Monday, April 16, 2018

Thanos The First!

Among my most favorite epics in all of comics is Captain Marvel's first struggle against Thanos the Mad Titan. Jim Starlin was a fledgling talent, fresh to professional comics who brought with him a cavalcade of new characters. He was allowed free reign in the pages of Captain Marvel, a comic which was flailing to find its way forward despite having enjoyed the talents of men like Stan Lee, Gene Colan, Don Heck, Arnold Drake, Dick Ayers, Frank Springer, Gil Kane, Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, and even Superman legend Wayne Boring, among many others. But it was the young and energetic Starlin who finally found the formula for success when he turned Mar-Vell into a golden-haired cosmic hero who was effectively reborn to battle the enemy of all the living universe, Thanos the nihilistic worshiper of Death.

Thanos of course became a force beyond any single hero's control and Starlin with the help of others has continued to bring him back time and time again until soon we will see him take on the Avengers in a blockbuster film released in just a few weeks. To celebrate and promote that film, Marvel is giving us dollar versions of vintage Thanos tales, and two of them are his debut in Iron Man (of all places) and his appearance in Avengers when that title crossed over briefly into Captain Marvel's epic struggle. I owned these books in the original and in reprint many times over, but nonetheless I bought them again, they are just that good.

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