One of six Infinity Gems that grant its user control over reality. According to the most commonly accepted origin story the six gems were once part of an all-powerful being who committed suicide out of loneliness. Its power survived and manifested as six gems.
The Soul Gem was in the possession of the High Evolutionary when he oversaw the rebirth of Adam Warlock. He gifted the gem to Warlock to aid him in his mission to save the world of Counter-Earth. During that time, Warlock primarily used the gem's powers to restore evil New Men to their pre-evolved animal forms.
After leaving Counter-Earth, Warlock started to become more aware of the Soul Gem's hidden dark side. He found it difficult to control its tendency to steal the souls of others. He soon found a way to communicate with the gem's consciousness and learned that it was "one of six". Shortly afterwards, Thanos had gathered the other five and siphoned off the power from Warlock's sixth to create a giant, synthetic Soul Gem. After defeating Thanos and destroying the large gem, Warlock had his own soul absorbed into his Soul Gem by his time-travelling past self, where he lived peacefully within the inner world of the Gem along with his friends Pip, Gamora, and the gem's other stolen souls.
The Soul Gem was left atop Warlock's grave, where it was picked up by the Gardener to replace the gem he earlier discarded. The Gardener went to the subatomic world of K'ai to create a new garden on the devastated planet and refused to let any of its doomed people access it. This brought him into conflict with the visiting Hulk, who snatched the gem and threw it through the ground into the planet's core, where it revitalized life on the surface.
Gardener somehow retrieved the Gem from K'ai's core without affecting life on the world's surface and later joined up with a conclave of other Elders of the Universe in a plot to use the Gems to further their ambitions. While the other Elders worked towards gathering the rest of the Gems, Gardener's connection to plantlife enhanced by the Soul Gem was instrumental in detecting and entrapping Mantis and Shalla-Bal for use as hostages against the Silver Surfer, who opposed them and held the final Gem. The Elders' gambit was ultimately successful in gathering all six Gems. They connected them into a space platform aligned with a star system with six desolate planets the Gems could resonate with, setting up a trap for Galactus. Their apparatus would steal planetary energies from Galactus, channeling them into the planets, thus killing Galactus and subsequently Eternity due to the loss of balance that Galactus maintained. The universe would end and be reborn, with only the Elders surviving due to their earlier victory over Death and as such be true Elders of the new universe as Galactus had been in theirs. Though the Elders successfully trapped Galactus, they failed to handle interference from his heralds. While the Silver Surfer blocked the ray from the Gem apparatus, Nova detonated the star at the center of the system, creating a black hole that consumed the Gems and some of the Elders, saving Galactus.
The Elders joined with the In-Betweener in a further scheme to kill Galactus, retrieving the Gems from the black hole. In-Betweener took the Soul Gem, joining with the possessive sentience it contained. Galactus recruited the Silver Surfer, Reed, and Sue Richards to help him by retrieving the Gems, particularly the one Gem with the power to harvest souls, which he needed to remove the Elders he had earlier consumed that were poisoning him. They flew into the black hole and emerged in the realm of Lord Chaos and Master Order, entities whose personalities began to affect Sue and Reed respectively. Sue's Malice persona emerged, making her into a threat that stole the Gems for herself, and in the process of getting them back from her, the In-Betweener possessed Reed via the Soul Gem. The In-Betweener then revealed himself and the Elders in their plot to kill Galactus, leading to an all-out confrontation in Order/Chaos' realm. Master Order and Lord Chaos ultimately got involved to break up the fight and redistributed the Gems among the In-Betweener and the Elders afterwards, with the one that would soon be revealed as the true Soul Gem left with the In-Betweener imprisoned in their realm.
Thanos learned of the Gems' true nature as Infinity Gems from the Infinity Well and set out to gather them once more in a quest to become a god worthy of being Death's consort. He first went to Chaos and Order's prison at the Nexus of Reality and tricked the In-Betweener into believing he was there to free him. After combining their powers to break open the cosmic bubble that caged the In-Betweener, Thanos betrayed him once he was out in an environment where his powers were nullified, taking his Soul Gem and abandoning him to Chaos and Order's mercies. He remarked that the green Gem, once belonging to Adam Warlock, was the only one of the six truly attributed to the power of the soul.
