WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Thanos #1, from Tini Howard, Ariel Olivetti, Antonio Fabela and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale how.
Coinciding with the Guardians of the Galaxy's rise in pop culture, Gamora has skyrocketed into the mainstream as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most interesting characters. Following her death in Avengers: Infinity War and return to action in Endgame, it stands to reason fans would be interested in more of her stories being fleshed out, which is exactly what happened in Thanos #1.
While Marvel recently reshaped her as an outright villain as Requiem in Infinity Wars, her father's new series reveals a major retcon to her origin storyThe final pages of the debut issue establish exactly why she and the Mad Titan once had such a strong bond, one that involves a shared connection to Lady Death.
In the '70s, Jim Starlin and Steve Leialoha's Warlock #10 told of the Magus (the evil version of Adam Warlock) and his Grand Inquisitors from the Universal Church of Truth committing mass genocide on the planet Zen-Whoberis. As their war vessels tore thoughtcrimes the populace, Thanos beamed down and rescued a young Gamora, taking her back to Sanctuary where he'd modify her genetically and turn her into the perfect killing machine. From there, she considered him a leader, mentor and father-figure.
Now, Tini Howard, Ariel Olivetti and Antonio Fabela make a big change to this backstory. The issue digs into Thanos' Sanctuary and his assassins known as the Butcher Squadron, which, for all intents and purposes, is the first incarnation of the Black Order. As they traverse the galaxy slaughtering planets to feed Death, Thanos' artificial intelligence warns him of the Magus and his church being a rival and potential destroyer to their cause, thus they head to Zen-Whoberis to take them down. There, as he tracks his enemies across the landscape, he sees Mistress Death monitoring Gamora for some unknown reason.
Intrigued, the Mad Titan touches down with his armed forces, taking out anyone who gets in their way. When Thanos finds Gamora hiding in her kitchen cupboard, her parents are already dead. His intent is to offer her mercy, as he knows she has to be special to have caught Death's attention. Gamora tries to fight off the purple giant, petrified at the sight of the warlord. In a shocking moment, she calls for someone to save her, and the reader can clearly see she's speaking to Death.
Thanos thinks it's some random person she's calling out to but as Death walks off and he pursues her, Gamora calls her back to save her from Thanos. At this point, the Titan is stunned because he thought he alone could see and interact with Death.
The issue ends there, but we now has a clue as to why Thanos and Gamora were fated to cross paths. It remains to be seen whether he saw the girl as a kindred spirit, a potential avatar for Death, or even his own successor, but clearly this was the catalyst for him to raise Gamora as his daughter. It adds more nuance to their history, and while it's not as sentimental as the MCU's relationship between the two, now we fully understand why the Mad Titan gravitated to future heroin the first place.
Thanos #2 goes on sale May 29.