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In Captain Marvel we learn that Carol has the power of an Infinity Stone essentially because she was near it when it blew up so the power went into her.

Why did this not kill her?

We've seen many times when people use or wield just one Stone, they get torn apart. Even Peter Quill who was half-Celestial was getting torn apart, just slower than regular humans. And even if she wasn't "wielding" it, I'd assume absorbing the power of an Infinity Stone would be equal to or greater than a lightning bolt or something-it's pure energy.

The only thing that might be relevant to this is that she has Kree blood in her but even so, I don't know anywhere where it says Kree can withstand the power of an Infinity Stone and not get torn apart/die.

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    Just like Banner survived the gamma blast and Rogers survived an experimental serum.. and in IW, when Wanda destroys the power stone, everyone around it survived... so, in short; it’s the power of writing – Shreedhar Jul 3 at 6:04
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    @Shreedhar Funny thing, the weaker the writing, the more power of writing it has. – Misha R Jul 3 at 7:39
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    She does not have Kree blood at the time of the incident. – OrangeDog Jul 3 at 9:59
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    2I don't know anywhere where it says Kree can withstand the power of an Infinity Stone and not get torn apart/die." - See my answer for a more complete explanation but did you watch GotG? Ronan seems to hold the Power Stone fine. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 10:06
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    @TheLethalCarrot No, he absolutely does not. He can only withstand it making direct contact for a few seconds - much like Quill - then jams it into his hammer to siphon its power as needed. – TRose Jul 3 at 16:18
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There are few things at play here, Carol absorbs the energy from the light speed engine that powered the ship not from the Tesseract itself. This energy is then likely less fatal than if she'd absorbed power directly from the Space Stone.

Talos: She wanted you to help us find the core.

Carol: Well, I already destroyed it.

Talos: No, you destroyed the engine. The core that powered it is in a remote location.

Even if she did get the energy directly from the Tesseract, it was specifically designed so that "inferior species" could use the Infinity Stone inside of it. Therefore, the energy from the Space Stone was already safer than if it came directly from it.

...when an inferior species makes direct contact with the Stones, they’re ripped apart by the sheer force of the thing. It’s a glorious and frightening sight. In order to protect these beings, the Stones were given defensive casings: the Orb for the Power Stone, the Scepter for the Mind Stone, the Tesseract for the Space Stone, the Eye of Agamotto for the Time Stone, and”—his voice hardened—“as you know, the Aether for the Reality Stone.”

Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest Vol.1

Lastly, after the accident Yon-Rogg gives his Kree blood to her and Kree blood has regenerative capabilities. This is assuming he’s telling the truth which he appears to be as Carol did have blue blood in the training scene.

Yon-Rogg: That's my blood that's coursing through her veins.

Captain Marvel

Agent Coulson was injected with that, and literally minutes later, his wounds showed signs of cellular regeneration.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2 Episode 7, "The Writing on the Wall"

It's also worth noting that the Kree appear to be able to hold the Infinity Stones perfectly fine without being ripped apart, see Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy, so having their blood would certainly have helped her after the fact.

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    Did they say all stones have insta-kill mode, or just the power stone? – Möoz Jul 3 at 9:02
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    @Möoz "...when an inferior species makes direct contact with the Stones, they’re ripped apart by the sheer force of the thing." - that would imply all of the Stones. However, I think we've only seen it with the Power Stone, though only the Power and Soul Stones are the ones we've seen someone touch outside of a container (excluding Thanos). – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 9:04
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    @OrangeDog You'll note that, that statement mentions all of the Stones apart from the Soul Stone. This is because it was thought lost and so was probably excluded because they didn't know of it. And "You might say it has a certain wisdom." The Soul Stone is certainly a special case but as this question is focusing on the Space Stone I thought an explanation about the Soul Stone wasn't really relevant. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 10:07
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    @OrangeDog It is specifically mentioned as a casing and the Soul Stone is clearly a special case compared to the others. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 10:15
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    @OrangeDog Well no but as it's demonstrably true for the other Stones I don't see why it wouldn't be for the Reality Stone. And as I don't think we'll agree I'll leave the discussion there. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 10:26
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The power discharge that changed her is coming from a broken light speed engine, harnessing power from the Space Stone while the Stone is contained in the Tessaract. The end result of this is clearly that the energy Carol is hit by is changed in some way so as not to be fatal. There is plenty of precedent in the MCU for tools and containers allowing safe(r) handling of Infinity Stones, e.g. Loki's Scepter, the Eye of Agamotto and even the gauntlet itself.

It's also worth noting that her power comes from the Space Stone, but it isn't the power of the Space Stone. She still has her power after the Space Stone is destroyed, and she doesn't appear to be able to teleport (a rather obvious canonical power of the Space Stone).

  • This is a nice answer but would be greatly improved if you edited in some sources for it. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 3 at 8:28

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