Jason Aaron’s exploration of Thanos’ murky origins continues to be dark and intriguing stuff. I never really cared about Thanos that much before, even during the Giffen/DnA cosmic stuff, he was a poor man’s Darkseid to me. But this mini-series has turned me around somewhat, seeing the big ugly lug’s tragic origins has made him come alive as a character, and this issue was the best yet.
There’s a big time-jump here, as after murdering his mother, Thanos leaves Titan and heads out into space. I think it’s very interesting that Thanos, who’s always shown as such a primal evil, actually struggles with that, and spends most of this issue trying to be good. He tries to settle down with a woman and have a child, but can’t. He joins a space pirate crew, but refuses to kill. He’s trying to hold back, to be normal, but he just can’t. Even though he shags more hot alien babes than even Captain Kirk, he just can’t find fulfilment.
One of the interesting things about this story is that Aaron is shying away from showing a lot of the heinous violence Thanos perpetrates. We never actually see him kill his mother, and when he snaps and kills the Pirate Captain, we don’t see that either. It’s the same with the shocking moment at the end. Thanos, unfulfilled with all of his random hook-ups, returns back to Titan, to the one woman he can’t get out of his head, the mysterious girl who is obviously Death. He wants to be with her, but she won’t let him unless he kills all of his previous lovers and children. Which he does. Holy crap! This is dark stuff, no doubt.
I can’t wait to see where poor old Thanos goes next, it’s only going to get bleaker. Simone Bianchi’s artwork is such a perfect fit for this kind of story, everything looks truly alien and his depiction of Thanos is just fantastic, especially the black, tragic eyes. Oh yeah, and there was a nice shout-out to Jim Starlin in this issue two, just a shame that his star-system has been eaten by Galactus.