“Thanos wins.” These two words encompass the overall theme of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s run on Thanos for Marvel Comics, which began with Issue 13 last week. The new creative team is embracing the mad titan’s knack for death and destruction by not only showing him rule over the alien Chitauri in the present, but also stand triumphant as the so-called “final king” millions of years in the future.
This revelation wasn’t the only surprise to be found in Thanos #13. The appearance of another character from the future, a former herald of Galactus Ghost Rider, somehow managed to overshadow Thanos in his own comic book. Future Ghost Rider made a dramatic entrance raining blood down on the surface of Chitauri Prime with a blaster in each hand. Impressive as that may be, the character’s mannerisms hinted at him being someone familiar to fans of Marvel’s comic and movie output. Who do we know with a potty mouth, tendency to talk too much during tense situations, and an affinity for large guns? If you answered the Merc with a Mouth Deadpool, you’d be correct.
It wasn’t until I completed the issue that the thought of the Ghost Rider being Deadpool entered my mind. The chances of Thanos’ Black Right Hand being an established character in the Marvel Universe is high, even with him coming from a million years in the future. Deadpool has played many roles in his illustrious lifetime in the comics, from X-Man to Avenger to one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen. That last occurrence took place in Extraordinary X-Men’s “Apocalypse Wars” story arc, which also included a time travel adventure to the future, so there’s already a precedent for Deadpool to outlive all of us.
Another clue hinting at future Ghost Rider’s identity is the manner in which he spoke to Thanos. While most people would cower in the villain’s presence, this Ghost Rider masks any trepidation with a witty, deadpan sense of humor. You can almost imagine the Ghost Rider breaking the fourth wall to deliver a wisecrack to the reader just before Thanos delivers a thunderous blow.
Let’s go back to Deadpool spending time as a member of the X-Men’s black ops X-Force team and the Uncanny Avengers’ unity squad. He is widely known as one of Marvel’s most popular characters, appearing across multiple titles in any given month, with the most recent example being the street-level book The Defenders. When the Guardians of the Galaxy brought Ant-Man onto their team during a trip to Earth, Deadpool was one of several heroes teased to join up with them. Future storylines could see Deadpool cause more trouble in space than on Earth, which would spell trouble for many different alien races.
Also, Deadpool as a herald of Galactus isn’t a new idea. Those of you who read 2011’s Deadpool Team-Up #883 got a glimpse of the mercenary settle on the title of “Galactus herald” during a job search when his other sources of revenue dried up.
All signs point to Deadpool and this gun-toting lackey of Thanos being one and the same. We hope we’re right, if only to recreate the madness that was the Deadpool vs. Thanos limited series