Whilst fans and movie goers alike are chomping at the bit to see what’s next for Thanos and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next Avengers film, there’s plenty to hold them over in the second entry in Jim Starlin’s new Thanos trilogy – Thanos: The Infinity Conflict (don’t miss our review of the first instalment.)
In a desperate bid to protect all of reality, Adam Warlock once gave the Reality Gem to the Mad Titan Thanos. Years later, that decision has come to haunt him. For now, Thanos is on the verge of becoming the lord of all reality! Only his troublesome brother, an errant troll and a strange trick of resurrection stand in his way… or so it seems. For deep within the Titan lurks an abnormality, a torturous second existence. A rebellion within his very soul! And so it may prove Thanos himself who fights most intensely against his own future!
Once again, Starlin is joined by legendary Marvel artist Alan Davis and – as before – their respective storytelling styles mesh perfectly together. Davis has drawn more or less every Marvel character imaginable so it’s extremely cool that he is getting to tick some more names of the list in these recent Starlin collaborations. As is often the opportunity with Marvel’s cosmic themed titles, Davis removes all restraints and gets to depict some truly out of this world material. The scenes with Eternity, Infinity, The Living Tribunal and Thanos infused with the power of Death and Galactus are particularly memorable along with a sequence where Adam Warlock encounters all his past incarnations. Beyond that, the classic feel of Davis’ artwork that evokes elements of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko’s work whilst being unique in its own right really help the story stand out.
The character work continues to be strong as Starlin remains the best when it comes to writing his best known creation. Thanos’ slow transformation into the most powerful being in the universe brings a ton of tension to the story, made worse by the lengths he is willing to go to and how he rationalises these actions. The encounter with Eternity and Infinity is one thing, but his actions towards Death (who he has been courting for the longest time) are not what you would expect.
Pip the Troll continues to be a highlight in the comic relief department and plays off well against the stoic Warlock and unpredictable Starfox. Warlock’s arc continues to be fascinating as he not only finds himself being killed once again multiple times but is then put into a position where he must compromise his moral code for the greater good. Starfox’s relationship with his brother Thanos also takes a turn for the worst and it’s unfathomable that any of the characters in this trilogy are going to be the same by its conclusion.
This is another strong entry in Jim Starlin’s stellar line-up of Thanos stories and must read stuff for any fans of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Thanos: The Infinity Conflict is out now from Marvel
(9781302908140, h/b, £20.99)
And be sure to check out our review of the final instalment in Jim Starlin’s new Thanos trilogy, Thanos: The Infinity Ending.