THANOS RISING #4 - Thanos has risen....to the top of my favorite list!
COVER ART: 5/5
What can I say about this cover other than beautiful. SIMON BIANCHI who pencils and especially (I rarely shout out the colorist, or in this case, the inwasherist) RICCARDO PIERUCCINI provide us with such a beautiful cover, that it is actually hard to admire considering the image is of such an evil despicable person Thanos. The detail is phenomenal. This is definitely the best cover this week by far (7/7/13).
STORY ART: 5/5
SIMON BIANCHI, RICCARDO PIERUCCINI, & IVE SVORCINA (colors) produce a magically told story through art. I am actually surprised this isn't rated R, as there is a pretty risqué image of a dead woman on Thanos' bed with....well, when you read the comic you will see. I guess they got away with it because she is an alien? Either way, this story could almost be told without the dialogue, which really compliments the artistic team involved on this book. The art for this book (#4) and the 3 previous issues have just been superb. Other than Thor: God of Thunder, this ranks as the best or 2nd best book VISUALLY, on the market right now.
STORY ARC: 5/5
JASON AARON. This is the mind of a genius or someone who needs some real help psychologically. I have always been aware of the character DEATH and was aware she has been a constant companion to Thanos in previous comics; however, I was only slightly familiar with both. So when the beautiful girl that has stolen Thanos' heart and has driven him to become this murderous beast, and who pushes Thanos more and more to kill just to prove he is worthy of her love, reveals herself to truly be DEATH by removing the beautiful facade of her human looking flesh to reveal her skeletal form, both Thanos and I were taken aback! In my mind and in the comic, we both, together go back to previous issues and see that this girl was never really seen by anyone BUT Thanos. All through his childhood she was there, but only Thanos could see her. Thanos is both a murderer and a psychopath but was it because he is inherently evil from birth the way his mother believed, or was it DEATH, who poised young Thanos' mind so early in his life to become what he is. Can someone from a place that knew no evil be born evil? Jason Aaron dives deep into the question of Nature versus Nurture in this series and it is done in such a way that even though Thanos is a terrible terrible individual with no remorse for what he has done, we find a way to actually feel slightly sorry for him because, even in his own words, he is doing this for love. His heart is not totally black. He is just a psychopath.
FINAL VERDICT: 5/5
I find myself questioning why I like this series so much when the main character is such a vile and deplorable individual. Through this series, Jason Aaron plus the team of artists have changed the normal image of Thanos, normally squatting in a power pose with his fist clenched and his teeth glaring like a big purple monkey, to a highly powerful and mentally deranged character that is so lost and his only guidance is pure evil, DEATH. I ask myself if Death had not chosen Thanos (which is what I believe happened) how great could Thanos have been in the forces of good. When his mother saw his purple skin and those black eyes at birth, she felt he was evil, but was that a feeling and trait SHE imbued upon him and thus called Death to investigate Thanos' potential. Ultimately Thanos did become great, just in the wrong direction. This is why this series is so good, it makes us ask these questions of characters that other books and other writers are just not producing. I recommend this book, only if you are willing to start from issue 1 before reading this issue. It really does play out like a symphony and without the beginning stanza, this issue may not create the drama if you had started from issue 1. Regardless, if you do read this issue and it is your first one of this series, enjoy the beautiful art and the great story either way. I recommend this to all readers aged 13 and above, maybe 17 and above.