Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.
Stan Lee / "The Watcher Informant"
Species: Unknown / Various
Portrayed by: Stan Lee
Voiced by: Jesse Conde (Latin-American Spanish dub); Salvador Moreno [main films], Eduardo Muntada [Captain America: The First Avenger], Santiago Cortés [Captain America: The Winter Soldier], Fernando Hernández [Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] (European Spanish dub)
Appearances: Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk | Iron Man 2 | Thor | Captain America: The First Avenger | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Episode: "T.R.A.C.K.S.") | Guardians of the Galaxy | Agent Carter (Episode: "The Blitzkrieg Button") | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Runaways (Episode: "Metamorphosis") | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel | Avengers: Endgame
A pioneer of the comic industry, and the creator or co-creator of most of the characters so far featured in not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the X-Men, Spider-Man and other non-Disney film and franchises. Much like Alfred Hitchcock, it has become a tradition for Stan Lee to make cameo appearances in most movies or TV series based on Marvel Comics, MCU and otherwise.
- Accidental Misnaming: The FedEx deliveryman whom he plays in Captain America: Civil War reads off "Tony Stank". While laughing, Rhodey says he got it right, "Yes, this... this is Tony Stank. Thank you for that."
- Armchair Military: He is a high-ranked officer in The First Avenger that does not see combat.
- Ambiguous Situation: Stan Lee's character in the Netflix TV shows is actually named Irving Forbush, a Joke Character from Marvel Comics. Whether Forbush is just another disguise for the Watcher Informant or not is ambiguous.note MCU Wiki states that they're two different individuals, however.
- Ambiguously Human: As of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Word of God states that Stan Lee's characters in all other movies are actually the same person, and that he has been the informant for the Watchers for quite some time. He also remains looking the same in the 1940's and the modern days, which implies that maybe he's not really a human. Or that there's time travel involved.
- Artificial Limbs: In Thor: Ragnarok, his right-hand has been replaced with a saw/bladed claw used to cut Thor's hair.
- As Himself: Except perhaps in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, where he may or may not have been Hugh Hefner and Larry King. Definitely not himself in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter, since he would been about 60 years younger at that point in time. Also not himself in Guardians of the Galaxy unless he's mastered interstellar space travel. However, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 suggests that he may actually be himself in all those cameos as he's seen in space talking to the Watchers about previous cameos he's done. Played a bit straighter in Captain Marvel, where he appears reading over the screenplay of Mallrats in which he famously cameoed. He was also credited as himself for Thor: The Dark World.
- Badass Mustache: Present in his more dignified appearances.
- Butt-Monkey: Mistakes a Senator's aide for Captain America, Tony Stark can never get his name right, gets sick from a gamma radiation laced soft drink, has the back of his truck ripped off, and misses all of The Avengers' action in New York. By Thor: The Dark World, he's in an asylum. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he's a Smithsonian guard who believes that he's going to lose his job after Steve breaks in and takes his WWII uniform to wear in the climax of the film and he gets drunk off of his ass in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In a deleted cut of Guardians of the Galaxy, he somehow ends up becoming one of The Collector's collection. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Watchers eventually get bored of his stories and walk off, leaving him stranded in space. Less severely, his peace and quiet was disrupted by Spider-Man in his movie. In the climax of Ant-Man and the Wasp, his car is hit by a stray Pym Particle and seemingly shrinks down to nothing.
- Catchphrase: Stan Lee's real life catchphrase is "Excelsior!" He finally gets to use it in Age of Ultron after he takes a shot of Asgardian alcohol, aged for a thousand years, getting him so drunk he has to be assisted when walking.
- Celebrity Paradox: While his status As Himself is pretty ambiguous in most of the movies, his cameo in Captain Marvel raises a whole slew of questions since the presence of his copy of the Mallrats screenplay confirms that his character (at the very least in this one movie) is indeed Stan Lee, co-creator of many characters that have appeared in the MCU. Mallrats is especially meta due to his cameo in that film being extensively about the creation behind some of his iconic characters.
- Chatty Hairdresser: In Thor: Ragnarok, he is one of those in the Sakaar gladiatorial ring. And Thor is frightened at having his hair cut by him!
- Commissar Cap: Wears one as a general in Captain America: The First Avenger.
- Cool Old Guy: Some are less cool than others; A Lady on Each Arm at a party? Cool. Drinking soda tainted by Hulk blood and collapsing? Not cool.
- Cool Shades: They add to his Cool Old Guy image.
- Creator Cameo:
- With the exception of his appearance in Captain America. He did not create that character but was responsible for bringing him into the Silver Age, as well as creating Cap's now-iconic shield throwing. He also appears in Guardians of the Galaxy despite only having a hand in creating Groot. Even then, Stan's original characterization of Groot was incredibly different from what is seen in the modern comics and the film.
- In addition to all of Stan's cameos, a digital recreation of his wife — Joan Lee — appears alongside him in Avengers: Endgame, de-aged to match her appearance in 1970. While Joan died before filming of Endgame began, this posthumous appearance makes for her second Marvel movie cameo after Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse (where she appeared alongside her husband), and her only Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance.
- Dirty Old Man: In Iron Man 3, when he gave a Christmas beauty pageant competitor in a skimpy bikini a perfect ten, is flirting with a much younger woman in Guardians of the Galaxy with Rocket calling him a "Class-A pervert" and wondering where his wife is, and in Ant-Man agrees with Luis that the woman talking to him looks "stupid fine".
- The Ditz: In his appearances from Thor onward he's not bright. In Captain America: Civil War he even appears only to read a character's name wrong.
- Elderly Immortal: He remains looking the same in the 1940's and the modern days. Maybe because he's not really a humanwhich is more than can be said for the real Stan Lee, whose latest possible appearance is in Avengers: Endgame following his passing in November 2018.
- Evil Laugh: He lets out a sinister chuckle as he prepares to cut Thor's hair.
- Expecting Someone Taller: In Captain America: The First Avenger — "I thought he'd be taller."
- Flat-Earth Atheist: In The Avengers: "Superheroes? In New York?" However, considering what he may actually be, it may be a case of Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Identical Grandson: It's more than likely that the Stan Lee who appeared in 1940s is the grandfather of Modern Day Stan Lee. Or, given the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cameo, is not.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: His characters' appearances range from the 1940s to post-2000; he's even seen on another planet. Unless, as his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cameo suggests, they're all the same person.
- A Lady on Each Arm: Appears with two women in Iron Man during a party, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a train.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: There is no way of telling what his actual job is. Himself on Larry King, varied retirees, a general, pageant judge, Smithsonian security guard, an NYPD officer, a bartender, delivery man, limo driver, hairstylist, bus driver, among others. However, it appears that all his jobs are extensions of 'interstellar informant', and the various places he's employed as are covers to get information to the Watchers.
- Noodle Incident:
- How exactly he finds himself in one absurd situation after the next is never explained.
- A more specific example happens in Ant-Man and the Wasp, where he believes a stray Pym Particle shrinking his car is somehow connected to some unspecified (possibly drug-related) event half a century ago.Stan Lee: Well, The '60s were fun, but now Im paying for it.
- The Pornomancer: When he appeared in Iron Man, where he was mistaken for Hugh Hefner.
- Recurring Extra: He's the Where's Waldo of MCU, having cameo appearances in the first 22 movies of the setting.
- Retired Badass: In his cameo for Avengers: Age of Ultron, he is a World War II veteran.
- Riddle for the Ages: Why was he talking to the Watchers? How did he keep appearing across the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over different time periods? We'll never know.
- Running Gagged: Due to Lee's real life passing, the Running Gag of having him appear in MCU films ends when his character doesn't appear at all and isn't even alluded to in Spider-Man: Far From Home, though the credits do give a memoriam to him and Steve Ditko. Word of God is that they have retired using his likeness.
- Seen It All: In Avengers: Infinity War, he appears as a school bus driver. All of a sudden, the students rush out of their seats in surprise and horror at the sight of Thanos Q-Ship hovering over the city. He just groans and rolls his eyes about all the ruckus.Stan Lee: Whats the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?
- Shipper on Deck: In a deleted scene for The Avengers, after hearing Steve Rogers' exchange with a waitress, he tells him, "Ask for her number, you moron."
- Unexplained Recovery: He was poisoned by gamma-radiated soft drink and possibly died in The Incredible Hulk, but he keeps appearing in the future movies without any explanation how he got recovered. Maybe he's an identical relative. Or maybe because he's not really a human.
- The Watcher: He just appears in places, not really adding much to them. Appropriately, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he's having conversations with the Watchers.
- Weirdness Magnet: If he's around, chances are a superhero isn't far away.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers one to a disguised Agent Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. regarding his parenting skills.
The Cosmic Entities (Infinity, Eternity, Entropy, and Death)
Species: Cosmic Entity
Portrayed by: N/A
Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy note
Primordial beings that existed since the dawn of the universe, and the ones that forged the Infinity Stones. They are anthropomorphic entities that represent universal concepts, and are only mentioned in passing.
- Absentee Actor: In spite of the overall importance of the Infinity Stones to the Infinity Saga, and especially Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, none of the entities that forged them ever show up during that time.
- Adaptational Badass: In comics, even the likes of Death and Eternity were nothing before the might of the combined Infinity Gems. In the show, they're implicitly above the Stones by creating them.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: If any of them were to ever appear, they would be this by default.
