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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Marvel Cinematic Infinity Stones: How Much Have We Seen?

In the midst of the post-Guardians of the Galaxy discussion, many bloggers and fans have debated the film's use of Howard the Duck.  A few have also begun discussing how Thanos must really be a terrible villain.  One particular article from Screen Crush was very well done.  What there seems to be very little deliberation on thus far, however, is where Guardians puts us in terms of the Infinity Gems...erm...Stones.  Still not sure why Marvel Studios is using the word stones instead of gems (maybe Fox or Sony own exclusive use of the word gem).

It seems abundantly clear that Thanos and some adaptation of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline is upon us, most likely peaking in Avengers 3.  So, if Thanos is on the trail of the Infinity Stones...how many have we seen thus far on film?  As I am sure most fans know, there are six gems total and we have for sure seen at least three.  But is it possible we have seen a fourth?  And, if that is the case, what stones remain and where could we possibly see them?  Have no fear, fellow nerds, I'm here with some speculation for you!

Keep scrolling to see my thoughts on the stones we have seen thus far, which stones/gems they probably will end up being (those pesky things still haven't been identified), and what films may hold the remaining stones Thanos would need.

Most Definitely Infinity Stones

The Tesseract

Last Seen In: The Avengers
Most Likely: Space Stone
Reasoning: We know for sure that the Tesseract, also known as the Cosmic Cube in the comics, is one of the MCU's Infinity Stones.  Not only was it told to us in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, but Thanos' concern with it in The Avengers was a dead giveaway.  In terms of what Stone the Tesseract could be, though, I am leaning towards this one being the Space Stone.  Why?  Let's take a look.  In the comics, the Space Gem gives the user the ability to rearrange space as they see fit.  When used to its full potential, the Space Stone would allow its user to become omnipresent.  So why is the Tesseract the Space Gem?  Simple.  Twice in The Avengers we see the Tesseract being used to open portals: once when Loki breaks into the SHIELD base and then when Loki releases the Chitauri onto midtown Manhattan.  Obviously this stone is not being used to its full potential just yet, but its ability to relocate one Asgardian and, then, an entire army to another place, it seems highly likely the Tesseract is our Space Stone.
Currently In The Possession Of: Asgard

The Aether

Last Seen In: Thor: The Dark World
Most Likely: Reality Stone
Reasoning:  The Aether is our first Infinity Stone which we are told directly is an Infinity Stone, leading me to believe that Marvel will be more direct with such reveals in future films.  This stone is a little bit harder to place, but my gut feeling is that the Aether will end up being the Reality Stone.  In the comics, the Reality Gem allows its user to grant any wishes they may desire, even if they do not follow the normal laws of the universe.  We really do not see the Aether do very much in Thor: The Dark World aside from being in a liquid state and possess Natalie Portman for some reason.  Malekith needs the Aether to make it where the Dark Elves are in charge of the Nine Realms and the Asgardians are the ones exiled.  In other words, he wants to change reality to grant a wish.  By taking advantage of the Aether when the Convergence takes place, Malekith hopes to alter all of reality together.  THAT is why I feel that this must be our Reality Stone...none of the other Infinity Gems really fit in with what we see done in the film.
Currently In The Possession Of: The Collector

The Orb

Last Seen In: Guardians of the Galaxy
Most Likely: Power Stone
Reasoning:  Our most recent of Infinity Stones, the Orb just may be the most desirable of stones for our primary antagonist Thanos (just not desirable enough for him to get it himself, of course).  Way it seems, the Orb can only be one possible thing: the Power Stone.  The Power Gem granted its user omnipotence, giving them the power to do almost anything by taking advantage of all the power and energy in existence.  By boosting the effects of the other gems, the Power Gem is easily the most important of them all when forming the Infinity Gauntlet.  In Guardians of the Galaxy, we see Ronan the Accuser wishing to use the Orb to destroy the planet of Xandar.  While visiting the Collector, the Guardians learn that the Orb most definitely has the potential to take out an entire planet.  We even see the stone destroy quite a bit of the Collector's most prized possessions. With the Orb having such capabilities as well as only being able to be wielded by the most powerful of beings, it seems highly likely that this is our Power Stone.
Currently In The Possession Of: The Nova Corps

