The Infinity Gauntlet is the most powerful item in the Marvel Universe, giving the wearer the power of a god. They can manipulate time, space, reality and pretty much anything else they want with a mere thought.
However, there is a lot of confusion when talking about the Infinity Gauntlet for a couple reasons. The first is that there is a long history of these gems in Marvel comic books. Secondly, the Marvel movies don’t match the comic history. I’m not a purist but it would have been nice for the gem colors and powers to match. So here is a short history of both the comic and movie history of the infinity stones or gems.
The Marvel Comic Universe
Marvel Premiere #1 (Apr. 1972)
Adam is given a soul gem, actually the Soul Gem, to help him complete his mission of saving a version of earth.
Warlock #15 (Nov. 1976)
Adam finds out from the gem itself that the Soul Gem is actually one of six special gems.
The Thanos Quest – Book 1 (Sept. 1990)
Thanos stares into Death’s Infinity well and realizes that he needs more power to kill half of the population of the universe as he has promised Death. He goes on a quest to find the 6 soul gems. This is the first time they are referred to as “infinity gems”. Thanos gains these infinity gems in the first book.
Green Soul Gem
Red Power Gem
Orange Time Gem
The Thanos Quest – Book 2 (Oct. 1990)
Thanos describes to the Runner that the 6 infinity gems were once an infinite, all-powerful being. That being was completely powerful but entirely alone and so he ended his existence. The stones are the core of his being that has been reincarnated. In this book, Thanos takes these 3 gems. Thanos has all 6 infinity gems but does not put them in a gauntlet in this book.
Purple Space Gem
Yellow Reality Gem
Blue Mind Gem
Silver Surfer #44 (Dec 1990)
This is the first appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet. It’s written by Jim Starlin who also wrote the Thanos Quest.
Infinity Gauntlet #1 (July 1991)
Jim Starlin is again the creative writing force for this 6 issue mini-series. Thanos kills half of the population of the universe to satisfy his lover, Death. It doesn’t work.
Infinity Gauntlet #5 (Nov. 1991)
After defeating all the cosmic entities and Eternity itself, Thanos takes his place in the center of reality. Since he views himself as invulnerable he brushes off his flesh and bones and exists in a spiritual form. The tortured Nebula seizes the opportunity to take the Infinity Gauntlet off Thanos’ husk of a body. Thus she becomes all-powerful and more unstable than a college boy on penny beer night.
Infinity Gauntlet #6 (Dec. 1991)
Nebula is defeated by her own power and Adam Warlock gains possession of the Infinity Gauntlet.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Avengers (May 2012)
Thanos, being the kind despot, gave Loki a scepter and a Chitauri attack force to take over Earth. Inside that scepter in a double secret compartment, was the yellow Mind Stone. Somehow Hydra obtains the Mind stone until the Avengers can get it back in the next movie.
Thor: The Dark World (Nov. 2013)
The red Reality Stone is actually not a stone but a liquid. Infinity liquid doesn’t sound very ominous so let’s stick with the Red Infinity stone. This blood like substance attaches to a host, hardens and gives them the “power of Gray Skull” or something like that. Since this is such a powerful item the Asgardians give it to a bank? A security firm? No, a sketchy guy in a white van who is offering candy to kids, called the Collector.
Guardians of the Galaxy (July 2014)
Peter Quill, Star-Lord, goes to a now desolate planet called Morag, sings a song and steals an orb. Initially unaware of its vast power he tries to sell it to this guy with amazing eyebrows on Xandar. #lifegoals The orb holds one of the infinity stones, the power stone. Eventually Ronan the Accuser obtains the purple Power Stone and attaches it to his war hammer, giving him unbelievable power. When Ronan tries to destroy the planet Xandar with the Power Stone, he is stopped by the Guardians. Nova Corps take this purple stone, please.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015)
The yellow Mind Stone is put on the forehead of a purple android named Vision. The contrasting yellow and purple make a fashion statement that sweeps through the fashion districts of New York City.
Doctor Strange (Oct. 2016)
In the mind-altering world of Doctor Strange, the mystic threats to our world are constantly being fought. In one such fight with the evil Dormannu, Dr. Stephen Strange traps him in a time loop. He creates the time loop with the green Time Stone, which has been made into an amulet called the eye of Agamotto.
Yet to be revealed
The orange Soul Stone
There is a scene in the credits of Avengers: Age of Ultron that shows Thanos wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. The new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War shows Thanos with two gems. (blue and purple at 1:49)