That picture, or rather, splash page; was all it took for me to tell myself:
“I don’t know what it’s about, or even if it’s gonna’ be any good, but I need to read The Thanos Imperative.”
That was roughly one year ago.
Since then, I’ve spent a great deal of time (and money) playing catch-up, reading the vast majority of the story arcs and trades that preceded The Thanos Imperative.
I started with the 2006 incarnation of Marvel’s Annihilation event, wherein the bug-minded Annihilus of the Negative Zone waged war on the cosmic Marvel universe due to his belief that the Positive Universe was encroaching on his territory.
Having entered into Annihilation pretty much a virgin of the cosmic sector of the Marvel Universe, I was thoroughly impressed by the accessibility and cohesiveness of the arc.
Any apprehension I may have felt in pursuing the expensive cause of catching up to The Thanos Imperative were instantly dispelled by the sheer quality and entertainment value of Annihilation.
In short, I was hooked.
That being said, just days after working my way through the massive 3 book epic of Annihilation, I started reading the equally entertaining, though not quite as self-contained follow-up series, Annihilation: Conquest.
Conquest instilled in me a great love for Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as put a smile on my face with it’s use of Ultron, one of my favorite Marvel villains, as the main antagonist.
After reading Conquest, I don’t see myself going very long without picking up and reading the Guardians of the Galaxy trades at some point.
Oddly enough, while Conquest brought an end to the Annihilation Saga proper, it’s spiritual successor, the Inhuman and Shi’ar conflict dubbed the War of Kings; was a trade I actually read several years ago on a whim.
Despite having read it before, I decided it read through it again, as well as a few of it’s supplementary trades just to refresh my memory.
Honestly, it may have just been because of my increased familiarity with the characters and landscape, but I think War of Kings was actually better the second time around.
Finally, in my last step before reading The Thanos Imperative, I decided to pick up a copy of Realm of Kings, the massive bridge that wrapped up the events of War of Kings, and bridged the gap between it and The Thanos Imperative.
Truth be told, of all the various books I read this past year, Realm of Kings was the only one that I recall getting some bad press.
Reviewers accused it of being padded and extraneous, but I for one found it to be very much worthwhile.
The art was above average to great throughout, and both the Inhuman and Shi’ar story arcs concerned characters and events that I was honestly happy to learn more about.
The one ratty part of the trade, and likely the reason it reviewed poorly, was the Son of the Hulk story arc.
I consider myself extremely well-versed in the lore of the Marvel Universe, but for the life of me I had no fucking clue what was going on over the course of these 5 issues.
Despite this, I was thoroughly intrigued by the concept (and look) of the Cancerverse explored throughout Realm of Kings.
I’m giddy as a schoolgirl to see how the Cancerverse figures into The Thanos Imperative.
In all, the stuff about Hiro-Kala and his bullshit was a terrible way to end an otherwise wondrous reading experience, but oh well.
That being said, as of yesterday, I now have my copy of The Thanos Imperative, and am positively shivering with excitement over cracking it open and finally reading what I worked all year to catch up to.
Here’s hoping it’s half as good as I’ve built it up to be!