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Marvel Studios has turned its connected cinematic universe into a bit of a video game, ticking off its \'Infinity Stone\' MacGuffins one by one on the countdown to
But what are these Infinity Stones? Which ones has the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned up already? And where might the remainder be lurking in the upcoming MCU films?
(Warning: Contains spoilers for recent Marvel movies.)
Called the Infinity Gems in the comics (maybe Marvel Studios thought \'stones\' sounded less whimsical), the cosmically powered doodads were introduced in the \'70s and quickly became the obsession of villain Thanos (that big intergalactic purple guy glimpsed in
There are six stones - the Time, Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Space and Soul Gems, all colour coded for your convenience. They confer predictable abilities on their owners like teleportation (Space), telepathy (Mind) and time-travel (Time). Oh, apart from the Soul Gem, which sends people to a heavenly pocket dimension. Don\'t ask us why.
Together they form the Infinity Gauntlet, a serious piece of bling that, despite its ability to do anything its wearer can possibly imagine, still never manages to let Thanos actually win.
The gems are best known for their role in the 1991
event miniseries, which is widely considered a classic despite being - and we\'ll probably get in trouble with the comics police for saying this - a bit incoherent.
Which Infinity Stones have turned up in the films?
, explaining that they are "six singularities... forged into concentrated ingots" at the birth of the universe. Got that?
Four of the six have showed up so far, though not always in very stone-like forms - take
\'s big red cloud, for instance. Anyhow, here they are:
The Space Stone - This is the blue stone otherwise known as the Tesseract, which first showed up in
The Mind Stone - This yellow rock was knocking around for longer than we realised, hidden in Loki\'s mind controlling staff. It gave powers to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and is currently embedded in the Vision\'s forehead (that\'s Paul Bettany\'s post-android character from
). Why Thanos was loaning this out in the first place remains a mystery.
The Reality Stone - The aforementioned red cloud, which the Dark Elf Malekith called the Aether and used to try to destroy the universe. Which seems a bit extreme. The Asgardians gave it to the Collector for safe keeping, which may have been a bad idea because that guy is a creepy slaver.
The Power Stone - The purple crystal inside that orb was just lying ignored until Star-Lord wandered in and picked it up. It makes things and people explode, and the (highly incompetent) Nova Corps is now looking after it. Who signed off on that?
The Time Stone - As speculated, the green gem in the amulet called the Eye of Agamotto (which Doctor Strange used to manipulate time) was the Time Stone, which explains his presence in the upcoming
One gem is still unaccounted for: the Soul Stone, which by a process of elimination will be orange (rather than its traditional green).
, unless it will be left until the early part of
One theory has it that the stone is inside Thor\'s hammer Mjolnir, and will have a part to play in the
As for the Infinity Gauntlet itself, well there are actually two knocking around. The first was an Easter egg in the first
film, stored among the other treasures in Odin\'s vault. But Feige has said that the glove Thanos dons at the end of
If we had to hazard a guess, maybe that Easter egg was signed off before the big round-\'em-up MCU plot was decided on. Or maybe Thor will put it on and demand an arm wrestling match to decide the fate of existence. Only time will tell.
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