The Infinity Gems are the most powerful artifacts in the Marvel universe — and even if you haven't read any comics in your lifetime, you're probably already familiar with that.
Avengers: Infinity War has our heroes fight against Thanos for control of the gems, and in turn, the safety of the entire universe. They might just seem like some brightly-colored magic rocks, but they're a seriously huge deal.
Marvel fans know these as the Space, Time, Power, Reality, Mind, and Soul Stones: each one with the ability to harness and manipulate the different aspects of existence. They appear in dozens of Marvel stories, games, shows, and now the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but did you think they were the only ones? Their are a lot more than six — even more than what's on this list, actually — but we'll let you on some of the cooler ones.
For this list, we're going to delve into the ins-and-outs of Marvel continuity to look at alternate universes and non-canon stories that feature totally unique Infinity Gems. Some are more well-known than others, but settle in, because some of these deep-cuts are truly bizarre. Seriously, things are about to get really, really nerdy.
From right here on Earth to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, here are Avengers: 15 Other Infinity Stones Only True Marvel Fans Know About.
Back in the year 2000, Marvel was looking to reboot their comic continuity so that it was more accessible for new readers. The company came up with the "Ultimate" line: a spin-off series of comics that retold popular stories with modern updates. Titles like Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic Four acted as reboots for their titular characters in a single alternate universe, leaving the original books unaffected. The Ultimate universe became so successful that the entire Marvel pantheon was given an Ultimate counterpart — alternate versions of characters, places and events were all rebooted with slight twists, including the Infinity Stones.
The regular Marvel universe (known as Earth-616) has Thanos collect the six Stones to destroy half of the universe.
The Ultimate universe has an entirely different set of stories about the Infinity Stones, as well as two additional ones for the characters to fight over.
The now eight Infinity Stones, requiring two gauntlets to wield, are mainly sought after by Sue Storm, Reed Richards, and the Dark Ultimates. No, not the Fantastic Four members, but their crazy evil Ultimate incarnations: Kang and The Maker. Like we said, it's an alternate universe; a very, very odd one.
Pictured above is Gray Hulk wielding the two gauntlets once the Dark Avengers managed to collect them. Let that sink in: Hulk with not one, but two Infinity Gauntlets. Yes, it's just as terrifying as it sounds.
Before the peak in the MCU's popularity and all of its TV spinoffs, there was Marvel's Super Hero Squad. Casually referred to as The Super Hero Squad Show, the animated series was released in 2009 as a TV parody of the Marvel universe. It featured loads of classic characters and many that haven't even made it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Naturally, the series took a shot at telling stories involving the Infinity Gems, but with one new artifact to add to the mix: the Infinity Sword.
The first season of the show revolves around the characters' quest for the Sword, made from the Ego Gem, which exists alongside the typical Infinity Gauntlet.
A battle shatters the Sword into "Infinity Fractals" that are scattered throughout Earth.
The heroes must gather these powerful fragments before Doctor Doom and his villainous cabal because the fragments are magic macguffins, and we should all know how this works by now.
While the Infinity Sword and Fractals aren't technically gems like the others, they act as an entirely new set. The Sword can only be used by someone powerful enough to handle the Gauntlet, so it's just as desirable an item.
In the end, Silver Surfer gets his hands on both, leading to his villainous turn as the Dark Surfer. At least infinite power doesn't always have to come in "glove" form.
Have you ever heard of Ultraforce? If you haven't read many comics, you'd be forgiven for saying no. The Ultraverse was a line of comics published by Malibu Comics in the early 1990s. Like Marvel, it was a selection of superhero books that all took place within the same universe. Unfortunately for Malibu, the sales of the Ultraverse books began to decline until the company was acquired by Marvel. They relaunched a number of Ultraverse books to work them into Marvel proper, mainly using crossover books like Avengers/Ultraforce.
In said book, a unique Infinity Gem is discovered in the Ultraverse: the Ego Gem. This seventh artifact is very different from the others. It doesn't harness a certain energy or aspect of reality. Instead, it's actually a cosmic being.
When Loki brings all the Gems together, the Ego Gem unleashes Nemesis — a god-like entity with the power of every Infinity Gem.
The Avengers and Ultraforce team-up and take her down, and with that, the Ego Gem is destroyed. Since then, there has been no mention of the Ego Gem in Marvel canon - or the Ultraverse, for that matter.
