Every villain has a beginning, and Jason Aaron along with Simone Bianchi bring us Thanos Rising. Which is a look back at the younger years of Thanos and the events that will shape the monster that will kill untold billions across the galaxy. Thanos returns to his home of Titan on a yearly pilgrimage, and this is when Aaron shifts us to the past. The very birth of Thanos has death lingering about as his mother attempts to end his life at the sight of him. However, his father could not be happier with his son regardless of his physical mutation. From here we get to see a young Thanos and his classmates, while one in particular seems to have a very dark and twisted agenda that involves the naïve Thanos.
Now, for the most part this issue is pretty much by the numbers and quite formulaic. However, there’s still enough new information here that keeps it from being stale and uninteresting. There is a very dark and ominous vibe that is present throughout the book. From the reaction of Thanos’s mother to kill him as an infant, to the one violent act at the end of the issue. Aaron maintains that even in the quiet moments in between there is something else just under the surface that you need to be watching for. The dialog itself is also well done, though much of its impact is lost in the fact that for the most part this is a story you’ve seen or read before.
Bianchi’s work definitely helps establish the creepy tone of the story every time Thanos appears in a panel. The sequence with him speaking to his now committed mother about his dream is a bit unsettling. Though I will say this is probably the most expressive Thanos has been drawn in a while, since we are usually treated to hard glares and snarled lips. Bianchi’s work always looks better when allowed to just cut loose in otherworldly backgrounds and designs and isn’t confined to making things fit in a real world environment. Bianchi’s work just looks fantastic from start to finish. Add to that Peruzzi’s spectacular colors throughout the issue, especially the panels where infant Thanos is seen by his mother for the very first time.
Despite its few flaws, Thanos Rising is still a solid issue that is a good introduction for newer readers as well as seasoned comic book fans of the character. It’s going to be interesting to see where Aaron takes this story, and hopefully we get a very strong finish when it’s all said and done.