Saturday, June 19, 2010
Aswe continue through the "doppleganger" baddies form the Marvel and DC Universes, we today turn our attention to the Marvel cosmic wanna be universe ruler - Thanos. Actually, Thanos does not really want to rule the universe, he just wants everybody in it dead, since he worships the personification of death and want to bring her the best possible gift. Yes, I said her and how is that for some deep-seeded psychosexual overtones in a comic book!
As you can see form the panel at bottom, Marvel did not quite know what to do with Thanos for the longest time. (A cosmic baddie flying a helicopter? - PUH-LEEZE!) But then the ultimate cosmic writer Jim Starlin got a hold of him and in the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos really seemed to become a solid and excellent character. While the follow-ups to "Gauntlet" in the Infinity series to not match up to the original - they are recommended as some of the finest in cosmic traditions.
There is actually very little alike about the DC version, Darkseid, and Thanos - they just sort of occupy the same place in the bad guy pantheon. (It's amazing how when discussing comics books, one is almost forced into the language of mythology - is it not?) Even their look is quite different - which leads to some interesting character development. Darkseid really does wish to conquer and rule. Though driven by a sense of honor, he is a creature of the shadows. Darkseid in full light is just ugly. Not so with Thanos.
As someone who seeks to to rule, other than as a means to an end (misguided end though it may be) Thanos is very capable of, from time-to-time, taking the role of good guy and stepping fully into the light. And he looks good standing there. You find yourself almost rooting for him, even though you know he is fighting the bad guy only becasue he wants to make sure he is the only one that actually does kill everybody.
OK - maybe with that statement I've gone off the deep end a little....