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One of six Infinity Gems that grant its user control over reality. According to the most commonly accepted origin story the six gems were once part of an all-powerful being who committed suicide out of loneliness. Its power survived and manifested as six gems.
For a long time, knowledge of the true nature of the Gems was unknown and the six were known collectively as "Soul Gems", with much of their powers unrealized by their users. The ones that would eventually be identified as the Reality Gem and the Space Gem were being held on a prison satellite and by a powerful entity known as Xiambor when Thanos was in the process of collecting them for his own purposes, but it is unclear which was which. Thanos combined those Gems with three others and siphoned energies from the sixth to create a giant synthetic Gem with the intent of destroying the stars of the universe with its absolute power. The combined efforts of Warlock, Captain Marvel, and the Avengers thwarted Thanos' plan and destroyed the combined Gem.
For a time, the five combined Gems were thought to be destroyed, but a conclave of the Elders of the Universe eventually learned that they could not be truly destroyed in such a manner and that they were actually scattered across the universe. Having a plan to use the Gems to further their ambitions, the Elders set out to gather them together again. Of these, only the Mind Gem's circumstances were specified, having come into possession of the Kree. The Champion won one of the other Gems as the World Trophy of Grinx, the Collector collected one, and the Trader purchased the other two. It's unclear which of these was the Reality Gem at the time. The Elders eventually succeeded in gathering all six Gems together and connected them into a space platform aligned with a star system with six desolate planets the Gems could resonate with, setting up a trap for Galactus. Their apparatus would steal planetary energies from Galactus, channeling them into the planets, thus killing Galactus and subsequently Eternity due to the loss of balance that Galactus maintained. The universe would end and be reborn, with only the Elders surviving due to their earlier victory over Death and as such be true Elders of the new universe as Galactus had been in theirs. Though the Elders successfully trapped Galactus, they failed to handle interference from his heralds. While the Silver Surfer blocked the ray from the Gem apparatus, Nova detonated the star at the center of the system, creating a black hole that consumed the Gems and some of the Elders, saving Galactus.
The Elders joined with the In-Betweener in a further scheme to kill Galactus, retrieving the Gems from the black hole, but they were thwarted again by the Silver Surfer. Lord Chaos and Master Order became involved and redistributed the Gems among the In-Betweener and the Elders afterwards, with the one that would soon be revealed as the Reality Gem entrusted to the Collector.
Thanos learned of the Gems' true nature as Infinity Gems from the Infinity Well and set out to gather them once more in a quest to become a god worthy of being Death's consort. By the time he was halfway through this mission, the Elders had become aware of his movements and were guarding themselves for the Gems they possessed. The Collector was never able to unlock the secret of the Gem in his collection, so he was willing to deal with the Mad Titan when he came offering a trade. Having used the Time Gem to de-age the Runner into an infant, Thanos offered the baby Elder to Collector's menagerie of rare lifeforms. As far as Collector's studies could tell, the yellow Gem was no more than a useless glass bauble, so he smugly accepted the trade. With the Gem in hand, Thanos then revealed that the Reality Gem required a level of imagination lacking in the monomaniacal Elder and demonstrated its reality-warping effects to the Collector's horror. He also admitted that the Runner's de-aging was only a temporary effect just before teleporting away, leaving the Collector aghast with the suddenly restored and indignant Runner.
