While Gamora is being kidnapped by the Blood Brothers and the rebels from the Butcher Squadron, he is still being haunted by the Magus's mental projection, who taunts him about his growing feelings for his young kidnappee/ward.
However, as soon as the mutiny is discovered, all bets are off! Gamora, in particular, proves to be a particularly difficult hostage to hold...
But even with Gamora returned to (relative) safety, and the mutiny put down by Thanos... things will never be normal again - especially when Thanos abruptly leaves her to the crew's tender mercies!
Thanos #4 continues this miniseries’ stubborn insistence in being as safe and mediocre as possible. Writer Tini Howard and artist Ariel Olivetti have put together a package that is about as exciting as warm milk, but manages to stay just shy of being outright awful. But it is no doubt toothless.
Howard’s Thanos is a surface-level Thanos only, and a PG one at that. He isn’t particularly menacing, and with Olivetti’s lackluster art, has no imposition or physically threatening presence. Nor is his behavior very consistent. In this issue, he behaves like a child throwing a tantrum, blindly swinging his fists at the Magus’s telepathic projection; later, he savagely butchers some of the mutineers without a second thought.
Gamora doesn’t fare much better. She’s essentially a stock precocious child character, albeit one that isn’t shy about killing. There’s a nice little moment where she defies Thanos by not killing the Blood Brother who kidnapped her, showing off her independent streak, but it’s a moment – nothing more.
What this issue (and by turn the whole series) lacks is any real sense of stakes. Because of the by-the-numbers character development (or lack thereof) and stock plotting, there’s no sense that anything happening will be of any consequence. Thanos’ war with Magus is an uninteresting afterthought… as is most of this series. We all know the plot, and where the characters will ultimately land – but Howard isn’t giving us any reason to care about how they ultimately get there.
Another painfully middle-of-the-road issue of Thanos, wherein little of consequence happens and characters behave in dull and predictable ways. The Titan may be mad, but his series is a snooze.
Thanos #4 (of 6): Space Madness
Writing - 4/104/10
Storyline - 3/103/10
Art - 4/104/10
Color - 5/105/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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