Thanos to kill. Everyone. For her.
If you haven’t guessed yet this girl is Death. Thanos has a long standing canonical history with trying to woo Lady Death only to be rejected time and time again. So here we are again, with Thanos doing all of Death’s bidding for the slight chance that she might eventually maybe decide to let him touch her.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Thanos is a simp.
Lady Death convinces Thanos that the way to her heart is to slaughter his entire home planet. So he does. He begins to just annihilate it without mercy just because he likes a girl.
He confronts his father while the carnage is happening and he reveals that Thanos is talking to himself. Lady Death is not by his side, at least not that anyone else has been able to see. Thanos refuses to believe this and continues the slaughter to impress the nonexistent woman.
Finally, after everyone is dead, Thanos begins to consider that he did all this just because he wanted to.
He finally begins to recognize he might just be the rare soul who is too smart for his civilization and channels that in the worst way possible. He was bored so he sought destruction. But that didn’t work and now even mass genocide of his own people still can’t fill that void. There is nothing redeemable about his actions. There was no higher purpose to it all. It was just out of boredom.
This is the least sympathetic portrayal of Thanos I’ve seen yet but I think it’s also my favorite. He’s pathetic and demented and should not be praised for anything he does. He’s a school shooter on the grandest scale.
Thanos is probably one of the most interesting characters in all of Marvel. Thanos Rising does justice to the character. It adds a new way to look at him through a history that is believable. And the art is spectacular as well.
Any Marvel fan should definitely add this run to their reading list.
4/5 faces of death 💀💀💀💀
For even more Thanos check out The Thanos Imperative
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