When Thanos assembled all six Gems into his Infinity Gauntlet, he had the power and knowledge to achieve anything he desired, except he found he still didn't know what it would take for Death to return his affection. He attempted various grand gestures, eventually creating a great shrine to Death and fulfilling his promise to her to kill half the population of the universe, removing them from existence with a snap of his fingers. No matter what he did, Death continued to regard him with silent disdain. He became increasingly unstable in his frustration and when a coalition of surviving heroes came to confront him, he was compelled to attempt to entertain Death by limiting his own abilities and giving his enemies a minute chance of victory. He swore off the use of all the Gems except Power in the ensuing battle, though he defeated many of his opponents through manipulations of time, space, and reality regardless. For example, he transmuted the Adamantium of Wolverine's bones to rubber, shrank the Hulk, and conjured a rapidly growing mold to consume She-Hulk and Namor. After his inevitable victory, Thanos reclaimed full control of the Gems just in time to face an alliance of Cosmic Beings. When Death stood with the other Abstracts against him, Thanos lost his last vestige of patience and subdued them all, imprisoning them in an energy field. Upon defeating Eternity, he took their place as an abstract being one with the universe. This meant abandoning his physical body, which was still wearing the Gauntlet. Nebula, who up to that point was a helpless bystander being tortured by her grandfather for his amusement, seized the opportunity and stole the Gauntlet. She quickly used the Gauntlet to reset the timeline by 24 hours, more so to spite Thanos' accomplishments than to set things right. She lacked the experience or understanding to make full effective use of the Gems, so Adam Warlock, who had formed more of a connection to the Gems through his time within the Soul Gem, was able to hide from her and eventually separate her from the Gauntlet to claim it for himself. Pledging to be a more worthy supreme being, Warlock ended the conflict and sent everyone on their way.
Warlock did not hold the Infinity Gauntlet for long before Eternity brought his case to the Living Tribunal that the young god was no more suited to hold omnipotence than Thanos. The Tribunal ruled that Warlock disperse the Gems so that no individual could misuse their combined might. Warlock decided to split the Gems among friends and allies he knew would not or could not abuse their potential. While he openly relinquished four and kept one for himself as part of a group known as the Infinity Watch, he secretly distributed the Reality Gem to Thanos, who knew not to risk the use of its abilities without the other Gems to balance it. Keeping Thanos separate from the rest of the group naturally kept the Gems separate from each other.
Thanos did not make use of the Reality Gem during this time, instead keeping it in a display case in his hideaway. At one point, Thanos assisted Warlock in a scheme to stop the Magus from making the universe collide with his doppelganger dimension. Ostensibly, Warlock would assemble the Infinity Gauntlet while Galactus took Gamora to meet with Eternity and the Living Tribunal to reverse the ruling on using the Gems in unison, but it instead turned out to be a trap to draw the Magus out of hiding. Magus stole the Infinity Gauntlet to achieve godhood just as the ruling was reversed, but he didn't realize the Reality Gem included was a fake. Without it, Magus was vulnerable to Warlock's counterattack, who wrested the supreme power with the assistance of Eternity and Infinity who represented the reality Magus lacked control over. With Magus and his threat vanquished, the Infinity Gems were returned to the Infinity Watch and the ban on the Gems' combination was reinstated. Only Warlock and Thanos shared the knowledge of the Reality Gem's actual location the whole time.
Some time later, the Goddess briefly infiltrated his base and came within arm's length of the Reality Gem before Thanos discovered her and she left empty-handed. In the ensuing Infinity Crusade, it's not clear what her plans for the Reality Gem entailed, but it may have been meant to be added to the collection of similarly reality-altering Cosmic Containment Units already in her possession.
Thanos eventually grew impatient and devised a plan to use the Reality Gem along with the Time Gem for a megalomaniacal scheme, but his plans were aborted by the sudden disappearance of the Infinity Gems from the universe. Allied with Gamora, Thanos set out in an attempt to find where the Gems had gone.
Following the destruction of the entire Multiverse and its eventual restoration, the destroyed Infinity Gems were recreated and scattered across the reborn Prime Marvel Universe. While she was on Weirdworld, teenager Becca Rodriguez encountered Ogeode, who proclaimed that he had caused her plane to crash with an artifact known as the Wuxian Seed.
Ogeode was then promptly killed by Goleta the Wizardslayer, which was witnessed by Warg, who notified the Witch Queen le Fay that the the Wuxian Seed had fallen into Becca's possession. During a later encounter, le Fay revealed that the Wuxian Seed was in fact an Infinity Gem that could bestow power and alter reality, and a subsequent bolt of her magic shattered the Wuxian Seed, releasing a red, lifelike aether, which took the form of a dragon and fled.
