One of six Infinity Gems that grant its user control over reality. According to the most commonly accepted origin story the six gems were once part of an all-powerful being who committed suicide out of loneliness. Its power survived and manifested as six gems.

Soul Gems

For a long time, knowledge of the true nature of the Gems was unknown and the six were known collectively as "Soul Gems", with much of their powers unrealized by their users. The Gardener was the first known holder of the one that would eventually be identified as the Time Gem,[2] using it to help create his gardens in otherwise desolate environments. He had set up such a garden on Earth's Moon when the Stranger, another Gem-holder attacked him in an effort to collect all six. In order to fend the Stranger off, the Gardener was forced to use his Gem offensively, an act which tainted the Gem in his eyes, making its capacity to destroy overshadow its capacity to create. The Gardener discarded the Gem on the once more barren Moon and departed.[3]

The Gem was shortly thereafter picked up by Thanos on a quest to collect them all. He combined the Gem with four others and siphoned energies from the sixth to create a giant synthetic Gem with the intent of destroying the stars of the universe with its absolute power. The combined efforts of Warlock, Captain Marvel, and the Avengers thwarted Thanos' plan and destroyed the combined Gem.[4]

Time Gem from Thanos Quest Vol 1 1 001

For a time, the five combined Gems were thought to be destroyed, but a conclave of the Elders of the Universe eventually learned that they could not be truly destroyed in such a manner and that they were actually scattered across the universe. Having a plan to use the Gems to further their ambitions, the Elders set out to gather them together again. Of these, only the Mind Gem's circumstances were specified, having come into possession of the Kree. The Champion won one of the other Gems as the World Trophy of Grinx, the Collector collected one, and the Trader purchased the other two. It's unclear which of these was the Time Gem.[5] The Elders eventually succeeded in gathering all six Gems together and connected them into a space platform aligned with a star system with six desolate planets the Gems could resonate with, setting up a trap for Galactus. Their apparatus would steal planetary energies from Galactus, channeling them into the planets, thus killing Galactus and subsequently Eternity due to the loss of balance that Galactus maintained. The universe would end and be reborn, with only the Elders surviving due to their earlier victory over Death[6] and as such be true Elders of the new universe as Galactus had been in theirs. Though the Elders successfully trapped Galactus, they failed to handle interference from his heralds. While the Silver Surfer blocked the ray from the Gem apparatus, Nova detonated the star at the center of the system, creating a black hole that consumed the Gems and some of the Elders, saving Galactus.[7]

The Elders joined with the In-Betweener in a further scheme to kill Galactus, retrieving the Gems from the black hole, but they were thwarted again by the Silver Surfer. Lord Chaos and Master Order became involved and redistributed the Gems among the In-Betweener and the Elders afterwards, with the one that would soon be revealed as the Time Gem being returned to the Gardener, who by now had grown beyond his concern for the Gems' perceived moral integrity.[8]

Infinity Gauntlet

Thanos learned of the Gems' true nature as Infinity Gems from the Infinity Well and set out to gather them once more in a quest to become a god worthy of being Death's consort. The Gardener had been subconsciously using the Time Gem's abilities to grow and maintain the plants in his garden when Thanos came to take it from him. Gardener made his stand and attempted to subdue Thanos with rapidly growing vines, but Thanos used the Power Gem he had already acquired to augment the Time Gem's effects beyond Gardener's capacity to control. Gardener was killed by his own vines while Thanos survived the attack with his own enhanced power, allowing him to walk away with the Time Gem as his prize.[9] He was able to use the Time Gem's aging/de-aging properties to subsequently defeat the Runner and trick the Collector, quickly earning him two more of the Infinity Gems.[10]