- The Cameo: Beyond the mural depicting them in Guardians of the Galaxy, Death gets mentioned once by the Other at the end of The Avengers (when he claims that challenging Earthlings is "to court Death") and Eternity gets mentioned once by Star-Lord during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when the latter is awakening his Celestial powers.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: While not so much heroic as they are neutral universal forces, their creation of the Infinity Stones are what essentially drives forward the MCU's Myth Arc from Phase 1 to Phase 3.
- The Omnipotent: They are not so much living beings as representations of the various concepts of the universe, and they are all-knowing and all powerful enough to forge an artifact of power that turns it's owner into a Reality Warper. They are likely far, far above beings like Dormammu, Ego, the Spirit of Vengeance, or Surtur.
- Reality Warper: Considering they made the Infinity Stones, which provide their users with reality warper powers, it's very likely that they themselves are this as well.
- Story-Breaker Power: If they are even half as powerful as the legend depicting their creation of the stones implies, they are far and away too powerful for any other character in the entire MCU to compare to.
Portrayed by: N/A
Appearances: Captain America: Civil War (mentioned) | Black Panther (mentioned)A pantheon of deities worshipped in Wakanda. According to the nation's founding myth, Bast guided a warrior shaman to the heart-shaped herb and made him into the first Black Panther, while according to interviews Hanuman granted the Jabari with never-ending wood.
- Crossover Cosmology: Due to Wakanda's (fictional) location being nestled right between Ethiopia and Kenya, it was practically right in the western-most-middle of The Silk Road, with both the land and sea routes connected just north of it. Due to this unprecedented cultural "mingling" of sorts, Wakanda's religions borrow many figures from that of others. Bast and Sekhmet are from Egyptian myth, while Hanuman is from Hinduism. Like most polytheists, Wakandans probably don't have a strict mythology that prevents the assimilation of various deities.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never made clear on whether they actually exist or not, though the magic properties of the Jabari's wood and snow imply that they do.
- Panthera Awesome: Bast and Sekhmet, who like their Egyptian counterparts are depicted as cats.
That Which Stands at the Crossroads
Portrayed by: Lane Miller, Maceo Smedley III, Devyn A. Tyler
Appearances: Cloak & Dagger (2018)
A loa residing in the Darkforce Dimension.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: It takes the form of young Tyrone for Tandy. For Mayhem, it took the form of Fuchs. Later, it also takes the form of Tandy's ballet instructor.
- Divine Date: It is apparently married with Evita's aunt.
- I Have Many Names: It introduces itself as That Which Stands at the Crossroads to Tandy. Among them it names "Saint Peter", "Atibon" and "Papa Legba" as examples. Tandy opts to call it "Papa Mystery".
- Public-Domain Character: It is based on Papa Legba, a loa in Haitian Voudou culture.
- Sweet Tooth: He loves candy and sometimes demands it as payment.
Portrayed by: Justin Sams
Appearances: Cloak & Dagger (2018)
A loa of the dead residing in the Darkforce Dimension.
- Divine Date: Evita offers herself to marry him so he will free Tyrone.
- Jerkass Gods: He is much less friendly than Papa Legba.
- Nice Hat: He wears a top hat as he's usually depicted in Haitian Voudou origin.
- Psychopomp: He is loa of the dead and almost took Tyrone after he succumbed to despair-induced Power Incontinence.
- Public-Domain Character: He is based on the loa of the same name from Haitian Voudou culture.
The Spirit of Vengeance
Species: Unknown (Inter-dimensional Entity)
Portrayed by: Gabriel Luna, Henry Simmons, Clark Gregg
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Ghost Rider
Robbie: I'm not the one who decides.
An entity of supernatural origin, bound to spill blood in the name of vengeance. Currently possessing Robbie Reyes.
- Abstract Eater: It apparently needs raw negative emotions - anger, sorrow, vengeance, etc. - to sustain itself when it possesses a person.
- Badass Driver: Not for nothing do people call it "the Rider". Its hosts can empower their vehicles to be tougher and faster than any normal vehicle.
- Body Surf: It can possess a host to allow it to interact with the physical world. It's implied that the Spirit needs to have a deal with its host, but it was able to forcibly possess Mack without any trouble due to the loss of hope, though it admitted that the situation was far from ideal and wouldn't be able to hold on forever. In "World's End", it makes a deal with Coulson to use him as a host to get close enough to Aida and kill her, then goes back to Robbie without complaint.
- Composite Character: Word of God has confirmed that the same spirit that empowers Robbie now has empowered every Ghost Rider, rather than the individual spirits of the three modern Ghost Riders (Zarathos for Johnny, Noble Kale for Danny, and Eli Morrow for Robbie). This crosses into Decomposite Character as Eli Morrow appears, alive and well, as a separate being from the spirit possessing his nephew.
- Escaped from Hell: The Spirit once escaped from Hell, and vowed that it would never go back. Coulson apparently saw it.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Spirit may be a ruthless, violent demon, but it will not hurt an innocent. This actually caused some trouble for Robbie when Daisy discovered his identity; Robbie wanted to take her out, but the Spirit knew she was an innocent and refused to kill her.
- Flaming Skulls: Can give its hosts this. This is the biggest indication to S.H.I.E.L.D. that maybe Robbie's claim of making a deal with the Devil is accurate.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Has been presented as such in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; whether it be quake attacks, lethal levels of radiation, impalement, gunfire or lightning attacks, nothing so far used against the Spirit (or rather its hosts) appears to have done more than inconvenience or slow it down.
- Oh, Crap!: The default reaction everyone has to seeing the Spirit for the first time. Seeing Flaming Skulls will do that.
- The Power of Hate: According to Robbie, the Spirit hates biological Aida in a way Robbie can't even describe. When Aida first teleports away from it, the Spirit emotes for the first time in the series... by letting out a primal scream of pure rage.
- Revenge Before Reason: Actually subverted. Before heading to rescue Eli Morrow from the prison he was in, Mack expressed concern that Robbie would be unable to control himself surrounded by all the criminals housed in the prison. However, even after the prisoners started rioting, the Spirit did not compel Robbie to take vengeance on the prisoners, showing that for all its need to spill guilty blood, it can control itself, at least when it knows that doing so will help it stop greater evils. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Robbie, as he found the last of the Fifth Street Locos, the gang that crippled his brother.
- Sanity Strengthening: Odd as it seems, the spirit, while being a powerful demon of vengeance, also protects the mind of its host from all of the evil and horror the host may experience while in a transformed state. Robbie mentioned that all he and the spirit did in "hell" was fight and kill. As "hell" clearly does not function with the same laws as the universe where Robbie is from and he mentioned that is was hard to describe with the rider being the one in control, it's obvious that the spirit protected his mind from the worst of the experience.
- Scars Are Forever: Both of the hosts its seen in have noticeable damage from woundsnote , implying that despite it making them Nigh Invulnerable, wounds from before they get their powers will remain in their Rider form.
- Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Much like most of the MCU's magic. Word of God explicitly confirms that their rationale is that the Spirit is just a being from another dimension where things work differently, providing a pseudo-scientific explanation for how he works. What he does is still supernatural to our understanding, but only because we don't understand the science of their dimension. At the same time, the Spirit is nothing scientific like the Inhumans, the products of experiments by aliens.
- Wound That Will Not Heal:
Aryan: They say when the Rider burns you, he burns your soul.
- Since the Spirit uses hellfire rather than actual fire, any wounds the Spirit makes will reopen no matter what medical aid is applied. Even a healing factor won't work. This is assuming you survive an encounter with the Spirit.
- This later comes back to haunt the heroes, Because when the Spirit took control of Coulson it also burned up all the Kree blood in his body, reopening his stab wound. Coulson indeed dies between Season 5 and Season 6.
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A mysterious terrorist group apparently originating from another universe, led by Sarge.
- Ambiguously Human: They look human, but originate from an another universe, but other than that, it's never clearly defined if they are Human Aliens or not.
- Expy: Sarge's entire crew looks like they came straight out of a Mad Max movie. From their clothes, weapons, especially their truck, and their cutthroat attitudes, they'd be right at home in the Wasteland.
- Four Is Death: As Tinker dies very shortly after being introduced to the audience, they're effectively a gang consisting of four members.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Whatever world they came from seems to have been deep in The Apunkalypse.
- Outside-Context Problem: Obviously, nobody knows where the hell they came from and what it is that they seek.
- Reality Warper: Them arriving on Earth causes all kinds of weird stuff happening.
- The Spook: Very little is known about them. They're not from Earth, they're not human in spite of their appearances, and they're clearly up to no good. Everything else remains a mystery.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They're hunting down parasitic alien creatures called the Shrike that invade worlds and have been following them world to world. Trouble is, Sarge and is team don't care if they have to leave collateral damage in their wake and perfectly okay with destroying worlds they believe to be too far gone... including the Earth.
Sarge / Pachakutiq
Portrayed by: Clark Gregg
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A mysterious man who resembles the late Director Coulson.
- The Ageless: Despite claiming to be over a hundred years old, Sarge doesn't look a day over 50, and as a doppelganger of Coulson, it can be inferred that he's looked like this ever since he was created.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: His whole spiel about why he wants to take down Izel? It's due to influence from Coulson - Sarge is actually a resident of the same dimension as Izel, and they were in fact lovers before Sarge absorbed Coulson's memories.
- Bad Boss: Will casually sacrifice his team if he thinks they'll slow him down. Snowflake and Jaco eventually defect to S.H.I.E.L.D. because of it.
