Death has arrived at last, now, at the end of everything. Thanos and King Thanos have slain the Fallen One, the Silver Surfer wielding Mjolnir. The Cosmic Rider is dead, and so is the Hulk. The Annihilation Wave has been extinguished, and the only matter left is for the Thanos of our time to kill King Thanos so that he may now and forever be with his Lady Death. Our Thanos is all too happy to oblige.
This isn't so much a twist as an inevitability. When Death finally arrived at the end of the last issue, I immediately suspected that this would be the final chapter of the story. A war between Thanos' was sure to come.
That war is as epic as one could have hoped. While the King wants his younger self to end his existence, he is unwilling to simply allow the end to come. His younger self must earn it and earn it young Thanos does. The ensuing battle is as brutal and vicious as one could expect from two Mad Titans. While there are impressive displays of cosmic power, much of it is a slugfest filled with merciless tactics. Eyes are gouged, arms are broken, and faces are torn open.
The one part of this epic display that didn't quite gel is Death herself. This iteration of Lady Death seems more inspired by her presence in Deadpool comics than Thanos. While some of the silent gesturing and taunts were amusing at first, it becomes too cute quickly. This is the being which the Mad Titan has pine over for most of his long life, and she comes off almost like someone's anime waifu.
It did have me wishing for a return of the silent and still Lady Death from Jim Starlin's tales.
That said, the ending is great, and the comic earns its conclusion.
Geoff Shaw doesn't disappoint in this final normal issue of the series. The battle is cathartic and furious. You can feel the impacts. The two Titans look great. The detailing and expression are well done. The only drawback is the cutesiness of Lady Death herself.
Antonio Fabela's color work doesn't disappoint either, and the dark and cosmic coloring gels well with the setting and protagonist. Purples, blues, and blacks are the focus of the book, and they're gorgeously brought together.
Thanos #18 ends this story in an incredible manner, and this is a tale of the Mad Titan that will surely be remembered for years to come. Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, and Antonio Fabela have crafted something darkly beautiful here, and I highly recommend it. Give it a read.