Thanos #5 sees Thane, Nebula, Tryco, and Starfox plan a prison break while Thanos seeks his own path forward. Is it Good?
Thanos #5 (Marvel Comics)
With Thanos having been captured, Thane and his band infiltrate the prison in the hopes of striking at Thanos while he is weakened. Of course, with Thane now under the rapturous spell of Lady Death, there is more to his actions than his teammates know. And while that serves as a tense undercurrent, it is the physical action of breaking into the prison that takes up the bulk of Thanos #5.
The issue isn’t quite as visually inventive as past issues have been. The entirety of the issue takes place within a cosmic prison, but there isn’t anything spectacular or risky in the design, which relegates the issue to the dull setting of dark hallways. It would have been nice if the issue had shown just who (or what else) had been imprisoned there and how they were being held, but the issue doesn’t really make time for that. Color artist Frank Martin saves the issue from visual stagnation with his use of colored gutters. The scheme is simple (red and black), but the alternation between those tones provides for tonal shifts within the issue.
Beyond that gripe with the setting though, the artwork is fantastic. Mike Deodato has always had a talent for conveying immense power in his figures, and this is especially true with Thanos who, even weakened, is terrifyingly imposing. Beyond that, Deodato gets some great beats out of Starfox distracting Terrax from the prison break that is happening. It’s a great scene that carries throughout the issue and, thanks to both Deodato’s artwork and Lemire’s dialogue, provides some levity that breaks up the grim tone the series has had thus far.
Thankfully, though, Jeff Lemire’s script also gives ample time to the Mad Titan, himself. Thanos, never the one for imprisonment, hatches his own plans for escape, and Lemire perfectly captures the berating yet almost dismissive voice that makes Thanos such a fun character to follow. This is a god who has become increasingly annoyed by the incompetence of those around him, and he makes no bones about the fact that he does not intend to suffer it any longer.
Is It Good?
Thanos #5 isn’t one of the stronger issues in the series, and it can’t help but feel like there wasn’t a more interesting way to depict the prison that the chapter is set in. But through the character work of Jeff Lemire and Mike Deodato, the issue still proves to be highly entertaining, with standout moments for Thanos and Starfox.