April 27, Earth’s mightiest heroes will take on the biggest villain in the galaxy—Thanos. We’ve summarized everything you need to know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date to ensure you're ready for Avengers: Infinity War.
Avenger’s Infinity War is slated to be the culmination of all things MCU. With Joe Russo and Anthony Russo directing the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, this will be an anthology of heroes unlike any we’ve seen before.
Everything You Need to Know About Infinity War
Here’s your Marvel 101 primer to get you up to speed. We have everything you need to know before you see Infinity War.
Ashley from TeachableMommy.com and I are doing #MarvelMondays every Monday until Infinity War premieres to get you up to speed and share new Marvel content each week. Make sure to read her post here. Join us for the fun here, her blog, and on Twitter @whiskynsunshine at @ThatAshleyErin!
Let’s start with the villain of disproportionate size—Thanos.
Who is Thanos?
In the comic books, Thanos is an alien from Titan, the moon of Saturn. Thanos was born to a group of superhumans, known as Eternals, mutated with a giant, over-sized body and rough, hide-like purple skin. He’s got more than a little grudge, to say the least, despite his superhuman intelligence, strength, speed, and stamina. He’s also telepathic, immortal, and impervious to pain. Yep, that’s a heck of a supervillain.
As a child, Thanos became obsessed with death, figuratively and literally. Shroud in a purple robe, the personification of death is Thanos’ love interest, Death. His goal is to become powerful enough to make himself an equal to her and worthy enough to become her partner.
Through the acquisition of the Infinity Gems (in the comic books) is how Thanos plans to achieve these powers. Infinity gems (first called Soul Gems) originally debuted in 1972's Marvel Premiere #1.
Thanos has battled every superhero he can to acquire these gems in his quest for power. In the MCU, they are called Infinity Stones and they are core to the stories in the MCU.
But what are the Infinity Stones and where are they?
The Infinity Stones are six mystic artifacts of insurmountable power that hold predominance over the universe. Each Infinity Stone has a different power.
Where are the Infinity Stones?
To date in the MCU, we’ve seen each of the six Infinity Stones but one.
The blue Space Stone, contained in Odin’s Tesseract, was first seen and used in Captain America: The First Avenger by HYDRA. The Villain Red Skull was stuck inside the Tesseract at the end of the movie when the cube fell to possession of Howard Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. Years later, the Tesseract was stolen by Loki to attempt to take over the world. Luckily, the Avenger’s assembled to take him down in The Avengers, and the Tesseract was put in Odin’s vault on Asgard, though one could deduce Loki stole it back at the end of Thor: Ragnorok.
The yellow Mind Stone, contained in the Chitauri Scepter was first seen in The Avengers. The stone was removed from the scepter in The Avengers: Age of Ultron and became the stone that powered Vision. As we prepare for Avengers: Infinity War, the Mind Stone is still in Vision’s forehead.
The red Reality Stone turns up in Thor: The Dark World. The Reality Stone is the red Aether used by Malekith. When Thor defeated Malekith, they Aether was sent to The Collector for safe keeping, instead of being sent to Odin’s Vault because storing two Infinity Stones in one place is too dangerous.
The purple Power Stone is the Orb that makes its appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy. If you recall, it’s the purple Orb that Star-Lord took from Ronan and used to eliminate him, and then gave the Orb to the Nova Corps for safekeeping of the Orb.
The green Time Stone is possibly my favorite Infinity Stone. The Eye of Agamotto is used by Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange. Strange defeats Dormammu with a time warp. Strange is the currently the holder of the Time Stone.
The orange Soul Stone has yet to be seen in any of the MCU movies. Marvel comics canon and Kevin Feige’s comments allude to the fact we may see it in Black Panther.
There are also two Gauntlets, one for each hand. If you collect all the stones and set them into the Gauntlet, you can warp time, space, and reality—at will—as well as gain incalculable physical power and strength. This is Thanos’ goal, and what we presume he plans to achieve during Avengers: Infinity War.
The first one (“righty”) makes a super brief appearance in Thor in the Asgard treasure chamber along with other dangerous relics. However, at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Thanos pick up a different gauntlet (“lefty”), but as far as we know, he doesn’t have any of the Infinity Stones to place in it. One Gauntlet was also seen during Thor: Ragnorok, but Hela claimed it to be fake and knocked it off its stand.
Thanos’ Grudge with Earth and the Avengers
We could call this section “What ISN’T Thanos’ Grudge with Earth.” For one, while Thanos may not currently be the owner of any Infinity Stones, as far as we know, he did own some in the past.
