Of all of the McGuffins in the Marvel Universe, none are more powerful than the Infinity Stones. Being the concentrated power of celestial beings, these stones (or gems as they're sometimes called) can give its user exponential strength. However, it's not until they're placed into the Infinity Gauntlet that they can reach their true and devastating potential. This object is the main driving force of the MCU and with the seeds being planted in Captain America: The First Avenger, we are all anxiously waiting for Thanos to finally get his hands on all of the stones in time for Avengers: Infinity War.
Based on the now-legendary Marvel mini-series Infinity Gauntlet, it will feature the object of the same name in action and wielded by the biggest threat that our heroes have ever faced. However, Thanos isn't the only Marvel character to have ever had the Gauntlet or Infinity Stone for that matter. In fact, many of Marvel's heroes at one point or another held the most powerful items in the planet and used them for various reasons. There were plenty of other characters who also got their shot at it, and we'll be looking into them below. Read on for 15 characters you never knew had an Infinity Gem.
15 SANTA CLAUS
Perhaps the most ridiculous time where the Infinity Gauntlet was used was in a very special comic called Marvel Holiday Spectacular. This Christmas special showcased our favorite jolly old figure discovering that his flying reindeer were actually Skrulls. Not being able to use them, he needed some help to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. He then asks for the Infinity Gauntlet from the Illuminati, who simply agree for some reason.
Naturally, Santa goes crazy with power and it's up to the Illuminati, who first agreed to these shenanigans, to stop him. However, the fight doesn't end until Namor chucks a snowball at Santa and knocks the Gauntlet off. From then on, Iron Man just gives St. Nick some robotic reindeer -- something that could've been done earlier to prevent the entire problem from happening.
After the threats in the Marvel Universe continued to grow, some of the most brilliant minds came together and decided that it was time to do something about it. Henceforth, the group known as the Illuminati was created, containing people like Iron Man, Black Bolt, and Charles Xavier.
Their primary purpose was to prevent the Infinity Gauntlet from being used again, so they hid each gem separately (one for each member). Charles Xavier's stone was lost for a while, though, because he died. Thankfully, it was revealed in New Avengers Vol 3 #3 that he actually gave the location of the gem to Beast and had the powerful mutant take his spot on the Illuminati. This revelation came just in time too, as there was a cataclysmic event involving the collision of two worlds going on.
13 INVISIBLE WOMAN
In the earlier days of the Infinity Gems, they were used by beings known as Elders of the Universe in order to destroy Galactus. However, it didn't work out well for them, and the end result was a black hole where the gems were thrown in. Unfortunately, the time came where they needed to be retrieved, and so it was up to Silver Surfer, Mr. Fantastic, and Invisible Woman to get the job done.
Unfortunately, in Silver Surfer Vol 3 #16, Invisible Woman was taken over by one of these gems and had a dark persona known as Malice come about (again). It was up to the other two heroes to deal with her, and luckily, they managed to win out in the end. That said, it was later revealed to be the work of another benevolent force.
12 THE IN-BETWEENER
Galactus wasn't exactly the most beloved cosmic entity in the Marvel Universe, and he made a lot of enemies by devouring people and planets. One foe, in particular, concocted a special plan that would result in him killing the Eater of Planets, and his name was the In-Betweener.
His scheme involved Invisible Woman being possessed by one of the stones so that he could take them for himself in Silver Surfer Vol 3 #18-19. The heroes then had to call on beings known as Master Order and Lord Chaos in order to take down the In-Betweener before he let the power go to his head. The conflict ended with the In-Betweener keeping one of the Gems, but the rest being distributed among the Elders of the Universe.
11 THE GRANDMASTER AND THE COLLECTOR
As confusing as comics may be, there is a timeline where you can trace many things, including the Infinity Gems. After the In-Betweener was defeated and the Gems given to the Elders of the Universe, they didn't appear for a while until Thanos decided that he wanted to wipe the world of all life to impress Lady Death in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline.
Of the beings that wielded these gems, two of them were the Grandmaster and the Collector -- both beings who have or will appear in the MCU. Despite their immense power in the comics, they were no match for the Mad Titan himself, and he forcefully took all of the Gems to form the Infinity Gauntlet and wreck all of the Marvel heroes.
10 IRON MAN (ULTIMATE UNIVERSE)
Believe it or not, Iron Man had an Infinity Stone in Earth-616 and was even the first human to wield the Gauntlet. However, that event is not the one we'll be focusing on here. Instead, we're taking a look at Iron Man from the Ultimate Universe and how he also had an Infinity Gem.
In Ultimate Comics Ultimates #27, the Dark Ultimates were seeking the Infinity Gems to take over the world. However, Tony Stark hid one of them very well: inside his brain. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before it was discovered by Quicksilver where he was stashing this Gem, and it was eventually surgically removed by none other than Reed Richards, who had his own sinister plans for all of the stones. Everything went crazy shortly after that.
9 MR. FANTASTIC
The Infinity Stones are powerful objects, and there are those who will try to use them responsibly, and other who will try to use them to gain the upper hand. When the Illuminati first gathered the Gems, they were handed to Mr. Fantastic. One would think that an arrogant do-gooder like Fantastic would try to do something stupid with so much power. Thankfully, that's not what happens.
With the threat of the Gauntlet being used again, Mr. Fantastic simply tries to use their power to destroy them in New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #2. Despite this, the Gems were not able to be destroyed and they were instead divided among the Illuminati members as a result. The Avengers even got a big scolding from one of the Watchers.