Heart of Gaia
After its departure from Weirdworld, the Reality Stone next turned up in a different reality altogether; a universe that was a dark mirror image of its native reality, where it was also known as the Heart of Gaia. After passing through a singularity, Dr. Eve and her cohort Mim breached into this other universe and secured the stone to further her plans; however, Lord Starkill attacked them and claimed the item after leaving them for dead, which he intended to deliver to Thanos the Just.
When he was confronted by Carol Danvers, who had been taken to this universe by Dr. Eve and Mim, and the Zeta Flight for stealing the stone, Starkill captured them with the help of his crew, the Ravagers, and included them in his deal with Thanos. Unfortunately for Quill, the Ravagers and Zeta Flight pulled a mutiny with the aid of the Widower when he mentioned his arrangement with the ultimate peacekeeper. Both Starkill and Danvers were consequently left incarcerated while aboard the Milano, where Bean made contact with Carol to warn her about the stone. When Thanos revealed he intended to use the Reality Stone to wipe all crime and violence of any kind from the universe, negotiations fell threw and Captain Marvel escaped with the stone, only to be ambushed by Dr. Eve who was very much still alive.
Dr. Eve claimed to have bound her lifeforce to Bean's in order to survive Lord Starkiller's assassination attempt, prompting Carol to leave with her to avoid any harm coming to the child. En route to their destination, Bean revealed that she was in fact working with Dr. Eve and that they planned to use the Reality Stone to move Earth-Zeta's Hala to the Prime Marvel Universe in order to replace the one destroyed by Mister Knife. When Captain Marvel refused, Bean possessed her body against her will; however, the fear of the Kree children on the planet below prompted her to abort Dr. Eve's plan and instead use the Reality Stone to teleport herself and Carol back to the Alpha Flight Low-Orbit Space Station in the Prime Marvel Universe.
Captain Marvel kept the Realiy Stone in her possession for safekeeping. When Doctor Strange convened a meeting of the wielders of each Infinity Stone to reform the Infinity Watch, Carol attended the parley in Central Park. The reunion was interrupted by Gamora, who had already claimed the Power Stone as part of her plan to collect all Infinity Stones and reunite with a part of herself trapped within the Soul Gem. During the subsequent battle, Captain Marvel tried to subdue Gamora, but Gamora defeated her and took the Reality Stone. She would end up claiming all Infinity Stones in the end.
Gamora folded the universe in half and merged the two halves together, sending the new universe into a pocket universe called Warp World inside the Soul Gem so the merged souls would become prey to the monstrous Devondra. While waiting for Warp World's destruction, Gamora traveled to the God Quarry to investigate what laid beneath it. Inside Warp World, Loki rallied a group of heroes called the Cosmic Avengers to stop Gamora, and they escaped from the Soul Gem using copies of the Infinity Stones found within Warp World which Gamora had unwittingly brought into existence when she created Warp World. Kang was given the replicate Reality Stone since his mastery over time allowed him to tap into the Reality Stone's full potential.
The Cosmic Avengers confronted Gamora and took the Power, Reality and Space Stones from her. Loki in turn took these stones for himself in addition to the copies of the Soul, Time and Mind Stones, thus assembling a complete set of Infinity Stones. He used the stones to send Gamora to Warp World before transporting himself to the unknown realm that existed beneath the Quarry of Creation, where he found a group of Celestials guarding a deposit of countless Infinity Stones.
Loki returned from beneath the Quarry of Creation, and used his Infinity Stones to render the surplus gems inert. He handed over his set to the Cosmic Avengers so they could repair the universe. After returning to Soul World and defeating Devondra, the Cosmic Avengers joined forces with Adam Warlock to restore the universe while keeping Warp World intact within the Soul Gem. Adam Warlock then used the Soul Gem to flee Soul World with the Cosmic Avengers and his allies while Drax the Destroyer sacrificed himself to keep the portal leading to the real universe open. After sending Gamora someplace to set her on a path of redemption, Adam Warlock decided to give the Infinity Stones sentience and let them decide their destinies in order to stop the conflicts over their power.
