Every Power Replacing The Infinity Stones In The MCU – Screen Rant

The Infinity Stones have been the dominant power in the MCU for years, but they’ve slowly been replaced by other weapons and characters.
The Infinity Stones may have taken a back seat in MCU Phase 4, but their powers are still present in different forms. For the first three phases of the franchise, the Infinity Stones were portrayed as the ultimate power, but after Thanos and his plan to use the stones for evil was defeated, they quickly retreated into the background of the Marvel universe. More recently, however, the powers held by the Infinity Stones have reemerged in MCU Phase 4 in new and interesting ways.
At different points in the MCU story, different Infinity Stones have reigned supreme. Phase 1 was all about the Tesseract, or Space Stone, while Phase 2 focused more on the Mind Stone. In Phase 3, the Time Stone gained heightened importance, and of course, the battle against Thanos brought all the other Infinity Stones – the Power Stone, Reality Stone, and Soul Stone – into the action in major ways. Between the six, all aspects of the Marvel universe could be made malleable, allowing for some wild storylines and incredibly powerful characters.
Related: The MCU Reveals Thanos’ Plan Wasted The Infinity Stones
Although the Infinity Stones have taken a step back in importance lately, that potential that they brought has remained in the MCU. Primarily, that’s because most of the stones have been replaced by different items or characters wielding similar powers, allowing control over time, space, reality, and so on without having to hold the Infinity Stones at all. The Infinity Stones still matter in MCU Phase 4, but they’re not the only way to achieve their respective powers anymore. Here are all the ways the Infinity Stones have been replaced in the MCU.
The time travel and time control abilities of Doctor Strange’s Time Stone are alive and well in the MCU, albeit caused by different things. In Avengers: Endgame, the Quantum Realm was revealed to be capable of causing time travel through the use of Pym Particles. That discovery allowed Iron Man, Captain America, and the other Avengers to undo Thanos’ Snap without the use of the actual Time Stone. The introduction of the TVA in Loki added another method of time travel using the agency’s mysterious technology, tying time travel into the creation of the MCU multiverse. Loki’s story also introduced Kang the Conqueror – a character who, in the comics, is a notorious time traveler. It looks like time travel in the MCU may be developed even further in Loki season 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
While not one of the most important Infinity Stones in the overall MCU story, the Reality Stone is nevertheless a force to be reckoned with. The ability to alter the very fabric of reality is rare and dangerous, but Phase 4 has shown that it’s possible outside the use of the stone. In WandaVision, Scarlet Witch’s powers are revealed to include the ability to alter reality, as she puts the entire town of Westview under a spell that turns it into a mid-20th century American sitcom. Though the yellow Mind Stone awakened Scarlet Witch’s powers, her magic is distinctly red in color – the same hue as the Reality Stone.
Although the Space Stone/Tesseract was pivotal to the story of MCU Phase 1, it became far less central later on in the franchise. In part, that’s because numerous other methods of instantaneous space travel have been introduced to the MCU over the years. One such example is the Sling Rings of Doctor Strange, which allow for travel not only across space, but between dimensions. Characters like Heimdall and Doctor Strange wield other methods of teleportation, as do the agents of Loki’s TVA, whose time doors traverse space as well as time. On top of that, of course, Pym Particles and the Quantum Realm allow for travel through dimensions, theoretically, just as they can facilitate time travel.
Related: Ultron vs. Thanos: Who’d Win An MCU Fight (Without Infinity Stones)
Out of all the Infinity Stones, the Power Stone is certainly the most easily replaceable. That’s not to say that the purple Infinity Gem is weak by any means, but the MCU has introduced so many powerful characters and weapons in recent years that it doesn’t have the luster it once did. Weapons like the Ten Rings and Thor’s Stormbreaker ax give the Power Stone a run for its money, and Phase 4 will be introducing even more formidable tools later on, like the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade and Gorr the God Butcher’s necrosword, All-Black. Eternals will also put the ancient godlike Celestials back in the forefront of the MCU story, shaking up the power hierarchy within the franchise yet again. The MCU’s Power Stone is certainly strong, but it’s far from the only deadly power in the Marvel universe.
One of the less direct effects of the Infinity Stones is the ability to bestow superpowers onto those exposed to their energy. This has been seen in the MCU through characters like Scarlet Witch, whose powers were awakened by exposure to the Mind Stone, and Captain Marvel, who received her powers after being exposed to the Tesseract. In WandaVision, Monica Rambeau receives impressive energy powers due to exposure to Scarlet Witch’s hex magic, showing that the MCU now has other ways of bestowing supernatural abilities on characters spontaneously without the direct use of the stone. It’s possible that a similar effect will be used to grant Kamala Khan her powers in Ms. Marvel when it premieres on Disney+.
Another core ability of the Mind Stone – the power to actually control people’s minds – has continued in the MCU through Scarlet Witch, who is shown in WandaVision to be able to brainwash people, control their behavior, and wipe their memories using her mystical powers. She isn’t the only MCU character capable of that power, either. Just recently, it was revealed that the Eternal Eros, Thanos’ brother in the original Marvel comics, is joining the franchise for future films, played by Harry Styles. Eros, also known as Starfox, wields the ability to control the emotions of others, putting him in a similar power category as the Mind Stone his brother once wielded.
MCU Phase 4 is expanding the franchise in new and exciting ways, bringing in more obscure characters from the Marvel comics and opening up new corners of the universe through time travel and the creation of the multiverse. The MCU’s Infinity Stones will surely continue to play a role in the plot going forward, but they’re already being partially replaced by similar powers in other items and characters. With the standard of power constantly rising in the MCU, the franchise’s most powerful weapons and characters may not even have reached the screen yet.
Next: Every Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie & TV Show In Development
Rick Stevenson is a writer, editor and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s written on TV, film and games for over six years, in addition to assorted stints in bookselling, carpentry, and TV production. Rick studied writing at the College of William & Mary and Oxford University, and can report with some authority that they are both old. He lives and dies for Avatar: The Last Airbender.


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