The Infinity Gauntlet is one of the most powerful items in Marvel Comics and the MCU. The Infinity Gems had been the ultimate item that Thanos and the Avengers spent several movies racing to find. In the MCU, the Gauntlet had a benevolent meaning. However, in the comics, it was completely different. So, today it’s time to learn a little more about the Infinity Stones, the Gauntlet, and their true purpose in the hands of Thanos.
The Infinity History
The search for the infinity stones began in 1973 with the introduction of the main antagonist of this whole affair, Thanos, in Iron Man #55. Thanos’s creator, Jim Starlin, wanted a way to put Thanos’s true power to the test. With a little help from writer Mike Friedrich, he was able to pen a short feature, the mad titan silhouetted on the cover, and named it The First Thanos War. This story followed Captain Marvel and laid the groundwork for his eventual death. The Second Thanos War came in 1975. During this time, Starlin developed the Infinity Gems and introduced a key player to the Infinity Comics, Adam Warlock.
In 1988, writer Steven Englehart placed the Infinity Gems into one of his Silver Surfer titles, along with Mistress Death. Originally there was a much different storyline set up, but plans changed. At this time, Starlin, who had left Marvel after the Second Thanos War had ended, was invited back to Marvel due to his knowledge of the character. From there, Starlin started working on a new storyline for Thanos, experimenting with ideas, and landed on making Thanos an antihero.
By 1990, Thanos started his life as we know it. Now, Starlin had introduced new storylines that explore Titan. He started implementing parts of his previous storylines into the Silver Surfer issues, making a completely new storyline, as well as tie-ins. And so, in July 1991, the stage was set for the Infinity Gauntlet to begin.
The Infinity Gems
Image courtesy of Marvel
Also known as the Infinity Stones, they’re a series of gems that are meant to embody the different aspects of existence. The stones themselves have had a long history since their creation in 1972, and each gem has its own unique power.
This stone allows the user to enhance their mental and psionic abilities, as well as access the dreams of others. The Mind Gem calls The Mindscape home. It’s a vast existence that allows you to bring anything that you dream of or imagine into reality. This place is also home to the Sleepwalkers.
This stone allows the user to access and manipulate all and every form of energy and power, giving them the ability to enhance their physical strength and durability. The Power Gem calls the Arena its home. It is a Colosseum ruled by Dyanmus, the embodiment of power.
This stone allows users to have their wish come true, no matter what it is, even if it doesn’t obey or even contradicts the laws of the universe. Its home is known as the World Pool, where you can access alternate realities. Overseen by Archives, the world is shown to be an endless comic book collection. Hilarious and awesome.
This stone allows you to manipulate, steal, control, and alter things or dead souls. Its home is the Soul World, where spirits go to rest and it is watched over by the Soul-Eater named Devondra.
This stone allows users to move through and exist in any location throughout reality. Its home is in the Vast, an endless space of empty existence.
Finally, this stone allows the user to control time and space, to see the future or even travel through time. It allows you to age and de-age anyone, or trap them in a loop. Its home is known to be Ellipsis, where time warps.
Putting together these gems when paired with the full power of the Power Gem allows the wearer to gain omnipotence and become god-like. And why did Thanos want to search for one of the most powerful items in the Marvel Universe?
The Infinity Gauntlet Plot
The first appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet presents the story of the Titan Thanos after his lady love, Mistress Death, resurrects him in order to restore the balance between life and death. To win the favor of his love, Thanos embarks on a mission to restore balance, to impress Mistress Death. To do this, he decides to find the six infinity gems. He battles Elders of the Universe, and manages to acquire the stones for the Gauntlet.
However, unfortunately for him, doing this makes him more powerful than Mistress Death, and through a proxy, she states that she cannot directly speak with him anymore since he is now her superior. Hurt by the rejection, he becomes mad with power and obsessed with Mistress Death’s love. The shift in power gathers Mephisto, Adam Warlock, the Silver Surfer, and a few other heroes, as they rush to stop the Mad Titan’s warped Declaration of Love.
Infinity Gauntlet In the MCU
Image courtesy of Marvel
A lot of the plot of the Infinity Gauntlet is changed from the comics. It mostly focuses on the gathering of the powerful Infinity Stones and completely changes the reason why Thanos is searching for them in the first place. In the MCU, the reason for Thanos wanting the stones is to, in his mind, bring peace and lessen the struggle of the Universe.
The MCU storyline focuses more on Thanos’ nihilistic outlook on life and his egotistic belief that wiping out half the universe will improve it. The infamous click of his finger has also changed. In Infinity Gauntlet, it was a boast from Thanos to show Mistress Death that he could grant her anything at just the click of a finger. However, in the MCU, this is used to measure how powerful the Gauntlet is with the Infinity Stones. You don’t need a whole hand, just a click of your finger, and even doing this gesture is too powerful.
In the end, it’s understandable why the story changed a bit on screen. Not only did it make it more linear, it made Thanos a more dangerous character. However, the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline had a significant effect on Marvel stories after it, leading to Infinity War, Spiderman encountering the Venom Symbiote, and a whole lot more.