Comixology Sale Picks: Thanos
Posted by James Hunt at 09:07 on 04 Aug 2014
This sale is divided into four major parts. The Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity Gauntlet Sequels, The Thanos Imperative and the Thanos ongoing series. Obviously it's not entirely a good idea to read the Infinity Gauntlet sequels without reading the main story, but other than that they all stand alone.
The Infinity Gauntlet
If you've been paying attention to the Nerdsphere, you'll know that the Marvel Cinematic universe is heading vaguely in the direction of one of Marvel's most famous crossovers: The Infinity Gauntlet. The movies have introduced at least three Infinity Stones (aka Infinity Gems, aka Soul Gems). If you want to get a taste of what this crossover might look like when it actually gets made, now's your big chance.
If you want to just read the basic story, Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 is enough. However, there are also a bunch of crossovers and spin-offs. If you're planning to read the lot, we'll tackle them now in order.
Thanos: The Final Threat #1
This is a one-shot containing two annuals from the 1970s (which are pretty uneven as a result) which tell the story of Thanos' final battle and eventual death. Gamora's in it, and it also serves as an introduction of sorts to Adam Warlock who'll go on to be reasonably prominent in the stories that follow. That said, I'd personally skip it unless you're specifically interested in material from the period. There's a 10-year gap between this and anything else in the sale.
Silver Surfer #34-38
Thanos is reborn! And he's collecting the Infinity Gems. The Surfer rallies heroes to stop him. Issue #37 includes a prominent appearance by Drax (who, we should warn you, is quite different from the movie version at this point).
These issues lead into...
Thanos Quest #1-2
A full length graphic novel split into two parts. This features the Collector (as seen in GotG) who has one of the gems, and a bunch of other 70s-Marvel craziness, such as the Grand Master (a cosmic entity who likes board games). The story ends with the groundwork for The Infinity Gauntlet thoroughly laid. It's backstory, but in many ways it'd be the first act of any Infinity Gauntlet movie. Even if you're just buying The Infinity Gauntlet, I'd get these issues too.
The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
NOW you can read the Infinity Gauntlet. In case you don't know the story, here's the gist: Thanos united the Infinity Gems and becomes, essentially, a god. The heroes of Earth have to stop him. This story has everyone in, but notably, there's a lot of Nebula which hints at what she might do in the MCU's future.
Infinity Gauntlet Essentials Checklist:
Thanos Quest #1-2
Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
The Infinity Sequels
So, you've read The Infinity Gauntlet and want to know what happens next? Well, the story is followed up in a few different series. Here's how those on sale relate to it:
The series picks up moments after the end of the Infinity Gauntlet story in #60, which features both Thor and Doctor Strange. It leads into a longer storyline that bridges much of the gap between Infinity Gauntlet and its sequel, Infinity War, but isn't directly related to it. The sale runs up to issue #66, but none of it is essential. Issue #61 starts a small arc featuing the Collector, though.
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36
This single issue comes straight after Silver Surfer #60 and directly deals with the status quo following the end of the Infinity Gauntlet. Ordinarily I'd say skip it, but since there's a Doctor Strange movie on the cards, you might be interested in reading a story with him in.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch
A series about what happens to the Infinity Gauntlet after the events of Infinity Crusade. This sale features a bunch of issues, but only #1-2 are directly related to the Infinity Gauntlet. Notably, Drax and Gamora are both part of the Infinity Watch. About half of the book's 42-issue run is actually on Comixology, but issues #7-17 are omitted from the sale.
Another six-issue series and the centre of a big crossover, this is kind of an essential chapter in the Infinity Gauntlet's ongoing story in that it contains some big revelations about the nature of the gems and the person currently holding them. But it's also not very good. Basically Warlock goes mad and the assembled heroes of Earth attempt to stop him. Only read it if you're being a completist, and if that's the case, be aware that Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7-10 are fairly major parts of the story (but for some reason they aren't in the sale.)
The third and final part of the trilogy, I'm not even going to try and summarise what happens, but on a basic level Warlock and Thanos team up and everyone else gets involved too. The core story's in Infinity Crusade #1-6 with crossovers in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #17-22 and Warlock Chronicles #1-5, all of which are in the sale. Again, it's not especially great, though it's better than Infinity War.
Infinity Sequels Essentials Checklist:
Silver Surfer #60
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1-2
Infinity War #1-6
Infinity Crusade #1-6
The Thanos Imperative
After comic books fell out of favour for a long time, Marvel revived the line under the stewardship of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, whose stories directly inspired the GotG movie. This big crossover features Marvel's cosmic heroes teaming up to prevent the Cancerverse from destroying the regular Marvel Universe. If you're coming off the back of the Guardians movie this story is particularly interesting, and features the Guardians (essentially the movie cast, including a more movie-like Drax), Knowhere, Ronan and more, and stands completely alone from all the other Infinity Gauntlet stuff.
Thanos Imperative Reading Order Checklist:
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1
The Thanos Imperative #1-6
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1
Thanos Ongoing Series
For some bizarre reason, Thanos had his own series in 2003. It spun out of the non-canon Marvel Universe: The End series, but was in-canon. Confused? I know I am. It ran for 12 issues, all of which are in this sale. Much of it is dominated by Thanos' ongoing fight with Galactus. Issue #11 feature the Kyln, but it's surprisingly light on material that might relate to the Guardians movie. Skip it.
And there you go. Typically convoluted stuff, but hopefully we've been able to point you in the direction of the issues you might want to read. If you get confused, you know where to find us. The sale's on until the end of the day.