Written by: Jim Starlin
Penciled by: Jim Starlin
Inked by: Al Milgrom
Colored by: Christine Scheele & Heroic Age
Lettered by: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Thanos: Behold, reader… for I am Thanos! Once, I was a vile despot, despoiler of worlds and a subtle-as-a-starship-crash rip-off of Darkseid. Once, I did possess the Infinity Gauntlet and slaughter half the Universe. Once, I did possess infinite power and give it up to save this universe, the adventures of who’s inhabitants you are so pleased to read in your primitive, tree-shaved, four-colored, monthly-published periodicals. Once, I was…
Readers: Get on with it!
Thanos: Right. Indeed, once Thanos was quite the badass. But since saving the universe, I have realized the folly of my ways and intend to make restitution for my past misdeeds. Where I once destroyed, I shall build. Where I once took, I shall give. Where I once gave ponderous philosophical speeches that went nowhere, I shall now give more ponderous, philosophical speeches and hope that a point becomes apparent.
Warlock: And I for one plan to be there every step of the way.
Thanos: Adam Warlock? Do you not trust my reformation? Do you not believe that this Alpha Centurion Gransnat Beast can change his stripes?
Warlock: Not really. Though I will admit it would make you the first villain turned hero to get his own series who actually remained heroic throughout.
Thanos: Indeed! But I shall not object to your presence, in order to show my new agreeable disposition. Also, because this will allow us to get into many humorous situations, not unlike Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rainman, but without the mental handicaps.
(In the blinking of a page, the two are on some random planet)
Thanos: And so you see Random Alien Leader, I had mended my ways and fully intend to use my awesome, though vaguely defined powers to aid you and your civilization when I once would have crushed it, slaughtered half of you and dedicated your lives to the spirit of ending itself.
Random Alien Leader: Well, why not?
Random Evil Alien General: No! I say that you are weak and insane to deal with the Mad Titan! We shall kill him and you and the one with the unnatural golden skin!
Warlock: Joan Rivers?
Random Evil Alien General: No! Kill them!
(Thanos, naturally, turns the tables.)
Thanos: Mr. Random Alien Leader… as a gesture of good will and proof of my intentions, I shall… in one stroke…. Improve the quality of your gene pool as well as regain you the loyalty of your armies.
Random Alien Leader: Amazing! And how do you plan to accomplish this with one stroke?
Thanos: By doing this!
(Thanos blasts the Random Evil Alien General into kibble)
Warlock: Have you yet to confront a problem that couldn’t be solved by blowing people up?
Thanos: Only a few, but I was able to blow up everyone who complained.
CUT TO: Starman’s Office:
Starman: Uh, hey folks. Just thought I’d note that the above conversation is only SLIGHTLY exaggerated for humorous effect. Now, back to the parody!
CUT TO: Random Alien World.
Warlock: Perhaps, if you are serious about turning over a new leaf, you might want to consider not racking up so high a body count.
Thanos: What bodies are there to count? He is now a pile of melting protoplasm and ashes! There’s not enough to fill an envelope!
Warlock: That is not my point! You cannot just kill everyone who you have a disagreement with.
Thanos: At the very least, I cannot kill you…. Yet. But come… with have problems to solve.
CUT TO: A Different Random Alien World.
Random Alien: This weird ship thingy seems to be hurting the planet.
Thanos: Indeed. I recognize it as a scout ship of Galactus, Devourer of Worlds and Maker of Fine Cheesecake.
Random Alien: Cheesecake?
Thanos: Indeed, though that title is rarely used and his is known more for devouring worlds than making his fine cheesecake.
Warlock: Is there anything we can do?
Thanos: Yes. Indeed, I swear now that by my oath as a reformed villain, which is currently worth about 1/20th of an Intergalactic Credit at this time, that Galactus shall die at my hands!
Warlock: Okay… remember what I said an hour ago about the sanctity of life?
Thanos: Yes. I thought I could talk more about it as I am blowing people up. Become a compassionate conservative, as the people of Earth call it.