REVIEW: Thanos #16 “Dealings With The Devils!” (Thanos Wins)

With Thanos and the Silver Surfer about to wage war and the end of the universe is near. Learn how Frank Castle lives to see the end and become the cosmic Ghost Rider.

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need to Know: In the future, the Mad Titan Thanos has conquered the universe. Just one obstacle remains and that is to defeat the Silver Surfer. In order to win this war, Thanos sent the cosmic Ghost Rider to the past and brought Thanos younger self to the future. Thanos learns that he becomes King Thanos and has beaten everyone. Now he stands ready to combat the Silver Surfer in order to help his older-self win the love of Death herself. But just how did Frank Castle become the cosmically powerful Ghost Rider?…

What You’ll Find Out: Frank Castle, the Punisher was there at the end like every hero that gathered to fight Thanos the day he came and conquered. Unlike every other hero though, as Frank laid dying, he “made a deal with the Devil” in Mephisto to become the Ghost Rider. But this was just the first deal he’d make as time would pass and Frank began to lose his mind.

As Thanos conquered the universe, a wounded Galactus would make his way to earth. Not knowing that earth’s heroes had already been killed by Thanos. Galactus only found the Ghost Rider. Both wanted to put an end to Thanos and Frank would strike another deal to gain cosmic powers and become the herald of Galactus. When the two finally confronted Thanos, Galactus would be killed. This left Frank with only one option left. To join King Thanos in his quest to rule the galaxy.

Which brings us to the present as the Silver Surfer arrives with the Annihilus Horde only to be defeated by the cosmic fires of the Ghost Rider. Thanos cannot believe that victory could be achieved so easily. As it turns out, he might be correct as the Silver Surfer stands worthy with Mjolnir in hand.

What Just Happened? Donny Cates takes on the journey of Frank Castle and why and how he is the cosmically powered Ghost Rider. When I first learned of the Punisher being the Ghost Rider. Admittedly I was not impressed or entertained by this. It seemed like such a small part of the story though that it didn’t take away from how much I’ve enjoyed this arc. Now I gotta apologize in a way. Because the journey of Frank Castle to this point is interesting. And while it’s a weird journey in many respects, it’s heartbreaking. His first deal with Mephisto only leads to his immortality and not the vengeance he wanted against Thanos in the first place. While his second deal brought him closer to his revenge. It was for nothing, and now he stands by his enemy as his only friend. Frank just can’t win and that is the genius in this tragic tale. Bravo, Mr. Cates!

Shaw and Fabela give us amazing art like they always do. I can’t imagine being able to praise their pencils and colors beyond my other reviews. These guys are money!

Rating: 9/10. Final Thoughts: Thanos Wins is perhaps the most unique story going right now. In retrospect, you know you’re not reading the book of a protagonist. And yet you can’t help but cheer for Thanos in certain ways. Donny Cates is bringing his “A” game in order to give you a Thanos, unlike anything you’ve ever read about the Mad Titan. This is amazing storytelling and art from top to bottom. Thanos definitely is winning here!

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