- Big Bad: As the apparent leader of the mysterious crew, he seems to be this for the Earth-bound parts of season six. Subverted in that he's actually trying to save Earth from the world-destroying Shrikes... it's just that he has a Vietnam War attitude towards his work i.e. "destroy the Earth to save the Earth" and is indifferent to the unnecessary casualties he had his team leave in their wake. And then double subverted, when he throws his hat in with Izel in "The Sign".
- Character Death: Gets brutally executed by May (actually Izel in May's body) after already being locked up. Subverted, as Sarge begins to heal up the following episode, and it's soon established that he has Resurrective Immortality. He's later killed properly in "New Life" - with his own sword, no less.
- Deadpan Snarker: If there's one thing that he and Coulson do have in common, it's their penchant for snark.
- Dirty Coward: He'll willingly sacrifice anybody and everybody to stop Izel... except himself.
- Evil Counterpart: To the late Coulson, and also to Mack (in terms of their leadership roles).
- Evil Doppelgänger: Is not just uncannily identical to the late Phil Coulson, but aside from a few radioactive markers his DNA is a dead ringer match. From a laboratory point of view, this man is Coulson. However, Sarge is the anthesis of Coulson; he's a Faux Affably Evil Bad Boss prepared to sacrifice his team and anybody else but himself to complete his goals. Coulson of course, was A Father to His Men who would never leave a man behind if he could help it, and would never sacrifice others.
- Evil vs. Evil: With Izel. Sarge is actually trying to stop her and the Shrike from destroying planets. But he doesn't care about collateral damage — he'll gladly leave a million people dead if it means he can kill her.
- Fatal Flaw: Sarge's impatience and callousness are his biggest impediments in his war with Izel. A great many of his conflicts with S.H.I.E.L.D. could have been avoided if he'd been willing to work with them peacefully, or simply shown a shred of concern for innocent life.
- Faux Affably Evil: In stark contrast to Coulson's Nice Guy attitude, Sarge sure talks suave and nice, but is ready to brutally kill people on a whim mere moments later. Not even his own team is safe from it, as he subtlety threatens Pax when he questions his orders and even suggests towards Jaco that they might replace him.
- Freudian Excuse: The Shrike destroyed his planet and killed his family. Subverted, as that's not his past - he's from the same dimension as Izel, and the memories he has are loosely assembled from Coulson's.
- He Who Fights Monsters: According to Jaco, Sarge wasn't always as cruel as he is when he arrives on Earth, believing that his callousness is a result of too many years spent fighting Izel.
- Healing Factor: Even a Multiple Gunshot Death can only keep him down for a little while.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Mack kills him with his own sword.
- Humanoid Abomination: While he appears to be human, and even his DNA makes it seem as though he is, Sarge is anything but. His body is a copy of Coulson's, created by the Monoliths after Coulson's encounter with all three of them, while his consciousness comes from the extradimensional Pachakutiq inhabiting the body, resulting in an entirely new being that doesn't remember who or what he is beyond a jumbled mess of vague recollections from Coulson's lingering memories. He also doesn't age, has lived for at least a hundred years, and may be immortal, as his Healing Factor allowed him to survive and recover from being riddled with bullets.
- Identical Stranger: To Phil Coulson. The actual reason for this even he doesn't even know, and is the Driving Question of season 6.
- Irony: Sarge assumes that Coulson is the doppelganger upon finding out about their resemblance, with this view being bolstered by the fact that he's much older than Coulson. The reality is that while Sarge has been around longer than Coulson, Coulson's the original; Sarge's body was created and shot back in time by the Monoliths after Coulson came into contact with all three of them at once.
- Loss of Identity: Taking up residence in a copy of Coulson's body jumbled Pachakutiq's memories, mixing them up with lingering traces of Coulson and resulting in a new personality that only vaguely recalls anything related to either identity beyond a recollection of lost loved ones, a connection to Izel, and a need to stop her atrocities.
- Manipulative Bastard: Extremely good at getting what he wants when he wants by withholding important information until the last possible moment and deliberately getting inside others' heads.
- Mysterious Past: Claims Izel just didn't kill his loved ones, but also his memories of them. Izel implies he doesn't know the full story.
- It's eventually cleared up in "Leap" - Sarge is from a dimension full of incorporeal beings, who ended up taking the physical form of Coulson when he went to deal with the fear manifestations created by the exploding Monoliths. Sarge, having replicated Coulson's form and memories, was displaced through space and time to another planet roughly a hundred years ago.
- Never Be a Hero: Sarge is known to warn civilians that while everyone dreams of leaping into action at a time like this, they should really just stay put and survive the day.
- Older Than They Look: Tells May he's 100 in Earth years and he'll easily live to be another 100.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: For most of the season, he's only called Sarge. "Leap" reveals his real name is Pachakutiq.
- Resurrective Immortality: Sarge can't be killed by normal means, having been shot to death by May and had his neck snapped by Daisy, only to fully heal and revive shortly afterwards in both instances.
- Something Only They Would Say: Attention is drawn to the fact that not only does Sarge look like Coulson, but he uses many of the same turns of phrases, adding to both May's and the viewer's confusion as to what the relation between the two is. When he calls Daisy "Skye," a name he has no way of knowing, it's the final tipping point to convince the team that Coulson is in there somewhere.
- Unreliable Narrator: Claims that Izel is the villain. Given that Izel infects her crew minus FitzSimmons with Shrike parasites, Sarge is probably on the level, but he isn't exactly trustworthy.
Portrayed by: Brooke Williams
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The sole female member of Sarge's crew.
- Affably Evil: Despite her clear psychosis, Snowflake's butterfly speeches seem genuinely intended to comfort her victims, and she takes a sincere liking to May and Deke.
- Ax-Crazy: She is obviously a little...off. Her response to people's deaths is to just talk about how they'll become "butterflies". (Sometimes she'll cheerfully tell you what a beautiful butterfly you'll make while she's killing you.)
- Book Dumb: If the subject is not cutting people up, or pseudo-philosophy about reincarnation, odds are it will be lost on Snow. Her most extensive knowledge of an atom bomb was it is pretty to watch go off.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Believes that when people die, they will become butterflies. So she has no problems with killing.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Her understanding of death is a bit...off, and doesn't seem to think that killing people is a bad thing because they'll become "beautiful butterflies".
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Has an odd spacey demeanor, and talks about what beautiful butterflies people will make after she kills them, showing an off-kilter view of death and rebirth. Assuming, of course, that she's not faking it.
- Dark Action Girl: The sole female member of the team and plenty capable of kicking ass.
- Dissonant Serenity: Again, she's eerily calm even when she's about to kill people.
- Evil Counterpart: To Daisy. Both are Action Girls, Snowflake appears close with Sarge (as Daisy was with Coulson), they have similar appearances, and both attract the attention of Deke.
- Knife Nut: She carries a knife and seems to be pretty good at using it.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Turns on Sarge after he leaves her to die with May, Daisy, and Deke.
- Nightmare Fetishist: When Daisy describes herself as a hacker, Snowflake asks if that means that Daisy hacks people to pieces with a worryingly wide grin.
- Obfuscating Insanity: In the episode "The Other Thing", it's implied that her unhinged personality is just an act, based on her conversation with May towards the end of the episode.
- Odd Couple: With Deke.
- Reality Ensues: Even after she helps stop Sarge's plan, Daisy still has Snowflake placed in lockup. Helping S.H.I.E.L.D. and having the hots for Deke doesn't change the fact that she's an Ax-Crazy lunatic who's killed several people.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She cuts her own head and then runs out pretending that her partners have her baby, distracting the S.H.I.E.L.D. team just long enough for the bombs to go off. She's worryingly casual about it, doing it without hesitation and showing no sign of pain.
Portrayed by: Winston James Francis
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The biggest member of Sarge's team.
- Affably Evil: The most level-headed and polite man in Sarge's team. Not that it makes him any less dangerous. He eventually defects to SHIELD.Jemma: "I like you."Jaco: "Well, that's because I'm likable."
- Affectionate Nickname: Pax calls him "Jaco the Giant," which both Davis and Yo-Yo take to doing as well after Jaco's HeelFace Turn.
- Bald of Evil: Not a single hair on his head.
- Beard of Evil: A quite unkempt one.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: It's not even known what he (or the rest of Sarge's men) really are, but his biology seems to differ slightly from the others. He's seen huffing cleaning fluid while Sarge remarks he hasn't breathed his own atmosphere in ages. It would seem wherever Jaco is from, the atmosphere is thick with ammonia - quite toxic to regular humans.
- The Brute: Though so far, he has been quite a civil version of the trope.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He really just wanted to be a baker back on his homeworld. Then the Shrike wiped it out, he joined Sarge's Badass Crew, and the rest is history.
- Genius Bruiser: While Tinker was the resident scientist of the group, it's obvious Jaco is extremely intelligent himself. He's at least knowledgeable enough in geology to simplify PEGS (piezoelectric crystals) to a scared jewelry store employee.
- HeelFace Turn: After some prodding from Yo-Yo, he realizes that Sarge's countless sacrifice of innocents all in the name of stopping Izel is wrong, so he defects to SHIELD.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself to blow up Izel's ship. Unfortunately she'd already slipped away turning it into a somewhat Senseless Sacrifice. The only upside is he stopped Sarge's A-Bomb from killing any innocents.
- Large Runt: The massive Jaco insists that he was the runt of the litter between he and his seven brothers.
