- 1 History
- 2 Properties
- 3 Alternate Reality Versions
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links and References
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 Gardener was the first known holder of the one that would eventually be identified as the Time Gem, using it to help create his gardens in otherwise desolate environments. He had set up such a garden on Earth's Moon when the Stranger, another Gem-holder attacked him in an effort to collect all six. In order to fend the Stranger off, the Gardener was forced to use his Gem offensively, an act which tainted the Gem in his eyes, making its capacity to destroy overshadow its capacity to create. The Gardener discarded the Gem on the once more barren Moon and departed.
The Gem was shortly thereafter picked up by Thanos on a quest to collect them all. He combined the Gem with four 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 Time Gem. 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 Time Gem being returned to the Gardener, who by now had grown beyond his concern for the Gems' perceived moral integrity.
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. The Gardener had been subconsciously using the Time Gem's abilities to grow and maintain the plants in his garden when Thanos came to take it from him. Gardener made his stand and attempted to subdue Thanos with rapidly growing vines, but Thanos used the Power Gem he had already acquired to augment the Time Gem's effects beyond Gardener's capacity to control. Gardener was killed by his own vines while Thanos survived the attack with his own enhanced power, allowing him to walk away with the Time Gem as his prize. He was able to use the Time Gem's aging/de-aging properties to subsequently defeat the Runner and trick the Collector, quickly earning him two more of the Infinity Gems.
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, making him increasingly unstable in his frustration. When a coalition of surviving heroes came to confront him, he initially used the Time Gem's powers to freeze them all in place, leaving them helpless. Rather than end things quickly, 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. In particular, he removed Drax and Firelord from the battle by sending them through a time portal into prehistoric Earth. 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. He offered the Time Gem to the skeptical Gamora, who protested that she wouldn't know how to use that power and didn't want it, but to Warlock that was ideal since he knew the Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe could protect it from others that did.
Shortly after the Gems' distribution, the Man-Beast abducted Gamora along with Moondragon, Drax, and Pip, and trapped them in a machine to sap their Gems' power and create a vicious energy creature under his control called the Infinity Thrall. Warlock defeated the Man-Beast by causing the destruction of the machine, dispelling the Thrall and freeing the others. Afterwards, the five Gem-holders agreed to stick together as a team known as the Infinity Watch.
Gamora began to have involuntary visions of the future due to the Time Gem depicting dire fates for Adam Warlock. A particular vision depicted Maxam, whom the Infinity Watch had yet to meet, standing over Warlock's apparent corpse. As a result of the premonition, Gamora was particularly distrustful of the amnesiac Maxam once he appeared and joined the team.
At one point Gamora relinquished the Time Gem to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet as part of a scheme by Warlock to stop the Magus from making the universe collide with his doppelganger dimension. Ostensibly, Warlock would prepare to use the 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.
When the Infinity Watch invaded the dimension of Count Abyss to challenge the omnipotent despot, Abyss was able to defeat the Watch mostly by mystically turning the power of the Gems against their owners. Gamora ended up frozen in time by the power of her Gem until Abyss was defeated. Afterwards, Gamora briefly lost the Gem once more when Strange attacked the team in an attempt to steal them all. The sorceror's shade gave up and returned the Gems upon realizing they couldn't work together.
Gamora eventually grew fed up with the tolerance of Maxam and quit the Infinity Watch, relinquishing the Time Gem. Maxam became its new guardian by default and unexpectedly regained all his memories when he equipped it. It turned out being time-displaced himself, it was a temporal issue that sealed off his mind, and with the Gem centering him in the current timeline he was also suddenly vulnerable to Moondragon's psychic powers. He turned on Warlock, remembering his mission to kill him before he could become the Magus and commit universal genocide. Warlock and Moondragon temporarily subdued him and prepared to take the Time Gem back when it suddenly vanished without a trace. Even without the Gems present, the vision of Maxam killing Warlock played out according to an illusion planted by Moondragon in Maxam's mind. Maxam disappeared from the timeline, believing his mission complete. Moondragon concluded that the Time Gem saw the vision from Maxam's point of view in his future while it was with him and passed the vision back to Gamora in the past when it was with her. Paradoxically, it was mainly the Time Gem's vision that ultimately determined that the specific sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of the vision occurred.
While details are inconsistent, the cause of the Gems' disappearance was Rune of the Ultraverse, who had just been accidentally transported to Earth-616 and quickly became obsessed with the Infinity Gems upon sensing their power. He somehow first stole the Time Gem and used it to freeze time, then proceeded to take the other five Gems from their owners in the space between instants. The Living Tribunal, unaffected by time manipulation and sensing the imminent violation of his decree against the union of the Gems, brought the Silver Surfer into the frozen time and charged him with preventing it at all costs. The Surfer soon found Rune wearing the Soul Gem on his forehead and the other five arranged on his right-hand knuckles in a pattern similar to the Infinity Gauntlet. The Soul Gem's will was supplanting Rune's own and forcing him to open a rift to his home dimension. At that point, the Surfer attacked Rune, with a blast of the Power Cosmic to his hand dispersing the five Gems on it into the vortex, causing them and Rune to scatter throughout the Ultraverse and restarting the normal flow of time in Earth-616.
