With Marvel set to release Avengers: Infinity War in just ten days time, now’s the opportunity to get yourself back up to speed with the key happenings in the MCU since the first Iron Man (2008). However, with over 18 film titles in the ongoing film series it seems like it’d take forever to make it through in time for Infinity War‘s opening. Do not fear as we’re here to cut that 36+ hour watch time down to just three movies that, while clearly skipping over some minor details, have what should be the essential narrative beats going into the Mad Titan-led Marvelpocalypse.
See Also: Aquaman To Open One Week Early In The UK
It goes without saying that The Avengers (2012) should be your first pick, considering the fact that it involves all of the franchise’s main-main characters: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk & Hawkeye. Each hero stays true to the way their character was depicted in their solo film, so even if you’re an MCU virgin you can get an understanding of who they are, plus the movie introduces Infinity War‘s big bad, Thanos, himself. The central conflict in The Avengers revolved around a mysterious blue cube called the Tesseract that gave its wielder the ability to open up portals in space so that, in this case, an entire army could be moved from one side of the Cosmos to another. We also learn more about S.H.I.E.L.D. which, while having been dismantled now, could be somewhat of an important piece of information given that Infinity War is the culmination of the events in the MCU thus far, of which S.H.I.E.L.D. is a key piece in the puzzle.
Next up, we’re going with the unforgettably fun Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) mostly due to its cosmic-level exploration of the Marvel Universe and its explanation of the Infinity Stones. For the first time in the films, Marvel took the opportunity to reveal to audiences that objects such as the Tesseract from The Avengers are in fact called Infinity Stones; “six singularities”, in the words of The Collector, that were forged into ‘Stones’ of immense power with each serving a different purpose. We’re also told that some have tried to unite all the stones to harness all of their power at once but no one was able to do so before it destroyed them. Of course, this foreshadows exactly what we hope to see in Infinity War (if not Avengers 4), and Guardians of the Galaxy sets this up perfectly by having both the Stones and Thanos himself featured in the movie.
And finally, Captain America: Civil War lands a spot on the list thanks to its position as the last major event before the start of Avengers 3. Civil War saw the series’ two most central characters, Iron Man and Captain America, going head to head over disagreements about whether or not superheroes (or vigilantes) should be kept in check by the government. After his huge mistake in creating Ultron in Avengers 2, among other tragedies, Tony Stark begins to feel as though having rules and regulations imposed upon Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would be for the best, but with the Cap’s old friend Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier being public enemy #1, thanks to his enslavement by Hydra and other parties, Steve finds himself on the wrong side of the law while trying to help protect his former comrade.
The Russo’s recently confirmed that Infinity War‘s follow up, Avengers 4, will mark the end of their own personal story which started with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These comments make Civil War all the more important to watch as it both recaps the situation with Bucky, and shows more of his ongoing struggle to be accepted by the world. It’s likely that the directors’ mean that Avengers 4 will see the completion of the Bucky/Steve story arc, which could potential indicate that one of them will meet their end. We’ll have to wait and see, of course.
So there you have it, that’s our list of MCU films to watch before seeing Avengers: Infinity War when it makes its way into cinemas next week.
Avengers: Infinity War crashes down in theatres April 27th