Infinity Stones are a set of six immensely powerful gems which, when used together, grant the holder the power of omnipotence. The currently known stones include the Tesseract, the Scepter wielded by Loki, the Aether, the Eye of Agamotto and the Orb. The whereabouts of the remaining stone are unknown.
The Infinity Stones were created out of the concentrated residuum of the six singularities which existed before the Universe came into existence. Due to their immeasurable power, the Stones were only wielded by Celestial beings who used them to eradicate planets altogether. A group of such beings tried to share and control the energy amongst themselves for a while, but were soon consumed by the Stones' power.
Not much is known about their later history. At different points in time, each of them ended up at different places with one of them still missing. The Tesseract came into Odin's possession from where it was once lost and was returned again. The Aether currently rests in the Collector's Museum. The Chitauri Scepter was owned by Thanos at some point but it is currently with Baron von Strucker. The Guardians of the Galaxy handed the Orb over to Nova Corps after defeating Ronan the Accuser.
It is believed that bringing all the Stones together would give one omnipotent power. As such, individuals like Taneleer Tevan and Thanos are on the pursuit of finding all the Infinity Stones.
The Tesseract, often referred to as simply the "cube", is an extremely powerful infinity gem that is a source of unlimited energy. Although its origin is ambiguous, the Tesseract is known to have been kept in Odin's Vault in Asgard, from where it was lost after the Asgardians' war with the Frost Giants.
The Tesseract was discovered by Johan Schmidt, a German officer and then-leader of HYDRA, during the 1940s from a church in Norway. Schimdt then took it back to his base and conducted experiments using the cube with the help of Arnim Zola. Zola and Schmidt were able to create superior weaponry by harnessing the power of the Tesseract to use in their mission of world domination. However, Schmidt's plans were foiled by Steve Rogers who fought and defeated Red Skull aboard a plane. The brawl ended with the cube getting activated. When Schmidt attempted to hold it with his hand, he got incinerated and teleported to a different dimension. It was lost in the sea before the plane crashed with Captain America still in it. The Tesseract was later found and retrieved by Howard Stark while he was searching for Steve's body.
In the modern day, Tony Stark identified the Tesseract from the files brought to him by Agent Phil Coulson before Loki's attack on New York City as the cube whose drawing he stumbled across while going through his father's notes, hinting that Howard conducted his own studies about the Tesseract.
At some point, Howard transferred the Tesseract's possession from himself to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Nick Fury, who was S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director before the organization's fall, recruited Doctor Erik Selvig to study the cube's powers. During one of his experiments, Selvig accidentally opened an inter-dimensional portal through which Loki, who was tasked by Thanos to retrieve the Tesseract, arrived on Earth. Loki's arrival and the succeeding events ultimately led to the Battle of New York City between the Avengers and Loki's Chitauri army. After the battle, Thor took the Tesseract back to Asgard along with Loki as his prisoner.
The Tesseract looks like a translucent glass cube which emits a blue glow.
The Scepter was given to Loki by Thanos for him to use during the Chitauri invasion on Earth. It had an Infinity Stone attached to one of its end which made it more powerful than any ordinary battle staffs and also enabled Loki to imbue anyone by merely nudging the Scepter against the area where their heart is. On arriving at the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, Loki used the Scepter's power to brainwash Hawkeye and Doctor Erik Selvig who then assisted in Loki's escape.
The Scepter was taken from Loki after he was captured in Stuttgart and taken to the Helicarrier by Tony Stark, Captain America, and Thor where Bruce Banner tried to study its powers. The Stone, without any stimulation, exhibited its mind-control powers by making the Avengers argue amongst themselves while an indoctrinated Hawkeye prepared to attack the Helicarrier with his men. Loki took advantage of the strife that followed to escape with the Scepter after killing Agent Coulson.
Before the Battle of New York City, Tony Stark confronted Loki at Stark Tower where Loki tried to control him but Tony's arc reactor prevented the Stone's power from influencing him. Meanwhile, the Chitauri army arrived on Earth commencing the battle. After stopping the invasion, Loki surrendered to the Avengers and Thor took him back to Asgard as a prisoner. The Scepter was taken to a facility known as S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.A.T.I.O.N. to be studied.
Two years later, some time before S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fall, the Scepter was stolen by Baron von Strucker - a HYDRA commander, from S.T.A.T.I.O.N. with the help of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent called Mark Smith who was loyal to him. It was taken to a HYDRA facility in Sokovia where Strucker hoped to study and harness the Scepter's powers with the help of Doctor List. After using it to create weapons Strucker wanted to move on to human-experiments.
