For the better part of a decade now, the movie industry has been dominated by live-action superhero movies; movies that have made billions at the Box Office and that are based off of comic books with a wide array of different stories and characters. These movies primarily focus on characters belonging to either Marvel or DC, two publishers who have been competing for over 50 years. And although both have iconic heroes and villains, Marvel has so far produced the better movies with their own cinematic universe. Over the course of what will be 18 films, the MCU has been heading towards a major confrontation between Earth’s heroes and the villain known as Thanos, who will have in his possession, the Infinity Gauntlet, possibly the most powerful weapon in Marvel’s history.
The Gauntlet is, of course, powered by the six Infinity Gems/Stones, and when they are all together, the person wearing it can attain unlimited power and energy, while also being able to control people’s minds and souls, which goes along with the ability to also manipulate both time and reality itself. With all that power, a person with the Gauntlet is more or less a god, so it makes sense that a villain of Thanos’ level would do anything to obtain it, and in the comics, he has done some crazy things with it. It is true that the Gauntlet is mostly synonymous with Thanos. But over the decades, there have been others, heroes and villains alike, who have attained its power. The purpose of this list is to identify those 15 other individuals.
15. Black Panther
Within the Marvel universe, there exists a being known as The Beyonder, who is the sum total of the entire multiverse, which is a fancy way of saying that he is a god, and gods tend to be capable of insane feats. In 2015, “Secret Wars” #6 was released, and in it, the Beyonder set off a chain of events that could have caused the destruction of the entire multiverse. It was Doctor Strange and Dr. Doom who learned of the Beyonder’s involvement and confronted him about it, which resulted in Doom stealing his powers which, in turn, allowed him to create a planet of his own called Battleworld. Strange did not trust Doom’s intentions, though, and secretly placed the Infinity Gauntlet on the new world until it was eventually found by Black Panther, who uses the Gauntlet’s power to defeat Doom. Panther also uses the Gauntlet to go back in time to reconstruct reality and fix the problems caused by the Beyonder.
Based on the ending of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you would think that Marvel was setting up the Adam Warlock character to be a villain. But in reality, he is supposed to be a hero who actually joins the Guardians. Adam comes into possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, though (more on that later), and he uses its power to expel the good and evil portions of his soul. And for some reason, he gives them both bodies. The evil portion named himself The Magus, and he managed to obtain the Infinity Gauntlet while it was deactivated. But when it finally reactivates, he learns that he cannot fully control the Gauntlet’s power due to the fact that the Reality Gem was replaced with a fake one. This allows The Magus to be defeated. Although he was beaten, he was never too far from the gems and the Gauntlet because he ended up being sealed within the Soul Gem.
13. Iron Man
Thanks to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man has become one of the world’s most beloved heroes, and in 2011, he joined the list of Infinity Gauntlet wielders when he puts it on to defeat the villain known as the Hood. In this comic book storyline, the Hood steals one of the gems from the hero Black Bolt and tries to assemble all the other gems to power the gauntlet due to a thirst for power that he obtained while working with Loki. In “Avengers #12,” The Avengers finally confront the Hood, and when he fails to see reason, the two sides clash, resulting in Iron Man taking the gems from him and putting on the Gauntlet himself. With the Gauntlet, Iron Man sends Hood back to prison and then pretends to make the weapon erase itself when, in reality, he just sends it to one of his team’s headquarters, where they all decide that they need to hide the gems in better places.
12. Reed Richards
It may not seem that way now, but there was once a time when the Fantastic 4 were one of Marvel’s biggest properties. But thanks to three pretty bad live-action movies, interest in the group is at an all-time low. The Fantastic 4 are led by Mister Fantastic, otherwise known as Reed Richards, who has the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires, and he also happens to have a genius-level intellect. At one point in the comics, Iron Man forms a group called the Illuminati with Namor, Richards, Black Bolt, and Professor X, whose goal was to prevent catastrophes before they could occur. In 2007’s “New Avengers: Illuminati #2,” Mister Fantastic deemed that the group should dispose of the Infinity Gauntlet. After obtaining the Gauntlet and the gems, Reed tries to make the Gauntlet wipe itself out, and when he is unable to do so, he nearly succumbs to its power before being saved by his teammates, who each agree to protect one of the gems.
