Yesterday Marvel Studios’ dropped in a bombshell in that the release date of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is being pushed up! The film will now hit theatres on April 27, 2018!! Whether you are just a casual Marvel fan, or have no clue what is really going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… no worries. If you plan to see INFINITY WAR, I have you covered!
The basic concept of the film is that despite the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, in which the Avengers were torn apart, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must reunite and ultimately join forces with the Guardians when Thanos arrives on Earth to collect the Infinity Stones for the Gauntlet. If Thanos succeeds in his mission, then pretty much the whole universe is doomed.
First let’s watch the official trailer…
So what led to this point? If you haven’t been watching the movies, or need refreshers, keep reading!
So let’s say you are up for tackling a marathon of movies. Then here are my thoughts on the films to watch…
Films to Watch
There is much debate on the “correct” order to watch the films. You could watch them by Phase and release date… or you could watch them in the chronological order to follow the actual timeline of events. For instance, IRON MAN was the first Avengers film released in 2008. If you are going by Phases, you would watch that one first. However, if you want to go by the timeline of events, you would actually watch CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER first! I’ll break down the film order both ways for you.
Marvel Movies By Phase Order
THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
IRON MAN 2(2010)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)
MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012)
IRON MAN 3 (2013)
THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)
DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017)
THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)
BLACK PANTHER (2018)
Marvel Movies By Chronological Order
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
IRON MAN 2
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS
IRON MAN 3
THOR: THE DARK WORLD
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Side note: So here is where it is a little tricky. Events from DOCTOR STRANGE are supposedly happening the same time as CIVIL WAR. Both HOMECOMING and BLACK PANTHER pick up RIGHT after CIVIL WAR. I placed BLACK PANTHER last since we do not yet know the home entertainment release date. Therefore I wouldn’t wait to watch the other films till after BLACK PANTHER. You can save that film for last. You actually could watch HOMECOMING right after CIVIL WAR or in between DOCTOR STRANGE and RAGNAROK. Just make sure you watch RAGNAROK sometime after DOCTOR STRANGE.
As for future films, we know INFINITY WAR opens in theaters on April 27, 2018. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP arrives July 6, 2018, with CAPTAIN MARVEL arriving on March 8, 2019. Finally rounding out Phase 3 is AVENGERS 4 on May 3, 2019. The sequel to SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING starts off Phase 4 on July 5, 2019, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 is scheduled for some time in 2020. We are guessing sometime in the summer, given GotG history of being a summer release.
Future UNTITLED MARVEL movie release dates for 2012 and 2022 include 5/7/21, 7/30/21, 11/5/21, 2/18/22, 5/6/22, and 7/29/22.
Who Are These Characters?
**SPOILERS** This next section contains spoilers for all the films!
So if you decide not to watch the movies I listed out above, let’s chat CHARACTERS!
It all starts with New Yorker Steve Rogers, who is quite patriotic for his country. During World War II he wants to join the military with his best friend, Bucky Barnes, but isn’t allowed due to physical weaknesses. However, he’s recruited by the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) to take the Super-Soldier Serum, under the supervision of Agent Peggy Carter and scientist Howard Stark, turning him into Captain America!
During the war, Bucky is captured by Hydra, a Nazi unit, lead by the Red Skull. Captain America is able to save Bucky, but then Bucky is later presumed dead on a mission to get the Tesseract, which is an Infinity Stone (Space Stone), from the clutches of Red Skull. So then Cap heads out to kill Red Skull himself. While facing off, the Tesseract kills the Red Skull and drops into the ocean, in which then Cap crashes his plane into the Arctic. The SSR (along with Howard) recovers Tesseract and a frozen Cap.
Agent Carter and Howard Stark then create SHIELD (the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), as it turns out despite Red Skull’s death, Hydra is still growing. Over time, SHIELD expands and makes great strides in the world of science. Howard goes on to create the Arc Reactor, which is a unique power source.
Another scientist at SHIELD, Hank Pym, creates the Pym Particles, which can change size and mass of objects, even humans. He uses this technology to create the Ant-Man suit.
Now fast forward! Howard Stark has died in a car crash, and his son, Tony Stark, is now the head of Stark Industries, Howard’s corporation with Obadiah Stane. Tony is captured by terrorists while overseas. However, he is able to create an Arc Reactor, that not only keeps him alive but powers a suit of armor he’s put together with scrap metal. Tony is then able to escape his captors! He then decides to build a similar suit, thus perfecting the Iron Man suit. He finds out that Stane was behind his kidnapping and other nefarious plans. Long story short, Tony defeats Stane and becomes known to the world as Iron Man.
