Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Luca Pizzari, Ruth Redmond, VC’s Cory Petit, Leinil Francis Yu, and Sunny Gho
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: Novmeber 8th, 2023
THANOS VS. THE ILLUMINATI! The Mad Titan descends upon Earth to retrieve something he has lost as Thanos #1 by Christopher Cantwell kicks off. And the Illuminati must band together to stop him, because they’re the ones who hid it from him!
Houston, we have a problem. And that problem is the beginning third of this issue. Cantwell focuses on this silly Bachelor story side narrative centering around a girl “we think” named Marie. Now, the first question you should have is, “Why is the focus on this young girl and not Thanos?” That’s a fantastic question! I don’t know… nor does anyone. Cantwell spends the first third on a cold open about this girl and follows it up with the second third showcasing the destruction of Fresno by (you guessed it) Thanos. But why? Again, who knows…
Readers, when a new series begins, you need to grab the reader by the scruff of their neck and throw them into the excitement. You need to somehow seduce them deeper into this relationship from Jump Street. You don’t start out so ice cold that you find yourself searching for something just to keep you warm. Well, that small fire came at the conclusion of Thanos #1 as readers get a small glimpse of the Illuminati. But that’s it. All we know is that Thanos wants a girl and it’s probably that girl. We don’t know why, who she really is, or what she is to him making this series opener which is centered around the Man Titan not so mad or titanic.
Sure, we can already make some assumptions as to who this girl is. Is it Thanos’ daughter? Is she Death? I mean, there is this weird subtle scene where the girl picks up a dead rat and puts it in her pocket. Plus, the Bachelor story involved this weird story within a story about death. So, maybe the Illuminati somehow managed to mind-wipe Death or his kid. And all of this could be a great story. But where’s the hook? Thanos could have easily come down first, made an epic entrance, annihilated dozens of heroes, screamed for this girl, and ended the issue the same way. It would have been much more exciting and we’d still get the same message about this random girl except now coupled with action and intensity. Therefore, if you can overlook Thanos #1’s opener and can comb past the first two-thirds, maybe you’ll take a dip into this series. But as of right now, I have a feeling readers are going to be disappointed with this inaugural installment.
Luca Pizzari and Ruth Redmond do a pretty good job drawing Thanos, especially on the credits page. He looks fierce, menacing, and larger than life. That’s exactly how he’s supposed to look. The power alone surrounding Thanos is certainly over the top, which is how it should be. Moreover, I love the juxtaposition between him and the members of the Illuminati. They’re almost all thin, smaller, and come across as incapable in comparison. Nevertheless, I wasn’t a huge fan of the color choices. The tone was extremely dark even before the issue took off in space. Additionally, the characters all had similar facial structures and linework almost as if you could just swap hair and clothes to get the other hero. The designs just weren’t that in-depth. Again, I loved Thanos but he was literally on four pages.
The Mad Titan is back as Thanos #1 kicks off with a rather dull introduction focusing in on this brand-new character foreign to the masses. What makes this opener even more flat, is the fact that we get nothing suspenseful or thrilling surrounding this new character. I mean, we picked this issue up for Thanos! He’s literally on four pages of a book named after him. And, one of the lines he says is “Hear me Fresno”. Really? Thanos has fallen so far that he’s addressing Fresno? Not the planet? Not a country? But Fresno…
Readers, I wish we got more here to hook fans out of the gate. But we don’t. And sure, this might read better in trade. However, it’s currently not in trade which means the writer needs to do a better jump sprinkling in more enticing bits throughout the story to keep us coming back for more. Better yet, they need to provide readers with a strong opening that manages to shnooker the reader into buying this issue along with putting it in their pull list. I just don’t think that’s the case in Thanos #1 and it should be with a book centered around the Mad Titan. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!