- Supreme Chef: Combined with Real Men Wear Pink. Despite his massive size and strength, back on his home planet he was - according to him - a damn good baker who passed his skills onto his family. Then his planet went to shit and Sarge saved just him.
- The Philosopher: Further subverting his brutish appearance, Jaco seems to be very thoughtful and cultured.Jaco: If you consider the infinite complexity of nature, maybe strange is the norm.
- Playing with Fire: Don't leave him coughing for too long, or he'll begin exhaling like a dragon.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Doesn't hurt a group of kids who witness him materializing on Earth and later tells a little girl to run away from a blast radius.
Portrayed by: Matt O'Leary
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The third member of Sarge's team.
- Beard of Evil: Just like his teammate Jaco.
- Butt-Monkey: He's the almost-Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain of the crew since he endures more abuse and humiliation than the rest. Even Sarge and Jaco can't hold back a laugh or two at his expense.
- Character Death: After he's wounded in a fight with Yo-Yo, Sarge kills him so he won't hold the rest of the team back.
- Facial Horror: His face is horrifically burned by Yo-Yo, though Sarge puts him out of his misery quickly afterwards.
- Meaningful Name: "Pax" is Latin for "peace." Pax is the only one of Sarge's crew that appears to want to stop and stay awhile on this Earth before they do something to it.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sarge cruelly disposes of him after he's wounded by Yo-Yo. This was the turning point for Jaco to defect.
Portrayed by: Xavier Jimenez
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The last member of Sarge's team, who dies shortly after arriving on Earth.
- Almost Dead Guy: He actually survives for a while after getting stuck into the wall, long enough to deliver a warning to S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Tele-Frag: Falls victim to this, getting stuck in a concrete wall.
- Vagueness Is Coming: He lives just long enough to warn that something is coming that can't be stopped.
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Parasitic bat-like creatures under Izel's command.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: They come to a planet ahead of Izel and proceed to infect the local population. When she arrives and fails to find the Monoliths, they proceed to destroy it.
- Human Architecture Horror: The eventual fate of anyone infected by the Shrike.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They look like tiny dragons mixed with bats.
- Planet Eater: Every planet they arrive on, they infect it, and proceed to destroy it.
The Infinity Stones
Appearances: Thor (Space) | Captain America: The First Avenger (Space) | The Avengers (Space, Mind) | Thor: The Dark World (Reality) | Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Mind) | Guardians of the Galaxy (Powernote ) | Avengers: Age of Ultron (Mindnote ) | Captain America: Civil War (Mind) | Doctor Strange (Time) | Thor: Ragnarok (Space) | Avengers: Infinity War (all) | Captain Marvel (Space) | Avengers: Endgame (all)
Six Power Crystals forged at the birth of the universe representing The Powers That Be: Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Time and the Soul. Extremely dangerous and powerful, they have long been hidden and separated from each other. Unfortunately, in the modern day they've started turning up more and more, as nefarious characters seek them out for their own purposes.
- Adaptation Distillation: For simplicity's sake, some objects like the Tesseract, the Eye of Agamotto and the Aether double as Infinity Stones when they did not in the comics.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: The colors are the same ones as in the comics, but assigned differently. The Power Gem (Orb) is purple instead of red, the Space Gem (Tesseract) is blue instead of purple, the Reality Gem (Aether) is red instead of yellow, the Mind Gem (Mind Stone) is yellow instead of blue, the Time Gem (Eye of Agamotto) is green instead of orange, and the Soul Gem is orange instead of green. This is consistent with the comic book's explanation that each universe (or "actuality" as many Cosmic comics call it) has its own set of Stones, and they're often colored differently. However, as of Infinity Countdown, where the Stones are recreated after their destruction in the "Incursions" story arc of New Avengers, the colors in the comics have changed to match their MCU counterparts.
- Adaptation Name Change: The "Infinity Gems" of the comics are dubbed the "Infinity Stones" in the MCU.
- Adaptational Superpower Change: As mentioned under "Adaptation Dye Job" above, the Gems have different powers with their adaptationally-different colors.
- In the comics, the Power Gem grants complete invulnerability to anyone who holds it. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't make it clear whether Ronan's endurance is the Power Stone's ability or just a product of good old-fashion Kree stubbornness, but Infinity War demonstrates that invulnerability is not one of the Stone's gifts.
- Also from the Comics, as powerful as the Infinity Stones are, every universe has their own separate set of Infinity Stones and they have no power if moved to a different one. These Infinity Stones work just fine under those circumstances.
- Adaptational Villainy:
- In as much as a probably inanimate object can be villainous, the Power Stone and Reality Stone. In the comics, holding either doesn't bring any ill-effects. In Guardians of the Galaxy, unless the being holding it is incredibly strong or has a proxy object, the Power Stone power will destroy them, while in Thor: The Dark World the Aether will drain the life force of its hosts and is generally treated as The Corruption.
- Subverted with the Soul Gem. The original (green) Soul Gem in the comics had a vampiric hunger and a will of its own, constantly urging Adam Warlock to feed it souls, and he had to fight off its impulses almost as often as he fought his foes. The MCU counterpart, while heavily hinted at possessing its own will, hasn't yet expressed this same hunger beyond the price it demands.
- Adaptational Wimp:
- As a result of the Adaptation Distillation that equated unrelated artifacts from the comics with Infinity Stones, this trope can come into play for some of them. For example, the Cosmic Cube in the comics is an omnipotence-granting artifact considered to be on par with the Infinity Gems (but weaker than the completed Infinity Gauntlet), with Thanos even seeking it out in a Silver Age story for the same ends he would later seek out the Infinity Gems. The Tesseract, while still very powerful, is just a form of the Space Stone and therefore only a piece of the Infinity Gauntlet.
- The Power Stone made you completely indestructible and gave you unlimited physical strength. The movie version does enhance it's users physical abilities and gives them powerful blasts, but not to a supposedly limitless level.
- Where the Reality Stone couldn't be destroyed by Thor, the Mind Stone could be destroyed by Wanda. While the Scarlet Witch is powerful in the comics, enough to impact cosmic beings and artifacts, events that have destroyed the Infinity Stones have been on more of a metaphysical level. It was however specifically stated that Wanda could destroy it only because her power was given by that same stone.
- The Time and Reality Stones were hit hard by this. Although the Reality Stone can, well, warp reality in any way the user sees fit, from merely creating illusions to outright overwriting existence, its effects last only as long as the wielder is actually present in the area, and the original reality reasserts itself immediately afterwards. The Time Stone, for its part, requires knowledge and concentration to be able to use it, and to use it safely (without breaking reality apart or trapping the user into loops or voids). The Time Gem of the comics was so powerful even a subconscious urge or a vague desire would immediately have the effect the user wished for, with no ill effect to themselves.
- The Soul Stone in the comics has the power to manipulate the living and dead to an infinite degree, capable of bringing anyone back from dead. In the MCU, it is powerful enough to end half of all life in the universe nearly instantly. However, Endgame reveals a crucial weakness in its power, namely that it cannot or perhaps will not bring back anyone who was sacrificed to obtain the stone, and it cannot resurrect anyone who dies using the stones. It also couldn't bring back the people who were killed outside Thanos's first Snap, though it's a bit amgbiguous if this is true since the Avengers only tried bringing back the Snap's victims and Black Widow.
- In Endgame, the present version of Thanos destroys the stones shortly after he completed his mission. In the comics, the Infinity Stones are such a fundamental part of their universe that only extraordinary circumstances like the Incursions can completely destroy them. It's been confirmed that they still exist on an atomic level, but the Infinity Stones themselves no longer existing as ingots likely has horrifying implications for the state of the universe.
- Artifact of Doom:
- Whenever their power manifests, terrible things happen, including (and sometimes specifically) to those that wield them. The Collector all but states that only beings with extraordinary strength could use the Stones without having bad things happen to them. In the entire franchise, the number of creatures who have managed to use their power on a large scale with no ill-effects so far is a grand total of three, and even that's debatable since Doctor Strange had to experience death many times, remembering all of it; and the Vision is a walking target for Thanos and his forces. And then there's Goose, who hasn't actively used a Stone but instead safely swallowed the Tesseract and then coughed it up again.
- So far Thanos is the only being to wield more than one Stone simultaneously, let alone operating all six, without any ill effects to him, although he could only do this with the Infinity Gauntlet (which was specifically designed to do so but even then is heavily damaged potentially beyond repair after all the Stones were used in unison just once) and achieving the Soul Stone for the completed Gauntlet forced him to sacrifice his daughter Gamora — the only person he loved to obtain it.
- The Space Stone (the Tesseract) was used to power HYDRA's weapons, as well as to bring Loki's Chitauri army to Earth. It eventually cast Red Skull into the depths of space and was used to bring Loki to his prison. Steve outright says that S.H.I.E.L.D. should have left it in the ocean, and by the end of the movie Fury seems happy to see the back of it. (On the other hand, it also powered Mar-Vell's Lightspeed Engine, and ultimately gave Captain Marvel her powers.)
- The Mind Stone (through the Scepter) was used by Loki (and later Ultron) to brainwash several notable people for nefarious purposes, as well as being used to empower Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and create Ultron. It was implied to have subtly controlled or influenced Loki, destroyed Ultron (through Vision), and Wanda's powers have been the source of her greatest sorrows. Interestingly, this is subverted when it is installed into Vision, because Vision only wants to protect all life; as such, the Stone forms a symbiotic relationship with Vision, even attempting to warn him of Thanos's intention of taking it.
