As most of you may have heard, Marvel's "Avengers" series is releasing a new movie this upcoming spring.
On May 4, 2018, the new movie, "Avengers: Infinity War" will be shown around the world, possibly becoming the highest grossing film of all cinematic history.
The first trailer was dropped in November 2017 and broke the record for the most watched trailer of all time in 24 hours. If that isn't a key indicator of what is about to come, I don't know what is. With that being said, here's the timeline of movies leading up to this epic film.
1. "Captain America: The First Avenger"
This is probably one of the best Marvel films to date. Steve Rogers, a wimpy Brooklyn kid with a courageous heart, wants nothing more than to get involved with the fight overseas against the Nazis. Due to his health problems and his ridiculously small size, he is continuously disregarded for joining the army until a particular German doctor sees the potential in him to become the super soldier they were searching for. Rogers transforms into a hunk of muscle and strength, becoming everything his old body was not. As the story progresses, Rogers becomes the superhero we all needed during that WW2 era fighting against the evil Hydra to save Earth against the world's greatest villains.
2. "Iron Man"
This movie kickstarted the entire series. Yes, technically in MCU (Marvel cinematic universe) Captain America is first, but Iron Man was the film that really got things started. Tony Stark, a brilliant, playboy billionaire, develops the United States military weapons and is incredibly successful. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie however, Stark and his Humvee gets bombed, ultimately resulting in Stark's capture by Afghanistan terrorists. During this attack, a bomb landed right near Stark and exploded, resulting in several pieces of shrapnel landing dangerously near his heart. That's where the mini arc reactor in his chest came from. Stark eventually fights his way out of terrorist containment with his first ever Iron Man suit. From there, Stark revolves his life around creating a better suit and becoming the only superhero the new world had seen.
3. "The Incredible Hulk"
This is probably one of Marvel's worst movies out of the series. Although it tells the background story behind the Hulk and how he became an "angry green rage monster," it lacks a lot of characteristics of Marvel movies. The plot during the film features Bruce Banner, an incredibly intelligent Nuclear physicist working on gamma radiation to try to recreate the super soldier (like Captain America). This experiment backfires and ends up exposing Banner to the gamma radiation, resulting in him transforming into the Incredible Hulk when he is angry or heart rate increases. Banner consistently tries to figure out how to cure his condition, but can never figure out a way. While he is trying to figure this out, he is being hunted down by the general of the United States.
4. "Iron Man 2"
Iron Man is back at it again in his second film that introduces a plethora of new Marvel characters, such as Black Widow (also known as Natasha Romanoff), Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and War Machine. It even hints at Thor at the end of the film. As Tony Stark continues to remain one of the only known superheroes in the world, resistance begins to build against him. Stark continues to create better suits, resulting in his ego expanding drastically. He also officially steps away from being the CEO of Stark Industries and makes Pepper Potts, his love interest and assistant, the CEO. However, as all of this is going on, Stark is dying from the shrapnel that is still inside his chest because it is poisoning him. He starts focusing on living his life, such as doing more recreational activities and investing heavily in his Stark World Expo in New York. The plot thickens when Stark meets his rival, a Russian nuclear physicist who had worked with Stark's father in the past. This movie is one of Marvel's greatest and gives key insight into the future of the Marvel cinematic universe.
This movie begins the journey of our Marvel heroes glimpsing into their future with the stars, as they introduce a superhero from another dimension: Thor. This character comes from Viking legends and gods, but in this particular storyline, Thor comes from Asgard. Think of Asgard as the King Arthur era multiplied by 100. Thor's father, Odin, is the king of Asgard and wields the supreme power. Loki, who has become a primary character in many of the Marvel films, is Thor's adopted brother and becomes the villain in this film. Due to Thor's cocky and egocentric behavior, he is banished from Asgard and sent to Earth. In that process, he also loses Mjölnir, his hammer of Thunder. As Thor tries to figure out his way to gain back his father's approval and lift the ban from Asgard, he meets a young astrophysicist named Jane Foster who takes him under her wing as she tries to figure out where he comes from. The original Thor sets the stage of the outer universe coming into play and what is has in store for the future Avengers.