The Time Gem landed in the California desert of Earth-93060. Its fall as a meteorite was noticed by Hardcase, who picked it up and quickly learned its time manipulation abilities. He used his newfound time travel ability to attempt to alter history for the better, going back to the death of the Squad and helping them avert it. Unfortunately, when he returned to the present, he found out they all died anyway and now he had even fewer friends. Loki, who had detected the Infinity Gems' arrival in the Ultraverse and was trying to collect them, took the opportunity to trick Hardcase into handing over the Gem by posing as its rightful owner. When Loki absconded with the Gem, he provided further misdirection by implying he was working for Hardcase's nemesis, Rex Mundi. Hardcase tracked down Mundi and didn't find the Gem, but did learn more about his adaptive powers. Realizing he could replicate the time travel effect without the Gem, he went back to prevent himself from altering history, convincing his recent past self to dispose of the Gem. While the timeline was altered on Earth, Loki was outside its influence in the otherworldly Vahdala and kept his hold on the Gems he collected.
Loki collected all six Gems but didn't have a clear goal in mind for how to use them. He wanted to eventually return to his home universe to exact revenge on his enemies, but bided his time while occasionally using his absolute power to commit minor acts of mischief on Earth. Meanwhile, a seventh Infinity Gem residing in the Ultraverse had also sensed the others' presence and sought to reunite with them. Possessing Sersi, another refugee from its home universe, the Ego Gem got close enough to Loki to connect with the other six, merging into a being called Nemesis, who attempted to use her creative forces to remake the two universes. Even the seven Gems together did not make a cohesive whole, however, and the Ego Gem's consciousness found itself at odds with some of the voices of the other Gems. This weakness allowed heroes of the two universes to fight back against her, and ultimately Black Knight struck a decisive blow on her crown where the Gems were stored, destroying the Ego Gem and scattering the other six in an explosion of creative force that would send everyone back where they belonged while restructuring the Ultraverse from the ground up.
The remains of the Ego Gem's essence was split among the Power, Soul, Mind, and Space Gems, allowing them each to take on autonomous living forms that shared Nemesis' malicious intents. The Time and Reality Gems, whose individual consciousnesses rebelled against the others in the interest of preserving the fabric of existence, remained in their original forms and found other hosts in the reforming Ultraverse to mitigate the chaos in Nemesis' wake. The Time Gem ended up in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, its power creating a bubble of stability around the city as the reality-warping Nemesis waves rendered everything outside uninhabitable. The Gem came into the possession of Jamie Tark and granted her precognitive visions that helped her father secure rulership of the city. One of her prophesies foretold the arrival of the Reality Gem's holder, Amber Hunt, and that the end of their world would follow. Despite this warning, Amber eventually convinced Jamie and her father that she needed to take the Time Gem to save the universe. From there, Amber, together with the Time and Reality Gems, returned to the nanosecond of Nemesis' destruction to absorb and safely convert the waves of creative force, leaving only the initial wave that the Marvel Universe and Ultraverse would have to weather on their own. Their work complete, the Gems scattered again.
When the Illuminati attempted to use the Infinity Gauntlet to push away another universe that was colliding with Earth-616, the Time Gem disappeared. The Time Gem eventually returned and suddenly transported the Avengers to various points in the future, shattering in the process.
Following the destruction of the entire Multiverse and its eventual restoration, the destroyed Infinity Gems were recreated and scattered across the universe. The Time Gem (now colored green) restored the world of Sakaar and rested beneath its mantle until it was found by the Super-Skrull. Once the gem was in his possession, Kl'rt returned to Tarnax II and had the magician Mt'nox study it to amplify its strengths, since he wanted to use the gem's power to expand the Skrull Empire. When Doctor Strange visited Tarnax II as part of a journey to search for magicians in other planets, he discovered that the Time Stone was in the hands of the Skrulls. He determined the stone was too dangerous to be in their hands, and stole it from Kl'rt. Using the gem's power to jump forward in time several times, Doctor Strange created an army of time-displaced duplicates and defeated the Super-Skrull. He and his partner Kanna left the planet afterwards with the Time Stone. When he returned to Earth, Strange held onto the Time Stone for safekeeping.
After discovering that the rest of the Infinity Stones had become active, Strange convened a parley between the wielders of the Infinity Stones to form the Infinity Watch. The meeting in Central Park was disrupted by the arrival of 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. In the middle of the chaos, Strange was subdued by Gamora, and she stole the Time Stone from him. 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. Ant-Man was given the replicate Time Stone since his mastery over space manipulation via Pym Particles allowed him to tap into the Time 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. All the gems left the Earth save for the Time Stone, which sought wrongfully sentenced death-row inmate Hector Bautista and merged with him, granting him time-manipulating powers that he used to escape prison.
The Time Stone allows its user total control over the past, present and future. Its most basic ability grants its user visions of possible futures, and the power to stop and rewind time. It allows time travel, control over the age of beings and also be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire worlds in unending loops of time. At its peak, when used with the other gems, it allows its user to exist at all points in time simultaneously.
