05 July 2012

JUST A THOUGHT

I suppose congratulations are in order for Joe Keatinge: His head-turning work on Rob Liefeld's Glory and his own Hell Yeah! have landed him a gig at Marvel, chronicling the earliest adventures of cosmic heavy Thanos in Thanos: Son of Titan. If you've been following Glory and Hell Yeah! – both of which have trade paperbacks collecting their initial arcs out in August – you know already know that Joe's one of the most exciting new writers in comics. If you're not familiar with Joe, though, and you haven't checked out Glory and Hell Yeah! – you should rectify that immediately. Both series are insanely awesome and while Thanos: Son of Titan is essentially retroactive continuity for a character that has been around since the early '70s, Glory and Hell Yeah! take place right here, right now. If you can't wait for the trades, both Glory #28 (Joe and artist Ross Campbell's sixth issue) and Hell Yeah! #5 are out later this month.



And speaking of Thanos: The vast majority of all Thanos stories – not to mention the best – have been written by Thanos' creator, Jim Starlin. Among my favorites are his appearances in Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, but for most fans, the mother of all Thanos stories is The Infinity Gauntlet, which grew out of stories Jim set up in Silver Surfer #34-38 and The Thanos Quest miniseries. The Infinity Gauntlet was followed by three other Thanos-centric series: The Infinity War, The Infinity Crusade and The Infinity Abyss. If you're into Thanos, every one of those series is recommended reading, along with Thanos: The End and Jim's run on Captain Marvel.

Jim Starlin has done a lot of amazing work that doesn't involve Thanos, though, and the most recent of that is 'Breed III, the final installment of the 'Breed series he began in the mid-'90s. The first two 'Breed miniseries were published by Malibu Comics under their Bravura banner, but 'Breed III came out from Image. We collected the first two volumes of 'Breed in 2011, and the third volume will be out in August. Jim has been virtually synonymous with cosmic comics since the beginning of his career, and in my opinion does them better than almost anyone, and if cosmic epics are your thing and you've somehow missed out on 'Breed – you really should check it out.




And here's a final thought:

Joe Keatinge and Jim Starlin are separated by many, many years, but at the same time, they have something in common. I'm not talking about Thanos, either, although I guess there is that, too. However, if you completely take Thanos out of the equation, the one more important thing they share is the passion they bring to their creator-owned work. There's nothing wrong with writing cool Thanos stories by a long shot, but if you want the pure, undiluted creativity and imagination of two comicdom's best? Get your hands on the books I just name-checked above. You won't be disappointed.