When this movie released, it set box office record after box office record. The Avengers initiative begins after Loki steals the Tesseract, an infinity stone that controls space, to take over the Earth and rule humans. S.H.I.E.L.D, a government protection agency run by Nick Fury (who was introduced in "Iron Man 2"), does everything it can to prevent Loki from taking over the world. However, they do not have the superhuman capabilities to do so and unite the Avengers in their first ever mission together. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, the Hulk, and Hawkeye all team up together to take down Loki and his army in none other than New York City.
7. "Iron Man 3"
"Iron Man 3" is the final movie in the "Iron Man" series. Stark has post traumatic stress disorder after the battle in New York City and struggles to get back to a normal life. He builds more and more Iron Man suits for protection, predicting what will come in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." As he struggles to get back to his normal self, he pushes Pepper away from him, causing tension in their relationship. Stark faces numerous amounts of threats in this movie from the Mandarin to extremis to a scientist named Killian. Tony Stark has to figure out who he really is and what it takes to become the superhero he wants to be in this movie.
8. "Thor: The Dark World"
The second Thor movie in the series takes place in Asgard as Thor restores peace to the nine realms after the first "Avengers." Back on Earth, Jane Foster attempts to move on with her life after her encounter with Thor and fails after she is drawn into another dimension and is exposed to the Aether, another infinity stone that controls reality. Thor takes her back to Asgard to try to save her life, where the story of the Dark Elves and their evil intention to use to Aether is told. Thor fights to save Jane's life and enlists Loki to help despite him being locked up in Asgard prison. The Aether is another insight into the infinity stones that the villain in "Avengers: Infinity War" is looking for.
9. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Captain America and Black Widow team up in this epic story in the series that sets up "Captain America: Civil War." In this movie, we meet Sam Wilson, who becomes Steve Rogers' good friend and close ally. Wilson also becomes the Falcon, who goes on to be in several "Avengers" movies. The plot is revealed when the Winter Soldier attacks Nick Fury and kills him, but before that, Fury reveals to Rogers that S.H.I.E.L.D is compromised and hands him a flash drive revealing everything he needs to know. From there, Rogers' and Romanoff learn that Hydra (the evil force Cap. was fighting against in the first C.A.) is still around and has moles in S.H.I.E.L.D and the U.S. government. The fight lands back in Washington D.C., where Wilson, Black Widow and Captain America must fight for the survival of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10. "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Marvel dives into the realm of outer space with this particular film. Unlike anything else they had released thus far, this movie takes on a more "Star Wars"/"Star Trek" theme with outer space exploration and the vast array of new species. The main character, Peter Quill, was picked up from Earth right after the death of his mother in an alien spaceship. He's taken in by Ravagers, where he learns their ways and quickly becomes one himself. What begins this adventure is Quill stealing the Orb from an abandoned planet, resulting in numerous enemies coming after him. One of them is named Gomorra, who is a lethal assassin and daughter of Thanos, who is introduced in this movie. Also introduced is Dex the Destroyer, Rocket and Groot, one of Marvel's most beloved characters. After deciding to work together, the unique bunch of misfits take the Orb to a buyer called the Collector who is willing to pay one billion units. Once at the Collector, the Orb is revealed to have another infinity stone: the power stone. Now, this group has to take on protecting evil foes from stealing this stone and using it against everyone else in the galaxy.
11. "Avengers: Age of Ultron"
The second installment of the "Avengers" franchise is a direct result of Tony Stark's fear of not being able to protect the world from the outer dimensions. He creates Ultron, a system that is able to think for itself and keep the world safe. However, Stark's plan backfires, and Ultron becomes the exact opposite of what he was supposed to be. Three new more Avengers are introduced in this film: The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), and the Vision (JARVIS). The Vision becomes one of the most fascinating characters in the Marvel cinematic universe since he was created from an infinity stone (the mind stone) that is located on his forehead.
