So where did Marvel's magical Infinity Stones actually come from? You would think that's a pivotal question, since the cosmic gems have shaped the billion-dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe, and are regularly mentioned alongside Thanos, the biggest bad Marvel has to offer. But with The Avengers: Infinity War uniting the Stones to make the movie's villain the greatest threat in the galaxy, even fans of the comics may be surprised to learn their true origin.
It's hard to imagine that weapons capable of granting all the superpowers the Infinity Stones possess would be made by accident. Even harder to believe that the Infinity Gauntlet wouldn't be a famous relic across the entire universe. But to learn the true origin of Marvel's Infinity Stones means getting rid of expectations.
Thoae eager to see what the next Avengers movies will make of Thanos and his Gauntlet will either be thrilled or underwhelmed... either way, the origin of Marvel's Infinity Stones isn't what you expect.
How The Original "Soul Gems" Entered Marvel Mythology
It's not uncommon for the most iconic or all-powerful comic book trinkets or even characters to come from humble beginnings. Often introduced in smaller roles to serve a standalone plot, it isn't until years later that - through either new storytellers or the original revisiting a past story with a smirk - the "true power" of those one-off story beats or plot devices is revealed. The same goes for the famous Infinity Stones. Or as they were called when they first appeared: Soul Gems.
The first ever appearance of the objects came with the hero Warlock, created to be the perfect evolved human, and given the gift of an object called The Soul Gem, planted in his forehead. It was eventually revealed to be one of a set of six Soul Gems, all of which gained the attention ton of - you guessed it - Thanos, the immortal from Titan who fancied himself a cosmic conqueror. His plan was to combine all of the Soul Gems' power into a single SUPER Soul Gem, capable of destroying entire planets.
All things considered, a fairly standard comic book villain scheme. Thanos was defeated in the end, but both the villain's impact and the magic jewels sparked the imagination of writer Jim Starlin and artist Ron Lim. And so, Thanos received a new quest - and the Soul Gems became even more important.
Thanos Discovered The Secrets of The Soul Gems
The true beginning of the Infinity Stones story, in which they actually are the combined forces of Time, Space, Power, Reality, Mind, and Soul actually begins in the 1990 two-part series The Thanos Quest. The comic is also responsible for setting up the version of Thanos that would continue through the decades to come. Resurrected by Lady Death herself and imbued with extra superhuman strength and fortitude, the embodiment of death in Marvel's Universe gave Thanos a mission. It's actually the exact same mission Thanos is on in the Infinity War movie: to rebalance the universe by extinguishing half of all life.
But Thanos has a secret he decides not to share with his benefactor and great love, Lady Death. He now knows the Soul Gems are misunderstood, and capable of power unrivaled in the Marvel Universe... thanks to the cosmic being that unintentionally created them.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018