Infinity Gems

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Infinity Gems
Thanos and Infinity Gems.jpg
Thanos with the six Infinity Gems
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceSoul Gem: Marvel Premiere #1 (Aug. 1972);
Power & Time Gem: Marvel Team-Up #55 (Mar. 1977);
All six Gems: Avengers Annual #7 (1977).
as The Infinity Gauntlet: The Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #44 (Dec. 1990)
In story information
TypeJewels
Element of stories featuringAdam Warlock; Thanos

The Infinity Gems (originally referred to as Soul Gems and later as Infinity Stones) are six gems appearing in Marvel Comics. The six gems are the Mind, Soul, Space, Power, Time and Reality Gems. In later storylines, crossovers and other media, a seventh gem has also been included. The Gems have been used by various characters in the Marvel Universe.

The Gems play a prominent role in the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where they are referred to as the Infinity Stones.

Publication history[edit]

The first appearance of an Infinity Gem occurred in 1972 in Marvel Premiere #1. It was originally called a "Soul Gem."[1][2] In 1976, a second "Soul Gem" appeared in a Captain Marvel story which established that there were six Soul Gems, each with different powers.[3] One year later, two more "Soul Gems" were introduced in a Warlock crossover involving Spider-Man.[2] The full set of six Gems appeared when the death-obsessed villain Thanos attempted to use them to extinguish every star in the universe.[2][4] In a 1988 storyline in Silver Surfer vol. 3, the Elders of the Universe tried to use the "Soul Gems" to steal the energy of the world-eating entity Galactus.[2]

In the 1990 limited series The Thanos Quest, Thanos refers to the entire set as "Infinity Gems" for the first time. In this storyline, he steals the Gems for the second time and reveals the Gems to be the last remains of an omnipotent being.[5] Thanos then places all six gems within a gauntlet.[6][full citation needed] In the miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos uses the Gems to become nearly omnipotent and kills half the universe's population as a gift to his love, the cosmic embodiment of Death. Although he easily repels an attack by Earth's heroes and other cosmic entities, the Gauntlet is eventually stolen from him by Nebula, who undoes his mass killings. Adam Warlock then recovers the Gauntlet and divides the Gems among a group he calls "the Infinity Watch," consisting of himself, the superheroes Gamora, Pip the Troll, Drax the Destroyer, Moondragon, and his former adversary Thanos. The group's adventures in defending the Gems appears in the series Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992-1995).[7]

The Gems are next gathered by Warlock's evil alter ego, the Magus in the 1992 limited series, The Infinity War, where he is defeated by Warlock and Earth's heroes.[8] In the 1993 third limited series, The Infinity Crusade, the Goddess attempts to destroy evil in the universe by destroying free will. The Gems are then once again retrieved by the Infinity Watch.[9]

Following the cancellation of the Infinity Watch series, the one-shot title Rune/Silver Surfer depicts the Gems being stolen by the extradimensional vampire Rune and dispersed throughout the Ultraverse.[10][11][12] The Asgardian god Loki subsequently enters the Ultraverse, collects the Gems,[13] and discovers the existence of a seventh Gem, "Ego." The Ego Gem, possesses the Avenger Sersi and merges with the other Gems to reform Nemesis. Nemesis was the original omnipotent being whose essence formed the Gems and battles the Avengers and Ultraforce before being dissipated once again.[14][15]

In a story arc of the Thanos series (2003-2004), Galactus gathers the six Gems but accidentally allows an interdimensional preset named Hunger access into the Earth-616 universe. Thanos and Galactus banish the entity and the Gems are scattered again with the exception of the Soul Gem, which Thanos retains for its customary custodian Adam Warlock.[16] In New Avengers: Illuminati, a 2007-2008 limited series, a cabal of Earth's heroes gather the Gems and attempt to wish them out of existence but discover that they must exist as part of the cosmic balance. Instead, the Illuminati divide and hide the Gems.[17]

In a 2010 Avengers storyline, the human criminal known as the Hood steals several Gems but is defeated by use of the remaining Gems; the Illuminati attempt to hide them again.[18][19][20][full citation needed] The Illuminati later wield the Gems to stop another universe from collapsing into their own but the Gems are shattered by the effort.[21][full citation needed] Afterwards, the previously vanished Time Gem appears to Captain America and some of the Avengers and transports them into future realities, shattering time in the process.[22][full citation needed]

