Thursday, December 23, 2010

Context is for other comics, now is fighty time.

'Hate you.' 'Hate you more.'
Since I've been running through the chapters of "Blood and Thunder" that I have, mostly the Silver Surfer ones, here's part ten: "Common Enemy" Written by Ron Marz, guest pencils by Andy Smith, inks by Tom Christopher.

Pip the Troll narrates this issue, having dropped the Silver Surfer, the really insane Thor, and his formerly imaginary girlfriend the Valkyrie in Thanos's stronghold. Pip is pretty together, considering, as he mentions, Thanos killed him once: Technically, I think Thanos just lobotomized him, back in the classic Jim Starlin Avengers Annual #7 or so. The Valkyrie is a figment of Thor's imagination, but somehow manifested in reality then took a physical form through Moondragon's mind gem. (She came to life. Good for her.)

Thanos's robots hold off Thor and Valkyrie long enough for Pip to explain the situation, and a disgruntled Thanos has little choice but to take on Thor while the Surfer holds off the Valkyrie. But Thor got the Power Gem away from Drax the Destroyer, and lays down a beating on the Titan. For his part, Thanos can take it, and dish it right back. (Without giving anything away, I think Thanos had an ace in the hole at that time...)
Thanos was this close to quitting in the middle of Infinity Crusade...
The Surfer manages to knock out the Valkyrie, in time to see Thanos walk away from the fight. An extraordinarily pissed-off Thor, calling Thanos a "recreant," is about to beat the finish off of the Surfer, before Thanos returns with a Cable-sized gun. (Actually, it's not that big...) The blast encases Thor in a crystal block, completely immobilized.

As the Surfer begrudgingly turns to thank Thanos, Thanos turns the gun on him; but sadly laments it's a single-shot weapon. Thanos tells the Surfer that while he may not be trying to get ultimate power anymore, he still shouldn't turn his back on him. Pip then arrives with the Infinity Watch and Dr. Strange, and Thanos repeats the earlier bit about killing Pip, namely, that he'd love to do it again. But, the field holding Thor won't last forever, and they need to figure out what to do with him before he gets loose and kills them all...

This is one of my favorite stretches for Thanos: he had done the ultimate evil thing, and more than once shot himself in the foot doing it. So, rather than keep doing what wasn't working, he moved on to something else...but he was still Thanos. And I love the sheer spite between Thanos and the Silver Surfer, set up by Starlin prior to Infinity Gauntlet. The Surfer was usually portrayed as level-headed and a bit emotionless, but he really doesn't like Thanos. At all.

The next chapter's write-up probably won't be until 2011, since next week should be something else!

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