Monday, May 20, 2013

That guy at the end of the Avengers movie goes jewelry shopping.

Twinkle, Twinkle
Thanos, the mad titan, has had a hard life, growing up shunned by his family (probably due to his death-obsessed fetish).  At an early age, he started having an inappropriate infatuation with Death; the cosmic being not the concept, but I guess those could go hand in hand.  As Thanos got older, he did what he could to impress her.  Yes, Death has a female persona, (makes sense.)  He travelled throughout the cosmos, murdering left and right.  He constantly sought more power so he could commit even more murder.  He was a murdering madman.  

In his journeys, he had run-ins with Captain Marvel (the original), Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, the Avengers and many more, he even died a few times.  Death was growing smitten with him and kept bringing him back to the living and sometimes adding to his power.  

That brings us to The Thanos Quest. One day, Death gave Thanos an enormous task; Murder half the universe!  (You know, to balance things out.)  Thus began Thanos’ quest for the soul gems which he called Infinity Gems.  That makes sense, since only one of the gems had control over the Soul.  The others have control over: Time, Space, Reality, Power and Mind.  These gems of great importance were currently in the possession of beings who are part of the Elders of the Universe (except In-Betweener).   Thanos set out to confront each of these beings and either outwit them or force the removal of the gems.

First up was the In-Betweener, who held in his possession the Soul Gem.  In-Betweener was already in a dire predicament.   He was currently imprisoned by Lord Chaos and Master Order (2 floating heads in space).  Thanos struck up a deal and helped him escape.  Unbeknownst to In-Betweener, he  was in a realm where his powers were weakened, so it was a easy defeat for Thanos.  One down, five more to go.

Next, Thanos found Champion on some planet doing what he does best.  To make a long story short, Champion destroyed the planet and was left with no transportation, so at the cost of the trinket on his forehead, Thanos agreed to ‘tow’ him to the nearest planet.
(one of the better stories featuring Champion,

To close out the first issue, Thanos then went after Gardner, who possessed the Time gem.  This was a very anti-climactic encounter. They walked and talked through the garden, then sat across from one another, talked some more, then suddenly Thanos won.  Off panel, Gardner got inundated by thorny vines.  Victory, Thanos!

Going into issue #2, Thanos only needed 3 more gems.  His first run-in was with the Runner.  What he did was run and he ran well.  He was a cocky runner of the spaceways and in his possession was the Space gem which gave him a boost (that he was unaware of) to his speed, and of course his ego (not the Living Planet Ego).  It was an annoying encounter for Thanos, but with his newly acquired Time gem, he aged the immortal Runner into an old man whose pace came to a halt.  Then with ease, Thanos plucked the gem from his unworthy opponent.  For his next quest he knew he would need a bargaining chip in order to acquire his next gem, which belonged to the Collector.  With that in mind, he reverted the Runner to a newborn babe and took him along.

The Collector, unaware of the power he had in his possession, kept the Reality gem in a mere display case.  Ripe for the taking, but Thanos wanted it fairly so the Collector was eagerly willing to trade a minor trinket for an immortal baby elder of the universe.  Once in Thanos’ hands, he showed a fraction of the gem’s power and the Collector freaked out and told Thanos to leave.  Upon his departure, he mentioned the Runner’s current state was only temporary.  So as soon as he left, Runner returned to his normal self.

Last on his list is the Mind gem, which was held by the Grandmaster.  He was a player of games and
liked to use Earth’s heroes as his pawns (Contest of Champions anyone?).  In this contest he would pit himself against Thanos in a virtual reality combat field.  The battle went back and forth.  With Thanos seemingly defeated, Grandmaster assured victory.That is if Thanos played fair,  for it was not the real Thanos who engaged in the battle.  He had sent a fake to take his place. 

With Thanos victorious, he now had all 6 gems.  He knew in his cold dark heart Death would now embrace him, but when he returned to her presence it was not the reception he hoped.  It seemed he gained too much power (d’oh). He was now above Death, so whatever he said or wanted was his.  If he wanted Death to be his consort, it was so.  Death had no choice.  This was not what he wanted so he stormed off in huff to contemplate his next move.  (Spoiler:  Infinity Gauntlet)

This is a classic tale brought to you by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim, which shows Thanos as the schemer that he is.  At the same time, you get to see the sadness and loneliness that comes with becoming a god.