Unless you have been living under a rock the last decade, you are well aware that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the midst of pulling off perhaps the most incredible feat in film history. Throughout the last decade, they have slowly planted clues and hints that every film is leading up to the company’s most beloved story: Infinity Gauntlet. Published in 1991, Infinity Gauntlet is the story of Marvel Comics’ greatest heroes facing their greatest threat. After acquiring the 6 Infinity Stones for his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos seeks to woo Mistress Death, and in order to do so, the whole universe is in grave danger. The story spans 6 incredible issues, and upon its release, writer Jim Starlin solidified himself as a legend in the comic community. Now that his story will be played out on the big screen, fans around the world will finally get to see this incredible story given the justice that it deserves.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is littered with Easter eggs, and these 15 in particular all reference the Infinity Gauntlet story that is making its way to the big screen. True comic book fans may have spotted a few of these, but others were virtually undetectable. They were delivered in such a way that fit the story of their respective movies, and also paid homage to the source material that everything is leading up to. After reading through these Easter eggs, you will no doubt be ready for Marvel to give us Avengers: Infinity War, though unfortunately you will have to wait another year.
15. Guardians Of The Galaxy – The Celestials
In the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, the motley crew of heroes are taking the Power Stone to the Collector who lives on Knowhere. As his name would imply, the Collector seeks to stockpile rare and interesting things throughout the universe. As the Guardians bring him the Power Stone, he spends time explaining to them exactly what it is that they are in possession of. They learn that this powerful stone is more valuable than they could have realized, and they are ready to bank on a massive pay day. He explains to them that the Infinity Stones came from the Celestials, and the Guardians are able to see the true damage that can be inflicted with the stones, even when they are separate from each other.
The Collector bringing the Celestials into the fold in the MCU is a huge deal, and leads many to believe that the Avengers: Infinity War film is going to be insane. The Celestials are among the most powerful beings in Marvel Comics, and when Thanos wields the Infinity Gauntlet, he talks about their immense amount of power.
14. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – Nebula’s Tortured Past
For those familiar with the Infinity Gauntlet story, you know that it is Nebula who eventually corrals the gauntlet away from Thanos after he becomes the living embodiment of everything. Prior to this, however, Thanos had tortured Nebula, and she was relegated to basically being walking death. She suffered excruciating pain, and seemed to have virtually no life left. It was only when Thanos left his body vulnerable that Nebula was able to muster what little strength she had left to swipe the gauntlet and attempt to restore order to the universe.
So, what does this have to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Well, in Guardians of the Galax Vol. 2, Nebula, while talking with her sister Gamora, talks about how every time she lost to her sister in battle, Thanos ripped her apart, and gave her enhancements. This conversation can potentially serve as a rewriting of sorts for the movies. Marvel has done a great job with changing storylines to better fit their films, and the tortured Nebula could supplant what was in the comics, giving her motivation to steal the Infinity Gauntlet in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film.
13. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – Adam Warlock
Fans had long since thought that this integral character to the Infinity Gauntlet story had already been teased in the first film, but it wasn’t until the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that their suspicions were finally confirmed. In the first Guardians of the Galaxy, the crew, after traveling to Knowhere, meet with the Collector to bring him the Power Stone. While in his office, there is a cocoon in a glass casing, and many fans thought that this cocoon was housing Adam Warlock. He is renowned for using it in the comics, and fans were eager to see if they were correct.
It wasn’t until the sequel was released that fans finally got a confirmation that Adam Warlock would be in the MCU. In a post-credit scene, Ayesha of The Sovereign mentions that she is developing a more perfect being, and that she will call him Adam. It is then that his official cocoon was shown. Adam Warlock was essential in taking down Thanos is Infinity Gauntlet, so it will be interesting to see how he is used in the movies.
12. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – Eternity
In a moment that could have slipped under most people’s radars, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 dropped an Easter egg that was both fulfilling for comic book nerds, and was telling about the direction that the MCU is heading. As Star-Lord is being coerced by his father Ego to join him in their rightful place of power, Star-Lord begins to have a vision. His eyes begin to look like the cosmos, and he can be heard uttering the word eternity. While some people may have perceived that this line was delivered to demonstrate the limitless reign that Star-Lord and Ego could have had, comic fans know that this line indirectly brought a powerful character into the fold.
In Marvel Comics, Eternity is one of the Cosmic Powers of the Marvel Universe, and is one of the storied publications most powerful characters. In the Infinity Gauntlet story, The Cosmic Powers are brought into the fold by Adam Warlock in an attempt to stop the power-drunk Thanos from bringing an imbalance in the universe. Should the MCU bring Eternity into the fold, fans are in for an incredible treat.