The Reality Stone initially allowed its user to alter reality to what one wanted or break the laws of reality, logic and physics. Minor uses allowed one to resurrect the dead, distort reality around someone so it was incomprehensible, or other things that would normally be impossible. More powerful uses allowed one to create any type of alternate reality one wished. At its peak when backed by the other gems it allowed one to alter reality on a universal scale.
Following the destruction and rebirth of the Infinity Gems, the abilities bestowed by the Reality Stone changed. From then on, it allowed its wielder to tap into the Multiverse, observe other realities, and communicate with the respective wielders of the Reality Stone in them. Because the Infinity Stones now formed a circuit, how much of the Reality Stone's potential somebody can tap depends on their mastery over time, meaning that possession of the Time Stone allows for a better use of the Reality Stone. In turn, possession of the Reality Stone allows for better control of the Soul Gem.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Reality Stone is a liquid known as the Aether. It is known to be able to convert matter into dark matter, and otherwise maintains an almost lifelike existence that causes it to bond in a parasitic fashion to a living host. Once bonded, the energies of the Aether slowly consume any mortal host, and also have a volatile and deadly effect on any who come into contact with the host in a manner that the Aether perceives as threatening. Bonded with a stronger host that understands its power, the Aether can be employed as a weapon where it lashes out with a concussive force, or reaches out to convert matter. During its brief time bonded to Malekith, the Aether also enhanced his physical form, causing him to grow threefold in height.
Every five-thousand years a cosmic event known as the Convergence causes the Nine Realms to become aligned, and Malekith planned to use this event and release the Aether to plunge the Nine Realms back into darkness. But the Asgardians intervened and took the Aether from him by force. After Malekith sacrificed his entire race to devastate Asgard's army so he could flee, Bor, knowing that the Aether could not be destroyed, had it hidden away where none could find it, and over the following five millennia its story faded from known history.
After five-thousand years, the next Convergence brought the Nine Realms into alignment again, and in so doing portals began to appear in the walls between realms. Jane Foster was dragged through one such portal to the hidden vault of the Aether where it bonded itself to her. She was taken to Asgard for treatment, but the physicians there could do nothing to remove it.
The Aether quickly became the central focus of a war when Malekith returned after a five-thousand year sleep to reclaim it. He almost succeeded when he pulled the Aether from Foster into himself and became its new host, but was stopped in the act of transforming the Nine Realms by the combined efforts of Foster and Thor.
Having recovered the Aether, the Asgardians decided that it was unwise to store two Infinity Stones in one vault, and turned the Aether over to Taneleer Tivan, the ageless archivist and curator known as the "Collector."
During the war against Ultron, Thor had a vision of the Infinity Stones, discovering that the Aether can solidify into the Reality Stone. .
After being recovered by the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor informed them of the Reality Stone's whereabouts, prompting Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis to travel to Knowhere to stop Thanos from retrieving it. However, Thanos had already beaten them to the punch and created an illusion in which he had yet to obtain the Reality Stone, and was in the process of interrogating Tivan. Gamora attacked and slew Thanos's illusion, only for the real Thanos to abduct her and use the stone to subdue the other Guardians. He would later use it to thwart Gamora's attempt to commit suicide, show Doctor Strange an illusion of Titan in its heyday, and battle the Avengers and Guardians. After gathering all the Infinity Stones, Thanos used all of them to destroy half of the universe. Three weeks later, Thanos destroyed the Reality Stone alongside the other Infinity Stones. 
In this reality, the Reality Stone shared its history with its Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart until 2013. Thor Odinson and Rocket time-traveled to 2013 to get the Reality Stone after Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones in their reality. Rocket acquired the Reality Stone by sneaking up on Jane Foster and draining it from her body. Later, after the Avengers used the Infinity Stones to resurrect those slain by Thanos, Steve Rogers returned the Reality Stone to its resting place.
