Captain Marvel #128 Review: The One Where Thanos is a Hero

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Captain Marvel and Zeta Flight are at the mercy of Lord Starkill and his Ravagers. Unfortunately for Starkill, he decided to make a deal to give "Corporal Marvel" over to "Thanos the Just" on Titan. Shortly, the Ravagers and Zeta Flight turn on their leaders, and it's Starkill and Captain Marvel being taken to Thanos on Titan.

Captain Marvel #128 cover by Phil Noto
Captain Marvel #128 cover by Phil Noto

I really wish one of these issues would have Carol haul off and beat the tar out of everyone else present, because, with the exception of Thanos, she could whup the ass of everyone here.

In any case, "Dark Origins" really hits peak faffing about with this comic. While the dialogue between Captain Marvel, the Ravagers, and Zeta Flight is fairly entertaining, this issue really feels aimless. Its primary goal seems to be, "Hey look, Thanos, but he's a hero!"

That's all well and good, but it doesn't really do anything with it. He still mostly behaves like the Thanos we know. He's cold, prone to outbursts, and likes to monologue when given the chance. There's even a moment where you're wondering if he's about to go mad with power or full-on totalitarian leadership, but he pulls back. He really is just heroic Thanos.

That being said, this really is a funny comic, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. However, there are stakes in the background like the fate of Bean or the fact that Carol is trapped in an alternate universe that put tension that is completely ignored by the aimlessness of "Dark Origins." It's trying to have its cake and laugh at it too. It's far from charmless; it just feels pointless.

Captain Marvel #128 art by Michele Bandini and Erick Arciniega
Captain Marvel #128 art by Michele Bandini and Erick Arciniega

Michele Bandini's artwork continues to do the job. The comic looks good, Carol gets a sweet darker suit, and Thanos looks as regal as ever, though it would have been cool to see him get a costume change too. Erick Arciniega's color art leans on the darker purple-and-blue cosmic shades, giving a good star-faring atmosphere to this space-traveling comic.

Captain Marvel #128 has unfortunately brought "Dark Origins" to a grinding halt. It's the kind of misfire issue that makes the previous issues feel of lower quality because this is a part of what they were leading to. That being said, the conclusion of #129 still has a chance to redeem this arc, and the ending does promise some interesting developments. However, #128 is left feeling mediocre and aimless, unable to be saved by its solid art or charming characters and dialogue. I can't quite recommend this one. Check back next issue.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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