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So far, Thanos’ hunt for the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t gone well - but that’s going to change. Tired of his subordinates failing him, the Mad Titan finally retrieved his own Infinity Gauntlet during the Avengers: Age of Ultron mid-credits scene and decided to get the job done himself. In future movies, we will likely get to see the giant purple alien retrieve all of the stones – including the ones he’s lost – but the big question that hangs in the balance is when exactly that may happen.
We first got a glimpse at Thanos wielding the fully-powered Infinity Gauntlet in the teaser video that was shown last October announcing Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Part II, and ComicBookMovie.com claims that this same preview will be a bonus feature that will be included with the upcoming home video release of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. But with a good amount of time left before the showdown with the Mad Titan hits the big screen, we don’t know when he’ll actually gain the powers of a god- though we have a good guess.
Aside from Thanos using the Infinity Stones, the Infinity War movies won’t be direct adaptations of the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet story. As such, it’s doubtful that he’ll have all six at the beginning of Part I like in the original story. It’s more likely that he’ll own the Six Stones either at the end of Part I, or in the beginning of Part II - which still gives him ample enough time to wield this tremendous power. All this being said, don’t be surprised if the Mad Titan is seen mid-credits/end-credit scenes in various Phase Three films showing him stealing each Stone, whether it’s stealing the Tesseract from the Asgardian vaults in Thor: Ragnarok or taking the Orb from the Nova Corps in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Even without the Stones, he’s one of the most powerful individuals in the universe, and he’ll be able to take out almost anyone standing in his way. However, it’s possible that like in Infinity Gauntlet, his overconfidence will prove to be his undoing in the end.
Thanos didn’t start out in the MCU without any of the Infinity Stones. He originally held the Mind Stone, but lost it after loaning to Loki in The Avengers for the God of Mischief’s failed conquest of Earth. That particular Stone now belongs to the android Vision. Loki’s failure also resulted in him not being able to secure the Tesseract (a.k.a. the Space Stone), which Thor brought back to Asgard. Adding insult to injury, Thanos was betrayed by Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy when the Kree fanatic refused to give up the Orb (a.k.a. the Power Stone). Meanwhile, the Aether (a.k.a. the Reality Stone) is still presumably being held by The Collector despite the fact that his museum was destroyed. That leaves two Stones left to be introduced in Phase Three: Time and Soul.
Thanos will wield the power of the Infinity Stones when Avengers: Infinity War Part I is released on May 4, 2018, followed by Avengers: Infinity War Part II on May 3, 2019.