Hey MCU fans (or casual moviegoer who has never seen any Marvel film but wants to join the hype for Infinity War anyway)! We are only a few days away from the premiere of the biggest event in the history of cinema and my guess is that you don’t have enough time to re-watch all 18 MCU films (translate to: 38 hours and 19 minutes of movie marathon, no CR breaks included). But fret not, your “friendly neighborhood” is here to give you a recap of all the MCU films, including the post-credit scenes that you might have missed. Here’s everything that you should (and might) know before watching Avengers: Infinity War. Spoilers ahead! Obvi.
- In 2008, MCU kicks off with the introduction of the genius, billionaire, playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Iron Man. After almost dying, thanks to the weapons of destruction he created, Stark builds himself an arc reactor to keep himself alive and an iron man suit to fight off his evil business partner Obadiah Stane who plans to exploit his technology and overtake his company. The film also introduces Stark’s friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes, his personal assistant Pepper Potts and his A.I. system Jarvis. Director Nick Fury pops up in the post-credits scene to explain the “Avengers Initiative” to Stark.
- Next up is The Incredible Hulk – this is not to be confused with the earlier adaptations starring Eric Bana and Lou Ferrigno. A nuclear physicist and biochemist Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) inadvertently exposes himself to gamma radiation which causes him to transform into an enormous green monster (the “Hulk“) when agitated. He defeats the Abomination in a massive battle and learns that there is no permanent cure for his condition but only an antidote that can suppress each of his transformation. In a post-credit scene, Tony Stark approaches General Thunderbolt Ross and informs him that he’s assembling a team.
- Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) steps on the ring in Iron Man 2 and works as an undercover assistant for Tony Stark. Stark builds a new triangular arc reactor for his chest and together with her and Rhodey/War Machine (Don Cheadle), they defeat Whiplash, a physicist who wants to exact vengeance on the Stark family. In a post-credits scene, agent Phil Coulson reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater.
- Of course this hammer referred to is the enchanted Mjolnir in Thor. Exiled to Earth, the titular hero/prince of Asgard (Chris Hemsworth) proves himself worthy to reclaim the hammer and defeats the Destroyer. Thor’s father, Odin banishes his adoptive son Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for plotting to take the throne for himself. In a post-credit scene, Nick Fury asks Dr. Selvig to study a mysterious cube-shaped object.
- The said mysterious relic is called the “Tesseract” that actually houses the “space infinity stone” inside. In Captain America: The First Avenger, we go back to 1942 when Johann Schmidt/Red Skull and Dr. Arnim Zola intend to use the artifact as an energy source for world domination. In the same timeline, skinny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) enlists himself in the U.S. military, gets injected with a super-soldier serum and becomes the super-buff Captain America. Rogers infiltrates the fortress of Schmidt’s Hydra organization and defeats the Red Skull. His friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) presumably dies during the mission and Rogers, piloting a jet, crashes in the Arctic. He wakes up 70 years later and Nick Fury proposes him a new mission.
- The first crossover of the franchise, Marvel’s The Avengers pits our core six heroes: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk (now played by Mark Ruffalo) and newcomer Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) against Loki who takes the Tesseract and opens a wormhole to allow his Chitauri army to conquer Earth. The Other gives Loki a powerful scepter with the “mind stone” attached to it allowing him to control the minds of others. After the Avengers won the battle in New York city, S.H.I.E.L.D. takes custody of the scepter while Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard. In a mid-credits scene, it is revealed that The Other is a personal servant to Thanos.