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The Big Guns

August 26, 2010

The battle rages on at the Fault in The Thanos Imperative #3, and already the Galactus Engine and the abstracts of our world are in heated battle.  On an abstract level.  Meaning we can’t see them doing anything but standing there.  Yay!  Oh, and the machine is actually the Cancerverse’s Galactus, turned into a weapon.  Suddenly, then, Aegis starts cracking and explodes, all these Cancerverse things flying out, and Nova gets hit with a wave of psionic energy.  In the Cancerverse, half of the Guardians of the Galaxy are brought by Vision to Titan, where the machine resistance hides.  Because of the nature of the whole life thing, machines are safe.  When Thanos expresses interest in how this all happened, Vision and ISAAC start to explain how life took over.  And of course, Drax the Destroyer just wants to kill Thanos before things get worse.  In our world, evil Quasar explains to Lord Mar-Vell how our Captain Marvel died.  In the Cancerverse, the Many-Angled Ones had already started to spread their influence, so when Mar-Vell was on his death bed from cancer, and nothing else had worked, he and everyone else were influenced into giving themselves up to them.  They then sacrificed Death’s avatar, killing Death.  The Many-Angled Ones themselves are old, powerful beings that live between universes.  Cancerverse Scarlet Witch offers to go into the Fault and investigate the disappearance of the Defenders, while on a planet near the Fault, everyone still here convenes.  After a bit of brawling, Nova decides to gather a strike force to hit the enemy hard and fast, to rescue the anomalies that the Cancerverse baddies have taken, because they seem to be a part of Mar-Vell’s real objectives.  And the strike force is Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Silver Surfer, Ronan the Accuser, and Nova himself.  Back in the Cancerverse, Vision explains to Thanos how they can reverse the death of Death.  However, Drax decides it’s time to take out Thanos right now.  So they fight, and Drax slaps an anti-matter charge on Thanos, seemingly disintegrating him.

Once again, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning live up to their amazing reputation.  And then some.  This issue not only gives us the dark history of the Cancerverse, but it manages to juggle what the bad guys are doing and what’s going on with the heroes on both sides of the Fault.  It’s so creepy to think about how Mar-Vell and all of the heroes of the Cancerverse (minus the machine ones, of course) were so easily swayed to the dark side.  That and the fact that the creatures spewing through the Fault managed to kill Aegis indicates the level of power of the Many-Angled Ones.  We’re talking about old, dark, and dangerous here.  And it seems that the Cancerverse’s Thanos was the one sacrificed to kill Death in the Cancerverse.  How appropriate that our Thanos will reverse the ritual.  That is, if Drax hasn’t already killed him.  You might find it annoying that Drax is basically only concerned about the threat of Thanos when there’s this giant other threat looming overhead, but Drax was engineered to do just that.  It was his life’s mission to kill Thanos, and even though he succeeded, Thanos is somehow back.  I’d be rather single-minded about that too.  My only story complaint is that Beta Ray Bill showed up with absolutely no fanfare.  He’s a rather heavy hitter, and you’d think he would have been in at least one scene before he’s just suddenly there and being selected for the strike force.  On the art side, Miguel Sepulveda is still the biggest weakness of this series.  He’s getting better, to be sure, and he does draw some petty gnarly Cancerverse things.  But right now, he’s kind of like a poor man’s cosmic Steve Epting.  He draws everyone stockier, but some of the faces look similar, and there’s almost as much shadow in his work as in Epting’s.  Now, I only mean that some of the faces look similar, as some of Sepulveda’s faces are extremely flat.  Steve Epting is one of the best of the best.  But this whole thing just makes me wish that star cosmic artist Paul Pelletier were here instead of on Incredible Hulk.  Oh yes, and then there’s that clear art mistake when Namorita and Major Victory are talking, and it should clearly by Mar-Vell and Scarlet Witch.  Anyway, this book still rocks.  I just hope enough cosmic characters come out of this alive for there to be a cosmic line afterward.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 9.0

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