Understanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Everything you need to know before seeing Marvel’s Infinity War

By Tyler Height, Contributor

Avengers: Infinity War opens in theatres around the world on Friday, April 27th 2018, and if you’re a nerd like myself, you’ve already bought your ticket. Infinity War is the 19th movie released by Marvel Studios that is part of what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). For the past decade, Marvel has pumped out over a dozen interconnected films, and the comic-like story telling of character and plot cross-over within these 18 different (and all relatively enjoyable) movies is an exciting new way to experience super-heroes. However, there is a downside to this format; if someone hasn’t seen all of the films that precede each new installment, their appreciation and understanding can be limited. As a huge fan of the MCU, I encourage anyone who may be interested in seeing Avengers: Infinity War to definitely do so, but I wouldn’t want your enjoyment of the film to be compromised. That is why I have created the shortest list of what I believe to be the most important movies of the MCU to watch before Infinity War.

  1. Avengers – In the first Avengers film, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow come together to stop Thor’s brother Loki from trying to invade Earth. This is a must-see before Infinity War because, not only is it the first time we see our heroes come together for a common purpose, but it is also when the team realizes they are not alone in the universe.
  1. Guardians of the Galaxy – This unique and hilarious space-action introduces Star Lord and the other members of his motley crew. On what begins as separate selfish missions, the Guardians come together for a common purpose, realizing that they have the ability to save the galaxy from the wrath of Ronin. We also meet Thanos (the main villain in Infinity War) and we learn what Infinity Stones are: the immensely powerful objects Thanos has been searching for.
  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – The second Avengers installment finds Tony Stark reeling in fear after the events of the first Avengers, leading him to create an artificial intelligence known as Ultron. What was originally meant to protect humanity, quickly turns against it and the Avengers are required to save the world again. In this film we see an increasing of character dynamics growing within our heroes, as well as more backstory on the Infinity Stones.
  1. Captain America: Civil War – The third Captain America film picks up shortly after the events of Age of Ultron, where the Avengers are at odds with one another on whether or not super-heroes should be regulated by the government. A disagreement about how to move forward brings Iron Man and Captain America into a head-to-head fight. This film is a great balance between fun and emotional (as far as super-heroes go), and it is my personal favourite of the MCU. Although Civil War doesn’t mention Thanos or Infinity Stones, it is the last time we see our heroes before Infinity War.