For those only repping parts of the MCU (or dropping in because Black Panther was dope as hell), here’s a little comic history on the Infinity Stones, and context to take with you into Avengers: Infinity War. I would hate for anyone to get snatched up trying to explain shit to their movie buddy mid-film while in the theater…
However, if you want a real history and backstory on how the MCU handles all of these elements, you’re gonna need to do some movie marathoning.
The Infinity Stones
Ro: Through the various films, the Infinity Stones have been the major McGuffin and plot device for more than a few characters. The Collector (Benicio del Toro) gave the best summary of these objects of power in the first Guardians of the Galaxy:
Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots.
After things didn’t go according to Thanos’ initial plan (thanks Loki) and the debacle (for the bad guys) that is the outcome of Age of Ultron, we saw Thanos (Josh Brolin) – mid-credits cutscene – throw on a gold glove and rumble, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”
These story points make up a sub-narrative most people missed. Despite serious Easter eggs, this ultimate scavenger hunt for these objects of extreme power flew under the radar. Infinity War picks up all these threads. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely weave them together into a linear standalone story arc; the best it’s been done in the superhero genre.
Why the Big Hunt for the Stones?
The six different stones each have a unique power set. When the stones are brought together, the wielder completely controls the universe.
Where in the Universe Are the Stones?
- Power Stone – The purple stone grants the wielder access to all power that does or will ever exist in the universe and the ability to harness it. It bestows the user with infinite power that manifests as boosting them in all ways energy-related. In the gauntlet, the Power Stone amplifies the effects and abilities of the other stones. First seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, the stone was left under guard of the Nova Corps on Xandar.
**Side Note – If you’ve seen the trailers, it appears as though Thanos begins his crusade with the Power Stone already harnessed and contained in the gauntlet. If this proves to be so…
- Space Stone aka the Tesseract – The blue stone inside the cube represents the entire fabric of space. It bestows teleportation, increases speed, and gives the ability to create wormholes. In the gauntlet, the space stone enables the wielder to exist everywhere at once. This is the most seen stone up to this point in the MCU. The Tesseract first appeared – time-wise – in Captain America: The First Avenger. Its last known location was Asgard in Odin’s vault, but we all remember that scene where Loki was alone down there at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, right?
- Reality Stone aka the Aether – The red stone holds the power to manipulate and change reality itself and create portals. Unless wielded by someone strong enough not to break under the pressure, The Aether (as dark matter) eventually consumes its host after driving them mad. In the gauntlet, this stone permits the wielder to change the reality of the entire universe. It was first seen in Thor: The Dark World, as the Aether consuming its host. The stone was last seen contained in a box and turned over to The Collector whose home exploded in Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Time Stone – The green stone bestows the power to travel (and look) through time, and change/modify the past, present, and future. The wielder can create time loops, calculate possible outcomes, and change the course of history. In the gauntlet, the wielder can exist in all timelines simultaneously. The stone was first (and last) seen within the Eye of Agamotto. The Eye remains in Dr. Strange’s possession at the end of Dr. Strange.
- Mind Stone – The yellow stone bestows telepathy, telekinesis, and enhances the user’s existing mind powers. Once it’s in the gauntlet, it connects all minds in the universe. After first being seen in Loki’s scepter, it was ultimately used to create Vision and rests in his forehead going into Infinity War.
- Soul Stone – The orange stone is sentient and hungry. It wants souls and seemingly traps them on another plane. It grants the power to manipulate, steal, or alter souls – living or dead. In the gauntlet, the Soul Stone grants the power to control all life. Going into Infinity War, the location of this Infinity Stone is currently unknown.
In Thanos’ hands, the Infinity Stones change his desire to remake the universe with half its inhabitants removed, from the mad agenda of the universe’s self-appointed savior, to the next item on his “to-do” list.
Did we miss any important information? We know you comic nerds know your shit. Let us know in the comments!