The Orb was an ancient artifact that housed the Power Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones, the remnant of a singularity that predated the universe. The Power Stone was a powerful weapon capable of granting a person with great, cosmic power, but was highly likely to kill any organic beings that touch it. It was used by Eson the Searcher until it was hidden for millennia on the planet Morag.
The Orb containing the Power Stone was coveted by Thanos, who employed the Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser in 2014 to retrieve it for him. However, before Ronan could acquire the Orb, it was stolen by Star-Lord, prompting a galaxy-wide hunt that resulted in the Orb being given to the Nova Corps for safe-keeping. Thanos later retrieved the Power Stone from the Nova Corps in 2018 and inserted it into his Infinity Gauntlet, using it in conjunction with the other five stones to eliminate half of all life in the universe. Following the completion of his life's goal, Thanos destroyed all six stones to prevent his work from being undone.
In 2023, the Avengers initiated a Time Heist in order to resurrect the lives Thanos had claimed, with War Machine and Nebula sent back in time to 2014 to retrieve the Power Stone from Morag. Following the Battle of Earth, where Iron Man used all six stones to kill Thanos and his army at the cost of his own life, Captain America time-traveled to Morag of 2014 to return the Power Stone, albeit without the Orb.
- "These stones, it seems, can only be brandished by beings of extraordinary strength. These carriers can use the stone to mow down entire civilizations like wheat in a field. Once, for a moment, a group was able to share the energy amongst themselves, but even they were quickly destroyed by it."
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.
- "I only ask that you take this matter seriously."
"The only matter I do not take seriously, boy, is you. Your politics bore me. Your demeanor is that of a pouty child. And apparently, you alienated my favorite daughter, Gamora. I shall honor our agreement, Kree, if you bring me the Orb. But return to me again empty handed... And I will bathe the starways in your blood."
- ―Ronan and Thanos[src]
Millions of years later, the Orb became the desired object of various different parties. Thanos and his allies, 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 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 Drax the Destroyer, they re-obtained the Orb and escaped from the prison.
They then traveled to Knowhere, where they handed the Orb to Tivan who explained the Orb's history and capabilities. Carina suddenly 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 tore the Orb open and harnessed the power of the Stone, forging it into his hammer, the Cosmi-Rod, 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. 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 for the stone to be inserted into a new container by Gamora. Yondu Udonta then forced Quill to give him the new 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 new Orb to the Nova Corps. as it was stored in a high-security vault on Xandar. In return, the Nova Corps pardoned Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax, and rebuilt Quill's spaceship.
In 2023, five years after the Snap, Tony Stark devised a method to use the Quantum Realm in order to travel through time safely. In order to reverse the effects of the Snap, the Avengers subsequently initiated a Time Heist, a mission involving traveling to the past in order to reclaim all six Infinity Stones and bring them to the present. War Machine and Nebula were dispatched to 2014 to retrieve the Orb from Morag, with War Machine knocking Star-Lord unconscious.
After successfully transporting the past versions of the stones to the present, Hulk, wearing a Nano Gauntlet created by Stark, harnessed the power of the six stones to resurrect the lives claimed by Thanos, albeit losing the ability to use his right arm in the process after which they extracted the Power Stone from the Orb. Moments after the resurrection, the New Avengers Facility was attacked by the past version of Thanos, who had time-traveled from 2014 to 2023. Iron Man, Captain America and Thor fought the Mad Titan before they were given assistance by the newly resurrected heroes, sparking the Battle of Earth, which culminated in Iron Man sacrificing his life by using all six stones to kill Thanos and his army. Following Stark's funeral, Captain America was sent back in time by Hulk in order to put back the Infinity Stones to whence they were taken and journeyed to Morag of 2014 to return the Power Stone, albeit without the Orb.
- Energy Projection: The Power Stone can be used to produce blasts, explosions, storms, orbs or tornadoes 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 Cosmi-Rod 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 had 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 other 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 Strength: The Power Stone has the ability to increased a user's strength, such as allowing Ronan the Accuser's strength being greatly augmented and easily defeated the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Enhanced Durability: Ronan the Accuser's durability was enhanced while bearing his Power Stone-infused Cosmi-Rod. 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.
- 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.
- Concept art was made of Entropy using the Orb to kill beings.