When Thanos assembled all six Gems into his Infinity Gauntlet, he had the power and knowledge to achieve anything he desired, except he found he still didn't know what it would take for Death to return his affection. He attempted various grand gestures, eventually creating a great shrine to Death and fulfilling his promise to her to kill half the population of the universe, removing them from existence with a snap of his fingers.[11] No matter what he did, Death continued to regard him with silent disdain, making him increasingly unstable in his frustration. When a coalition of surviving heroes came to confront him, he initially used the Time Gem's powers to freeze them all in place, leaving them helpless. Rather than end things quickly, he was compelled to attempt to entertain Death by limiting his own abilities and giving his enemies a minute chance of victory. He swore off the use of all the Gems except Power in the ensuing battle, though he defeated many of his opponents through manipulations of time, space, and reality regardless. In particular, he removed Drax and Firelord from the battle by sending them through a time portal into prehistoric Earth.[12] After his inevitable victory, Thanos reclaimed full control of the Gems just in time to face an alliance of Cosmic Beings. When Death stood with the other Abstracts against him, Thanos lost his last vestige of patience and subdued them all, imprisoning them in an energy field. Upon defeating Eternity, he took their place as an abstract being one with the universe. This meant abandoning his physical body, which was still wearing the Gauntlet. Nebula, who up to that point was a helpless bystander being tortured by her grandfather for his amusement, seized the opportunity and stole the Gauntlet. She quickly used the Gauntlet to reset the timeline by 24 hours, more so to spite Thanos' accomplishments than to set things right. She lacked the experience or understanding to make full effective use of the Gems, so Adam Warlock, who had formed more of a connection to the Gems through his time within the Soul Gem, was able to hide from her and eventually separate her from the Gauntlet to claim it for himself. Pledging to be a more worthy supreme being, Warlock ended the conflict and sent everyone on their way.[13]

Time Gem from New Avengers Vol 3 3 001

Infinity Watch

Warlock did not hold the Infinity Gauntlet for long before Eternity brought his case to the Living Tribunal that the young god was no more suited to hold omnipotence than Thanos. The Tribunal ruled that Warlock disperse the Gems so that no individual could misuse their combined might. Warlock decided to split the Gems among friends and allies he knew would not or could not abuse their potential. He offered the Time Gem to the skeptical Gamora, who protested that she wouldn't know how to use that power and didn't want it, but to Warlock that was ideal since he knew the Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe could protect it from others that did.[14]


When the Illuminati attempted to use the Infinity Gauntlet to push away another universe that was colliding with Earth-616, the Time Gem disappeared.[15] The Time Gem eventually returned and suddenly transported the Avengers to various points in the future, shattering in the process.[16]

Infinity Countdown

Following the destruction of the entire Multiverse and its eventual restoration, the destroyed Infinity Gems were recreated and scattered across the universe.[17] The Time Gem (now colored green) restored the world of Sakaar and rested beneath its mantle until it was found by the Super-Skrull.[1] Once the gem was in his possession, Kl'rt returned to Tarnax II and had the magician Mt'nox study it to amplify its strengths, since he wanted to use the gem's power to expand the Skrull Empire. When Doctor Strange visited Tarnax II as part of a journey to search for magicians in other planets, he discovered that the Time Stone was in the hands of the Skrulls. He determined the stone was too dangerous to be in their hands, and stole it from Kl'rt. Using the gem's power to jump forward in time several times, Doctor Strange created an army of time-displaced duplicates and defeated the Super-Skrull. He and his partner Kanna left the planet afterwards with the Time Stone.[18] When he returned to Earth, Strange held onto the Time Stone for safekeeping.[19]



The Time Gem allows the user total control over the past, present and future. Its most basic ability grants its user visions of possible futures. It allows time travel, control over the age of beings and also be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire worlds in unending loops of time. At its peak, when used with the other gems, it allows its user to exist at all points in time simultaneously.

Alternate Reality Versions

2010s Marvel Animated Universe (Earth-12041)

In this universe, the Red Skull stole the Infinity Stones (as they are called, instead of "Infinity Gems") from his master Thanos and returned to Earth. He had his ship heavily damaged, which caused the Stones to be scattered all over the Earth.[20] The Time Stone started fluctuating through time, but Iron Man was able to pin it down and seize it. However, the Stone got lodged in Iron Man's arc reactor. And each time the Stone pulsated, it caused Stark to de-age. Additionally, the arrival of said stone create temporal anomalies, like the appearance of dinosaurs, robots from the future, or Hydra battalions from WWII which wrecked havoc in Manhattan.

