Thanos peers into the Infinity Well. Mistress Death asks him why he has not begun the work she has assigned him: killing half the population of the universe and helping her balance her power.
He tells her it would take him centuries to accomplish this goal with his current power. He suggests she allow him to find the source of ultimate power, The Infinity Gems. She accepts once she learns that Thanos will get the first one from her enemy, the In-Betweener. The In-Betweener had cause her trouble in the past and she will be happy to get rid of him.
Thanos travels to the Nexus of All Realities where In-Betweener is imprisoned inside a spherical forcefield. He tells him that he wishes to be his servant to help him get away from Death and he will help to free him. Together they are able to break him from his prison. But once he is released he is powerless. The Nexus of Realities denies him his former powers. Thanos explains that the In-Betweener still had his powers inside his prison, because Master Order and Lord Chaos granted him that gift. Thanos takes his soul gem from him and tells him he never had plans to release him. He adds that the masters cannot detect his intrusion inside the nexus. He warns him that his masters are on their way and his prison this time around will most likely not be as nice when they arrive.
After Thanos departs, Master Order and Lord Chaos arrive. They find the In-Betweener free and imprison him, without heeding his warnings.
On his way back, Thanos meets Death and her minion. Death is not pleased with Thanos' speech of his slavery. Thanos says that it was nothing but a ploy to snatch the gem from the In-Betweener. Death takes his word on that and departs.
Thanos then travels to find the Champion of the Universe, the one who possesses the power gem. Quickly, he finds him, battling on the planet of Tamarata. He challenges Champion to a duel. Champion accepts and attacks him directly. He is able to enrage the Champion with his force fields. Champion gets ready for a devastating attack, but Thanos teleports out of the way. Champion destroys the planet with his attack and now floats in space. He makes a deal with Thanos to return him to another planet in exchange for his gem. Thanos takes his gem and drops him onto a new planet without benefit of a forcefield. He is not sure whether Champion will survive.
Thanos then travels to see the Gardener, possessor of the time gem. Gardener knows his true purpose. He also knows that it is futile to fight Thanos but does so anyway. He invites Thanos for a stroll before accepting the challenge. He is no match for Thanos, who uses his power gem to make Gardener's plants grow out of his control, seemingly killing Gardener with them. Before killing him, Thanos explains to him how the Gardener was able to build his exotic garden by tapping into an infinitesimal fraction of the time gem's power.
The quest for ultimate power has just begun for Thanos. What comes next might alter the very fabric of the universe...