No, seriously. How many Jeff Lemires are there? Does this one guy ever sleep? Does he take a day off? For the record, I’m okay with his insane output for the major monthly publishers (and incredibly okay to see him revisit his own super-origins in the icy, hockey-obsessed north of Essex County when Roughneck comes out next year), and will do anything in my power to help keep Jeff running. Can I stock your refrigerator for you? Howsabout the password to my Munchery account? I’m a Nespresso convert. I can hook you up.
Lemire was one of the anchors of last season’s All-New All-Different Marvel launch, captaining Extraordinary X-Men, scripting a poignant Hawkeye yarn, and making B-listers like Old Man Logan and Moon Knight monthly must-reads. And now, partnered with veteran artist Mike Deodato, he’s debuting Thanos #1, one of the early bright spots for Marvel’s 2016-2017 NOW! season.
This isn’t the first time during the Marvel Cinematic era that the company has turned to a high-profile writer to maintain rack presence for the malevolent Titan. In the previous Marvel NOW! season, back in 2013, Jason Aaron teamed up with Simone Bianchi to give us the beautiful Thanos Rising, and both of Jonathan Hickman’s major summer events, 2013’s Infinity and 2015’s Secret Wars, featured integral villainy from Purple Puss. Now it’s Lemire’s turn. After being brought back to life in All-New All-Different’s Ultimates, Thanos isn’t looking to waste any time reasserting his galactic dominance. His first stop is the Black Quadrant, home base for former minion Corvus Glaive’s band of mercenaries and pirates.
While Thanos is no stranger to recent Marvel books, what makes this series particularly exciting is the rest of this book’s cast. It’s a true family affair, as both Thanos’s brother, the former Avenger Starfox, and Thanos’s son, Thane, have plots in motion to come into conflict with the despot. We also get to see the never-humble Champion of the Universe making some bold proclamations regarding Thanos’s fate. Deodato’s style, both in the gritty realization of his action sequences and the geometric wizardry of his layouts, taps into the great 70’s and 80’s Heavy Metal/Epic vibe of classic four-color science-fiction. The House of Ideas has some marvelously trippy characters in its cosmic catalog, and it’s a treat to read a book that looks to explore that roster.
DC Rebirth: Week 26
That’s a half-year in the books for DC’s commercially successful Rebirth initiative! As with Marvel’s All-New All-Different launch last October, the Idle Time focus group has been reading all the new books and relaunches, and in a few weeks we’ll be posting our rankings of the 29 Rebirth titles, from worst to first. Stay tuned! But by means of a little teaser, let’s just say we’re pretty excited (and very pleasantly surprised) with Abnett and Briones’s Aquaman book. A new storyline kicks off this week with a prologue to “The Deluge” in issue #11.