Broken and alone, Thanos must now come to terms with his impending death in Thanos #7. Is it good?
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Germán Peralta
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After an arc with a hefty supporting cast, Thanos #7 finds its lead in isolation, living broken on the ruins of Titan. This is quite easily the most human issue of the series, with Jeff Lemire taking full advantage of Thanos’ newfound impotence. After all of his posturing and scheming, Thanos is now attempting to come to terms with his mortality.
Germán Peralta’s artwork doesn’t have the same operatic nature of Deodato’s style, but that actually serves the story. Lemire’s script takes advantage of Peralta’s storytelling ability to show Thanos at his lowest. The first half of the issue is largely devoid of dialogue, leaving Peralta to convey the desperation of the Mad Titan. Peralta’s facial work is phenomenal; a panel of Thanos almost pouting defiantly before lowering himself to eat vermin should be ridiculous, but Peralta sells it. The looser, more animated nature of Peralta’s linework also allows for a greater sense of disbelief, so when Thanos is almost felled by an alien squirrel-iguana, there’s a sense of dramatic irony without letting the reader fall into incredulity.
Rachelle Rosenberg’s color art, while not as instantly eye-catching here as with her work in Nick Fury, is extremely effective at conveying mood and character. The way Thanos’ lair is darkly lit in cool blues and grays subtly informs the reader of the shame Thanos feels at his own wretched state. And when Thanos finally does face down two foes who doubt his identity, his icy blue eyes exude menace.
It is in the second half of the book that Jeff Lemire kicks the dialogue up a bit, as Thanos is greeted by a pair of scavengers searching for loot. Their interaction with Thanos is surprisingly humorous, but never distractingly so. Lemire uses the scene to further highlight Thanos’ fall. In the past, these two wouldn’t have come within a solar system of Thanos, yet now they aren’t afraid to talk down to him.
However, some readers may find themselves troubled by the tropes used in this issue. As well-crafted as Thanos #7 is, there’s also a sense of familiarity with having Thanos eat vermin and get kicked around by characters that would surely avoid him otherwise. The use of these tropes isn’t a deal breaker, especially since they’re used effectively, but it would have been appreciated to see a bit more inventiveness in exploring these tropes.
Is It Good?
Thanos #7 is a welcome change of pace from Thane’s drama and refocuses the book around Thanos, himself. Jeff Lemire steps into the background, letting artist Germán Peralta and handle much of the storytelling. This has a doubly beneficial effect as not only is Peralta more than up to the task, it keeps the narrative away from first-person captions that can deflate a villain’s potential menace faster than any illustration could. And while some tired tropes do pop up, Thanos #7 still proves to be good fun.