The Infinity Gauntlet
|The Infinity Gauntlet|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||July – December 1991|
|Number of issues||6|
|Artist(s)||George Pérez and Ron Lim|
|Infinity Gauntlet||ISBN 0-7851-2349-0|
|Created by||Jim Starlin and George Pérez|
|Element of stories featuring||Thanos|
The Infinity Gauntlet is a six-issue comic book limited series published by Marvel Comics from July to December in 1991. The series was written by Jim Starlin and penciled by George Pérez and Ron Lim.
In 1991, artist George Pérez signed on to pencil the six-issue limited series. However, due to the emotional stresses Pérez was suffering related to his concurrent work as writer/artist on DC Comics' Wonder Woman and as artist on the DC limited series War of the Gods, Pérez was unable to finish penciling each issue of Infinity Gauntlet. Pérez left the project while working on issue #4, with penciler Ron Lim assigned to replace him. Pérez remained as the inker over Lim's cover art for the remainder of the miniseries.
Additional plotlines not addressed in the main story were featured in other books published during the same time period.
Thanos mounts the six Infinity Gems (collected in the Thanos Quest limited series) on his left glove to form the titular Infinity Gauntlet. Each Gem grants its bearer complete mastery over one aspect of the universe: Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, and Power. Combined on the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is granted omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. Now all-powerful and desperate to win the affections of Death, Thanos decides to offer the entity a gift of love by completing a task she had given him: erasing half the sentient life in the universe (including most of the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four) with a literal snap of his fingers.
The surviving heroes on Earth, led by the newly resurrected Adam Warlock, band together to battle Thanos. In a bid to impress Death, Thanos allows the heroes a slight chance of victory, but easily kills almost all of them. Thanos goes on to defeat and imprison many of the universe's cosmic entities—including Galactus; the Stranger; the Titan Kronos; Epoch; the entities Love and Hate; two Celestials; Master Order and Lord Chaos; and Eternity. After defeating Eternity, Thanos leaves his body and becomes the living embodiment of the universe. His abandoned body is left vulnerable to Nebula, his alleged granddaughter.
Nebula dons the Gauntlet and undoes all of Thanos' actions. Another battle with the heroes and cosmic deities ends with Warlock taking possession of the Gauntlet, after which Thanos appears to commit suicide. Warlock decides to keep the gauntlet intact for himself, despite the objections of his allies. Later, Warlock and his companions discover Thanos working at a farm while contemplating his loss; satisfied that he is no longer a threat, they decide to leave him be.
The Infinity Gauntlet is featured in several issues of the alternate universe title What If. The first explores the outcome if the Silver Surfer and Impossible Man respectively had possessed the artifact. A one-shot publication depicts a new version of the Fantastic Four - who replace the deceased original members - consisting of the Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wolverine. The quartet successfully defeat Thanos when Wolverine distracts him by telling him how he should "touch" death to show her he cares. This allows Wolverine to cut off Thanos' gloved hand, Spider-Man subsequently undoes the damage Thanos had caused before giving the Gauntlet to the Watchers for safe keeping.
In What If? Infinity - Dark Reign, Norman Osborn acquired the Infinity Gems after manipulating an army of villains to do the work for him and used them to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet, defeating most of the heroes while trapping Spider-Man in a time loop where he witnesses/'causes' Gwen Stacy's death over and over again. However, when Norman uses the Gauntlet's power to resurrect his abusive father to show him what he has accomplished, his father dismisses him as a petty tyrant and a monster until Norman uses the Gauntlet to change his father's opinion. When Thanos appears, killing the rest of the Dark Avengers while taunting Osborn about the hollow nature of his father's current approval, Osborn destroys him, but when his altered father only says that he loves Norman as a son, Osborn erases him in a fit of anger as he wanted to be praised for his accomplishments, realising too late that erasing his father automatically erases him as well.
Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet
A retelling of the story in the all-ages Marvel Adventures line, written by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Brian Churilla, was released in August 2010. This version features Spider-Man, the Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, and Doctor Doom fighting Thanos after he uses the Gauntlet to kill half the population of the Universe. Doom betrays the Avengers and seizes the gauntlet for himself, but fails to get it to work culminating in Spider-Man using the Gauntlet to erase the entire adventure from history, with only him and Thanos remembering what took place.
Secret Wars (2015)
An Infinity Gauntlet miniseries was part of the 2015 Secret Wars crossover featuring Thanos. It takes place on the Battleworld domain of New Xandar which is based on a reality where the Nova Corps have failed at preventing the Annihilation Wave from reaching Earth.
The series has been collected into a trade paperback and a hardcover:
- The Infinity Gauntlet (collects The Infinity Gauntlet limited series, 256 pages, softcover, March 2000, ISBN 0-87135-944-8, December 2004, ISBN 0-7851-0892-0, July 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2349-0, hardcover August 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4549-4)
- The Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus (collects Silver Surfer #34-38, 40, 44-60, The Thanos Quest #1-2, The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6, Cloak And Dagger #18, Spider-Man #17, Hulk #383-385, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31-36, Quasar #26-27, Sleepwalker #7, 1248 pages, hardcover, July 2014)
- Marvel Premiere Classics 46: Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet was critically successful. IGN listed the miniseries as one of the best Comic Book Events, calling it "the iconic Thanos story and a template on which all future cosmic events were based".  CBR ranked The Infinity Gauntlet as the second greatest Thanos story.
In other media
- Capcom released two video games based on the events of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems.
- A pinball table based on The Infinity Gauntlet is downloadable in Marvel Pinball as part of the Avengers Chronicles pack.
- In the music video for Green Day's 1996 single "Walking Contradiction", the Infinity Gauntlet is seen on the dashboard of the car the band members are riding in during the closing scene.
- The Marvel Studios films Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel are loosely based on the storyline. Thanos will be featured with many superheroes, such as the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel.
- The Infinity Gauntlet appears alongside the Cosmic Cube, the Holy Grail and Eternal Rur, as an easter egg in the 13th issue of the Star Wars comic series Doctor Aphra, within the artifact collection of Emperor Palpatine.
- O'Neil, Patrick Daniel. "Spotlight: War of the Gods," David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview #104 (1991), pp. 21-35. Cover title: "Pérez Quits DC!"
- The Infinity Gauntlet #2 (1991)
- Various (2012-08-20). "Infinity Gauntlet (Comic Vine)". www.comicvine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- What If? #49 (May 1993)
- What If? #104 (Jan. 1998)
- What If? Newer Fantastic Four #1 (Feb. 2009)
- What If? Infinity - Dark Reign (vol. 1) 1
- Richard George & Jesse Schedeen (2010-04-16). "The Avengers vs. The Infinity Gauntlet Once More". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "The Best Comic Book Events". IGN.
- "The Greatest Thanos Stories". Comic Book Resources.