Thanos Quest was the first time Thanos went after the six soul gems.
It was written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Ron Lim, the team who had been kicking all kinds of major ass on the Silver Surfer comic.
Lots of cosmic 1960s LSD influenced panels.
In many ways, it was a “scavenger hunt” storyline: Thanos goes after the six elders of the universe who have gems. Champion (who boxed The Thing in Marvel Two In One Annual #7, one of the greatest comics of all time, The Collector, The Gardner, and others.
We get to see Thanos using guile, trickery, and smarts–he’s not some powerful thug, he’s actually a conniving Machiavelli. In the first issue, he gets three of six gems. And we get this absolutely terrific panel, which is probably Ron Lim’s best…
In the second issue of this terrific two-issue miniseries, we learn that Grandmaster actually cheats at his games.
But Thanos cheats better, and wins, and gets all six gems. Now, he was doing it all to impress Death. But she wasn’t impressed enough…
Thanos has the mind gem, which means he could force Death to be his lover, but Thanos doesn’t want that. He actually wants to woo her.
Who knew Thanos was so romantic?
No major Marvel characters appear in this book–it runs entirely on Thanos–before his movie fame.