The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with many items of amazing power. This include Captain America‘s nearly unbreakable shield, Thor‘s mystical hammer, and Iron Man‘s endless array of new suits. However, though we haven’t seen it in action yet, we’ve already seen an item more powerful than any of these: The Infinity Gauntlet. When powered by the Infinity Stones, the person who wears the Gauntlet becomes absolutely unstoppable.
Thanos already has the Gauntlet itself, and now he’s on a quest to get the Stones. This is all part of the slowly-sprawling MCU story of the last decade, and it’s all culminating in next year’s Infinity War movie. With that being said, however, many fans are still confused about what the Gauntlet is and what, exactly, it can do. Fortunately, Marvel has hidden a variety of references and Easter eggs throughout the cinematic universe intended to help bring you up to speed.
Fortunately, you don’t need to call on Doctor Strange to turn back time so you can re-watch all of the MCU movies and check out these Easter eggs. Instead, we’ve gathered them together into this cool, cosmic guide to the 15 Infinity Gauntlet Easter Eggs That Even Die-Hard Fans Missed!
15. Odin Already Has the Infinity Gauntlet?
Excitement about the Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe stretches back as far as the very first Thor movie. That movie provided a glimpse into Odin’s Trophy Room, where the All-Father keeps a number of items that are too powerful for mere mortals to get hold of. Like the other items, this gauntlet is being protected by The Destroyer, the same powerful animated armor that nearly kills Thor near the end of the movie.
This gauntlet brought about a lot of fan excitement, but it also brought with it a number of questions. How does Odin have a complete gauntlet, including stones? Had he previously kept Thanos or other beings from using the gauntlet for evil? And if he did have a complete gauntlet, why was it resting in a trophy case instead of Odin using it?
14. Asgard is Faking It
If all of the MCU was building to Thanos gathering Infinity Stones and our heroes facing off against Thanos, then the fact that the complete glove was just chilling out in Odin’s vault seemed very disappointing. However, after Avengers: Age of Ultron came out, we knew that there was another Infinity Gauntlet out there. But that brought us back to one of our original questions— why is Thanos scouring the galaxy for Infinity Stones if they are all just hanging out in Odin’s man cave?
Marvel President Kevin Feige eventually cleared things up. Apparently, the second glove that we see is not a retcon— Odin still has the other glove in his vault. However, the stones on Odin’s glove are not Infinity Stones, but just colorful fakes meant to show how the real Gauntlet would look when it’s fully-powered.
While it’s a little disappointing to hear that Odin is passing off those cubic zirconium Infinity Stones as the real thing, it’s exciting to imagine the role that a second Gauntlet might play when our heroes fight Thanos.
13. Thanos Has the OTHER Gauntlet
How, then, do we know about the Gauntlet Thanos himself has? Well, the answer to that is pretty simple. After the credits for Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see a scene where Thanos dons the Gauntlet (which seems to be completely missing Infinity Stones) and ominously says “Fine, I’ll do it myself.” It serves as a clear threat that this cosmic villain is no longer content to rely on his lackeys and will start taking things into his own hands.
It’s a powerful scene, and it gives us our clearest look yet at the true goal that Thanos is pursuing. There was also a nice bit of visual continuity: the Gauntlet that Thanos puts on is a left-handed one, whereas the Gauntlet in Odin’s possession is a right-handed one. Despite us seeing the Gauntlet on his hands being bereft of Stones, many fans have speculated that Thanos may somehow already be in possession of the Soul Stone, which is the one Infinity Stone that we have not yet seen.
12. Cosmic Cube
One of the neater reveals of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that we have actually already seen most of the Infinity Stones that Thanos is hunting. The reason you may not have noticed is that many of the “stones” do not look like stones. Furthermore, they’ve been hiding in plain sight!
The very first of these stones is the Tesseract, better known to some fans as the Cosmic Cube. We first see the Tesseract as the prize of The Red Skull, who seeks to use its power to create super-advanced weaponry for Hydra. Later, it’s used by S.H.I.E.L.D. For the same purpose, and ends up helping Loki transport himself to Earth.
This is no coincidence: among the Infinity Stones, the Tesseract is known as “the space stone,” for both its abilities to transport people across space and to draw energy from space. Both of these abilities would be suitable for Thanos, who dreams of galactic domination.
