Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008, there has been only one goal: war. Now, ten years later, Marvel marks the end of an era in Avengers: Infinity War, from directors Joe and Anthony Russo. The Mad Titan known as Thanos (Josh Brolin) seeks the six Infinity Stones, relics from beyond time and space that are too powerful for any one person to wield. With his golden Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos can literally hold all the power in the universe in his hand. And it’s up to the superheroes of the Marvel Universe to stop him.
While several Marvel films have been directly involved with the Infinity Stones, such as in 2012’s The Avengers or 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, others, like Ant-Man or Black Panther, not so much. It can get even more confusing as each Stone is capable of specific powers, and they’ve been scattered about all over the place, from New York to Asgard to the planet called “Knowhere.”
Before Infinity War begins on April 27, here is a handy guide to the Infinity Stones of the MCU. This page will be updated to reflect current releases.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Eric Francisco on May 25, 2017. It has been updated with new information.
What Are the Infinity Stones?
Predating the Big Bang, the Infinity Stones are six singularities that compress the powers of the universe. The stones have been used to wipe out whole civilizations with a single gesture, and so the stones have been scattered throughout the universe. Much of what is known about the Infinity Stones was told by the Collector (Benicio del Toro) in Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the comics, the Infinity Stones were known as Infinity Gems, and the first of which (the Soul Gem) was introduced in Marvel Premiere #1 in April 1972. More came, and, eventually, they were plot devices for Jim Starlin’s 1991 series The Infinity Gauntlet, which will be loosely adapted into Avengers: Infinity War. (The film shares its title with The Infinity War, released in 1992.)
In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is in love with the personification of Death and tries to woo her by amassing the power of the gems. He collects them all and uses them to crush the Marvel Universe until his granddaughter Nebula dons the Gauntlet and reverses his destruction. Afterward, Thanos ends up working on a farm. There are worse ways to go out.
As stated, there are six of them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They are:
The Space Stone (the Tesseract, Blue)
What it does: With the ability to generate wormholes, it allows travel across great distances in an instant. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) uses the Tesseract to unleash the Chitauri in New York in The Avengers. This event is commonly known as the Battle of New York, but it is also sometimes referred to as “the Incident,” usually in the Marvel/Netflix shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Current whereabouts: After The Avengers, the Tesseract ws kept in Odin’s vault on Asgard. But as we later learned via the trailers for Infinity War, Loki swiped it at the end of Thor: Ragnarok.
The Mind Stone (Loki’s Scepter/Vision, Yellow)
Appears in: The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Captain America: Civil War (2016).
What it does: Capable of controlling minds and enhancing intelligence, Thanos gives the Mind Stone to Loki to wield in his scepter to build an army in The Avengers. After Loki’s defeat, his scepter falls into possession of Hydra commander Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who uses it for human experimentation and turns two Sokovian siblings into Quicksilver (Aaron-Taylor Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor fuses the Mind Stone, a Vibranium shell constructed by Ultron, and Tony Stark’s A.I. assistant J.a.R.V.I.S., to create Vision, played by Paul Bettany.
Current whereabouts: It’s on Vision, who is an active Avenger under the command of Tony Stark at the end of Captain America: Civil War.
The Reality Stone (the Aether, Red)
Appears in: Thor: The Dark World (2013).
What it does: A liquid weapon called the Aether by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the Reality Stone is able to return the universe to its pre-Big Bang state.
Current whereabouts: Knowing its horrific power, as well as the danger of keeping two Infinity Stones together, the Asgardians gave the Aether to the Collector in the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World. As far as anyone knows, it’s still with the Collector in his ruined home on Knowhere.
The Power Stone (in the “Orb,” Purple)
Appears in: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
What it does: As demonstrated when it was used by Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to kill Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), the Power Stone is nothing but raw power and can destroy whole civilizations, let alone one emo warlord.
Current whereabouts: Star-Lord unknowingly salvaged the Power Stone in an “orb” at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s now safe on Xandar with the Nova Corps, the military police of the Nova Empire.
The Time Stone (the Eye of Agomotto, Green)
Appears in: Doctor Strange (2016).
What it does: Used by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to create a time-loop to destroy Dormammu, the Time Stone can alter and manipulate time.
Current whereabouts: Under custody of the Masters of the Mystic Arts (namely Wong) at Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Soul Stone (Orange)
Appears in: TBD.
What it does: In the comics, the Soul Gem can steal, control, and alter the souls of the living and the dead. It might even be able to control all life in the universe if the films behave like the comics do. Nobody in the MCU has possession the Soul Stone. Yet.
Current whereabouts: ???
The Infinity Gauntlet (Gold)
Appears in: Thor (2011), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
What it does: To control the powers of the Infinity Stones, one must wield the Infinity Gauntlet. True to its name, it is a literal glove with slots on the knuckles and the back of the hand to place the stones in them.
Current whereabouts: A fake gauntlet was kept in Odin’s vault on Asgard. A left-hand gauntlet — which is the real deal — is shown in the end credits of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Thanos puts it on while muttering to no one in particular: “Fine. I’ll do it myself.”
Avengers: Infinity War will be released on April 27.