Avengers: Marvel Cinematic Universe Guide

Marvel Studios have been producing the superhero comic book movies since 2007, creating what is called the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Grossing over 17.5 billion at the global box office, Marvel Studios is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

 

Before you take your seats for the latest chapter in the Avengers saga, here’s a quickfire recap of the highlights so far…

The heroes

The Six Founding Members

 

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) – the eye-patched director of the S.H.I.E.L.D, a special espionage agency – decides to create a team of heroes, a united fighting force known as the Avengers...The first team includes:

  • Ice-cool engineer Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Noble Asgardian thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
  • Patriotic super-soldier Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans)
  • Super spy Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
  • Scientific genius/boneheaded blunt instrument that is Bruce Banner aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
  • Master archer Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) 

The New Entries

 

Although not all officially part of the Avengers, other heroes joined the universe fighting against evil forces...

  • Vision (Paul Bettany) is the powerful android created when Tony Stark uploads his Artificial Intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. programme into an synthetic body
  • Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) started as villain but eventually switched sides and joined the Avengers. She and Vision started a relationship.
  • T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is the current monarch of the super technologic African nation of Wakanda. As the Wakandan monarch, he is also the current holder of the Black Panther mantle.
  • Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), he's the former professional criminal with the suit that allows him to reduce or increase size. 
  • Hope Van Dyne aka The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), fighting alongside Ant-Man, she has a suit that allows her to shrink and fly.
  • Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the young high school boy who got his abilities from a mutated spider's bite and got initially recruited by Tony Stark.
  • Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a powerful sorcerer and a leading member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Strange became the protector of the New York Sanctum in New York City, as well as Earth's protector from any inter-dimensional threats.
  • Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), former WWII soldier and brainwashed assassin, who changed his ways after meeting again his childhood friend Captain America.
  • James Rupert Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle), commonly known as Rhodey, is the officer of the United States Air Force, best friend of Tony Stark, who wears a heavily-armed battlesuit. 
  • Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), was a former United States Air Force pararescue airman, who joined Captain American in his quest to save Bucky Barnes.

Out in space...

Guardians of the Galaxy

Two hit movies expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, exploring new worlds and characters who fight to keep order in the galaxy:

Chris Pratt’s space pirate (Peter Quill), Bradley Cooper’s wisecracking racoon (Rocket), Zoe Saldana’s green-skinned assassin (Gamora), Dave Bautista’s troubled beefcake (Drax The Destroyer), Pom Klementief's young empathic alien (Mantis), Vin Diesel’s living tree (Groot).

And, although not officially part of the team, there is Gamora's sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), half woman and half machine., who seeks revenge against her adoptive father Thanos along her sister...

Captain Marvel

The last film released in the MCU is actually bringing us back to the origins...

Set in the 90's, we meet Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), with questions about her past she cannot explain, after experiencing unusual flashbacks. She manifests enormous cosmic powers that she gains more understanding of throughout the movie.

She's the first super hero Nick Fury ever met and she's the inspiration for what will be the project Avengers.

We last see Carol setting off into the far reaches of the galaxy to finish what her late mentor Mar-Vell had once started, expressing to Fury to only contact her in case of an extreme emergency...

the villains

Thanos


The biggest of the bads, this purple-skinned, ditch-chinned warlord has been pulling the strings all along, revealed as the power behind the Chitauri invasion (the aliens invasion that brought the Avengers togheter for the first time) and Ultron’s mayhem (see below).

His main objective is to bring stability to the universe, as he believed its massive population would inevitably use up the universe's entire supply of resources and condemn it.

To complete this goal, Thanos set about tracking down the Infinity Stones, as the combined might could wipe out half the universe...

Loki

 

Thor’s adopted brother, who takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level with his slippery schemes.

Torn between good and evil, he eventually ended teaming up with Thor, but he got killed by Thanos himself.

Ultron

 

After Loki's attempt to conquer earth, fast-forward to 2015’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Tony Stark’s tinkering gets him and the others into trouble, as the peace-keeping Ultron robot, originally designed to make Earth a safer place, goes rogue and plots humanity’s extinction.

Hydra

 

HYDRA is an authoritarian terrorist-criminal-paramilitary organisation bent on world domination.

After its defeat at the hands of Captain America in 1945, HYDRA was secretly rebuilt inside S.H.I.E.L.D until it get defeated by the Avengers.

main events

The Civil War

After the events of Age of Ultron, things get a bit more complicated in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

This movie drives a wedge between Captain America (who refuses to believe that his old friend, Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier, has turned to terrorism) and Tony Stark (who is haunted by the error of creating Ultron in the last film and is now helping the government hunt Bucky down).

Also, the main debate is between those who think the Avengers should be a government run organisation (Iron Man’s team) and those who believe in the independence of the group (Captain’s team).

Wakanda Forever

2018’s worldwide smash Black Panther introduced us to Wakanda, the most advanced country in the world, whose level of technology is at least several decades ahead of anywhere else on Earth.

T'Challa decided to open the advanced nation to the rest of the world and share its technology with them, announcing the end of Wakanda's isolation.

The Quantum Realm

The Quantum Realm has featured in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it's described as “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant”.

Access to the Quantum Realm was finally realised by scientist Doctor Hank Pym (father of Hope/The Wasp) through the use of Pym Particles, particles of an extra-dimensional nature that are capable of altering the size of beings or objects.

Infinity War & Endgame

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame brought to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.

Thanos’ merciless quest for the Infinity Stones turned into the biggest threat all the universe had to face and every single hero we met united into different fronts to fight against Thanos' plan: wipe out 50% of all the livings.

Five years after Thanos' success, the remaining Avengers travel back in time to collect all the Infinity Stones in order to bring everyone back. But the final battle against Thanos' army changes our heroes' lives forever...

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