The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War has left fans spellbound. The movie promises to be a cosmic battle like nothing Marvel's ever made before, with one scene showing the Avengers unite against an alien army!
But even as we eagerly await Infinity War, one question is on everybody's lips: Where is the final Infinity Stone? The last remaining stone, the Soul Stone, has yet to be glimpsed. Chris Hemsworth recently teased that we'd see it soon, but frankly this is just common sense. It was absent in Thor: Ragnarok, and while it's conceivable Marvel will hold it back until Infinity War, fans are also speculating that it will turn up in Wakanda.
Here's The Evidence
Thanos is coming to Earth, and his focus is on gathering the Infinity Stones in order to form the Infinity Gauntlet. So far, set photos have suggested his agents are going to attack Earth in a focused attack, lashing out at those who possess the Infinity Stones. We've seen tantalizing hints that Doctor Strange, bearer of the Time Stone, will be defeated in New York. Meanwhile, earlier set photos in Edinburgh suggested that the Vision will be stalked by other members of the Black Order.
There's been increasing evidence that Wakanda would play a major role in Infinity War. A number of secondary characters from Black Panther have been confirmed to appear in Infinity War — including T'Challa's brother and sister — while there have been casting calls for what seemed to be Wakandan scientists and soldiers. Now, at last, the trailer has made it clear that Wakanda will stand against the forces of Thanos. There's only one reason the Black Order would single out Wakanda for both a reconnaissance mission and an attack; the Wakandans have something Thanos wants.
Fans had initially expected Infinity War to be inspired by Jim Starlin's classic Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, but that's actually looking increasingly unlikely. Instead, it seems as though Infinity War is more inspired by Jonathan Hickman's 2013 event miniseries, Infinity. In the build-up to this event, some of Earth's heroes had gathered as an 'Illuminati,' each member possessing an Infinity Stone. One was owned by the Black Panther, although it was lost in the run-up to Infinity.
In Infinity, an Outrider stalked the Illuminati in pursuit of Thanos's missing son, Thane. This was followed up by a massive attack by Thanos's forces, led by the Black Order. Believing the son to be in Wakanda, Black Dwarf led a precision strike against the African nation and the battle between Wakanda and the Black Order was one of the most exciting scenes in the miniseries. It transformed Wakanda's role in the comics. Although the Black Panther was able to repel the invaders, his nation was crushed and decimated, weakening his rule. Evidence is building that we'll actually see a version of this scene in Infinity War, and it would make sense for them to be invading because the Black Panther has the Soul Stone.
Why The Soul Stone Could Be In Black Panther
It's not too much of a stretch for the Soul Stone to be in Wakanda. Firstly, you have to remember that the fictional nation is tied to something profoundly alien. The nation flourishes precisely because it was the site of an ancient meteorite impact, leaving vast reserves of vibranium scattered across the country. Is it possible that, somewhere at the heart of the vibranium mine, the Wakandans found something else? Something alien? Something ancient? Is it possible that the meteorite itself contained an Infinity Stone?
Although the first trailer for Black Panther suggested we'd have a strong technological side to Wakanda in the Mcu, the second trailer confirmed that the country also has a mystical side. We know the film will show Black Panther undergo a mystical ceremony to take the kingship, one that seems to blend comic book lore with the legend of El Dorado. As part of this, we can presume T'Challa will enter the spirit world, and we may well get a nod to his communing with the Panther God. It would make sense for the Soul Stone to be the power behind this ritual. Meanwhile, we know T'Challa's priests and shamans will play a role in Black Panther, including his spiritual mentor, Zuri. Is it possible that Zuri, High Priest of the Panther Cult, is the bearer of the Soul Stone?
The comics have frequently shown the Wakandans to have a very different attitude to death. In fact, at the heart of Wakanda you have the Necropolis, the 'City of the Dead,' where the Black Panther can commune with the spirits (or soul) of those who previously bore the title. As a result, he's sometimes been referred to as the 'King of the Dead,' monarch of the City of Necropolis. There have even been hints that the MCU version of Wakanda has a non-Western attitude to death, too, with T'Challa noting in Captain America: Civil War:
In my culture, death is not the end. It's more of a stepping off point.
Fans had expected the final Infinity Stone to appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but were left surprised when it failed to do so. If you still wish to believe in the THANOS theory, as several have commented on social media, the Soul Stone could easily be owned by the High Priest of Wakanda, or found in the City of Necropolis — which contains the Hall of the Dead.
We know this much for sure: the final Infinity Stone is either going to appear in Infinity War itself, or in Black Panther. The trailer makes it clear that Thanos attacks Earth while in possession of only two Infinity Stones, the Power and Space Stones. The evidence is building that the Soul Stone may actually be on Earth, hidden by the people of Wakanda. If that's the case, then the Black Panther will find his nation becoming a target of the Black Order — and we may just get a remarkably faithful rendition of a beloved scene.