Today marks the release of Avengers: Infinity War, the culmination of several plot points dating back to the first Avengers film including Thanos’ true emergence as the big bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he has his first on-screen clash with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Therefore, it is fitting that this month sees the release of Jim Starlin’s return to one of his greatest creation as he continues his character study of the Mad Titan in the first graphic novel of a all-new Thanos trilogy, Thanos: The Infinity Siblings (and be sure to see what we made of its second and third installments).
The Mad Titan has everything he ever wanted – but satisfaction is not in Thanos’ vocabulary. When a temporal distortion on Titan draws his attention, he finds the purpose he’s been searching for: saving himself! An old enemy lurks in the far future, and it’ll take the combined wits of Thanos, his brother Eros, and time-travel master Kang the Conqueror to stop it – and save the multiverse. But there are other players in this cosmic chess game – and Thanos may find himself outmatched!
If you have any familiarity with Starlin’s previous work on Marvel’s cosmic titles, this is everything you could want. Thanos: The Infinity Siblings continues the examination of the Thanos character from the previous Infinity Trilogy and makes for an ingrossing read. As usual, Starlin has all the characters quirks down to a tee, whether it is Pip The Troll, Star Fox or Kang. But obviously, the Mad Titan is the main event. Thanos is a complex character to begin with, but the unworldly (even for him) situations he finds himself in lead to a lot of self-reflection on his part and some rare moments of doubt and fear that he is not in complete control of his destiny. He even finds himself in a situation where his relationship with his one true love Death becomes strained.
Starlin’s previous trilogy mainly focused on Thanos’ clash with Negative Zone ruler Annihilus and his reunion with enemy/ally Adam Warlock. This volume focuses on another reunion of sorts, this time with his brother Starfox, but with time travel thrown into the mix we get a particularly layered adventure that is one of Starlin’s specialties. The graphic novel takes both Starfox and Thanos to different time periods and planets which in the hands of a writer less adept in Cosmic Marvel stories would fall apart, yet Starlin weaves it easily together to add to an already compelling story. Beyond that, the sibling relationhip between Starfox and Thanos makes for some great moments, aided by Starfox being a rare character that does not fear his brother.
On the art side, Starlin has reunited with his Infinity Entity collaborator and general comics legend Alan Davis. The pair have a similar approach when it comes to storytelling so it is a match made in Heaven. Every page has the fantastic traditional feel that Davis’ work evokes and there are few better when it comes to laying out a story. Plus it’s just a treat to see him getting to cut loose on the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Whilst it is recommended new readers check out Starlin’s previous Infinity work before jumping into this new entry, The Infinity Siblings is still a perfect way to experience the Thanos character and find out what makes him tic. For any Starlin fans and longtime Marvel readers, this is must-read material.
Thanos: The Infinity Siblings is out now from Marvel
(9781302908188, h/b, £20.99)
Jim Starlin’s Thanos saga continues in Thanos: The Infinity Conflict.