The Power Stone
Let's close this piece by examining just how Thanos used each individual Infinity Stone. First up, the Power Stone, acquired by Thanos a week before the events of Avengers: Infinity War begin. This is the one the Mad Titan appears to have mastered the best. Thanos used the Power Stone fairly traditionally on the Asgardian ship, torturing Thor and then destroying the vessel in the manner the Celestials used millennia ago. He seemed to like the idea of using the Stones for torture, combining the Power and Space Stones to leave Nebula in agony. During the battle on Titan, Thanos projects a flurry of power beams at various Avengers, as well as some powerful concussive waves. Late in the battle, he's able to project some sort of force-field (a trick Thanos repeats in Wakanda), and enhance his own strength to deal a stunning blow to Iron Man. Twice on Titan, Thanos chose to use the Power Stone in concert with the Space Stone, even shattering one of Titan's moons and drawing the debris to the planet. Finally, on Earth Thanos tosses Captain America aside using the Power Stone.
The Space Stone
Thanos predominantly used the Space Stone for teleportation, jumping from one world to another with staggering ease. No sooner had he acquired it, though, than the Mad Titan began innovating new approaches; the most remarkable was when he froze Loki in space, preventing the Trickster God from slitting his throat. Thanos swiftly combined the Space Stone with the Power Stone as a method of torture, showing a sadistic level of creativity. He evidently liked that combination, using the Space and Power Stones in concert twice during the battle of Titan - most notably when he dragged a moon out of orbit. There was one occasion where Thanos also combined the Space and Reality Stones, drawing Doctor Strange towards him. Finally, it's during the Battle of Wakanda that Thanos shows his most unusual use of the Space Stone, apparently pushing Bruce Banner's molecules apart so as to make him briefly intangible.
The Reality Stone
Thanos's usage of the Reality Stone was quite remarkable. He showed a particular talent for creating immersive "Reality Cloaks," real enough that Gamora briefly believed she'd murdered him. He was also able to effortlessly transform Drax and Mantis into bricks and ribbons, a trick that the Titan didn't actually repeat during the battles on Titan and Wakanda. Thanos briefly used the Reality Stone together with the Space Stone in order to capture Doctor Strange, but then seems to have neglected this particular Infinity Stone.
The Soul Stone
As terrible a price as Thanos paid to acquire the Soul Stone, he didn't actually use it much. There's only one scene in which it was clear what he did with the Soul Stone, when Thanos used it to identify the true Doctor Strange, launching an attack upon the real sorcerer with the Power Stone.
The Time Stone
Thanos only used the Time Stone on its own once, to turn back time and prevent the destruction of the Mind Stone. However, with Avengers 4 dealing with time travel, it's sure to be very important in the sequel.
The Mind Stone
Strikingly, Thanos never actually used the Mind Stone independently at all; but then, as soon as he acquired that final Infinity Stone, he had only one goal in mind - to snap his fingers, and bring his twisted version of salvation to the universe.
All six Infinity Stones were used together to project a devastating beam attack against Thor, albeit an unsuccessful one. Thanos then combined their power to erase half the life in the universe at once.
It's clear that Thanos is learning the power of the Infinity Stones over the course of Avengers: Infinity War. Although he's done his research - the Mad Titan knows the right-hand gestures to use the Time Stone in order to reverse time - the Stones he really masters are the ones he first acquired. The Soul Stone's power is relatively unexplored, and he never has an opportunity to explore the Mind Stone's abilities. It will be interesting to see how Thanos wields the Infinity Stones in Avengers 4. The Infinity Gauntlet is damaged, so it's possible it will be harder for him to synergize the Stones' capabilities. On the other hand, though, he may well have had time to practice; and thus could have become far more creative.
- 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