Silver Surfer #38
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #38
Before that, though, Thanos shows up at his old ship, Sanctuary III (wait, III? See the Comments.), which is currently held by Nebula.
Nebula has been playing off her Thanos legacy to gain control of his old army. When Thanos returns, the majority of them fall to worship. A few, like the one named Geatar, stick with Nebula, but that gets Geatar shot down.
Thanos finds it unforgivable for Nebula to suggest, that he, a servant of Death, would ever "drop progeny".
I liked Nebula a lot in Roger Stern's Avengers run as well as in John Byrne's. Her claim that she was Thanos' granddaughter was something that was left unproven, although Byrne seemed to be taking it as fact. I take it from this that Jim Starlin didn't like the idea that she really was Thanos' granddaughter, and the reasoning is sound. Even if Thanos really did have a child (as will eventually be revealed), though, it's not something that he'd want someone going around advertising.
I'd love to know what Starlin really thought of Stern's run; not just the introduction of Nebula but also Stern's use of Starfox. Eros was a relatively minor character in Starlin's earlier works, and from what we saw last issue it doesn't seem like Starlin had an intention to use him more prominently here, at least yet. Starfox will be used prominently in Infinity Gauntlet, but less as a participant than as an observer.
One thing to note right away is that Starlin doesn't actually just kill off Nebula. He has another soldier loyal to Nebula save her. We don't see Gunthar or the other two mercenaries that were most loyal to Nebula in this issue.
Thanos immediately starts setting a plan in motion, but he's interrupted by a summons from Death.
Through her lackeys, Death asks where are the souls that Thanos has promised.
You'd think Death, of all people, would be a little more patient! But Thanos explains that he's first working on the problem of the Silver Surfer, like he was told to do. Through an "Infinity Well", they look in on the Surfer.
And then Thanos lures the Surfer to a planet...
...where they fight, with no quarter given or expected!
Thanos keeps teleporting away, and eventually we get to this scene, with something obviously (to us) not right.
The Surfer believes that he's killed Thanos.
But in fact that was really Geatar.
So now Thanos is free to operate without the Surfer's interference. And so the book ends with a promotion of the upcoming Thanos two-part mini-series.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back in publication time a bit to fit in the Lifeform annual event between this issue and next.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
"Her claim that she was Nebula's granddaughter..." you mean Thanos's?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | May 20, 2015 7:13 PM
Yep, thanks, Morgan.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 20, 2015 7:28 PM
Well that was easy! Oh wait it was Gretar never mind.
Posted by: david banes | May 20, 2015 7:38 PM
Wha-are you calling the no-named servant Deader too?
Posted by: david banes | May 21, 2015 2:08 PM
Oops never mind, just saw you commenting on the lack of name for the deader servant.
Posted by: david banes | May 21, 2015 2:11 PM
Fnord, you write that Thanos' ship is called "Sanctuary II", but in this and the following issues Starlin consistently refers to it as "Sanctuary III", as you can see in the first panel of the first scan. I can't remember there being any indication Thanos built a third battleship, so surely this is still good ol' Sanctuary II? It's been over a decade since the end of Starlin's original Thanos arc, so maybe he simply forgot how many Sancturaries there were supposed to be?
Posted by: Tuomas | June 20, 2015 6:52 AM
Didn't Firelord blow up Sanctuary II?
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 20, 2015 6:59 AM
If you're talking about Avengers #260, no, he didn't. He and Cap Marvel manage to destroy the force field surrounding it, but at the end of the story, the ship itself is still intact.
Posted by: Tuomas | June 20, 2015 7:24 AM
OK, I was actually mistaken about some of the details. Avengers 261, Starfox triggers the self-destruct.
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 20, 2015 7:45 AM
Thanks guys. Since the same caption also says that it used to be Thanos' flagship, i guess we can't say that Nebula built a new one. I guess Thanos just had a third ship in reserve and Nebula found it.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 20, 2015 11:03 AM
I checked my old issues, and I think I can make sense of it now! I think there was only ever two Sanctuaries, here's how it goes:
The first Sanctuary is shown to be destroyed in Warlock #11, in the fight between Thanos and Magus. Then in Warlock #15, we see that Thanos has rebuilt the ship, and he now calls it "Sanctuary I" (presumably a hint towards the fact that there is another ship with the same name, though it doesn't appear yet).
Then, in Avengers Annual #7, the rebuilt original ship is now called "Sanctuary II" (there's no explanation for the name change from "I" to "II"). We also find out it has a replica, which I guess is called "Sanctuary III", but its name is never mentioned in the annual.
When Nebula first appears in Avengers #257, she's gained control of "Sanctuary II", which I guess is the original, repaired ship. This ship is then destroyed by Starfox in Avengers #261. But at some point Nebula must've found the replica, which is the ship she's shown to command in this issue, and which the narration now officially names "Sanctuary III". (The ship here must be the replica from Avengers Annual #7, and not a new copy of the ship or anything, because the narration box in the first scan calls it "once the proud flagship of Thanos's mighty armada".)
Whoo boy, it's a bit confusing, isn't it? Even the Marvel Comics Wiki claims the ship Nebula commands here is Sanctuary II, even though it can't be that one, because Starfox destroyed it. I haven't read any of the Avengers comics between Stern's run and this issue where Nebula appears, I guess it was never explained how she got hold of this other Sanctuary?
Posted by: Tuomas | June 20, 2015 11:13 AM
Ah, I checked Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2, and the replica is named "Sanctuary III" there, in the first panel of the last page.
Most readers probably always assumed the replica was the one called "Sanctuary II", because it makes sense for a replica to be called that. Before now, I'd always thought that the replica was the one Nebula had taken over in Avengers #257, and that the original was destroyed in MTIO Annual, but it isn't the case. By the end of that story, both ships are still intact.
Posted by: Tuomas | June 20, 2015 11:28 AM
Thanks for all the research, Tuomas. To answer your question, in John Byrne's Avengers, she has a different ship, not a Sanctuary. When Starfox first sees it he thinks to himself, "The design of this ship is unknown to me. Clearly my grandniece has wandered far in the time I searched for her trail between the stars." So this is the first time that she's shown in Sanctuary III.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 20, 2015 11:43 AM
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