As a result of the Incursions, the entire Multiverse is destroyed. However, Doctor Doom combines fragments of several alternate realities into Battleworld. Doctor Strange gathers Infinity Gems from various realities into a new Infinity Gauntlet, which he leaves hidden until the surviving heroes of Earth-616 return.[citation needed] The Gauntlet is subsequently claimed by T'Challa (the Black Panther), who uses it to keep the Beyonder-enhanced Doom occupied until Mister Fantastic can disrupt his power source.[citation needed]

Following the recreation of the Multiverse, the Infinity Gems (now known as the Infinity Stones) are recreated and scattered across the universe, with their colors switched and some taking on uncut ingot forms. In Marvel Legacy #1, the Space Stone (now colored blue) appears on Earth where a Frost Giant working for Loki steals it from a S.H.I.E.L.D. storage facility, however he is intercepted and defeated by Wolverine.[23] Star-Lord discovers an extra-large Power Stone (now colored purple) being protected by the Nova Corps,[24][full citation needed] and an alternate universe Peter Quill named Starkill has the Reality Stone (now colored red).[25][full citation needed] A future version of Ghost Rider is revealed to possess a shard of the Time Stone (now colored green),[26][full citation needed] while in the present the complete stone restores the ruined planet of Sakaar and is claimed by the Super-Skrull.[citation needed] The Mind Stone (now colored yellow) is found on Earth in the hands of petty crook Turk Barrett,[27] and the Soul Stone (now colored orange) is mentioned to Adam Warlock to be in the hands of his dark aspect the Magus;[28][full citation needed] however, Ultron is able to claim it after ambushing and killing him.[27][full citation needed]

Description[edit]

Each Gem is shaped like a small oval[29] and is named after, and represents, a different characteristic of existence.[citation needed] Possessing any single Gem grants the user the ability to command whatever aspect of existence the Gem represents.[citation needed] The Gems are not immutable.[30] For instance, on two occasions, one or more of the Gems have appeared as deep pink spheres several feet in diameter,[3][31] while on other occasions, the Gems have appeared in their small oval shape but with different coloring. (e.g. the Soul Gem being colored red when worn by the Gardener).[32] In the Ultraverse, after merging into their original form of Nemesis, the Gems were again separated after a battle with Ultraforce and the Avengers.[33] As part of the Marvel Legacy initiative, the Infinity Gems (now known as the Infinity Stones), had their colors altered to match the colors of the Infinity Stones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[34] The six Infinity Gems include:

Name Original color
(1972–2016)
Marvel Legacy color
(2017–present)
Powers and capabilities Known owners
Soul Green Orange Allows the user to steal, control, manipulate, and alter living and dead souls. The Soul Gem is also the gateway to an idyllic pocket universe. At full potential, the Soul Gem grants the user control over all life in the universe. High Evolutionary; Adam Warlock; Gardener; In-Betweener; Thanos; Nebula; Count Abyss; Magus; Rune; Gemini; Loki; Syphonn; Galactus; Doctor Strange; Magus; Ultron; Adam Warlock; Requiem
Time Orange Green Allows the user to see into the past and the future; stop, slow down, speed up or reverse the flow of time; travel through time; change the past and the future; age and de-age beings, and trap people or entire universes in unending loops of time. At full potential, the Time Gem grants the user omniscience and total control over the past, present, and future. Gardener; Thanos; Nebula; Adam Warlock; Gamora; Doctor Strange; Maxam; Magus; Rune; Hardcase; Loki; Galactus; Namor; Thor; Mister Fantastic; Iron Man; Black Widow; Kl'rt; Doctor Strange; Requiem
Space Purple Blue Allows the user to exist in any location; move any object anywhere throughout reality; warp or rearrange space; teleport themselves and others; increase their speed, and alter the distance between objects contrary to the laws of physics. At full potential, the Space Gem grants the user omnipresence. Runner; Thanos; Nebula; Adam Warlock; Pip the Troll; Magus; Rune; Loki; Galactus; Iron Man; Hood; Namor; Black Panther; Wolverine; Black Widow; Requiem
Mind Blue Yellow Allows the user to enhance their mental and psionic abilities and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Mind Gem can access all minds in existence simultaneously. The Mind Gem is also the manifestation of the universal subconscious. Grandmaster; Thanos; Nebula; Adam Warlock; Moondragon; Magus; Rune; Primevil; Loki; Galactus; Professor X; Hood; Ms. Marvel; Beast; Turk Barrett; Requiem
Reality Yellow Red Allows the user to fulfill their wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws, and do things that would normally be impossible; and create any type of an alternate reality the user wishes. At full potential, when backed by the other Gems, the Reality Gem allows the user to alter reality on a universal scale. Stranger; Collector; Thanos; Nebula; Adam Warlock; Rune; Night Man; Loki; Galactus; Black Bolt; Hood; Iron Man; Black Widow; Vision; Carol Danvers; Requiem
Power Red Purple Allows the user to access and manipulate all forms of energy; enhance their physical strength and durability; enhance any superhuman ability; and boost the effects of the other five Gems. At full potential, the Power Gem grants the user omnipotence. Champion of the Universe; Thanos; Nebula; Adam Warlock; Drax the Destroyer; Thor; Magus; Rune; Lord Pumpkin; Loki; Galactus; She-Hulk; Titania; Mister Fantastic; Hood; Red Hulk; Xiambor; Namor; The Juggernaut; Nova Corps; Star-Lord; Requiem

