After 18 movies and 10 years, here we finally are at the beginning of the end for this iteration of the MCU. Avengers: Infinity War was built from years worth of storytelling that helped set the Avengers in place for the true ending to it all in Avengers 4. It's a colossal effort to be sure, and plenty of fans have been having their own marathons to prepare for Infinity War. Maybe you don't have a spare 31 hours to devote to watching these movies and your memory is a little shaky on 18 movies worth of content. Have no fear, because we here at CinemaBlend have nothing but time for this sort of activity.
The MCU might go down as the most sprawling epic in recent cinema history, but it's understandable if people aren't totally up to date on this Doctor Strange guy or which Chris is which. Not every single thing that has happened in the MCU is going to matter for Infinity War, but there are a few key details to familiarize with before Thursday night. Here are 9 MCU points you need to remember before Infinity War.
The Avengers Are Split Up
Technically speaking, the Avengers are still a team being led by Tony Stark, but the larger unit has been split apart and several members aren't exactly on good terms. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers were divided right down the middle, with some sticking with Captain America, some siding with Iron Man, and the rest just quitting altogether. When the movie opens, don't be surprised if some of these guys haven't spoken to each other in a while, but the real beef is going to be between Cap and Tony. A purple spaceman gaining the powers of a god isn't really the best time to be having a fight, so can the Avengers set aside their differences and work together?
The Guardians Of The Galaxy Have Been A Team For 4 Years
On the other side of space, the Guardians of the Galaxy have never been better. It's easy to remember because the movie doesn't really broadcast it, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 only takes place a few months after the first movie, which took place in 2014. Therefore, the Guardians have been together for about four years, making them a more cohesive unit than the Avengers are at this point. We don't know what else the Milano crew has been up to during this time, but they've turned themselves into a lean, galaxy saving team.
*Cap Has Been Operating Underground *
Due to becoming a war criminal in Civil War after refusing to sign the Sokovia Accords, Cap has been fulfilling his worldwide hero duties while operating underground. Working with a team that consists of at least Black Widow and Falcon, Steve Rogers has abandoned his identity as Captain America, taking the opportunity to let his hair down and grow a really awesome beard. His costume is a worn down version of his Civil War one and he hasn't used his shield since the events of that movie. Fans have theorized he has become like Nomad (based on an identity he takes in the comics) and the directors have previously had a bit of fun with that name.
Doctor Strange Defends The Realm As A Master Magician
After the events of Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange has sacrificed his personal and professional life to remain a powerful sorcerer, using his vast magical knowledge to defend the planet from all manner of ghouls and inter-dimensional threats. In this time, he's helped Thor locate his missing father and has been keeping tabs on the most dangerous beings in the universe. Whether that means he's aware of Thanos before the movie remains to be seen, but it's Strange's duty to step in and stop the Mad Titan from collecting all of the Infinity Stones. Speaking of which...
The Location Of All The Infinity Stones
The Infinity Stones are at the center of the plot of Infinity War and the MacGuffins have been teased and introduced separately over the last 10 years. There are six total stones, and we know the locations of five of them. The Time Stone is the center of the Eye of Agamotto, safety kept with Doctor Strange. The Power Stone is locked away on Xandar with the Nova Corps, who are almost certainly all doomed right from the get-go. The Reality Stone, as far as we know, is still with the Collector. The Mind Stone is on the Vision's forehead and Loki stole the Space Stone from Odin's vault, which doesn't look so good. The only unaccounted stone is the Soul Stone, which will likely make its debut in the movie.
Thor Is Leader Of Asgard And Mjolnir Was Destroyed
Thor had a busy couple of days, having lost his father, his hammer, and his home all within like three days of each other. Following the death of Odin, Thor has finally assumed is place on the Throne of Asgard, leading his people with the dynamite entourage of Valkyrie, Heimdal, Korg (and Miek), Hulk, and Loki. Thor planned to bring what remained of his people to Earth, until Thanos and his massive battleship, the Sanctuary II, arrived right on his doorstep. Infinity War will likely start with this confrontation, and especially with no hammer, Thor's chances of victory remain unclear.
Gamora and Nebula Are Thanos' Daughters (Kind Of)
A huge chunk of this movie is supposed to be about Thanos, which means that some light will finally be shed on the family dynamic between himself and his daughters, Gamora and Nebula. Well, I say daughters, but really it's more like two girls that he kidnapped after slaughtering their entire race and then forced them to mortally wound each other to become assassins, creating a bitter resentment between the two of them for years. He's a real dad of the year. Thanos is said to be the main character in the movie, so we'll likely get this relationship from his perspective, as well, but his daughters are also hellbent on seeing that he doesn't complete the Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos Was Behind The Battle Of New York
Loki may have been the one leading the charge during The Avengers, but make no mistake: Thanos was the true mastermind behind the plot. Thanos was the one who gave Loki the Scepter (which held the Mind Stone) with the mission to bring him the Tesseract (which had the Space Stone). Loki ended up losing both of those and an entire Chitauri army, and Thanos doesn't have a reputation as a forgiving person. This is the moment that Thanos became aware of Earth and its heroes, and it's a grudge match that's been in the making since the moment he turned his head in smiled in that post-credits tease.
Spider-Man Was Offered A Spot On The Avengers And Declined
All Peter Parker wanted to do was prove that he was worthy of a spot on the Avengers in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He did just that by taking down the Vulture, but what he really did was prove to himself that where he was needed most was helping the little guy. Spider-Man ended up declining Tony Stark's offer to join the Avengers, which would have come with a fancy new suit filled to the brim with Stark-tech. That was the right call for Peter at the time, but it looks like he takes his decision back pretty quick once he sizes up his interstellar competition. He mainly wears the "Iron Spider" suit throughout Infinity War to give himself some extra protection while battling Thanos.