Marvel Cinematic Universe recap: What happens in every MCU film up until “Avengers: Endgame” (Part I)


Marvel Cinematic Universe recap: What happens in every MCU film up until “Avenger: Endgame” (Part II)

Marvel Cinematic Universe recap: What happens in every MCU film up until Avengers Endgame (Part III)

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it is about to end. Having been kickstarted 10 years ago – with Iron Man – the series’ current iteration will come to a close with the film all 22 films have been building towards.


Avengers: Endgame is more than just a sequel to last year’s devastating blockbuster Infinity War. It’s a celebration of the characters, creatures and weapons that have been introduced throughout what Marvel boss Kevin Feige has dubbed The Infinity Saga.


Nothing has been done like it before in the history of cinema and it’ll be intriguing to see what the studio has up its sleeve for the next saga that’ll play out over the next 10 years.


While Infinity War was made with the intention of allowing Marvel newbies to watch along, Endgame is the opposite end of the spectrum. In other words, a refresher is required.


We have you covered – below is a recap of the entire Infinity Saga and everything you need to know before seeing Avengers: Endgame.



Iron Man (2008)

We meet Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), a billionaire genius who develops weapons for a living. After inheriting Stark Industries, he’s injured and captured by terrorists in Afghanistan. To save his life, a fellow prisoner implants an electromagnet into Stark’s chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart.


To escape, Stark secretly builds a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to aid a prototypical suit made of powered armour. He’s ultimately rescued by his friend, Colonel James Rhodes.


Once home, he halts all production of weapons while making a more advanced armour suit. He soon discovers that his father Howard’s old partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), is trafficking weapons to war-torn countries. He dons the Iron Man suit to prevent him from doing so and, with assistance from his personal assistant Pepper Potts, defeats Stane, killing him in the process.


Stark reveals himself to be Iron Man at a press conference and is approached by SHIELD director Nick Fury about something he calls “the Avenger Initiative”.


First appearances – Lần đầu xuất hiện: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), James Rhodes (Terence Howard), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), JARVIS (Paul Bettany), Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson)


The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ – Edward Norton trong vai Bruce Banner trong phim ‘The Incredible Hulk’

We learn the story of Bruce Banner who, after getting blasted with gamma rays in a “super-soldier” experiment-gone-wrong, is able to transform into a big green creature whenever his heart rate exceeds 200 bpm. He spends the majority of the film trying (and failing) to find a cure and to stop his blood supply from falling into the hands of the military.


A British marine named Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) wants the power for himself and, after injecting himself with a combination of Banner’s blood and the “super-soldier” formula, rampages through Harlem as the Abomination. Hulk, realising there’s a benefit to his alter ego, stops Blonksy and hands him over to the man who created Hulk in the first instance: General Thaddeus Ross.


Months later, Banner – who can now control his power – is approached by Tony Stark about joining a team of superheroes.


First appearances: Bruce Banner/Hulk (Edward Norton), Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt)


Iron Man 2 (2010)

Scarlett Johansson stars as Black Widow in 2010’s ‘Iron Man 2’ – Scarlett Johansson trong vai Black Widow trong ‘Iron man 2’ năm 2010

Now a famous superhero, Stark comes up against Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), a man who builds a miniature arc reactor similar to his own. Stark defeats him easily leading to Vanko’s imprisonment. We learn, though, that Stark is crippled by the thought he’s going to die: his arc reactor is slowly poisoning him.


His reckless behaviour caused by his impending death draws the ire of his girlfriend Potts, who has been replaced as his personal assistant by a lady named Natasha Rushman, and Rhodes. Eventually, Rhodes confiscates the Iron Man suit and hands it over to the US Air Force; they intend to make a weaponised version against Stark’s will.


Meanwhile, a rival industrialist named Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) fakes Vanko’s prison escape and tasks him with building a range of advanced suits to upstage Stark’s.


Concerned about Stark’s well-being, Fury reveals that Rushman is, in fact, an agent named Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff. He also tells him that Stark’s father was a founder of SHIELD and, after searching through his old records, Tony finds an element that will prevent the arc reactor from poisoning his body, thus saving him.


When Rhodes’ weaponised suit is publicly unveiled, Vanko takes control of it while he’s wearing it and programmes him to attack Tony. Romanoff eventually gains control of the suit leaving Stark and Rhodes to team up to take him down.


SHIELD agent Coulson informs Fury that a large hammer has been discovered at the bottom of a crater in a New Mexico desert.