Why was an Infinity Gem trapped in a totally different universe anyway? Well, because Nemesis apparently got so bored being omnipotent that she decided to split herself between the two. It's okay, we all get bored sometimes.
Secret Wars 2015 is a blast, but it can be a bit convoluted for the uninitiated. Here's the simplified version.
With the help of Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom takes a piece of every Marvel universe and merges it into one. In this universe, "God Emperor Doom" makes himself king of everything and the heroes work to turn the world back to normal. How powerful is God Emperor Doom? He manages to destroy Thanos by ripping out his spine and turning him to dust. Yeah, he's that powerful.
Doctor Strange secretly built an Infinity Gauntlet complete with all the Gems, just in case he needed to turn on Doom.
Just before Strange's passing, he left the Gauntlet to King T'Challa himself, Black Panther. With the help of Reed Richards and and a slew of other Marvel heroes, the group cooked up a plan to take Doom down, ending with a massive battle between T'Challa and Doom. Richards was the one to finish the fight, but without T'Challa and his Gauntlet, it would have ended much worse.
This story is official Marvel canon, but since the Gauntlet and Gems are from another universe, it lands a spot on this list. It's one of the coolest uses of the Infinity Gems and one of the few where they are wielded by a normal person (relatively speaking). Who wouldn't want to see somebody like Black Panther wear the Gauntlet?
Doctor Doom has always been hungry for power, and although he became a god in Secret Wars 2015, he's been there way before that. Marvel's What If? comics take stories and change them with shocking twists and alternate endings. None of these stories are official canon, but they ask some really great questions — like what if Doctor Doom had ultimate power?
What If?: Secret Wars #1 from 2008 depicts just that. With the power of the Beyonders — god-like aliens from outer space — Doctor Doom decides to take what he believes is his rightful place as ruler of everything. Using this power, he eventually he collects an Infinity Gauntlet (calling it a mere "trinket"), and unleashes a reign of terror on the universe. It starts on Earth where he is easily victorious, and takes the fight to space. He dominates the Kree, the Celestials, and even conquers Asgard without breaking a sweat.
Of course, this happens because he truly believes what he's doing is moral and right. He's not selfish. He's just conceited enough to think that he's the most capable leader in the universe. Avengers: Infinity War gives audiences a similar villain with a new take on Thanos, but hopefully an authentic Doctor Doom makes it to the big screen.
Technically we already covered this Infinity Gem, but without specifics, readers would be robbed of this absolute cringefest. Seriously, grab a seat for this one.
In the Ultimate universe, there are a total of eight different Infinity Stones. Some of them were never called out by name, but it's safe to assume that at least six of them were the standard set: Space, Time, Power, Reality, Mind, and Soul. The extra two in this universe were never named, and since the Ultimate comics are no longer being published (that, and the fact that the universe was obliterated), we'll likely never know what they were.
One of the Ultimate Stones is worth mentioning — the one in Iron Man's head.
In Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates # 27, Reed Richards (known as the villain Maker) forcibly operates on Tony Stark's skull in order to find the eighth Infinity Gem, and he does not survive. No, you read that correctly, Tony was unknowingly housing an Infinity Gem in his head. How is this explained? Well, he had a talking, sentient tumor in his brain that spoke to him through hallucinations of a young boy named Anthony. That's comics, folks.
Yes, really. Go ahead and look it up. We'll wait.
This one is a bit more obscure, but we suppose it counts. Much like Marvel's What If? line of comics, it also publishes a comedic series of alternate universe stories called What The--?!.
What The--?! or the "Humorverse" comics didn't last too long, as only 26 issues were published from 1988 to 1993. Despite the short lifespan, the series was used to spotlight talented industry creators and even create some of the weirder Marvel staples like Spider-Ham, about a spider bitten by a radioactive pig. Yes, really.
What The--?! #24, "The Infinity Mitten", is an absurdist parody of Infinity Gauntlet that features mad titan "Thermos" hanging out with a new Gem collection. Using the completed Infinity Mitten, he wipes out half of the life in the universe to impress his lady love. The issue is as goofy as it gets, with a cosmic double-date, a game of poker, and all sorts of cringe-inducing puns.
It's not an Infinity Gem story so much as an excuse to make fun of one, but Marvel gave this universe its own numerical designation.
Somewhere in the Marvel multiverse is Earth-9047, the "Marble universe" where Avengers: Infinity War was fought over mitten.
