11-years of the MCU: Everything you need to know before watching Avengers: Endgame

The Endgame is here

Avengers: Endgame is finally in theatres. The conclusion of the “Infinity Saga,” built in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is finally upon us. Before watching, let’s go over the timeline of the MCU, and the 21 movies before Endgame that makes this story complete.

MCU's Timeline of Movies

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
  11. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
  12. Ant-Man (2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  14.  Doctor Strange (2016)
  15.  Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  18. Black Panther (2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  20. Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

This set of movies concludes the first big ending of the MCU (Phase 3). Some Marvel fans call this The Infinity Saga.

Recap of the MCU 21 Movies

Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. acts as billionaire narcissist Tony Stark, who owns a weapons manufacturing company. But when he conducts weapon tests overseas, he is kidnapped and is asked to build a weapon for terrorists.

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Instead, he creates an Iron Man suit and heals his heart with an arc reactor to escape his captors. He later learns that his fatherly figure Obadiah Stane was the one who wanted to kidnap him, and takes him (Obadiah) down.

The Incredible Hulk

This movie shows us the origin story of The Hulk- a scientist named Bruce Banner who is exposed to gamma radiation while trying to recreate Captain America. He is hunted down by the police. Meanwhile another monster named the Abomination is created. Hulk takes down the Abomination, escapes from the police, and goes into hiding.

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Iron Man 2

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This movie is a story in which Tony Stark discovers a new element to fix his ineffective arc reactor. The son of his father’s former co-worker comes back to take revenge on Tony. Tony joins forces with his friend James Rhodes (AKA War Machine) to stop him. This movie also introduces two S.H.I.E.L.D agents Natasha Romanoff (AKA Black Widow) and Phil Coulson. 


In this movie, Chris Hemsworth takes on the role of the Asgardian and Norse god Thor. He gets exiled to the earth by his father, Odin, for unnecessarily waging war on another realm. On Earth, he understands the importance of peace and life, and returns to Asgard to defeat his brother Loki, who turns out to be a “Frost Giant.” He defeats him and stops the Frost Giants’ efforts to invade Asgard.

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Captain America: The First Avenger

This movie presents Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, a determined man who wants to fight for his country, but is not selected in the army due to his physique. He is given a secret serum and becomes a super soldier. He receives a shield made by Howard Stark, Tony’s father. He defeats the Red Skull and in an attempt to save the world, crashes himself and a plane into an ocean. He is found 66 years later in a block of ice.

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This movie brings together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye to capture Loki, who has stolen the “Teseract”, a source of energy. While the team encounters quite a few bumps along the way, they work out their differences to stop the “Chitauri” army from destroying New York.We also find out that Loki has been working for Thanos, a titan.

Image Source: medium.com

Iron Man 3

This Iron Man movie has significantly less impact on the MCU. Tony stark takes the help of a few of his fans to defeat the Mandarin, who seems to have unlimited power, as he rains blow after blow on the U.S Government. Tony is also seen getting rid of all his armor and the arc reactor.

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Thor: The Dark World

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In this movie of the MCU, Malekith wants to use the Aether to destroy Asgard. But Thor’s friend Jane touches it and is infected by it .Thor brings her to Asgard to save her, and he does. At the end, Thor defeats Malekith before he (Malekith) uses the convergence to his advantage.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In this movie, Captain America learns that HYDRA has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D and meets his friend, now brainwashed Bucky Barnes (AKA the Winter Soldier.) Captain America stops HYDRA before they kill everyone with an advanced weapon system.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy

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In this movie, Peter Quill (AKA Star-Lord) teams up with Gamora (daughter of Thanos), Groot (a talking tree), Rocket (a talking racoon), and Drax (the destoyer) to stop Ronan and Nebula from obtaining the Orb and destroying Xandar.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

In this movie, the Avengers team up once again to steal Loki’s sceptre. Tony Stark tries to create an A.I. based on Jarvis and the scepter called Ultron to keep peace, but it backfires. Ultron wants to wipe out the human race. They create another superbot called Vision, which helps them defeat Ultron and save Sokovia. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the crew in this movie.