11. Ant-Man – Eternity
Ant-Man caused a hue stir for Marvel fans worldwide when it was released, and not just because Marvel took an irrelevant character and turned him into box office gold. There was an Easter egg in the film that many fans believe gave clues to the impending Infinity War film. In the scene in question, Ant-Man decides to go sub-atomic in order to be small enough to get inside of Yellowjacket’s armor in order to stop him from killing his daughter. Ant-Man had been warned by mentor Hank Pym that doing this would leave him shrinking forever, and he wouldn’t be able to return. In doing so, Scott saves his daughter, and he figures out a way to come back from shrinking forever.
10. The Avengers – Courting Death
When The Avengers was released back in 2012, comic book fans rejoiced as the film went on to gross over $1 billion at the box office, and helped redefine the superhero film genre. It was an unprecedented feat at the time, and set the bar for upcoming team-up films. During the film, villainous character Loki wields the Space Stone and the Mind Stone in an attempt to stop The Avengers. Naturally, he fails, and the Space Stone is taken to Asgard, while the Mind Stone was confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. In a post-credit scene for the film, The Other is talking with his master Thanos, telling him that engaging in conflict with humans would be the same as courting death.
This was a huge moment in the MCU, as Thanos’ love for Mistress Death is the driving force behind the Infinity Gauntlet story in the comics. You see, Mistress Death is in fact a character in Marvel Comics, and she just happens to be the object of Thanos’ affection. His love for her leads him down a rabbit hole that serves as one of Marvel Comics’ most beloved stories.
9. Doctor Strange – The Living Tribunal
In 2016, Doctor Strange was released, and magic was finally introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie may have served as a typical origin story, but bringing in the incredibly powerful Stephen Strange has massive implications for the MCU. His presence in the Infinity Gauntlet Story is monumentally important, and the legendary story begins with the Silver Surfer warning Doctor Strange of what Thanos has done. Everything that Marvel has been doing is slowly leading up to a big screen portrayal of their most famous story, and it is no surprise that Doctor Strange drops a massive Easter egg.
While in the midst of his intense training, Stephen Strange is told by Mordo that certain relics house unfathomable powers. As it were, Mordo’s example of such a thing is his Staff of the Living Tribunal. This was a critically important moment for comic book fans as The Living Tribunal serves as the force that keeps balance in Marvel Comics. In fact, The Living Tribunal is so powerful, they were able to strip Adam Warlock of the Infinity Gauntlet.
8. Doctor Strange – The Devourer Of Worlds
I’ll be honest with you all when I say that I nearly jumped out of my seat when this Easter egg was dropped in Doctor Strange. Kaecilius, the film’s antagonist informs Stephen Strange that his allegiance lies with the powerful Dormammu, and that Dormammu isn’t a devourer of worlds. This seemingly innocent line gives clues to a possible appearance that many people never dreamed of happening. Galactus is referred to as The Eater of Worlds, and this line uttered by Kaecilius may be an indirect reference to the popular character.
The problem with this is that Fox owns the rights to use Galactus in their films. However, if Marvel found a way to use Galactus like they did Spider-Man, then he may appear in Avengers: Infinity War, which would hold true to the comics. Also, and more interestingly, if Marvel somehow got the rights to use Galactus, then they may try and make a move for the Silver Surfer, who acts as an integral art of the Infinity Gauntlet story.
7. Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Thanos Wields The Empty Gauntlet
Aside from Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos has only appeared in post-credit scenes, slowly planting the seeds of an impending threat to the universe. In one such scene, Thanos, tired of others falling short of doing his bidding, wields an empty gauntlet, threatening to do it on his own. While moviegoers may have just seen this as a bad guy gearing up for war, comic fans know all too well that Thanos is gearing up to track down the Infinity Stones. When each stone is found and placed on the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos will have the ability to legitimately do whatever he pleases, and everything that we know is in imminent danger.
This Easter egg was a delight for fans to see, and the MCU has steadily built towards this amazing story since its inception back in 2008. Next year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the last 10 years have all led to what is sure to be one of the greatest moments in film history.
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Heimdall’s Eyes
During the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, in what may be the most ill-placed scenes the film, Thor has a vision that reveals some incredible details about the impending doom that the team may face. During this vision, Thor, while in a banquet hall, sees his friend Heimdall, who is missing his eyes. This, naturally, throws Thor for a loop. After all, Heimdall is the great watch stander of Asgard, and the loss of his eyes means that something truly terrible has happened. For all my conspiracy theorists out there, this one is for you.
