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- "I want the Orb for my collection very much. It is such a deliciously potent object."
- ―Taneleer Tivan
The Orb is an artifact that contains one of the six Infinity Stones. Appearing billions of years ago as a remnant of one of six singularities, the Infinity Stone within it is a powerful weapon capable of granting a person great, cosmic power, but is highly likely to kill any organic beings that touch it. It was coveted by Thanos, who employed the Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser to bring it to him. However, before Ronan obtained the Orb, it was stolen by Star-Lord on Morag, prompting a galaxy-wide hunt that resulted in the Orb being given to the Nova Corps for safe-keeping. The Orb contains the Infinity Stone of Power.
The Power Stone is a remnant of one of the six singularities which existed before the universe. After the universe came into existence, the Cosmic Entities used the energies of these singularities to forge six immensely powerful objects known as Infinity Stones. Hence its name, the Power Stone represented the destructive nature of the universe, and was incredibly powerful, capable of annihilating entire planets.
In the distant past, the stone was used by the Celestials as a means of placing judgment upon worlds and their populaces. However, the stone was just as dangerous to its handler as it was to the societies against which it was used, as its insufficiently powerful handlers were destroyed by its power.
Millennia after its creation, the Power Stone was used by nine Cosmic Beings who linked themselves together. However, the effects were short-lived, as the energy of the stone disintegrated all nine beings after a few moments. Eventually the Orb was hidden with the stone stored inside, on the planet Morag, storing it in a secret tomb that was hidden beneath the planet's vast ocean. The ocean would recede every 300 years, making the tomb accessible.
Millions of years later, the Orb became the desired object of various different parties. Thanos and his allies, the Kree fanatic Ronan the Accuser, Korath the Pursuer, Nebula, and Gamora had been seeking it for some time, and traveled to Praxius IX under false leads. Taneleer Tivan also sought to add the Orb to his collection, and hired Gamora to betray Thanos and give it to him. Peter Quill, a member of the Ravagers, discovered the Orb's location on Morag, but just as he recovered it from the tomb, he was attacked by minions of Korath. Barely escaping from the attackers, Quill took the Orb to Xandar where he had made a deal to sell it through the Broker. However, when the Broker learned that Ronan also desired the Orb, he refused to take it, fearing for his life.
Quill was then attacked by Gamora and the criminal duo of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, who had been pursuing Quill through a bounty. A chase ensued, after which the four were detained by the Nova Corps and taken to the Kyln, where they were imprisoned and the Orb was confiscated. Joining up with criminal Drax, they re-obtained the Orb and escaped from the prison. They then traveled to Knowhere, where they handed the Orb to Taneleer Tivan, who explained the Orb's history and capabilities. Carina, Tivan's tormented assistant, attempted to take the stone, but upon touching it, she accidentally triggered its power, releasing an energy pulse that killed her and destroyed most of the installation.
Drax, mad with the desire for revenge, had also contacted Ronan, whose forces attacked Gamora, Rocket, and Quill. After Nebula destroyed Gamora's pod, Ronan then recovered the Orb. Realizing it contained an Infinity Stone, Ronan decided to double-cross Thanos out of spite due to Thanos' beratement of him. He harnessed the power of the Stone and forged it into his hammer, the Universal Weapon, vowing to destroy Xandar and kill Thanos.
Later as Ronan's forces attacked Xandar, Ronan used the power of the Stone to destroy countless ships, much to the horror of Nova-Prime Irani Rael, the leader of Xandar's police force. Quill attempted to use Rocket's Hadron Enforcer to destroy Ronan, but the Stone prevented him from being destroyed. When Ronan's ship, the Dark Aster, crashed onto Xandar, Ronan attempted to use the hammer to destroy Xandar once and for all, but was distracted by Quill's antics. Rocket shot Ronan's hammer with the Hadron Enforcer, destroying the hammer and releasing the Stone. Peter Quill then caught the Stone, and through joining hands with Gamora, Rocket, and Drax, managed to withstand its power long enough to destroy Ronan and be inserted into a container by Gamora. Yondu Udonta then forced Quill to give him the Orb, and flew away with it. However, Quill had switched the containers, so he had given Yondu a doll inside a container rather than the stone.
Quill entrusted the Orb to the Nova Corps on Xandar, who stored it in a high-security vault in the city. In return the Nova Corps pardoned Quill, Gamora, Rocket and Drax, and rebuilt Quill's spaceship.
- Energy Projection: The Power Stone can be used to produce blasts, explosions, storms, orbs or tornados of lethal, purple, fire-like energy. When used at its maximum potential, it can produce an energy wave strong enough to consume an entire planet. Though the Stone seems incapable of performing this function inside a containment orb, instruments such as the Universal Weapon can be used to contain it, preventing the need to directly touch the stone and experience its deadly effects, and still exploit its full power. There has only been two known instances where living creatures have channeled the energy of the Orb. The first resulted in the death of all those who were present. The second was by the Guardians of the Galaxy, whose leader first grabbed it and was being killed by it before the others grabbed his hands and each others to share the energy and their leader released some of the energy to kill Ronan the Accuser. When the energy touched living things, it corroded and burned them by first coursing through and then causing them to burn and disintegrate until they are reduced to purple ambers that then fade. The process of being destroyed by the Stone's power is seemingly extremely painful.
- Enhanced Durablity: Similarly to Malekith while he was wielding the Aether, Ronan's durability was enhanced while bearing his Power Stone-infused Universal Weapon. He withstood a direct, close range shot from the Hadron Enforcer, with no apparent injury as well as not being at all affected by the crashing of the Dark Aster as he walked away from the massive wreckage of his ship as if he had landed without problems.
- Enhanced Strength: The Power Stone also increased Ronan's strength.
- Director James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy has confirmed that the Orb is the "Power" Stone of the Infinity Stones.
- Like the Aether did when inside Jane Foster, those who possess the Orb successfully have their eyes turned black and their irises turned to a different color.