Binge Watch

The Path to Endgame

Avengers: Endgame will be here before we know it!! So in preparation for the end, we’re going to take a look back through the history of the entire MCU and binge all TWENTY ONE movies—including Captain Marvel—and give you the recaps and highlights you need.

It’s almost time. Time to find out what became of the survivors, post snap. Will Tony and Gamora survive alone in space? Where is Ant-Man? Are Bruce and the Hulk forever separated? Will Captain Marvel get here in time?

These answers, along with many others, will all be revealed in a few short weeks when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. Until then, let’s take a trip down memory lane, and make our way through the MCU movies in release order, to see how we ended up here! Spoilers ahead.

Phase 1

Iron Man

The Story

Billionaire weapons maker Tony Stark is abducted by terrorists on a trip to the Middle East. He utilizes his genius-level intellect and engineering skills to create a mechanical suit of armor to escape. Once stateside, he abandons weapons manufacturing in favor of building a new suit, thus becoming Iron Man.

Final fight—Iron Man versus Iron Monger

MCU Introductions

Seeing as this is the initial entry into the MCU, there are a LOT of character introductions in this one. Tony Stark/Iron Man, Pepper Potts, James Rhodes, Agent Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, and Nick Fury.

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—None
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as Hugh Hefner

Post credit scenes

After announcing at a press conference that he is indeed Iron Man, Tony returns home to find someone in his house. It’s a young Nick Fury, and he wants to talk about the Avengers Initiative.

What you might have missed

After Tony leaves for the final fight with Obadiah, Rhodey sees the Mark 2 armor and says, “Next time, baby.” An obvious setup to War Machine in the sequel…again recast.

Endgame status

Iron Man War Machine Pepper Potts Agent Coulson Nick Fury

Final Rating

The Incredible Hulk

The Story

Bruce Banner is on the run from the government after a failed gamma radiation experiment left him with the ability to turn into the Hulk when he gets angry. The government wants to use this ability as a weapon, so Bruce is a fugitive, trying to keep his temper under control.

Final fight—Hulk versus Abomination

MCU Introductions

We’re introduced to Bruce Banner and his alter-ego the Hulk, his girlfriend Betty Ross, and her father General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—None
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as Milwaukee man drinking from bottle

Post credit scenes

General Ross is drowning his sorrows in a bar, when he’s approached Tony Stark who reiterates Nick Fury’s offer of putting a team together.

What you might have missed

The security guard that Bruce bribes with a pizza, is none other than Lou Ferrigno, the actor who played the Hulk in the 1977 television show.

Endgame status

Bruce Banner/Hulk Thaddeus Ross Betty Ross

Final Rating

Iron Man 2

The Story

The son of a former associate of Howard Stark creates his own arc-reactor-powered suit in an attempt to exact revenge on Tony for his father’s actions. Meanwhile, Tony is slowly being poisoned by his own arc reactor, and needs SHIELD’s help in coming up with a recourse.

Final fight—Iron Man and War Machine versus Whiplash and an army of HAMMER drones

MCU Introductions

Howard Stark, Natalie Rushman, aka Natasha Romanoff, and technically, a young Peter Parker.

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—None
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as Larry King

Post credit scenes

Agent Coulson is sent to the New Mexico desert to investigate a large hammer that has been found at the bottom of a crater.

What you might have missed

If you look closely on the map in the background when Nick Fury is debriefing Tony, you can see a map icon indicating Wakanda.

Endgame status

Iron Man War Machine Natasha Romanoff Pepper Potts Peter Parker

Final Rating

Thor

The Story

Thor, an Asgardian warrior, is stripped of his powers and banished to Earth where he is forced to humble himself and learn to be a true hero, while living as a mortal.

Final fight—Thor versus The Destroyer

MCU Introductions

Thor, Loki, Odin, Heimdall, Jane Foster, Erik Selvig, Clint Barton/Hawkeye

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—None
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as a local townsperson

Post credit scenes

Nick Fury recruits Erik Selvig to help work on the Tesseract for SHIELD, not knowing that Loki is still alive and lurking nearby.

What you might have missed

Everyone knows about the fake Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s treasure room, but you can also see the Eternal Flame of Surtur, which will be revisited in Ragnarok.

Endgame status

Thor Erik Selvig Hawkeye Heimdall Loki

Final Rating

Captain America: The First Avenger

The Story

A skinny kid from Brooklyn gets injected with super soldier serum, giving him enhanced strength and speed. And with the addition of an indestructible Vibranium shield, he ships off to the war effort to fight HYDRA, the Nazi science division headed by the Red Skull.

Final fight—Captain America versus the Red Skull

MCU Introductions

Steve Rogers/Captain America, Peggy Carter, Bucky Barnes, Arnim Zola, the Red Skull

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—The Tesseract/Space Stone
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as an Army general

Post credit scenes

Nick Fury approaches Steve Rogers at the gym in modern-day New York, with a new assignment.

What you might have missed

During the World’s Fair, you can see a red suit inside of a glass case. This is a direct reference to the original golden age Human Torch.

Endgame status

Captain America Bucky Barnes

Final Rating

The Avengers

The Story

After his “death” during Thor, Loki makes an arrangement with an alien race to help them take over Earth. Nick Fury has to gather the superpowered heroes from the previous movies to stop them.

Final fight—The Avengers vs. Loki and the Chitauri

MCU Introductions

Agent Maria Hill, Thanos

How does this affect the wider MCU?

  • Infinity stones—The Tesseract/Space Stone
  • Appearance of The Watcher—as an New York survivor

Post credit scenes

We see that the previously unseen leader of the Chitauri, is actually Thanos, the Mad Titan.

What you might have missed

When Thor is questioning Loki, you can see Huginn and Muninn, Odin’s two ravens.

Endgame status

Iron Man Captain America Thor Hulk Hawkeye
Black Widow Nick Fury Maria Hill Thanos

Final Rating

Phase 2

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