Serving as the main object of desire for the mammoth titan Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet promises its user unlimited power and domination. Whether utilized for the destruction of the universe or as the last hope to save the world, the stones, along with the Gauntlet, have proven to be one of the most sought-after mystical possessions in the Marvel universe. Though the glove itself holds no special powers, the Infinity Stones themselves actively turn it into an incredible weapon.
However, one of the most dangerous stones among the collection is the Soul Stone. Known for its ability to capture and manipulate the souls of beings, the Soul Stone’s influence has been felt for decades in Marvel Comics. Originally called a Soul Gem (one of the six Soul Gems/Infinity Gems), the forces of good and evil had coveted this mystical object over the years. The stone has not only been wielded along with the other Infinity Stones, but has been utilized as a solo weapon as well.
In this article, we will uncover the history of the Soul Stone from its debut to the most recent rumors of its appearance in the upcoming movie Avengers: Infinity War.
From its mysterious cosmic origins to its ability to control every being in the universe, here are 15 Things Only Superfans Know About The Soul Stone.
15 The Soul Gem has Existed for Over 40 Years in Marvel Comics
The world of Marvel Comics provides its readers with endless tales of the battles between superheroes vs. villains. Although already powerful beings, many of its characters continued to seek new ways to become even stronger.
The introduction of the Infinity Stones, notably the Soul Stone, provided a new means for characters, both good and bad, to become unstoppable forces.
The legacy of the Soul Stone dates back to the early days of Marvel Comics. Debuting in 1972 in Marvel Premiere issue #1, the Soul Stone first made an appearance in the Adam Warlock tale written by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. Though the Stone appeared only briefly, readers got their first glance at the gem and its connection to Warlock, aka Him. This introduction began the gem’s long-standing history with the powerful character.
14 The Stone Was Nameless For Years
Although the Soul Stone was established with character Adam Warlock, the object itself remained nameless. As writers continued to develop its significance and connections within the Marvel Universe, it was depicted simply as an unknown powerful object.
It did not receive an official name until Warlock vol 1 issue #3, where it became known as the Soul-Jewel at the end of 1972.
However, the newly named “jewel” went through yet another change in its development. In the February 1975 comic Strange Tales Vol 1 issue #178, the Soul-Jewel changed to the Soul-Gem. Incidentally, the related stones became known as the Soul Gems collectively.
In 1990, the limited edition series The Thanos Quest referred to the Soul Gem as a part of the Infinity Gems collection. The name remained in place until the development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when they found new life as the Infinity Stones.
13 The Soul Stone Came From A Cosmic Self-Destruction
The origin of the Soul Stone has connections to the mystical realms of the Marvel Universe. All of the Infinity Stones connect back to a primordial entity called Nemesis. This cosmic being lived as the only existing entity in the entire universe. Although living as an all-powerful cosmic force, it grew tired of living alone for such a long time.
In what could be considered as an act of self-destruction, Nemesis split itself into six separate gems.
The gems themselves represented several different aspects of both real and mythical aspects of life: soul, power, mind, and reality, space, and time. The individual powers of each gem (or Stone) passed on to the user and would amplify his or her abilities exponentially. As such, many heroes and villains sought out the gems to become more powerful.
12 Adam Warlock Got His Powers From The Soul Stone
Adam Warlock debuted in Marvel Comic back in the late '60s. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the character’s origins were first depicted in Fantastic Four issue #66 in 1967. Giving himself the name “Him," the character existed as the first perfect artificial human.
With very limited appearances since his debut, writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane updated his abilities and introduced the Soul Stone into his world in 1972. The character was rebirthed by the High Evolutionary in Marvel Premiere issue #1.
He was bestowed with the Soul Stone, granted new powers, and renamed Warlock.
During his mission to save Counter-Earth, he was given the new name Adam, thanks to several teenagers that he encountered. Since then, Adam Warlock has been depicted throughout comics history with the Soul Stone fixed on his forehead.
11 It is sentient
The relationship between Adam Warlock and the Soul Stone runs deeper than any other wielder of the cosmic object. Once Warlock received the Stone, he and Soul Gem formed an almost interdependent bond with each other.
