Marvel’s next big cosmic event will officially get underway this week with the release of Infinity Countdown #1 from writer Gerry Duggan and artists Aaron Kuder and Mike Hawthorne – but the stage has already been set for the fight for the Infinity Stones.
Leading up to the event, Marvel has established a new set of more raw Infinity Stones that are now in the hands of some of the Marvel Universe’s most prominent heroes and villains (and a few surprises).
With the “countdown” about to kick off, it’s time to gaze across the Marvel Universe and uncover the locations of the six Infinity Stones.
The all-new Time Stone first popped up in Infinity Countdown Prime in the hands of Super Skrull, who retrieved it from the core of the once-dead world Sakaar. But before that Kang the Conqueror made a deal with Adam Warlock to bring it to him in the future in exchange for helping Warlock retrieve the Soul Stone.
It’s not clear how it wound up on Sakaar – or how Sakaar returned, for that matter – but speculation from the Contemplator makes it seem as though Sakaar’s return is tied directly to the Time Stone.
The Soul Stone has a strange history since it popped back up in the Marvel Universe. It was found on Ego, the Living Planet, by the Magus who retrieved it after the Contemplator, an Elder of the Universe, guided him to it.
From there, it was taken by Ultron who seemingly slew Magus. In the process, Ultron’s human counterpart Hank Pym was trapped in the Stone, where he met a much older “Soul Self” version of Gamora.
Even though the Stone itself didn’t show up until Infinity Countdown Prime, the Gamora inside has been in contact with her true self, putting Gamora on the path for the Stone for some time.
The Space Stone constitutes one of Infinity Countdown’s biggest mysteries. The Stone first returned in 2017’s Marvel Legacy #1 - in the hands of the also returned original Wolverine.
How Wolverine got the Space Stone – and how he came back to life at all after being encased in adamantium – remain questions to be answered.
Aside from the circumstances surrounding Wolverine and the Space Stone, the biggest question surrounding the Infinity Stones is the nature of the Mind Stone’s wielder, the enigmatic “Mr. Turk.”
Mr. Turk – who may or may not be the minor Daredevil character/street criminal Turk Barrett – was first shown in possession of the Mind Stone in Infinity Countdown Prime. So far, he’s apparently only used the Stone for underground gambling, something that is likely to change when the rest of the Stones come together.
The Marvel Universe’s Reality Stone is unique in that… it didn’t technically come from this reality. Captain Marvel retrieved the Stone from a pocket universe where it was in possession of a “good” Thanos – whose penchant for slaughter nearly won out over his less evil (but still warped) code of honor when he got his hands on the Stone.
Despite opposition from similarly flipped “bad guy” Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel brought the stone back to the Marvel Universe proper. In Infinity Countdown Prime, it was revealed that the Captains Marvel of many different realities have all come into possession of the Reality Stones of their particular universes.
Though the Nova Corps technically has possession of the Power Stone, it’s less that they have ahold of it and more that they’ve settled in the area where it’s manifested – as a gigantic monolith of uncut Infinity Stone.
The Nova Corps have their work cut out guarding the stone as well, as both the alien Chitauri (who have been subjugated by Thanos) and the Fraternity of Raptors are racing to claim the Stone for themselves.
The hunt for the Infinity Stones continues in Infinity Countdown #1, on shelves March 7.