Thanos was the first to use the six soul gems in unison. He intended to destroy the universe by using the soul gems to destroy the stars. He was stopped by the Avengers, Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel.
The Elders of the Universe were the second entities to use the gems in unison. Connecting the six soul gems to a device, they were able to use its beams to absorb the life energy of Galactus and transfer it to a barren planet, giving it life. However, the Silver Surfer interfered and destroyed the machine, and the gems were lost in a black hole.
After Thanos' resurrection, he began collecting all the soul gems (now Infinity Gems). There it was revealed that the Infinity Gems are the remnants of one of the earliest beings from the time of the universe's creation. Feeling lonely, it split itself into six different fragments. Under unknown reasons each individual gem became associated with a particular facet– power, space, time, mind, soul and reality.
Green Infinity Gem - Soul Gem - taken from the In-Betweener
Red Infinity Gem - Power Gem - taken from the Champion
Orange Infinity Gem - Time Gem - taken from the Gardener
Yellow Infinity Gem - Reality Gem - taken from the Collector
Purple Infinity Gem - Space Gem - taken from the Runner
Blue Infinity Gem - Mind Gem - taken from the Grandmaster
During the Infinity Gauntlet saga, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to remove from existence half of the population of the universe in order to gain Death's love. However, in the end, Thanos was defeated when Adam Warlock was able to gain possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, and ultimately by the Living Tribunal himself.
However, Adam Warlock was brought before the Living Tribunal because of the danger posed by the Infinity Gauntlet in his hand. After being shown that Adam Warlock was too mentally unpredictable, he was required to surrender it. Since it was too dangerous for it to be possessed by anyone, the Living Tribunal decreed that the Infinity Gems were too powerful to be used together again. Warlock then formed the Infinity Watch.
During the Infinity War, Magus tricked Galactus into convincing Eternity (Earth-616) to agree to the activation of the Infinity Gauntlet. Magus defeated the heroes using the activated Infinity Gauntlet. Still Adam was able to defeat the Magus when it was revealed that the Reality Gem is a fake and Adam, taking advantage of this distraction, was able to trap the Magus in his Soul Gem.
When the gems were transported into the Ultraverse along with several heroes and villains, Adam Warlock pursued them. In that universe, another gem, the Ego gem, was found. It claimed that it was the original being and was now ready to reclaim itself. The gems gestalted as Nemesis, but were defeated by the Avengers and Ultraforce (alongside several alternate reality versions of the same teams). With its defeat, the Ego Gem was apparently destroyed.
She-Hulk turned the Power Gem over to Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards). The Illuminati gathered the gems so they could not be used to attack Earth. Once the gems were all brought together in the Infinity Gauntlet, Reed tried to will them out of existence, but failed. Uatu the Watcher then appeared to the Illuminati and expressed his disappointment in Reed and the Illuminati. The Illuminati then divided the gems amongst themselves. Iron Man received the Reality, Prof. Xavier the Mind, Namor the Time, Black Bolt the Space, Dr. Strange the Soul and Reed Richards the Power gems. Due to the events following the gathering of the Gems, the Illuminati disbanded for a time.
After The Hood stole three of the Gems, and while looking for the fourth one, the Illuminati gathered once more and, with the Avengers' help, stopped him. After recovering once more the six Infinity Gems, they again divided the Gems among themselves (this time, Namor received the Power; Mister Fantastic, the Reality; Professor Xavier, the Mind; Captain America, the Time; Iron Man, the Space; and Dr. Strange, the Soul gems) and disbanded once more.
The group assembled after Black Panther discovered that another Earth was colliding with Earth-616. Reluctantly he called the Illuminati together to stop the collision. After long debate they decided that the only way to do so was to destroy the other Earth with the Infinity Gems, but had to find the Mind Gem that was in the possession of Charles Xavier before he died. Beast eventually recovered a memory implant put in his mind by Xavier, which asked him to take his place in the Illuminati, and where the gem was. As soon as Hank retrieved it, Namor, Black Bolt, and Captain America showed up and recruited him into their team.
They went to the location where the other Earth would hit and formed the Infinity Gauntlet, which got the attention of Uatu the Watcher, Galactus, and Thanos. The group decided Captain America should wield it. Cap fired the power at the other Earth, but something went wrong and caused all the Infinity Gems to shatter except the Time Gem, which suddenly vanished.
