With all the buzz surrounding the first official trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, it seems that Thanos and his trusty Infinity Gauntlet are finally set to grace theaters worldwide after several years of anticipation and speculation. One burning question that remains in the wake of the trailer’s release however, is the degree to which the MCU’s Infinity Gauntlet will mirror its comic book counterpart. It’s made quite clear in the trailer that Thanos hasn’t managed to complete the Gauntlet just yet, but even with the Space, Power and Mind stones in his collection, the footage never really shows any of the cosmic chaos made possible by the superweapon.
It’s likely that Marvel is playing their cards close to their chest, hoping to save the movie’s greatest moments for the theater — but is it possible that Marvel has decided to nerf the Infinity Gauntlet in its cinematic universe? In many ways this would make sense, as some of the frankly overpowered capabilities of the glove may not translate well across mediums, particularly in some of the Gauntlet’s stranger moments — of which there are tons. With that said, let’s take a look 15 of the craziest things you didn’t know the Infinity Gauntlet could do.
15. PUSH UNIVERSES
In the lead up to Secret Wars it was revealed to the Illuminati that several realities were beginning to collide, which would result in something known as an “incursion” — a merging of colliding universes. With several members of the Illuminati — including Iron Man and Mister Fantastic — suggesting that the only way to stop the incursion would be to either destroy the incoming reality or somehow push the two universes apart, Captain America steps up.
Refusing to entertain the idea of destroying a whole reality, Captain America instead attempts the impossible — using an Infinity Gauntlet to push apart the two colliding realities. While Cap does succeed, the Gauntlet is severely damaged, merely postponing the incursion rather than stopping it altogether — though writer Jonathan Hickman has since suggested that it was Cap’s inability to use the Gauntlet and not the Gauntlet itself that resulted in his failure.
14. PROTECT ITSELF
Although the Infinity Gauntlet and its six comprising Gems may appear to be completely inanimate, the Gems have shown the opposite to be true on occasion. Appearing to be at least somewhat sentient, the Infinity Gems have displayed a strong sense of self-preservation and even an agenda at one point — which is what allowed Adam Warlock to unite the Gems in Infinity Gauntlet.
Using their respective powers to ensure their continued survival, the Gems cannot be destroyed by conventional means. Even the great Reed Richards failed to dispose of them, hoping to use the Gauntlet to wish the Gems out of existence. Unfortunately for the Marvel Universe, this seems to be against “the rules”, so it looks like the Infinity Gems are here to stay.
13. TURN GODS TO STONE
Arguably even more formidable than Thanos during her brief time with the Infinity Gauntlet, Nebula is a true force to be reckoned with. After defeating Thanos and taking control of the Gauntlet, Nebula comes face to face with the cosmic entities that the Mad Titan had previously captured, engaging in a fierce battle in the process.
Surviving a combined attack from the gods — each of whom are powerful enough to destroy the universe alone — Nebula regroups and gains the upper hand, tapping into the “power infinite” and unlocking the full potential of the Gauntlet. With one final, cataclysmic blast, Nebula manages to defeat the cosmic entities by turning them to stone — besting several of the universe’s founders in one fell swoop while placing the terrifying capabilities of the Infinity Gauntlet on full display.
12. FORCE LAUGHTER
Despite being a deranged, murderous anti-hero with little regard for human life, Deadpool #250 delivered a surprisingly affecting issue for the character during his “Death of Deadpool” arc. In a story titled “Deadpool Roasts the Marvel Universe”, the Merc with a Mouth manages to steal the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos himself, using it to create a roast of Marvel’s most popular heroes.
Unintentionally creating a roast for himself instead of Marvel’s other heroes, several characters including Thor, Spider-Man and even Howard the Duck begin taking turns roasting him. During the set, Deadpool begins to ruminate on the darkest moments of his life, imploring the crowd to laugh with him because “nothing matters”. Deadpool uses the Infinity Gauntlet to force the crowd into hysterical laughter, almost causing them to laugh themselves to death, before relenting and returning the Gauntlet back to Thanos.
