04 Geek on ComicsLast month we took a look at Thanos Rising #1 and gave it all five alien heads, suggesting you drop Marvel’s Age of Ultron storyline and pick this one up. At last, we have been given the origin story of arguably the most murderous villain in the Marvel universe. Issue number two takes place a few years after the first issue and drives us further into the madness going on inside the head of a young Thanos. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

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We open on a classroom on Titan just as a group of students are about to dissect some lizard specimens and label their various parts. However, as the teacher is lecturing, Thanos has already dissected, labeled, and discovered an entire history of his specimen before anyone else can begin. He walks out of the class, fully convinced that he can no longer learn anything there. However, he’s been running his own little experiments – the slaughter of innocent animals in search of answers. These answers have eluded him though and he is soon convinced to kill people by a young Death. In the end, the answers remain hidden. But Thanos then realizes that maybe he’s been killing the wrong people and his next victim could be the one to send him completely over the edge.

Jason Aaron’s handling of this material remains wonderful. If you missed the first issue (which we advised you not to), you will not feel lost. Reading his take on this story is like being inside the mind of Charles Manson and it brings the story to life. Simone Bianchi continues to bring us beautiful art. The progression of Thanos’ emotions through the issue can be seen even if just looking at his disturbing eyes. Ive Svorcina has replaced Simone Peruzzi on colors this issue though and they seem a little less in tune with the story. But this is more than made up for by the story and art, doing minimal damage to our score. ½