Although some other characters had trouble controlling its powers, Warlock seemed in sync with the Stone and its abilities.
According to Marvel Wikia, “From his experience with the Soul Gem, the Infinity Gem has formed a willing, symbiotic bond with Adam, giving him the ability to sense its whereabouts at will. Out of all the hosts, the Soul Gem has bonded with, it has stated that Adam was the most powerful of all his hosts, having retained his will under its control.”
Even if someone else managed to steal the Soul Stone away from him, Warlock could resist the powers of the Stone when used against him.
10 The Soul Gem's Other Hosts: Doctor Strange, Thanos, Nebula, and more
Although Adam Warlock became the hero most commonly associated with the Soul Stone, other heroes and villains have wielded its powers in the past.
Although details were never revealed of its first owner, one of the earlier users of the Stone was the In-Betweener, a servant to Master Order and Lord Chaos. The Soul Stone served as a replacement gem for Ord Zyonz (also known as the Gardener) after he threw away his previous Infinity Gem.
The Stone also came into the hands of Thanos in his many quests to obtain both it and all of the Infinity Stones for the Infinity Gauntlet. Additional users of the stone include Magus, Nebula, and Invisible Woman. In the most recent stories in the comics, the Soul Stone was last seen in the possession of Doctor Strange.
9 It can collect, control, and manipulate souls
The central power of the Soul Stone included the ability to collect souls not only at the command of the user, but at its own will. The Stone’s sentience makes it a potent object, effectively taking control over some of its hosts. In addition, its cognitive abilities include communication with not only its hosts but the other Infinity Stones as well.
The Stone’s powers extend beyond its insatiable cravings for souls.
Users also have the ability to manipulate these souls, whether they are from the living or the dead. Some hosts become overwhelmed using the Stone, its best users have found the gem capable of controlling all life across the known universe. With such an ability, the Soul Stone remains one of the most powerful yet dangerous of the Infinity set.
8 The Stone's Inner Soulworld
Having your soul captured by the ravenous Soul Stone seems like one of the worse fates imaginable. However, once consumed, the truth of the Stone’s interior reveals a shocking secret.
Captured souls remain in permanent limbo within the Stone, but live out their days in a beautiful world.
First shown in Strange Tales issue #179 in 1975, the Soulworld turned out to be a peaceful environment. Marvel states that “[t]he captured souls reside here in complete harmony, sharing a dimensional consciousness and well-being.”
Adam Warlock has found himself swallowed into the Stone before and was amazed at his surroundings. He even actively returned to its confines to live temporarily. However, this world rewards only the good-hearted. Evildoers who have found themselves captured in this world live a life of isolation, never able to interact with any other captured souls.
7 The Guardians of the Galaxy Lived Inside The Stone
Among the many souls that have been captured within the Soul Stones, the Guardians of the Galaxy have frequented the Soulworld on a few occasions.
In Avengers Annual issue #7, Gamora attempted to thwart the plans of Thanos and take on the titan on her own. However, he easily defeated her and left her on the edge of life. Adam Warlock found her and pulled her soul into the Stone to save her life. She willingly remained in the Stone for several years. However, during the Infinity Gauntlet arc, she was joined by one of her future teammates.
In Silver Surfer vol 3 issue #46, Drax the Destroyer and Silver Surfer also tried to take down Thanos to no avail. Wielding the power of the Infinity Stones, Thanos easily absorbed them both into the Soul Stone. There, he encountered other capture souls including Gamora, Pipp, and Adam Warlock.
6 Galactus Recruited the Fantastic Four to find it
By now, the Fantastic Four should have learned that nothing good comes from trying to help Galactus. However, the team was called on again by Silver Surfer to prevent the destruction of the universe. To save his own life, he had consumed the Elders of the Universe. However, their consumption gradually poisoned and nearly killed him.
