Thanos recently got a dramatic finish in Infinity Wars Prime that was at once shocking and confusing. Confusing, since Donny Cates left us off with Thanos in a different place. Thankfully Thanos: Legacy #1 clears that up while also weaving in new threads. This is essential Thanos reading.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Aside from tying up loose ends, this issue kicks off a fresh start for Thanos and, spoiler, Cosmic Ghost Rider gets some primo page time. This issue also contains a backup by Gerry Duggan and Cory Smith — a silent, poignant vignette focused on Thanos and Gamora when she was a child.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The main story by Donny Cates and Brian Level continues the trend Marvel has established with epic badass captions. Cates kicks these off right off the bat reminding us Thanos and his legacy are hugely important to all things. This issue dovetails quickly into other stories, like Thor #4, Infinity Wars #1, and even Doctor Strange: Damnation. It acts as a web linking all these threads, strengthening the overall narrative of Thanos while also making sense of it. There is no synopsis page in this book so it relies heavily on your knowledge of these specific books that came out in the last few months. If you have read all these stories you’re in for a treat though since this main story pays off a few elements. Cates also does a great job ramping up a new story you won’t see coming.
The backup is a silent issue with no dialogue or captions by Cory Smith and Ruth Redmond. This story is a reminder of why Gamora hates Thanos at her core while also reminding us the pure evil nature of Thanos. The colors use a lot of purples and alien hues in a world Gamora must traverse, and the story is very poignant.
The main feature drawn by Brian Level works very well to mend together different storylines from different issues. It’s slightly cartoony in nature which works well for the Cosmic Ghost Rider character. The panel work is quite strong too. Opportune close-ups of Thanos’ face, as if to show us something only we see, or how cascading panels draw our eye from left to right. It’s strong stuff.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The biggest negative for this issue is the fact that you’ll need to read a few other stories to really understand what is going on. Much like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the main story requires you know a few things to understand what characters are talking about and the gravity of the situation. Without this knowledge, you’ll be lost.
A single panel by Level caught me as overly stiff and thus awkward in its portrayal. It involves Silver Surfer from Cates’ Thanos Wins story arc. Other moments can have that stiffness, but this one caught me the most.
Is it good?
A highly enjoyable issue that’s rewarding for Marvel fans who have read it all. It ties into so many stories, kicks off an exciting new path for Thanos’ journey, and even comes with an excellent backup that’s poignant and beautifully drawn. This is a one-shot not to miss, especially if you’re a Marvel Comics completist.