Appearing in "Part 1: Schemes and Dreams"
- Servants of Death (Deceased)
- Elders of the Universe
Races and Species:
- "Before All Recorded Time" (Mentioned)
- Infinity Well
- Infinity Gems (First appearance as Infinity Gems)
Synopsis for "Part 1: Schemes and Dreams"
Thanos peers into the Infinity Well. Challenged by one of Death's minions, Thanos says he needs its insights if he is to perform the task set him by Death: killing half of the universe’s population. He tells Death he needs the six Soul Gems to complete this task. She allows him to do so, especially upon learning that her foe, the In-Betweener, possesses one of them.
Journeying to the Nexus of reality where the In-Betweener is held prisoner by Chaos and Order, Thanos helps free him, under the pretense of needing his help to rebel against Death. He neglects to tell him he will be powerless once freed. Thanos takes his gem and departs. Death challenges him over his purported rebellion but Thanos insists it was only a ploy. He warns himself to be cautious lest he reveals his true plan too early.
Thanos next confronts the Champion and engages him in battle. To defeat him, Thanos enrages him to the point where he literally destroys the planet they are standing on, leaving him stranded in space. In desperation, Champion agrees to give Thanos his gem if he will transport him to another planet. Thanos agrees though he lets him plummet through its atmosphere instead of transporting him to its surface.
Next he visits the Gardener who possesses the Time Gem. They chat peaceably preparing for an inevitable conflict, and Thanos defeats him by using the Power gem to amplify the Gardener’s own Time gem to levels beyond his own control, aging him rapidly to death and then taking his gem. He says he regrets destroying the Gardener’s greatest creation but he must be true to his own nature, for he is, after all, Thanos.
Thanos embarks on the ultimate quest of love and all-consuming destruction!
- Thanos persuades Death to allow him to search the Soul Gems; however, he hides his real reasons from Death.
- Thanos states for the first time that the six Soul Gems should be called the Infinity Gems more properly since only one really affects the Soul.