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The Greatest Agent of Life

June 16, 2010

What may end up being the last hurrah for Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s cosmic odyssey begins with The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1.  Continuing from Thanos’ revival in Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos remembers his past, having been killed by Drax the Destroyer in Annihilation.  After the Annihilation Wave was destroyed, Adam Warlock found Thanos’ body and entered into a cocoon state, also placing Thanos’ body in a cocoon because he instinctively knew Thanos’ importance.  But having been revived, Thanos is furious, because he has lost the death he craved for so long.  Back in reality, Moondragon, Mantis, and Cosmo probe Thanos’ mind, but they aren’t getting anywhere.  Moondragon wants Thanos dead, but Rocket Raccoon points out the whole issue of being a part of the abstract game.  Drax, however, wants to kill Thanos a second time.  Elsewhere, Nova chases the evil Quasar from the other side of the Fault.  They arrive at the Fault, where there’s a ton of Universal Church of Truth ships.  A massive fleet, led by Medusa and the Kree, is on its way to assist.  Nova catches up to evil Quasar, but the Magus is there waiting.  Our Quasar arrives to help even the odds, but just then, the Magus brings in and detonates many Church worlds, full of believers, to fully open the Fault up.  Gladiator and the Shi’ar and the Inhumans and the Kree see the explosion from nearby, and Nova and Quasar disappear into the explosion.  Mantis and Cosmo feel the explosion from far away, and just then, Thanos breaks free.  Back at the Fault, the lord of the world beyond the Fault arrives.  He executes Magus for having failed to stop Thanos.  He then reveals himself as the Many-Angled One’s world’s version of the original Captain Marvel, and he and evil Quasar and all his agents stand ready to take over our world.

Well, I have to say, considering the amount of time Abnett and Lanning have put into Adam Warlock/Magus, I’m surprised he got killed so fast.  It was a nice twist that reminds us that all bets are off with this story, as with all of their stories, pretty much.  The whole thing is wonderfully constructed, continuing off of plots remaining from Realm of Kings, including with the Guardians, Nova, the Inhumans, and the Shi’ar/Imperial Guard.  I’m sad that we didn’t get to see any of the Imperial Guard or even a mention of Talon and the Fraternity of Raptors, but I’m sure they’ll pop up in the actual series.  I’m also, as I’ve said before, happy to see one of my favorite comic book villains, Thanos, come back in full force.  And the best thing is that the good guys will have to ally with him if they want to have any chance of stopping evil Captain Marvel and his army of life people.  Thanos may be evil, but he does often operate in a morally ambiguous area.  That’s one of the reasons I like him so much.  And Abnett and Lanning are, as usual, spot on with his and everyone else’s characterization.  You never have to worry about these guys dropping the ball on someone.  Brad Walker’s art is till a rather pale shadow of Paul Pelletier’s, and he’s still got that lip problem with Drax.  He’s definitely gotten better, but it doesn’t matter, since he won’t be doing the main series anyway.  That falls to Miguel Sepulveda.  Unfortunately, as you can see at the art in the back, Sepulveda tends to draw everyone as a bit too stocky.  So that’s unfortunate.  I so wish that this would get the kind of artistic talent that the previous cosmic crossovers got, like Pelletier, Tom Raney, or Andrea DiVito.  Oh well.  It’s still Abnett and Lanning, so the plot will rock, at least.  I just hope that this story isn’t the last for cosmic Marvel.  Abnett and Lanning forever!

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.7      Dialogue: 9.1      Overall: 8.8

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