2010s Marvel Animated Universe (Earth-12041)
In this universe, the Red Skull stole the Infinity Stones (as they are called, instead of "Infinity Gems") from his master Thanos and returned to Earth. He had his ship heavily damaged, which caused the Stones to be scattered all over the Earth. The Reality Stone fell into possession of the nefarious Squadron Supreme. Doctor Spectrum became its wielder, and used it to wrap reality so the Squadron became the publicly adored protectors of the Earth, while each member of the Avengers was turned into a villain.
During a fight against the Squadron Supreme, now-supervillain Iron Man had a glimpse of the original status quo. Familiar memories of this other life motivated him to assemble Black Widow, the Captain, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk and Thor to investigate this event, and ultimately discovered what the Squadron had done.
The Avengers stormed the Squadron Tower, and the Captain managed to remove the Stone from Doctor Spectrum's hand, which caused the stone to unleash a rift that was slowly altering reality back to normal. After the device the Squadron planned to use to better seize the Stone's power finished preparation, Spectrum started using the Stone to erase the Avengers from reality. However, Iron Man blasted him off, allowing the Captain to get hold of the Stone. Using the device and the Stone, reality was restored, and the Avengers were turned back to their true selves.
The Stone was contained with the other three that had been retrieved by the Avengers, under special care by Tony Stark. However, the Black Widow noticed that Tony was slowly being corrupted by the Stones. She sneaked into the vault and stole them, with the intention to send them to Asgard for safekeeping. Their plan failed, and they resorted to Doctor Strange so he could bury them between realities. However, Dormammu appeared shortly after to take the gems. Black Widow was forced to wield the Stones in order to banish him back to his dimension. After initially falling into the Stones' influence, Natasha was capable of resisting their control and rejected them. However, as soon as she was stripped of the Stones, Thanos returned, and assembled the Infinity Gauntlet with the Power Stone that was already in his possession.
Using the Gauntlet, Thanos created a citadel near Earth's orbit, and started modifying Earth's climate, causing anomalies around the globe. In order to defeat him, the Avengers got Thanos to fight them with each individual Stone. He used the Reality Stone to make the Avengers see a reality where global peace was achieved. Captain America managed to see through this lie, and freed the Avengers from its influence.
After getting the readings of each individual Stone, Iron Man activated Arsenal, who seized the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. When the Avengers returned to Earth, it was revealed a backdoor left in the robot's programming allowed Ultron to possess him. Arsenal was re-shaped into Ultron, and the evil A.I. revealed itself. The five Stones were drained of their power by Ultron.
- Without the sensory input and balancing influence of at least the Space and Time Gems, the Reality Gem is considered exceptionally dangerous to use on anything but a small scale due to the radical nature of its powers.
- 135 Appearances of Reality Gem
- 31 Minor Appearances of Reality Gem
- 5 Media Reality Gem was Mentioned in
- 175 Images featuring Reality Gem
- Item Gallery: Reality Gem
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Thor: The Dark World
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Weirdworld Vol 2 #1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Captain Marvel #126
- ↑ Avengers Annual #7
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #7
- ↑ West Coast Avengers Annual #2
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #9
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #18
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Thanos Quest #2
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #1
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #4
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #6
- ↑ Warlock Chronicles #2
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Infinity Crusade #1
- ↑ Infinity War #4
- ↑ Infinity War #6
- ↑ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #42
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #3
- ↑ All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #10
- ↑ Weirdworld Vol 2 #6
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Captain Marvel #128
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Captain Marvel #125
- ↑ Captain Marvel #127-128
- ↑ Captain Marvel #127
- ↑ Captain Marvel #129
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1
- ↑ Infinity Wars #1
- ↑ Infinity Wars #2
- ↑ Infinity Wars #3
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Infinity Wars #5
- ↑ Infinity Wars #6
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 9
- ↑ Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 12
- ↑ Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 13