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Thanos Rising is a 5-issue comic mini-series released in 2013, exploring the origins of Thanos.


This comic provides examples of:

  • The Big Damn Kiss: After denying Thanos for many years, Death finally embraces and kisses Thanos after he starts believing that she's just a figment of his imagination after all.
  • Cruel Mercy: During his confrontation with his father at the end, Thanos decides to leave him alive just so he can continue to witness his son's atrocities while being unable to stop him.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: At first, Death appears to Thanos as a younger version of his mother Sui-San. Defied when she reveals her true identity, ripping off her robe and skin to expose a talking skeleton.
  • Framing Device: Thanos returns to his dead homeworld in the present each year to revisit his origins, then he starts reminiscing about his life. At the end, Death visits him once more. He ignores her and walks off.
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  • Grave-Marking Scene: Thanos visits his mother's grave on Titan in the opening. Not because he had any real affection for her (being the one responsible for her death), more for ritualistic reasons and to understand his own destiny.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: During his spacefaring days, Thanos shacks up with numerous attractive alien women and has offspring with some of them, but he abandons them in due time because he is only really interested in Death.
  • Klingon Promotion: After serving with a crew of space pirates for several years, the Captain finally has enough of Thanos' pacifistic ways and tries to kill him in a duel. Thanos kills the captain quite easily and takes over his ship.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's made deliberately vague whether Thanos is insane or not and whether his visions of Death are real. No one except him can see her so others just see him talking to empty air or corpses. According to his father's scanners, there's nothing to prove that someone is really talking to him. However, Death is a Cosmic Entity with powers far beyond any mortal, so that wouldn't really be a surprise. At the end, Thanos ignores her.
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  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: According to Death, Thanos frequently has sex with female aliens in his quarters before murdering them, but then continues talking to their corpses as if they were alive. His crew members think he's quite mad.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • Thanos' mother Sui-San tries to kill him when she lays eyes on him for the first time and realizes that he's going to become an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Thanos himself murders the numerous offspring he has had with various alien women at Death's request.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Thanos spends much of each issue acting on suggestions from Death, who is constantly nagging him to commit murders. Even when he becomes a space pirate captain, it's because he accidentally won a duel with the old captain. He swings a sword with his eyes shut and kills him without meaning to, and so gains authority by sheer accident.
  • Power Perversion Potential: There's a brief scene where a Skrull shapeshifter is shown being touted as a sex slave.
    Slaver: Spend the night with a genuine Skrull! She can be whoever you want her to be! All decent trades accepted!
  • Retcon: Thanos Rising retcons many of the details of Thanos' origin that Starlin had established in the 2004 Thanos solo series. Among other changes:
    • In Starlin's origin, Thanos was treated like an outcast and discriminated against because of his Deviant appearance. Rising instead shows that Thanos had many friends as a child and was indeed quite popular, with his gradual withdrawal from society being of his own volition.
    • Starlin's origin states that Thanos first encountered Mistress Death as an adult while exploring the ruins of an ancient temple. In Rising, Death actually seeks out Thanos and approaches him at school while he's still a child.
    • A major part of Thanos' original Start of Darkness was that his father exiled him from Titan for performing forbidden experiments that resulted in the deaths of some of the test subjects. In Rising, Thanos actually flees Titan as a teenager after killing his mother.
    • Starlin's origin suggested that Thanos had a fairly good relationship with his mother, as she only died when he destroyed Titan years later, and Thanos even says she was the one member of his family he might actually have spared. In Rising, they have an antagonistic relationship literally from day one, with his mother trying to kill him as soon as he's born.
  • Space Pirate: After fleeing Titan, Thanos traverses the cosmos for many years and becomes a pirate in the process. Eventually he takes over the ship after killing the previous captain in a duel and uses his new forces to destroy many worlds.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Thanos kidnaps and vivisects his mother Sui-San to find out how she could have brought someone as evil as him into the world. However, when he returns years later to wipe out the rest of his people, he leaves his father Mentor alive just so he can be witness to his son's continued atrocities.
  • Start of Darkness: The comic shows how Thanos of Titan developed from a young mutant boy with purple skin into the Omnicidal Maniac Emperor Scientist he is in the present day. From the day he was born he starts seeing visions of Death who subtly manipulates him into becoming first a serial killer, then a space pirate, and finally a nihilistic mass murderer who ends up destroying his own homeworld, though it's left ambiguous whether this was truly Death or a figment of his imagination.
  • Variant Cover: Various covers with Deadpool trolling Thanos or Thanos drawn in a chibi art style.
  • Villainous Crush: When Thanos was a kid, he had an unrequited crush on a friend who was rather vicious for an Eternal. She influenced him into doing things that eventually lead him to become the person who he is in the present. As a young adult, she convinced him kill his previous lovers and children, and told him that she was in fact, Death. At the end of that series, he shows that he eventually got over her. Maybe.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: At the end, Thanos returns to Titan to wipe out his own civilization. He doesn't even allow his forces to have any part in it.

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