11. ALLOWS ITS WEARER TO BECOME THE UNIVERSE
One of the most dangerous aspects of the Infinity Gauntlet — besides it’s host of reality warping capabilities, of course — is the unpredictability with which it operates. While it can be controlled to a certain degree, it takes a highly advanced being to be able to take full control of it.
While Thanos fits the bill in this regard, his rapidly increasing level of cosmic power eventually comes back to haunt him when he annihilates Eternity and transcends his physical form. With the Infinity Gauntlet answering Thanos’ subconscious desire for further power, his energy is dispersed across reality, causing him to become one with the Universe. Now in his most powerful form, the Mad Titan’s victory is short-lived, as Nebula is able to pry the Gauntlet from his unconscious body, reverting Thanos back to his corporeal form.
10. SPLIT SOULS
One of the most important characters in the history of the Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock is a major player in several of the stories revolving around the cosmic weapon — and was one of the few characters in the Marvel Universe able to throw a wrench in an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos’ plans.
A character with Superman-level power, Warlock is a god-tier hero – and that’s before he gets his hands on the Infinity Gems. Upon coming into possession of the golden glove during the climax of “The Infinity Gauntlet”, Warlock inadvertently banishes all good and evil from his soul in an attempt to become a being of pure logic. This good and evil soon materialises as two separate beings however — the seemingly benevolent (but ultimately dangerous) “Goddess”, and the cruel and sadistic “Magus”, who both return as a persistent thorn in Adam Warlock’s side.
9. UNLIMITED TRANSMUTATION
When people talk about the Infinity Gauntlet’s ability to do practically anything its wearer desires, it’s likely that this is one of the powers they have in mind. A skill demonstrated primarily by Thanos throughout the “Infinity Gauntlet” saga, the Gauntlet allows its wearer to alter the state of any and all matter, essentially turning one object or organism into something else entirely.
Thanos’ unbridled hubris makes this power a particular favorite of his — enabling him to defeat many of Marvel’s most powerful heroes in humiliating fashion. He turns Thor to glass before shattering him, suffocates Cyclops by materialising a clear block around his head, turns Wolverine’s adamantium bones to rubber and even transforms Nova into thousands of children’s building blocks just to name a few.
8. REVERSE ITS OWN ACTIONS
While the vast majority of stories featuring the Infinity Gauntlet tend to be grandiose and ambitious in scale, one of the downfalls of the Gauntlet as a plot device is the impermanence of the chaos caused by the golden glove. Whether all of Earth’s heroes die, half the universe is wiped out, or reality itself is completely re-written, it’s almost guaranteed that the consequences of the Gauntlet’s use will be erased by a triumphant hero at the end of the story via the weapon’s built-in redo button.
The Gauntlet’s infinite control over space, time and reality means it can do — and subsequently undo — pretty much anything. While this gives writers the freedom to find creative and brutal ways to temporarily reshuffle the Marvel Universe, it’d probably be a much more intimidating presence if the consequences of the Gauntlet’s use were still intact after the story’s climax.
7. CREATE A NEW UNIVERSE
While the Infinity Gauntlet is known primarily for its unlimited destructive capabilities, it has just as much creative potential as it does destructive — although the things created by the Gauntlet usually facilitate further chaos. It’s been stated several times over that the Infinity Gauntlet only works in its universe of origin, but this has come under scrutiny several times due to its proven ability to affect other universes on occasion — and even create new ones altogether.
Doctor Doom is just one of the characters shown to be capable of creating a whole new universe, even taking an empty reality and shaping it to his will by separating science and magic in one particular story. It’s doubtful this ability will appear in Avengers: Infinity War however, as it just seems too unfathomably powerful an ability to convincingly depict on screen.
6. CORRUPT ITS WEARER
Much like the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Infinity Gauntlet imbues its wielder with such incredible knowledge and power that it’s almost impossible not to be overcome by the sheer magnitude of its influence. After all, being able to see through space and time, create and destroy at will and understand the universe on a cosmic level is likely give its wearer an entirely different perspective on the universe and its inhabitants.
