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Comic book universes usually draw influences from real life and mythology for some of its plots and narrative elements. Both DC and Marvel have a variety of mythological influences (Wonder Woman’s gallery of rogues includes Ancient Greek deities, while Thor himself is based on Norse mythology), some of which are explicit, while others are more symbolic. Today’s comparison is going to focus on the latter, a group of valuable and extremely powerful objects that, if collected and united, give their carrier enormous powers. This is something that is so often present in myths and legends, so it should not come as a surprise that comic book writers have used this motif in their stories. We’re talking about DC’s Mother Boxes and Marvel’s Infinity Stones and in today’s article, we are going to tell you which of the two groups of objects are more powerful.
Despite both groups of artefacts being very powerful, the Mother Boxes are machines that operate within a given reality, amplifying the user’s powers but not actually altering that reality. The Infinity Stones, on the other hand, have the power to completely reshape a given reality and they practically turn their user into a god. This is why we think that the Infinity Stones are more powerful than the Mother Boxes.
In today’s article, you are going to find out what the Mother Boxes and the Infinity Stones are. We are also going to tell you what they can do and what powers they give to their wielders. Finally, after a thorough analysis, you’re going to find out which of the two groups of artefacts are more powerful. Enjoy!
What are the Mother Boxes?
The Mother Boxes are a group of fictional technological artifacts created by author Jack Kirby, that appear in stories published by DC Comics. They debuted in The Forever People #1 (1971) and are basically tools used by the characters of the Fourth World, the beings from New Genesis or Apokolips.
The Mother Boxes were created by the Apokolips scientist Himon, using the mysterious Element X. They are generally believed to be some kind of intelligent, miniaturized and sensitive supercomputers, although their true nature and origin is unknown. They possess amazing powers and abilities that are not even understood by their users, the New Gods of New Genesis. The characteristics of the device allow the user to be teleported (by producing Boom Tubes) and even to manipulate energy. Mother boxes have been seen to have the ability to heal injured individuals; this was demonstrated on Darkseid himself, after a severe mortal confrontation that he had with Doomsday at some point. Metron stated that each Mother Box shares “a mystical relationship with nature.” In addition to that, they can provide its owner with brotherly and conditional love, and are even capable of self-destruction if its carrier dies.
Mother Boxes have sacrificed themselves for causes they have come to believe in and are highly respected by the people of New Genesis. In physical appearance, they are most often in the shape of a small box, but some also have much larger sizes (such as the one the Forever People possessed), and do not always have to take the shape of a box (Mister Miracle, for example, has always had some circuits in his suit that are connected to a small Mother Box, which is woven into the hood of his costume). They usually communicate with a repetitive ping that can be understood by their respective users.
What are the Infinity Stones?
The Infinity Stones, also known as Infinity Gems and Soul Stones, are a group of six powerful gems that appear in stories published by Marvel Comics. They have appeared individually from 1972 to 1977, before finally debuting as a group in 1977. They are exceptionally powerful and give the users enormous, reality-bending powers, which is why it is said that whoever wields all the six Stones will become the most powerful being in the universe.
The first gem was the one that appeared on Adam Warlock’s forehead; it was the Soul Stone and it was given to him by the High Evolutionary. Later, Thanos, with the intention of extinguishing all the stars in the universe, and frustrated by being turned down by Lady Death, was the first to use all of the six Infinity Stones at the same time. Eventually he was stopped by the Avengers, Adam Warlock, and Captain Marvel. Later, the Eternals were the second entities to use the gems in unison. They connected the six gems to a device, to absorb the life energy of Galactus and transfer it to a barren planet, giving it life. However, his herald, Silver Surfer interfered and destroyed the machine, and the gems were lost through a black hole. After Thanos’ resurrection, the search for all the Infinity Stones began once more.
Throughout their history, the Infinity Stones played a large role in three major narrative arcs:
- The Infinity Gauntlet: Thanos obtains all six Gems and puts them in the Infinity Gauntlet. Obsessed with Death, whom he considers his beloved, he plans to please her by annihilating half the Universe. The heroes of Earth along with Adam Warlock, and other cosmic heroes oppose him. In the confrontation against Thanos, Adam Warlock was briefly the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet. Rather than relinquishing power to him, Warlock attempted to demonstrate that he would be a more appropriate choice for the power of a “god”, removing all Good and Evil from his being, to become absolutely impartial and neutral. This fact will cause the following Sagas of Infinity.
- Infinity War: Warlock’s evil half, the Magus, takes shape and plans to destroy reality. The gems, held by the Infinity Guard, are again gathered to prevent it. In one clever move, the Magus steals the Gauntlet while Eternity lifts the edict of the Living Court so the gems can operate in unison again. The heroes, again, will oppose it, but will take Warlock and the Infinity Guard as allies of the Magus.
- The Infinity Crusade: The benevolent half of Warlock takes on a feminine aspect and calls herself The “Goddess”. She uses her power to kidnap those heroes and super-powerful beings who have a more or less pronounced religious feeling. The remaining heroes will have to fight their former comrades to stop the plans of the “goddess”, who is storing the powers of various cubes or cosmic units to bring about the destruction of the universe.
