Thanos is the big bad of the Marvel comic universe. In fact, he's so big and so bad that the entire Marvel film universe has been building toward a confrontation between him and the heroes of Earth.

It's only natural then that Marvel continues to put the spotlight on the character in the comics. But whereas previous Thanos story have looked to flesh out the villain's backstory, this new series from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mike Deodato moves Thanos forward in a huge, and surprising way.

Spoilers for Thanos #1 below!

Even without the Infinity Guantlet in his grasp, Thanos is one of the most powerful and cruel beings in the Marvel universe. With that in mind, it probably wasn't wise for one of his henchmen, Corvus Glaive, to try and usurp him. Thanos returns home to the Black Quadrant and makes short work of Glaive's forces and proceeds to give Glaive a choice.

Thanos offers Glaive mercy in the form of allowing Glaive to take his own life. The alternative is having Thanos punish Glaive however he sees fit, which is sure to be a fate far, far worse than death. Glaive, wisely, chooses the "mercy" route.

The book's opening moments make clear that Thanos is a character to be feared. But there is a small collective of characters who are willing to go toe to toe with the Mad Titan: namely his son Thane. Thane played a large role in Marvel's Infinity event a few years back, and now he's assembling a ragtag group of warriors to try and defeat his father once and for all.

One of Thane's allies is none other than Lady Death, a character Thanos has had a long and convoluted love affair with. In the Infinity Gauntlet, all the chaos, death and destruction caused by Thanos wielding the power of the Infinity Gems was in order to impress Death. The fact that she is now aiding Thane is bound to be a major blow to Thanos, but that's not even the big reveal of the issue.

As revealed by Death herself, Thanos is dying. The how and why of it is still unclear, but it appears that the Mad Titan is painfully mortal, despite his god-like powers and abilities. It's a fact that Thane and his followers will definitely be looking to take advantage of in future issues, but fans will have to wait to learn more. Thanos #1 is in stores now.

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