For Thanos being my favorite Marvel villain of all time, I knew that an origin story was either going to make or break the character. In Thanos Rising #1 we saw Thanos appear to be nothing more than a serial killer. A cosmically gifted serial killer, but not much more. I was let down even more when Thanos Rising #2 gave him a mommy complex. While the pushing of Death made it look as if she was molding him, I was still unimpressed.

Now we’re at the third issue and I’m not sure what to say. While it didn’t blow me away I feel it’s starting to move in the right direction. In this issue, we see Thanos wear quite a few hats, though none of them feel quite right.

First up we see Thanos taking on his brother’s roll as the lover. Yes. You read that right. Thanos the lover. Apparently it looks as if he left his seed all across the Galaxy as he had a romp with quite a few women out there in the cosmos. It was his attempt at trying to live a normal life by spawning his progeny. Women were drawn to him, and falling in love with him, though all they ever truly received was his contempt.

In between the women, he traveled the galaxy with a band of space pirates using his intelligence to help them overcome security and jam distress signals. Yes, Thanos the Space Pirate. (Are you imagining an eye patch and peg leg here? I was.) While travelling with them , he is still trying to live a normal life so has sworn off the one thing he excels at above all other things – murder.

His captain isn’t too happy about his choices, though, and finally threatens to kill him in order to get rid of the pathetic excuse of a crewman that he is. However, as the Captain goes for the killing blow, Thanos blacks out. He regains consciousness over the extremely eviscerated corpse of the man who he had been following. Though “following” may have been too strong of a word. The crew would back whoever was the strongest and Thanos proved in spades it was him.

He returned to his home world and appeared at his mother’s grave. It was the first time of many and his goal wasn’t really to see her but to see the young woman he loved. The only woman he had ever loved.

She said that is she were to love him,  he would have to give himself to her completely in mind, body, and action. To do so and to be hers, he had to not have any of himself still given freely to others. The issue closes with Thanos travelling the cosmos once more, butchering all of his lovers and illegitimate offspring.

I’m intrigued by how the larger role Death is finally playing in the comic. With only 5 issues in total, I’m of course going to finish it though I’m just not sure if it will keep my attention for the entire run. At the very least, the next issue looks like he’s wearing The Infinity Gauntlet on the cover so if there’s any reference alluding to that (even if this is all supposed to take place far before that time period) I’ll be quite the happy reader.

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Simone Bianchi