“Jumping cripes, is that Fresno?!”
That’s the dialogue that spills out of the mouth of an astronaut as they witness Marvel Comics villain Thanos rip the city of Fresno and its recently hyped downtown off the face of the Earth in a newly released comic.
“Thanos No. 1” dropped Wednesday and features a re-introduction to the comics universe of the titular villain Marvel moviegoers may recognize from “Avengers: Endgame” and other films.
One panel of the comic features the Fresno skyline with the Pacific Southwest Building, Fresno County Superior Court, Helm Building and other recognizable structures before the destruction starts.
Fresnans in the Marvel world are facing the intergalactic antagonist also called “The Mad Titan,” who is searching for something that was hidden from him in the four-part series that is ongoing.
The Illuminati — which in the Marvel universe is made up of a handful of the most powerful heroes — has hidden something from Thanos. The mystery of what they hid remains to be seen in the books.
Heroes Comics store owner Dave Allread said fans had already been in his Shaw Avenue store talking about the story. Wednesday is new comic book day every week.
“It sold out already, but we have more issues coming,” Allread said.
He noted Fresno is referenced in the book but it looked like readers won’t know the fate of the city until issue No. 2. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.
Allread estimated it had been at least a decade since the last time Fresno was mentioned in a comic, adding it is usually a punchline. He recalled a book from the ‘90s where a gang member wore a hat that said “Fresno.”
Readers, like those at Comic Watch, have speculated the Illuminati hid Thanos’s love interest, a character called Death, and picked Fresno because it’s out of the way compared to New York (home of Spider-Man), Los Angeles (home of She-Hulk) or another larger metropolis filled with mutants and super-powered people.
The book was written by Christopher Cantwell, who has credits for the Eisner Award-nominated “Doctor Doom” as well as TV writing for “Halt and Catch Fire.”
The art was by Luca Pizzari, who has a slew of credits for Marvel, IDW and other publishers.