When Thanos assembled all six Gems into his Infinity Gauntlet, he had the power and knowledge to achieve anything he desired, except he found he still didn't know what it would take for Death to return his affection. While contemplating his next move, he was confronted by the Silver Surfer and a reborn Drax the Destroyer, who were unprepared for how powerful he had become. Thanos dispatched them simply by absorbing them into the Soul Gem. Inside the world of the Soul Gem, they met with Adam Warlock and the other souls held within and with Warlock's help, Drax and the Surfer were able to escape back into reality. Warlock also used his connection to the Soul Gem to reincarnate himself, Gamora, and Pip into the bodies of recently dead humans so they could join the fight against Thanos in the land of the living. By then, Thanos had moved on to use the Gems to create a great shrine to Death and fulfill his promise to her to kill half the population of the universe, removing them from existence with a snap of his fingers. No matter what he did, Death continued to regard him with silent disdain. He became increasingly unstable in his frustration and when a coalition of surviving heroes came to confront him, he was compelled to attempt to entertain Death by limiting his own abilities and giving his enemies a minute chance of victory. He swore off the use of all the Gems except Power in the ensuing battle, though he defeated many of his opponents through manipulations of time, space, and reality regardless. After neutralizing them all, Thanos reclaimed full control of the Gems just in time to face an alliance of Cosmic Beings. When Death stood with the other Abstracts against him, Thanos lost his last vestige of patience and subdued them all, imprisoning them in an energy field. Upon defeating Eternity, he took their place as an abstract being one with the universe. This meant abadoning his physical body, which was still wearing the Gauntlet. Nebula, who up to that point was a helpless bystander being tortured by her grandfather for his amusement, seized the opportunity and stole the Gauntlet. She quickly used the Gauntlet to reset the timeline by 24 hours, moreso to spite Thanos' accomplishments than to set things right. She lacked the experience or understanding to make full effective use of the Gems while Warlock had formed more of a connection through his time within the Soul Gem. He was able to hide from her senses while the allies he recruited faced her directly, and when the Silver Surfer was at risk, Warlock took himself and the Surfer's soul back into Soulworld to regroup. From there, Warlock was able to become one with Soulworld and influence the other Gems, separating Nebula from the Gauntlet to claim it for himself. Pledging to be a more worthy supreme being, Warlock ended the conflict and sent everyone on their way.
Warlock did not hold the Infinity Gauntlet for long before Eternity brought his case to the Living Tribunal that the young god was no more suited to hold omnipotence than Thanos. The Tribunal ruled that Warlock disperse the Gems so that no individual could misuse their combined might. Warlock decided to split the Gems among friends and allies he knew would not or could not abuse their potential. While he relinquished the other five, he saved the Soul Gem for himself as he had forged too strong a connection with it over the years to trust it with anyone else.
- The Soul Gem is sentient; it has a desire to collect souls
- The gem can attack another's soul in various ways
- The gem can reveal information by peering into another's soul or using the 'Cold Light of Truth'
- The gem can trap souls inside itself in an idyllic world.
- The gem's wielder can access the memories and skills of those imprisoned within Soul World
- The gem can revert beings to their natural state.
- The gem protects its wielder from soul-based attacks.
- The gem can disrupt the anima of a soul with a karmic blast rendering the target temporarily unconscious. Certain beings are immune to this attack.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- 206 Appearances of Soul Gem
- 18 Minor Appearances of Soul Gem
- 8 Media Soul Gem was Mentioned in
- 88 Images featuring Soul Gem
- Item Gallery: Soul Gem
Links and References
- ↑ Marvel Premiere #1
- ↑ Warlock Vol 1
- ↑ Strange Tales # 178
- ↑ Warlock # 15
- ↑ Avengers Annual # 7
- ↑ Incredible Hulk # 248
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #7
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #8
- ↑ West Coast Avengers Annual #2
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #9
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #15
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #16
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #18
- ↑ Thanos Quest #1
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #46
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #48
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #1
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #4
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #6
- ↑ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #3