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With respect to the MCU Infinity Gauntlet (IG) coupled with all 6 Infinity Stones, imagine if there was an operations guide or tutorial on how to use it, both the IG and Stones together. Based on my observations, these are the 3 guidelines which would make up said guide/tutorial:

  1. The Stone must be explicitly activated. It glows/lights up when in use.
  2. Only one Stone can be used at a time with one exception...
  3. The lone exception is the "snap", which requires all 6 Infinity Stones.

That's it. I've seen Endgame only once, thus far, but I don't believe Thanos has ever tried or successfully used 2, 3, 4, or 5 Stones at once. We also haven't seen if there are other feats which can be employed with all 6 Stones, other than the "snap". The IG is treated as something you must activate, as opposed to an extension of your own being.

Looks like MCU Thanos has used more than one stone at a time, at least in Avengers: Infinity War. See answer below for more details.

In the comics, there's no limit on how few or how many of the 6 gems can be used. You can use 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or all 6 at once. Also, my recollection is the IG is always "on". There's no need to activate it. It's as if the powers are integral to your own being.

I can't picture MCU Thanos w/IG and stones performing the same feats as comic book Thanos w/IG and gems, not because MCU Thanos couldn't if he had enough time and study to master its use, but perhaps the MCU places limits on how the IG w/stones are used. Its use is restrictive, basically. Maybe I'm wrong.

Those are my observations.

Is it that MCU Thanos is a novice at using the IG w/stones and hasn't attained mastery knowledge of how to property use both in tandem and has only scratched the surface or the MCU IG w/stones are innately less versatile than the comic book version of the IG w/gems?

  • Your deleted post was mostly correct, but with caveats (1) "*Even if you can only return [...] to the present time [...] we shouldn't expect the timeline to wait for you. *" - If you return to the very moment you left, the timeline doesn't wait, so you can. (2) There is no problem with traveling one-way to the future, as long as you ensure energy conservation (your body cannot just dusappear). (3) It is possible to travel to your past, if you make no changes (no free will) and as long as the fact of your travel already is recorded in history. Only the free will past travel splits the timeline. – safesphere May 21 at 21:25
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First of all, Thanos has used multiple stones at the same time, there just hasn't been that many occasions in which he needed to. As seen during the Battle of Wakanda, he can usually get away with using one stone to dispatch of a normal human, as he did with Okoye, Groot, War Machine, Black Panther, etc.

Thanos using the Power and Soul stones

For example, during his battle with Dr. Strange, he used the Soul and Power stones to break free from Strange's restraining spell. Also, as Thanos was about to kill Tony Stark, he started to use all four Infinity Stones, rather than all six, presumably to make an energy beam. Finally, in general, he uses the Power Stone in conjunction with another stone. I'm sure there's been other occasions, but these sticks out in particular.

Here's my question: Is it that MCU Thanos is a novice at using the IG w/stones and hasn't attained mastery knowledge of how to property use both in tandem and has only scratched the surface or the MCU IG w/stones are innately less versatile than the comic book version of the IG w/gems?

I don't think he's a novice, quite the opposite: When he gets a new stone, he almost instantly knows how to use it, no training montage needed. Whether that's because he just studied the Infinity Stones prior to using them, or if the Mind Stone gave him that knowledge, we don't know for certain. However, we do know that people who don't know how to use an Infinity Stone typically try to use it as a power source. The Tesseract was used as a power source twice before the Avengers got it: Once during WWII by the Nazis, and again in the 90s by the Skrulls. The Skrulls in particular were trying to develop a lightspeed drive. If they knew how to use an Infinity Stone, they could've used the Tesseract directly and completed their mission instantly.

As far as artificial limitations, the exact limitations of the Infinity Stones, the rules that govern them, etc. are never covered in detail in any canon MCU material, as far as I'm aware.

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    “The Skrulls in particular were trying to develop a lightspeed drive. If they knew how to use an Infinity Stone, they could've used the Tesseract directly and completed their mission instantly.” Also if they were able to wield it. We see in Guardians of the Galaxy that just touching the Power Stone can destroy someone. It's not clear how much that applies to the Space Stone when encased in the Tesseract. Loki uses it to escape in Endgame, but then Loki is, roughly speaking, a god. Nick Fury manages to put it in a briefcase with his gloved hand in The Avengers. – Paul D. Waite May 8 at 8:50
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    I think RedSkull got teleported because they were experimenting with the Tesseract, and it was in an "excited" state. Apart from that, we see people directly wielding the soul, time, space, reality stone. Mind stone is handled only by ultron, but even he's able to directly touch it. And so does Thanos actually. Also, even Thanos gets affected by the power stone. So we can safely say that the disintegrating is specific to it. – Stark07 May 8 at 11:11
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    @PaulD.Waite Correction. Just one stone touching a planets surface can eradicate all the life on the planet (as mentioned a few times in guardians 1 AND shown at the very beginning of it). – Thomas May 8 at 16:44
  • As for using the stone directly as a energy source....I always took it so that the kree possibly did NOT recognize the infinity stone as what it really was (due to its encasing as Tesseract). As they seemingly had some knowledge about it later on at least – Thomas May 8 at 16:45

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