What powers do they have?
In this section, we are going to explain what the exact powers of the Mother Boxes and the Infinity Stones are, i.e., what abilities they give to their owners or users, depending on the context. This section is going to be a bit different than our usual comparisons, since we’re not dealing with live beings, but rather with regular objects.
The Mother Boxes
Here are the basic attributes, powers and traits of the Mother Boxes, as presented in the comic book stories they have appeared in:
- The Mother Boxes have the ability to access the energy coming directly from the Source to obtain various powers and traits: for example, they are able to manipulate gravity by changing the gravitational constant of a certain area; transfer energy from one place to another; feel danger; feel life; create force fields; rearrange the molecular structure of matter; absorb or project powerful shock explosions; create electro-networks of atoms; control the mental state of a sentient being; communicate telepathically with its host or any other lifeform; manipulate the life force of a host to withstand previous fatal injuries; open and close Boom Tubes (the most famous trait of the Mother Boxes); take charge and control of non-sentient machines; develop non-sentient machines; fuse sentient beings, allowing you to create a super powerful being; keep a lifeform protected in a hostile environment such as space; and a lot of other things. Mother Boxes have an affinity for power coming from the Source, and it is believed that they draw their power from there. It is in this sense that they can be related as a computer that links man with God.
- For the New Gods, they are quite common devices (they use them like humans would use a tablet or a smartphone), insofar as a sentient device can be called an “appliance”. Other DC Comics characters have also had access to them in specific times of need; notably, Superman used one when he went looking for Doomsday.
- The Mother Boxes can only be manufactured by a being born on New Genesis or on Apokolips; in fact, not every being born there can make them, which makes the process very specific (we know this because Apokolips-based beings have failed in the construction of a Mother Box on more than one occasion). The technique to manufacture a Mother Box requires a lot of training to master. The stories have implied that the character of the builder influences the successful results of assembling a Mother Box. This fact applies to all Fourth World stories (as seen in the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, The Forever People and Mister Miracle comics) written during the Jack Kirby era, when he was the principal author of these stories. In later versions of the stories mentioned above, and in other stories where elements from the Fourth World comics were used, other writers would alter the crafting and abilities of the Mother Boxes to allow them to be used by characters and entities from other planets (such as Superman, Batman and currently, Cyborg).
The Infinity Stones
Here are the powers and the main traits of the six Infinity Stones, presented in table form:
|Marvel Legacy color|
|Powers and capabilities|
|Mind||Blue||Yellow||Allows the user to enhance their mental and psionic abilities and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Mind Gem can access all minds in existence simultaneously. The Mind Gem is also the manifestation of the universal subconscious.|
|Power||Red||Purple||Allows the user to access and manipulate all forms of energy and/or powers; i.e. enhancing their physical strength and durability; augment any superhuman ability; and boost the effects of the other five Gems. At full potential, the Power Gem grants the user omnipotence.|
|Reality||Yellow||Red||Allows the user to fulfill their wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws, and do things that would normally be impossible. At full potential, when backed by the other five Gems, the Reality Gem allows the user to alter reality on a universal scale and also create any type of alternate reality the user wishes.|
|Soul||Green||Orange||Allows the user to steal, control, manipulate, and alter living and dead souls; as well as animate the motionless. The Soul Gem also acts as a gateway to an idyllic pocket universe. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Soul Gem grants the user control over all life in the universe.|
|Space||Purple||Blue||Allows the user to exist in any location; move any object anywhere throughout reality; warp or rearrange space; teleport themselves and others; increase their speed, and alter the distance between objects contrary to the laws of physics. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Space Gem grants the user omnipresence.|
|Time||Orange||Green||Allows the user to see into the past and the future; stop, slow down, speed up or reverse the flow of time; travel through time; change the past and the future; age and de-age beings, and trap people or entire universes in unending loops of time. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Time Gem grants the user omniscience and total control over the past, present, and future.|
Now that we have finally revealed every relevant detail about both groups, we can finally give our final verdict on the issue. As you might have deduced yourselves, both the Mother Boxes and the Infinity Stones are exceptionally powerful artefacts that give their users varied, but always strong powers. They can be the decisive factor in a battle and they can make a powerful character practically unbeatable, despite there always being a way to overpower their influence.
As far as the Mother Boxes go, they are technological devices with a large number of capabilities, most of which are very potent, but they do have their limits and they don’t turn the user into a god; they just amplify their powers. The Infinity Stones, on the other hand, are exceptionally powerful magical objects that have a reality-changing potency within them, especially if united and used in unison. They practically make their user a god with enormous powers, a being that can shape existence however he desires. The Mother Boxes never had such powers and although they can help in a battle, they don’t really influence reality as it is – they operate within it, but they don’t really alter it, which is something the Infinity Stones can do.
This is why we think that the Infinity Stones are much more powerful than the Mother Boxes, even more so when they are used in unison. There is enough evidence in the comic books to prove us right, which is why we are fairly certain of our conclusion.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!