During The Avengers, Thanos basically bankrolled Loki’s invasion of Earth. Why does that matter? Well, it matters because the Chitauri Scepter that Loki was provided contained that Mind Stone. Loki’s mission was to get the Tesseract, which contained the Space Stone. Not only did he fail to get the Tesseract, but he lost the Scepter and many of his Chitauri army, so his revenge against the Avengers (and humans in general) has been a long time coming.
At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, there is a mid-credit scene with Thanos where Thanos shows his face for a moment. This is how we know he has that Gauntlet. He says, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”
Also, in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in the cave sequence, Thor has a vision quest where he sees the Infinity Stones spinning in space intertwined with images of mass destruction. At the end of the movie, Thor vows to leave Earth. “I have no choice. The Mind Stone…is the fourth of the Infinity Stones to show up in the last few years. It's not a coincidence. Someone has been playing an intricate game and has made pawns of us.” This is what Thor tells the rest of the Avengers.
Two years later, Thor: Ragnarok picks up with Thor explaining to a skeleton that he didn’t find any Infinity Stones.
Thanos’ Family Grudge
When we see Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s the puppet master to the main villain, Ronan. Thanos has bankrolled Ronan’s conquest of Xander with foot soldiers in return for the Power Stone.
Thanos sent his “favorite daughter” Gamora to intercept the Power Stone, but she had ulterior motives.
Thanos, irate from Gamora’s betrayal, has pitted his other daughter, Nebula, against Gamora, and teamed her up with Ronan.
If you recall, Star-Lord beat Ronan to the Power Stone/Orb and hoped to sell it to the Broker and ends up giving it to the Nova Corps for safe keeping once realizing its powers. Gamora ends up with GoTG; Nebula is AWOL. Thanos is seething.
What We Saw at D23 Expo
D23 Expo shared some incredible footage of Avengers: Infinity that began with Thor floating through space before bumping face-first into the Milano spaceship and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Loki is seen holding what appears to be the Tesseract and Thanos is battling the Avengers. At one point, Thanos is wielding a partially-filled Infinity Gauntlet, pulls a moon or planet from space, and hurls pieces of it at The Avengers. Bearded Cap, blonde Black Widow—have they been on the run the whole time since Captain America: Civil War?
This is super intriguing when you tie it to the first post-credit scene after Thor: Ragnarok where we see Thanos’ Sanctuary 2 intercept the homeless citizens of Asgard. We don’t know if Thanos tracked Thor and Loki or Loki has summoned his former evil colleague. Maybe Loki did, in fact, manage to steal the Tesseract at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. So many questions.
Which heroes can we expect to see in Avengers: Infinity War? While we know the film contains quite a few Marvel characters beyond the Avengers. You can expect to see the cast of the film include not only the core Avengers, but also Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland); Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch); T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman); Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan); the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff); Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen); Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle); Wong (Benedict Wong), Vision (Paul Bettany); Shuri (Letitia Wright); and Okoye (Danai Gurira).
Shuri and Okoye are set to be introduced in Black Panther and will also be in Infinity War.
Josh Brolin returns as Thanos. His performance, provided by motion capture, was first seen in Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Benicio del Toro will join Brolin on the villain-side of things as The Collector. And Tom Hiddleston will return as Loki.
The Black Order, Thanos’ lackeys, will be portrayed via motion capture in the film.
These include Terry Notary voicing Cull Obsidian (known in the comics as Black Dwarf) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor voicing Ebony Maw. Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive are also part of the Black Order, but are yet to be announced in IMDB.
Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is also rumored to be back.
But First, Black Panther
Before Avengers: Infinity War arrives May 4, 2018, Black Panther pounces to screen February 16, 2018.
The highly-anticipated Black Panther represents Marvel’s last chance to lay some more big-screen excitement for its biggest crossover film to date. We can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are for this film. Maybe even more excited than we are for Infinity War. Shhhhhhhh.
Given that Bucky and T’Challa will both appear in Infinity War, we certainly hope that Black Panther will do something to tease the upcoming crossover, even if it’s just another brief post-credit scene or two.
As I alluded to earlier in the post, some have predicted that the final Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, could be powering the technological wonders deep in Wakanda, providing Black Panther with a personal motivation to defend his nation. It’s all speculation at this point.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
While we’re really excited for Avengers: Infinity War, it’s certainly not the end of the MCU. We already know that Ant-Man and the Wasp is slated for July 6, 2018, and Captain Marvel for March 8, 2019. Avengers 4 is also slated for May 3, 2019.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR teaser trailer
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AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in theaters everywhere April 27th, 2018!
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