Top 15 MCU Superheroes Study Guide — Avengers: Infinity War Edition
Marvel Studios dropped the teaser trailer for next April’s Avengers: Infinity War and it broke the Internet like a thousand Kim Kardashian Paper mag covers. It’s a dream come true for movie fans and fans of the comic books.
So, for those of you who aren’t completely caught up on the films — who have lives — we’ve put together a study guide of sorts so you know exactly which MCU hero is where and why. Strap in as we cover the top 15 MCU heroes and where they are at the start of Infinity War!
Not a lot has been said about Tom Hiddleston’s contract situation but after Ragnarok it feels like his character had little to offer in terms of growth. He simply cannot stay “good” for an extended period of time. While that shouldn’t be surprising, considering he’s the god of mischief, it is too bad because Loki is the best MCU villain by a country mile.
Yet, his “tricks” and betrayals have become expected. Thor basically says so in Ragnarok. However, he did come through at the end of that film. After attempting to betray his brother on Sakaar, he ends up on the ship full of Asgardians following the fight with Hela.
During that fight, Thor gave him the task of retrieving Surtur’s helmet and the Eternal Flame from Odin’s vault. While he was there he noticed that the Infinity Gauntlet that was in the vault was a fake. More importantly, he steals the Space Stone.
Perhaps he will feel compelled to give it to Thanos because — as was stated in Avengers — if he doesn’t deliver the Space Stone — and the Mind Stone — there’s nowhere in the universe where he could hide from the Mad Titan’s wrath.
Hawkeye was last seen in Civil War, showing up midway through the film to rescue Scarlet Witch from Avengers HQ. He attempted to distract Vision by setting off some explosives a distance away from HQ but it didn’t work and he ended up trying to fight the extremely powerful android.
However, his intervention is what lead Scarlet Witch to finally agree with Captain America’s side and embrace her power. It was a great moment since it was Hawkeye who convinced her to join the Avengers in the first place.
They also fought side-by-side at the airport and ended up in the Raft together, with Hawkeye thinking about the fact that he was retired and now was probably going to die in jail away from his family.
When Stark shows up to figure out where Cap and Winter Soldier went, Hawkeye sarcastically claps and calls Stark “The Futurist.” Downey Jr. released an album a few years back titled — you guessed it — The Futurist.
13. Black Widow
Black Widow was last seen talking to Stark after she switched sides during the fight at the airport. She stopped Black Panther from stopping Cap and Winter Soldier from reaching the Quinjet they needed to go stop Zemo in Siberia.
Because of that, Stark says that Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross was aware of her actions (per Black Panther) and that she was going to get arrested. Now, perhaps outside of Hawkeye, there is no better spy on the team than Natasha Romano. She presumably disappears after that conversation.
However, thanks to the trailer, we learn that she’s in Wakanda with Cap and company. It makes sense considering their friendship. The blonde hair feels like something she did while she was in hiding to keep SHIELD, The World Security Council, Ross and the UN off her back.
12. Black Panther
Now, this isn’t really Earth-shattering or anything because Black Panther is the last film before Infinity War and there is one more Infinity Stone up for grabs. It appears Infinity War will be about Thanos fighting to retrieve all six stones while the 2019 unnamed sequel will be about him wielding them and killing everyone whose contract is ending.
So, that means the Soul Stone is in Wakanda and considering how Ultron created Vision with the Mind Stone, it makes sense that Wakanda is also extremely far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of technology. They’ve been utilizing the Stone.
It may also be responsible for Vibranium — but if Black Panther can talk to his ancestors in the film like he can in the books, that’s probably the Soul Stone as well. It appears that the heroes are all in Wakanda because there’s a gigantic army of weird dog-aliens attacking Wakanda to retrieve that Stone.
The last time we saw Black Panther, he was with Captain America helping him and Winter Soldier (and probably the Falcon) hide from the UN. Considering the fact that he’s ordering someone to give Cap a shield in the teaser trailer, it sounds like he does okay for himself.
The last time we saw Falcon he was behind bars in the floating prison that Tony Stark helped build — the Raft. Because they helped Captain America and Bucky Barnes flagrantly disregard the Sokovia Accords, they were locked up.
