Thanos Using Infinity Stones In The Battle of Titan
Returning to Titan using the Space Stone, Thanos finds himself faced with a group of Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. What follows is the most extended action sequence involving Thanos in the entire film, with the Mad Titan demonstrating his mastery of all the Infinity Stones he has so far acquired - Power, Space, Reality, and there are even a few glimpses of his using the Soul Stone. Given the sheer number of examples during the Battle of Titan, we'll look at each Stone one at a time rather than in the actual sequence they're used. We'll then explore the occasions Thanos combines the Stones, to devastating effect.
The Power Stone, the first Infinity Stone that Thanos acquired, appears to be the one he finds easiest to use. By this point in the film, Thanos is beginning to experiment with it, even projecting a flurry of energy beams at Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man. Concussive waves of power destroy the spacecraft Iron Man has crushed him with, knock out Star-Lord, Drax and Nebula, and dispel Doctor Strange's Mirror Dimension attack. Late in the battle, Thanos uses the Power Stone to generate some sort of force-field, protecting the Infinity Gauntlet from one of Stark's attacks; it's the first time we've ever seen the Power Stone used like this. There's one scene in which the Mad Titan enhances his own already-prodigious physical strength with the Power Stone, as he punches Tony Stark.
Thanos pulls off some impressive stunts with the Reality Stone as well. He first creates another Reality Cloak, showing Titan as it was before tragedy struck. Then, during the heat of battle, he uses the Reality Stone to convert parts of the crashed spaceship into bats, which pursue Iron Man (presumably in accordance with Thanos's will; unless he deliberately knew of a life-form that would be drawn to metallic armor like that). Finally, when fighting Doctor Strange, Thanos is able to compress debris into a sort of beam that he targets at the sorcerer.
It's clear that Thanos is beginning to develop tactics in which he combines the power of the Infinity Stones. He blends the Space and Power Stones to compress explosions caused by Stark, and then redirect them back towards Iron Man. More spectacularly, these two Infinity Stones are used to pull one of the moons of Titan towards the planet, and to tear it apart as a devastating weapon. Thanos combines the Soul and Power Stones during his battle with Doctor Strange, with the Soul Stone allowing him to identify the real Strange, while the Power Stone blasts him away. He then wields the Space and Reality Stones in concert to pull Strange towards him, while rotating the ground beneath his feet. Finally, Strange intervenes to prevent Thanos killing Tony Stark in a coup de grace that would have involved all four Infinity Stones being used at once.
It's interesting to note that the Soul Stone, Thanos's latest acquisition, is the least used of all the Infinity Stones during this confrontation. There's a mysterious flare of the Soul Stone's power when Thanos has knocked out Star-Lord, Drax, and Nebula, but it's unclear what that does. It's surprising that we don't get to see the Soul Stone in action, given the build-up to the mystery of its location. The official Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic describes the Soul Stone as "the biggest threat" of all the Infinity Stones, so Thanos has presumably only begun to explore its power by the end of the movie.
Finally, the battle done, Thanos departs Titan via the Space Stone, heading straight to Wakanda.
Thanos Using Infinity Stones In The Battle of Wakanda
Thanos jumps straight into another fight, this time taking on the combined might of the Avengers. Unfortunately, unlike Iron Man and Doctor Strange, the heroes have no idea what they're dealing with; they're (mostly) easily defeated by the Mad Titan. Again, this action sequence shows Thanos increasingly confident in his use of the Infinity Stones, and at times it's hard to work out what he's done as he effortlessly disposes of heroes like Black Widow and Falcon. Again, we'll focus on this Stone by Stone, although this time round Thanos seems to focus on the Space Stone. That's exciting to see, given up till now the Space Stone has largely been used as a means of transportation.
Thanos's most interesting trick during the Battle of Wakanda is to render Bruce Banner out of phase, so he goes right through Thanos and then solidifies inside a rock. Presumably this is done by pushing apart the space between Banner's molecules, then pulling them back together. The Mad Titan then wields the Space Stone to knock out Falcon (there's a surge of blue energy), to deflect and defeat War Machine, and - most curiously - to push through Scarlet Witch's attack. It's possible he made a tactical error in choosing the Space Stone rather than the Power Stone this time around, but by the time he realized he was already committed.
Thanos is far less creative in his use of the Power Stone on Wakanda, swatting Captain America and Bucky away, deflecting Okoye's Vibranium spear, and knocking her aside as well. There's also one ambiguous scene in which he knocks Black Widow into the ground and covers her up with rocks, but it's unclear whether this is the Reality Stone, the Space Stone, or even both blended together He only exercises the Time Stone once, to reverse time around Vision and thus avert the Mind Stone's destruction. Given Wong and Mordo feared Strange was breaking the space-time continuum when he used the Time Stone on an apple back in Doctor Strange, it's difficult to know exactly what this use of the Time Stone did to the fabric of reality.
The Battle of Wakanda doesn't really see Thanos use the Infinity Stones in combination - at least until Thor's arrival. Here, the light effects suggest that Thanos's energy beam directed at Thor actually used all six Infinity Stones at once; they didn't have any success against the wrathful Thunder God, giving a sense of just how powerful Stormbreaker truly is. All six Infinity Stones are then used to perform the "snap," an act of such magnitude that it permanently damaged both Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet itself. The Mad Titan is still able to use more than one Infinity Stone at a time, though, triggering the Space, Soul, Time, and Reality Stones as he departs Wakanda. It's unclear to what effect these Stones were used, but perhaps that will be explained when we see Thanos's state of health in Avengers 4.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019