The Thanos Imperative
(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Contributing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer THE THANOS IMPERATIVE: IGNITION So you read comic book after comic book of Spidey swinging through the concrete canyons of New York City, but have never heard of the Eternals – much less the Eternals of Titan? You love reading about Daredevil cornering crooks on the gritty streets of Hell’s Kitchen and the Punisher tracking down wrong-doers and blowing them to smithereens, but you don’t know the history of “old” Xander much less why a planet with a mustache claims to be “Nu”-Xander? Does a first look at the mad Titan Thanos remind you more of your early years watching Barney the Dinosaur than make you shiver in your boots and glad you are wearing dark pants? Welcome to Marvel Cosmic, True Believer! Like the Marvel Universe itself, it is a world that started when Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben shot into space in Fantastic Four #1, and it has been going strong and steadily – from Kirby to Starlin to DnA – ever since. The adventures of our space-faring heroes and those who patrol the alleyways of Marvel Earth have seemed to separate more and more with the passage of time. With the seeming demise of Thor some years ago – a character who has known adventures both cosmic and Midgardian – the denizens of Marvel Cosmic seemed to take a powder from the comic book canvas altogether. But a few years ago, Marvel launched Annihilation and has been following it up with not one but three succeeding events, several mini-series and two ongoings, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. All of these stories have been leading, we are told, to The Thanos Imperative, a massive cosmic event for 2010. The one-shot soon to be on sale, The Thanos Imperative: Ignition, is where everything kicks off. This book should be a boon to new readers, both those who have seen some of these characters in more Earth-oriented books and would love to enjoy a rollicking adventure in their world, or those who are just newly discovering these powerful but oh-so-vulnerable characters. In a Feb. 23 interview with CosmicBookNews editor/publisher Matt McGloin, cosmic scribes Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning say that “ … though The Thanos Imperative will deliver all sorts of goodies for the readers who’ve been with us these last three years, we’ve also built it so new readers can jump right on board. You don’t need to know anything about what’s gone before to be able to understand the story and enjoy the ride. You’ve just got to grab on and hold tight!” Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and the various event minis have, by and large, shared one thing in common other than being set in space: low sales. Getting mainstream Marvel readers involved in the adventures of our cosmic champions is crucial, despite the loyal fan base these sentinels of the spaceway have. The art and stories have always been excellent since Annihilation; the answer lies in introducing these characters in interesting ways, free of baggage, to new readers like Stan and Jack once introduced readers accustomed to DC’s hero roster to a fantastic foursome, a surfer, a peeping tom from the moon, a planet-eater and dozens of others among the stars. If you are part of the loyal fan base of our cosmic champions and buy two or more issues of each ongoing monthly to keep them alive, what the d'ast!, give an extra copy to a friend, a cousin or even an enemy in the “gritty real world” comics camp in hopes they too will get hooked. No one says you Marvel-Earth admirers can’t cut evil mutants apart with Wolverine in his 15, maybe 20 books as well. So take a risk, True Believer! Buy a copy of The Thanos Imperative: Ignition and invest a few moments in adventure at its finest. I think you will love what you discover, the wonder of Marvel Cosmic, and may want to come back for more … and more.   « « Space Phantoms | The Death of Captain Marvel » »