Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover: Jeff Dekal
As we enter the third act of the father/daughter opera of dismemberment and space pirates that is Tini Howard's THANOS, everything seems to be rounding out with our dysfunctional duo. With the entire crew of Zero Santuary (how bad ass is that ship name?) going in to full mutiny mode, kidnapping Gamora, and Thanos on a one-man-army trip to go visit the Magus, what's our little Gamora to do but to take matters in to her own mechanical hands.
The issue starts with adult Gamora leading a mysterious mini-person through a jungle as she continues to tell her story: mutiny under Thanos and how bloody it can get. Thanos, in full rage mode, decides he's had enough of the temporal transmissions of Magus and goes to meet him purple face to purple face. All the while, Gamora is hiding within the halls of Zero Santuary, eluding her would-be captors, led by that snake, Ebony Maw. By the non-existent hairs of her chinny-chin-chin, she eludes a hail of blaster fire into Thanos' quarters in hopes to find his whereabouts and finds a direct transmission frequency to Thanos himself. She begs and pleads for him to come back but to no avail. "Fine. I'll do it myself." A line made famous by Thanos in an MCU end-credits scene is now given new meaning as Little Gamora takes the initiative against her captors consisting of Maw, Proxima Midnight, and the rest of the Butcher Squadron. Singlehandedly (LITERALLY!), Gamora escapes and makes her way to Thanos, who's already reached his destination, in the presence of the Magus himself.
Thanos' relationship to Magus has always been an interesting one and I'm glad that Howard decided to make this the base for Thanos' motives in this series. Two beings who would be gods, each at each other's throats, but given more depth and substance than 2 men who want the universe to themselves. In this, we see that a younger Thanos wasn't always was non-emotional as his previous writers projected him to be. Thanos' jealousy rears its head, when his lady Death chooses to break her silence with Magus, rather than Thanos. The dialogue between the two Demi-gods is really well written, as Magus is the antagonizer, prodding at a giant purple bear.
What appreciate greatly with Ariel Olivetti's art, is the simplicity of the character design. While Gamora remains in rags and the Butcher Squadron is in un-unified costumes, Thanos and Magus remain in their original costumes from their first appearances in Jim Starlin & Mike Friedrich's first iterations of the two characters. Thanos in his classic blue and gold cloth and Magus in his purple tunic with white lightning bolt, in all their 70's glory. For older fans and younger fans, alike, they can appreciate the heavy dose of nostalgia that the art brings.
Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying this and I hope that Marvel decides to regale us with more Thanos stories pre-Infinity Gauntlet. Tini Howard is easily becoming one of my favorite new writers in comics. Her work with Thanos, Belit, and Death's Head are so fun and fresh, that I'm already counting down the days for her run with the new Excalibur team, post House/Powers of X.