If you haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet then don’t even read this. Actually, you’re quite trash. Go fix this immediately then come back. It pretty much contains all of the badassness we predicted as a sequel. Except, it’s totally unfair to call this a sequel, because it really isn’t. Age of Ultron is pretty much your comprehensive study guide of Marvel’s second phase. It’s the culmination of multiple films and a bridge to carry us into the next phase.
So what happens in the next phase? We must look backwards in order to move forward.
Marvel’s The Avengers
It really starts before this, but we’ll start here. We begin with Loki – just your mischievous intergalactic rabble-rouser, out to move out of his brother’s shadow by gaining absolute power. Thor is all like “hey, bro, you should really chill” and Loki is like “But you have the throne! Odin isn’t my real pa anyway!”
Loki is banished from Asgard where he runs into The Other. The Other is like “Hey, I heard you want absolute power? Guess what!? So do I! Take this scepter and we’ll talk later”.
This absolute power is known as the Tesseract, and Loki is out on a mission to acquire it so he can show who’s gotdamn who in the whole galaxy.
We first see the Tesseract in Captain America in the possession of Johann Schidmt, a Nazi gone H.Y.D.R.A. (we’ll get to H.Y.D.R.A. later). The Tesseract ends up on ice with Captain America and is kept in SHIELD’s possession after they dig up Cap. Loki, using the power of The Tesseract, opens up a giant hole in the sky and unleases The Chitari, an alien army set to destory Earth.
Needless to say, Loki plan fails. He’s then taken to Asgard where his punishment in imprisonment.
During the mid-credits scene, we finally get to see Marvel’s most prominent villain, Thanos. Quick rundown on Thanos: He’s a ruthless, mad titan who pretty much wants to take down everything in his path, as most villians.
Iron Man 3 kicks off Phase 2, but there’s nothing significant introduced in this movie. Well, Extremis does get introduced and we MIGHT see it again later, but let’s move on for now.
Thor: The Dark World
The Dark World was such a bad ass movie. I honestly couldn’t tell you the plot. I really can’t even remember the villian’s name. He was an elf, that’s all I got. Sorry. Who cares though, Thor kicked ass across 9 realms. The plot is insignificant.
But what I can tell you is that this movie is filled with little nuggets that may have some significance later.
During The Convergence, a rare cosmic phenomenon that causes 9 realms to align, Dr. Jane Foster (Thor’s Ol’ Lady) teleports into a realm where she has no business being. She’s then infected by Aether, a mystical substance that belongs to the Elves.
Long story short, the Aether is drawn out of Jane and we later discover that this is an (drumroll) Infinity Gem!
After kicking elven ass, the Tesseract is stored safely in Asgard and the Aether is transported to The Collector.
The Collector is like the Liberace of the galaxy. He collects all the swag. Want some swag? He probably has it. After the Aether is delivered, we see The Collector say “One down, five to go”. Hmmmmm.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This movie got the ball rolling. It’s impossible to even think about the next phase without this movie. It introduces Falcon, name drops future Avenger Dr. Strange, and sets the stage for the next Avengers.
The Winter Solder, formerly known as Cap’s old friend Bucky Barnes, is the primary villain. His inclusion into the Marvel universe may foreshadow a major Avengers realignment. But that’s far ahead, let’s stay on track.
This movie also shows us that Hydra isn’t dead and they’re actually stronger than ever. SHIELD as of now is officially off the grid and rendered powerless.
The post credit scene gives us our first peek of Hydra’s special weapon(s), the twins: Pietro and Wanda.
Guardians of the Galaxy
In a galaxy far, far away, Peter Quill and his rag-tag team of heroes discover an orb. He takes it to The Collector to have it appraised. Upon inspection, The Collector confirms that it is indeed an Infinity Gem. Tickled pink, The Collector is all like “Whoa bruh, get Ronan on the phone RIGHT NOW!”. Ronan, the Ringo Starr of Marvel villains, then hunts down the Guardians to retrieve the orb for his boss. His boss in none other than Thanos.
After a battle about as epic as watching grass grow, Quill retrieves the Orb. It is now safe in the possession of NovaCorps. Don’t worry, no one is getting past Glenn Close.
