Reading the conclusion of "The Thanos Imperative" this week, the number one thought running through my mind was, "I'm going to miss this corner of the Marvel Universe." With several event mini-series and tie-ins, plus two ongoing series in the forms of "Nova" and "Guardians of the Galaxy," Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have brought a tremendous amount of fun to this group of characters and their situations. And now, save for an epilogue one-shot around the corner, it appears to be over for now.
That said? Wow, what a great ending. When you're dealing with an alternate universe known as the Cancerverse where Death herself no longer exists, with Cthulhu-inspired monsters having taken over the various superheroes of that dimension, and an 11th hour betrayal by the one ally that might be able to stop everything, the stakes are high. What's great here is that Abnett and Lanning rise to the occasion and bring us an ending that's suitable.
So yes, we get universe-shattering kabooms, traps laid within traps, and some heroic last stands to protect everyone else. It's a combination of clever schemes and flying by the seat of one's pants. And unfortunately, it's a story where not everyone makes it out to tell the tale. It's an operatic conclusion, and to their credit Abnett and Lanning pull it off. I'm sure readers are going to be upset that some of their favorite characters are gone, but considering this is a mini-series that in part has to do with the return of Thanos when he was needed the most, well, clearly if you wait long enough your own treasured hero might come back too.
But until then, this is a lot of fun. Miguel Sepulveda knocks out some great art here, not just with the big events but the little tiny moments. Look at the first page, where we see Mantis's face as she takes in Thanos betraying them all. It's a look of fear, and dread, and disbelief all rolled into one. And then, just two pages later, the Many-Angled Ones appear and their masses of tentacles and teeth and eyes are larger than life, almost (but not quite) incomprehensible in their shape and size. Sepulveda tackles every moment in the book with aplomb, and if these books ever make a return I'd love to see him back for more. (Or for that matter, on another book where his talents will be put to good use.)
"The Thanos Imperative" #6 is a textbook example of how to finish up an "event" mini-series. Abnett, Lanning, and Sepulveda deliver on all counts, and I left feeling like this was money well spent. If we're going to have to wrap up these books for a while, this was the way to do it. Good job, everyone.