Sometimes it's an oven mitt, sometimes it's a baseball glove, and sometimes it holds all the power in the universe.
All sorts of limited series were published alongside Secret Wars 2015. One of them was Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 2: a post-apocalyptic story about Anwen Bakian and the Bakian clan, a family of Nova Corps members living on a destroyed planet Xandar. Thanos makes the Bakian family his unwitting companions in his quest to steal the Infinity Stones from the Guardians of the Galaxy, and it doesn't end well for him.
At the end of the series, Thanos has nearly all the Stones. Anwen reluctantly hands him the final one, the Reality Stone, when she and her family prove to be no match for him. He places the stone in the Gauntlet during a villainous monologue, when suddenly he doesn't feel so victorious. The Infinity Gauntlet starts to radiate with black energy as Anwen reveals that she tricked him.
She gave him a newly-created Stone that overloads the Gauntlet and turns Thanos to ash.
It's unclear how this Gem works, but if it can destroy Thanos with ease, than it must be pretty powerful. Oddly enough, this isn't the last appearance of the Death Stone. It appears in another Marvel series — the recent Contest of Champions — but in an unrelated capacity. If you've already seen Avengers: Infinity War, then you know that the MCU heroes probably could have used a Gem like this.
Here's another crazy What If? story, this time about an entirely new Marvel family - sort of.
What If? Newer Fantastic Four takes place in a universe where Thanos uses the Infinity Gems to get rid of all the superheroes on Earth. Everyone fades out of existence with the exception of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, and Iron Man. With no real allies to count on but each other, they take up the mantle of the Fantastic Four and work to fix reality and bring back the lost lives.
In a plot involving Adam Warlock, Silver Surfer, and the cosmic entities of the Marvel universe, this new team manages to distract Thanos long enough to take him down. Wolverine cuts off Thanos' arm, creating a window for Spider-Man to swoop in, take the Gauntlet, and reverse all the damage done. In a surprisingly happy ending, the heroes return, Bruce Banner is free of the Hulk, the Watchers secure the Gauntlet, and Thanos is stripped of all his abilities to be made a gardener for the rest of his life.
The story isn't heavy on Infinity Gem shenanigans, but it's comforting to see someone as good-natured as Spider-Man save the day on such a massive scale — because as we all know, with ultimate power comes way more responsibility than usual.
As if there wasn't enough LEGO Marvel product in the world, it also has its very own Infinity Stone, too. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat is an animated short featuring everybody's favorite space criminals. This LEGO-based adventure has the Guardians protecting a new Infinity Stone from evil cosmic forces: the Build Stone.
The Build Stone is yet another non-canon Infinity Gem, with the power to build any weapon.
Naturally, this is a very desirable little artifact, and so the Guardians must fight to keep it away from the likes of Ronan the Accuser, the Ravagers, Thanos himself, and anybody else who might think to use it for evil. The gang races to get the Build Stone into the safe hands of the Avengers — though calling their hands "safe" feels a like a stretch.
Of course, the Build Stone fits right at home in a LEGO world, but this Gem seems extremely redundant. If it can build any weapon imaginable, than why would anyone even need the Infinity Gauntlet? Why is nobody having an Infinity War over the Build Stone? Well, thankfully, because it isn't canon. Hopefully they keep it away from Rocket, too — heaven only knows what dangerous concoction he'd come up with.
The Marvel vs Capcom fighting games are a beloved franchise, pitting Marvel superheroes against fan-favorite Capcom characters (from games like of Megaman, Street Fighter, and Resident Evil) to punch it out. Their cabinets used to be favorites in arcades, and today they do pretty well on home consoles.
Only recently have the Infinity Gems played a huge role in the games, with the release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite in 2017.
In Infinite, Ultron and Megaman villain Sigma have teamed up. Stealing the Space and Reality Gems, Ultron and Sigma fuse the Marvel and Capcom dimensions together, as well as their own bodies. The newly-born hybrid "Ultron Sigma" sets out to take over this new dimension by infecting all organic life with a virus that turns people into their own personal drones. The heroes team up and use the remaining Gems in a weapon called the "Infinity Buster" to save the day.
Unfortunately, many fans of the game were outraged when they received their copies. Adopters of the "Collector's Edition" received four character statuettes along with the game, but the real bonus was the boxed set of replica Infinity Gems! Or, it would have been a "bonus" if they weren't so cheap. Customers were furious when their $200 dollar collector's set looked more like a bunch of plastic Easter eggs. Ultimate power doesn't come cheap, folks.
