SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Infinity Wars #2 by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin and Cory Petit, in stores now.
In the world of comic books, death is a revolving door. It's not that death doesn't have any meaning, it's that it's never meant to be the definitive ending that it's supposed to be. Sure, certain creative teams offer a powerful character moment that ends with the tragic death of a fan-favorite mainstay, and it can even stick for a while. But given the endless cycle of the publication of comics, and given the undying popularity of these characters, they always find a way to come back somehow. For that reason, fans now know that death bears very little weight in the medium. Whether it's Superman, Spider-Man or Wolverine, the felled superheroes will, eventually, return.
However, one of the consequences of death having so little meaning in comics is that it can be used to drive a story forward in shocking and inventive ways. That is exactly the case in Marvel's latest cosmic event story, Infinity Wars. Following a Prime issue, Infinity Wars is only two issues in and, already, the series has featured the deaths of three major characters. What's even more surprising however is that these deaths are definitive (for the time being). And yet, they also aren't.
A Dearly Departed Mad Titan
The biggest death so far to come out of Infinity Wars occurred in the Prime issue. There, just as Thanos was preparing to make his move on the heroes of the Marvel Universe and vie for control of the Infinity Stones, the Mad Titan was stabbed and killed by his daughter Gamora. This was surprising to say the least, given how advertised Thanos' role in the series had been. Marvel pulled a fast one on its fans, and we all fell for it. However, Thanos isn't exactly gone either. Well, make no mistake, his death was definitive.
However, the character can still be seen in Infinity Wars #2 and no, we're not talking about the scenes where we see him in flashbacks. Somehow, Gamora has started seeing Thanos. The two talk and interact. We don't yet know why this is happening, but it's happening nonetheless. Thanos may be dead, but he's still a part of the book -- at least, in some capacity. He just doesn't exactly have a physical presence anymore.