Anybody who follows the Marvel movies knows that in just a couple of years, Thanos is coming to wreck shop, and he’s going to do so with the Infinity Gauntlet, complete with all of the Infinity Stones: Mind, Soul, Power, Time, Reality, and Space. The Gauntlet will grant him limitless power, and it will take the work of all of the Avengers to take down the Mad Titan when he comes to town.
Like everything else in the Marvel movies, the Infinity Gauntlet comes straight from the comics from an event called Infinity War (currently the placeholder title for the movies based on the same storyline). However, even long after Thanos is defeated, the Gauntlet still exists, and remains a powerful object in Marvel’s mythos.
Over the years, many other characters have acquired use of its power- even some characters from alternate universes themselves. This has resulted in some of the most disastrous events in the Marvel canon (if any of you read about Battleworld, then you know what I’m talking about). The Infinity Gauntlet is so strong that its storyline usually lasts an entire mini-series every time the writers use it.
Thanos is a big threat, but he is not the only one. Imagine what limitless power could do for anyone who wielded it. Anyone could make the world into their own image, but hopefully every time the Avengers will be there to stop them. You already know Thanos has used the Gauntlet, but here are eleven other characters who wielded it themselves.
11. Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic was part of Marvel’s version of the Illuminati (no, I’m not kidding)- a group akin to the United Nations comprised of Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Captain America, Namor the Submariner, Professor X, Doctor Strange, and Black Bolt to make the tough calls that no one else was willing to make. Due to the existence of the Infinity Gauntlet, Fantastic was scared stiff. He then revealed to the fellow Illuminati members that he had been collecting the Infinity Gems and wanted their help. Despite some initial apprehension, they all agreed, and eventually gathered all six.
After forming the Gauntlet, Mr. Fantastic used it to try and will the Stones away so they would never be used again and in turn protect the entire Universe. Unfortunately, he did not succeed and was reprimanded by the Watcher. Holding the still functioning Gauntlet, Fantastic had to decide what was going to be done with it. With some help from the Illuminati, he came to the decision to distribute each Gem to one member of the Illuminati. That way, everybody would have a say if the Gauntlet ever needed to be used again, but it would also be very protected if push came to shove.
10. Adam Warlock
Before Magus showed up to cause more problems for the Avengers, Adam Warlock was the hero everyone looked up to. This cosmic superhero was known mostly for having an Infinity Gem within him. It was fate then that he would play a huge part during the Infinity War storyline, where all of Marvel’s greatest heroes attempt to save the universe. During the war against Thanos, half of the universe had already been destroyed at the hands of the Mad Titan. Adam Warlock led a team of heroes to Thanos to bring him down for good. During the fight, the Gauntlet was stolen right from Thanos’s grasp (by somebody else we’ll talk about), but then they lost it to Warlock. Wielding the Gauntlet, Warlock had all the powers of a god and was seemingly invincible. Once he gained possession of the Gauntlet, the storyline finally ended. However, he was eventually declared unworthy by the Living Tribunal and had to give up the limitless powers of the Infinity Gauntlet due to being only an artificial being like the Vision. So he divided the gems among a group dubbed the Infinity Watch.
After Adam Warlock lost possession of the Infinity Gauntlet and divided the stones, he started to undergo negative mental side effects. The result formed in him a mind battle between good and evil thoughts. In order to deal with these contradicting ideologies, Warlock turned himself into a being of pure logic. Unfortunately, his newfound piety allowed his thoughts to become realities. All of his evil thoughts embodied themselves into the villain we now know as Magus, while the good thoughts turned into a being called Goddess.
The dark version of Adam Warlock, Magus is essentially a twisted parallel to the honorable hero. During Infinity War, Adam Warlock was a key character in defeating Thanos and the Gauntlet. But unfortunately, new villains always rise to the challenge. When Warlock got his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet, Magus took over and became one of the greatest challenges Marvel ever faced. He was so powerful and intelligent that he was able to create doppelgangers of the Avengers, as well as manipulate Galactus, the being who was strong enough to devour planets. In order to defeat him, Warlock had to learn how to combat the evil thoughts in his own mind. Reportedly, Magus might be the big baddie for the MCU Phase 4.
