Well, it’s the week of the hotly awaited release of Avengers: Infinity War and people are excited. This is the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as everything we’ve been watching every few months at the movies for the past ten years will be coming to a head. It’s one of the most highly anticipated movie released of all time! Superhero fans everywhere are itching to get out there and feast their eyes on it. But before you go rushing out to the theater in costume as your favorite character on opening night, here are 10 things you need to know before watching Avengers: Infinity War!
10. The Avengers are all still broken up
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers still haven’t solved their issues. Tony Stark may have gotten that letter from Steve Rogers as a kind of peace offering, but he’s still living off the grid to avoid the government. Stark is up at the Avengers’ base in upstate New York with the last few who stayed on his side, including a recovering James Rhodes (who fell out of the sky in his suit when we last saw him). We also saw Cap breaking all of his own allies out of prison. So, all of them need to stay off the grid, too – Scott Lang is once again on the run from the world’s law enforcement. Plus, Spider-Man opted out of joining the Avengers when Stark offered him a spot on the team, so he’ll need to be brought in somehow. The likes of Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy still have yet to meet up with the Avengers in this movie, but Strange will be a very important part of it, since it’s all about the Infinity Stones and Thanos’ quest to acquire them all and Strange currently has possession of the Time Stone, so yikes!
9. The first reactions have been promising
The first reactions to Avengers: Infinity War from the people who saw the movie at its premiere screening have been very promising – they all seem to have loved it as much as we hope we will! One person called it their “second fave Marvel movie” after Black Panther. He continued, “The superhero interplay is hilarious and surprising at every turn. The action is monumental. And there are actual stakes this time around.” Another person said that the movie is “very weighty and juggles most of its characters with consideration. It’s the closest thing to a Paul Thomas Anderson movie you’ll find in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I am shook!” That’s an odd way to put it, but Paul Thomas Anderson makes some truly great and epic movies, so that comparison can only be a good thing. Another urged people to see it twice, saying, “The movie delivers, it’s huge, and no one in your theater is going to be able to sit quietly through this one. Expect the unexpected.” So, as if the movie hadn’t been bigged up enough, here are some testimonials to just how amazing it is. Plus, if you want some viewing advice, another person tweeted, “Lots of payoffs. Stay till the very END. That’s all I’m saying.”
8. We’ll see a more complex side to the Hulk
At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw the Hulk discovering his own freedom and ability to do what he wants, rather than turning back into human form as Bruce Banner, so the green monster seized the opportunity to fly off into outer space and forge a life for himself. As an immensely strong being, he was able to rise through the ranks of the Collector’s gladiatorial arena and earn himself a top fighting spot and even a lovely little apartment that overlooks the planet’s beautiful landscape. Suffice it to say, the Hulk had made a pretty good life for himself and he was more or less content to go on like that. And then Thor came and disrupted all of that and screwed things up for him by turning him back into Bruce Banner. In human form, Banner freaks out that he’s been the Hulk for so long and lost out on two years of his life and he’s in the middle of the universe. Now that he’s tried to reconcile his relationship with the Hulk and failed, we’ll be seeing a much more complex side to his character during Infinity War. The Hulk’s had a taste of freedom now and he wants it full time.
7. Black Panther might be hiding the final Infinity Stone in Wakanda
With every new Infinity Stone that Thanos adds to his Infinity Gauntlet, he gets stronger and stronger. It’s entirely possible that he’s going to Earth because he knows that all of the remaining ones are there. We know that one of the missing ones, the Time Stone, is in the possession of Stephen Strange, who is obviously on Earth, and the only one that is so far unaccounted for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the Soul Stone. Ever since Black Panther came out and revealed how secretive the nation of Wakanda is, there has been a widely held fan theory is T’Challa is hiding the Soul Stone under the big lump of vibranium that shrouds the true nature of the country from the world. The writing on the wall is pretty clear about this one. The Soul Stone provides its holder with the power to communicate with the dead, and T’Challa spends pretty much the whole of his solo outing in that dream-like field with his dead father, consulting him about moral issues and using his knowledge from beyond the grave to determine how he handles each successive crisis. It’s obvious! Plus, it would give him a reason to get involved.
6. Captain America is hiding out in Wakanda with Black Panther
Remember Captain America: Civil War, otherwise known as Avengers 2.5? By the end of it, Captain America was on the run as a war criminal for disobeying federal laws and doing whatever the hell he wanted, just because he thought he was above the law and blindly thought that it was the right thing to do (seriously, this guy is the perfect symbol of American nationalism). What you may have missed was the mid-credits scene that explained the aftermath of the movie’s events. Both Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes have found asylum in Wakanda, where they are hanging out with Black Panther and his friends and waiting for the dust to settle on their war crimes or for the world to call on them for help again. This was again hinted when we saw Bucky in Wakanda during the post-credits scene at the end of Black Panther, after we had gotten more of an in-depth look at the society and power structure and citizens of Wakanda. So, as we can see from the Infinity War trailer, we will find Cap at the beginning of the movie still in Wakanda, but now grizzled with a thick, full beard. Should be a lot of fun!