For those who have only watched the movies, the Nebula character is one of Thanos’ adopted daughters. But originally, she started out as a space pirate who had the audacity to claim that she was the villain’s granddaughter. When Thanos learned of this, he got offended by her claim and basically turned her into a living corpse in order to constantly make her suffer. In the early 1990’s, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to defeat Earth’s heroes and to kill half of all the life in the universe. And after beating the cosmic entities, he became the master of reality, which is when he left his physical body behind to become one with the universe. When he left his body, though, he did not take the Gauntlet with him, which gave Nebula the chance to steal it. When she finally did, she took revenge on Thanos by using it to bring everyone he had killed back to life. This meant that she also resurrected the cosmic entities, who came together to fight and defeat Nebula, who was still very much a villain.
The incredible Hulk is probably one of the most recognizable comic book characters in the world, which makes complete sense seeing as his massive green appearance is incredibly hard to miss. In 2011, we got “Ultimate Comics: Ultimates” #25, which takes place in the Ultimate Marvel Universe in which there are 8 Infinity Gems, meaning that for one person to use them all, there needs to be two Gauntlets. In this universe, Bruce Banner was being held in a base by S.H.I.E.L.D., who were also in possession of 5 gems and both Gauntlets, and when Kang the Conqueror infiltrated the facility, he released Banner who immediately turned into the Hulk and began a rampage. This Ultimate Hulk found the Gauntlets and put them on, and as you can imagine, this made the Big Green Guy even more terrifying. But he was not as unstoppable as he could have been seeing as the Gauntlets were not fully powered due to 3 of the gems missing.
In 2015, Marvel released Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was highly anticipated, but which managed to also leave many viewers underwhelmed, mainly because the movie was just not as good as the first and because Ultron was simply not a good villain. In truth, Utron is actually one of the Avengers’ greatest threats, as he has killed multiple heroes in the comics over the decades, and he managed to do all of that without the help of the Infinity Gauntlet. In the animated series Avengers Assemble, Black Widow comes into possession of all the Infinity Gems, but she does not get to enjoy them for long as Thanos comes and steals them from her to power the Gauntlet. Fortunately, the Avengers are able to defeat Thanos, but their victory is short-lived as Ultron abruptly appears and steals all of the Gauntlet’s power for himself. But instead of using that power then and there, Ultron decides to fly off to parts unknown.
8. Dark Surfer
Marvel has always had an animated presence on TV, and in 2010, one of those shows was The Super Hero Squad Show, which was aimed towards a much younger audience and which was based on a toy line. Now, the show was known for being comedic and very lighthearted, but it still had some complex stories, such as the one involving the Silver Surfer who agreed to become Galactus’ herald again in order to keep the monster from devouring planets with life on them. Prior to joining Galactus, though, Iron Man gives him the Infinity Sword which goes on to corrupt the Surfer, to the point that he betrays his fellow heroes and steals the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. With the Gauntlet, this Dark Surfer pushes Earth out of its orbit and sends every single hero to different dimensions, which ultimately does not work because the heroes eventually reunite and defeat him, reversing all he has done and destroying the evil within him.
7. Dr. Doom
As mentioned earlier, the Fantastic 4 movies were all terrible, especially the last two which more or less ruined Dr. Doom who was, at one point, regarded as one of Marvel’s best and most threatening villains. At some point, Doom worked alongside the Fantastic 4 in the comics, and during a massive battle, it appeared as though he sacrificed himself to save the planet. But when he wakes up, he finds himself in the headquarters of the International Council of Reed, which is made up of a group of Reed Richards from other realities. While there, Doom not only discovers several other Dooms from other realities being held captive, but two fully-functioning Infinity Gauntlets as well. After putting them on, he decides to use them and the other Dooms for his own nefarious purposes. Considering that Doom is one of the smartest villains Marvel has, it is scary to think what he could accomplish when he literally has the power of a god at his disposal.
6. Adam Warlock
Earlier, we saw how Nebula came into possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, and in that entry, it was mentioned that she was later defeated by the resurrected cosmic entities, which included the powerful being, Adam Warlock. During the battle with Nebula, Adam used his powers to transfer himself into the soul gem, and after the gem greatly increased the strength of his abilities, he was able to extend his presence into the other gems, which caused Nebula’s control over them to weaken. When she was defeated, Adam appeared and took the Gauntlet for himself, and with it, he was able to undo everything that its previous two owners had done. Adam did not possess the Gauntlet for long, though, because a being known as the Cosmic Entity successfully advised him to split up the gems because they would end up losing their power due to Adam not being strong enough to control all their power.