Additional Gems have appeared in crossover media and alternate universes outside the Marvel Universe.

Name Color Powers and capabilities Known owners
Ego White The Ego Gem contains the consciousness of the cosmic entity Nemesis and recreates her when united with the other six Gems. The Ego Gem is found in the Ultraverse when the Asgardian god Loki attempts to steal the other six Gems. Sersi; Nemesis
Rhythm Pink In the Marvel Super Hero Squad universe and related media, a seventh Rhythm Gem exists. The acquisition of the Infinity Gems is the main focus of The Super Hero Squad Show's second season as well as the Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet video game. The Rhythm Gem is revealed to be a fake Gem created by Loki as part of a scheme. Loki; Enchantress; Thanos
Build Red In the Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat animated film, a seventh Build Stone exists. Thanos seeks to possess the Build Stone in order to build a weapon.
Death Yellow In The Infinity Gauntlet 2015 limited series, released as part of the Secret Wars crossover event, Anwen Bakian uses the Reality Stone to create the Death Stone. Anwen gives it to Thanos, which corrupts him with black matter and turns him to dust. Anwen Bakian; Thanos

Other versions[edit]

Council of Reeds[edit]

The Reed Richards of Earth-616, in an attempt to "solve everything", meets with a council of alternate universe Reeds. Three of them wear Infinity Gauntlets, which only work in their respective universes.[35][full citation needed]

New Avengers[edit]

During the "Incursion" storyline, the Avengers travel to a parallel Earth where a pastiche of the Justice League have replaced this Earth's Avengers who all died in a previous cataclysm. Here the Gems are all square planes which are assembled into the "Wishing Cube", a composite of the concepts of the Infinity Gems and the Cosmic Cube.[36]

Secret Wars[edit]

After various alternate universes are combined into Battleworld, Doctor Strange gathers Infinity Gems from other universes into a new Infinity Gauntlet that works in the area where Doom has built his palace. Strange leaves the Gauntlet hidden until he has access to someone he can trust it with. After his death, the Gauntlet is claimed by T'Challa,[37][full citation needed] who uses it against Doom in the final battle.[38][full citation needed][39][full citation needed]

A separate section of Battleworld known as New Xandar also has a Gauntlet fought over by multiple factions until the majority of the Stones, except the Reality Stone, were taken by Thanos.[40] Thanos eventually tracks the missing Stone to Nova Corps member Anwen Bakian. When Thanos confronts her to get the Stone, Anwen gives him a duplicate of the Reality Stone she created called the 'Death Stone'. When used along with the other five Stones, the Death Stone corrupts Thanos with black matter and turns him to dust.[41]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, an Infinity Gauntlet is seen in Project Pegasus.[42] The Mind Gem (stolen by Hydra) is used by Modi (Thor's son) to control both Director Flumm and Cassie Lang, but are stopped by the Ultimates.[43][full citation needed] The Power Gem is later revealed to be in the possession of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sayuri Kyota, while a second Infinity Gauntlet is recovered from an A.I.M. base by Thor and Susan Storm.[44][full citation needed] Kang the Conqueror later allies himself with the Hulk, Reed Richards and Quicksilver as part of a plan to steal the two Gauntlets, which results in the destruction of the Triskelion. Quicksilver recovers two additional Gems allowing the villains to teleport away.[45][full citation needed] Richards is later able to recover another of the Gems, which is found lodged in Tony Stark's brain. He informs Stark that the Infinity Gems are needed to save the world from a coming cataclysm that will destroy the entire universe.[46][full citation needed] After brainwashing Johnny Storm and forcing him to travel to the Earth's core, the Dark Ultimates are able to recover the final gem,[47][full citation needed] but are defeated by the Ultimates. The gems then shatter, rendering the Gauntlets useless.[48][full citation needed]

