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Avengers vs. Thanos Paperback – March 5, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Avengers
  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785168508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785168508
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Nowlin on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Jim Starlin's Thanos saga is a beloved masterpiece of superhero comics, one Marvel has for years failed to bring back into print. They have collected parts of it here and there, most noticeably with the Life & Death of Captain Marvel collection, which features the beginning and end of the saga, with its focus on Captain Marvel.

Now they focus on Thanos. This collection is complete in that it includes every Thanos story prior to 1980, but not every story relevant to the saga. In particular, Warlock #9 picks up in the middle of a story (oft-called the Magus Saga) whose first 4 chapters are omitted in this volume. They are omitted because they took out the issues not featuring Thanos, without regard to how essential those were to a coherent narrative.

The Saga which needs collecting, is all of Jim Starlin's cosmic work from the '70s, the saga being the union of his Thanos/Captain Marvel/Warlock stories:
Iron Man #55
Captain Marvel #25-34 (34 is absent from this collection)
Marvel Feature #12
Strange Tales #178-181 (glaringly absent from this collection)
Warlock #9-15 (#12-14 absent from this collection)
Avengers annual 7
Marvel Two-in-One annual 2
Death of Captain Marvel (absent from this collection)

THAT is an entire story, which should fit nicely into a big omnibus or a few smaller softcovers.
Unnecessary to the main saga, but filling in some details, are the following tie-in issues, some of which are collected, at the expense of more important pieces:
Avengers #125
Daredevil #105-107
Logan's Run #6
Marvel Team-Up #55 (absent from this collection)

The above fits nicely into Marvel's omnibus format, or perhaps a 3 or 4 smaller softcovers, and will be a great read.
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Thanos is probably the single most enigmatic, most emotionally conflicted, and most feared villain in the Marvel Universe (MU) who was not only able to rock the MU to its basest core, but also paint a gray hue of what is a villain and what is not. Doctor Doom comes second best, in my opinion, but in the grand scheme of things only Thanos remains.

So who is this Thanos, you might ask?

He is the creation of maestro Jim Starlin in the Bronze Age of American comics (1970s). Thanos' name is derived from `Thanatos', the Greek God of Death. But in the MU, he is the embodiment of the nihilistic Titan who worships Death.

He has appeared in numerous Marvel books and graphic novels spanning almost four decades. His most important role came in 1991 when he wielded the Infinity Gauntlet and killed one-half of all living beings in the universe with but a snap of his finger that led to his waging a cosmic war against the MU's Celestial Forces. After that debacle, his infamy grew into legend. And while precious few writers plainly understood what goes on in this character's mind and made him an intelligent and cunning force to be reckoned with, others portrayed him as a hulking travesty. Alas, as time went by his popularity dimmed and dwindled until Joss Whedon decided to give the devil his due. Thanos's 3 second silver screen cameo debut as an epilogue to the Marvel's The Avengers movie (2012) resurrected fans' interest to this one-of-a-kind villain.

In the hands of Starlin Thanos becomes the Omega to the Marvel Heroes' Alpha.
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Fantastic Four issues 48 thru 50 might have actually initiated Marvel's Great/Epic 'Cosmic Awareness' phase (and literal 'Childhood's End' - to borrow Arthur C. Clarke's magnificent title!) = with the coming of Galactus and the Silver Surfer, which began appealing to True SciFi fans => but in the decade of the 1970's, Jim Starlin built a light-speed escalator to the celestial Stars themselves, with this infinitely creative work (as both Artist & Writer) of most of the incredible stories & visuals contained within! Ensuring that 'comics' were no Longer just for kids - with more complex, thought-provoking glimpses into alternate 'realities' of Time & Space! And inadvertently laying the groundwork for 'Graphic Novels' and other story-telling innovations, soon to come!

For starters he created 'Thanos' (based on Greek god of Death, Thanatos). Thanos was unusual in that he was in no way motivated by the typical 'bad guy' ethos, or modus operandi (i.e. neither wanting World domination, nor billions & billions in spare change, nor simple revenge) - Thanos had much Loftier goals = (1) Ultimate Peace/Tranquility (unfortunately thru Universal death/oblivion) and (2) Winning the Love and adoration from the ultimate Object of his affection, Lady Death herself (a feminine version of the 'Grim Reaper' - very beautifully drawn by Starlin - when not depicted as a simple lifeless skull)!
This collection has something like 20 comics worth of Top notch content, at nearly 500 pages!
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