(Hey look, another new format feature: JUMP BREAKS!)
Shorthand auto-headline for pretty much every image coming out of Comic-Con in relation to the Marvel Films slate: "If This Is What It Looks Like... This Is Awesome." See: Yesterday's web-shuddering revelation of a certain Special Object being somehow involved in "Captain America." (Note, since that story is a report on something that was publically shown at SDCC, I don't know that it counts as a SPOILER or not, but just in case call this a light-warning.)
And then there's THIS rather ostentatious-looking piece of handwear, which was apparently out on the floor along with the already widely-seen Captain America shield and Thor/Loki/Odin helmets. And, well, if this is what it sure-as-hell LOOKS like it is...
Fans don't need me to tell them what they seem to be looking at. For non-fans: That's almost-certainly a Marvel Universe MacGuffin known as "The Infinity Gauntlet." Short version: Magic Glove inlaid with six Magic Gems representing absolute power over Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power, respectively. If you're wearing it, you're pretty much God. Keeping this from certain bad guys is really, really important. So... it's a more ostentatious "One Ring," would be the idea.
Now, here's why this should give fans something close to an intellectual-erection: While this is supposed to be a prop from "Thor," The Infinity Gauntlet isn't specifically a Thor element in the books. In fact, it doesn't "belong" to any one hero's series or continuity. It's an "everybody" MacGuffin, most-commonly associated with (in fact, created-by) one of Marvel's ultimate "everybody" Big Bads: THANOS.
Created by "cosmic"-specializing artist/writer Jim Starlin, Thanos is a nearly all-powerful alien conqueror who is "the ultimate nihilist" - he is in love with Death (literally - in the Marvel Universe, important esoteric "concepts" like Eternity and Infinity have sentient physical embodiments, and Death is nominally-"female") and typically wants to commit acts of universe-scale genocide in order to impress her. Really.
In other words, EXACTLY the sort of "too big for one guy" threat that Marvel Films' has kept hinting would be the "only" thing that could bring The Avengers together for the movie. He'd certainly be right up there with also-speculated potential enemies like the Skrulls (aliens) H.Y.D.R.A. (Neo-Nazis, James Bond style) The Leader (Tim Blake Nelson at some point after he exits the "Hulk" movie) or A.I.M. (made scientists), but for whatever reason he never seemed to be at the top of anyone's list. Hell, I'd never have even thought to consider him, mostly because he's always been on that list of "Things I'll Never See In a Movie." But, then again, yesterday I never would've believed I'd see a live-action Infinity Gauntlet.
This is really happening.