The gems seem to be much stronger and more powerful when used in combination. Wielders of the gems have increased powers depending on their skill and the amount of experience they have with the gems. The gems are also sentient. The Infinity Gauntlet's power is known to exceed that of abstract entities like Eternity, it seems that the only beings more powerful than the Gems are the Living Tribunal and The One Above All.
- Power Gem – Increased strength and durability, enhances virtually any known superhuman ability, energy manipulation.
- Time Gem – Time travel; stop, slow down or speed up flow of time; accelerate or slow down aging; see into past/future.
- Space Gem – Travel through space, mostly through teleportation. Able to interfere with the motion of other objects.
- Soul Gem – Observe, attack or even steal a being's soul or spirit. Also used to revert individuals to their natural state.
- Reality Gem – Alters all of reality; similar to the effects of a Cosmic Cube, but much, much higher.
- Mind Gem – Near-limitless psionic/psychic abilities including empathy, telepathy and telekinesis.
The gems were protected by the Illuminati. The use of the Infinity Gauntlet to prevent the collision of Earth-616 with another Earth caused all the gems but the Time Gem, which just vanished, to be accidentally destroyed.
- Power Gem – Formerly protected by Namor, destroyed.
- Space Gem – Formerly protected by Iron Man, destroyed.
- Soul Gem – Formerly protected by Doctor Strange, destroyed.
- Reality Gem – Formerly protected by Mr. Fantastic, destroyed.
- Time Gem – Formerly protected by Captain America, vanished.
- Mind Gem – Formerly protected by Beast, destroyed.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Infinity Gems are the Infinity Stones, and appear to be connected to the Nine Realms. Currently, only two Infinity Stones have been named - the Tesseract of Asgard and the Aether of Svartalfheim.
The Tesseract was described as being the jewel of Odin treasury and was used to generate infinite energy, but the Asgardians left the device behind in Midgard after their war with the Jotuns 1000 years ago. During World War II, the Red Skull, the leader of the villainous Hydra organization, located and retrieved the Tesseract in a church in Norway. With the help of his head scientist, Arnim Zola, the Red Skull used the Tesseract to develop weapons for his Hydra soldiers. Hydra's plans were foiled when Captain America and the SSR attacked Hydra's main location. The Red Skull tried to flee with the Tesseract, but Captain America was able to board his plane before it took off. The Red Skull threatened Captain America with the Tesseract, but the object's mysterious energies caused him to vanish entirely. Unable to fly the plane himself, Cap crashed the plane in the Arctic, where the Tesseract was recovered by a young Howard Stark.
The Tesseract remained in the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the successor organization to the SSR) until the early 21st Century, when the rogue Asgardian Loki stole it from them for Thanos in exchange for a Chitauri army he could use to invade Earth. At the time, S.H.I.E.L.D. had astrophysicist Erik Selvig studying the Tesseract to develop weapons of their own to fight extraterrestrial threats after witnessing the devastation the fight between the Destroyer and Thor left on a small New Mexico town. In response to losing the Tesseract, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury assembled a group of heroes known as the Avengers - Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk - to stop Loki and retrieve the Tesseract. The Avengers were successful in their mission, but not before a small army of Chitauri had invaded New York.
After the Battle of New York, Thor took the Tesseract back to its rightful place in Asgard, where it still remains.
The Aether was a weapon created by Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves, and is the only Infinity Stone to exist in a liquid state. The Aether bonds itself to individuals who wish to use it, entering their bodies and infusing them with its energy. Thousands of years ago, Malekith sought to use the Aether to conquer the Nine Realms, but an Asgardian army led by King Bor were able to prevent Malekith from using the Aether and defeat his army. Malekith and a small number of his followers escaped into the dark reaches of space, while Bor had the Aether hidden away for the Dark Elves to never find. The Aether was later reactivated by Jane Foster, who found the Stone through an anomaly in London, and it bonded to her. Thor brought Jane back to Asgard for her to be treated, but the realm was attacked by an awakened Malekith and his Dark Elves seeking to regain control of their weapon. The Dark Elves were repelled, but the Asgardians suffered heavy losses. Thor decided to take the fight to the Dark Elves by taking Jane and Loki with him to Svartalfheim, where Malekith extracted the Aether from Jane and bonded to himself. Even with the Aether bonded to him, Malekith was defeated by Thor and his human allies during the convergence.
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- 55 Appearances of Infinity Gems
- 6 Images featuring Infinity Gems
- Item Gallery: Infinity Gems
- Fan-Art Gallery: Infinity Gems
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