What If?[edit]

In a reality where Doctor Doom retained the power of the Beyonder, Doom acquired the Infinity Gems from the Elders of the Universe and used them to defeat the Celestials in a 407-year-long war before finally forsaking his power.[49][full citation needed]

In an alternate reality where the original Fantastic Four died, a new Fantastic Four — consisting of Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider — was formed. With Iron Man replacing Ghost Rider, they were the only heroes available to fight Thanos when he initially assembled the Infinity Gauntlet. Despite Iron Man's use of Negative Zone–enhanced Celestial armor, Thanos still easily defeated the team until Wolverine tricked Thanos into erasing Mephisto from existence before cutting off Thanos's left arm, and therefore the Infinity Gauntlet. With Thanos powerless, Spider-Man used the gauntlet to undo the events of Thanos's godhood.[50][full citation needed]

Contest of Champions[edit]

In the Contest of Champions miniseries, an alternate version of Tony Stark uses the Reality Gem to win the superhero civil war and affect the outcome of a presidential election. When he tries to use the Gem on Battleworld, he is killed by the Maestro, who says the Gems do not work in any universe other than their own.[51][full citation needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

The MCU incarnation of Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, with the six Infinity Stones

The Infinity Stones are significant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing important roles in several films. Director James Gunn created the backstory for the Stones in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, where the Collector explains they are the remnants of six singularities that existed before the Big Bang, which were compressed into stones after the universe began and were dispersed throughout the cosmos.[53] In the film Avengers: Infinity War, it is further explained by Wong and Doctor Strange to Tony Stark that each stone embodies and controls an essential aspect of existence.

In order of introduction, they are:

