Thanos’ actions lead him into direct conflict with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. Can the Mad Titan withstand their assault?
Thanos #3 (Marvel Comics)
Thanos #3 opens with a stylized interview, a noticeable departure from the standard storytelling of previous chapters. The first interview features Dr. Aurilius, a figure from Thanos’ childhood. Others are interviewed later, though I won’t spoil who here. The interviews do a fantastic job establishing Thanos’ personality, as each character interviewed adds another layer to the Mad Titan. This also provides a history for the character, a helpful tool for those who are reading about Thanos’ exploits for the first time.
Artist Mike Deodato gives these scenes additional weight through the posturing of the characters. Even with Lemire’s dialogue, readers can tell that Dr. Aurilius and others are reflecting on a painful experience with the way their bodies collapse inward as they continue their story. Deodato contrasts this nicely with the images of the final interviewee, a character more than equipped to take on Thanos, and whose posture reflects that. It’s a subtle change Deodato is able to bring out in the story just before the final pages.
These more reflective sequences contrast nicely with the fight between Thanos and the Imperial Guard. Writer Jeff Lemire establishes Thanos’ power and the stakes of the fight through both the Guard’s strategy and their surprise at their own success. The Imperial Guard bring a number of new faces to the comic, and while none of them get many lines of dialogue, Lemire tries to establish a distinct voice for the ones that do. This is especially true of the characters that are interviewed.
The action sequences here are a visual splendor as well. Deodato has always shown a penchant for conveying the power of the mightiest beings in the Marvel Universe, and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard give him a chance to display those talents. Frank Martin’s colors are simply dazzling. Previous issues of Thanos have maintained an ominous palette dominated by reds and blacks, and while some of that remains here, the combat here allows for the widening of that palette, as does a particularly spectacular rendition of Thanos during his time in the Infinity Gauntlet story.
While the issue is otherwise fantastic, it seems a bit odd that Thane, Starfox, and co.- after receiving a heavy supporting focus in the previous chapters – are nowhere to be found here. Though the series is named Thanos, one might have expected to established supporting cast to play at least some role.
Is It Good?
Easily the title’s most action packed issue thus far, Thanos #3 doesn’t forget its beginnings as a character piece, utilizing the character’s long history for some entertaining cameos by otherwise minor players. Jeff Lemire gives the issue a great structure, balancing the character and electrifying action as brought to the page by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin. The comic is a visual splendor worthy of the Mad Titan.