Everything that follows exists on UTG because of a post-credits sequence in the film, Thor: The Dark World. If you do not want this movie moment spoiled, I suggest turning back now.
Say what you will about how Thor: The Dark World compares to other movies in the Marvel universe, but there is no doubt the first of the two post-credits sequences held one of the biggest reveals to date. Shortly after the credits began we saw Volstagg and Sif meeting with The Collector (Benicio Del Toro). During their exchange, Volstagg explained that Asgard would not be a safe place to store the Aether because the Tesseract is already there and he believes it would be foolish to store two Infinity Stones in the same place. The Collector agrees, and shortly after the item is exchanged the scene comes to an end.
Any average Marvel movie fan probably recognized The Collector as one of the characters that will be featured in 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, so the tie-in to that film was a fairly obvious one. That’s no doubt exciting, but it’s not the reason you spotted nerds foaming at the mouth with excitement when you left the theater. The scene didn’t explain this, but the Infinity Stones – otherwise known as Infinity Gems – have played a major role in the Marvel universe for decades, and more importantly are tied to the one villain every fanboy has waiting to see unleash terror on everything in existence.
So, what are these Stones? Fair question. The Infinity Stones are a series of powerful gems, each with its own specific power, that were created from the remains of an omnipotent god that committed suicide long, long ago. The Stones were held by an ancient group of cosmic beings known as The Elders for many years, but all that changed in The Infinity Gauntlet when Thanos, a villain to top all villains, took the Stones from the Elders in the most violent of ways. He combined the power of the Stones by embedding them into a golden glove, which he then used to erase half of all the life in the universe out of existence in order to please the object of his obsession (and affection), the physical personification of death.
Marvel has yet to say just how they plan to incorporate the Infinity Stones into the films moving forward, but its already been confirmed that Thanos will appear in Guardians Of The Galaxy. It’s believed his role in the story will be bigger than his role in The Avengers, but I find it hard to believe Marvel will have him be defeated in a single film, let alone by Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax and Groot. We do know however, that the Infinity Gauntlet was believed to be teased during the original Thor. Here’s a screenshot refresher:
There is nearly a year to go before we find out just what comes of The Infinity Stones, Thanos, and the Guardians Of The Galaxy, but only five months until Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters. Knowing Marvel, there will probably be another hint at the future of cinematic comic universe somewhere in that film as well. We’ll bring you more information as it becomes available.