First appearances: Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Howard Stark (John Slattery)


Thor (2011)

Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins in ‘Thor’ – Chris Hemsworth và Anthony Hopkins trong phim ‘Thor’

On the planet Asgard, rebellious Norse God Thor is stripped of his powers and banished to Earth by his father Odin, whereupon his world collides with that of a team of scientists led by Dr Jane Foster. With the help of her team members Dr Erik Selvig and Darcy Lewis, Thor locates his missing hammer, which is protected by an enchantment that allows only the worthy to wield it. Thor, though, is unable to lift the hammer – a moment that’s glimpsed from afar by skilled archer Clint “Hawkeye” Barton.


On Asgard, Loki realises he’s the biological son of a rival race and was adopted by Odin years before. Devastated, Loki takes control of the throne and conspires to have his adoptive father killed. A trio of Asgardians flee to Earth in an attempt to bring Thor back, but Loki susses out their plan and sends a deadly automaton known as the Destroyer after them. After almost sacrificing himself, Thor rediscovers his power to lift the hammer and returns to his home planet to defeat his brother, leaving behind Foster with whom he’s fallen in love. Her team later searches for a way to open up a portal to find Thor in Asgard.


In an attempt to stop Loki’s destructive plans once and for all, Thor strands himself on his home planet. Loki, after having his please for approval denied by Odin, falls to his death.


Back on Earth, Selvig arrives at a SHIELD facility where Fury appears and shows him a mysterious blue object that holds untold power. However, it’s revealed that Selvig is actually working under the influence of Loki – who survived his fall – thanks to a weapon called the scepter.


First appearances: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Heimdall (Idris Elba), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Dr Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), Rene Russo (Frigga), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Sif (Jaime Alexander), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Fandral (Josh Dallas), Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández)


Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ – Hugo Weaving trong vai Red Skull trong ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

We learn the mysterious blue object, which we now see in the clutches of Nazi officer Johann Schmidt back in 1942, is called the Tesseract.


Over in New York, Steve Rogers – a physically-impaired individual – is recruited into the Strategic Scientific Reserve as part of a “super-soldier” experiment due to his spirited nature and desire to fight in World War Two. The result makes him much taller and extremely muscular. He tours the world as Captain America to promote war bonds, but – after learning his old friend Bucky Barnes might still be alive – is flown behind enemy lines where he infiltrates Schmidt’s Nazi group, known as Hydra.


After rescuing Bucky and other soldiers, he learns that Schmidt underwent the same procedure as himself, but it went wrong and turned him into Red Skull.


Howard Stark equips Rogers with a shield made out of a rare material called vibranium. During an assault on several Hydra locations, the newly rescued Bucky falls to his death from a moving train, much to Rogers’ despair. Rogers tracks down Schmidt and alights his aircraft, but he disappears into a wormhole he opens using the Tesseract, which falls to the ocean below. Howard Stark later recovers it from the ocean floor.


Unable to land the plane without detonating the many weapons on board, Rogers crashes into the arctic and is presumed dead for decades. 70 years later, he’s approached by Nick Fury who wants to enlist him on a mission.


First appearances: Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Johann Schmidt/Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper)


Avengers Assemble (2012)

Avengers assemble to battle an alien race – Avengers tập hợp để chiến đấu với một chủng tộc ngoài hành tinh

Loki barters with an alien race called the Chitauri, promising them the Tesseract on the condition they give him an army that’ll help him overtake Earth. When the object malfunctions and opens a wormhole, Loki arrives on Earth and uses his scepter to enslave Dr Erik Selvig and Hawkeye.


Fury consequently assembles the Avengers. Romanoff recruits Banner to help trace the Tesseract because of its gamma radiation emissions. Meanwhile, Loki – caught by Stark, Rogers and Romanoff – surrenders and is transported to SHIELD’s aircraft. One of Loki’s enslaved prisoners, though, destroys an engine, sending the ship hurtling to the ground. This unleashes Hulk and in all the chaos Agent Coulson is killed and Loki escapes.


Using the Tesseract, Loki opens a wormhole through which his Chitauri army arrive to attack New York. The Avengers unite again to fight the army. When Fury’s superiors launch a nuclear missile, Stark intercepts it and guides it into the wormhole, destroying the Chitauri’s fleet and killing their army back on Earth. When his power runs out, Hulk saves Stark from falling to his death.


Thor returns Loki to Asgard along with the Tesseract. Meanwhile, the Chitauri leader, who survived the missile, confers with his master about the failed attack on Earth. It’s Thanos.


First appearances: Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Thanos (Josh Brolin), The Other (Alexis Denisof)




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