Friday, 12 September 2014

Thanos: The Infinity Revelation Review (Jim Starlin)


Jim Starlin is back with a new Marvel Original Graphic Novel (OGN) about his most enduring creation, Thanos. 

The Mad Titan senses a disturbance in the force, or something, so decides to pay visits to just about everyone from the Guardians of the Galaxy to Mistress Death herself. After gazing into the Infinity Well, he’s drawn to some kind of cosmic dreidel which is mega important apparently. Adam Warlock also joins Thanos for this sleepy tale of something and, as this is a Thanos book, it’s gotta have Infinity in the title! Why not Revelation, they haven’t used that one yet!

Straight after the Avengers movie, I read Starlin’s The Infinity Gauntlet and really enjoyed it. It’s the story of Thanos trying to impress his girlfriend, Death, by destroying the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet - the ultimate strength test at the fair ever! Things get daffy, lots of superhero action, etc. and it ends. 

I wasn’t expecting anything as good as that (especially as the other Marvel OGNs I’ve read have been very sub-par) but I was hoping for something more than this. Thanos and Adam putter around, Thanos’ adventures in other books are covered, Thanos fights the Annihilators - Gladiator, Ronan the Accuser, Beta Ray Bill, Quasar and the Silver Surfer - and defeats them embarrassingly easily. Something happens with the dreidel that takes Thanos and Adam somewhere and then it’s over. 

The Infinity Revelation is such an underwhelming, truly boring story that I can’t believe anybody stopped to question whether or not the script deserved a rewrite. Even Thanos himself shrugs at the end “Much ado about very little” while Infinity sums it up with “For all its buildup, this cosmic spectacular has proven disappointingly mundane”. Took the words right out of my mouth! 

Starlin’s art is the most polished that I’ve ever seen and it’s nice to see the classic Marvel 70s/80s style done with today’s inks/colours presentation. The book looks great, and it’s fun to see Thanos again - he’s a lot more talkative and thoughtful in Starlin’s hands than we’ve seen with other creators like Jason Aaron or Jonathan Hickman, and I liked that. 

But wow, what a weak, forgettable Thanos book! The Infinity Revelation feels more like an overlong prologue to something bigger than its own self-contained story or the quasi-conclusion of the numerous Thanos books over the years. I was hoping this one would be of the same quality as The Infinity Gauntlet but it’s more akin to Starlin’s dismal Batman books, Death in the Family and The Cult. Maybe Thanos fans will enjoy this, but for more general comics readers, this one’s an easy miss.

Thanos: The Infinity Revelation

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