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The Greatest Thanos Stories Ever Told!

by  in Comic News Comment

Every day in April we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Thanos Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. “Thanos vs. Mephisto” Silver Surfer #45


Written by Jim Starlin and drawn by Ron Lim and Tom Christopher.

This issue was interesting at the time for the fact that Silver Surfer is unconscious the entire issue, so it pretty much just stars Thanos. He has recently acquired the Infinity Gauntlet and the whole issue is Mephisto trying to manipulate Thanos to the point where Mephisto can steal the Gauntlet. As you might imagine, things don’t go Mephisto’s way.

9. “Epiphany” Thanos #1-6


Written by Jim Starlin with art by Starlin and Al Milgrom.

As penance for his past action, Thanos agrees to stop Galactus from devouring Rigel-18. However, he soon gets caught up in a larger drama where Galactus is being manipulated by a mysterious cosmic being known as the Hunger. So first Thanos (and his sometimes allies, Warlock, Pip and Gamora) have to stop Galactus and then they ALL have to stop the Hunger! The fate of the universe is once again on the shoulders of Thanos!

8. Marvel Universe: The End #1-6


Written by Jim Starlin with art by Starlin and Al Milgrom.

The Egyptian Pharaoh known as Akhenaten is given extraordinary power a millenia ago. Now he has finally mastered the power and the universe as a whole is at danger. Thanos once again finds himself working on the side of good as he and a group of Defenders tries to stop Akhenaten’s plot. In the end, Thanos gets the “Heart of the Infinite” that powered Akhenaten and suddenly Thanos is the most powerful being in the universe once again. Warlock, though, convinces him to set the universe right once again.

7. Magus Saga (Strange Tales #178-181, Warlock #9-11)


Written and penciled by Jim Starlin, inks by Al Milgrom mostly.

Starlin revived Warlock, who was pretty much in limbo and set him against the evil Universal Church of Truth, which turns out is ruled by an evil version of Warlock from the future. Can Warlock defeat a villain who is himself? This storyline introduced Warlock’s supporting cast of Pip the Troll and Gamora, the deadliest woman in the universe. In a twist, we see one of what soon became a routine event – Thanos teaming up with a hero to take down a greater evil, in this case, the Magus.

6. “The Death of Captain Marvel” Marvel Graphic Novel #1


Written and drawn by Jim Starlin

A mature, touching look at how a hero handles death when it appears in one of its most un-“epic” forms, a hero brought low by cancer. Thanos makes a powerful (post-death) appearance in this storyline as he appears to Captain Marvel when Marvel is at death’s door and helps his former enemy accept passing over into the afterlife.

The top five is on the next page!

5. “The Rebirth of Thanos” Silver Surfer #34-38


Written by Jim Starlin with art by Ron Lim and Tom Christopher.

Jim Starlin returned to Marvel Comics with this Silver Surfer storyline where he returns Thanos to life and sets up the storyline that would lead into the Infinity Gauntlet (and the return of Starlin’s Warlock cast).

4. “The Thanos War” Captain Marvel #25-33


Written by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich with art by Starlin and a bunch of different inkers.

Thanos is always trying to find super-powerful objects to help with his obsession with mass murdering (by mass I mean MASS) and in this story, he tries to take control of the Cosmic Cube and Captain Marvel and a variety of heroes must try to stop him. As my pal Chris notes, while “Thanos trying to find super-powerful objects to help him kills LOTS of people” has, indeed, become a trope, it is fair enough to note that this is the FIRST time that Thanos used this particular trope.

3. Thanos Quest #1-2


Written by Jim Starlin with art by Ron Lim and John Beatty.

After his return in Silver Surfer, the now revived Thanos sets off to collect the Infinity Gems from each of their current owners in his quest to put together the most powerful force in the galaxy – the Infinity Gauntlet (hint: he succeeds).

2. Infinity Gauntlet #1-6


Written by Jim Starlin, art by George Perez, Ron Lim and Joe Rubinstein

What do you do when a villain obsessed with Death gets control of the most powerful object in the galaxy? That’s what we find out in this mini-series where Adam Warlock must lead the heroes of Earth in a battle against the power-mad Thanos.

1. “The Final Threat” Avengers Annual #7/Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2


Written by Jim Starlin, drawn by Starlin and Joe Rubinstein

Thanos meets his “final” fate in this two-parter that resolved all of the plots from Jim Starlin’s Warlock run, including killing off all the cast of Warlock (including Thanos). This is not before Thanos almost destroys the Milky Way Galaxy with the soul gem.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!