The Infinity Gauntlet has almost corrupted several of its wielders over the years, most notably having an effect on both Iron Man and Captain America — who luckily managed to resist its power. The same can’t be said for Silver Surfer though, who’s corrupted by the Gauntlet’s power in What if… the Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet?
5. CREATE A COSMIC PRISON
Although the ability to create a prison might not seem like the most potent power in the Gauntlet’s repertoire on paper, Thanos proves otherwise during his tyrannical reign of terror in “Infinity Gauntlet”. As Thanos lays waste to the universe and its desperate heroes, the most ancient and powerful entities existing in the multiverse begin to take notice, springing into action against the Mad Titan.
These entities — which include Eternity, Galactus, Master Order and Lord Chaos just to name a few — are swiftly defeated by Thanos and his Gauntlet, and subsequently become trapped in a cosmic prison cell that floats just above Thanos’ throne. Able to contain beings that are physical manifestations of the universe itself, the Gauntlet’s ability to hold its enemies is no joke, and may serve as one of its most impressive, understated feats to date.
4. SWALLOW LIVING BEINGS
One of the more stranger things about the Infinity Gems that often goes unmentioned is that they each appear to contain their own separate plane of existence, or at least that appears to be the case in Infinity Gauntlet #6.
After Nebula manages to usurp Thanos as wielder of the Gauntlet during the story’s climax, she’s met with resistance from a determined Adam Warlock, who manages to use her own weapon against her in rather spectacular fashion. Implanting himself within the “Soul World” — which exists inside the Soul Gem itself — Warlock calls out to the other Infinity Gems to unite, briefly giving him enough power to remove the glove from Nebula’s hand before returning to our reality to confiscate the Gauntlet from Nebula.
3. ALLOWS OMNIPRESENCE
The kind of immense power that separates man from god, the Infinity Gauntlet’s ability to bestow omnipresence upon its user is easily one of its most intimidating party tricks. Allowing its wearer to exist in multiple places at the same time, there’s no hiding from an omnipresent being — meaning any secret plans to defeat the Gauntlet’s wielder have likely already been heard and planned for well in advance.
In fact, Marvel Holiday Spectacular #1 features one notable character in particular who attempted to use omnipresence to his advantage — Santa Claus. After making the horrific discovery that his reindeer are actually Skrulls, Santa pleads with the Illuminati to let him use the Gauntlet’s omnipresence — hoping to use its power to deliver his toys on time. Santa is soon consumed by the Gauntlet’s power and attacks the Illuminati, who are forced to subdue the not-so-jolly Saint Nick.
2. DESTROY ETERNITY
In the hierarchy of the Marvel Universe’s cosmic entities, Eternity sits near the very top, serving as the leader of the other entities as well as the physical embodiment of the multiverse itself. This makes Eternity infinitely powerful, with his destruction spelling doom for the entire multiverse.
Nevertheless, the power of the Infinity Gauntlet surpasses that of even Eternity, with more than one character managing to cause physical damage to the abstract entity using the weapon. Not only is Thanos able to easily dispatch the cosmic god in Infinity Gauntlet #5, but Adam Warlock takes it one step further in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1. After Eternity and the other cosmic entities demand that Warlock gives up the Gauntlet following the events of “Infinity Gauntlet”, an insulted Warlock refuses to surrender, and manages to bring Eternity to its knees with one blast from the Gauntlet.
1. INSTANT GENOCIDE
Anyone familiar with Thanos as a character is probably aware of his unhealthy obsession with Mistress Death — his desire to win her heart being a major driving force for the villain. Learning of Death’s dissatisfaction with the universe’s “imbalance” — particularly due to the rapidly increasing population of humans — Thanos decides to try and win her over by restoring this balance.
Resolving to snuff out half the life in the universe, Thanos does so with a simple snap of his fingers, surprising even the devilish Mephisto. Making the rest of the powers on this list seem obsolete by comparison, being able to extinguish life on such a massive scale with merely a thought is an unsettling concept — and it’s surprising Thanos didn’t attempt to use this power again in the future.
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