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Thanos: A God Up There Listening #4: Review

Oct 2014
Rob Williams, Paco Diaz

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Thanos: A god up there listening : Part 4 of 4

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4 stars

Thanos: A God Up There Listening #4 Review by (July 2, 2022)
Layouts for this issue by Daniel Govar, Geoffo and Mast again. Larry Molinar helped Andres Mossa with the coloring.

Present-day Thane will reappear in the Black Vortex event starting with Legendary Star-Lord #7 where he's gathered a flock of outcasts and protects them from danger by using the power of his right hand to imprison attackers in amber. But he quickly gets dragged into the BV event and gets powered up even more by the BV.
Then he goes after his revitalised father in the 1st 12 issues of the 2016 Thanos series. He doesn't have his BV powers, and a flashback in #4 shows how he lost them. At the end of #12 he's totally depowered and trapped in the God Quarry. Which so far is where he's remained.
At no point does he have the golden face mask he adds at the end of this issue, despite this issue's cover making a big deal about it.

In Black Vortex he still has Ebony Maw who no-one else can see whispering to him. It remains unclear in that Event, as it is in this series, whether EM was real and invisible or a figment of Thane's imagination. But in the Thanos #4 flashback, EM's only app in the series, we finally learn that the Maw was real and just messing with Thane's mind. After that he and the rest of the Black Order get involved in the long No Surrender storyline in Avengers.

So what was actually real in this series? Present-day Ebony Maw was really there and didn't die in the flashback. But what about present-day Trynka who claims to have seen Maw and the rest of the Black Order die then, but who is also supposed to have died then? Is Trynka invented by EM? Did the whole Ego thing ever actually happen? The Marvel Chronology Project and Marvel Fandom Wiki agree that it did happen, but they leave it open as to *what* happened.

Assuming some of the flashback is real we can ask where Thanos, Ego and the Black Order went next.
Thanos went on to infiltrate Earth looking for the Cosmic Cube starting from Iron Man #55.
The Black Order went to their various 1st published apps in the Infinity event.
MCP assumes that for Ego this series immediately follows Thor #228 where Galactus gave him control of his motive power. This has to mean that Ego got his engine put back in place after Thanos used it against him here. His next app was Fantastic Four #234-235 where he threatened Earth until the FF messed with his propulsion unit and he got torn apart by flying too near the Sun. (But of course he survived that and went on to many more escapades.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thanos: A God Up There Listening #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the past Thanos and his fleet attacked Ego The Living Planet but now he and some of his crew are at the mercy of Ego. In the present Thanos' son Thane has been experiencing the event thanks to the alien Trynka who has (much of) Thanos' life recorded in his DNA. But the pair are being hunted by armoured cops for the deaths of patrons of Sclerosis Syd's bar.

As Trynka drags Thane away the Inhuman keeps asking for Ebony Maw who brought him here (but Maw was invisibility-cloaked most of the time). The alien says Maw died on Ego, but Thane counters that he saw *Trynka* dead there, which of course the alien says is impossible. He wonders if someone is tinkering with the visions he's been showing his companion. The cops corner them and order them down on the ground. But Thane just stares past them because he sees Ebony Maw behind them. He activates his killing hand and the cops open fire.

In the past on the Living Planet, Ego has created simulacra of all the people Thanos has killed (he read the Titan's mind), including his own mother. But if this is meant to drive Thanos mad with remorse it doesn't work. But then Ego brings forth another creation simulating Thanos' love Death (in the young woman form from Thanos Rising and Thanos vol 3). For the 1st time the Titan is able to touch *her*, and Thanos' prayer is answered as they kiss. Ego drags them both down again into the flaming acid of his 'stomach'. Thanos is prepared to die. But then 'Death' crumbles in his arms ...

... and the Titan rises enraged carrying the engine that Galactus had given Ego to power his way around the universe. And he uses it to blast the Living Planet. Ego screams and at last fears for his life. So he expels Thanos and his Black Order (Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Supergiant) on a lump of himself as an asteroid. Thane views this in the vision, but again Thanos sees him and speaks to him.

Back in the present the armoured cops lie slaughtered. Ebony Maw tells Thane that it was the legion of his father's victims that is the son's legacy. Trynka is praying to his gods to be delivered from his never-ending fear. Thane answers his prayer by killing him, but not before the alien repeats his theory that Ebony Maw is just in Thane's head. Later he returns to the ship he came on and asks Ebony if he was ever real. Maw asks if it matters, and Thane agrees it doesn't. But Ebony is still able to give him a small box with something golden in it. Than takes off his cloak and we now see his face encased in a golden mask to match the rest of his gold and black costume. And he says he's going forth to answer other prayers.

Paco Diaz
Paco Diaz
Andres Mossa
Dustin Nguyen (Cover Penciler)
Dustin Nguyen (Cover Inker)
Dustin Nguyen (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Wil Moss. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


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> Thanos: A God Up There Listening: Book info and issue index

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