The Infinity Watch
is a group of fictional characters
in Marvel Comics
. The Watch was gathered in Warlock and the Infinity Watch
#1, and starred in that series until it ended with issue #42. The six members were the self-appointed guardians of everything.
When Adam Warlock
obtains possession of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet
(that contained the six Infinity Gems
) from Thanos
, he is ordered by the Living Tribunal
to separate the Gems so that they might never be used in conjunction again. Warlock forms the Infinity Watch, entrusting each member with an Infinity Gem to protect (keeping the identity of the sixth member a secret even from his fellow Infinity Watch-members). It must be noted that, under the Gauntlet's influence, Warlock is not in his right mind, and even he wondered if he had made the right choices later on.
Initially, Warlock did not intend for the Watch to become a team; he believes the gems would be safer if they were all kept separately, but Warlock's old enemy, the Man-Beast abducts four Infinity Watch members and manipulated their gems in an attempt to destroy Warlock. After the Man-Beast is defeated, the Infinity Watch chose to stay together as a heroic team, except for Thanos. However, Thanos, having undergone a period of humility after the Infinity Gauntlet affair, did not abuse his gem, but kept it safe.
Warlock negotiates a deal with the Mole Man to use a castle on Monster Island as the Watch's base. With help from The Avengers and Warlock, the United Nations recognize the Mole Man's sovereignty of Monster Island (after a fatallity-free battle with the Watch). The Infinity Watch goes on to deal with many other foes, most of them interested in the power the Gems could confer on their owner. Other opponents had personal interests in the Infinity Watch members.
An amnesiac man appears on Monster Island and was taken in by the Watch despite Gamora's warnings. Gamora, holding the Time Gem, has visions of this man killing Adam Warlock. The Watch names the man Maxam after a symbol found on his belt and he joins the Watch, despite a violent outburst against Warlock.
The Watch also become involved in the events of the Infinity War and the Infinity Crusade, both stemming from the events of the Infinity Gauntlet.
A while later Gamora leaves the team after an argument with Adam Warlock. Maxam became the new Guardian of the Time Gem. This causes his memories to return; he is under the belief that Warlock is a danger to his homeworld. Under Moondragon's telepathic influence, Maxam believes that he had broken Warlock's neck and returned to his own world.
Meanwhile the being known as Rune steals all the Infinity Gems and took them to the Ultraverse. With Gamora, Maxam and the gems gone, the Watch disbands. Although the gems are eventually returned to the Marvel Universe, the Watch has not been fully reestablished yet; however, Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip were shown attempting to overthrow the Champion of the Universe's rule of the planet Skardon in the 2004–2005 She-Hulk series, and at one point recruited Drax to aid in their efforts.
- Many members of the Infinity Watch were chosen for their inability to use their assigned Gem's full potential:
- Pip was a coward and would keep his Space Gem safe because he would teleport to safety at the first sign of trouble, and did not have the intelligence to be creative with its power.
- Drax had brain damage and was only able to tap into the Power Gem at a subconscious level to increase his own already formidable strength and ability to project energy.
- Gamora was unwilling to use her Time Gem consciously, though it did occasionally happen by accident, but her skills as one of the universe's greatest assassins would keep the gem safe.
- Moondragon's block derived from a previous blow to her massive ego. Due to her personal failures, while she could access nearly all of the gem's power, she lacked the confidence and ambition to try anything really dangerous with it. Warlock did install a failsafe to keep her from reading the minds of the other Watch members.
- While Thanos' possession of the Reality Gem could grant him anything that he desired, Captain Marvel stated that perhaps Thanos was chosen because he was the only being in the universe wise enough not to use it. Having attained near-godhood and godhood in the past, he simply knew that greater power would not satisfy him.
- Warlock expunged the good and evil portions of his personality while holding the gauntlet which limited his ability to exploit aspects of the Soul Gem.
- Most wielders of an Infinity Gem attached the gem to their forehead, but Pip kept his gem hidden between his toes and Drax swallowed his gem, thinking it was a piece of candy. Drax's unique digestive tract kept the gem safely within his stomach.