Thanos stands face-to-face with his future self, a King Thanos who has conquered and wiped out all live in the universe (with the exception of the Spirit of Vengeance). We are shown how he did it, his immortality allowing him to overpower the aging heroes of Earth.
Thanos is unimpressed with his aged future self, and it doesn't take long for him attack King Thanos.
The Jim Starlin-esque narration which gave charm to the previous issue of Thanos actually becomes a detriment to this comic. It becomes less mythical and more conversational, and using the word "anyway" as a transition makes the story seem less legendary.
Much of the narration is still quite dramatic and gives a good background to the actions of the Mad Titan. Not all of it works though, and enough if it is dysfunctional as to become a problem.
Summary makes up a decent chunk of the contents of this issue, a portion of which is a retelling of Thanos' origins and most impressive tales. This doesn't do much for the comic. I can understand wanting to give a refresher for newer readers joining up with Marvel Legacy, but this doesn't feel like the best time to do that for the overall narrative. Last issue showed who the Mad Titan is for all to see better than any retelling of his origin could.
I'll definitely give Donny Cates credit for the simplicity of how Thanos wins. He is immortal and unrelenting. He is an inevitability. Some day he will win. "The universe as you know it ended the day Thanos was born."
There is a certain level of petulance to our deadly protagonist that actually is quite fitting given his personality. In that way, revisiting his birth and mother does make some sense.
The biggest failing of the comic is how little the plot actually moves forward. We learn how King Thanos won, how he has had some self-reflection, and the comic ends with him giving his younger self a request. Beyond that, much of the comic faffs about. Don't get me wrong, I love that the two Thanos' fight; it makes too much sense. However, this issue pales in comparison to the previous installment.
Geoff Shaw's artwork is mostly quite good. There are some scenes where Thanos' face looks a bit odd, even for him. The design of King Thanos is quite good. I like the beard. Antonio Fabela keeps the color darker with neon colors used to add flare, which is the cosmic way. The two keep the comic very visually appealing for the vast majority of the runtime. The above two-page spread is quite gorgeous in itself.
Thanos #14 is a little disappointing in comparison to the great previous issue. However, it is still a solid read. Donny Cates makes sure to keep the comic very introspective, and that is the right instinct with the Mad Titan. The art is solid too, and I can still recommend this one. Give it a read.
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