Avengers: Endgame is one of the biggest Hollywood films of the year and it’s easily one of the highly-anticipated ones worldwide. There will be a lot happening in the film and there’s a lot that you need to know before April 26 comes around. Since there are 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, it may not be feasible for you to sit and watch all of them. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to catch you up on everything you need to know before watching Avengers: Endgame –

1. How All The Marvel Movies Connect

MCU was built up through phases. Phase I included the origin stories of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. The Avengers brought all of them together and was the first film to show Thanos and confirm his search for the Tesseract (which we later find out is an Infinity Stone). Phase II had more sequels and a few new introductions – Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Phase III introduced many new superheroes – Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. All the phases had bits and bits and pieces connecting each other with Infinity Stones showing up in many places and everything leading to what happened in Infinity War where half of pretty much everyone relevant ends up dead or dusted.

2. What The Infinity Stones Actually Are

The six Infinity Stones (Space Stone, Reality Stone, Power Stone, Mind Stone, Time Stone, and Soul Stone) control different aspects of existence that can only be directly used by powerful beings. The stones have always existed, but they had all been in different forms until Thanos collected them all and put it in his Infinity Gauntlet. If you’ve seen previous MCU movies and weren’t following too closely, you might have seen the stones without realizing it – Loki’s scepter contained the Mind Stone, the Space Stone had been inside the Tesseract that’s shown up in multiple films, and the Time Stone had been inside the relic that Doctor Strange wears on his necklace – Eye of Agamotto. The stones each by themselves are powerful enough, but when Thanos got all of them together, his powers became practically limitless.

Marvel Infinity stone guide from coolguides

3. Who Is Thanos & Why He’s Deadly 

Thanos comes from Titan and believes that the only way to have a stable universe is to limit the population. Even before he acquired all the Infinity Stones, this purple alien was already carrying out his mission by moving from planet to planet, destroying half of the life on it, and adopting orphans from the races he killed. Of course, being a genocidal warlord, he wasn’t a very good parent which lead to some of his children turning against him. Gamora is one of them and she is sacrificed by Thanos to get the Soul Stone in Avengers: Infinity War. Nebula is another one of his adoptive daughters who hates him. She is left alive after the snap and we see her with Iron Man, with both of them planning a way to get back to Earth. Unlike the usual villains, Thanos actually won by being one step ahead of the Avengers. However, whether or not his victory is permanent remains to be seen.

4. Infinity War: A Recap 

Avengers: Infinity War was a race to prevent Thanos from getting all the Infinity Stones and then finding a way to stop him from using it. This had more superheroes than any other Avengers film before it and even when they teamed up, they failed to stop Thanos. Thanos wiped away half of the life in all the universe with just a snap of his finger, decimating many of the key MCU characters. The film ends with their deaths with the post-credits scene showing Nick Fury using a pager to get in contact with who we now know to be Captain Marvel, before dusting away himself.

5. Keeping Track of the Dead  

Avengers: Infinity War had a scarily high kill count of major characters – and we’re not just counting the snap. Loki dies (this time for real) trying to kill Thanos, Heimdall is murdered when Thanos and his children enter Thor’s ship that was carrying all the Asgardians that had abandoned their home in Thor: Ragnarok,  Gamora is thrown off a cliff by Thanos so he can get the Soul Stone, and Vision is killed by Thanos as he rips out the Mind Stone from his forehead. Then, once the snap happens, we see others fading into dust – Black Panther, Spider-Man, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Star-Lord, Groot, Drax and Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill.

6. What Movies After Infinity War Have Told Us

Two MCU films have come out since Infinity War – Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel. Although they are set before Infinity War, they both feature post-credits scenes that happen after the snap.  In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we find out that Hope Pym, Hank Pym, and Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) were also dusted while Ant-Man is in the quantum realm. In Captain Marvel post-credits scene, we see Captain America, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, and Rhodey inspecting the pager and Captain Marvel arriving and asking about Nick Fury’s whereabouts.

7. What We Know From The Trailers

Avengers: Endgame trailers and TV spots haven’t revealed a lot of footage from what will happen in the film but rather feature a lot of what has already happened before. Nevertheless, we do see the rest of the Avengers teaming up and deciding not to move on from what has happened, but rather correct what has gone wrong. Read our in-depth breakdown of the trailer here.

Avengers: Endgame releases in theaters on April 26, make sure to click the ‘Interested’ button and stay tuned for more updates on the film.

While you wait for the release of Avengers: Endgame, watch our interview with Joe Russo where he answers some interesting questions about the film and his visit to India.

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