Following the destruction and rebirth of the Infinity Stones, the artifacts formed a feedback circuit. Because of this, how much of the Time Stone's potential somebody can tap depends on their mastery over space, meaning that possession of the Space Stone allows for a better use of the Time Stone. In turn, possession of the Time Stone allows for better control of the Reality Stone.
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 Time Stone started fluctuating through time, but Iron Man was able to pin it down and seize it. However, the Stone got lodged in Iron Man's arc reactor. And each time the Stone pulsated, it caused Stark to de-age. Additionally, the arrival of said stone create temporal anomalies, like the appearance of dinosaurs, robots from the future, or Hydra battalions from WWII which wrecked havoc in Manhattan.
In the middle of the chaos, the Red Skull escaped his cell at the Avengers Tower, and tried to get the Time Stone, so he chased Tony Stark through the building, who had become a kid. Captain America fought the Skull to save Tony, and Stark managed to put on an adjusted Iron Man armor for his younger body. Tony attacked the Skull with a repulsor ray which blasted the villain out of the tower. Captain America was able to encourage the young Tony to focus and control the power of the Time Stone, ultimately succeeding in stopping the timeslips, sending everyone who was time-displaced to their respective eras, and reverting Stark back to his normal age.
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 vanish him back to his dimension. After initially falling into the Stones' influence, Natasha was capable of resisting their control and reject them. However, as soon as she 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 first aged the Avengers until they died with the Time Stone, but Thor forced him to reverse time after causing the Titan's energy beam to backfire, aging him.
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.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
In this universe, the Time Stone was held inside the Eye of Agamotto, a locket in possession of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. By using its powers to control the flow of time, Stephen Strange made time go backwards and prevent the destruction of Hong Kong, and later imposed a time loop upon the Dark Dimension to blackmail Dormammu into leaving Earth alone.
When the Black Order attacked Earth, Ebony Maw tried to steal it from Doctor Strange, but there was a protection spell that prevented it from being removed from the Eye of Agamoto. On Titan, Doctor Strange used the stone to see various outcomes combating Thanos, and claimed only one outcome could lead to success. When Thanos threatened to kill Tony Stark, Doctor Strange bargained the stone for Stark's life, which Thanos accepted and added the stone to the Infinity Gauntlet. Back on Earth, Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse time to restore the recently destroyed Mind Stone. Three weeks later, Thanos destroyed the Time Stone alongside the rest of the Infinity Stones.
Thanos Wins (Earth-TRN666)
A piece of the Time Stone of this reality was used by the Rider at the behest of his master, King Thanos, to travel to the past in order to drag a younger Thanos to the future so he could help in the killing of the Fallen One. Though not what it used to be, the Time Stone enabled the Rider to travel millions of years into the past and the future when fueled by the Power Cosmic, and also allowed him to pause time.
2012 New York Time Heist (Earth-TRN732)
This version of the Time Stone shared its history with its Earth-199999 counterpart until 2012. During their "Time Heist," the Avengers traveled to an alternate 2012 to retrieve a copy of the Time Stone that could be used to reverse Thanos' snap. Bruce Banner traveled to the Sanctum Sanctorum to take the Time Stone, where he met its guardian, the Ancient One. Though she told him that removing the Infinity Stones from their timelines could disrupt balance, Banner promised to return the stones before leaving with the Time Stone. Back in their timeline, Banner used the Time Stone in conjunction with the other time-displaced Infinity Stones to resurrect the fallen. When the Thanos of an alternate 2014 came to take the Infinity Stones, Iron Man used this copy to eliminate Thanos and his army at the cost of his own life. Captain America returned to 2012 to hand the Time Stone back to the Ancient One.
- 188 Appearances of Time Stone
- 44 Minor Appearances of Time Stone
- 8 Media Time Stone was Mentioned in
- 149 Images featuring Time Stone
- Item Gallery: Time Stone
Links and References
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
- Marvel Team-Up #55
- Avengers Annual #7
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #7
- West Coast Avengers Annual #2
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #9
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #18
- Thanos Quest #1
- Thanos Quest #2
- Infinity Gauntlet #1
- Infinity Gauntlet #4
- Infinity Gauntlet #6
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #6
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #12
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #16
- Infinity War #4
- Infinity War #6
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #32
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #36
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #40
- Warlock and the Infinity Watch #42
- Rune/Silver Surfer #1
- Hardcase #23
- Hardcase #26
- Avengers/UltraForce #1
- UltraForce/Avengers #1
- Black September #Infinity
- New Avengers Vol 3 #3
- Avengers Vol 5 #29
- All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #10
- Incredible Hulk #713
- Doctor Strange Vol 5 #3
- Infinity Countdown #4
- Infinity Wars #1
- Infinity Wars #2
- Infinity Wars #3
- Infinity Wars #5
- Infinity Wars #6
- Infinity Wars Prime #1
- Thanos Annual #1
- Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 1
- Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 7
- Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 12
- Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 13
- Doctor Strange (film)
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- Thanos Vol 2 #13
- Thanos Vol 2 #15
- Avengers Vol 4 #10
- Infinity Gauntlet #5
- New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #2
- Incredible Hulk #717