Best Shots Advance Review: THANOS RISING #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Simone Bianchi and Simone Peruzzi
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by David Pepose
‘Rama Rating: 2 out of 10
Thanos. Scourge of the universe. The destroyer of worlds. Wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet. The suitor of Death herself. And now, with the Avengers sequel and Marvel's "Infinity" event ahead of us, you have the chance to see Thanos as you've never seen him before...
As a nebbish, dweeby nerd.
The difference is, Kid Apocalypse is ultimately meant to endear through humor. The jump from the original Apocalypse's over-the-top Darwinian monologues to a wholesome, aw-shucks Kansas kid has an irony to it that makes Evan relatable. But with Thanos, it's all flat. There's no twist, there's nothing to make him stand out. He's just... too wholesome, too bland, too avoidant of conflict. So Thanos winds up not even being in on the joke of his own life, that his mother once tried to kill him, because he's too busy studying or thinking about asking a girl out or - gasp - drawing by himself in his notebook. To be honest, he's kind of a wuss for a future space conqueror, but even worse... he's kind of a boring wuss. Maybe you should stop being so accommodating and apologizing for being purple all the time, Thanos!
What gets me is that despite Thanos' portrayal and low stakes - when our hero is caught in a cave-in, we know he's not going to die, and his friends weren't built up enough for us to care - the art is totally playing this story straight. This might be the best fit for Simone Bianchi that I've seen at Marvel yet, with his gnarled faces being perfect for Thanos' ugly mug. Additionally, because Aaron's script is primarily dialogue-based, Bianchi's static imagery comes off as really striking, particularly when Thanos interacts with his parents.
In a lot of ways, Thanos Rising #1 feels like we're looking at Saddam Hussein's high school yearbook and seeing a doofy kid wearing headgear on the chess team. It feels more funny than frightening, and it still lacks that human connection to invest us. I still believe Thanos is primed to become the A-list villain of the Marvel Universe... but anecdotes like these certainly don't help.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!