Before we start: SPOILER WARNING. This article touches base on several movies in the MCU. Now that you’re ready, let’s begin. The last Marvel Superhero movie to debut in theaters was Black Panther. Naturally, Infinity War takes place next in the chronological order of theatrical release. But where did we leave off after Wakanda? To recap, T’challa had made it official to open Wakanda’s borders with the rest of the world. If you stayed after the credits during Black Panther, you’re rewarded with a scene of T’challa speaking to the UN. It is time to share Wakanda’s technological innovation and large natural resource of vibranium with the other citizens of earth. Let’s not forget that after the events of Civil War, the super hero registration act required the Avengers and all manner of caped crusaders to go legit. Does this mean that the first hour of the movie must go through the stipulations and appeals necessary to greenlight project save “Save our ass from Thanos”? We’ll see.
What exactly are the infinity Stones? Or gems depending on what you read. The movie is titled “Infinity War” after all. You see, Death, Entropy, Infinity, and Eternity were Cosmic Entities. Beings of immense power that were among the first to occupy the MCU. Together they created six Infinity Stones with different abilities and properties. Alone, each stone gifts it’s user special power but together, they can destroy the universe. Or you know, at least half the Universe’s population. Anyone read the Infinity Gauntlet Saga? In the comic books, Thanos collects all six stones and uses them in a stylish gauntlet that fits comfortably over his massive left hand. He was eventually stopped however, by none other than the Avengers. Caught up? Good. We will now go through each Infinity Stone and its place in the MCU as well as its relation to Infinity War’s plot.
Remember the first Avengers movie? All those bad ass Chitauri Leviathan warships/intergalactic beast hybrids destroying New York City? Well Loki commanded that army and lead that initial invasion of earth. This was part of a deal with Thanos who gave him a special Chitauri Scepter that housed the Mind Stone. This gave Loki the power to enslave minds. The stone is never returned to Thanos who is on a mission to collect them all. So naturally this moves Earth up in his list of planets to conquer. Fast forward to Avengers Part 2: Age of Ultron, and this stone brought Tony Starks advanced AI Ultron to life. But instead of becoming a protective measure for earth, it began to see humans as a plague that must be eradicated in order to save the planet. Anyway, this stone really gave our heroes a hard time. But, after it was taken back from Ultron it brought another AI Tony worked on to life. Thus, The Vision was born. And Vision not only helped defeat Ultron but became an Avenger in the process. The Mind Stone is now a sentient form aware of its own existence. Thor gave his vote of confidence to allow The Vision to live after it lifts Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. If that doesn’t prove he’s worthy, then I don’t know what will. But what does the Mind Stone really do? In the comic books, in the most recent iteration of the Infinity Stones, (read Infinity Countdown Prime) the Mind Stone has the power of telepathy and intelligence. But another cool ability is communication over distances. It even gave Hawk Eye visions and knowledge while under its control (MCU).
This one is a bit tricky. But let’s start with what we know. During Captain America: The First Avenger, the Space Stone was housed inside the Tesseract. The Tesseract, or cosmic cube depending on what you read, is a transportation device. The Space Stone gives its user the power over Space. Which translates to the power of teleportation. And if you read the comics, the power to move in between different universes. The Space Stone is what powered the Tesseract. You see, the Space Stone (in the form of the Tesseract) was first guarded by Odin (Thor’s father.) But then somehow got to earth where it was guarded by Asgardians. The Tesseract was of course stolen. Johann Schmidt, the leader of Hydra, stole it and used it against the Allies in World War 2. Captain America defeats Hydra but the Tesseract gets lost in the Arctic Ocean. Howard Stark (Tony Stark’s father) recovers the Tesseract for study but in the end gives it to S.H.I.E.L.D. Where it is then stolen, again, but this time by Loki. Remember how Loki used the Mind Stone powered Chitauri Scepter to enslave minds and control an army? Well guess how he transported his other-worldly forces to earth. Loki used the Tesseract to open a wormhole over New York City. Thor returns the Tesseract back to Asgard for safe keeping by Odin. Loki who doesn’t know when to quit, disguises himself as Odin and takes over Asgard in an unlawful yet albeit benevolent takeover. Only to be transported to the planet of Sakaar and end up fighting alongside Thor against their sister Hela and the demon Surtur. This battle leaves Asgard in ruins. Loki being the God of Mischief that he is, swipes the Space Stone before it’s lost in the debris. If you watch the Infinity War trailer, you’ll see Loki presenting the Space Stone to Thanos himself. Guess he had to make up for losing the Mind Stone somehow.