Now that Iron Man is known, Nick Fury, the new director of SHIELD, approach Tony about joining his “Avengers Initiative.” Tony agrees, and unbeknownst to him, he is working closely with Agent Natasha Romanoff of SHIELD, aka Black Widow. Tony later builds a suit for his best friend, Air Force commander James Rhodes, who then becomes War Machine.
Now back to the Super-Soldier Serum, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is trying to recreate it after the assumption it was all destroyed back during World War II. A scientist, Bruce Banner is asked to help, but then turns into the Hulk after he is exposed to the Serum and gamma radiation in a lab accident. Not wanting to be a military experiment, Banner goes on the run, and Thunderbolt injects one of his soldiers, Emil Blonsky, with the Serum to help find Banner. This turns him into Abomination. Abomination and Hulk face off. Hulk wins, but goes on the run again.
So while all this is happening on Earth, up in the galaxy, space, or whatever you want to call it… the God of Thunder, Thor is kicked out of Asgard by his father, King Odin, due to his reckless nature. Thor ends up on Earth, and meets Agent Phil Coulson of SHIELD, and scientist Dr. Jane Foster (who he falls in love with). Thor’s brother Loki, then comes to Earth to steal the Tesseract from SHIELD, as instructed by the Mad Titan, Thanos, who wants all the Infinity Stones.
Loki grabs the Tesseract, while brainwashing SHIELD agent Hawkeye, to help him with his evil plans. Loki then leads the Chitauri in an alien invasion creating destruction in New York. After Loki kills Coulson, Fury is able to convince the Avengers to assembly. The Avengers now include Iron Man, Captain America (who is now unfrozen), Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye (who is now un-brainwashed). After the Avengers defeat the aliens, Thor takes Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard for protection.
While Tony deals with internal struggle on whether to continue life as Iron Man, another Infinity Stone, Aether, the Reality Stone enters the picture. While trying to contain the Aether, it appears that Loki dies in battle. To keep Aether away from the Tesseract, Asgardians take it to Taneleer Tivan, aka The Collector, for safekeeping.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that Bucky was presumed dead during the war? Nope, he’s not. Turns out he was actually captured again, and brainwashed into the assassin, The Winter Soldier. Hydra uses the Winter Solider to do their dirty work, and they infiltrate SHIELD, causing its collapse. Long story short, Cap discovers Bucky is alive, teams up with veteran Sam Wilson, who is actually Falcon, to discover the truth. Bucky tries to kill Cap, but when they face off, he doesn’t go through with it as he starts to get bits and pieces of his memory back. Instead, Bucky goes on the run.
So what is going on back up in space? It’s time to meet the Guardians! Thanos has Ronan the Accuser set out to destroy planets. Thanos’ (adopted) daughters Gamora and Nebula work for Ronan on this task. When Gamora wants a way out away from Thanos, she meets Star Lord (formerly Peter Quill, a human abducted by the Ravagers, as instructed by his celestial being dad, Ego. But we’ll get to that in a moment). Star Lord has the Orb, which secretly contains the Power Stone, yes another Infinity Stone. She and Star Lord, eventually team up with Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Drax to defeat Ronan. They then become the Guardians of the Galaxy, and give the Power Stone to the NOVA Corp for protection.
At this point, we find out that while Thanos does not have the Stones, he does possess the Infinity Gauntlet, which he needs the Stones to power.
So back to Ego, Star Lord meets his father, but learns he plans to destroy the universe. The Guardians luckily destroy Ego, and recruit Mantis. While this is happening, the Guardians make enemies with the Sovereign. As a plan of revenge, the Sovereign are creating Adam… presumed to be Adam Warlock.
By now Tony has decided to stay Iron Man. Then while on a mission to raid a Hydra science facility, the Avengers discover Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, aka Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. It turns out, Hydra was using another Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone, for their experiments, which end up in the hands of Ultron, one of Tony’s robots that goes haywire and decides to destroy the Avengers and Earth.
So Ultron then takes the Mind Stone and brings Vision to life, which is JARVIS (Tony’s artificial intelligent assistant as seen in previous films) in a living body. However Vision decides to join the Avengers instead and help them battle Ultron. Ultimately Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch decide to help the Avengers in defending Earth. Sadly Quicksilver dies, but as Thor returns to Asgard, Hulk jets off into who knows where into space, the Scarlet Witch joins Captain America’s new Avengers team.
Are you still with me?
Remember the Pym Particle I mentioned earlier? Well Hank, now retired from SHIELD, passes on his Ant-Man suit to Scott Lang. He later decides to pass his wife’s Wasp suit onto his daughter, Hope.
And remember Thunderbolt? He’s the new Secretary of the State. He wants the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords, which essentially makes the Avengers stick to the United Nations’ guidelines. Tony supports this, Captain America does not.