8. Doctor Doom
During the Future Foundation storyline, Doom seemed to actually be working for mankind’s benefit. When the world was in trouble, the Foundation asked him for help, and he did. However, that was until one of their missions pitted him against the Mad Celestials. Taking a direct hit from of their energy blasts, Doom was ready to die with honor. However he awoke in a ruined version of the Interdimensional Council of Reeds. After exploring further, he stumbled upon a skeleton of Mr. Fantastic, who had an Infinity Gauntlet from another universe. Then he found yet another Infinity Gauntlet to claim for his own. Because the power of the gauntlets only work on the universe where they were created, Doom journeyed to one of the alternate universes and discovered that it was a desolate wasteland. Using his infinite power, he essentially built a new world to rule, just like Latveria. Every time Doom gets power, he creates things in the way he sees best, regardless of the cost to others. However, Mister Fantastic eventually found him and returned him back to their universe, where Doom declared that the two of them were “even”.
7. Santa Claus
Say what? It seems that with every obligatory holiday special or issue, the writers tend to get braver and braver each year, feeling more comfortable with the stories they want to tell. After all, why should a comic based around Christmas have to lack in quality or storytelling? Well, they really took that idea and ran with it.
This was probably the one Holiday issue that ruined everyone’s childhoods. How could Santa be the villain of the Avengers? Well, it’s a bit of an innocent story, as he was getting ready for Christmas Eve, but suddenly figured out that his flying reindeer were Skrulls: an alien race from a distant galaxy. Not being able to deliver toys with them, he asked the Illuminati (he probably knew them because they were all the good little boys on his list, save maybe Namor) to borrow the Infinity Gauntlet to be able to make his Christmas Eve run on time. They agreed, but the Gauntlet made Santa drunk with power. It was left to the Illuminati to stop him, and the only way for him to regain his sanity was for the Gauntlet to be removed. Luckily, for all the good girls and boys, the heroes succeeded.
If you have to read this twice, then that means you’re paying attention.Throughout the debates between Marvel vs. DC, there’s no doubt that the companies have definitely taken inspiration from one another, resulting in characters like Hawkeye and Deadpool. Typically DC created the character first, then Marvel followed suit. This is how Thanos came into fruition: he was inspired by Darkseid, which led to some interesting crossovers in comic history.
Darkseid is a DC villain, so he shouldn’t be on this list, right? Well, in the Avengers/Justice League of America crossover, Thanos and Darkseid joined forces in the ultimate conspiracy against all superheroes across the dimensions. Part of that plan saw Darkseid seizing the Infinity Gauntlet for himself. However, after some time, he discarded it because it had no use in his universe. He then stabbed Thanos, stating that he was only a cheap imitation. Yeah, Darkseid’s got a lot of guts. It was a huge slap in the face for the Mad Titan to see a villain of such great power take an object with infinite power and toss it out.
5. Black Panther
Battleworld was a horrible reality that had been re-shaped by Doctor Doom after he stole powers from the Beyonder. Doom had become the king of the world and was married to Sue Storm. Galactus was a simple pet for one of his sons, and the multiverse was no more. The culmination of every alternate Earth was met in this place. War was rampant, and everyone was battling for their own fate.
It was up to the remaining Marvel heroes to take King Doom down and restore the multiverse. However, Doom had seemingly unlimited power. Fortunately, Black Panther and Namor found a way. After discovering a secret chamber, they were greeted with a hologram of Doctor Strange, who was thought to be working with and advising Doom at the time. He explained that he was a double agent, as well as how to defeat Doom. Then he gave Black Panther a working Infinity Gauntlet to do so. Since the Gauntlet only worked in the universe it was created, and because Battleworld was a combination of multiple universes, things became a bit tricky. There was only a particular spot where T’Challa could use the Gauntlet, and that was inside Doom’s castle.
Appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy as one of the daughters of Thanos himself, Nebula is definitely one of the more interesting villains Marvel has on its roster. Make no mistake though, as she is not biologically related to Thanos. Instead, after the Mad Titan found her, he made her a living example of pain and torture as an act of love toward Lady Death. This put a spirit of vengeance in Nebula forever.
During Thanos’s war against the universe she begins to take center stage. She was part of the fighting team formed by Adam Warlock to destroy the villain. While fighting Thanos, Nebula was then the one who snatched the Gauntlet from his hand. She then created an unbreakable cage for the Mad Titan, as well as undoing all of the destruction that had been caused in the past 24 hours. She even trapped all of the Cosmic beings that had now been released because she restored time. However, she was then faced against powerful cosmic beings including Galactus and Lord Chaos. Luckily, Adam Warlock was there to take the Gauntlet and put it on his own hand to finally rest all of the darkness that had plagued the Marvel Universe.
3. Captain America
Remember how the Illuminati holds each gem of the Infinity Gauntlet? Keep that in mind. In the New Avengers storyline, there was a multiverse-threatening problem that caused the Illuminati to get together and ask themselves if they should reform the Infinity Gauntlet. This Marvel Universe event was called the Incursions: as a result of alternate earths being destroyed, different earths were now colliding with each other. Now they were running out of time, as another earth was on its way to clash with Earth-616, where all of the Marvel heroes were at. The Illuminati decided that it was undeniably the time to form the Gauntlet, but they wanted to give it to someone who wouldn’t be corrupted by its power. So, they all agreed to let Captain America use it. Using it for the purest of motives, the Captain was able to stop the planets from colliding, but due to the massive amount of power required, destroyed the Gauntlet and all of its gems, save for the Time gem, which merely disappeared. Could you imagine seeing something like that in a Marvel film? Thanos better be shaking in his boots at this point.
2. Iron Man
When you think of incorruptible characters who would be pure and righteous enough to wield something as strong as the Infinity Gauntlet, Tony Stark is easily not the first person to come to mind. However, he is one of the most intelligent members of the Illuminati, so his genius definitely came in handy.
After helping Loki lay siege to Asgard, a villain known as the Hood reappeared on Earth to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet for his own use. He began by slowly going to each of the Illuminati members’ homes and stealing the gems for himself. After taking four of the six gems, the Hood traveled to the Astral Plane. However, the Avengers eventually caught on to what the Hood was doing, found him, and defeated him. Afterwards, the Illuminati agreed to for Iron Man to gather all six gems and possess the Infinity Gauntlet, making him the first human to do so. He then used the power to transport the Hood to Rikers Island, and then seemingly made the Gauntlet disappear so no one would ever try to get it again. In reality though, Stark just transported it to the Illuminati meeting area, where the gems were then divided among the members.
1. The Hulk
“So @#%!#3 screwed” is just about right. This is probably the scariest combination of anything I’ve ever read in a comic book. The Hulk is already arguably one of the strongest superheroes in existence (Hulk Smash and all that), so the possession of limitless power should make him invincible (assuming he didn’t accidentally smash the Gauntlet of course). In Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, the gems actually form two separate gauntlets as opposed to just one, but the power is all the same, as well as the amount of gems needed. However, Mr. Fantastic and the Dark Ultimates (a group the Hulk was a part of) steal them, and essentially stab the Hulk in the back. Eventually the gems are then gathered by the Hulk, who then battles the Dark Ultimates. The Hulk was essentially angry and unstoppable, and the Dark Ultimates ended up defeated in a matter of minutes, before Fantastic could shape the world into his own image. Guess being angry and having limitless power doesn’t bode well for the bad guys. Afterwards, Iron Man gained possession of the Gauntlets and destroyed it once and for all.