Not only did the Super Hero Squad Show feature the Ego Gem in the form of the Infinity Sword, but its video game had an entirely original addition to the artifacts. Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet released in 2011, and featured a comedic take on the Infinity Gauntlet story with the addition of the Rhythm Gem.
The Rhythm Gem was a pink Infinity Stone that had unknown powers.
Like all the others, the Rhythm Gem was highly sought after. Its retrieval becomes a priority for Falcon and Thor (albeit very briefly) before it was revealed to be a fake. It turns out that Loki had fabricated it to trick the Avengers and throw them off the scent of the rest of the set.
The Super Hero Squad Show is supposed to be parody, but what the heck would the Rhythm Gem even do? It's not exactly an important aspect of existence like Time or Space, so what abilities would it even have aside from the typical shooting-a-brightly-colored-laser?
The rules of the Infinity Stones might be a bit ill-defined, but it certainly sounds like a fake. This game was aimed at children, though. Regardless, this is the only mention of a "Rhythm" Stone in Marvel canon.
This mobile fighting game takes place in its own universe, has its own comic book series, and naturally, its own set of Infinity Stones. In this universe, Thanos' quest for the Gems is put to an end by the Illuminati — a secret society of the most capable superheroes on Earth. Composed of Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Mister Fantastic, Namor, Black Bolt, and Iron Man, the group split the Stones between them to keep them out of the wrong hands.
Years later, the superheroes break into Civil War. The events loosely follow the original comic but with one major twist — Tony uses the Reality Stone to secretly aid his war efforts. He doesn't only use it for nefarious purposes though. He saves Goliath from death, and even prevents the assassination of Captain America. However, that's not enough for Tony. Eventually he uses it to rig a presidential election in his favor.
Tony used an Infinity Stone to make himself president.
Sure, it's an alternate universe, but it sounds so much like the narcissistic Iron Man we all know and love that it might as well be an official story. He's done some heinous things in his lifetime, but this is so sleazy that it could easily count as one of his worst. At least he did some good with it beforehand?
While Marvel's Contest of Champions has its own comic series, much of its lore is introduced in the mobile game itself. The game's story is largely conveyed through dialogue boxes, as there is very little in-game voiceover work. It mostly consists of arbitrary battles as the Marvel heroes compete in the titular Contest of Champions — a massive cosmic fighting tournament.
Despite the relatively shallow plot, the game actually introduces a ton of unique Infinity Stones.
Contest of Champions' setting, the "Battlerealm", channels energy from competitors' fights into new Stones. They don't exactly have well-explained powers or extensive backstories, but the sheer amount of them is remarkable. In addition to the six that already exist, Contest of Champions adds the Nightmare, Evolution, Genesis, War, Chaos, and Death Stones.
These six newcomers attract Thanos (surprise, surprise) who, as always, wants to collect them all. Little has been done to explain what the new Stones do — only that they've passed through various heroes' and villains' hands. Last time the game was updated, Thanos and Hela used the Death Stone to trap the heroes in a pocket dimension - which sounds more like the Soul Stone's abilities.
This universe doesn't have any links to Infinity Gauntlet. There's no quest for the Gems or Mad Titan to collect them. Instead, this parallel universe is visited by the Illuminati, the secret society of heroes on a mission to protect the Marvel universe from reality incursions. Preventing "reality incursions" — in the simplest of terms — is to prevent realities from crashing into and destroying each other.
Upon arrival, Black Panther, Namor, Iron Man, Reed Richards, and Doctor Strange all find themselves in the presence of the Great Society: a group of Justice League knockoffs defending this universe. Discount versions of Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, and even obscure characters like Doctor Fate went toe-to-toe with the Illuminati, and in the process informed them of magic artifacts called the Forever Glass.
The Forever Glass are this universe's version of the Infinity Gems, and they come together to form the Wishing Cube.
This magic cube does literally whatever you want it to. Of course, they never get to see it, because the Illuminati destroys the universe.
No exaggeration — the Marvel heroes blow up an entire universe and extinguish billions of lives, because their universe was on a collision course with ours. It was a tough call to make, and in an effort to save their world in time, Namor made the decision and destroyed it all.
Did you think the Avengers could be so cold-hearted? No amount of pretty space rocks is going to bring all that back.
Do you think any of these Stones could make their way to the movies? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!