- The Reality Stone (the Aether) saps the life-force of those it is bonded to, and nearly killed Jane Foster due to it and ultimately led Malekith to his death in his quest to use its power to destroy the universe.
- The Power Stone (the Orb) violently destroys all organic matter and lesser beings that come into contact with it. Case in point: the Collector's poor servant died in her bid for freedom. It also led (and directly caused) Ronan's death when he tried to use it to destroy Xandar, after killing many of the Nova Corps with it. The only onscreen characters to have survived direct contact with the Power Stone are the Guardians of the Galaxy (and that was only because the first one to touch it was Peter Quill, who is a half-Celestial hybrid. Even then, it's clear the stone would've eventually killed him had the rest of the Guardians not split the energy of the stone between them) and Thanos.
- The Time Stone (the Eye of Agamotto) almost traps Stephen Strange in an infinite time loop the first time he used it, and it was implied that it almost fractured all of reality when he did. The final battle against Dormammu was actually a huge gamble on his part.
- The Soul Stone hasn't yet harmed its user directly; the danger comes from what it costs to obtain it, namely having to sacrifice someone you love.
- Even if someone collects all six stones with the Infinity Gauntlet, they need to be strong enough to use it without dying themselves. Thanos performing the snap the first time wrecked his arm and the gauntlet itself, and the second time made him a near-invalid. Professor Hulk permanently cripples his arm bringing the Decimation victims back to life, and Stark dies outright using his own Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos and his army out of existence.
- Baleful Polymorph: Not only can the Reality Stone (Aether) itself shift from a small gem to a large mass (of dark matter), but its wielder can alter things however they see fit. Thanos uses this to easily incapacitate Drax and Mantis by respectively turning them into a statue and a ribbon, as well as disarm Quill by turning his gun into a bunch of bubbles. The only limit seems to be that these changes have No Ontological Inertia, immediately being undone as soon as Thanos leaves.
- Black Box:
- During Captain America: The First Avenger, HYDRA uses the Tesseract as little more than a glorified battery. Given what it's actually capable of, the world was damn lucky that using it to power their guns was the most they could manage... then, seventy years later, S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to do the same thing...
- Between The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, HYDRA forces led by Baron Strucker used the Mind Stone to try and empower people, as well as try to create AI.
- During the 1990s, Mar-Vell used the Tesseract as a power core for a separate Lightspeed Engine, presumably so she could create more of these engines and hook them all up to the space-warping abilities of the Stone.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Infinity Stones appear to have some moral standards, but not others - the Space Stone was so disgusted with Red Skull that it sent him to Vormir and condemned him to a Fate Worse than Death, however, it appears to have no issue with Thanos wielding its power when he acquires it in Infinity War, even when he touches the thing directly. Likewise, the Soul Stone only allows others to use its power if they sacrifice someone they love - proving that they are capable of love... and also that they are willing to sacrifice those they love to further their goals. Incidentally, the Space Stone and the Soul Stone happen to be colored Blue and Orange in the MCU.
- Boring, but Practical: The Power Stone can't do anything too fancy like warping the fabric of space or manipulating time. What it does offer though is energy; lots and lots of raw energy that can power you up and destroy everything in its path. This makes it the most suited of the six Stones for direct combat as seen in Infinity War and Endgame.
- Cast from Lifespan: The Aether, according to Odin, uses its wielder's life-force to fuel itself. Holding it via the Infinity Gauntlet gets around this one, allowing Thanos to use it with no ill-effect to himself.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Five of the six stones appear before Infinity War, save the Soul Stone, which is conspicuously absent. The Prelude to Infinity War comic makes a point of noting that even people who know everything about the other five don't know anything about the Soul Stone.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Each Stone is a unique colour: blue (Space), red (Reality), purple (Power), yellow (Mind), green (Time), and orange (Soul). It comes in handy in Infinity War when Thanos uses several Stones at once, with the colors letting the audience instantly know which Stone he's using at the moment.
- Composite Character: Several Infinity Stones are combined with other artifacts from the Marvel Comics. Thanos makes a point of destroying the ones he comes across when acquiring the stones for his gauntlet.
- At first, the Tesseract appeared to "simply" be the movie version of the Cosmic Cube before it was revealed that it housed the Space Stone. Captain Marvel also gives it the role of the Psyche-Magnetron that gave Carol her powers.
- The Mind Stone serves in place of Vision's Solar Gem.
- The Eye of Agamotto is the container for the Time Stone rather than a separate magical artifact. Word of God confirmed the reason for this particular change was because the Eye of Agamotto was too powerful, and it slowly evoled into becoming the containment for the Time Stone.
- Dark Is Evil: The Aether is a very dark blood red. It also seeks out bodies and drains them of life.
- Dismantled Macguffin: The Stones are kept separate, some galaxies apart, and with damn good reason when just one can make a person unstoppable. Measures are taken to keep them separate when the heroes rediscover them with the Aether being given to The Collector by the Asgardians as they consider it too risky to keep along with the Tesseract they currently guard.
- Dumb Muscle: The Power Stone, in comparison to the other five, has never displayed any sort of independent will.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: The Scepter that contained the Mind Stone was colored blue like the Tesseract. Later movies showed that Stone's color tends to bleed through the translucent containment units.
- Earth Is the Center of the Universe: The Stones are some of the most powerful things in the entirety of the MCU and three out of the six just so happen to end up on Earth. Natasha points out that, at one point, those same three were all in New York City at one point.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: A simulation in Guardians of the Galaxy shows that the Power Stone is capable of this, demonstrating how Ronan simply needs to tap the surface of Xandar with his Power Stone-infused hammer to shatter the entire planet. Fortunately, the Guardians stop him before he can actually do this. In Infinity War, Thanos uses it to blow up a large chunk of Titan's moon before using the Space Stone to throw it at the Avengers.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: The Soul Stone is given the least focus of all the other stones, only showing up in the penultimate film of the story arc.
- Empathic Weapon: There is some evidence to indicate that the Infinity Stones may in fact be alive. To wit:
- The Tesseract at the very least is suggested to be alive in some shape or form, if the opening of The Avengers is any indication. Various characters refer to it as having "awakened", "misbehaving" and actively wanting to show Earth a bigger universe. As later revealed in Avengers: Infinity War, it evidently has a dark sense of humour — when the Red Skull began to misuse its power, the Space Stone banished and cursed him to become the eternal keeper of the Soul Stone (which can only be acquired through the sacrifice of a loved one), knowing that a sociopath like him will never be able to use it.
- During their argument on the Helicarrier, the camera slowly pans over to Loki's Scepter as well (which contains the Mind Stone), suggesting it is subtly inflaming the tensions already present—Bruce Banner even picks it up during said scene, and is unaware until it was pointed out. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, an internal scan of the Scepter has been compared to a biological brain with active neurons.
- Come Avengers: Infinity War, Vision outright states that the Mind Stone speaks to him as a separate entity, sensing and warning him of the impending approach of Thanos and his Children coming for him and the Stone.
- Energy Absorption: This is one use of the Power Stone; when Iron Man attempts to firebomb Thanos, Thanos just absorbs the flames into the stone and then launches them back at Tony.
- Equivalent Exchange: As the Red Skull explains, the Soul Stone can only be obtained by sacrificing someone you love - "a soul for a soul".
- Everyone Has Standards:
- The Tesseract was so disgusted by the Red Skull that it banished him to Vormir and imposed the ironic curse of never being able to obtain the stones he had so desired.
- In a strange sort of way, the price someone seeking the Soul Stone must pay is a form of this. While it's a hefty payment to sacrifice someone you love, it ensures that (1) the one seeking the stone has to be really, really serious about doing it, and (2) only people capable of love in the first place can get the stones and, by extension, complete the Infinity Gauntlet to gain omnipotence. This means that The Sociopath has no chance of gaining the Soul Stone or gaining all six stones. It's even implied that the soul of your loved one stays with you in the stone so that you can communicate with the Soul Stone, but possibly to also act as The Conscience.
- Friend or Idol Decision: The Soul Stone forces everyone who seeks it to offer a loved one as a sacrifice. Endgame implies the Stone is not testing the seeker's determination to accomplish their goals at all costs, but rather if they understand the value of life by feeling the pain of losing someone close to them.
- Foil: The Tesseract and the Aether. The former gives off a light blue glow, along with an ethereal hum. The later is a very dark blood red, and gives off sinister hissing and whispering. It even applies to attitudes (for want of a better word) - The Tesseract wants to show mankind new things, the Aether kills everyone who uses it, and seems to want to actively destroy everything.
- Foreshadowing: Steve points out the similarity between the Scepter and the Tesseract during Avengers, and the fact the former can breach the barrier generated by the latter hints at the connection they share, both being containment units for the Stones, early on.
- Gotta Catch Them All:
- Thanos' goal is to obtain all of the stones.
- The Collector also has an interest in collecting all six, having received one from Asgard and tried to purchase another from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos disagreed with his vision.
- This becomes the surviving Avengers goal in Endgame so they can undo the Decimation.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The Time Stone can cause these. Even in places that don't have time in the first place.
- I Love Nuclear Power: In addition to the other dangers the Tesseract poses, it also gives off some amount of gamma radiation which can, in some cases, be "harmful" to people.
