CoverThanos Quest #2, Vol. 1
Published by Marvel Comics
, 1990

"Games and Prizes"

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: Continued from Thanos Quest #1.  Three down, three more to go.

Plot:

Prologue: Thanos contacts the Collector (the Elder) who already knows what Thanos is after. Thanos tells him he will have something valuable to barter for his gem. He then tracks down the Runner and teleports to that location.

Space gem: The Space gem Thanos seeks can transport you anywhere, everywhere and nowhere instantly. It has the capacity to warp space to take the holder anywhere they wish. In the blink of an eye, the Runner destroys Thanos' mystical chair and quickly places Thanos at his mercy. He then dictates terms to Thanos of revealing all he knows and why he is after the gems or getting beat to death at super speed. Thanos reveals that gazing at the Infinity well, he learned of a being that existed before recorded time. It was a single lone entity with limitless power existing within any and all realities. It then chose to put an end to itself of which Thanos had surmised was due to loneliness. From its ashes arose all that is reality and the core became six infinity gems. The Runner then tells Thanos the gems are now his but Thanos stops feigning defeat and uses his time gem to age the Runner over a million years old. He tells the Elder that they are not truly immortal - just extremely decelerated metabolisms. Thanos then takes the space gem and regresses the Runner to a child form. He then teleports with the Runner baby inside the stronghold of the Collector...

Reality gem: The Reality gem Thanos seeks to gain from a trade can control what you see, feel and sense through your perceptions as well as what is. The Collector is initially shocked at Thanos offering his very own Elder to his collection. He agrees with the condition that Thanos promise to non-interference in his existence. Thanos promises and the exchange is made. A sampling of the reality gem takes place as the room is distorted out of reality. The Elder realizes he's been duped and asks Thanos to leave. Before he does, Thanos reveals that the effects of the time spell on the Runner are temporary and the Runner subsequently quickly changes from the baby form back to his normal self. At the realization that the Collector was going to add him to his collection, the Runner begins pummeling him incessantly. The Grandmaster turns off his screen after observing the interchange between Thanos and the Collector. He realizes where Thanos is headed to next...

Mind gem: The last gem - the mind gem, Thanos seeks next. It is the gem that can penetrate and control the mind. Telepathy and telekinetics are added to your skills with this gem. Thanos teleports to a planet and quickly requests to the Grandmaster what the game will be. The Grandmaster begins by explaining that the gem he has is protected by layers of force fields and that a pan-dimensional transporter will teleport the gem to a random location in the universe immediately and then self destruct if any layer is breached leaving no way to trace. He then continues on by stating the game to be a quasi military exercise on a mental plane. Each contestant is equipped with an identical suit of battle armor. A "kill shot" immobilizes the loser and terminates the game. The Grandmaster requests Thanos to barter his five gems and Thanos agrees since he doesn't plan on losing. The Grandmaster tells Thanos the transporter will activate should anything interrupt his vital signs and that on the other hand, it will shut down in the event he loses. Thanos accepts the terms and places his gems on a stasis field keyed to his vital signs. The game begins as they both place their headsets on. Thanos finds himself in a battle suit inside a maze-like arena. The Grandmaster quickly finds Thanos and begins firing but Thanos is able to dodge. He goes for cover and then tries to fire back but the Grandmaster has gone. Taking to the air, the Grandmaster assaults an unexpecting Thanos firing from above. Thanos runs for cover again but this time blasts a hole and hides within the maze wall. The Grandmaster flies by leaving Thanos his back. The Grandmaster realizes his mistake. As he turns around, Thanos tries to fire but is instead covered like a statue by a silicon fungus that will eat through him. The Grandmaster tells him he loathed cheating but that the stakes were too high. Gloating, the Grandmaster knocks the covered statue down only to discover it was a robot. On the surface of the planet, the real Thanos destroys the mental plane machine leaving the Grandmaster trapped inside. Thanos then obtains the mind gem exclaiming, "Out of a thousand ways I could have taken the 6th gem, this one was surely the most enjoyable one!"

Epilogue: Thanos explores the six individual gems and the powers they bring him. The time gem: able to reach back into the primordial past or distant future. The space gem: giving access to everywhere or nowhere. The mind gem: able to connect to all living beings in the universe and control them. Power gem: the tool that allows the other five to sculpt existence to his or her desire. Soul gem: affecting the very core of what life is. The dead souls are also under his control. Reality gem: allowing him to make his own physical laws. Thanos returns to Death telling her he did it for her, to be her mate. Death informs Thanos that she will do whatever he wants and continues addressing him indirectly through her minions because it would be unseeingly to address the all-powerful. Thanos is angered by this, destroys the messenger and walks away. He regrets miscalculating badly that Mistress Death would offer blind subservience instead of love at his new status. He gazes at the Infinity Well as a tear falls from his eye - "Who could have guessed that becoming a God would prove such a hollow victory?"

Thanos starts using his gems in Silver Surfer #44.

Comments: Jim Starlin writes an awesome story involving Thanos' manipulations. Everything is great. One of the best stories I have ever read. Ron Lim does a great and consistent job. A sort of dark feel is giving to the book that is very appropriate.
Everything fits in perfectly.

Review written by Alexander Soto

 

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