There is a theory that Heimdall is in possession of the Soul Stone, which has yet to be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His eyes glow the same color as the mysterious stone in his armor, and he claims that he sees people’s souls. Him losing his eyes in Thor’s vision lead many to believe that this is symbolic of Thanos gaining the Soul Stone.
5. Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Gauntlet In The Heavens
In aiding the theory of Heimdall having the last Infinity Stone, Thor, in the same vision that he has of Heimdall missing his eyes, also sees the heavens, and in it, a cloud appears that forms the Infinity Gauntlet. It was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, and casual moviegoers had no idea that Marvel was laying groundwork for what is sure to be their cinematic epic. Sure, Thor’s vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron seemed completely out of place, but it served its purpose in revealing a massive Easter egg for comic books fans to sink their teeth into.
Ultron may have served as an intimidating threat for our favorite superhero team, but he pales in comparison to Thanos. Avengers: Age of Ulton may have been less exciting than its predecessor, but Avengers: Infinity War will no doubt be Marvel’s great cinematic achievement. Until it is released, fans will simply have to rewatch other Marvel films while patiently waiting for Infinity War.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Tony’s Vision
Thor wasn’t the only character to have a vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Tony Stark’s vision also gave fans a sneak peek at the team’s impending doom. For fans of the comics, you know that during the events of the classic Infinity Gauntlet story, the team heads to space to take on the Mad Titan. Their efforts, while valiant, were futile, and Thanos is able to make quick work of his foes. The vision that Stark has is of his team, defeated, and left for dead. He sees them all lying there, and Captain America blames it all on Stark not doing everything he can to protect them.
This scene drew some interesting parallels to the comics, and while it wasn’t a direct representation of what happens in the books, fans were still excited to get a taste of what is to come. If Tony’s vision proves accurate, the team is in for a world of pain when Thanos arrives.
3. Thor – The Second Gauntlet
This Easter egg may have been completely unintentional, but once it was discovered, fans completely lost their minds over it. In the film Thor, there is a brief moment where the Infinity Gauntlet can clearly be seen on display. Many fans speculated that Odin had already stopped Thanos from conquering the universe, and that he was displaying the Infinity Gauntlet as nothing more than a trophy. This, however, was proven false, as the Infinity Gauntlet that is shown in Thor is right-handed, and the actual Infinity Gauntlet that Thanos wields is left-handed.
Nevertheless, seeing the Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a huge moment for fans, and it confirmed that the Infinity Gauntlet would end up being in the franchise. With that knowledge, fans have patiently waited since 2011 to see the Infinity Gauntlet back on the big screen. Thankfully, they took their time building the story, and we are less than a year away from witnessing greatness.
2. Thor: The Dark World – One Down, Five To Go
Predating the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, Thor: The Dark World dropped a massive Easter egg in its post-credit scene involving none other than the Collector. During this scene, the Reality Stone is brought to the Collector, and he gladly accepts the responsibility of housing the power stone. Most people didn’t know the stone’s true power, but the Collector’s knowledge made this an incredibly easy decision to make. After accepting the Reality Stone, the Collector can be heard saying, “one down, five to go.” This, of course, is a direct reference to the 6 Infinity Stones needed to fill the infinity Gauntlet.
The Collector was in an advantageous position, and was nearly in possession of 2 Infinity Stones. Had his personal slave not tried grabbing a hold of the Power Stone, the Collector would have been 33 percent of the way to having unlimited power. Alas, this was not to be, and he remains in possession of only 1 infinity Stone.
1. The T.H.A.N.O.S. Theory
Prior to the reveal of each Infinity Stone’s location, fans have been speculating about where they could possibly be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, some clever folks hatched a theory that holds some serious weight to it. The T.H.A.N.O.S. theory provides the location of the Infinity Stone with each letter in the Mad Titan’s name. The “T” in his name is for the Tessaract that housed the Space Stone. The “A” stands for the Aether that acts as the Reality Stone. “N” is for the necklace worn by Doctor Strange (the Eye of Agamotto) and has the Time Stone. In Guardians of the Galaxy it is revealed that the “O” is for the Orb that held the Power Stone. Finally, the “S” is for Loki’s Sceptor that was home to the Mind Stone.
Now, you must be wondering about the”H” in Thanos. Well, the popular theory is the Heimdall, the Asgardian watch stander, is in possession of the Soul Stone. This would complete the name Thanos, and prove this theory to be true.
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