11. Loki’s Staff
In terms of showing us Infinity Stones, the first Avengers movie was effectively a “two for one.” This is because a second Infinity Stone was hiding in plain sight in this movie: it is the one that powers Loki’s staff. Loki, of course, uses this stone to take control of key characters such as Hawkeye, and this goes a long way towards his attempt to take over the entire planet.
Initially, many fans thought that the ability for Loki to take over the minds of others was tied to the staff itself, or possibly just some old-fashioned trickster magic from the impish villain. However, this ability is explicitly tied to the Infinity Stone within the staff.
This stone is known as “the mind stone,” and true to its name, it is able to allow individuals to both take over the minds of others and to mentally communicate with others. It also seems able to give powers to people, as experimentation on this Stone is what gave Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch their powers.
10. Reality Stone
If we’re all being honest with each other, Thor: The Dark World is a pretty bad movie. It is, at least, pretty: fans can always stare at Christ Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Kat Dennings when they get tired of trying to follow the incomprehensible plot of evil elves and the reality-altering Aether.
However, the mysterious Aether is another Infinity Stone, and one that is likely to play great significance in the future of the MCU. The Aether’s basic power is that it can be used to suck the life out of other people and then convert that energy into either destructive or healing powers.
For Thanos, harnessing this power via his Infinity Gauntlet would allow him to easily become a massive threat, and give him enough power to heal from anything that the Avengers and their allies can throw at him.
9. Power Stone
Many fans credit the success of Guardians of the Galaxy to how accessible it was. That is, you didn’t have to be steeped in the deep lore of either Marvel Comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe to appreciate a movie that managed to be sexy, funny, and poignant— and often at the same time. However, despite being such a casual movie, Guardians of the Galaxy gives us our first real explanation of what the Infinity Stones are, and we finally see one that is actually a stone— it’s the prize that Ronan the Accuser seeks.
Fittingly, this stone is known as the “power stone.” Theoretically, someone who is able to fully channel the immense power of this stone would become a galactic threat, able to destroy people with a single glance.
In the main plot of the movie, we see how difficult this is: no one is able to fully harness the Stone, and Star-Lord only manages to survive the attempt by linking with his friends and unknowingly utilizing his cosmic DNA. However, thanks to The Collector, we do get a glimpse of exactly what this stone can do in the right (or wrong) hands.
8. Celestial Doom
The Celestials were another very deep dive reference into Marvel lore made by director James Gunn in Guardians of the Galaxy. We don’t see much of them in the present action of the movie, although the base they visit, Knowhere, is inside a dead Celestial’s head. However, we see a very live Celestial thanks to footage shown by The Collector, and it is absolutely terrifying.
In his cool space Powerpoint on what the Infinity Stones are, The Collector shows Eson the Searcher, a Celestial who was once powered by the Power Stone. In the brief clip, Eson uses his enhanced power to literally destroy an entire planet. Seeing this is a major MCU moment: we now know exactly what the stakes are and what Thanos, Ronan, or anyone else will be capable of if they can fully unlock the potential of these stones. Knowing that Thanos can destroy an entire planet with just one of them begins to give you an idea of how frightening he will be with all six!
7. The Eye of Agamotto
When it comes to Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some of them seem a bit more abstract than others. That is, it may take you a moment to connect what we see of the Stone’s power to its intended function. However, when it comes to the Time Stone, it’s quite direct, as this is the Stone that Doctor Strange uses to save the world via time manipulation!
Toward the end of the Doctor Strange movie, we discover that the mystical Eye of Agamotto is actually one of the Infinity Stones, and its function is to control time. This is, of course, how Doctor Strange ends up defeating Dormammu— by trapping him in an endless time loop until the villain agrees to leave the Earth and take his acolytes with him.
6. The Hidden Soul Stone
As soon as it became clear that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was building to the Infinity War story, fans started counting down the Infinity Stones as they were revealed. As of this writing, only five of the six Infinity Stones have been found. That means only one is missing: the Soul Stone.
Now that there is only one Stone left to be revealed, fan speculation has reached an all-time high about who might have it.
Some people, for instance, think it may belong to Heimdall, providing the Asgardian with his ability to see anyone or anything in the universe. Others think it is with Adam Warlock, whom the post-credits sequence of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 makes clear is still coming to the MCU. Others think it is simply hiding in one of the places we haven’t seen yet, from Wakanda to the gladiator planet glimpsed in Thor: Ragnarok.
