Well, is it? The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. There are almost countless places the elusive Soul Stone could be. Let’s take a look at the evidence. But first…
What is the Soul Stone?
The Soul Stone is the final gem of six within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it is yet to be glimpsed. These intergalactic gems include the blue Space Stone, the red Reality Stone, the purple Power Stone, the yellow Mind Stone, the green Time Stone — and the orange Soul Stone. All stones are imbued with powers which can be wielded by whoever is in possession of each individual stone. Together, these Infinity Stones are even more powerful, giving ultimate power to whoever possesses them all.
To date, the stones have been integral to the plots of the films that have led us to this point. And this point is the imminent arrival of Black Panther, the last standalone film ahead of team-up movie Avengers: Infinity War – out this spring.
So what powers does the Soul Stone have?
We don’t yet know what powers the Soul Stone wields within the MCU. But if the Space Stone can manipulate space and open portals, the Mind Stone can control the brain, the Reality Stone can grant wishes, the Time Stone relates to the temporal, and the Power Stone can bestow super-strength and manipulate energy, then the Soul Stone would facilitate power over the soul.
According to the comics, the Soul Gem — as it’s called — collects souls, and allows complete control over the soul. Souls can even be trapped inside a world that exists within the gem.
Why Might the Soul Stone Be In Wakanda?
If the other Infinity Stones have been introduced gradually throughout the MCU in order to lead to the climax of Avengers: Infinity War, it would make sense for the Soul Stone to make its first appearance in Black Panther. As we’ve already said, it’s the last standalone Marvel film before the assembled heroes face off against big bad Thanos.
Thanos’s plan involves collecting all the Infinity Stones to embed within his Infinity Gauntlet, granting him omniscience and omnipresence – in other words, making him all-powerful.
The Infinity War trailer shows Thanos with the Power Stone and Space Stone in place within the Infinity Gauntlet, and suggests he’s collecting the stones in the film. We see Vision being pinned down, and an attempt being made to forcibly remove the Mind Stone from his forehead. The implication is that the film will revolve around Thanos collecting Infinity Stones. But will it hinge on a final battle for the Soul Stone?
Let’s not forget, the film is called Infinity War, suggesting that all six Infinity Stones will indeed come into play. And there’s the small matter of a battle teased in the trailer between Thanos’s army and Wakandan troops alongside the Avengers…
But wait, there’s more to suggest we’ll see the Soul Stone in Wakanda. Black Panther’s homeland is mysterious. We know that its secrecy is closely guarded and that it’s a source of great wealth and power. But where did its wealth and power come from? Could it be that as the location of the Soul Stone, the nation and its people have harnessed and benefitted from its properties?
In the first Black Panther trailer, Andy Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue mentions that Wakanda is referred to by some as El Dorado, which could be an oblique reference to colour. El Dorado is the legendary city of gold, with Dorado meaning golden. The colour of the Soul Stone is a glowing amber-orange which could be described as golden.
But It Could Be Somewhere Else, Right?
Yep – it’s by no means set in — ahem — stone that it will pop up in Wakanda. There’s a long-running theory that Idris Elba’s Heimdall is the current guardian of the Soul Stone. And that theory has yet to be disproved.
Not only is Heimdall able to see all souls – he says in Thor: The Dark World he can see 10 trillion souls from Asgard — but he also has an orange glow to his eyes, which corresponds with the colour of the Soul Stone.
But there is also a suggestion that the Soul Stone could be found in an alternate reality or dimension. With Doctor Strange being shown in his standalone film messing up time the way he did, there could — and likely will – be repercussions for the MCU. Starting with the Soul Stone perhaps. This would be a great way to set up the fourth Avengers film and usher in the new wave of characters set to appear, including Captain Marvel.
Or is this the point where Adam Warlock comes into play? The fan-favourite has been nodded to several times in the MCU – most recently in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 where we saw his creation at the hands of Ayesha teased in a post-credits scene. In the comics, Warlock has the Soul Stone. Which is very interesting, indeed…
Black Panther hits screens in the UK on February 12 and the US on February 16. Avengers: Infinity War arrives on UK soil on April 27 and lands Stateside on May 4.