The Russo brothers put out a request to fans to keep a lid on spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, but did Thanos' warning actually provide the first proper reveal of the final Infinity Stone: the Soul Stone?
As we enter the final few weeks before Marvel's unprecedented ten-year experiment reaches its peak, it's becoming clear that Infinity War's big trick - aside from having built up an immense following and expectation of quality characters over eighteen previous box office smashes - is going to be secrecy. The Russo brothers - followed up by the cast - have requested fans to keep all the movie's surprises under wraps once the film hits. It's been long-expected that at least one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes will die in this film or Avengers 4, and the recent confirmation that the film won't screen until the week of release has made clear there may be even more at play here.
The biggest of the non-death mysteries is the Soul Stone. Since Thor's end-credits scene, Marvel has been slowly introducing the six Infinity Stones - ingots of immense power that Mad Titan Thanos wants to bring together - usually as MacGuffins in their own films. Throughout it all, however, one has conspicuously remained hidden: the Soul Stone didn't turn up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok or Black Panther as had each been expected, leading to a string of theories; from it being Thanos' true goal via time travel to secretly in Wakanda unbeknownst to T'Challa, everybody has an idea. But nobody really knows. In fact, it's yet to even appear in the film's marketing beyond a years-old Thanos clip.
That may have changed with the Russo's spoiler warning. If you look at the Infinity Gauntlet that sits next to the letter, you can see that it's already full of Stones. The purple Power Stone is clearly visible, and the glows of the green Time Stone and blue Space Stone are also easy to spot. However, there's also the sign of two other stones: a red and an orange.
The red is the Reality Stone, while the orange is usually linked to, yes, the Soul Stone; it would appear that the image actually teases the final Infinity Gem. Crucially, that is where we expect the Soul Stone to sit; while that aforementioned Thanos clip had it on the back of the hand, nearly all merchandising has swapped it to the knuckles.
Now, this may seem inconsequential - and, indeed, it does nothing to actually help figure out where the Soul Stone is in the MCU - but it can't be understated the significance. Outside of merchandise - which is never a good measure - we've typically seen Thanos with only two Stones: Power and Space. The only time more have appeared include the Soul Stone is the SDCC concept art poster and a brief glimpse of the Infinity Gauntlet in Marvel's 10-year celebrations. To have it there, even if hidden off camera, is a pretty big tease - to the extent it wouldn't be surprising if the Russos did this on purpose just to play with rampant theorists.
Whatever the case, the truth behind all the teases will be revealed when Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27 (and not a moment before).
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018