PS, it may sound like I disliked this movie, but I actually thought it was awesome. It’s just that Ronan the Accuser is as menacing as this basket of puppies.
PSS. Don’t forget this cocoon. It might be important later. It’s a potential character teaser.
Ok, so you should probably stop reading here if you haven’t seen Age of Ultron already. Actually, why did you start reading this in the first place? Oh well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Age of Ultron
As previously stated, Age of Ultron is the culmination of all of these previous films. It closes off one chapter while linking it directly to the other.
For now, the Guardians of the Galaxy exist in this universe but they have no direct connection. Yet. I’m sure that’ll change once Thanos gets his hands on all of those stones. The action picks up right where it left off in The Winter Soldier. The Avengers track down Hydra officer Strucker and retrieve Loki’s scepter. This isn’t a summary though, so let’s skip ahead.
We later find out that Loki’s scepter also contains an Infinity gem, which now powers The Vision.
So now we have The Tesseract, Aether, the Orb, and the Scepter. They’re the space, reality, power, and mind stone, respectfully. This makes 2/3 of the stones needed to harness the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. Which brings me to the midcredits scene.
We finally see Ultron with the Infinity Gauntlet. Joss Whedon dropped a hint for us though: it’s not the only one in the Marvel universe.
In Thor, yes that first one that you didn’t see, we see a Gauntlet in Odin’s hall. We’re lead to believe this isn’t the same one.
We see several other hold The Gauntlet in the comics:
Remember that cocoon from Guardians of the Galaxy?
and Tony Stark
which makes him our most likely candidate for the gauntlet in the movies.
We have 4/6 stones so where do the others come from? Let’s make a guess.
Next up on the Avengers slate, we have Doctor Strange and Black Panther.
Doctor Strange, instantly the most awesome Avenger because he’s played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is a Sorcerer who wears a lil item called The Eye of Agamatto.
So this is my best educated guess.
We still have Black Panther. Hell, it could even come from Warlock himself since we know that he does hold the Gauntlet.
The introduction of these Infinity gems will lead Earth’s mightiest heroes into the battle in Avengers: Infinity Wars Pt. I and II.
Right now, after Age or Ultron our lineup is Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye (in “retirement” currently), Scarlet Witch, Falcon, The Vision and War Machine. Let’s toss in Ant-Man too, for good times sake. We don’t know for sure yet, but it’s likely.
If I were you, I wouldn’t get too attached to Captain America. It’s unclear if The Winter Soldier will take Cap’s place like the comics, but we’ll see.
With the inclusion of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and now Spiderman, we can now add Marvel’s special street team: The Defenders.
There’s Netflix’s Daredevil series. Following that is Aka Jessica Jones which introduces Luke Cage and shortly after that, Iron Fist. There’s also whispers of a Punisher appearance. Cross your fingers for this. No, really, Tom Hardy wants to be The Punisher so cross your fingers.
Yep, I can see it now.
But while these characters haven’t been confirmed for a big leap yet, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t see them.
(Spiderman rumored to be titled Spiderman: The New Avenger not yet included)
Out of all the movies listed (that aren’t named Civil War), I expect Thor: Ragnorak to shake up the universe the most.
During Thor’s dream sequence in Age of Ultron, we see that Asgard is in chaotic state, full of sin and revelry. This is believed to be Asgardian Hell. In Thor:Ragnorak, bad ass Sultur is introduced as the villain.
Known as “God of the Flame” he resembles another big, red, horned fella we know. The aftermath of Ragnorak may leave Asgard fallen and our hero Thor along with it. This will “disassemble” The Avengers because Iron Man and Cap already have their own personal crisis (Cap’s crisis might be that he’s not alive anymore, btw).
I don’t know if these key Avengers will get killed off in their own feature films, but it’s certainly a possibility.
So in conclusion, all roads lead to Thanos. We have 4 gems accounted for, and 2 more left.
(Credit to @SuperheroFeed for this pic)
Where do will they come from? Who knows?
Who will even be in the final Avengers lineup by the time we make it to Infinity Wars? There’s no way of knowing that also. But what we do know is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been staying relatively true to the source material while still writing a good story for the casual fan.
So go see every Marvel movie from now until you die. It’s only right.