- In Iron Man 3, Aldrich Killian develops the Extremis project to cure his own debilitating disability and causes havoc in the city by orchestrating a string of bombings. When Tony Stark fails to kill him, Pepper Potts, also injected with the Extremis virus finishes the job. Stark stabilizes Pott’s extremis effects, undergoes surgery himself to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart and throws his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea. He muses that, even without the technology, he will always be Iron Man.
- In Thor: The Dark World, astrophysicist Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest, gets infected with Aether which is actually the “reality gem” taking the form of a liquid. Awakened by the Aether’s release, Dark Elf Malekith tries to invade Earth but not before Thor kills him. In a mid-credits scene, Thor’s allies Volstagg and Sif entrusts the Aether to The Collector, noting that having two Infinity Stones so close together (the other one being the Tesseract in Asgard) would be unwise.
- Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier marks the end of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Hydra successfully infiltrates the organization. Rogers and Romanoff goes rogue and enlists the help of Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie). They are ambushed by The Winter Soldier later revealed to be Roger’s friend Bucky who was actually alive and experimented on during World War II. Nick Fury successfully exposes Hydra to the public and Rogers and Wilson decides to pursue Bucky in the end of the film. In a mid-credits scene, it is shown that Hydra is working on two test subjects: the Maximoff siblings Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
READ MORE: Avengers: Infinity War Movie Review (Non-Spoiler)
- Guardians of the Galaxy introduces a group of intergalactic ragtag criminals: half-human, half-alien Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Thanos’ adoptive daughter/personal assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a scarred warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a genetically engineered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a tree-like humanoid Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). The group band together to stop Ronan the Accuser from getting his hands on an orb that houses the “power infinity stone,” a gem of immeasurable power that destroys all those who wield it. In doing so, Groot sacrifices his life and the remaining Guardians entrusts the orb to the Nova Corps. The guardians leave the planet along with a recovered Groot sapling dancing on The Jackson 5‘s “I Want You Back.”
- The Avengers reprise their roles in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron in battling against Ultron, a sentient-being created by Stark from a decrypted code derived from the mind stone. Ultron recruits the Maximoff siblings but the two turn on him as Wanda learns his plans of human extinction. The Avengers took the synthetic body created by Ultron for himself and uploads the remnants of Jarvis, giving birth to Vision. In the battle of Sokovia, Vision and the Maximoffs helped the Avengers to defeat Ultron. Pietro sacrifices himself to save Barton. Rhodes, Vision, Wilson and Wanda officially become a part of the Avengers in the end of the film. In a mid-credits scene, Thanos dons a gauntlet and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.
- In Ant-Man ex-convict Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) resorts back to his thieving career and unwittingly steals the Ant-Man suit which possesses shrinking technology. The creator of the suit, Hank Pym, recruits him to steal his former protege’s the Yellowjacket suit, believing that such technology in the wrong hands is dangerous. Despite temporarily disappearing in the quantum realm, Scott successfully extinguishes the Yellowjacket. In a mid-credits scene, Pym shows her daughter Hope a new Wasp prototype suit and offers it to her. Meanwhile, in a post-credits scene, Wilson and Rogers have Bucky in their custody.