While this is going on, The King of Wakana, is assassinated, and the blame is placed on Bucky. Turns out, the king’s son, T’Challa is actually the Black Panther, and decides to avenge his father’s death. Cap believes Bucky is innocent, and this angers Tony. Thus now we have the Avengers split into Team Cap and Team Iron Man.
Tony recruits high schooler Peter Parker, when he finds out he is actually Spider-Man. Captain America recruits Ant-Man, who turns out has the ability to become Giant Man as well. Tony later learns that Bucky (while brain washed as Winter Soldier) actually murdered Howard and Tony’s mom. Tony becomes angry and wants to destroy Bucky, but Cap defends his friend. Tony and Cap fight, with Cap ultimately laying down his shield (which was a gift from Howard), and leaving with Bucky. Turns out Baron Zemo actually killed the King of Wakanda, and the Black Panther takes Bucky and Cap to his land to hide. He temporarily cryogenically freezes Bucky, at Bucky’s request, so that he cannot turn into Winter Soldier again. After Black Panther defends the throne against Killmonger, and remains the new King of Wakanda, we learn that Bucky has been unfrozen and living peacefully in Wakanda.
After Spider-Man fights off another villain, Vulture, Tony rewards him with a new and improved Spider suit.
So while Iron Man and Captain America were fighting, brain surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange is critically injured in a car accident. He seeks a cure from the Ancient One who then teaches him the mystic arts of sorcery, in which he becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, and keeper of the Eye of Agamotto, which contains another Infinity Stone, the Time Stone.
So what was going on with Thor and Hulk? When Odin dies, Thor’s sister Hela takes over Asgard. While this happens, Thor reunites with the Hulk (who was playing Gladiator games as the Gamemaster‘s Champion, and meets warriors Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek. Side note, the Gamemaster is the Collector’s brother! Anyway, turns out Loki is actually alive, and apparently reformed. Thor loses an eye, but defeats Hela, but Ragnarok occurs and Asgard is destroyed. Thor, his allies, and the Asgardians all jump on a ship and set out for Earth. But it is hinted that they’ve run into Thanos’ ship…
PHEW! Did you read all that? If you didn’t, let’s just recap on the coveted Infinity Stones…
Where are the Infinity Stones?
Going into INFINITY WAR, it’s important to know the current state of each stone.
Tesseract / Space Stone – It was locked in Odin’s Treasure Room on Asgard. When Asgard was destroyed, it is assumed that the treasures made it onto Thor’s ship.
Aether / Reality Stone – In possession of the Collector, wherever he may be now.
The Mind Stone – Embedded in Vision’s forehead on Earth.
The Power Stone – Being guarded by the NOVA Corp on the planet Xandar.
The Time Stone – In Kamar-Taj, protected by Dr. Strange.
The Soul Stone – Who knows!! We have yet to see the Soul Stone in the MCU. However fan theories point to it being in Wakanda. We’ll see come April!
What Should You Read?
So there have also been debates on whether one should read the comic counterparts to the Marvel movies or not. It is known that the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not stick strictly to the story lines of the comics. There are differences. Some small differences and some HUGE differences. If you choose to read any of the comics, know that you may POSSIBLY be spoiled for the film.
The famous The Infinity Gauntlet (6 part miniseries) story arc is the inspiration for INFINITY WAR the film.
It contains the basic concept that Thanos wants to take control of the Infinity Gauntlet and destroy the universe. He hopes that if he succeeds, he can win the love of Death herself. While honestly, I do not know how much of a role Death will play in INFINITY WAR, or if we’ll even see her, she has been mentioned before in the MCU. Remember in THE AVENGERS at the end, the Chitauri leader is speaking to a mysterious figure and quotes that to challenge the Avengers again is “to court…Death.” It is then, that Thanos turns around, faces the camera, and a huge smile appears on his face. His excitement is triggered by the thought of Death.
If you decide to read Infinity Gauntlet, you may want to check out the two-part series The Thanos Quest. This story line takes place RIGHT BEFORE Infinity Gauntlet and gives you are little more insight into the Mad Titan.
The Infinity War and The Infinity Crusade take place right after The Infinity Gauntlet, but you can probably wait to read those comics till closer to the release of AVENGERS 4.
There is also much chit chat that INFINITY WAR will possible take story lines and plots from the 6 part Infinity.
Earlier this year, Marvel released Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude. Definitely seems like an interesting read for any Marvel fan excited for INFINITY WAR!
Okay, I’m done now :)
Who is excited for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR?
I received the above trailer as a blogger via Walt Disney Publications. All opinions are 100% my own. All film stills are property of Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Publications, and comic covers are property of Marvel Comics. I did not receive any financial gain from this post.