Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thanos Loves Dave!

Comic books are a wild weird wonderful place where anything can happen. The website does a great job showcasing some offbeat moments or items that out of context can seem downright out of place. Take Superman screwing with real life musician Pat Boone for instance.

Through the years any number of strange team ups and story lines have been explored, including Thanos's special relationship with Death.

In the Marvel Universe Death is an actual character, a powerful entity pictured in a manner completely opposite the cut pixie goth girl depicted by the distinguished competition.

No, Death in the Marvel U is the classic version - the hooded skeleton wearing dark robes, always silently gesturing. About the only thing the DC an Marvel universes agree on is that Death is a lady... except when she isn't. But more on that later.

Given the lack of vocal chords I can see how Death's relationship with Thanos works. As your typical megalomaniacal conqueror Thanos is obviously prone to talking - telling the heroes all about his plans, boasting and aggrandizing himself constantly. There's always one quiet one in a twosome.

Talk, talk, talk... evil likes to hear itself plot.

Death hasn't always had an exclusive relationship with Thanos however. Among former beaus she counts the Beyonder as a former love interest, as when she shows up for a date with the Mutant Inhuman in Secret Wars II (issue #2).

Now, the Beyonder was "beyond" a little crazy, to the point of Craigslist killer crazy and so it's no surprise that by the end of the date he's completely wiped Death from existence, just to prove to his friend Dave that he can.

And that's when the metaphorical can of worms gets opened, because suddenly nothing can die. The worms in the can have nothing to eat. This is a problem.

The lack of death starts freaking out the *other* crazy omnipotent folk of the Marvel U, like the Molecule Man who confronts the Beyonder.

The issue ends with Dave nobly (or stupidly) offering to sacrifice himself...

And the Beyonder complies restoring balance to the world by transforming Dave into Death.

And that explains the title of this post: Thanos loves Dave.

Transgendered romances are nothing new to comics. Currently there's the asexual Xavin from Runaways...

Good thing he's a shape-shifting Skrull who could easily adopt a female form to woo the once closeted Karolina Dean.

The 90's explored the idea with Shvaughn Erin, girlfriend of Element Lad was revealed to be a man but only after supplies of a gender bending drug (the aptly named Profem) were cut off to Earth during a war with the Dominators.

And the 80's saw the New Defenders member Cloud pull an "In-Betweener" and assume a male form to woo Moondragon.

Oh the delicious irony of that storyline now that Moondragon is out of the closet.

However, in all of the cases above, these "couples" are far from mainstream. Thanos may not exactly be a marquee name but as the villain masterminding the Infinity Gauntlet story arc he certainly has a lot of recognitions. There's a part of me that is really entertained by the notion that Thanos, the all powerful "Mad Titan" loves Dave.

I mean, this is the same Thanos who humbled the lord of Hell.

The Thanos who ascended to god-hood after collecting the Infinity Gems from the elders of the universe.

Thanos who beat the great powers of the universe (including Galactus) and eradicated half of existence all in an attempt to impress Dave.

Who knew the Mad Titan could know such love?

Maybe that's just how they roll on Titan, or maybe his brother Eros, AKA Starfox is to blame. Starfox has been known to turn people faster than you could say "Pink Kryptonite".

But then that's another wild weird and wonderful story for another day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

How to: Make your own girlfriend in 5 steps!

Thanos is no stranger to love, though it can be said that love is strange to him.

Or rather, his love is strange to the rest of us who watch his romantic aspirations like some twisted, galactic version of The Jersey Shore.

To recap:

Infatuated with the cosmic entity known as Death Thanos kept trying, and failing, to impress the dark spirit. When that failed, Thanos found another gal pal - Terraxia.

Who the heck is Terraxia you might ask? Given the name one might assume, that she's a sidekick/love of Terrax the Tamer. Going just by her costume, one might coin the name "Lady Thanos."

Terraxia's appearance evokes a more feminine version of the Mad Titan, and drums up images of every cliched super hero trope, from teen sidekicks (Kid Thanos!) to ridiculous vehicles (the Thanos-copter!).

Not buying into the Infinity Guantlet storyline from years ago I was perplexed when I saw the Terraxia HeroClix figure in WizKids booth at GenCon this year.

I had to know more about this person that was drawn to intimacy with Thanos. And what I found out... well... it just makes Thanos into an even bigger weirdo.

Terraxia's origin is pretty simple. Thanos, spurned by his girlfriend Death, decides to make Death jealous by creating a new lover. That's right, I said creating. Thanos didn't use, or try a singles bar - he just went out and built the perfect woman.

Is it any wonder the perfect woman he built looks exactly like him, but with boobs?

So to recap:

Step one: acquire the Infinity Gauntlet.

Step two: Make a wish for a hot girlfriend that embodies every aspect of yourself. Try not to think about how creepy it is that she looks like a female version of you. For practice try necking with a mirror.

Step three: Try not to think how creepy it is that you've created an artificial simulacrum girlfriend without a soul or free will.

Step four: Overcome your moral and ethical objections to creating a submissive love slave.

Step 5: Profit!

With a total of about 5 comic appearances dating back 20 years it came as a surprise when Terraxia was announced as a participation prize for the Infinity Guantlet events. A sort of one-hit wonder, Lady Thanos was brought in as a plot device. To prove how tough she was, she killed Spider-Man and Ironman in one issue (both were later brought back to life through the power of the gauntlet).

There's not much more to say about Terraxia, other than her pitiful demise. The space pirate Nebula banished Thanos and Terraxia to deep space, where Terraxia promptly died as her creator, so focused on making the total package look good, did not think to create her to survive in a vacuum.

And if that story strikes you as a little odd, wait until tomorrow when I point out that the girl sitting on Thanos' knee in the picture below...


is really a dude named Dave!