8 CAPTAIN AMERICA
We briefly mentioned a big event that involved two Earths colliding with one another. This occurred in New Avengers Vol 3 #1. There was another Earth colliding with Earth-616, and the Illuminati worked tirelessly to get all of the Stones together and use the Gauntlet to prevent it from happening.
When they finally had the Gauntlet ready, they wondered whom to give it to. They ended up deciding that Captain America was the one who should wield it, as he was the one who would use it responsibly. Cap fired energy at the incoming Earth, but the resulting strain was so much that all of the Gems (except the Time Gem) were shattered and the Avengers were moved through time in New Avengers Vol 3 #3. No one knows what became of the Time Gem.
7 THE HOOD
If you're not familiar with who the Hood is, then don't beat yourself up -- not a lot of people do. He was a small scale villain who got his powers by killing a demon that worked for Dormammu. He resorted to stealing diamonds and making a quick buck, as he entered into the glamorous life of villainy.
However, his career as a thief grew to the extent that he wanted the Infinity Gems. Cleverly gaining intel about their location, he made his way around the world to find them in Avengers Vol 4. He eventually attacked the Red Hulk and drew the attention of the Avengers though, despite having only three of the six Gems. He was stopped before he could complete the Gauntlet and gain unlimited power.
6 SHIELD (ULTIMATE UNIVERSE)
SHIELD has been known to interfere with many Marvel Comics events over time (for better or for worse), but sometimes their meddling gets a little out of hand. In Ultimate Comics Ultimates #19, it was revealed that four of the Infinity Gems were being hidden in a few of their facilities. Considering that there were 8 in total as far as the Ultimate Universe goes, anyone who wanted them would be in for a wild ride.
As you may have already guessed, despite SHIELD's efforts, the gems were still stolen by the likes of Modi and Commander Crimson. At that point, the Gems were up in the air and it became a race against time to see who could get the Infinity Gauntlets (yes I said Gauntlets) up and running first.
Because of how popular the Infinity Gauntlet storyline was, Marvel created a lot of different versions of that arc, mostly in the form of What-Ifs? There was one that saw Silver Surfer take the Gauntlet, another that showed Thanos gain more power, and one that followed the Fantastic Four aptly titled What If: Newer Fantastic Four.
In this one-shot, the Fantastic Four had disappeared due to Thanos using the Gauntlet. Then, Iron Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spider-Man became the new Fantastic Four and worked with Adam Warlock to take down Thanos. This plan ended with Wolverine cutting off Thanos's arm, and Spider-Man then picked up the Gauntlet. He then used it to set reality back to the way it was, while being given the option of reviving Uncle Ben. As most Spider-Man stories go, Peter Parker chose to do the responsible thing and not change anything about the world.
4 ADAM WARLOCK
Everything has an origin and that includes the Infinity Stones. Despite how prevalent they are in Marvel's history nowadays, they weren't always a part of that universe. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until Adam Warlock was integrated into the Marvel Universe that we got our first look at these new objects.
In Marvel Premiere #1, Adam Warlock was given the first Infinity Stone (called Soul Gems at the time) and he wore it on his head. From then on, he was destined to help the Avengers fight Thanos and restore balance to the world. However, Adam Warlock was not a perfect individual and had a darker side that tried to seize control of the Gauntlet for himself. Because Adam Warlock will not be present in Avengers: Infinity War, it remains to be seen what his role in the MCU will be.
Yes, you're reading this correctly. Darkseid from the DC Universe actually had possession of all of the Infinity Stones for a time. In the JLA/Avengers crossover, the Avengers and Justice League were dealing with a massive misunderstanding that led to them fighting one another. Meanwhile, Thanos and Darkseid were plotting on how to get rid of the heroes. One particular instance showed the Gauntlet falling into Darkseid's hands.
After he put it on, he simply scoffed, deemed it worthless, and tossed it out. While this was a show of Darkseid's power, it is also important to note that the Gauntlet doesn't work in other universes. It can only function in the universe that it was created in. Still, the scene gave a massive sense of scale when comparing Darkseid to the Mad Titan.
2 DOCTOR DOOM
Victor Von Doom is a criminal mastermind, but one that has understandable motivations for what he does. He managed to conquer his home of Latveria and actually rule it to the benefit of the public. He's not a bad leader and seeks to benefit the Earth, albeit in his own Doom-y way.
He ended up joining the Future Foundation after the death of Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four #600. Being a valiant fighter, Doom ended up giving his life for the world in FF #13-14. However, he didn't die and woke up in a strange new world. It was there that he discovered two Infinity Gauntlets and went to the universe of one of them to create an entirely new place. He was eventually brought back to Earth in FF #23.
1 BLACK PANTHER
When Doctor Doom got his grubby little hands on the powers of the Beyonder and created Battleworld, it seemed that there was no way for Marvel's heroes to overthrow him. Thankfully, there were forces at work to help them out, and that included the deceased Doctor Strange, as well as the rest of the members of the super-powerful Illuminati.
Black Panther and Namor discovered a hideout created by Strange in Secret Wars #6. It was there that Strange had a fully completed Infinity Gauntlet that could be used in Battleworld. Black Panther then used its power to take the fight directly to Doom. Together, with the help of the rest of the Marvel heroes, they win the battle and Black Panther throws himself back in time.
Have any other characters used an Infinity Stone? Let us know about them in the comments section!