5. Thor, Breaker of Worlds?
One of the most divisive elements of Avengers: Age of Ultron were the visions. Scarlet Witch was being used by Ultron to divide our heroes, and she did so very literally by sowing discord and distrust in their minds.
Some of the visions were a bit direct— Captain America wonders about the world that he has lost, while Iron Man worries about the friends he could lose—but Thor’s vision, which he takes a closer look at thanks to a magical bath (aren’t all Chris Hemsworth’s baths magical?), was particularly strange.
Thor sees a vision of what might be the future. He sees Heimdall, but the all-seeing Asgardian has apparently lost his eyesight and claims that Thor is a destroyer of Asgard. And in the background, very easy to miss, we can see Infinity Stones gathering together on a cloud that looks like the Infinity Gauntlet.
4. Adam Warlock
For longtime fans of Marvel Comics, the MCU has done an impressive job of adapting characters and stories while still providing room for some surprises. One of those surprises was how the character of Adam Warlock was teased in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, as his cocoon was in the possession of The Collector.
While that appearance was more of an Easter egg, the character is mentioned by name in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as he is seemingly being grown by Ayesha, the MCU’s favorite golden girl.
So, what’s the deal with Adam Warlock? In the original Infinity Gauntlet comic storyline, he played a major role, as he was the owner of the elusive Soul Stone. That stone gave him a wide array of powers, making him a lot like the Superman of the Marvel Comics universe. He’s even able to wield the Gauntlet and plays a major role in defeating Thanos.
3. A Vision of Destruction
Once you see the Infinity Stones popping up in Thor’s strange vision in Age of Ultron, it’s tempting to look at the visions the other Avengers had to see if they hold any special significance. For instance, Iron Man has a vision of his fellow Avengers dying, with Captain America blaming him for letting this happen before he dies. The last thing Iron Man sees is an invading Chitauri army and a portal like the one he traveled through (and nearly died in) in the first Avengers movie.
At the time, many people considered this Iron Man’s “what if” nightmare— as in, what if Loki and his alien army had won when they invaded? However, Thanos is unlikely to come to Earth by himself, and will likely have his Chitauri allies by his side. And if he already has the Tesseract, he may open a portal for them to invade through.
Therefore, there’s a chance that Iron Man was not seeing a possible past but instead, a possible future… and given that we see Cap’s broken shield and the corpses of Tony’s closest friends and allies, we know that Thanos packs a hell of a punch.
2. The Collector: the Hidden Foe
When it comes to people trying to possess the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, we mostly focus on the major, cosmic-level characters such as Thanos and Odin. However, it’s important to note that there are other forces at work trying to get their hands on this power. And that includes the person you’d least expect— The Collector!
So far, The Collector hasn’t seemed like much of a threat. He can be casually cruel (he has slave labor, after all), but he doesn’t look like he’d stand a chance in a direct fight against Drax or Gamora. However, after Thor: The Dark World, the Asgardians deliver the Aether to The Collector, and after they leave, he ominously says, “One down, five to go.” And in Guardians of the Galaxy, he is willing to pay top dollar for the Power Stone.
1. Nebula’s major comic role
One of the most surprising things about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is that we get a heroic turn from Nebula. In the first movie, she was an unapologetic villain who was willing to risk death rather than side with Gamora. In Vol. 2, after attempting to kill Gamora, Nebula not only joined her cause, but vowed that she was going to try to take out their mutual father, Thanos, in Infinity War!
While nothing can be certain about her role in the MCU (as mentioned before, Marvel delights in surprising fans who are expecting a straightforward adaptation of comic storylines), it’s likely she is being set up for something major. In the original Infinity Gauntlet comic storyline, Nebula is able to successfully take the Gauntlet from Thanos and ends up undoing the death and destruction he had committed (kind of a galactic “CTRL+Z”).
However, Nebula herself ended up being a major threat to the universe, and it took an unexpected team-up of Thanos and various heroes to keep her from taking over the universe! If the MCU goes this route, then we may already know the next major villain after Thanos is defeated.
Know of any Infinity Gauntlet MCU Easter eggs we missed? Or maybe you know where the Soul Stone is? Be sure to sound off in the comments!
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