Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi conclude their disturbed take on The Mad Titan’s origin in “Thanos Rising” #5. Read our review below the cut to see just why Aaron and Bianchi to see if they’ve reinvented Thanos for better or for worse.
Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Simone Bianchi
• Thanos’ Rise is now complete…. setting the stage for Marvel’s massive, universe changing event: INFINITY!
On one hand, I really should despise Jason Aaron. Because of him, I’m spending far too much money as I should on comics. Well, at least with the conclusion of Thanos Rising, I can save myself three dollars as the revised origin for The Mad Titan is now complete and, with Simone Bianchi’s fairly gruesome art, Jason Aaron a spectacular beginning for where Thanos is going to go next.
I’ve mentioned before in reviews for Thanos Rising that the entire series thus far has felt like Thanos by ways of Norman Bates or Jeffrey Dahmer. Though that was certainly true of the earlier issues, the story has grown beyond that initial mold to make Thanos a serial killer on a larger, genocidal scale. Really, when juxtaposed with certain scenes, Thanny’s bloodlust is pretty damn frightening. That said, Aaron also throws in his typical mountain-beard-man badassery in one sequence that will definitely make a Saturday Morning Panels appearance. In other hands, said segment (you will absolutely know it if you read the book), could come off as completely ridiculous and unnecessary. Here though, it’s a scene that really shows the utter disregard Thanos has for life, especially his own. Someone was talking to me the first time I read the issue and I had to stop them so I could just show them the sequence. It’s really that great.
Of course, a lot of that sequence couldn’t be completed without Bianchi’s art, which here comes off as pretty darn disturbing. The violence is cosmic warrior mixed with a splattered style similar of someone out of Condemned: Criminal Origins. Some of the character’s faces look a little weird, but it sort of, intentionally or not, fits in with the creepy aesthetic of the story. Plus, when a certain character’s is supposed to be messed up, the effect works greatly. However, Bianchi doesn’t always do too stellar with the more calm aspects of the story. They definitely work, but the remaining slasher art doesn’t perfectly fit in with some of the story’s content. That said, Bianchi was definitely a good choice for drawing this miniseries, as his good moments outweigh the bad.
In fact, “Thanos Rising” #5 is full of great moments for Thanos, Mentor, and Death; oh especially Death. Basically, certain revelations occur that strengthen both her and Thanos. It’s one that makes a ton of sense and probably should’ve been done a really long time ago. Plus, the execution of the last few pages, where Thanos comes to grips with what exactly occurs, are just beautifully tragic. There’s one segment that juxtaposes Thanos’s past with his present and could probably be described as the second highlight of the book. The revelation definitely contradicts a large number of other Marvel titles, he said while glaring at Daniel Way’s run on Deadpool, the ending here definitely sets up a different type of Thanos than what we’ve been used to, and one that is definitely the same figure lurking around in Infinity. Besides, continuity can be thrown out the window so long as such a dismissal serves a better story, which it does here.
Overall, Thanos Rising is a completely solid, though somewhat unmentioned, tie-in to Infinity and a great character study on a villain who, though treated expertly in the past, could easily fall into typical galactic conqueror tropes in weaker hands. I’ve mentioned before how essential it is that Thanos be different than Marvel’s jillion other galactic conquerors, and this mini does not disappoint. That said, there are still some rather weak parts; Simone Bianchi’s art feels just a little too sloppy at points, the violence occasionally goes a bit too far to establish Thanos as a completely deadly and serious villain, and Starfox never makes a significant on-panel appearance. Of course, the majority of the comic is still really great, and goes up with Magneto: Testament and Red Skull: Incarnate as some of the best villain minis from the last few years. Also, it’s another example of Jason Aaron trying to grab all my money. And to his credit, I’m more than willing to give it to both Bianchi and Aaron in their future projects.Continued below
Final Verdict: 8.4 – Solid origin, some hit-or-miss art, but overall a great story.