He is the most malevolent of galactic villains. He killed most of his race and if he had his way, the universe. Bottom line: He even killed his mama! He has courted Death and known rebirth. He is the Mad Titan, Thanos.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known as DnA, answer some questions from Cosmic Book News on the one-shot, the expected space opus to which it should give birth, and what plans the duo has for Jim Starlin’s most famous creation.
CosmicBookNews: Marvel just announced The Thanos Imperative: Ignition. What can you tell us about that?
DnA: The Thanos Imperative is a massive cosmic event for 2010, and Ignition is exactly what it sounds like — the place where it all kicks off. It’s not a prologue, because prologues are never this loud or galaxy-shaking! This is where we set out our stall and show the readers exactly who the main players are and what they’re playing for.
The stakes are huge!
CosmicBookNews: Have the events in Annihilation: Conquest and War of Kings been leading to this ultimate cosmic event?
DnA: Yes. We’ve been writing and steering the cosmic books for over three years, and we’ve had various schemes and plans in mind, developing, adjusting, refining. All along, we’ve had one big goal in mind, and it’s this. It’s a huge treat to be able to see so many various and distinct story threads and character lines through to such a big pay-off story…BUT… though The Thanos Imperative will deliver all sorts of goodies for the readers who’ve been with us these last three years, we’ve also built it so new readers can jump right onboard. You don’t need to know anything about what’s gone before to be able to understand the story and enjoy the ride. You’ve just got to grab on and hold tight!
CosmicBookNews: What do you think it is about the Mad Titan that makes him such a great character, particularly a villain?
DnA: Thanos just … is. He’s got a great look and a great sense of power and invincibility, and he also always feels complicated. For a being of vast physical power, he’s highly intellectual. His threat is never the same thing twice. He won’t just invade you or devour your planet: when Thanos appears, you don’t know exactly what his agenda is.
Especially this time.
CosmicBookNews: We see the Sentinel of the Spaceways, the Silver Surfer, is going to play a role. Is there anything you can say in regard to that?
DnA: With Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy we’ve done a lot to power up or spotlight some of the lesser-known, or second-string or under-powered cosmic heroes. In doing so, we’ve generally stayed away from the big guns.
Not this time. This time, we need all the power of the first division cosmic heroes, and that means the likes of Surfer, Quasar, Nova and Gladiator SIDE BY SIDE. Cosmic dream time. An awful lot of cosmic fanboy hearts just skipped a beat, didn’t they? We know ours did!
CosmicBookNews: Fan favorite Wendell Vaughn is also said to be part of The Thanos: Imperative. Seeing how he is the Protector of the Universe and the universe definitely needs protecting, will he be fighting alongside Richard Rider as he has been since Annihilation?
DnA: As we just said, yes… he’s got to be there.
CosmicBookNews: How do you feel Rich has developed as a character since the early issues of Nova? He has been through a lot, from dealing with the Phalanx in Conquest to his battle with the Silver Surfer and Galactus that resulted in the Worldmind getting corrupted to losing the Nova Force and gaining it back. Will Rich be bringing these experiences to the forefront of the battle, aiding him against whatever foes there may be?
DnA: Nova is a serious big league hero now, and this story puts him front and center with the big boys. His experience — and his enhanced power — is really going to count. He is one of the key focus characters of this story.
CosmicBookNews: Star-Lord, a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, is going to play a central role as well. That is pretty interesting seeing how the above-mentioned are very powerful cosmic characters. What can you tell us about Star-Lord?
DnA: Star-Lord is the other key focus character. He and Nova came through the original Annihilation together, one went solo, one formed a team. They both want to save the universe, but can they agree how to do it?
You’re right — Star-Lord is nothing like as powerful as Nova, Surfer or the rest. That’s another very compelling strand to this, and it makes Star-Lord a person to watch as this unfolds.
CosmicBookNews: Anything you want to add?
DnA: We can promise you that the Marvel Cosmos will never be the same again after this!
CosmicBookNews: Thanks for your time!
Look for The Thanos Imperative: Ignition to hit May 5th!