Thanos Rising #4 Last time on Thanos Rising #3, we saw Thanos as a space pirate. Near the end of the issue, his captain decided to break him for being weak. Clearly he didn’t know Thanos all that well as the Mad Titan lost control and gave in to the one thing in the universe he was best at — murder. With the captain dead, the crew was now his and his lust for power began. It was fueled by the increased attention by the love of his life who insisted he give himself to her completely in mind, body, and action.

He, of course, agreed.

In this issue, we finally learn the true reason on why Thanos is known as “The Mad Titan” and it’s clear that the mad deals with others thinking him as quite insane.

We are given a glimpse into the reign of terror across the universe that he is committing. He is raping and burning planets one at a time and he is confronted by the natives of one of these planets who first tries to attack him and asks him why. Why is he destroying so much? He responded with one word, Love.

This makes no sense to the poor inhabitant and he explains that his love is given to one whose lust for death is never filled. No matter what he does for her, it’s never enough. No matter how many lives he takes, the planets he destroys, nothing can satisfy her. Since she won’t answer his question on what will be enough, he tells this creature groveling before him to go in and ask when it will be. To ask when he can stop.

When the poor man returns, Thanos asks him what she said and he starts to reply with ‘nothing’ though that is all Thanos hears. He’s about to finish with the thought ‘because she’s dead’ but is cut off by The Mad Titan killing him. Following this he goes to talk to his love and asks her himself. When she refuses to give him the answer he wants, he orders his men to take her away and lock her up.

Suddenly the name Mad Titan makes sense when they ask him who he wants locked up. The only woman that they can see in the room is a dead body on the bed. The young girl he had spent his entire life talking to choose this moment to disappear before her eyes while laughing, for only he was ever able to see her. She reappears to him once more in her skeletal form and finally reveals that she is Death and she has been working on melding him to the role he was meant to play his entire life.

She made it clear that he still had work to do to become a God for her. He had to finish letting go of things from the past such as his family. Suddenly Thanos knew what he needed to do and set a course for home.

Things are finally coming together for this Thanos mini-series to give us a look to the inside of how Thanos’ mind works. While this has probably been my favorite issue of the lot so far, I’m still not sold that the run was necessary. Some of what has been revealed makes him just look like a serial killer, some has been alluded to in other comics, none of it has that wow factor that makes me feel the run needed to be made. I love Thanos. Once he was revealed in ‘The Avengers’ film I knew he’d be coming back and coming back big. The upcoming ‘Infinity’ run should appease that and I sure as hell hope so because while I did enjoy this issue, this run has had very little in the appeasement factor for me.

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THANOS RISING #4
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Simone Bianchi