He requested the Fantastic Four's help to retrieve the Infinity Stones, and, in particular, the Soul Stone in Silver Surfer Vol 3 issue #15. With the Stone, he could extract the Elders from him and save his own life. With their son Franklin accompanying them on their mission, the Fantastic Four traveled to the black hole where the Stones had been originally abandoned. However, thanks to this mission, Sue Storm was forced to confront some of her evil secrets from her past.
5 It Made The Invisible Woman Evil
During an encounter with Psycho-Man, Sue Storm fell victim to her own dark emotions and transformed into the villainess Malice. Her transformation was temporary. She was freed by Reed Richards and returned to her usual self. However, her dark side came back once again thanks to the Soul Stone.
During the events of Silver Surfer vol 3 issue #15, the persona of Malice manifested in her subconscious. After a struggle, she managed to absorb her evil half, inadvertently affecting her current state. Sue reverted to Malice and attempted to steal the Infinity Gems for herself.
Thankfully, her son, Franklin, appeared in the form of Psi-Lord to rescue her. He freed his mother from Malice’s control and absorbed the evil persona into himself. This absorption marked the end of the evil Sue Storm.
4 The Hulk Used The Stone To Save An Entire Planet
Known for his penchant for leaving endless destruction in his wake, the Hulk actually brought about new life in one instance with the help of the Soul Stone. Incredible Hulk vol 1 issue #248 followed the confrontation between the Hulk and Gardener, one of the noted users of the Stone.
Intending to restore life to the planet of K’ai, Gardner wielded the Stone’s power to create the Valley of Life.
However, he refused to let the planet’s original inhabitants benefit from its restoration. He banished any humanoids from living on the planet. In a fight involving the use of live vegetation on the planet, Hulk managed to break free and steal the Soul Stone from his possession. He then plunged the Stone deep into the core of the planet, bringing life to the entire world.
3 The Illuminati Destroyed The Soul Stone
Though the Soul Stone has gained a reputation for being a dangerous object, there have been occasions when its powers have been used for good. Despite the overwhelming number of villains seeking out its soul extracting abilities, a few heroes have collected the stone and its “siblings” for the good of the universe.
The Illuminati, for example, sought out all of the stones in New Avengers vol 3 issue #3 to save the universe. To prevent their universe from colliding with another one, the team assembled the Infinity Stones in order to harness the powers of the Infinity Gauntlet. After selecting Captain America to use the device, he attempted to stop the alternate Earth from crashing into their planet. Unfortunately, the force was too great and shatter the Soul Stone and the other accompanying Stones, with the Time Stone merely vanishing. Oops.
2 It looks different in the MCU
Readers have found that many elements of Marvel Comics tend to change over the course of the comic books. Whether the changes include costumes, backstories, or other historical information, some aspects within the storylines may be inconsistent or neglectfully changed in error. In the case of the Soul Stone, the object itself has changed numerous times in the Marvel Universe.
Beginning as a small green stone in its debut in 1972, the stone took on a blue color by the end of that year.
However, from 1972 – 2016, the stone’s color reverted to its green appearance. In addition, the stone also changed color depending on the user. For example, the stone took on a red hue when wielded by the Gardener.
Finally, in an effort to unite the MCU and the comic world, the stone was changed to orange beginning in 2017.
1 Theories About The Soul Stone's Location
In anticipation of the new MCU movie, fans have studied the past movies and developed theories as to where the Soul Stone could be hiding.
The T.H.A.N.O.S. theory dictates that each Stone was found in an object that spelled out the titan’s name. With the final letter of “H”, fans concluded that the stone “is tied to Heimdall, or to the Heart-Shaped Herb, or even to “Him” (Adam Warlock)”. However, director James Gunn dismissed the idea that Adam Warlock would even make an appearance in Infinity War.
Additional theories suggest that the Stone exists within one of the characters, such as Tony Stark or Thanos himself. More arguments concluded that the stone could be found in Wakanda, Norway ,or even the planet Titan. With the latest trailer hinting that the Soul Stone was, in fact, located, we all wonder where it has been for all this time.
Do you have any other knowledge to share about the Soul Stone from Avengers: Infinity War? Leave it in the comments!