Possible Infinity Stones

Loki's Staff

Last Seen In: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (mid-credits scene)
Most Likely: Mind Stone
Reasoning:  Whether or not Loki's Staff is an Infinity Stone is a topic that has made for a lot of debate among fans.  It is definitely the object which Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege is most coy about whether or not it is a Stone.  Nevertheless, let's assume that it is.  What stone could it be?  Most likely, Loki's Staff would end up being the Mind Stone.  When used, the Mind Gem gives its user enhanced psychic powers, granting them access to the thoughts of others.  If coupled with the Power Gem, the Mind Gem allows its user access to the minds of every being in the universe.  How do we see Loki's Staff used?  When it isn't shooting energy beams (something all of the MCU Infinity Stones seems capable of doing), Loki directly uses the staff to control others; most notably Hawkeye and Selvig.  Given that the staff as a glowing object in the shape of a stone, it seems highly likely that Thanos lent Loki his only Infinity Stone so that he could have the Tesseract as well.  If this is the case, Baron von Strucker could be using the stone to control Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Guess we will find out in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Currently In The Possession Of: Baron von Strucker

Remaining Stones

Soul Stone

Could Be Seen In: Doctor Strange
Reasoning:  So if we only have two Infinity Stones left to see, then where could we possibly see the likes of the Soul Stone?  In the comics, the Soul Gem gives its user the ability to control the souls of both the living and the dead.  It is also worth noting that the Soul Gem is the only sentient object of the Infinity Gauntlet, constantly hungering for more souls.  With easily the most mystic of abilities, I believe we could very likely see the Soul Stone show up in Doctor Strange.  As the Sorcerer Supreme, Stephen Strange finds himself in contact with a lot of different metaphysical and supernatural beings, often leading to a battle for his soul as well as his very life.  In recent issues of New Avengers, Doctor Strange has sold his soul in exchange for making his powers virtually unlimited.  With all of this in mind, I would be shocked if the Soul Stone does not play a role in the upcoming Marvel film.  Knowing the way Marvel Studios has been handling these Infinity Stones, expect it to be some all powerful macguffin that both Doctor Strange and the antagonist are after.

Time Stone

Could Be Seen In: Thor 3 or Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Reasoning:  As its name suggest, the Time Stone offers the user the ability to control the past, present, and the future.  With such power, the Time Stone may be the most dangerous of the Infinity Gauntlet after the Power Stone.  I see two possibilities in terms of films where this stone could be seen, so here is my reasoning for both:

Thor 3 - After the events of The Dark World, we know that Loki now sits on the throne of Asgard, posing as Odin.  This charade can only last for so long, and Thor is going to be quite angry when he finds out that his evil brother is now king of Asgard.  So angry, in fact, Thor may seek out a way to bring his father back and stop Loki once and for all.  Best way he could do that?  Why not search for a powerful object that would grant him the ability to time travel?

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - By now, most people know that the Guardians of the film are based on the 2008 run of the comic.  The original team, which debuted in 1969, are actually the Guardians of the Galaxy of the 31st Century.  Though Yondu, whom we have already seen, is one of their members, there are still quite a few future Guardians we have yet to see.  Perhaps the future Guardians, desperate to stop a conflict before it starts (Ultron perhaps?) use the Time Stone to travel back in time and team up with the current Guardians to take out a larger than life threat (Thanos or Quill's Dad?).  This is probably stretching too far, but such a story would definitely be satisfying for long term fans of the series.

So there you have it.  That is my speculation on which of the MCU's Infinity Stones we have seen and where we are most likely to see the rest.  Disagree with my picks?  Let me know in the comments below!

NOTE: If it wasn't obvious by now, Marvel Studios does not seem to be following the color coordination of the Infinity Gems in the comics.

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