Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Child Is This

I never picked up any of the Marvel Holiday Specials, so I only have bits and pieces of this 1992 story to show you--but given our recent look at the introduction of Gamora, ward of Thanos, it seemed like an interesting tale to dust off for this time of year. For this is Gamora long before she became "the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy"--when she was just an orphan, growing up in the care of a being who would develop a perverse love of Death and who would seldom think twice about slaughtering billions. This day, Thanos remembers a child who, long ago, touched what some would laughingly call his heart--a "yule memory" awakened by a simple toy brought to his attention by a robotic servant:

Thanos, being a meticulous planner, already had mapped out Gamora's role in his life even while she was still stumbling her way through childhood--and so it comes as little surprise that she would come to refer to Thanos not as "Father," but as "Master," as if to acknowledge his expectations of her as well as the boundaries of their close yet sometimes awkward relationship with each other. For Thanos, however, we get the sense that he nevertheless thought of--hoped for?--their time together to be on more traditional footing:

For a young girl with no children her own age to interact with and no outlet for her childish whims to take flight, her elation at receiving such a gift--and from "the master," at that--speaks volumes. But Christmas in the Thanos "household" comes and goes all too quickly, leaving Gamora little time to build such moments into fond memories:

We don't know at this point in time what sort of schemes preoccupy Thanos or what sort of timetable he's on; presumably, he's still in the process of building his power base. Yet there is still something in the plaintive voice of Gamora that tugs at his coattails--and Gamora, who will spend another Christmas alone with no distractions save the humming of machinery, will take what she can get of her master's attention:

There are other distractions for those who are part of Thanos's world, of course--deadly distractions, which at times come at a moment's notice and without warning. On this day, when an assassin targets her master, Gamora finds that even the fleeting memory of a precious gift will be denied her, when it must be forfeited to serve another purpose:

It becomes easier to understand how Gamora will be molded as a young woman into a living weapon/operative deployed by her master, when there is so little foundation for her to draw on to become otherwise. And as we return to the present, we find that Gamora's lost innocence has left its mark on one who professes contempt for such concepts:

When we rejoin Gamora's story one last time, we'll learn how an incident in her fast-fading childhood led to her emergence as the living weapon that would better serve her master, and to her eventual reputation as one of the most feared women in the galaxy.  Even the Ghost of Christmas Future might have paused at giving those tidings.

Wishing You the Joys of the Holiday Season

The Peerless Power of Comics!


Anonymous said...

Happy holidays to you and yours, C.F.!
Looking forward to another great year at TPPoC!
And a happy, peaceful year to everyone.

Dave S said...

Happy Christmas!
I didn't put a Christmas tree up this year, and now feel a bit bad when I see that even Thanos made the effort!

Anonymous said...

I never put a tree up, just a string of lights which looks really nice - I said it the other day but Merry Christmas again, Comicsfan :)

The Prowler said...

Once more I find I'm behind the trend. For the first time in a long time, we did put up a tree! It was fun and half our lights didn't work!

Great reworking of that Avengers pic, CF!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

(They're singing Deck The Halls, but it doesn't feel like Christmas at all).

Comicsfan said...

Gosh, you guys just reek of tinsel! Thanks so much for the nice words. :D I hope your day was spectacular.