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In this movie, Hank Pym gives Scott Lang the Ant-Man suit and asks him to stop Darren Cross from creating another one, for he fears Cross may use it for the wrong purposes. Scott Lang defeats Cross by going inside the Quantum Realm- the one place Hank Pym told him not to go, for he could forever be trapped in that place where time-space continuum no longer matter. But he becomes the only person to go in and come out of the Quantum Realm. 

I can do this all day.

Captain America, The First Avenger

Captain America: Civil War

In this movie, the U.S. Government make the Avengers sign the Sokovia Accords, to make them operate only under the law. A few Avengers including Tony Stark are guilted into signing it. But some others, including Captain America, do not agree. 

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Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier kills the king of Wakanda and the Black panther goes after him. In the end, a battle breaks out. After the battle, Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and Iron Man meet at a base where Zemo proves that Bucky killed Iron Man’s parents. After they fight, Cap throws away the shield and leaves with Bucky on his shoulders.

Doctor Strange

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In this movie, Dr.Stephen Strange loses the nerves on his hands in an accident. He learns about a place called Kamar-Taj, where he goes to get his nerves under control, but instead he acquires powers under the Ancient One. He then comes in possession of the eye of Agamotto which he uses to defeat Dormammu, and evil force.

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol.2

In this movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy are called upon on a mission, but Rocket ends up stealing batteries from their hosts and they have to flee, while being pursued. They meet Quill’s long-lost immortal father, who teaches him that he has powers.They also meet an alien named Mantis. After a while, they figure out that Quill’s father is actually evil. Quill kills his father and in doing so, loses his powers and his fatherly figure, Yondu.

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In this movie, Spider-Man is introduced with a different face.He is a boy studying at school and an exceptionally bright student. He runs off to fight enemies during the National Quiz. He also has influence with Tony Stark, who mentors him. He defeats his girlfriend’s father( AKA The Vulture), who is a very dangerous weapons dealer. At the end, he turns down being an Avenger after being given a chance by Tony Stark.

Thor: Ragnarok

In this movie, Thor returns to Asgard only to find Loki acting as Odin and sitting on the throne of Asgard. When they go to find Odin, they encounter Doctor Strange and Odin tells them that they have a sister named Hela. When they meet Hela, she destroys Thor’s hammer “Mjolnr.” Thor and Loki get knocked to a mysterious land called Sakaar, where Thor meets Hulk. He then escapes from there along with a Valkyrie, one of the most famed warriors of Asgard. Once they get there, Thor unlocks his true power and controls lightning without his hammer.  In the end, they wake Surtur to destroy Asgard and stop Hela, as she is too powerful to be contained. But Loki grabs one last treasure: “The Teseract.”

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Black Panther

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In this movie, the MCU introduces us to Wakanda, a country which is very powerful and technologically advanced, but hides its power from the world. In this movie, the Black Panther stops enemies who are trying to access Wakanda’s Vibranium. 

Avengers: Infinity War

In this movie, Thanos tries to collect all the Infinity Stones so that he can destroy half of the universe with a snap of his fingers. He believes that resources are limited in the universe, and if life is left unchecked, life will not exist. He travels from place to place fighting the Avengers and the Guardians Of The Galaxy, while collecting all the stones. When he finally collects all the stones, Thor throws his new hammer “Stormbreaker” at Thanos, but he snaps his fingers and extinguishes half of all living creatures.

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You should have gone for the head.

Thanos, The Mad Titan

Ant-Man and The Wasp

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In this movie, Ant-Man struggles as a father and as a superhero, but Hank Pym approaches him again for help to fight alongside his daughter (the Wasp). In this movie, they figure out a sure-fire way of travelling back and forth between the real world and the Quantum realm. In the end, they defeat their rival “The Ghost”, and also manage to help her heal. 

The movie takes place after the events of “Civil War”, and end at the events of “Infinity War.”

