WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War
The arrival of Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet showed Marvel's heroes weren't prepared for Avengers: Infinity War. That's a bit ironic, since the Infinity Stones that Thanos uses to actually fuel his famous golden glove have been kicking around the MCU for a decade. Initially thought of as simple plot devices-- treasures for the movie's heroes to chase down, the truth of their awesome power has seen more Avengers killed than any movie before. Fans may assume that those characters will return, but it's not clear how, since not just anyone can use the Gauntlet.
That fact is sure to pique the curiosity of plenty of viewers. The movie explains where Thanos and his mission come from... but the Infinity Gauntlet's true origin may be more important than anyone knew to even expect. The movie's version makes some major changes from the comics, so we'll leave it to fans to decide if the MCU incarnation is even better (it is).
The Comic Book Origin of The Infinity Gauntlet
Casual fans of Marvel Comics, or any comic books in general would probably all assume that the Infinity Gauntlet's origins go back as far as the Stones themselves - crafted by the same all-powerful cosmic being. But the origins of the gauntlet are actually far closer to the present day of Marvel's Universe. Thanos makes his debut with the new device in the first pages of Infinity Gauntlet #1, the story upon which the film is (barely) based, with all six of the Infinity Stones - then 'Soul Gems' - already embedded on the fingers and back. To see Thanos collect those Infinity Stones one by one, readers can seek out Thanos Quest, a story that may not get the same amount of buzz as Gauntlet, but is far more formative to character and mission of Thanos.
Thanos Quest also sees Thanos claiming the Infinity Stones one at a time, essentially with his bare hands. And he uses them without any extra protection or device needed - the Infinity Stones obey the will of their master as soon as they're held. No overwhelming power to worry about, just small gems all in his possession. Only when Infinity Gauntlet begins are the Infinity Stones embedded into the golden gauntlet... which he was already wearing. So despite expectations, the "Infinity Gauntlet" after which the comic is named is just referring to the glove Thanos was wearing when the Marvel creative team decided the Stones should all be on display. He even has a matching, Stone-less glove on his opposite hand.
Needless to say, the Infinity War movie makes the Gauntlet a bit more important.
The Infinity Gauntlet Was Forged By Dwarves
The mystery of who created the Infinity Gauntlet is actually stumbled upon in Infinity War, with few actually asking how Thanos's glove works, or where he got it. Again, some fans will assume that Thanos has acquired the relic from the corners of space, just like the Infinity Stones intended to be set inside of it. And again, that assumption is far more complicated than the truth. When Thor travels to Nidavellir to attain a new axe with which to kill Thanos, he discovers that the famed Dwarven weaponsmiths have abandoned their forges. But the truth is far darker: Thanos has already been to Nidavellir, and murdered every Dwarf who resided there... save one.
That remaining Dwarf is Eitri, the best of them, who personally forged Mjolnir itself countless centuries before. The comic character is brought to life by Peter Dinklage in his secret Infinity War role, and soon tells Thor that he has played a larger part in his tragedy already. It was Eitri who forged the Infinity Gauntlet for Thanos, obviously not that long before the events of Infinity War begin (certainly not the millennia fantasy fans might expect).
It's suggested that Thanos demanded the Gauntlet be forged, capable of containing and channeling the powers of the Infinity Stones, using the rest of the three hundred Dwarves in Nidavellir as collateral. Eitri forged the Gauntlet only he had the skills to make... before Thanos slayed the Dwarves anyway, and plunged Eitri's hands into molten metal.
Another Infinity Gauntlet Could Still Be Made
Marvel Studios did a bit of creative retconning to explain the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin's trophy room, seen during the first Thor movie. That glove was exposed as a fake in Ragnarok, along with the colorful gems embedded into it. The similarities between the two will have to be dismissed without any in-universe explanation, but it may not be the only Infinity Gauntlet ever to enter the MCU. After all, Thanos ruined Eitri's hands to prevent him from making another (or presumably a weapon to defeat him), but the mold for the Gauntlet still remains. The negative of the Infinity Gauntlet is what Thor sees when Eitri confesses his role. So that hardest part of forging it could already be done.
What makes this possibility so compelling is the fact that Thanos appears to ruin his Gauntlet when harnessing the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the universe. After stating that the act has cost him "everything," the Gauntlet is shown to be scorched and melted as if its power has been completely spent. That could mean Thanos would be unable to use the Infinity Stones much, if at all, should some heroes show up on his doorstep. And if a new Infinity Gauntlet must be made to undo Infinity War's shocking ending, Thor knows just where to go.
A small detail that could be the key to the future of the MCU, so fans, like Thor, should keep it in mind.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018