5. Captain America
A few years after its founding, the Illuminati brought Captain America into the fold, and based on how pure and righteous Cap is, you would not think that he would ever use something as corruptible as the Infinity Gauntlet. But he did in 2013. Apparently, Black Panther discovered that an Earth from an alternate reality was on a collision course with our Earth, a collision that would wipe out both realities. There were only two ways to stop this, either destroy one of the Earths or push them away from each other. Both of which could be done by using the Infinity Gauntlet. The Illuminati decided that Cap should be the one to use the Gauntlet because of his will. While using it, he was able to push both Earths away while accidentally destroying the Gauntlet in the process. With it gone, the Illuminati decided that the alternate Earth would have to be destroyed if the two planets were ever going to collide again (which Cap did not agree with), which is why he had his memories of the group erased.
Marvel has some of the most iconic characters in all of fiction. And if you were to ask people who their favorite superhero is, many of them may answer Spider-Man, who has been around since 1962. In 2010, Marvel released “Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet,” and in it, Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to make half the Universe disappear. In order to stop him, a group of Avengers made up of Spider-Man, Hulk, Ms.Marvel, and Wolverine go into space to battle the villain. Thanos basically toys with our heroes until a fake Doctor Doom appears and manages to get the Gauntlet off of his hand, and while he goes to retrieve it, Spider-Man uses his webs to grab it first. Spidey proceeds to put on the Gauntlet and undoes everything Thanos has done by wishing that the villain never possessed it in the first place, with the result being that no one except him remembers that he saved the entire universe.
3. Lockjaw & The Pet Avengers
There are a lot of people in the world who love animals, which is why there are so many people who own at least one pet, and as Marvel has shown, even with their busy and dangerous schedules, superheroes can have pets too. Lockjaw is the dog of the Inhumans, and while on the moon, he finds the buried Mind Gem that greatly increases his intelligence. This makes him want to team up with other super-powered animals in order to look for the other Infinity Gems. He ends up recruiting a cat named Hairball, a dragon named Lockhead, Redwing the falcon, a puppy named Ms. Lion, and a frog named Throg who possesses part of Thor’s hammer, making him a mini god of Thunder. The pets manage to find all the gems, but quickly get discovered by Thanos who tries to take them for himself. However, he gets defeated by the pets after Throg creates a makeshift Infinity Gauntlet out of Lockjaw’s collar.
Marvel and DC have been rivals for over five decades now, and although they may be competitors, it does not mean that they wish for the other to fail, because if they did, we would never get to see the two sides collaborate like they did in 2003. In the “JLA/ Avengers” event, the heroes of both the Marvel and DC worlds are forced to compete in a duel to save their respective universes, a duel that involves searching for certain important items from both worlds that have been scattered throughout both universes. One of those items was the Infinity Gauntlet, which was sent to the planet Apokolips and obtained by Darkseid. As far as DC villains go, Darkseid is among the worst, as he wants to rule the entire universe, which he could have easily done with the Gauntlet. But luckily, the gems are apparently powerless outside of the Marvel universe, which made the Gauntlet nothing but a shiny fashion accessory.
1. Santa Clause
Our world is filled with a wide variety of myths and legends, and although most people on the planet know that Santa Clause is not real, he is still a major part of people’s Christmas celebrations. Santa may not be real in our world, but he is very much alive in the Marvel universe. And in 2009’s “Marvel Holiday Spectacular,” Santa’s good friend, Tony Stark, calls the Illuminati together to get to the bottom of why/how Santa’s reindeer were replaced by Skrull aliens. During the meeting, Santa asks if he can use the Infinity Gauntlet to deliver all the children’s toys in one night which, for some reason, the Illuminati agree to. And the results are terrible as Santa is driven completely insane by all the power. Luckily, our heroes were able to stop Santa when Namor throws a snowball with enough force to knock the Gauntlet off his hand; and in case you were wondering, the kids did get their presents, thanks to Stark later making Santa some new robotic reindeer.
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