Thanos Rising #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki


            Titan, the largest moon orbiting Saturn, at one time a glorified utopia of the gods, now lies empty and frozen. The ruins of this cosmic kingdom lay broken and forgotten in the infinite. The abandoned home of the Eternals is a relic of time but to one who returns upon every solar cycle. Walking the cemetery of gods as a reminder of lineage, family and friends and of identity, Thanos the Destroyer has returned in homage to his defeated species, suspended in perpetual silence around a lonely planet.

Thanos Rising is the new five-issue Marvel Now mini-series from storyteller Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Wolverine & the X-Men, Avengers Vs X-Men, The Other Side, Scalped) and artist Simone Bianchi (Seven Soldiers of Victory: Shining Knight, Astonishing X-Men, Thor: For Asgard) about the origin of Thanos in the Marvel Now universe. The first issue covers the god’s childhood at school, through visiting his sick mother to a mysterious pit where his bloodthirsty, violent proclivities are given birth. Throughout the first installment we get a nice look into the psyche of a deranged, genocidal deity that is an interesting take on the villain.


Based on the first issue, the direction and delivery is very similar to the God Butcher storyline, currently front and centre in Jason Aaron’s Thor run as it charts the rise and inevitable descent of an innocent into madness that creates a lunatic boiling with hate. This makes Aaron an obvious choice to script the cosmic evil that recently made his ‘mainstream’ debut post-credits in the Avengers feature last year. (Remember? The guy who appeared and elicited an astonished excitement from a quarter of the audience but then was followed by everyone else looking to these people to explain who they just saw and why his face was purple) Aaron manages however to make the “look at him when he was a little kid” angle entertaining and at times (never thought I’d say this about an enraged god with the face of a squashed beet) even cute. Aaron’s prose is always very impressive and as he crawls into the head of the ‘emo immortal’ his words are captivating.


Simone Bianchi’s interior work on the first issue is a very clean and smooth look on character design and otherworldly surroundings. The outfits and armors of the Eternals are inventive and give the book a great style.  Beast designs and full page displays of Bianchi’s talent are the best feature of issue one where a panel merely of the Destroyer walking is beautiful and the child version slaying countless monsters deep in a pit is gruesome and intense. The colours of Simone Peruzzi compliment the project well, adding spark and life to a relatively dark (literally and figuratively) first issue. When Thanos as a child finds himself stranded in a cavern alone surrounded by threatening creatures the colour of the monsters adds an extra layer of suspense and fear to the page as if they melt out of their environment unbeknownst to the young god.


Thanos Rising is a very standard look at Marvel’s answer to Darkseid with a relatively familiar voice. The issue’s parallels to Aaron’s other Marvel ongoing, Thor, are obvious and hurt the book slightly but overall Thanos Rising is a fun first issue that looks into the mind and memories of a great villain with slick visuals and good prose to back up ‘by the numbers’ story.

Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

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