  • Space Stone (Blue):
Housed in a cube-like weapon called the Tesseract, it first appears briefly in the Thor post-credits scene. In Captain America: The First Avenger, it is used by the Red Skull to power weaponry developed by Hydra, and in The Avengers, it is shown to be capable of generating wormholes, which Loki uses to transport the Chitauri to New York City in an attempt to conquer Earth. After the Avengers repel the invasion it is returned to Asgard for safekeeping.[54] In November 2013, producer Kevin Feige confirmed that the Tesseract is the Space Stone.[55] Loki steals the Tesseract before Asgard's destruction at the end of Thor: Ragnarok,[56] and gives it to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War to save Thor's life before Thanos kills him and crushes the Tesseract to acquire the stone.
  • Mind Stone (Yellow):
Housed in a scepter which Thanos gives Loki, it allows him to control people's minds and project energy blasts.[57] After Loki's defeat, the scepter fell into the hands of Hydra leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who is shown in the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to have been using it to experiment on humans. The only surviving subjects of those experiments are Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, in whom superhuman abilities were unlocked before Strucker's base was attacked by the Avengers, who took back the scepter. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the scepter is revealed to contain the Mind Stone and has an artificial intelligence that grants sentience to the computer program Ultron, who removes the stone from the scepter and incorporates it into his "Vision", an android.[54][58] The Mind Stone can also enhance the user's intelligence,[57] grants the user immense knowledge, and can create new life.[59] In Avengers: Infinity War, Vision is injured by Thanos' children trying to get the Mind Stone and is taken to Wakanda to have it removed, in the hope that he can live without it. When the operation to remove the Stone is interrupted, Wanda Maximoff is forced to destroy Vision and the Stone, only for Thanos to use the Time Stone to repair and collect it, killing Vision again.
  • Reality Stone (Red):
Housed in a fluid-like weapon called the Aether, it first appears in Thor: The Dark World, where it is used by Malekith the Accursed in an attempt to destroy the Nine Realms and return the universe to its pre-Big Bang state. After Malekith is defeated by Thor, Sif and Volstagg entrust the Aether to the Collector in order to separate it from the Tesseract, as they consider it unwise to have multiple Stones close together.[54][60][61] The Aether, when bonded with a host, can turn anything into dark matter, and is capable of sucking the life force out of humans and other mortals.[59] In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos takes the Reality Stone from the Collector, returning it to its former stone shape in the process.
  • Power Stone (Purple):
Housed in an orb that Ronan the Accuser seeks to find for Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy [62][63] it can increase the user's strength and destroy entire civilizations with a single blast; Ronan tries to use it to destroy the planet Xandar but is stopped and defeated by the Guardians of the Galaxy, who then entrust the stone to the Nova Corps for safekeeping.[54] Before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the Power Stone is the first to be obtained by Thanos, who destroys Xandar in the process.
  • Time Stone (Green):
Housed in the Eye of Agamotto by Earth's first sorcerer, Agamotto. A Master of the Mystic Arts can use the Stone to alter and manipulate time. Thousands of years later in Doctor Strange, Dr. Stephen Strange learns to use the Eye to save the Earth from Dormammu by trapping the demon in a time loop until he abandons his plans for Earth. The Masters of the Mystic Arts retain possession of the Eye in their secret compound Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal.[64][65] During the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Strange uses the Time Stone to look into future timelines, viewing millions of possible outcomes of their conflict with Thanos. Strange later surrenders the Stone to Thanos to save Tony Stark.
  • Soul Stone (Orange):
The Soul Stone is first seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Some time prior to Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos tasked Gamora to find the Soul Stone as there is little record of its existence compared to the other Infinity Stones. Gamora found it hidden on the planet Vormir, but decided not to tell Thanos and kept the secret with Nebula (little realizing that Thanos wasn't fooled). After Thanos captures and tortures Nebula, Gamora agrees to take him to Vormir, where they encounter the Red Skull, who serves as the Stonekeeper. Red Skull informs Thanos that he must sacrifice someone he loves to acquire the stone, with the latter reluctantly sacrificing Gamora as a result.[66][67]

The Infinity Gauntlet appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A right-handed gauntlet appears in the film Thor, where it is stored in Odin's vault;[54] this gauntlet was later revealed to be a fake in Thor: Ragnarok.[68] In the mid-credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thanos takes a left-handed gauntlet which is the real Infinity Gauntlet.[69] Avengers: Infinity War reveals the Infinity Gauntlet was created by Eitri when Thanos forced his services before crippling his hands to prevent him from creating anything else.

Gaming[edit]

  • The Infinity Gems are featured in the video games Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems (based on the "Infinity Gauntlet" saga) and Marvel Super Heroes.[70][71]
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Thanos uses Power, Soul, Reality, and Space for his Supers.
  • The Infinity Gems, including the Infinity Sword, appear as a driving part of the Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet video game.[72]
  • The Infinity Stones play a major role in the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. During gameplay, using an Infinity Stone will grant player characters a specific enhancement based on the stone being used.[73][74] In the game's story, Ultron and Sigma use two of the stones to become "Ultron Sigma" and merge the worlds into one under their control, and the heroes must retrieve the other four stones to stop them.[75] The Infinity Stones in the game use the naming and color scheme of the Stones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe rather than the naming and color scheme of the Infinity Gems from previous Marvel video games.[citation needed] The Collector's Edition of the game comes with a replica of the Infinity Stones housed in a small box with an LED display.[citation needed]
  • From January to August 2012, Wizkids presented the Infinity Gauntlet program at stores that host HeroClix tournaments.[citation needed] An Infinity Gauntlet prop was released, followed by a different Gem each month. Each Gem can be added the Gauntlet, increasing its power in game. The Gems can be displayed on a stand that comes with the Gauntlet or on each Elder that Thanos encountered in the story Thanos Quest.[76]
  • Replica Infinity Gauntlets were given out as trophies at Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8, a 2012 Road to Evo tournament.[77]
  • In a tie-in with the film Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel and Epic Games announced the "Infinity Gauntlet Limited Time Mashup" mode for Fortnite Battle Royale, where players can find the Infinity Gauntlet hidden on the game map and become Thanos with added abilities.[78]

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