Jim Starlin wraps up his return to his most famous creation and concludes his new Infinity Trilogy in Marvel’s new graphic novel Thanos: The Infinity Finale. When the war against Annihilus – lord of the Negative Zone – started going south, Thanos resorted to drastic measures to take himself out of the equation. Yet oblivion is always temporary for the paramour of Death. When Thanos returns to the world of the living, he finds that Annihilus has ravaged the galaxy in his absence and is now harnessing the godlike power of Adam Warlock to wage genocide across the posiverse. Only a handful of heroes (and one or two villains) still stand. Will those few that remain choose between two evils and ally themselves with Thanos? They would form one of the mightiest assemblages ever witnessed. But even that may not be enough to avert the total annihilation of everything there is. And this time, the obliteration of all time and space may truly be the end.
Continuing directly on from where Thanos: The Infinity Relativity and The Infinity Entity leave off, Starlin brings everything he has been working on in his return to the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe that he redefined. Any newcomers should start from the beginning as this concluding entry builds heavily on previous events and themes. As usual, Starlin provides an excellent voice for his cast of characters. It’s no surprise that he really knows how to get into the head of Thanos as the Mad Titan finds himself in several impossible situations and his inner monologues pondering solutions to the problems at hand. His regular dialogue with the supporting cast is great as well, particularly when he persuades one of the heroes in his group to go to shocking lengths to fight Annihilus’ army which leads to some more great inner monologues showing that, as much as Thanos wants to save the universe, anyone who can help achieve this is entirely disposable. These are only topped by the great interaction between Thanos and Adam Warlock as Starlin continues the strong character work present in The Infinity Entity with a Warlock still confused about his role in the universe and unsure what to do with the sheer power he possesses. All the supporting characters have great moments as well, including some great Mephisto moments (his fate at the end is equal parts shocking and hilarious).
But of course, this would not be a cosmic Marvel comic without a suitability epic cosmic battle. And this is delivered in spades as Thanos is joined by some of Marvel’s most powerful, including Thor, Captain Marvel, Gladiator, Drax, Doctor Doom, Nightcrawler and many more, bringing the fight to Annihilus in an epic battle for the universe. Starlin hands over artistic reins of this concluding instalment to Ron Lim who – having worked with Starlin on several of his previous Marvel cosmic series (Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade, Infinity War, Silver Surfer) – is a perfect fit to close out this new Infinity Saga. Lim excels not only in the great battle scenes between Thanos’ group and the Annihilus army but also in the quieter moments (Thanos’ return to the living and his and Warlock’s finding themselves in a destroyed reality are equally epic).
Anyone who has been reading Starlin’s new entries in his Infinity series needs to pick this up as it brings his latest take on Thanos and Adam Warlock full circle and is a suitable grand conclusion. Anyone looking for a thorough examination of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe (especially in preparation for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film) cannot go wrong with this showcase of one of Marvel’s cosmic pioneers.
Thanos: The Infinity Finale is published by Marvel on the 13 April 2016 (£18.99, hardback, 9780785193050)