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Evil Geek Book Report – Rebirth Of Thanos

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I’ve always wanted to read The Infinity Gauntlet. Especially, since we know Thanos will be the villain in the Avengers 2. It was high time for me to get caught up. This trade paperback more or less sets the table and works as a prelude to the Infinity Gauntlet.

Our story starts in the pages of Silver Surfer as we see him stumbling upon an abandoned planet so he can rest up (no doubt from something Galactus related). A giant cavernous Skull emerges from the ground, although I expected Skeletor to be dwelling inside, I wasn’t far off. It was Death…literal Death. We find out that the long dead Titan, Thanos is going to be resurrected and augmented with great power for a specific task that Death had in mind. Death warns Thanos about Silver Surfer getting in the way of his goal. Surfer unfamiliar with Thanos thinks this is all a dream due to his own fatigue.

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Thanos appears to Silver Surfer and takes him on the equivalent to a galactic Magical Mystery Tour. He shows him the plight of many different planets including Earth and reveals Death’s master plan. Curb global over population by eliminating half of the universal residents so that Death will have a steady and constant harvest for future years. The Surfer is appalled and what follows in the next two issues are pointless and better left skipped over. Silver Surfer drops into the Avengers mansion where Cap fills him in on the previous tussle the Avengers had with Thanos where he ultimately died the first time.

The next issue deals with Silver Surfer encountering Impossible Man. For an entire issue, Impossible Man in an attempt to convince Silver Surfer to develop a sense of humor as the only means of defeating Thanos, bends and changes his body into all kinds of whacky shapes and impressions. It’s obnoxious and serves no purpose. Perhaps, I myself should heed Impossible Man’s advice for developing a sense of humor, but it was a waste of 22 pages.

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But, I digress. The Silver Surfer arc ends with Thanos confronting Death. He presents his case that if he were allowed more time he could find the resting place for the six Infinity Gems. This would speed up his completion of Death’s task. Each Gem allows its owner to harness different capabilities. The breakdown is as follows (thanks to wiki):

Name Color Powers and Capabilities
Soul Green Allows the user to steal, control, manipulate and alter souls, living or dead, and is the gateway to an idyllic pocket universe. The Soul Gem is sentient and has a hunger for souls.
Time Orange Allows the user total control over the past, present and future. Allows time travel, can age and de-age beings and also be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire universes in unending loops of time. Also at full potential grants Omniscience.
Space Purple Allows the user to exist in any or all locations, move any object anywhere throughout reality and warp or rearrange space. At full potential it grants Omnipresence.
Mind Blue Allows the user to greatly strengthen and enhance mental and psionic power and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. Backed by the Power Gem, the Mind Gem can access all minds in existence simultaneously. When searching for it, the Illuminati apparently discovered that the Mind Gem was the personification of the universal subconscious.
Reality Yellow Allows the user to fulfill wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws.
Power Red Accesses all power and energy that ever has or will exist, and can boost the other gems effects. Allows the user to duplicate almost any physical superhuman ability and become invincible.

In possession of all six you are virtually invincible, Death agrees to these terms. This is the story behind the next two issues of the trade, the self-contained limited series, Thanos Quest.

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We follow Thanos as he confronts each individual who possess the Gems. I don’t think it’s a secret that he ultimately gathers all of them. The sequel is called The Infinity Gauntlet after all, but the story here lies within how he obtains each Gem. How he out thinks, out wits and out strategizes each being whose particular Gem gives them tactical advantages. In some cases he even uses the Mega Man strategy of defeating the enemy who’s Gem can best target a different enemy’s particular skill set. It’s very clever and reads almost like a Greek myth of sorts.

If you’re looking for a good place to check out Marvel Cosmic or interested in what makes Thanos tick this is a good of place as any to start. Jim Starlin does an admirable job laying down the blue print of the major event that comes next. The artwork of Ron Lim gets the job done. It has a very late 80s feel, but I’m ok with that. How can you argue with a man who gave us this iconic image of Thanos?

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Check back soon as I tackle the Infinity Gauntlet.

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on March 19, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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