I have to love Avengers: Celestial Quest because it’s written by the great Steve Englehart, who was one of the founding fathers of Marvel Comics as I grew up on it. His stint on Batman is one of the greatest ever (it was the one that turned Joker from a silly ditz into a truly frightening villain); he wrote the Avengers-Defenders War; he turned Patsy Walker into Hellcat; and he was responsible for one of the best Dr. Strange runs of all time.
But by the 1990s, he was past his prime. Or so we all thought. With Celestial Quest, he made a story about his weirdest creation, Mantis, a character who started with the Avengers, moved to the Justice League, and, with this miniseries, returned to Marvel. It’s true, look it up.
But these posts are about Thanos, not Mantis, and what Englehart did for the Mad Titan here was pretty cool. Above, you can see how in one page he recaps the past 20 years of Thanos’ history, all leading to this character moment:
The story is a wonderfully bizarre assemblage of weirdos and cosmic concepts that all culminates, essentially, in Thanos becoming a complete narcissist.
In the end, he rejects Death once and for all…
I’m pretty sure this was Steve’s last work for Marvel.