Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comics subscription service, is currently offering all fans free access to some of Marvel’s most iconic stories from recent years, including now-classic Marvel Comics events and critically acclaimed runs featuring the Avengers, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and more.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to take a look back at these classic stories and maybe help you decide whether or not you would like to check them out. Our next series spans millions of years (in the story at least) and runs right up to the end of time itself. It’s a story in which good falls, all life ceases to exist and…
Like some of the other stories available for free right now, “Thanos Wins” is not your typical good vs. evil story. Instead, it simply follows one of Marvel’s most notorious villains and his quest to conquer, well, literally everything. Within the first few pages of the first issue, we see him easily conquer a planet and become its king.
That’s not what this story is about though. Not really. It’s not about watching Thano win. In this story, millions of years in the future, Thanos has already won. The Mad Titan is summoned to his future to see the results of a multiverse he has already defeated. And who could simply summon a being as powerful as Thanos? Well, only Thanos himself.
Thanos comes face to face with his older self. A future version of him who has already laid waste to all of his enemies and eliminated just about every living thing that exists or ever will exist. Still, he has one more challenge to overcome, and to do so, he needed to enlist the help of his younger self.
This is a very different story about one of Marvel’s most intriguing characters. It is certainly not one that is full of hope or happiness like a Captain America or Spider-Man story. Instead, it focuses on a bleak future where a Mad Titan reigns supreme and all other life has been snuffed out.
Despite all of that however, it still manages to be a lot of fun to read. It actually provides a great deal of history on Thanos. So, even if you’re not at all familiar with the character, you can jump right into this story and not be (completely) confused. Then again, it does take place a million years in the future and a great deal has changed, so you will have to stay on your toes.
While most of this story is just Thanos speaking to an older version of himself, it does also include some other interesting characters. A certain big green guy and a popular former herald of Galactus make appearances, but the real unsung star of this story is the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
That’s right. Ghost Rider – with the flaming skull and the motorcycle and all that – has taken to the stars. But it’s not Johnny Blaze and not even Robbie Reyes. No, this Ghost Rider is Frank Castle, the Punisher, and after millions of years of being completely alone, he’s kind of lost his mind. So to recap, the Punisher is now the Ghost Rider with the power cosmic and the wits of Deadpool. Can you think of a way that wouldn’t be fun? Me neither.
On top of this incredibly unique story loaded with fantastic characters, you also get the “Thanos Annual #1” to finish it off. And while this may sound a bit strange, it is one of the funniest Marvel comics of all-time. It is essentially a brief retelling of the history of Thanos, told by none other than Cosmic Ghost Rider. Sure, Thanos has done a lot of terrible things, but they haven’t always been on a huge, planet-destroying scale. Some of his smaller, pettier atrocities are nothing short of hilarious.
You can read “Thanos Wins” for free now. And be sure to check back as we look back the rest of these classic Marvel Comics stories over the next several weeks.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”