- In Name Only: The Aether, as Thor points out in Endgame, is not really a stone, "more of an ... angry sludge", although given that it's the Reality Stone, it's likely that it can assume whatever state it needs to.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: The Space Stone, perhaps appropriately, since it was the first featured Infinity Stone, comes off as this:
- Like the Soul Stone and Mind Stone, the Space Stone seems to have some degree of sentience, since it rejected and punished Red Skull, but seems less sapient than the Mind Stone and less picky and defensive than the Soul Stone.
- It warps reality, like the Reality Stone, but only by connecting disparate areas together, instead of doing anything like the Reality Stone can.
- While dangerous to handle, its not in the same league as the Time Stone in terms of being easy to misuse.
- Its extremely powerful, possibly second only to the Power Stone, considering the sheer amount of incredibly powerful weapons, technology, and superheroes it can power; Captain Marvel is so much more powerful than Thanos that he has to resort to using the Power Stone to defeat her.
- True to the tendency of the trope to be the most practical choice compared to its brethren, the Space Stone is a surprisingly versatile weapon that Thanos seems to use more than any other besides the Power Stone.
- And also true to the tropes tendency to connote a master of none, what specialization the Space Stone does have is easily replicated by other powers and figures - its Mind over Matter capabilities are matched by Ebony Maw and Scarlet Witch though they cannot match the Stone's sheer range and power which reaches across the entire universe, and the Rainbow Bridge and magic portals are capable of transporting people and material roughly as fast.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Unlike the other Infinity Stones, the Soul Stone — which was the last to be introduced — does not have an Artifact of Doom associated with it. It is also the only stone that cannot be taken by sheer force, only by earning it through a sacrifice.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite their bright rainbow color schemes, the Infinity Stones have been shown to be very powerful and very dangerous. It gets taken Up to Eleven when assembled together.
- Loophole Abuse:
Red Skull: An everlasting exchange. A soul for a soul.
- Averted; whoever is sacrificed to obtain the Soul Stone cannot be brought back by the stone or its brethren, to prevent the obvious solution of just bringing them back as soon as someone assembles the gauntlet.
- Also, the "soul for a soul" doesn't apply after the Soul Stone leaves its resting place, which means anyone else can use the stone without sacrifice.
- Magical Database: A less flashy power of the Mind Stone is that it can grant knowledge and insight to those under its power, including what they'll need in the future, as happens to Hawkeye, who's shown who he'd need to target to complete Selvig's portal device, and Erik Selvig himself, who gets a lot more knowledge than he ever wanted pouring through his brain during his time under Loki's control, and nearly goes insane because of it. Most notably it uplifts artificial intelligences into fully sentient minds, as it did to Ultron before he was even completed.
- Master of Illusion: Thanos is shown to use the Reality Stone this way, making Titan's surface look verdant like it was in the past as he explains his motive to Dr. Strange.
- Mind Control: The Scepter can be used to bend anyone to the user's will, aware of what's been done to them but unable to fight it much, unless they get knocked out, or otherwise freed by a telepath.
- Mind over Matter: The Space Stone in Thanos's possession grants him the ability to warp the fabric of space in this manner, casually freezing Loki's knife mid-stab in an instant, effortlessly crunching the guns on War Machine's armor and then ground it, and crushing the wings on Falcon's suit to knock him down.
- Mineral Macguffin: Except the Aether, which comes in the form of a free-floating liquid.
- The Soul Stone stands out as the most MacGuffin-esque of all the Stones: while the nature of the Stones themselves matters little to the overall storyline (as in, they could have been literally any other kind of object as long as their purpose and influence was kept), the villains and heroes seeking them out don't care what they are as much as they are preoccupied with how to use their abilities to further their own goals. For instance, Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy would have tried to destroy Xandar with a Power Hula Hoop just as he did with the Power Stone, and Dr. Strange would have used an eternal time-loop to bargain with Dormammu using a Time Sandwich exactly as well as he did with the Time Stone. On the other hand, the true extent of the Soul Stone's power was never explored, it was only given a very minor, almost offhand use (to dispel Dr. Strange's astral body duplicates), and its primary purpose in the plot of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame is simply "you need it to complete the Gauntlet" and "throw a tragic wrench in the plans of whoever desires it."
- Out of Focus: As it is the last stone to be introduced, the Soul Stone ends up having the least amount of screentime, and its full capabilities are not fully explored in any of its appearance. Unlike the other stones, it doesn't fully drive the plot of its debut movie.
- Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements:
- The Red Skull spent all of Captain America: The First Avenger carrying the Tesseract around via tongs or a containment unit. When he finally touches it without them, it reacts poorly and teleports him to Vormir to guard the Soul Stone as punishment for its misuse. Meanwhile, Nick Fury in Avengers manages to grab it with his gloved hand, albeit with slight burns to his fingers, and immediately slots it into a case specifically designed to stabilize its power. In Infinity War, Loki, Ebony Maw and Thanos handle the Tesseract with no ill effects, and in Captain Marvel, Carol (who received her powers from the detonation of a Tesseract-powered engine) can grab it and juggle it without issue and Goose can bat at it with her paws and even eat it (and vomit it back out many days later).
- The Power Stone detonates any organic matter it comes into contact with, and so is usually kept in metal containers. Ronan got around this by fusing it to his hammer, although grabbing the Stone in his bare hand to do so visibly injured him, while the Guardians of the Galaxy just barely managed to use its power as a group and then seal it before they died from exposure.
- As shown in Endgame, Hawkeye was able to hold the Soul Stone to hold the Soul Stone with his own hand and brought it back to the present without any damaging effects to his body. The only possible explanation for this is due to the stone finding him worthy of holding it.
- Indeed, almost every time any of the Stones are directly handled by a living being without some form of containment, that being has suffered very dire or life-altering effects: the Aether came very close to killing Jane Foster, the Orb nearly killed the Guardians, and the Maximoff twins gained superpowers through experiments with the Mind Stone (and were the only survivors in a line of failed attempts). Vision and Thanos are the only beings to directly hold a stone with no negative effects, and the former's artificial vibranium body was more or less designed to use it as a power source. Even a half-Celestial like Peter Quill couldn't handle one on his own and needed help from his allies to prevent its power from destroying him.
- Physical God: A sufficiently powerful being with even one or two of the Stones under reliable control can easily become one of these. By the time Thanos possessed only the Power and Space Stones in Infinity War, he was easily described as the single most powerful being in the universe. After that point, he easily dealt the protagonists one Curb-Stomp Battle after another on his way to acquiring the Reality, Soul, Time and Mind Stones and carrying out the ensuing Badass Fingersnap.
- Plot Device: They drive the main story arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as various villains try to collect them, while the heroes must keep them apart.
- Power at a Price: All of them, to some degree.
- The Power Stone offers immense destructive power, but will completely destroy its wielder if not used properly.
- The Time Stone confers power over the time flow, but a careless user could wipe themselves out of existence.
- The Space Stone can power weapons and create portals to travel anywhere at will, but it has a mind of its own, and can drop-kick you across the cosmos if you misuse it.
- The Reality Stone bestows immense Reality Warper powers, but the Aether it channels is lethal to its user and like the Power Stone it can destroy them.
- The Soul Stone isn't inherently dangerous (as far as we know), but obtaining it involves a terrible choice that can make getting it a Pyrrhic Victory at best.
- And lastly, while the Mind Stone seems harmless, it appears to exert some influence over others, such as how its presence alone inside Loki's scepter was implied to be responsible for escalating the arguments and tensions aboard the Helicarrier in The Avengers.
- Power Glows: All of the stones glow internally with their own energy and light. This glow persists even if in other forms like the Tesseract.
- Purple Is Powerful: In the MCU continuity (unlike the comics), the Power Stone is the purple one.
- Rainbow Lite: The six stones roughly match each color of the rainbow (purple is used for the Power Stone instead of violet) except indigo.
- Reality Warper: The Aether has the power to change the wearer's environment in pretty much any way. This means that, during a convergence, the Aether can potentially reshape the entire universe.
- Retgone: Another property of the Time Stone is that misuse can erase the hapless schmuck who wielded it from existence.
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- The Aether was kept locked away in a box by Bor, and then Odin, to make sure no-one would ever find it. Then Jane Foster stumbled upon the box by accident when she fell into the reality distortion field it projected. After The Dark World, it's sealed up again in a smaller box.
- The Orb was left stuck behind a forcefield inside some ruins on Morag (which once had life on it, and now mysteriously doesn't), with the Power Stone kept inside it. After it's taken from Ronan, the Nova Corps puts it in a vault.
- The Eye of Agamotto was created by the first Sorcerer Supreme to contain the Time Stone and guarded by the Masters of the Mystic Arts at Kamar-Taj.
- Self-Guarding Phlebotinum:
- The Aether tended to zap anyone who grabbed its host, Jane Foster. Thor muses that it wasn't protecting her so much as it was protecting itself.
- The Soul Stone locked itself up on Vormir, and refused to yield itself to anyone unless they proved they understood the nature of its power by offering a sacrifice to it.
- Set Bonus: As per the comics, wielding the might of several Infinity Stones together allows one to do things they couldn't do with just one Stone at a time. For example, much of the climax in Guardians of the Galaxy revolves around stopping Ronan from landing on Xandar and blowing it up with the Power Stone. Thanos gets around that limitation by using the Space Stone to send the Power Stone's energy anywhere he wants with a mere thought.
