The Infinity Gauntlet

Last updated on 7 October 2017

The Infinity Gauntlet is a six-issue comic book limited series published by Marvel Comics from July to December in 1991. The series was written by Jim Starlin and penciled by George Pérez and Ron Lim.

Infinity Gauntlet 1.jpg
Infinity Gauntlet 1.jpg

Publication history

The storyline is the culmination of events from Silver Surfer vol. 3, #34 (Feb. 1990) and the two-issue miniseries The Thanos Quest (Sept.- Oct. 1990).

In 1991, artist George Pérez signed on to pencil the six-issue limited series. However, due to the emotional stresses Pérez was suffering related to his concurrent work as writer/artist on DC Comics' Wonder Woman and as artist on the DC limited series War of the Gods,[1] Pérez was unable to finish penciling each issue of Infinity Gauntlet. Pérez left the project while working on issue #4, with penciler Ron Lim assigned to replace him. Pérez remained as the inker over Lim's cover art for the remainder of the miniseries.

Additional plotlines not addressed in the main story were featured in other books published during the same time period.

The storyline led to two sequel miniseries, Infinity War and Infinity Crusade. All three series were the core of a company-wide crossover story.

Plot summary

Thanos mounts the six Infinity Gems (collected in the Thanos Quest limited series) on his left glove to form the titular Infinity Gauntlet. Each Gem grants its bearer complete mastery over one aspect of the multiverse: Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, and Power. Combined on the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is granted omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. Now all-powerful and desperate to win the affections of Death, Thanos decides to offer the entity a gift of love by completing a task she had given him: erasing half the sentient life in the universe (including most of the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four)[2] with a literal snap of his fingers.

The surviving heroes on Earth, led by the newly resurrected Adam Warlock, band together to battle Thanos. In a bid to impress Death, Thanos allows the heroes a slight chance of victory, but easily kills almost all of them. Thanos goes on to defeat and imprison many of the universe's cosmic entities—including Galactus; the Stranger; the Titan Kronos; Epoch; the entities Love and Hate; two Celestials; Master Order and Lord Chaos; and Eternity. After defeating Eternity, Thanos leaves his body and becomes the living embodiment of the universe. His abandoned body is left vulnerable to Nebula, his alleged granddaughter.

Nebula dons the Gauntlet and undoes all of Thanos' actions. Another battle with the heroes and cosmic deities ends with Warlock taking possession of the Gauntlet, after which Thanos appears to commit suicide. Warlock decides to keep the gauntlet intact for himself, despite the objections of his allies. Later, Warlock and his companions discover Thanos working at a farm while contemplating his loss; satisfied that he is no longer a threat, they decide to leave him be.

Comic tie-ins

Lead up

Main event


  • Silver Surfer #60
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1
  • Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36[3]

Other versions

What If?

The Infinity Gauntlet is featured in several issues of the alternate universe title What If. The first explores the outcome if the Silver Surfer[4] and Impossible Man[5] respectively had possessed the artifact. A one-shot publication depicts a new version of the Fantastic Four - who replace the deceased original members - consisting of the Hulk; Iron Man; Spider-Man and Wolverine. The quartet successfully defeat Thanos when Wolverine distracts him by telling him how he should "touch" death to show her he cares. This allows Wolverine to cut off Thanos' gloved hand, Spider-Man subsequently undoes the damage Thanos had caused before giving the Gauntlet to the Watchers for safe keeping.[6]

In What If? Infinity - Dark Reign, Norman Osborn acquired the Infinity Gems after manipulating an army of villains to do the work for him and used them to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet, defeating most of the heroes while trapping Spider-Man in a time loop where he witnesses/'causes' Gwen Stacy's death over and over again. However, when Norman uses the Gauntlet's power to resurrect his abusive father to show him what he has accomplished, his father dismisses him as a petty tyrant and a monster until Norman uses the Gauntlet to change his father's opinion. When Thanos appears, killing the rest of the Dark Avengers while taunting Osborn about the hollow nature of his father's current approval, Osborn destroys him, but when his altered father only says that he loves Norman as a son, Osborn erases him in a fit of anger as he wanted to be praised for his accomplishments, realising too late that erasing his father automatically erases him as well.[7]

Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet

A retelling of the story in the all-ages Marvel Adventures line, written by Brian Clevinger and drawn by Brian Churilla, was released in August 2010. This version features Spider-Man, the Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, and Doctor Doom fighting Thanos after he uses the Gauntlet to kill half the population of the Universe. Doom betrays the Avengers and seizes the gauntlet for himself, but fails to get it to work culminating in Spider-Man using the Gauntlet to erase the entire adventure from history, with only him and Thanos remembering what took place.[8]

Secret Wars (2015)

An Infinity Gauntlet miniseries was part of the 2015 Secret Wars crossover featuring Thanos. It takes place on the Battleworld domain of New Xandar which is based on a reality where the Nova Corps have failed at preventing the Annihilation Wave from reaching Earth.[9]

