In a surprise and surprisingly quiet move, Marvel Comics has cancelled its solicited limited series Thanos: Son of Titan. The series, by writer Joe Keatings and artist Richard Elson, was intended to explore Thanos’ early life and how the young Titan came to be the Mad Titan. It was an obvious grab at all the attention Thanos has acquired from his cameo in the Avengers film, and his presumed role in future films.
So what happened?
Retailers have been informed that their orders for Thanos: Son of Titan #1 are now cancelled. That is it. Not delayed or anything else. Cancelled. The issue will not be released.
Usually when a series is so abruptly aborted, thoughts go immediately to catastrophic creative differences behind the scenes. Comments from Stephen Wacker and Joe Keatings seem to counter that perception, though. No real answers were given, but there really doesn’t seem to be any signs of bad blood or frustration.
So the more juicy speculation is that this move signifies Marvel’s lack of desire to see Thanos’ status become the latest battleground for creators’ rights. Jim Starlin has recently made some noise about his status as Thanos’ creator and the lack of involvement or compensation he has been allowed in regard to the increased exposure Thanos has gotten lately. Is Marvel looking to avoid some Before Thanos press? It’s possible, but again, it is entirely speculation.
The most innocent and uninteresting explanation is that Thanos: Son of Titan has been shelved and postponed for a lengthy amount of time. Why? Well, perhaps someone at Marvel raised the point that the book may be better received if released closer to the times of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and the Avengers sequel. In which case, Marvel may hold onto the series until a more opportune time, and there’s really no controversy.