Thanos Wins has to be one of the most enjoyable comic stories I’ve read in years. The book was packed with content and interesting twists. One of the major elements that made it such a delight was the insane Ghost Rider who did Thanos’s bidding. The character ended up being Frank Castle, who has somehow outlived every superhero we know and love. Donny Cates did an excellent job making you want more and now we get just that.
So what’s it about?
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Why does this matter?
This is the newest Marvel character to my knowledge so buckle up, because anything can happen. A character like Cosmic Ghost Rider is particularly interesting because he combines the powers of Ghost Rider, but also has been imbued with the powers Galactus bestowed on him. He’s also completely insane (killing trillions and living for eons will do that to a human). It’s a story that is ripe for a series.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a fantastic recap of Frank Castle’s journey, first as a soldier leading all the way up to his time with Thanos. Over twelve panels, artist Dylan Burnett gives us beautiful snapshots of each important moment in Castle’s life with a simple caption to give the image a bit more clarity. It sets the comic off on the right foot so that we can dive right into what comes next.
As the story progresses we learn where Castle’s head is at, and also how he survived death (for the third time). Cates uses these moments to humanize the character who, up until this point, has been completely insane. This helps make the character relatable before he gets back into Ghost Rider mode to tear up the galaxy. The last few pages are well formulated to give readers a good sense of where we go from here. I don’t want to spoil it, but some may be reminded of a major Mark Millar Marvel story based on the final image.
Burnett is the perfect artist for this book due to his ability to tame the chaos. When the flames rise up on Ghost Rider, you practically feel it. His style is slightly cartoonish, fitting the cosmic side of things which always seems otherworldly and strange. Antonio Fabela is the perfect colorist too. He uses a lot of bright colors that give the book a fun brightness that suits the story.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Maybe my expectations got in the way, but I found this issue rather slow. The opening is fast and the ending is fast, but the middle seems to go on forever. It also seems pointless in the grand scheme of things due to the realm (and the characters) ending up not mattering much. Most of the middle portion is devoted to humanizing Frank (that’s good), but at the expense of showing us a world and resetting the character. Maybe this realm and these characters will matter later, I sure hope so, but at this point, it’s hard to know or even care.
Is it good?
I liked this first issue. The color art and pencil work are nearly perfect for a book like this. The character is thoroughly humanized and sent on a new mission. It simply takes too long to get into its groove. It’s the kind of book you wanted to jam out to, but it ends up being a slow cut that dovetails into a memorable guitar lick you won’t want to stop.