- I'm quicker than thought. Faster than light. I'm the speediest damn thing in the whole universe.
- -- Runner
Appearing in "Games and Prizes"
- Infinity Gems
- Infinity Well
- Robot Double of Thanos
Synopsis for "Games and Prizes"
Thanos contacts the Collector, saying he will soon come into contact with something so rare that the Collector will be glad to trade his own Infinity Gem for it. When Thanos receives no follow-up response, he knows the Collector is unaware of the gem’s true potential.
Thanos uses his technology to locate the Runner, an Elder who possesses the Space Gem. The Runner surprises Thanos, however, by easily destroying his craft. He demands to know why Thanos seeks the Infinity Gems, and Thanos narrates what he knows of their origin—they were once part of an omniscient being who existed before all time and space. This being, however, was lonely, and ended its own existence. Its limitless power was reincarnated in the six Infinity Gems. He claims to want to sit at Death’s side as her equal. As he speaks he uses the Time gem to age the unsuspecting Runner into dotage, rendering him defenseless. Thanos takes his gem, and then de-ages him into a baby, which he offers to the Collector in exchange for his own gem, which the Collector believes is actually powerless. Thanos knows differenty, though, and demonstrates the Reality Gem’s potential to the awestruck Collector. Before he leaves he reverts the Runner back to adulthood, denying the Collector his prize.
Knowing Thanos will come for him next, the Grandmaster awaits him with a contest. The winner will receive all the gems. They battle in a virtual reality landscape. When Thanos seems to have a kill shot, the Grandmaster reveals he has cheated: Thanos’s battle armor was programmed to kill him by encasing him in a silicon fungus. The Grandmaster gloats, until he realizes that the Thanos he’s been battling was a robot duplicate the whole time. The real Thanos destroys the computer generating the battlefield, thus trapping the Grandmaster inside, and takes the final gem.
Thanos assesses each gem and its power, gloating that he is now for all practical purposes, omnipotent. He transports himself to the side of Death, announcing his newfound power but still claiming to want only to be her equal. Thanos grows irate when Death still refuses to speak to him, as she now must regard Thanos as her superior, not her equal. Furious, Thanos destroys her messenger and stalks away, shedding a tear for his hollow victory.
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