For questions about the Infinity Gems (called the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) are a set of powerful artifacts in the Marvel Universe. Use this tag for questions about these objects in any Marvel universe, along with the [marvel] tag and the relevant work tags. For questions about the Infinity Stones use in conjunction with the [marvel-cinematic-universe] tag.
The Infinity Gems, also called Infinity Stones, are a recurring set of powerful artifacts that have played a significant role in the Marvel Universes. Their number and origins differ depending on the universe in question:
In the mainline Marvel universe, Earth-616, there are 6 gems. These were originally termed "Soul Gems" until Thanos renamed them "Infinity Gems". They are the remnants of one of the first cosmic-level beings to exist, that split itself into 6 pieces out of loneliness.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Earth-1610, there are 8 gems. These were created are various times as the result of powerful natural disasters (e.g. Ragnarok, mass extinctions, etc.)
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are 6 Infinity Stones, that are remnants of singularities that existed before the universe itself was created.
In every universe, the gems/stones are among the most powerful artifacts in existence. Each Stone has a set of unique powers that are granted to its wielder, based on the nature of the gem. In addition, gathering all the gems together produces an even more power artifact, one capable of cosmic-level rewriting of the universe. This artifact almost always take the form of an Infinity Gauntlet, with various slots to house the gems. Preventing villains from collecting and using the gems is a common theme in various Marvel stories.
There are six gems that are common to all three major continuities; each gem has a name and an associated color, though the colors vary between universes. During the Secret Wars event, the gems in Earth-616 were destroyed trying to prevent a multiverse collision (possibly except the Time Gem). Similarly, the gems on Earth-1610 were destroyed during the Ultimates: Disassembled event. It is unknown if any of the Gems survived in the post-Secret Wars comics. The location of the gems in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is given below.
- The Space Gem (616/1610: purple; MCU: blue, housed within the Tesseract1.) Capable of moving objects anywhere in space.
- The Mind Gem (616/1610: blue; MCU: yellow, in Vision's possession). Can take control over the minds and thoughts of others. The MCU version was capable of giving inanimate objects true intelligence.
- The Reality Gem (616/1610: yellow; MCU: red, held as Aether by The Collector). Grants the user immense power to alter reality, or violate the physical laws of the universe.
- The Power Gem (616/1610: red; MCU: purple, held in The Orb2 by Nova Corps.) Provides access to an immense source of power or energy (all the power that "ever will exist"), which can either be used directly, or used to enhance the physical strength of its wielder.
- The Soul Gem (616/1610: green; MCU: unknown, not appeared on-screen.) Can attack or manipulate the souls of living beings, "read" the souls of others, and trap souls within itself.
- The Time Gem (616/1610: orange; MCU: green, within the Eye of Agamatto.) Grants control over the passage of time, including time travel, accelerated/decelerated aging, and trapping creatures in time loops.
When used together, each of the powers of the Gems enhances the others; granting the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet all the power that has or will ever exist, at every point in time and in space, and complete control over every living being or aspect of reality at will.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Infinity Stones are possibly even more powerful that in the mainstream universe. Harnessing the power of an Infinity Stone requires an extremely powerful wielder; weaker beings end up being destroyed by the power of the Stone. Thus far, no being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been able to control the power of a Stone directly, but only by fusing the stone to some other object. The Stones can also be used to imbue some portion of their power to other objects, both animate and inanimate, on a permanent basis.