Thanos will finally wield the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War – but is he actually the first one to do so in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? In Marvel Comics, Thanos’ story has always been tied to the Infinity Stones, six gemstones that hold ultimate power over some aspect of the universe: time, space, reality, mind, soul and power. Thanos has always been obsessed with finding and uniting these six Stones so he can wield them together on something called the Infinity Gauntlet.
In the movies, the Stones (which has been slowly revealed over the past ten years) were created by four ancient entities that predate the universe: Eternity, Infinity, Entropy, and Death. The origin of the Gauntlet that holds the Infinity Stones is not yet known, but in the comics, it’s rather unremarkable; it began as nothing more than a piece of Thanos’ golden armor – a simple metal glove – that the Mad Titan reforged into something capable of holding the six Infinity Stones.
Strangely, there appears to be no comic book depiction of this forging take place. Thanos goes from completing his collection of the six Infinity Stones in one issue to wearing them on his glove in the next. There’s no mention of him altering his glove to hold the Stones, although it’s obvious from the comic panels that it’s the same glove as on his other hand.
Will Avengers: Infinity War follow a similar story path? Will there be an explanation for the Gauntlet’s origin? More importantly, do we even need one?
Thanos May Not Have Made The Infinity Gauntlet In The MCU (This Page)
Based on its ornate appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, the gauntlet certainly looks like something much more significant than an armored glove. With Hela making it clear in Thor: Ragnarok that the gauntlet owned by Odin and kept at Asgard was a fake, we’re left to assume that Thanos has had the original all along. He was seen retrieving it, after all, from a storage space of some kind at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Was he stealing it from some space repository? Or merely pulling it out of his closet?
It’s entirely likely that Thanos didn’t forge the Gauntlet seen on the big screen since it can be inferred that it’s very old — likely older than Thanos. After all, Hela knew enough about it to know that Odin had a fake, and Thor: Ragnarok left viewers with the impression that she had been imprisoned for thousands of years (Thor is over a thousand years old, and he had no knowledge or memory of her). The last time she could have seen Odin’s counterfeit gauntlet would have been an age ago.
So where did it come from? Where did Thanos find it? How long had it been there? And if he didn’t forge it himself, how did he acquire it? The MCU hasn’t come close to addressing this – and it yet may not. That said, it would be fascinating to learn more about its beginnings — especially if it’s been used before.
Page 2 of 2: Who Could Have Wielded The Infinity Gauntlet Before?
Wearing the Infinity Gauntlet gives the wielder omnipotent power over all of existence, so if someone has used it before, they could have “reset” reality, or at least part of it, so that everyone but the Gauntlet’s wielder would be unable to perceive the changes. On the other hand, there could be worlds in the Marvel Cinematic cosmos that have been touched by the Infinity Gauntlet’s power and still remember its effects. Maybe they pass down tales of its devastation from one generation to the next. The first time Thanos assembled the Stones in the comics, he wiped out half of all life in the universe, causing beings to vanish into death with a snap of his fingers; an event that had major repercussions.
Who else could have wielded the Gauntlet in the past? There’s a surprisingly large number of people in Marvel Comics who have worn it over the years, including Adam Warlock, Nebula, Spider-Man, Reed Richards, Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, and Victor von Doom. In fact, during a rare crossover with DC Comics, Darkseid actually wore it! But these are all current characters in the MCU, and none of them have been around long enough to have worn the Gauntlet before Thanos.
If it didn’t come from Thanos, and he’s never worn it before now, then who could have once possessed and/or wielded it? The Collector comes to mind, but his reaction to the purple Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy was that of someone seeing it for the first time. There’s the Grandmaster from Ragnarok, who in the comics is a sibling to the Collector and just as old. However, the third Thor movie revealed very little about the Sakaar dictator, so there’s no way of knowing how much Jeff Goldblum’s character has in common with his comic book namesake.
Odin or Hela could have worn it long ago, but it’s unlikely; Odin would probably have wisely feared its power could corrupt him, while Hela would never have taken it off. Dormammu could have worn it if he ever had a physical body, but that didn’t seem to be the case in Doctor Strange. Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was old enough, although he was so preoccupied with procreation that he probably would have had little interest in collecting gems. The same goes for the various villains who used a single Stone for their conquest, like Malekith in Thor: The Dark World.
Related: Where Are Marvel’s Infinity Stones?
What about the Celestials? Per Guardians of the Galaxy, we know not only that these ancient cosmic beings exist in the MCU but that they at one point owned at least one of the Stones; the Guardians were shown a vision of a giant Celestial destroying a nondescript world using the purple Power Stone. However, even together, a group of Celestials were not strong enough to control the Stone, suggesting they never got as far as using a gauntlet (one that would be far too small for them anyway).
The MCU has kept the extent of its cosmic history close to its chest for seventeen movies now, but with Avengers: Infinity War finally paying off the slight teases, now’s the right time to give us the backstory of Thanos – and his magic glove.