In Guardians of the Galaxy, Quill only survives holding the Power Stone because he has Celestial blood.

In Avengers: Endgame, Hulk uses the Infinity Gauntlet absorbing the intense gamma radiation because he can, but he suffers severe damage (which that alone is a post - why? He was "designed" to absorb gamma and supposedly no upper limit to the amount of power he can absorb - but I digress).

But Stark... he's just human with no special abilities, well - besides being a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.

Yet, he uses all 6 Stones simultaneously wielding the Infinity Nano Gauntlet and doesn't instantly evaporate as we have seen with other beings.

Is this lazy writing or is there a plausible explanation besides "nanotechnology was specially designed to help Tony Stark but was disabled for Hulk."

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    FWIW I’d be surprised if this wasn’t a dupe but for the life of me I couldn’t find it.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 4:05
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    You might want to watch the ending of Endgame again. You seem misinformed about the effects the gauntlet had on Tony Stark. Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 22:22
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    I might be misremembering but I do believe the Hulk stated the radiation is "mostly" gamma. This would help explain why the Hulk does take damage from it.
    – Falc
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 15:59
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    @Falc "Smart Hulk: We don't. But the radiation's mostly gamma. It's like...uh...I was made for this."
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 16:28
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    If Tony Stark using the gauntlet is a spoiler, how is Hulk using the gauntlet not a spoiler?
    – Gertsen
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


You're making a few faulty assumptions/comparisons in this question which is why this looks to be confusing you.

  • Quill might have only been able to hold the Power Stone for as long as he did because he is half Celestial but note here that he is touching the raw Stone whereas Tony has a protective shield between him and the Stone. Also note that as far as I can remember we've not seen any other Infinity Stone cause the same effect as the Power Stone so that is probably limited to just that one.

  • I explore the difference between Tony and Hulk in my answer to that question here. In short though it appears that Hulk instantly tries to do his snap and his fighting the Stones whereas Tony waits and his snap has to do less. You also have to remember that ultimately Tony was a lot more damaged than Hulk by comparison as well.

  • Doesn't instantly evaporate like other beings? Like what beings? Red Skull? Well we know he didn't evaporate but was transported to Vormir. Those we see in Guardians of the Galaxy? Well again like Quill they are touching the Stone directly. If you compare it to the group sharing the power well they don't evaporate instantly either.

Tony can wield the Nano Gauntlet with all the Infinity Stones because that is what the Nano Gauntlet and his suit are designed to do. To harness the power of the Stones and to absorb their power to ease the pain on the wearer. You can see this as the Stone's power lines go all around the suit and it seems to be decaying/wearing down before his Snap. This makes sense as well as we have seen throughout the series people can touch the Infinity Stones if they are properly encased: Orb, Scepter, Tesseract etc.

On top of that he doesn't actually touch any Stone directly and only the Power Stone really seems to have the power to disintegrate you in touch. Take the Soul Stone, for example, which we've seen various people touch with their bare hands including Clint in Avengers: Endgame.

The other main thing you're forgetting is that the effects of holding an Infinity Stone and it damaging you are never shown to be instant. There's always a gap between holding it and dying. In this case that is what happens, Tony does appear to be in pain from wielding the Stones but is containing it/holding it back so he can do the Snap. The effects afterwards on Tony of performing the Snap are clear to anyone who saw the film.

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    Don't forget that Dr. Strange has the Time Stone on a necklace. I think I even remember him rubbing the stone, directly, at times. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:19
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    @computercarguy I don’t think that contradicts anything I’ve written does it?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:22
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    Nope, just adding another example of "not instant death" when touching an infinity stone. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:23
  • I agree with this answer, but also feel that there is an air of "easy" writing with respect to everything about the nanobots. It's much more of a leap to buy all the things we see the nanobots doing while also being limited to Iron Man's suit in the first place than it is to accept that the nanobots can do all that, without being widespread, and can also buffer the Infinity Stones. This application of the nanobots should not be the one that shatters suspension of disbelief.
    – Upper_Case
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:40
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    @Parrotmaster "Take the Soul Stone, for example, which we’ve seen various people touch with their bare hands including Clint in Avengers: Endgame."
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 10:27

Normal humans can handle Infinity Stones that are properly encased.

  • Handling the Tesseract (which itself encases the Space Stone, but not in a human-safe way) with modest amounts of protective equipment (briefcase, tongs).
  • Handling the Scepter (which encases the Mind Stone) directly.

So it's not really a stretch that Tony could devise a gauntlet that would protect humans.

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