ByMark J. Guillen, writer at Creators.co
Okay, so… what are the six stones, and where have I seen them before?

"Before creation itself, there were six singularities, then the universe exploded into existence and the remnants of this system were forged into concentrated ingots... Infinity Stones."

— A blonde-haired Benicio Del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy

That’s the most succinct explanation we get about the infinity stones in all of Marvel’s first 11 movies. The Big Bang’s leftovers are represented by six colored stones with powers that don’t otherwise exist in the universe. Each has its own name: space, mind, reality, power, soul, and time. We've only seen the first four on screen so far, with soul and time still awaiting their on-screen debut.

TESSERACT (SPACE STONE)

As seen in both Captain America (used by Red Skull) and The Avengers (used by Loki), the Tesseract is a blue stone capable of teleporting anything from one point in the universe to the other. The other use is, apparently, as a means to manufacture futuristic weaponry — but who's to say those blue lasers aren't just teleporting all the victims to some random pub on a distant planet? Sounds like the plot of Marvel’s first TV comedy. Last we saw, Thor took it back to his homeworld of Asgard at the end of The Avengers.
As seen in both Captain America (used by Red Skull) and The Avengers (used by Loki), the Tesseract is a blue stone capable of teleporting anything from one point in the universe to the other. The other use is, apparently, as a means to manufacture futuristic weaponry — but who's to say those blue lasers aren't just teleporting all the victims to some random pub on a distant planet? Sounds like the plot of Marvel’s first TV comedy. Last we saw, Thor took it back to his homeworld of Asgard at the end of The Avengers.

AETHER (REALITY STONE)

The Aether is a red floating liquid thing that attaches to a host and... makes him or her stronger? In the comics, it's more focused on wish fulfillment. Its only appearance in the movie so far has been Thor: The Dark World as "thing Natalie Portman has and the bad guy really wants." By the end of the film, it was given to The Collector (aka "blond Benicio Del Toro") for safekeeping — although his whole house was wrecked during Guardians of the Galaxy, so who knows if it moved at that point.
The Aether is a red floating liquid thing that attaches to a host and... makes him or her stronger? In the comics, it's more focused on wish fulfillment. Its only appearance in the movie so far has been Thor: The Dark World as "thing Natalie Portman has and the bad guy really wants." By the end of the film, it was given to The Collector (aka "blond Benicio Del Toro") for safekeeping — although his whole house was wrecked during Guardians of the Galaxy, so who knows if it moved at that point.

ORB (POWER STONE)

This is the stone that actually wrecked The Collector's home in Guardians of the Galaxy. The purple stone gives the wielder incredible power — superhuman strength shooting beams of purple destruction, and possibly wiping out all organic life from a planet just by touching the surface. Here, it's "thing Chris Pratt has that bad guys want." By the end of GotG, the Power Stone was being housed by the intergalactic police known as Nova Corps.
This is the stone that actually wrecked The Collector's home in Guardians of the Galaxy. The purple stone gives the wielder incredible power — superhuman strength shooting beams of purple destruction, and possibly wiping out all organic life from a planet just by touching the surface. Here, it's "thing Chris Pratt has that bad guys want." By the end of GotG, the Power Stone was being housed by the intergalactic police known as Nova Corps.

LOKI'S SCEPTER / VISION (MIND STONE)

Surprise! Except kind of not. Loki's blue-glowing scepter, it turns out, housed a yellow infinity stone. As seen in The Avengers, the mind stone lets the owner control the minds of others. It can also transform a fleshy red robot into Paul Bettany. The stone can currently be found on Vision's (aka BettanyBot's) forehead.
Surprise! Except kind of not. Loki's blue-glowing scepter, it turns out, housed a yellow infinity stone. As seen in The Avengers, the mind stone lets the owner control the minds of others. It can also transform a fleshy red robot into Paul Bettany. The stone can currently be found on Vision's (aka BettanyBot's) forehead.

SOUL STONE

Not yet seen in films, the Soul Stone of Marvel comics was a somewhat sentient creature that could trap souls inside another world. The concept of "souls" really hasn't been explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so no telling how it'll be presented on screen.
Not yet seen in films, the Soul Stone of Marvel comics was a somewhat sentient creature that could trap souls inside another world. The concept of "souls" really hasn't been explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so no telling how it'll be presented on screen.

TIME STONE

Visit the future! Alter the past! Speed up and slow down the passing of time! Stay young forever! Reboot the entire series and start over! (Just kidding… probably.)
Visit the future! Alter the past! Speed up and slow down the passing of time! Stay young forever! Reboot the entire series and start over! (Just kidding… probably.)

Aren't the infinity gem colors different in the comic books?

Yes, but even in comics, the associated colors have changed — especially in more recent issues. There have also been, at times, additional infinity gems, because why not? There’s no significant reason why the infinity stones are a certain color. According to director James Gunn, the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy was purple because "the Aether [in Thor: The Dark World] already took red." The only thing that's remained consistent is the color palette: red, purple, blue, green, yellow, and orange.

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