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Multiversal Stakes

August 6, 2010

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s latest cosmic epic continues with The Thanos Imperative #2, and the stakes have never been higher.  Nova and Quasar are running around on the front lines at the Fault trying to take out every enemy they can.  They hook up with Triton on the Kree flagship, and just as a giant creature is about to eat Triton, the Silver Surfer kills it.  And he’s brought backup in the form of Galactus, Aegis, Tenebrous, and the Celestials.  In the Cancerverse, the Guardians of the Galaxy take out the Defenders rather easily, noting how they aren’t taking things very seriously.  But then, the Defenders come back even uglier then ever.  So Thanos stands up and blasts them to hell.  They don’t come back from that one.  While they chat about their mission, the Cancerverse’s Vision, one of the few uninfected heroes (as a machine) comes to greet them.  The Revengers drag Major Victory along, but it takes Lord Mar-Vell himself to keep him down.  They toss him into the same cell as the other anomalies, Namorita included.  And it seems that they are on some version of Thanos’ ship, the Sanctuary II.  The battle continues on the front lines of the Fault, and the conflagration seems endless.  The Silver Surfer makes clear how bad this is because Lord Mar-Vell and the Many-Angled Ones want to overthrow the fundamental laws of life and death in all universes.  And just then, something comes through the Fault.  A massive thing called the Galactus Engine.

Well, Abnett and Lanning are, as usual, writing more awesome cosmic stuff.  This concept of endless life really is quite interesting, and that universe is just so… gross.  “Cancerverse” is definitely an apt name for it.  Now, what’s funny is that Mar-Vell doesn’t realize that the anomaly he’s looking for, Thanos, is already in his home universe.  At least, that’s who I assume he’s looking for.  Since this is Abnett and Lanning, the characterization is sharp all across the board.  I’m a tad confused as to where Stardust is, since Galactus currently has two heralds, but we haven’t seen Beta Ray Bill either, and he’s a) got a history with Stardust and b) supposed to show up by the end of the next issue.  So maybe Stardust is just off recruiting Bill.  That’s basically the biggest plot complaint I’ve got, so that should indicate how well this series is written.  The weakest link continues to be Miguel Sepulveda.  His art is decent, but sometimes his characters can have just such flat faces.  And they are a tad less stocky than before, but that’s still his general tendency.  Plus, his colorist, Jay David Ramos, colors the Surfer so that he’s so reflective that you can’t quite see where his nose and mouth are.  His head is almost just one big shiny oval.  It’s just too bad that this series didn’t get Paul Pelletier or Andrea DiVito to do the art.  Sepulveda really cannot match the script with his pencils.  Then again, the cosmic books have had their fair share of underwhelming artists.  And Abnett and Lanning still make them awesome.  So things should be fine in the end.  But I would personally like more Inhumans and Imperial Guard please.  Those miniseries got me into those characters, so I’d like to see them again.  You know, more than just a cameo from Triton.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.0      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.0

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