Ant-Man is an underrated Marvel film which shows a whole different side of Marvel and their technology. Scott Lang, the main character, ends up stealing the Ant-Man suit without realizing its potential when trying to make money to pay for his daughter. The maker of that suit, a scientist named Pym who worked for S.H.I.E.L.D., decides that Lang is the perfect man to stop another scientist named Cross from creating Yellowjacket, a similar suit to the Ant-Man. Pym developed the shrinking technology used to make Ant-Man so small and able to go undetected in many areas. Ant-Man soon gets recruited to be a part of the Avengers and proves his capabilities in "Captain America: Civil War.
13. "Captain America: Civil War"
This movie is quite possibly the best Marvel film to date. The plot, the characters, and everything about this film is fantastic. The story begins with some of the Avengers overseas, in an African country trying to stop a band of villains from stealing a airborne disease. They stop the villain only to accidentally blow-up a building, resulting in the loss of many lives. Facing the repercussions of their actions, the United Nations calls for the Avengers to sign a contract, giving the UN full control of them and what they do. Tony Stark is the main pusher of the contract and Steve Rogers disagrees with it. At the UN conference, the meeting is bombed and the blame is out on the Winter Soldier, who was revealed to be Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers' best friend. Rogers' rushes to Barnes' aid to protect his friend from the threat of being killed. This slowly tears apart the Avengers, leading them to take sides and fight each other. During this time yet two more Avengers are revealed: The Black Panther and Spider-Man. This movie was made to take apart the Avengers before Infinity War and leave them struggling to face their greatest enemy yet.
14. "Doctor Strange"
Like many of the themes of Marvel movies, Dr. Stephen Strange is portrayed as an arrogant, self-obsessed neurosurgeon who is the best in his field. After a terrible accident resulting in severe nerve damage in his hands leading to constant shaking, he sets off on a journey to discover how to make it stop. He finds himself in Nepal, where he meets the Ancient One, who teaches him the power of magic in the Marvel world. As Dr. Strange learns more and more, he finds out about dark magic coming from Dormammu who lives in the Dark Dimension. Using the power of another new infinity stone (time stone), he is able to fend of Dormmamu and his followers to save Earth.
15. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"
After finding out that Peter Quill is half-human, he sets off on figuring out who his father is with his fellow Guardians. They set off to uncharted dimensions and eventually find Quill's father called Ego, who turns out to be a Celestial and god-like. Ego tries to teach Quill the power of being a Celestial and see how much power it has to offer. It is not without consequence however. Quill learns the past of Ego doing this to dozens of children and eventually killing them all when they cannot handle the power of being a Celestial. Quill has to fight his way to save not only himself, but his friends as well.
16. "Spider-Man: Homecoming"
Another version of Spider-Man was just released this summer, taking a new look at the way Spider-Man interacts with the Marvel universe. We all know the story of Peter Parker pretty well, but in this particular film, Parker is consistently trying to prove to Tony Stark that he is good enough to be a part of the Avengers despite his young age. This results in several mistakes costing a lot of damage, and Parker losing his chance at being an Avenger. He eventually turns himself around and earns the chance to become an Avenger before turning it down to just protect "the little guy."
17. "Thor: Ragnarok"
The best "Thor" film yet, this tells the story of Thor's adventures after Avengers. In this film, Thor ends up losing his father after Loki banished Odin from Asgard on Earth and learns that he has a sister named Hela who was condemned to the strongest pits of hell and becomes the strongest villain Thor and Loki have ever faced. Hela manages to send Loki and Thor to a different planet where they are captured and forced to fight against other creatures. As Thor begins his career in this type of gladiator fighting, he runs into the Hulk who has been stuck on this planet since the Avengers: AOU. Managing to escape from this planet with the help of another Asgardian stuck there, they go back to Asgard to defeat Hela and save their fellow Asgardians from her rule.
So that's it. All of these movies lead up to the biggest battle the Avengers will ever fight. Each story has a complex storyline leading to the next film and the next. The only film to come out before "Infinity War" will be "Black Panther," which will be released in February 2018. I hope this list helps you prepare for the movie of the year!