Sokovia was in a state of political turmoil and its citizens were leading protests against their government. Strucker promised the protesters powers similar to the Avengers if they volunteered for his experiments. Only two of the volunteers survived the experiments - Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Pietro gained the power of super-speed and Wanda got the abilities of neuro-electric sensitivity and micro-cellular manipulation.
In addition to mind-control, the Scepter allowed Loki to fire blue energy beams from the Stone and was also used as a weapon in close-combat. It also help Loki in opening an inter-dimensional portal to communicate with the Other before infiltrating the palace in Stuttgart. At S.T.A.T.I.O.N., one of the lead scientists - Nicholas Cooper, noticed that the Tesseract exhibited some kind of response when the Scepter was brought near it.
During the war between the Dark Elves and Asgardians that took place many millennia ago, Malekith - leader of the elves - created the Aether out of darkness and sought to unleash it as a weapon to their advantage when the Nine Realms converged. However, his plans were thwarted after being defeated by King Bor and his army. Malekith sacrificed his own army and fled the battleground with his lieutenant, Algrim. Since it could not be destroyed, King Bor hid the Aether inside an isolated stone column in Svartalfheim.
In 2013, Jane Foster passed through an inter-dimensional portal in London, generated as an effect of the imminent convergence, while investigating the strange physical phenomena in an abandoned warehouse. The portal led her to the stone column in Svartalfheim where she unknowingly released the Aether, which she absorbed into her body.
After being informed by Heimdall about Jane's disappearance, Thor came to Earth and took her back to Asgard where she was examined by Odin himself who confirmed that the Aether was inside her body. Awakened by the Aether's presence, Malekith started another attack on Asgard to retrieve it. After the attack, Thor took Jane to Svartalfheim with Loki's help to lure out Malekith and defeat him.
There, Loki tricked Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Jane's body which then merged with Malekith. Jane and Thor returned to London through a portal where Thor engaged in another fight with Malekith. The conflict ended with Thor defeating Malekith and foiling his plan. The Aether was taken by Volstagg and Lady Sif to the Collector as it was considered too dangerous to keep two Infinity Stones at close proximity in Asgard.
Unlike the other stones, the Aether appears in a fluid state. The Aether has the power to convert matter into dark matter and draw energy from host-bodies.
Not much is known about the early history of the Orb. It was stolen from a vault in the abandoned planet of Morag by Peter Quill, who escaped with it to the planet Xandar, where he tried to sell to someone known as The Broker. At Xandar, Peter was intercepted by Gamora, who was sent by Ronan the Accuser to retrieve the Orb, and two bounty hunters - Rocket Raccoon and Groot - who wanted to capture Quill to get the bounty declared on him by Yondu Udonta.
The four of them were imprisoned by the Nova Corps in The Kyln. While in the prison, Gamora revealed that Ronan wanted to use the Orb to destroy several planets starting with Xandar, but she did not plan on giving it to him. The four companions then broke out of the prison along with Drax the Destroyer and traveled to Knowhere to meet Gamora's buyer - the Collector.
The Collector unlocked the Infinity Stone inside the Orb and, as he was explaining its significance to his clients, his assistant tried to grab the Stone with her hand which triggered an explosion. Meanwhile, Ronan arrived at Knowhere with his forces. After the fight that followed, Ronan escaped with the Orb and decided to proceed with his plan of destruction after attaching the Stone to his hammer.
With the help of the Nova Corps, Peter Quill and his companions fought Ronan's army. Towards the end of the fight, Groot sacrificed himself and Ronan's ship crashed on Xandar's ground. Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax then harnessed the power of the Stone to obliterate Ronan. Afterwards, Peter Quill tricked Yondu by giving him a fake Orb and gave the real one, along with the Stone, to the Nova Corps for safe custody.
- A glimpse of the Infinity Gauntlet, a magical glove used in the comics to combine the six stones, kept inside Odin's vault is shown in Thor.
- The Tesseract is based upon an Infinity Gem called the Cosmic Cube which appears in Marvel Comics though it is never addressed by that name in any of the movies.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Guardians of the Galaxy (film)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The Avengers
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Thor: The Dark World
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Captain America: The First Avenger
- ↑ Iron Man 2
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude - This Scepter'd Isle