CoverThanos Quest #1, Vol. 1
Published by Marvel Comics
, 1990

"Schemes and Dreams"

Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciling: Ron Lim
Inks: John Beaty
Color: Tom Vincent
Letters: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Craig Anderson
Asst. Editor: Renee Witterstaetter
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Original Price: $4.95
Current Value: Can you believe Wizard doesn't have this issue listed?!?  Have they lost their minds!?!

History Behind Issue: Silver Surfer returned from the dead in Silver Surfer #34.  He got the Surfer off his trail in issue #38, making him think he is dead.  Now, Thanos is after the Infinity Gems.


Prologue: Communicating through her minions, Death questions Thanos as to why he delays on performing the task she set before him to remove 50% of the population of the universe. Thanos replies that he has a plan to expedite the task but he must proceed cautiously to accomplish it. He reveals that he is in need of six soul gems (or rather 'infinity' gems as he so aptly renames them after learning their true power by gazing into the infinity well) to enhance himself even further than what Death has done to him. Death has doubts but he convinces her by telling her that the In-Betweener will be the first person he confronts. Death accepts Thanos' plan welcoming the plan of humiliating the In-Betweener for past deeds occurred between him and herself.

Soul gem: Thanos departs on his mystical chair and heads for the nexus of realities, a place at the border between the realms of Chaos & Order. He traverses different realities and arrives. There, the In-Betweener sits in a sphere imprisoned. The gem Thanos seeks is the soul gem. It affects the soul of a person and can alter their very spiritual being. He convinces the In-Betweener that he has escaped Death's servitude and is seeking protection from her. He surmises that the In-Betweener's magic combined with his power might be able to break the sphere/prison surrounding the In-Betweener. Feeling he has nothing to lose, the In-Betweener agrees to attempt it and they both focus enormous proportions of energy at the sphere. The prison gives and the In-Betweener is free. Having no loyalty, the In-Betweener tries to destroy Thanos but soon realizes he's powerless. Thanos explains that they are in a realm in between Chaos and Order's universes and that he is powerless there. Inside the sphere/prison, the In-Betweener retained power only because his masters allowed it for his convenience and comfort. Thanos then approaches him and removes the gem from his forehead. He tells the In-Betweener that he is one of those beings who exists outside the realm of destiny's sphere of influence and that Chaos & Order cannot see/detect him. He leaves the In-Betweener as Chaos & Order appear angry at the escape attempt. A scream is heard as the In-Betweener futile tries to explain to his masters...

Power gem: Thanos arrives at a planet where he sees Champion (the Elder) fighting/battling the natives - something Champion lives for. The gem Thanos now seeks is the power gem. A gem that can be tapped into for brute strength or can be used to power the other gems. Thanos challenges Champion to a fight with the planet they are on as a prize. They begin fighting but Thanos easily outwits his opponent. Attempting to anger him, Thanos soon erects a force field around himself. Champion attempts to break it but just gets angrier. He then jumps into the air wishing to fall down and break the force field with a concentrated blow. As he falls down, concentrating all his power on the punch, Thanos at a precise moment teleports away and Champions' power punch shatters the entire planet by causing inner core chain reactions. Champion thinks he's won as he hangs on to a piece of rock from the planet that is floating in space, but Thanos appears on his mystical chair and tells him he hasn't. That all he has done is destroy the prize of their contest. Champion challenges Thanos but Thanos turns him down and begins to leave. Champion realizes he is stranded and asks Thanos to not leave him there. Thanos tells him it will cost him his gem. Though he resists at first, Thanos reminds him that though he is immortal, he may well be there several centuries. Champion agrees and gives Thanos his gem. Thanos tows him to a nearby planet and then lets him fall from orbit as he decrees that he'd take him to the closest planet but never agreed to a soft landing...

Time Gem: Thanos arrives and begins talking to the Gardener, an Elder dedicated to his beautiful garden. A most beautiful sight which even Thanos acknowledges . Here he seeks the time gem. A gem capable of manipulating time such that you can travel within the time stream as easily as you can walk, or freeze time to prevent any states of changes within an object. The two civilly discuss the Gardener's membership as an Elder. The Gardener replies he only became an Elder to get the gem which he wanted for his garden to improve and retain its beauty. He claimed he did not like the Elder group as they were too power hungry for his liking. Thanos offers the Gardener a chance to relinquish his gem, but the Gardener claims he must be true to his nature despite what may happen. Thanos looks down with regret as vines begin to encircle him. His eyes glow as he explains that the Gardener subconsciously used the gem's power to accelerate the growth of the plants and as they bloomed froze them in time to keep their beauty. He then expresses regret as he reveals that he used the power gem to feed the time gem causing exponential sporadic growth. The Collector is seen dead with plant limbs protruding from his body and orifices. Thanos then leaves with three gems in his possession...

Continued in Thanos Quest #2.

Comments: I cannot find anything wrong with the story. It is a fantastic portrayal of Thanos and his scheming. One scheme is great, but to have four in one book (he manipulates Death also) is an enormous accomplishment by the writer!  The art is fantastic. Allot of introspection is done and Thanos is drawn superbly. There is a dark feel to the book as you would expect dealing with Thanos. Everything falls into place greatly.

Review written by Alexander Soto


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