Written by Chris Micieli
Cover Rank: 9/10
I like this cover not because of the overall complexity of it, but because WHAT THE HECK IS THE HULK DOING ON THE COVER!? And why is he chained to a leash acting like he’s Thanos’ dog?! We’ve had zero mention of Hulk at any point in this series and it took everything in me not to tear through the issue to find the pages with Hulk just to figure out how and why he’s here. The added bonus of Ghost Rider standing behind Thanos as a servant is a nice touch. Great cover.
Best Variant Issue:
As of this writing I have yet to find one. Shame.
What I Like:
Oh baby is this issue juicy! From top to bottom Thanos #15 is loaded with jaw dropping images, reveals and plot points. How the writers crammed so much awesomeness into 20+ pages is a feat in itself, and to give the reader so many amazing moments in one issue and not spread them out over several issues is a bonus for the reader. It only makes me wonder that if they are dropping this much greatness in one issue, what do they have in store.
The thing that grabs you instantly is the artwork. It’s top of the line detail. You can’t help but make a second pass through the issue and just marvel at the art that is set before you. The entire series has been done exceptionally well from an art standpoint, but issue #15 stood out more to me than the others.
Now for the goodies. I’ll save the biggest for the ‘best moment’ but the other great scenes are just as great. We all know what’s going on here. Old Thanos sends Ghost Rider back in time to get current Thanos and bring him through time and space so he can help him with a task. Of course that task revolved around the love Thanos craves of Lady Death, but for now let’s focus on something else.
Ghost Rider made his big entrance at the beginning of this arc and has taken a back seat in the series, until now. After some cheeky banter in the opening pages of the issue, Rider asks Thanos if he wanted to take a walk with him to ‘feed the dog’. Thanos agrees and the dog Ghost Rider speaks of is not what you think. Well, if the cover art is anything you could have guessed. It’s the Hulk himself and he’s as old as million year old Thanos. As if that isn’t shocking enough, as Ghost Rider is feeding Hulk he makes an off handed comment of hearing the dark words coming from the mouth of Steve Rogers when he was fed to the beast (Hulk). Yes, Captain America at some point was fed as food to the Hulk. What issue of what series can I find that story!?
That isn’t the only big reveal we get revolving around the death of a major character. Thanos and old Thanos are making conversation when old Thanos makes the comment, again in an off handed way, how he killed some guy named ‘Aaron’. He can’t quite remember the name. Thanos corrects him asking ‘Adam’? So in one issue we learn that Thanos, at some point in the past millions of years, is responsible for the death of Captain America and Adam Warlock and is holding and old and decrepit Hulk in a dungeon held together with chains. All of this and we haven’t got to the best moment yet, in my opinion.
What I didn’t like:
While the first couple pages are amazing to look at and marvel in the illustration, the Thanos series seems to like opening an issue with reminding us of how powerful the Mad Titan is. It’s not really necessary at this point. We get it. He’s ruthless.
As Ghost Rider leads Thanos down to the dungeon to feed the Hulk, Thanos asks Rider who he is. Ghost Rider, who is the comic relief of the series, apologizes for not having manners and for not doing so earlier extends his hand for a shake and greets Thanos saying ‘Frank Castle’. The Punisher is Ghost Rider!?! What universe are we in!? Apparently Frank has been in this form for millions of years right along side Thanos. Yet another series that needs to come to fruition to get more of a backstory on. There’s not a Marvel fan out there that saw that one coming.
So we know old Thanos called for Thanos for help in getting the love of Death. Nothing new there. Old Thanos feels like he needs to impress her with completing a major task which, naturally, involves killing something or someone. Again, that’s usual for Thanos in his never ending attempt to impress her. However, the foe this time could prove a huge mountain to climb for both Thanos’. Old Thanos makes reference multiple times throughout the issue of The Fallen One. Thanos, like usual, shows no fear of this enemy despite not knowing who it is. The build up in the final pages are gut wrenching as The Fallen One is making a grand entrance similar to the Bad Witch in Wizard of Oz. Lots of bombastic noises, smoke, windows crashing and who comes through on the other side? Black Silver Surfer and an Annihilation Wave.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
I was gasping for air after reading Thanos #15. Big reveals, twists and turns and an ending that makes you say (insert any curse word here). Thanos stories, maybe more than most, revolve around massive amounts of destruction and this is leading up to a battle of epic proportions. I need a shower.