At the end of that film, Cap broke his comrades out of jail. But the post-credits scene showed Cap in Wakanda — the only place he could rest easily without worrying about Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross coming for him — and Falcon was nowhere to be found.
However, considering that it appears that Falcon is fighting alongside Cap and others in Wakanda, he’ll take part in the Wakandan battle — which is a BIG deal.
The last time we saw the Hulk/Bruce Banner, he was inside the gigantic ship full of Asgardians after he and Thor sacrificed Asgard to “kill” Hela and save the remaining citizens. Those of us who stayed for the post-credit scene saw that the ship that was probably headed for Earth/Midgard was intercepted by an even larger ship.
It’s heavily implied to be the ship of Thanos himself. It appears that that assumption was dead on as there are multiple scenes in the teaser (as well as the description of footage from D23) that really mean bad things for those Asgardians.
First, we see Loki stepping over countless bodies to hand someone off-screen the Space Stone. Then, we see Banner laying beneath the broke stairs of Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum.
In the Infinity Gauntlet comic book from ’91, the first time that the Earth-bound heroes hear of Thanos and the Gauntlet comes from Silver Surfer himself after he crashes through Dr. Strange’s roof. While completely exhausted and near death, he screams that Thanos is coming.
That appears to be Banner’s role in the movies. Considering how powerful Thor was at the end of Ragnarok, that Hulk was on the ship and that Loki was also there with an Infinity Stone and they still couldn’t stop Thanos, it has to mean really bad things for the heroes.
It appears that while he is in New York with Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Wong and Spider-Man, he also ends up in Wakanda.
9. Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch is essentially the most powerful Avenger — she mind-controlled the Hulk and Thor and was able to control Vision because her powers come from the same Stone that powers him. She is also to blame for the incident in Lagos. In Captain America: Civil War, she was essentially under house arrest without knowing it under Vision’s watch
He attempted to keep her at Avengers HQ because he didn’t want her to get hurt or for more people to be afraid of her should she use her powers. Despite her obvious admiration for Vision, she used her link to the Mind Stone to disable him and escape from Avengers HQ with Hawkeye.
She then participated in the airport battle alongside Captain America and company and was eventually arrested and left at the Raft alongside Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Falcon, and company. Cap freed them all at the end of the movie.
Vision was last seen in Civil War, where he fights on the side of Iron Man/The Sokovia Accords and he is last seen accidentally paralyzing War Machine after shooting at Falcon and missing.
While observing an MRI for War Machine with Tony Stark, Stark asks, “What Happened.” Vision replies that he was distracted which Tony said he didn’t think was possible.
The big deal here is that the distraction was Scarlet Witch, whom he was cradling at the time of the shot. Ever since he saved her from a certain death in Age of Ultron there has been the heavy implication that he would end up with her.
The trailer for Infinity War takes that to its logical conclusion, showing Vision basically as a human with a gem on his forehead nearing an embrace with Scarlet Witch. Whether or not he’s helping her evade the law is another question but that’s the least of his problems as the trailer shows someone using Loki’s old sceptre to remove the Mind Stone from his forehead.
Whether or not that means he’s going to die is another question.
7. Dr. Strange
When we last saw Dr. Strange he was taking over the New York Sanctum Sanctorum. That doesn’t mean that he’s the Sorcerer Supreme yet, considering the fact that Mark Ruffalo may have let a spoiler fly in a recent interview, saying that one of the more intimidating actors he’s worked with lately was Tilda Swinton, who played the Ancient One in 2016’s Doctor Strange.
Considering that the NYC Sanctum houses the Time Stone and that Thanos is collecting all the Infinity Stones, perhaps he uses it to bring her back? That’d be the cherry on top of the other cherries.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
At the end of the trailer, Thor, who looks even more battered than he was at the end of Ragnarok, meets the Guardians. The D23 footage showed how Thor ended up with the Guardians, as he was floating in space (unconscious) and they actually ran into him and then brought him aboard the Milano.
That implies that Thanos basically tossed Thor and Hulk aside (sending Hulk to Earth) and from the description from D23 we know that the Guardians attempt to take Thor to a planet that must be Xandar (from the first film).
