This series has finally turned into something good.

General Information

Title: Marvel Universe: The End #5
Author/Penciller: Jim Starlin
Inker: Al Milgrom
Original Publication Date: May 14, 2003
Cover Price: $2.99US, $4.75Can

Premise

Thanos has to learn how to cope with more power than he’s ever had,
while the heroes of the Marvel Universe band together to strip him of
his newfound abilities.

High Point

Thanos’ realizaton of why he obtained the power.

Low Point

Dealing with Eternity before the rest of the heroes. We know from the
title that they don’t have a chance, but the least they could do was
have Thanos deal with the lesser threats first.

The Scores

Thanos has obtained supreme power before, usually when Starlin is
writing for him, and this reads like one of those old stories at first
and near the end. The middle chunk, with his exploration of his
abilities and how he acquired them, is an idea I haven’t seen before.
I give the originality 4 out of 6.

The artwork is again held back by some of the odd looks of
some characters in the big group scenes. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story puts an interesting twist on what happened earlier,
driving the series in a completely different direction than we saw in
the first three issues. I give it 4 out of 6.



The characterization is limited almost entirely to Thanos,
with a hint of Eternity. While it’s well done, Starlin has used
Thanos so much in the past, that there really isn’t all that much to
learn about him that we haven’t already learned. I give it 4 out of
6.

The emotional response this produced was surprisingly strong,
given how weak previous issues have been. For once, Thanos’
introspective moments seemed interesting, despite retreading old
ground. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow was, again, well acheived with material that wasn’t
particularly challenging. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a pleasant upturn in an otherwise mediocre
series. Issue six could potentially redeem this enough for me to
recommend picking up a trade paperback version of the series. I give
it 5 out of 6.

In total, Marvel Universe: The End #5 receives a surprising
31 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

The sixth and final issue is not due out until June 11. If you liked
previous Starlin outings for the superbattles, issue 6 is probably the
only one you need to pick up from this series.

This issue also contains four pages of sample art from Ultimate
X-Men #34
, the first issue of a six part series that’s also the
first issue not written by Mark Millar. Brian Michael Bendis is
taking over for issues 34-39, while another author (contracted but not
announced) will be taking over with issue 40.