- Shrouded in Myth: In the Infinity War Prelude comic, Wong notes that the Stone he has the least concrete information on is the Soul Stone. He adds that if what is known about it is true, then it could be the most dangerous of them all.
- Soul Power: The Soul Stone's exact power set is not explored, but it seems to have some connection to Another Dimension, and when Strange uses a Doppelgänger Attack, Thanos uses it to ferret out the real one by targeting Strange's soul directly with the Stone. It is said to grant power over life and death.
- Space Master: The Space Stone, naturally, gives this capability.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The end result of anyone touching the Power Stone too long. The bigger the person, the bigger the boom. And a being the size of your average human produces a series of explosions big enough to trash the building that person was in.
- Super Empowering:
- After The Avengers, Baron Strucker has HYDRA use the Mind Stone to conduct experiments on giving people superpowers and it is eventually used to create Artificial Intelligence.
- Carol was empowered by an explosion of an energy core created from the Tesseract, and implicitly is a direct conduit to it. Her powers, however, persist after the destruction of both the Tesseract and the Space Stone at Thanos' hands.
- Superpower Lottery: Ebony Maw says that having any two Infinity Stones would make one the most powerful person in the universe, and Doctor Strange believes that someone will all six could cause destruction "hitherto undreamt of."
- Takes One to Kill One: The only way shown so far to effectively destroy an Infinity Stone is by using their same energy signature, as evidenced by how Wanda could destroy the Mind Stone thanks to it being the origin of her powers. It doesn't have to be the same Stone, however, as Loki's Mind Stone-tipped scepter could penetrate the barrier created by the Tesseract-encased Space Stone. When used together in the Infinity Gauntlet, they even have to capacity to completely annihilate each other, as prime universe Thanos did in the interim between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame to prevent anyone else from using them or undoing his universal culling, and thus setting the plot of the latter film into motion.
- There Are No Coincidences: By the end of Age of Ultron, Thor notes that four of the six stones have reappeared in a matter of years, and is unnerved by the implications.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know:
- The order of monks that kept the Tesseract never once used it, instead keeping it locked away inside their monastery, on the grounds that it "wasn't meant for ordinary men". Thor voices similar opinions during The Avengers, it being part of the reason he even came to Earth in the first place. Nick Fury comes to agree with him.Fury: The Tesseract is where it belongs - out of our reach.
- Use of the Eye of Agamotto and the tome teaching its use are forbidden even among a group who can travel between dimensions at will, because time manipulation is that dangerous.
- The order of monks that kept the Tesseract never once used it, instead keeping it locked away inside their monastery, on the grounds that it "wasn't meant for ordinary men". Thor voices similar opinions during The Avengers, it being part of the reason he even came to Earth in the first place. Nick Fury comes to agree with him.
- Thinking Up Portals: The Tesseract has an ability to tear open holes in space, first used to send the Red Skull god-knows-where. Thanos' forces are able to activate it remotely, creating a small portal for Loki, who then uses it and Stark Tower to create a stable portal for the Chitauri to start a Zerg Rush.
- Time Is Dangerous: Of all the Stones, the Time Stone so far seems to be the most outright dangerous. Misuse of any of the others just tends to kill the user in an incredibly horrible fashion. Misuse of the Time Stone can outright destroy the fabric of reality, or erase the user from existence. With that said, Wong says the Soul Stone might be worse.
- Time Master: The Time Stone allows one to control time itself. Doctor Strange can use it to see into multiple possible futures, and live through them (and even get killed in them) and come back unharmed, while Thanos uses it to undo Vision's and the Mind Stone's destruction so that he can take the latter.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Red Skull for the Tesseract. Schmidt was apparently so callous and apathetic that it decided to banish him to Vormir and made him the Soulkeeper.
- Too Powerful to Live: Thanos destroyed them after fulfilling his quests, both to prevent anyone from undoing his work as well as to keep himself from falling into the temptation of using them again.
- World-Wrecking Wave: The Power Stone, when properly contained, can utterly devastate the surface of a planet by creating a destructive chain reaction of all the organic matter on the surface. And when all six Stones are used to alter the nature of existence itself, as a side-effect of the action they also unleash a shockwave of cosmic-level energies that can be felt throughout the universe.
- Your Size May Vary: The exact size of the Infinity Stones varies between when they're seen on their own and when they're on the Infinity Gauntlet, even accounting for Thanos' greater size compared to humans. On their owns the Stones are about the size of a battery, but when in the Infinity Gauntlet they're small enough to fit neatly in slots on each knuckle. This is more obvious with the Mind Stone — its slot is on the back of the Gauntlet and is much larger than the other five as well as being a different shape, so while the Mind Stone when grouped with the other six is the same size as them, when it's time to set it into the Gauntlet it's suddenly much larger and more rounded.
Appearances: Avengers: Age of Ultron | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame
A large golden gauntlet meant to be worn on the left hand that is currently in the possession of Thanos. This piece of armor is designed to channel the power of the Infinity Stones, and when all six are slotted into it it allows the wearer to do literally anything.
During the climax of Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers chose to create their own version of the Infinity Gauntlet using Tony Stark's nanotechnology, for reasons directly responding to the aftermath of Thanos's actions.
- Adaptational Badass: Zigzagged. Since the Infinity Stones in the MCU, unlike the harmless Gems of the Comics, actually cause backlash and cannot be safely handled by mortals, the Infinity Gauntlet is a custom made device that handles this backlash and channels the stones' power, unlike the comics where it is just a regular glove wherein the gems where embedded. By that same token, however, the amount of power the Gauntlet can channel seems to be more limited than in the comics, as detailed below.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the films the Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones in it is without question the most powerful artifact in the universe, but just like the individual Stones, its powers aren't as great as in the comics.
- In the comics, the Gauntlet mades the wearer omnipotent to a level beyond Physical Gods — cosmic beings embodying abstract concepts of existence cannot defeat Thanos while he wears it, and Thanos just getting angry caused galactic-scale destruction that sank parts of Earth's continents and shattered the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard. The Gauntlet in the films has nowhere near that level of destructive potential.
- The Snap in the comics was implied to be a comparatively small demonstration of the Gauntlet's powers, and Thanos does it effortlessly. In the films, the Snap is an extreme of its power, doing it almost destroys the Gauntlet itself, and Thanos is wounded by the effort and claims it almost killed him.
- In the comics, Thanos just wearing the Gauntlet grants him its powers, and he has to actively cut himself off from all but the Power Stone when deciding to give the heroes a "fair" fight. In the films, Thanos has to actively clench his fist to use the Gauntlet's powers, and if someone can keep his fingers held open, he can't activate it.
- Adaptive Armor: In comparison to Thanos's golden Gauntlet, the Stark Nano-tech Gauntlet can adjust to whoever chooses to wear it: despite being designed for regular humanoid proportions, it manages to expand to accomodate Professor Hulk's larger size. However, it was burnt static into its larger proportion when the first snap succeeded—allowing Thanos to attempt to use it one more time.
- All Your Powers Combined: It facilitates this, allowing Combination Attacks and using each Infinity Stone at will, but at the cost of not handling any one stone at full power.
- Artifact of Doom: Like the Infinity Stones it is designed to hold, the Gauntlet qualifies as one of these given that it is the only thing that can allow a person to contain the might of all six Stones at once.
- Bling of War: It is just as much a piece of armor as it is a fashion statement, and the entire thing shines with an almost unnatural golden luster.
- Bright Is Not Good: The original gauntlet was a golden glove used to hold the rainbow-colored Infinity Stones, and it's not just the primary weapon of Thanos, but the tool he used to kill off half of existence. By contrast, the gauntlet made by the Avengers has a somewhat duller, brick red color, though Tony would call it "hot-rod red".
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Infinity Gauntlet can briefly be seen in the background of Odin's vault in the first Thor movie. While the Gauntlet itself proved to be fake, the real one was teased near the end of Phase Two and actually came into play late in Phase Three.
- Effective Knockoff: The Avengers create their own Infinity Gauntlet using Stark nano-tech. It is seen to be explicitly inferior to the Nidavellir-forged Gauntlet because it can't stop the energy of the Stones from leaking out and damaging its user—with potentially fatal results. That said, if the user is willing to risk immense pain and death, they can still use the Stones' powers just as well to do whatever they want.
- Explosive Overclocking: After Thanos gets his wish and "balances" the universe, the gauntlet is shown to be half-melted, though still functional enough to teleport him to safety. After Thanos uses it a second time to destroy the stones, it's fused to his skin.
- Fakin' MacGuffin: Initially it seemed that Odin had the Gauntlet sealed away in his vault on Asgard, only for the stinger of Avengers: Age of Ultron to show Thanos retrieving the Gauntlet from his own vault, casting doubt on which one was real. Hela later confirmed that the Gauntlet in Odin's vault is a fake in Thor: Ragnarok, although certain eagle-eyed viewers had the one in Odin's vault pegged for a fake since it had a right-handed design while the Gauntlet has traditionally been designed for the left hand.
- Logical Weakness:
- While the Gauntlet is insanely powerful, the weapon is still limited in that Thanos has to manually activate the Stones using a simple hand gesture in order to use their powers, most often making a fist or a finger snap. Thus, physically restraining his Gauntlet hand so he can't even close his fist effectively neutralises the Gauntlet's powers, and is a key limitation that the Avengers frequently exploit during their ambush on Titan.
