Thanos - Death Sentence by Stuart Moore

I would like to thank Julia from Titan for an advance copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review

Publisher – Titan

Price - £8.99 paperback

Published – Out Now

Thanos’ pursuit of the Infinity Gems has always defined him. But when the Marvel heroes defeat him once again, Thanos beloved Mistress Death grants him one final choice.

Stripped of his powers and his old skin, Thanos embarks on a cosmic walkabout to reassert his power over himself and the multiverse. Haunted by family – or the semblance of it – the Mad Titan may become something else entirely. Will he maintain his illusions of grandeur, or is a new path for a lost god?

I will admit that my familiarity with Thanos is through the Marvel films rather than comics so in this unique novel set inside the Marvel Universe by Stuart Moore I was intrigued to see what the standard version of the Titan would deliver.  A book centred around the villain isn’t always unusual in novels or comics but this I felt became a story more for purists rather than the general reader

It starts with a very thrilling battle in space where all the Avengers are in a desperate battle for earth’s survival. This was one of my favourite parts of the book as this throws the usual troops plus the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and many more at a Thanos armed with infinity stones and growing to cosmic proportions. There is a huge last battle and several heroes are seen to have last stands and die in a number of cruel and inventive ways. True full on comic style heroics and last stands.

Thanos is defeated and his soul encounters Mistress Death – in the comics Thanos’ quest to take over the universe with the gems is really a romantic overture to this entity (perhaps flowers are out of style?). Despite his failure she wordlessly gives him a chance to start anew. We then have a number of sequences where Thanos ends up with some roguish con artists, Kree soldiers and alien worlds but each time in a new body with a different identity. The question is can Thanos start again or is he always going to want to be Thanos?

Its in these latter sections where I felt unfortunately that this was not a great entrance point to Thanos. I suspect if I was more versed in these comics it would have been more useful, but a lot of the story seemed to go over my head. Here is the Black Order; this is the Kree home world etc I didn’t feel there was quite enough to suck me in, and I never really warmed to the story post Avengers defeat. There were some interesting character moments – halfway through the story Thanos has a clear choice to start again and his choice is horrifying but this for me felt often subsumed into a lot of guest appearances that diluted rather than added to the story.I’m not sure I’m any closer to understanding Thanos – one for the true believers. Excelsior!