My penultimate post in my tribute to Thanos is a big post spanning several events and several years, because most of these modern tales simply do not make sense. They ruin the character, for one thing, and they have no continuity for another. Argh! Why would Marvel destroy a great character by shoving him in story after story where he doesn’t belong! Oh, that’ right, movies. They did the same thing in Guardians of the Galaxy—Thanos was completely unnecessary.
In 2010, Thanos appeared in The Thanos Imperative, which was Abnett and Lanning’s last Thanos story. It’s not good. Thanos, imprisoned in the Cancerverse after the terrible Annihilation event, takes on the Guardians of the Galaxy (pre-movie version) and the Cancerverse versions of Captain Mar-Vell and the Avengers (called “The Revengers”). Drax kills Thanos (above), but not really of course. The story really makes very little sense. In fact, the story seems to get in the way of whatever it is Abnett and Lanning were trying to accomplish.
It ends with Star-Lord and Nova dying to keep Thanos trapped in the Cancerverse.
I’ve never understood how Star-Lord got out of that. I don’t think Brian Michael Bendis ever explained it. He also never explained how Thanos got out of it, which he did to help launch Bendis’ third (or fourth, I lost count) monthly Avengers book, Avengers Assemble…
I’m a big fan of Brian Michael Bendis’ rejiggering of The Avengers, but this book…Was at the tail end. Bendis is great at cute dialog, but is anyone looking for Thanos to be cute?
Anyway, in Avengers Assemble Thanos continues his run mediocre appearances as he somehow escapes the Cancerverse (not explained) and heads for Earth to capture an artificial Cosmic Cube. At the end, he is defeated and turned over to the all-powerful Elders of the Universe. Who he magically escapes, again unexplained. Are these stories even canon?
Then there’s the Infinity Event. The less we say about that, the better. Suffice to say it ends with Thanos being a statue again. Uh…Didn’t Jim Starlin do that twenty years ago?
And remember what I said about Thanos being cute?
The following year saw a Thanos origin story by Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi that was just plain stupid. Nobody wants to see how Thanos had a mean mommy and a troubled childhood. At best it’s cliché, at worst it trivializes a character who up until recently was the Marvel equivalent of a God—of Darkseid. Can you imagine Darkseid being sad about his younger years? Of course not. Ridiculous.
It’s time to restore this character to his former glory. Time to bring back Jim Starlin.
Next:Jim Starlin returns with The Infinity Revelation and Thanos vs. The Hulk, in the final History of Thanos post!