Black Panther is the latest box office triumph for Marvel, and as exciting as the film is, eyes are turning forward to Avengers: Infinity War. The third Avengers movie is the culmination of a decade of storytelling, and will see the Mad Titan, Thanos, head to Earth in pursuit of the Infinity Stones. Should he succeed in finding all six of these ancient relics, he’ll have power beyond belief or measure.
But just what are the Infinity Stones, and how powerful are they really?
What Are The Infinity Stones?
“Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots… Infinity Stones.”
According to the Collector (played by Benicio Del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy), the Infinity Stones are a cosmic source of unlimited power that predate the universe itself. Traditionally, each stone is associated with a different force. Combining them generates a feedback loop, amplifying their powers exponentially. In comics, as Thanos acquired the stones he placed them on one of his gauntlets, creating the so-called Infinity Gauntlet. The wielder of this object has pretty much unlimited power. In the comics, Thanos was able to wipe out half the life in the universe with a snap of his fingers when he wore the Infinity Gauntlet.
The six Infinity Stones are:
- The Power Stone: Used in ancient times to judge entire worlds, the Power Stone can be used to destroy entire worlds.
- The Space Stone: This can be used to bend space, creating portals and wormholes that cross the universe.
- The Reality Stone: Unlike the other Stones, this is a fluid, and can be used to change the laws of reality itself.
- The Mind Stone: A powerful gem, this appears to be sentient in and of itself. It can control minds, and rewrite memories.
- The Time Stone: Possibly the most dangerous of the Infinity Stones, this allows manipulation of time. If used unwisely, it could potentially fragment time itself.
- The Soul Stone: The final Infinity Stone has yet to be seen.
Where Are The Infinity Stones?
In ancient times, the Infinity Stones were hidden across the cosmos. Only one of the Infinity Stones stayed in play; the Time Stone, which was wielded by Agamotto, Earth’s first Sorcerer Supreme. He used its power to defend reality itself. The Power Stone was hidden on the planet Morag, and the Space Stone wound up in the possession of Odin; it was ultimately hidden on Earth.
Now, Earth is becoming a convergence point for the Infinity Stones. The Time Stone is still possessed by the Masters of the Mystic Arts, and is typically used by Doctor Strange. The Mind Stone was brought to Earth by Loki, and is currently housed in Vision’s forehead.
The Space Stone was taken back to Asgard by Thor, and was last seen in Odin’s Vault, contained in the Tesseract (pictured above). Thor: Ragnarok teased that it was picked up by Loki before the destruction of Asgard. The Power Stone is now protected by the Nova Corps on Xandar, after Ronan attempted to use it to destroy the planet. Finally, the Reality Stone was given to the Collector for safekeeping.
Only the Soul Stone remains a mystery.
The Ominous Threat Of The Soul Stone
According to the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comics, the Soul Stone is the most dangerous and powerful of all the Infinity Stones. So far, fans have only been able to theorize about the Soul Stone’s location. Some fans believe it to be possessed by Heimdall, and the source of his ability to perceive souls across the Nine Realms. Others argue it’s on Wakanda, and is the reason the Black Panther is able to enter the Ancestral Plane. These are only theories, though, and it’s possible neither of them will prove to be correct. Whatever the truth may be, the fact the comic teased the Soul Stone’s power is a hint that this gem will make an appearance soon.
In the comics, the Soul Stone’s power is truly something to be feared. It has an insatiable appetite to consume the souls of the living; any who fall foul of the Soul Stone wind up trapped in the ‘Soul World,’ inside the Stone. To give a sense of the Soul Stone’s power, in the comics Thanos was able to use it to easily defeat both the Silver Surfer and Drax the Destroyer. Whoever wields the Soul Stone will truly be a god among men.
Will Thanos succeed in his insane mission to gather the Infinity Stones? Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in a desperate attempt to stop him, in what is sure to lead to action on a scale never before seen in the MCU.
Avengers: Infinity War opens on April 27.