Captain Marvel

This is the origin movie for Captain Marvel, air force pilot Carol Danvers. We learn that she was taken in by the Kree, but when she reaches Earth, meets Nick Fury and helps aid S.H.I.E.L.D. We also learn that Nick Fury started the Protectors Initiative, later the Avengers Initiative because of her.

The movies takes place well before any of the other MCU movies.

Image Source: IMDb

The Infinity Stones

  1. Power Stone
  2. Space Stone
  3. Reality Stone
  4. Soul Stone
  5. Time Stone
  6. Mind Stone
Image Source: medium

The Infinity Stones were born at the creation of the universe. The 6 stones represent 6 elemental cosmic powers. Any single stone has unlimited potential, and no mortal can touch an infinity stone without disintegrating in a spectacular fashion. A stone can only be wielded by an immortal, or extraordinarily powerful being. Even then, the stone will have to be utilized through an external weapon.

How each Infinity Stone ends up in Infinity War:                                             

The Power stone is originally located in The Orb, which is stolen by Star-lord. After a fight against Ronan, the Guardians Of The Galaxy give it to the police of Xandar, where Thanos arrives and steals it. The Power Stone has the ability to give the user limitless power, enough to destroy a planet with one touch.

The Space Stone is located in the The Teseract, which Loki takes when awakening Surtur. When they meet Thanos’ ship, Thanos takes it from them. The Space Stone has the ability to give the user omnipresence, be anywhere, or everywhere.

The Reality Stone was in the Aether, a weapon which was given to the Collector. Thanos arrives on Knowhere and takes it from him. The Reality Stone has the power to change reality itself, making “Nothing is impossible” virtually true.

The Soul Stone was on Vormir, but nobody knew it until Gamora found the map and destroyed it, fearing that Thanos might come after it one day. However, Thanos tortures Nebula and blackmails Gamora into telling him the location of the stone. After reaching Vormir, Thanos sacrifices the only thing he ever loved- Gamora, to take the Soul Stone. The Soul Stone is mysterious, and its true abilities are not completely known.

The Time Stone was in the eye of Agamotto in Kamar-Taj, but after Dr.Strange takes it, Thanos sends one of his children to bring Dr.Strange to Titan, where Thanos takes it from him. The Time Stone has the power to alter the timeline, in both directions.

The Mind Stone was in Loki’s sceptre, which the Avengers took. After some time, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create a superbot named Vision to defeat Ultron. The Mind stone is in Vision’s forehead, from where Thanos takes it in the battle of Wakanda. The Mind Stone has the ability to take control of any mind, and control it to the user’s demand.

The Infinity Gauntlet

The Infinity Gauntlet is the most powerful weapon in the universe. It has the ability to control the power of all 6 infinity stones. The Infinity Gauntlet was made for Thanos, by Eitri, a super-sized dwarf. Thanos blackmailed Eitri into making the weapon at the weapons forge “Nidavellir,” where Eitri had also made Thor’s original hammer and his (Thor’s) new weapon – Stormbreaker.

Thanos wanted the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the population of the universe, to bring back the balance of all things.

Source: Movie Figures

 He succeeded in his task at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War.” At the end of the movie, the Infinity Gauntlet is seen charred and broken, as it seems like the task, though completed, was too much for the weapon to handle.

What will happen in Endgame?

Marvel seems to be bringing all its characters together for the last movie of its first chapter, since the contracts of Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) are expiring, but will we see them take down the Mad Titan? Some sources tell us that all the people who died in the decimation may even come back, because of Dr.Strange saying,” There was no other way,” when Tony looked at him after he gave up the Time stone. Could it be possible that Dr.Strange giving up the Time stone was the only way for ultimate victory out of fourteen million six hundred and five possibilities? Some sources even suggest that time travel and travelling to the Quantum Realm may be the key to defeating Thanos. Well, whatever happens, one thing is for sure: this movie is going to be jam-packed with screaming Marvel fans at the theatres. This movie is sequel to Infinity War, which is the only MCU movie so far with an incomplete ending. This ending has left many Marvel fans anticipating “the end of Endgame.”