The Bakian Clan (a group of humans who survived the attacks of the Annihilation Wave) are shadowed by an unknown figure as they scrounge for food in the ruins of New Xandar, but their dog Zigzag is only able to find canned dog food for them to eat. Later that night, Menzin tells his youngest daughter Fayne about how her mother left to reinforce the Nova Corps and will someday return. The elder daughter Anwen believes their mother to be dead as evidenced by the arrival of the Annihilation Wave. An argument between their father and the girls' maternal grandfather ensues which attracts the attention of the bugs forcing the Bakian Clan to flee for their lives. During the resulting chase, Anwen falls into a bug nest. As she fights for her life, she discovers the Mind Infinity Gem. Hearing explosions on the surface, she climbs out and comes face to face with a Nova who removes her helmet, revealing herself to be Anwen's mother as the two then embrace. Anwen's mother says "everything will be alright". Meanwhile, Thanos watching from the shadows in a building disagrees with what he overheard and it is revealed he has the Time Gem.[10]

Eve reunited Anwen with the rest of the Bakian clan and gave each of them Nova suits. After escaping from a horde of bugs by using the Mind Gem Anwen had found, they tried to retreat to the Nova HQ, but found the place wrecked with the Novas stationed there killed and the gem in their possession missing. At the other side of New Xandar, Star-Lord returns to Gamora who is revealed to be the possessor of the gem (the Space Gem) that was on the Nova HQ, having scavenged the HQ and found it between the attack and the Bakians' arrival.[11]

As he had gone back in time to before the Bakian clan reunited with Eve, Thanos posed as an ally, to the point of giving them the Time Gem to earn their trust, and accompanied them in their journey, which remained the same as originally. After finding the ravaged Nova HQ, the Bakian clan and Thanos confronted Star-Lord and Gamora, forcing them to stop fighting by using the Mind Stone. In exchange for three Nova Stars, they acquired the Space Gem. Because they wanted to achieve a common goal, the destruction of the Annihilation Wave, Star-Lord and Gamora joined the Bakian clan and Thanos in their mission. The next gem, the Power Stone, was found being protected by Groot, who gave it to them and joined their party.[12]

Through a vision, Eve was guided by the Stones to Magus City, a sanctuary under the protection of Adam Warlock (wielder of the Soul Stone) who used it to keep the Annihilation Wave at bay. Unbeknown to the Balkian and their allies, Adam also fed on the souls of the inhabitants of the city to power himself and keep the monsters away. When the Balkian were received by Warlock and his Knights of Xandar, Eve went straight to the point and demanded to take the Soul Stone to complete the Infinity Gauntlet and destroy the Annihilation Wave. Warlock opposed Eve leading to a fight for the ownership of the Stone,while the rest of the Balkian Clan and their allies confronted the Knights. Drax the Destroyer (a being bent on hunting down Thanos) interrupted into the battle and demanded the presence of Thanos. The Balkians attacked him, initially believing him to be an enemy. When Warlock used the Soul Stone on Eve to control her, she discovered the full use he gave to the Stone. Thanos tackled Warlock and saved Eve before her soul was consumed and took the Soul Stone for himself. Thanos turned to Eve and seemingly killed her before taking the other four Stones from her and unleashing their power.[13]

Collected editions

The series has been collected into a trade paperback and a hardcover:

  • The Infinity Gauntlet (collects The Infinity Gauntlet limited series, 256 pages, softcover, March 2000, ISBN 0-87135-944-8, December 2004, ISBN 0-7851-0892-0, July 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2349-0, hardcover August 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4549-4)
  • The Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus (collects Silver Surfer #34-38, 40, 44-60, The Thanos Quest #1-2, The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6, Cloak And Dagger #18, Spider-Man #17, Hulk #383-385, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31-36, Quasar #26-27, Sleepwalker #7, 1248 pages, hardcover, July 2014)
  • Marvel Premiere Classics 46: Infinity Gauntlet


The Infinity Gauntlet was critically successful. IGN listed the miniseries as one of the best Comic Book Events, calling it "the iconic Thanos story and a template on which all future cosmic events were based". [14] CBR ranked The Infinity Gauntlet as the second greatest Thanos story.[15]

In other media


  1. ^ O'Neil, Patrick Daniel. "Spotlight: War of the Gods," David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview #104 (1991), pp. 21-35. Cover title: "Pérez Quits DC!"
  2. ^ The Infinity Gauntlet #2 (1991)
  3. ^ Various (2012-08-20). "Infinity Gauntlet (Comic Vine)". Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  4. ^ What If? #49 (May 1993)
  5. ^ What If? #104 (Jan. 1998)
  6. ^ What If? Newer Fantastic Four #1 (Feb. 2009)
  7. ^ What If? Infinity - Dark Reign (vol. 1) 1
  8. ^ Richard George & Jesse Schedeen (2010-04-16). "The Avengers vs. The Infinity Gauntlet Once More". Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 2 #1
  11. ^ Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 2 #2
  12. ^ Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 2 #3
  13. ^ Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 2 #4
  14. ^ "The Best Comic Book Events". IGN.
  15. ^ "The Greatest Thanos Stories". Comic Book Resources.

External links

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