In the middle of the chaos, the Red Skull escaped his cell at the Avengers Tower, and tried to get the Time Stone, so he chased Tony Stark through the building, who had become a kid. Captain America fought the Skull to save Tony, and Stark managed to put on an adjusted Iron Man armor for his younger body. Tony attacked the Skull with a repulsor ray which blasted the villain out of the tower. Captain America was able to encourage the young Tony to focus and control the power of the Time Stone, ultimately succeeding in stopping the timeslips, sending everyone who was time-displaced to their respective eras, and reverting Stark back to his normal age.[21]

The Stone was contained with the other three that had been retrieved by the Avengers, under special care by Tony Stark. However, the Black Widow noticed that Tony was slowly being corrupted by the Stones. She sneaked into the vault and stole them, with the intention to send them to Asgard for safekeeping. Their plan failed, and they resorted to Doctor Strange so he could bury them between realities. However, Dormammu appeared shortly after to take the gems. Black Widow was forced to wield the Stones in order to vanish him back to his dimension. After initially falling into the Stones' influence, Natasha was capable of resisting their control and reject them. However, as soon as she stripped of the Stones, Thanos returned, and assembled the Infinity Gauntlet with the Power Stone that was already in his possession.[22]

Using the Gauntlet, Thanos created a citadel near Earth's orbit, and started modifying Earth's climate, causing anomalies around the globe. In order to defeat him, the Avengers got Thanos to fight them with each individual Stone. He first aged the Avengers until they died with the Time Stone, but Thor forced him to reverse time after causing the Titan's energy beam to backfire, aging him.

After getting the readings of each individual Stone, Iron Man activated Arsenal, who seized the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. When the Avengers returned to Earth, it was revealed a backdoor left in the robot's programming allowed Ultron to possess him. Arsenal was re-shaped into Ultron, and the evil A.I. revealed itself. The five Stones were drained of their power by Ultron.[23]

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)

Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange (film) 002

In this universe, the Time Stone was held inside the Eye of Agamotto, a locket in possession of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. By using its powers to control the flow of time, Stephen Strange made time go backwards and prevent the destruction of Hong Kong, and later imposed a time loop upon the Dark Dimension to blackmail Dormammu into leaving Earth alone.[24]

When the Black Order attacked Earth, Ebony Maw tried to steal it from Doctor Strange, but there was a protection spell that prevented it from being removed from the Eye of Agamoto. On Titan, Doctor Strange used the stone to see various outcomes combating Thanos, and claimed only one outcome could lead to success. When Thanos threatened to kill Tony Stark, Doctor Strange bargained the stone for Stark's live, which Thanos accepted and added the stone to the Infinity Gauntlet. Back on Earth, Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse time to restore the recently destroyed Mind Stone.[25]

Thanos Wins (Earth-TRN666)

Thanos (Earth-616) and Frank Castle (Earth-TRN666) from Thanos Vol 2 13 001

A piece of the Time Stone of this reality was used by the Rider at the behest of his master, King Thanos, to travel to the past in order to drag a younger Thanos to the future[26] so he could help in the killing of the Fallen One.[27] Though not what it used to be, the Time Stone enabled the Rider to travel millions of years into the past and the future when fueled by the Power Cosmic, and also allowed him to pause time.[26]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 Incredible Hulk #713
  2. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  3. Marvel Team-Up #55
  4. Avengers Annual #7
  5. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #7
  6. West Coast Avengers Annual #2
  7. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #9
  8. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #18
  9. 9.0 9.1 Thanos Quest #1
  10. Thanos Quest #2
  11. Infinity Gauntlet #1
  12. Infinity Gauntlet #4
  13. 13.0 13.1 Infinity Gauntlet #6
  14. 14.0 14.1 Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2
  15. New Avengers Vol 3 #3
  16. Avengers Vol 5 #29
  17. All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #10
  18. 18.0 18.1 Doctor Strange Vol 5 #3
  19. Infinity Countdown #4
  20. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 1
  21. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 7
  22. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 12
  23. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 2 13
  24. Doctor Strange (film)
  25. Avengers: Infinity War
  26. 26.0 26.1 Thanos Vol 2 #13
  27. Thanos Vol 2 #15
  28. Avengers Vol 4 #10
  29. Infinity Gauntlet #5
  30. Warlock and the Infinity Watch #40
  31. 31.0 31.1 Hardcase #23
  32. 32.0 32.1 New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #2
  33. Incredible Hulk #717