Tread carefully, because we’re going in full spoiler territory about this week’s Infinity Wars Prime #1 today.
This week saw a dramatic and unexpected death in Marvel Comics. Let’s back things up a bit and talk about what brought us to this point. Marvel has been building towards their new Infinity Wars series with a myriad of Infinity Countdown tie-ins. The storyline, like with most Infinity-related tales, revolved around the infamous Infinity Gems, the stones, that when brought together with the Infinity Gauntlet, capable of doing anything.
While Marvel slowly made its way to this week’s Infinity Wars Prime #1, multiple characters throughout the Marvel Universe were dealing with their each having acquired on of the Gems. There was also a new, mysterious, hooded character named Requiem who nobody, until now, has been able to make heads or tales of. And so, Marvel promised a major character would be killed off right as the cosmic event had barely begun.
This ended up not being hyperbole or false advertising. True to their word, Marvel killed off the one character no one expected: Thanos.
Arguably Marvel’s biggest villain, and with everyone expecting a hero to kick the bucket, the death was a genuine shock. Thanos, The Mad Titan, is at the height of his popularity, in part thanks to the movie Avengers: Infinity War. Because of this, Marvel played with its readership cunningly, since folks likely expected Thanos to be at the heart of Infinity Wars, just like he has been in nearly every other Infinity event. Alas, such was not meant to be, as Requiem sneaks up on the Mad Titan, impales him with her sword, and then decapitates the evil Eternal. Before he dies, Thanos recognizes his assailant, but the information is not revealed to the reader.
So the question remains: is Thanos really dead? This being comics, the answer is probably no, at least not in the long run. In the short-run however, it’s feasible we might not be seeing much of Thanos for a time. Still, even Thanos was shocked by his demise, as he already got a glimpse of his future (as seen in Donny Cates’ run on Thanos) wherein he kills everyone in the universe and lives to be an old man, or the equivalent thereof for Thanos. Yet Requiem has dramatically altered those events, so how will that affect the future of the Marvel Universe? Only time will tell, but until then, it looks like it’s going to be up to Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and a couple others to take on Requiem and save the universe.