Thanos Quest #1-2 (prologue, Thanos took Infinity Gems from Elders of the Universe); Cloak & Dagger #18 (Mephisto offered souls of Cloak, Dagger, & Spider-Man to Thanos); Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #31 (Strange joined Silver Surfer in opposing Thanos); Silver Surfer #51-52 (Nova, Firelord & Drax joined fight against Thanos); Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #32 (Strange, Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock & Doctor Doom plan for battle against Thanos); Incredible Hulk #384 (shrunk to miniature size by Thanos, vs Abomination); Silver Surfer #53 (half population of Kree homeworld disappear); Silver Surfer #54 (heroes plan battle against Thanos, Surfer vs Rhino); Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #33 (Thanos sends Strange back in time to remove him from upcoming battle); Incredible Hulk #385 (returned to Earth by Thanos); Quasar #26 (Thanos caused Eon's corpse to pour through interdimensional portal onto Earth);
Silver Surfer #55-56 (Thanos mentally manipulated Surfer); Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #34 (Strange & Doctor Druid sought to heal Doctor Doom for the battle against Thanos); Quasar #27 (Quasar & other heroes sought to stop Eon's corpse smothering Earth); Silver Surfer #57 (Surfer failed to take Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos); Silver Surfer #58 (Surfer broke free of Thanos' mental manipulation); Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #35 (Strange, Clea, & Scarlet Witch sought to recover Thor's life essence); Sleepwalker #7 (Sleepwalker aided in opposing Eon's corpse); The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #18; Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme #36 (epilogue, Strange questioned Warlock's possession of Gauntlet); Warlock and The Infinity Watch #1 (aftermath, cosmic deities judged who should guard Infinity Gems); What If...? #34 ("What If Thanos Changed Galactus Into A Human Being?"); What If...? #49 ("What If The Silver Surfer Had The Infinity Gauntlet?"); What If...? #104 ("What If The Impossible Man Gained The Infinity Gauntlet?")
Mistress Death believed that there was a cosmic imbalance in the universe - that there were more living than there were dead. As a result, Death resurrects her loyal servant Thanos, who is appointed the task of exterminating half of the sentient population of the universe. Not only is Thanos' power augmented by Death, he is granted access to the Infinity Well, where he realizes the power of the Infinity Gems. After much plotting and scheming, Thanos wrestles the gems one by one from their owners and gains mastery over Power, Mind, Space, Reality, Time, and the Soul.
Hearing of these recent developments from the Silver Surfer, Earth's surviving heroes band together - lead by a newly ressurected Adam Warlock - to battle the mad Titan.