All they find is a destroyed planet, which makes sense considering the fact that Thanos has the Power Gem (which the Guardians gave to the Nova Corps for safe-keeping) and that’s how Thor puts the puzzle together he was attempting to solve way back in Age of Ultron.
The Guardians were last seen watching Yondu’s funeral with an additional scene that showed that time had progressed to the point that Groot was now a snotty teenager. So, they were probably traveling around the Galaxy and ran into Thor, or were on their way to Xandar.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor loses his trusty Hammer after he attempts to throw it at his sister, Hela. She used to wield Mjolnir before Thor was born so she crushed it into pieces. Thor learns in that film from his father, Odin, before he dies, that the Hammer was simply a way to focus Thor’s power and that he’s actually pretty much the most powerful being in the Universe.
That appeared to be true, but wasn’t enough to stop Hela now that she was in Asgard. Thor decided to save the remaining Asgardians and sacrifice Asgard in the process. No, the movie also states that both Hela and Thor get their power from Asgard so it’ll remain to be seen how its destruction affects him.
The last time we saw Spidey he was turning down Tony Stark’s offer to join the Avengers, with a shiny new Iron Spider suit to come with it. Taking most of Stark’s previous advice to heart, he says he wants to stay the “neighborhood Spider-Man” for awhile as someone has to look out for the “little guy.”
He returns home to find the first Stark created suit on his bed and he puts it on only for his “unusually attractive Aunt” May to walk in only to discover that Peter is Spider-Man. While people did generally love Homecoming, some questioned where his Spider-Sense went — shown in Civil War while he was fighting Falcon and Winter Soldier.
This trailer addresses that front and center by showing the hairs on his arm stand up when that circle of doom appears. Spidey then lands on the circle in his Iron Spider suit and it was just too much amazing for one day. No pun intended.
3. Captain America & Winter Soldier
The last time we saw Cap he was breaking Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man out of the Raft and then fleeing to Wakanda. Because of the events of Civil War, Bucky elects to go back into cryo-freeze until they can find a way to cure him of Hydra’s brainwashing.
Either they figured it out or they were desperate enough to wake him up for the battle because he was front and center with Cap and company during the fight to protect Wakanda from what looks like an army of dog-beasts.
Winter Soldier lost his arm fighting Iron Man so it’ll be interesting to see if they gave him a vibranium replacement, with the same going for Cap who dropped his shield after Stark accused him of not deserving it. He apparently took those words to heart and hasn’t shaved or cut his hair since.
2. Iron Man
The last time we saw Stark, he wass attempting to mentor Spider-Man. He offers Spider-Man a full-time gig with the Avengers. Spidey turns it down, and an amazing new suit (Iron Spider!) and decides to stick to street level stuff for awhile.
That all changes when Thanos comes to town. A scene in the trailer (and in the D23 footage) shows what looks like Spidey and Iron Man alone, fighting Thanos (who at that point has the Power Stone and the Space Stone) on some sort of planet.
It was reported from the D23 footage that Spider-Man says to Tony while crying that he’s “Sorry” on that planet, and it appears that Tony is on the planet holding his hands to his face in a devastated fashion.
Now, obviously Spider-Man is not going to die after his first movie — and with a second already set to premiere in a few years — but clearly something bad happens and it’ll be interesting and probably just devastating to find out who.
We couldn’t have this list without Thanos — the driving force behind this film. We finally get a good look at him walking around, sans helmet (which is typically Marvel’s MO when it comes to their cosmic characters and their weird helmets).
From a technical point of view, he looks a lot less CGI-y in this — and like with Hulk — you can definitely see Josh Brolin in there. Thanos, alone, is one of the most powerful characters outside of the upper echelon cosmic characters.
In fact, in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, when Ronin the Accuser decides to use the Power Stone that Thanos hired him to retrieve for him on himself, his second in command yells that he cannot go against Thanos because he is the most “powerful being in the Universe.”
Now, it’s clear that Thanos has the Power Stone — it’s shown in the Gauntlet — alongside the Space Stone that Loki is giving to him while surrounded by countless dead Asgardians.
The Power Stone is capable of destroying entire PLANETS or thousands of ships with a simple touch — like in Guardians of the Galaxy when Ronin destroys the Nova Corps ships.