|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2012)|
|The Infinity Watch|
|First appearance||Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 (1992)|
|Created by||Jim Starlin
|Member(s)||Drax the Destroyer
Pip the Troll
The Infinity Watch is a group of fictional characters in Marvel Comics' universe. The Watch was gathered in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1, and starred in that series until it ended with issue #42. The six members were the self-appointed guardians of the Infinity Gems, which were each given to a single member in order to safeguard against anyone else assembling them into the Infinity Gauntlet.
When Adam Warlock obtains possession of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet (that contained the six Infinity Gems) from Thanos, he is ordered by the Living Tribunal to separate the Gems so that they might never be used in conjunction again. Warlock forms the Infinity Watch, entrusting each member with an Infinity Gem to protect (keeping the identity of the sixth member a secret even from his fellow Infinity Watch-members). Under the Gauntlet's influence, Warlock is not in his right mind, and even he wondered if he had made the right choices later on.
Initially, Warlock did not intend for the Watch to become a team; he believes the gems would be safer if they were all kept separately, but Warlock's old enemy, the Man-Beast abducts four Infinity Watch members and manipulated their gems in an attempt to destroy Warlock. After the Man-Beast is defeated, the Infinity Watch chose to stay together as a heroic team, except for Thanos. However, Thanos, having undergone a period of humility after the Infinity Gauntlet affair, did not abuse his gem, but kept it safe.
Warlock negotiates a deal with the Mole Man to use a castle on Monster Island as the Watch's base. With help from The Avengers and Warlock, the United Nations recognize the Mole Man's sovereignty of Monster Island (after a fatality-free battle with the Watch). The Infinity Watch goes on to deal with many other foes, most of them interested in the power the Gems could confer on their owner. Other opponents had personal interests in the Infinity Watch members.
An amnesiac man appears on Monster Island and was taken in by the Watch despite Gamora's warnings. Gamora, holding the Time Gem, has visions of this man killing Adam Warlock. The Watch names the man Maxam after a symbol found on his belt and he joins the Watch, despite a violent outburst against Warlock.
A while later Gamora leaves the team after an argument with Adam Warlock. Maxam became the new Guardian of the Time Gem. This causes his memories to return; he is under the belief that Warlock is a danger to his homeworld. Under Moondragon's telepathic influence, Maxam believes that he had broken Warlock's neck and returned to his own world.
Meanwhile the being known as Rune steals all the Infinity Gems and took them to the Ultraverse. With Gamora, Maxam and the gems gone, the Watch disbands. Although the gems are eventually returned to the Marvel Universe, the Watch has not been fully reestablished yet; however, Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip were shown attempting to overthrow the Champion of the Universe's rule of the planet Skardon in the 2004–2005 She-Hulk series, and at one point recruited Drax to aid in their efforts.
- Many members of the Infinity Watch were chosen for their inability or unwillingness to use their assigned Gem's full potential.
- Pip was somewhat cowardly and self-preservatory, and would keep his Space Gem safe because he would teleport to safety at the first sign of trouble. He also did not possess above-average intelligence, and so was not at risk of attempting to exploit the gem for anything more than simple teleportation of himself and others.
- Suffering from brain damage, Drax the Destroyer was only ever capable of tapping unconsciously into his gem's potential, and served only to make his already formidable strength nearly limitless.
- Gamora never had any desire or intention to use the Time Gem consciously, though she did experience occasional visions of the future, normally involving seeing Warlock in danger. Warlock chose her out of personal affection, as well as the knowledge that, as one of the galaxy's most capable warriors, she would be able to defend the gem from potential thieves.
- Already an exceptional telepath, Moondragon gained almost limitless telepathic and telekinetic abilities from the gem, but her previous failures and damages to her ego led her to lack the confidence to exploit its greater powers. In addition, given her less than trustworthy past, Warlock chose to install safeguards into the gem to assure her good behavior. Among these safeguards was an inability to read the minds of the other holders of the Gems.
- While Thanos' possession of the Reality Gem could grant him virtually anything that he desired, a temporarily resurrected Captain Marvel suggested that Thanos was chosen by Warlock because he was the only being in the universe wise enough not to use it. Having attained godlike status in the past, he simply knew that greater power would not satisfy him. Thanos also knew that the Reality Gem was in its own way the most dangerous of the Gems, and required the simultaneous use of the other Gems to keep its powers under control.
- Warlock expunged the good and evil portions of his personality while holding the gauntlet which limited his ability to exploit aspects of the Soul Gem. Nevertheless, Warlock did possess a union with the gem that may never have been rivaled before or since.
- While many characters who kept an Infinity Gem for any period of time wore it on their foreheads, some had other safe places.
- Pip kept his between his toes, stating that "a gem on the forehead ain't my look." (It was teased to the readers that Pip may have hidden the gem in his posterior region.)
- Mistaking his Power Gem for a jelly bean, Drax swallowed it. Since the gem was indestructible and indigestible, the gem was, as Warlock observed, "as safe there as anywhere." Drax later suffered a blow to the stomach while battling the Thunder God Thor, and relinquished it to the Asgardian for a time. When Drax regained the gem, his teammates chose to imbed it in his belt so that he "could not lose it again without losing his pants."
- Gamora was shown to keep her gem in a purse-like pocket on her belt, as she feared to knowingly exploit its powers.