The Reality Stone
Speaking of Thor, the Reality Stone was also in the care of Odin. The Dark Elves, led by Malekith, tried to turn the universe into one of eternal night (Watch Thor: The Dark World). The Reality Stone has the power to bend and alter the laws of physics. Which of course, could shroud the universe in darkness if that’s what you really wanted. The Reality Stone is in the form of the Aether. Which is a red viscous liquid rather than a stone. The Aether is what grants its user power over reality and the ability to convert matter into dark matter. After the Asgardians retrieve it form Malekith, they decide that keeping two stones in such proximity of each other would be too easy of a target. Because remember, at this time Odin was also in charge of the Space Stone. Those Asgardians. Always on top of the latest omnipotent objects in the universe. Odin ends up giving the Aether to the Collector for safekeeping. But where is the collector now? You can look forward to learning his true intentions and what part he plays in the bigger picture when Infinity War releases in theaters.
The Time Stone
Remember Marvel’s sleeper hit Doctor Strange? The movie with an intelligent, somewhat arrogant and sarcastic Doctor? It is here that we learn that Earth has been protected from supernatural forces by a Sorcerer Supreme. The title bestowed to whoever has the highest mastery of magic. Who in the MCU, is Doctor Stephen Strange. In order to save earth from the Dark Lord Dormammu, Strange breaks the rules of nature by using a forbidden power. He uses the Eye of Agamotto to create a warp in time. Dormammu becomes trapped, living the same sequence over and over again where Doctor Strange asks the Dark Lord to bargain. Every time the Dark Lord refuses and kills Strange, the loop would start over. As unpleasant as it must be to die over and over again, Strange relives the moment for as long as he needs to because “Pain is an old friend”. Talk about one of my favorite moments in the MCU. Dormammu gives in to Strange’s demands and leaves earth with his followers. For now, the earth is safe. And for once, so is an Infinity Stone. The Time Stone powers the Eye of Agamotto which grants its user the power of Time. With the Time Stone, you can control the flow of the space-time continuum.
The Power Stone
If you haven’t watched Guardians of the Galaxy, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now. Yes, there’s a talking raccoon and tree person but trust me, you’ll enjoy it. And learn how the Power Stone fits into the greater MCU. So, the Power Stone was housed in an orb and forgotten long ago. Star Lord (A supposedly legendary outlaw who gets upset every time someone doesn’t recognize him) follows orders to find an old artifact on the planet Morag. Although he did not know the orb was actually holding an Infinity Stone. Starlord gets arrested along with bounty hunter duo Rocket Raccoon and Groot as well as adopted daughter of Thanos, Gamora. In the end we learn that the orb was actually necessary to house the Power Stone because of its immense power. Most organic beings that touch the stone will not be able to handle the energy channel through their bodies causing them to burn and disintegrate. But if you’re like Ronan the Accuser and use a cosmi-rod (aka his Warhammer) you can harness the power of the stone. Once wielded, the Power Stone grants its user immense Power. This thing can fire energy blasts that will take out an entire planet. The Power Stone also provides a near invulnerability and imperviousness to damage. And of course, let’s not forget brute physical strength. The Power Stone was given to the Nova Corp, an intergalactic military and police force, for proper protection.
The Soul Stone
This is the one stone that has not been mentioned in the MCU. But here is what we do know. According to the Comics, the Soul Stone can manipulate the sentient spirit to serve the users will. This means you can control just about anyone. And it can trap your soul in the Soul World, another dimension entirely. But if you read the most recent Marvel Comic’s iteration, and I do have the Infinity Circuit poster that came with Infinity countdown prime on 2/21/2018, the Soul Stone can preserve the soul for life after death. So how does this fit into the MCU? There is an Avenger’s Infinity War movie prelude Comic book where Doctor Strange and Wong discuss the Infinity Stone. Wong concludes that little is known about the last stone. But based on what little information is out there, if what little is known turns out to be true, then the Soul Gem could be the biggest threat of them all. This makes sense as to why the MCU would save the Soul Stone for last. There are quite a few popular fan theories out there. And the most practical is that Thanos already has the Soul Stone. Think about it. He had possession of other stones before so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had it in his collection. That or he already knows where it is. Another popular theory is that the Soul Gem resides in Wakanda. With the release of Black Panther and how the Heart Shaped herb gives whoever eats it access to the Spirit World it might make sense to find it deep in a pool of vibranium. But Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has denied the Soul Stone being the reason for the Wakands battle scene with Thanos in the latest trailer. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. Avenger’s Infinity War releases nationwide on Friday April, 27th this year.