First look - JMS returns to Thor as the Thunder God prepares to battle Thanos in Death Notes special

Thanos: Death Notes #1 art
Thanos: Death Notes #1 art (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Writer J. Michael Straczynski will return to Thor, whose core title he revived alongside artist Olivier Coipel and wrote for years in an acclaimed run starting back in 2007, alongside a host of other creators for a one-shot titled Thanos: Death Notes.

How does Thor factor in? It's simple - Death Notes picks up on threads from writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein's current Thor run, which started way back when Thor got a preview of his own death back in 2020's Thor: Black Winter storyline.

In Thor: Black Winter, the Asgardian Thunder God got a precognitive glimpse at his own death, seeing a vision of Thanos surrounded by undead Marvel heroes and villains - and wielding Thor's hammer Mjolnir, encrusted with all six Infinity Stones as well as what appeared to be a seventh black Infinity Stone (a Death Stone, perhaps?).

Thanos: Death Notes #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"Ever since the Black Winter gave Thor a glimpse of how he was going to die way back in Thor #6…Thor has been working to prevent this horrific fate," says editor Wil Moss in Marvel's announcement. 

"In this Thanos one-shot, his quest brings him to look to Thanos' past for clues. But in doing so, will Thor learn something of use, or merely realize that Thanos truly is inevitable?"

Currently, Thanos is presumed dead after seemingly being killed permanently in Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribic's Eternals title. But as an Eternal himself, Thanos has never stayed 'dead' for long.

Alongside J. Michael Straczynski, announced creators on Thanos: Death Notes include Torunn Grønbekk, Kyle Starks, Christopher Cantwell, Andrea Di Vito, Travel Foreman, and Ron Lim.

The special will include four stories, a framing sequence by Grønbekk, Di Vito, and David Curiel; "Love and Death and Much in Between" by JMS, Geoff Shaw, and Dean White; "The Bar at the End of the Line" by Starks, Lim, Don Ho, and Israel Silva; and "All That Is" by Cantwell, Foreman, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

Here's a five-page first look preview:

Thanos: Death Notes goes on sale November 30.

Is Thanos Marvel’s best cosmic villain of all time? You’d think so, right? 

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)