- Also, unlike in the comics, the Infinity Stones are shown to be extremely dangerous because of the level of power they have, with them being very much like un-shielded energy reactors. Because of that, even the most powerful beings need special equipment to handle and harness the power of the stones (which makes more sense than the comics given the fact that the stones are essential components to the fabric of reality and anything that powerful should be dangerous to handle raw). Several times it's shown that Thanos isn't using the stones to the fullest capability as their power should be able to effect changes in the universe on galactic scales. Even with Stormbreaker, Thor shouldn't have been able to overcome the Power Stone's raw energy. However this makes sense as Thanos probably realized that there's a limit to how much power the gauntlet could safely channel and utilize so he didn't want to risk irrevocably damaging it before its ultimately intended use as it's irreplaceable (Thanos made sure of that). This supposition is later given weight as after Thanos used the power of the combined stones to wipe out half of all life in the universe, the gauntlet was wrecked, seemingly beyond repair.
- Mythology Gag: Teasing the possibility of there being a pair of gauntlets is one to Ultimate Marvel, where there really are two gauntlets. The right handed-one in Odin's vault turns out to be fake, though. However, Endgame has this come full circle when Tony does in fact create a right-handed gauntlet during the Time Heist.
- Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment:
- Aside from Vision's body holding the Mind Stone and the mystical Eye of Agamotto containing the Time Stone, the Gauntlet is the only thing that can contain the power of an Infinity Stone without killing the user, and is the only thing period that can contain all six of them. This is, after all, exactly what it was designed to do. Having power obtained from an Infinity Stone seems to protect against ill effects from holding a stone, as shown by the Tesseract-power-infused Carol Danvers being able to hold the Tesseract without ill effects.
- In Endgame, for the final part of the Avengers' Time Heist, Tony creates a new Infinity Gauntlet to serve this purpose, just like Thanos' original. It lets Professor Hulk utilize the stones' full power to undo the snap, but much like Thanos he ends up with a burned and cripped arm.
- Red Is Heroic: The Avengers forge a new right-handed Infinity Gauntlet during Endgame, painted the red of Iron Man's armors, as the final step of their plan to undo Thanos' genocide.
- Revision: In the Age of Ultron stinger, Thanos is implied to have had the Gauntlet in his possession for some time. This was since rendered Canon Discontinuity and his Gauntlet was given a much more recent origin, around the time Asgard fell into chaos and could not assist the Nidavellir; as such, it was explained that Age of Ultron's stinger is a Time Skip to shortly before the events of Infinity War.
- A Sinister Clue: The gauntlet is left-handed, fitting its nature as the Mad Titan's means to impose his will on the universe. By contrast, the Avengers create a right-handed Infinity Gauntlet to save the countless lives taken by Thanos' gauntlet.
- Socketed Equipment: On its own, the Gauntlet is nothing more than a shiny, durable piece of armor. But the more Stones one inserts in it, the more powerful it becomes.
- Superweapon: While the individual infinity gems that power it are powerful, none of them are insurmountable in a Superhero setting — but the gauntlet itself can harness all six at once for universe-spanning effects with absolutely no means of defending against it (Even if it, itself, is damaged by such feats) - the wielder, in essence, becomes The Omnipotent. Once the gauntlet enters play, the goals of everyone else become "Keep the infinity gems far away from it", and once it is used to wipe out fully half of all sentient life, the goal immediately shifts to using it to undo the devastation.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: More so than even the Stones it holds, since it can combine all of their powers to give the wearer access to literally unlimited power.
- Wrecked Weapon:
- In Infinity War, Thanos' use of the completed Infinity Gauntlet to kill half of the universe's population at the end of Infinity War appeared to heavily damage and char the Gauntlet (and his entire left arm) afterwards through the sheer scale of the feat. However, it still appears to be functional, as Thanos was not only able to teleport away at the end, but he seemingly healed the fatal wound that Thor gave him when he put Stormbreaker in his chest. Furthermore, the Infinity Stones themselves were undamaged. However, it becomes even more wrecked by Endgame, where Thanos used it to destroy the Infinity Stones and has is grafted to his skin.
- In Endgame, something very similar happens when Bruce uses the second Infinity Gauntlet to restore the population Thanos killed. This gauntlet becomes charred and melted, its mechanical parts reduced to slag, but the stones remain undamaged and very functional.
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (first appears in Episode 71: "Lockup")
An ancient tome containing vast knowledge. It has been sought by various groups throughout history, eventually winding up in the hands of some scientists.
- Actually Pretty Funny: According to Ivanov, the Darkhold contains a few funny passages. However, we don't hear them, so Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor might be in effect.
- Adapted Out: At least so far, there's no connection between the Darkhold and vampires (if they exist) in the MCU. Chthon is also entirely unmentioned.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: A variation. The Darkhold gives people knowledge in terms they understand, going beyond simple Translator Microbes. For modern users, this usually comes in the form of scientific knowledge, but it's implied that this also took the form of dark magic in the past. It ties in to the MCU's theme that magic and science are essentially the same thing, and that magic is just science that is not fully understood.
- Artifact of Doom: Its seemingly infinite knowledge tends to drive people to villainy. Everything created through the Darkhold also turns out to cause some sort of unintended disaster, resulting in whoever uses it meeting an unfortunate fate: The Bauers and their science team end up as demonic, ethereal ghosts for their attempt at synthesizing matter, Eli Morrow ends up getting Dragged Off to Hell and nearly destroys half of Los Angeles, the LMDs become destructive, manipulative kill machines that feel no remorse (except for May's, who pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to blow the S.H.I.E.L.D. base to bits), the Framework creates an alternate universe in a Bad Present where HYDRA reigns supreme, and Ivanov and AIDA meet painful ends without accomplishing their goals. Notably, Radcliffe (the only user of the Darkhold who realized he had been corrupted), is the only one who gets to die peacefully, being deleted painlessly from the Framework while watching a beautiful sunset.
- The Corrupter: Almost anyone who reads it or even knows what it can do tends be corrupted by the knowledge it offers, no matter how noble their intentions. Eli Morrow got corrupted without even reading it, while Dr. Radcliffe merely glanced at it and was freaked out by what he saw, but was quickly convinced it holds the key to immortality. Radcliffe is notably also the only one to realize he was corrupted, but it takes so long that he ends up killing or ruining the lives of nearly all the people he cared about. Notably, Radcliffe is also the only user of the Darkhold who dies peacefully instead of meeting a morbid end like all of its other users, possibly because of this.
- Deal with the Devil: Reading the Darkhold essentially ends up being this. It offers great knowledge and power to all its users, but everything it's used to make ends up resulting in disaster and everyone who reads it meets with a terrible fate.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Darkhold appears to be able to generate any knowledge its readers want in their native language. Advanced particle physics and quantum mechanics beyond current human science is but one example. Holden Radcliffe compared it to the internet; the latter is a garden hose and the former is Niagara Falls.
- Greater-Scope Villain: While not sentient (at least we hope not), the Darkhold is the driving force of evil in Season 4. Coulson and Mack call the book evil several times. To wit:
- It inflamed Eli Morrow's resentment and jealousy at never having a chance to properly do anything with his genius, so he turned against the Bauers to make himself a god.
- Radcliffe got freaked when he glimpsed it, but later became convinced it held the key to immortality — which led to him creating the Framework.
- It caused Aida to gain sentience and a desire to be human and have emotions, resent her artificial status and drive to kill her creator and corrupt the Framework by creating a world where HYDRA rules with herself in charge as Madame Hydra.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Most people call it the Darkhold because of the big obvious title on the cover, but is actually probably its real title in Black Speech that just happens to look like the word "Darkhold", but some of the writing doesn't join up properly (such as the apparent "A" is more like an elongated "n" with no score through the middle) funnily enough the writing looks alot like the writing in the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While the Darkhold is clearly a magical object, it appears to have abilities beyond merely giving people knowledge about the universe. Everyone who reads the Darkhold becomes corrupted, and everything that is created using it ends up causing some sort of disaster. Whether or not the Darkhold does these things directly or if these consequences are simply because there are things man was not meant to know is not revealed explicitly. It's also possible that the Darkhold doesn't just give people information about the universe but offers them power through any means they understand.
- More Than Mind Control: While the book seems to read the user it primarily just offers the user whatever knowledge they desire. The thing is, the book is wired to the entire universe and can provide the reader with the deepest darkest secrets of existence. It's implied that what ultimately corrupts the reader is having unlimited access to all of the knowledge across reality and the temptation to use that knowledge for their heart's desire.
- Only Smart People May Pass: When Anton Ivanov, a well-connected but otherwise ordinary man, read the Darkhold in an effort to learn how to destroy the Inhumans, what it told him can be basically summed up as "give the book to Radcliffe" (assuming he was being truthful about what he read). This seems to imply that the book will only dole out knowledge to those with the capacity to make use of it. He is able to use it after being turned into a Brain in a Jar with a Remote Body, however.
- Overarching Villain: While (hopefully) not sentient, the Darkhold is the only malevolent force to be present across all three of Season 4's story arcs and plays a significant role in each one.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: The whole point of having Aida read the book was to avert this trope as it was assumed as an android she could read the book and not be negatively affected. It didn't work — it gave Aida sapience beyond her programming which gave her a desire to be human and resent her artificial status.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: It's a very old book with magical properties which, if the lore is the same as the comics, was written by an Elder God.
- Translator Microbes: The text in the Darkhold appears to the reader in their mother tongue, even if multiple people with different mother tongues are looking at it at the same time. When read by Aida, it even translates its words into binary code.