THANOS #7 (2004)

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With the seventh issue of Thanos, which came out just over 14 years ago, Jim Starlin finished his Thanos stories and Marvel handed the reins, albeit briefly, to Keith Giffen. Giffen is probably best known for either creating Ambush Bug or for his work on the The Darkness Saga for DC’s Legion of Super Heroes, which most would say is the definitive story of Darkseid.

And of course, Thanos and Darkseid are very similar characters. Thanos loves death, Darkseid seeks the Anti Live. Darkseid was created in 1971 by Jack Kirby, and Thanos came years later. But there are key differences. Mostly, Thanos has always been a loner–a desperate lover of death.  And he spent the better part of three Marvel decades trying to woo her and seduce her.

Giffen immediately turns that idea on its head.  He has Death take the form of a child, which irritates Thanos–who is no pedophile.  By restructuring their relationship, Giffen forces Thanos to find love in a new way….

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Love is a partnership, not a seduction.  Love is sought for mutual understanding, not comfort.

Amazing.

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