After being resurrected by the cosmic entity Death, Thanos of Titan is given the mission to wipe out half the population of the universe. Although his powers have been greatly augmented, he still thirsts for more power. To accomplish the mission given to him, as well as see his own ambitions realized. Thanos plans to gather six gems of unbelievable power called the Soul Gems. Five of the gems are in the possession of powerful beings known as the Elders of the Universe, while one is being held by the In-Betweener, who is a being that represents the dualities of concepts. Thanos must figure out how to defeat these all powerful beings.-summary
Thanos is a supervillain who was created by writer Jim Starlin, and he made his first appearance in Iron Man #55 back in 1973. Thanos was a very powerful being that has tried to conquer the universe on several occasions. He met his end at the hands of Adam Warlock in Marvel Two in One Annual #2: Spider-Man and The Thing, battling against the three aforementioned heroes along with the Avengers. During the early 90's, he was resurrected in The Silver Surfer series issues 34-38. The Thanos Quest Volume 1: Schemes and Dreams is the first of a two-part series, and it was written by Jim Starlin. The series continues the story after his rebirth. The events that takes place here would eventually carry on back into Silver Surfer #44: A Fistful of Trouble. The story would pick up once again in the six issue limited series the Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos is a mutant of the Titanian Eternals, and he possesses incredible super strength and durability. He can absorb and project cosmic energy, and he has an arsenal made up of advanced weaponry. But his greatest asset at times appears to be his mind. He is an excellent strategist, and highly trained hand to hand combatant. Some of his skills and abilities are displayed during this series.
The artwork is splendid and really doesn't have a dated appearance at all. I actually feel that it trumps quite a bit of recent comics. The character designs are very well defined for just about everyone, and they're very consistent. Some of the most impressive artwork is in the backgrounds, which is especially beautiful during the panels when Thanos is crossing through realms. I definitely enjoyed the color combinations.
The action panels are also quite good, but I wouldn't say they're anything groundbreaking. There's a decent amount of hand to hand action, when Thanos takes on the physically strongest of the elders named Champion. There is also one battle that ends in a rather sick and twisted way.
The character development mainly takes place with Thanos. I think the writing was done well building him up as a true threat. It was a good move to have him go after the Elders of the Universe and the In-Betweener. Each of these characters have a solid background by battling the Avengers, the Silver Surfer, and even the world devourer Galactus on different occasions. The battles displayed Thanos strength, skill, and superior intellect in battle. The background on the gems themselves is rather vague, but their power is fully explained in other issues. The story is pretty straight forward though, and it only reveals a small bit at a time, but there are hints towards Thanos having ulterior motives.
There are a couple of issues that I have with the story. For one, it already expects the reader to have some knowledge on Thanos past death and rebirth. I think this will bother some, but still, I don't think it hurts the story much, because Thanos is given just enough charisma to be the bad guy you will like. His cleverness in battle, along with his dialogue brings out some of his character. However, I feel at least one battle was handled kind of cheap, and I do remember expecting more when I first read this. Things just seemed too easy for him against his first three opponents.
The Thanos Quest: Schemes and Dreams is a solid opener for the events soon to come. I always had a liking for Thanos, but he did grow on me a lot way back then, and I have this series as well as the Infinity Gauntlet to thank for it. I think this will appeal to die hard comic fans more, than the casual fan who doesn't have much knowledge on the non mainstream characters though. The book is 48 pages.
-Not too good on background
-Ends on a cliffhanger
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