Last issue we found that Thanos is free in the Marvel Universe. While we don’t know what he has planning (just that it has something to do with the upcoming Infinity event as he needs to be more prolific with his role in the upcoming Avengers films), we do learn that he comes back to his planet of birth each year. Having grown up on Titan, he was always a bit of an outcast and as we saw in the first issue that his interests were always a bit more violent then his peers.

In this issue we learn that Thanos, even at a young age, is brilliant. So brilliant that his professors almost have a hard time keeping up with him. To keep himself learning he’s decided to take his skills at dissection to a new level.

While in the first book he had to slay a pack of dogs in ‘self defense’, (for killing his friends? because he wanted to?) in this book he has killed one for dissection before moving on. We see that a slew of dogs and similar creatures were dissected and followed up by an ape. All of this time a young Death is taunting him. Offhand, It’s interesting that Death is so talkative to him while he’s a child and so uncommunicative to him as he grows into an adult.

After the ape he steps it up another notch and starts bringing in the other children that are roughly his age. While burying the bodies after his first two kills, he says that the experiment is over and that he will never kill again. She tells him that with how much he enjoys it but it just won’t do.

Thanos admits this is true as the body count turns from 2 to 17 including both students and teachers.

The missing students take such notice that he observes his father having a discussion about it. He insists that his people do not know about murder and these cannot just be random killings. As his father leaves the room his always quiet mother leans over and tells Thanos that she knows what he is. His response is that she can’t because even he does not know that.

The book ends with Death rebutting his first sign of affection. This leads to him giving a monologue to someone about himself, what he’s done, and not fully understanding what he is. He’s decided that he can find out what he is though and we pan back to see that he is talking to his mother who is strapped to his operating table. His way of finding out what he is will be to research where he came from by examining the inside of his mother.

So we’re given a mini-cliffhanger. Wonderful.

Thanos is my all time favorite villain in the Marvel Universe and I’m a little annoyed with how they are treating his origin story on two fronts. On the one hand that don’t have his brother Eros featured at all here. He was always a main point of Thanos early on in his appearances and he hasn’t graced the pages once yet. The second complaint, and my major one, is that they are treating Thanos as a simple serial killer. Yes he’s become a killer of cosmic proportions at this point but they are twisting it to be that he’s just a serial killer and nothing greater motivates the Mad Titan.

If they continue this route and don’t give us something more substantial soon I’m going to be extremely let down by this title.

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Simone Bianchi