5. You’ll catch up with pretty much every MCU character
Pretty much every character who has ever been in an MCU movie and not died yet will be featured in Infinity War. This is a war that is being fought not only on a global scale, but on a cosmic scale, so everyone will be getting involved. Finally, we’ll get to see Iron Man and the Hulk and Captain America and Thor and Peter Quill and Spider-Man and Black Widow and Hawkeye and Ant-Man and Doctor Strange and Black Panther and the Vision and Scarlet Witch and Bucky Barnes and the Falcon and Drax and Gamora and Rocket Raccoon and Mantis and Nebula and Loki and Heimdall and Pepper Potts and the Collector and War Machine and Maria Hill and Valkyrie and Shuri and Okoye and Happy Hogan and Peter Parker’s friend Ned and Thaddeus Ross all in the same movie. Lord knows how they’ll find the time to give all of these characters meeting moments and banter and face-time in the same film (maybe they won’t), but either way, the prospect of seeing them all together at last opens up the movie to all kinds of different possibilities! Oh, and of course, there’ll be Thanos and a cameo appearance by Stan Lee.
4. Be warned: some of your favorite characters might die
Just about every character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be popping up in Infinity War at some point or another, and a combination of some of the actors getting MCU fatigue and wanting to move on to other projects and other roles, mixed with the fact that Infinity War will revolve around the greatest threat that the Avengers have ever faced, will mean that some of those characters won’t make it to Avengers 4. So, who will it be? Who among our favorite superhero characters will get the chop? It could be Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. is working on a new franchise with the upcoming Dr. Dolittle and he demands like fifty times more than any other actor in the MCU, so it would work out great for everyone involved if he was cut from the franchise. Chris Evans has said that he wants to hang up the shield and retire his character. Plus, the likes of Nebula and Loki have betrayed or crossed or let down Thanos in the past – and he doesn’t take too kindly to getting screwed over, so maybe he’ll kill them, too. You never know who will die – that’s all part of the fun!
3. Thor and the Hulk are up in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy
When it was first announced that Infinity War would feature the Guardians of the Galaxy, most people’s first question was: how are they going to do that? The Avengers are down here on Earth, while the Guardians are off in the middle of outer space, God knows where. How were the Marvel team going to get these two groups of superheroes together? They were going to have to do something pretty drastic. And then the Hulk jetted off into space at the end of Age of Ultron – and Thor followed him. Cue Thor: Ragnarok, in which the two met up in an intergalactic gladiatorial arena, watched the destruction of Asgard, and then flew off to explore the depths of space, with Thor deciding on a destination: Earth. And then, in one of the post-credits scenes at the end of the movie, which a lot of passive viewers tend to miss, it is teased that they run into some trouble with another spacecraft. Marvel boss Kevin Feige has confirmed that this spacecraft belongs to Thanos. Whatever is being teased here will bring Thor, the Hulk, and the Guardians of the Galaxy together, since there’s a clip in the Infinity War trailer teasing it.
2. It’s the first part of an epic finale
Just because Infinity War is the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, don’t go expecting it to answer too many burning questions or tie up too many loose ends or provide a satisfying resolution and bring a close to the entire franchise. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you still have another year to wait, when the as yet untitled fourth Avengers movie swoops in the shake up the whole universe and kill off a bunch of characters and bring in a bunch of new characters and change their fictional counterpart of the planet Earth irreparably. Maybe after that fourth one, the whole world will end and descend into a decimated wasteland and that’s where all the rest of the movies in the MCU will be set. Who knows? Well, none of us yet, because that movie isn’t out yet. But don’t go expecting any of that to happen in this one. Infinity War will only serve to set that on up. Picture it this way: Infinity War will be the season 7 finale of The Walking Dead, but the next Avengers movie (which still doesn’t have a title, because there are spoilers in it) will be the season 8 finale of The Walking Dead – the one that changes everything!
1. Whoever dies in Infinity War will stay dead for good
Despite the fact that a huge chunk of the planet is ripped apart by explosions and fallen skyscrapers and , characters who are not villains or expendable extras don’t generally tend to die in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even if they’re thrown across a city, drowned in an ocean, trapped under the debris of a warehouse, or they fall back down to the Earth’s surface from outer space, the good guys always seem to survive, aside from a few minor casualties like Quicksilver or Yondu or Black Panther’s father or Iron Man’s cave friend. But when it comes to the latest movie, Marvel chief Kevin Feige has told audiences to “be careful what they wish for” when entering the theater to watch Infinity War, because whoever dies in the movie will stay dead for good. In the comic books, you never take anyone’s death seriously, because whether it’s Superman or Batman or Captain America or Spider-Man, whoever dies in a comic book will eventually be resurrected in one way or another. But if you expect that to happen with the characters in the movies, then you’ve got another thing coming, because if anyone dies in Infinity War, then they’ll be dead for good. So, be warned.