If you don’t know, many Marvel fans have been participating in a Marvel Movie Marathon since January. So, if you’ve been keeping up with one movie a week, Marvel Marathoners have, or will soon be, watching THE AVENGERS this week, thus completing Phase One of the MCU. With that in mind, let’s look at the top 8 things we learned from Phase One as it relates to INFINITY WAR. Be sure to check out the attached INFINITY WAR super bowl spot as well!

1. A Part of A Bigger Universe

Back in 2008, we saw the MCU’s first film release: IRON MAN. Back then we didn’t even know there was going to be a cinematic universe.  This is the film that has the groundbreaking post-credits scene where Nick Fury reveals not only to Tony but the audience as well that he is not alone.

“You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark you’ve become part of a bigger universe, you just don’t know it yet.”

We then learn that Fury is there to talk to Tony about the Avengers Initiative.

Phase One

This was the moment when all hell broke loose, and the Marvel fan expectation was created for more heroes, connective tissue, references, and team-ups across more films.

Phase One largely has to do with team building, introducing each of the heroes that make up the Avengers. Near the end of the phase, we then see the greater threat and overarching plot that defines the majority of the MCU thus far.

2. More Heroes Than Just Tony

The second MCU film is THE INCREDIBLE HULK, following Bruce Banner and his attempts to cure his gamma mutation. While this film is solely based on him for the majority of the film, it introduces audiences to the Hulk’s placement and status within this emerging universe.

The post-credits scene, however, features Tony Stark meeting with General Ross. He asks the troubled general, “What if I told you we’re building a team?” The connective tissue grows. The third film is IRON MAN 2, showing fans not only Tony’s struggles with being a hero but introducing new ones, such as War Machine and the Black Widow. Fury is seen again in this one, and the Avengers Initiative gets another reference.

3. The Gods and Space

The fourth film, THOR, gives Marvel fans the first introduction into space and other worlds in the form of Asgard and the nine realms. Thor is introduced and subsequently banished by his father Odin to Earth, where he learns to be a hero and human.  SHIELD arrives on the scene, drawn to his hammer that came with him.

When Thor attempts to retrieve it from the headquarters SHIELD has set up around it, he is unable to lift his hammer, as he is not yet worthy to do so. Perched above, Hawkeye gets an introductory cameo, ready to fire on Agent Phil Coulson’s order. Loki, the villain of the film and Thor’s brother, has his plans to take the throne foiled.

Dangling from the wreckage of the Bifrost Bridge, he willingly lets himself go from the grasp of his brother and father, falling into the wormhole. We then see him, in the reflection of a mirror, observing as Dr. Selvig and Nick Fury discuss a glowing blue cube that could be the source of “unlimited power” as Fury says.

4. The First Avenger

MCU fifth film introduces none other than the star-spangled man with a plan himself, Steve Rogers, aka CAPTAIN AMERICA. We meet Rogers back in his present, during WWII.  After undergoing government sanctioned experimentation, he becomes the first and only Super Soldier. Joining the SSR, he fights the Nazi organization Hydra, which is led by the Red Skull.

After Captain America prevents Skull from fulfilling his pals to dominate the world, Rogers is unable to save himself and finds himself frozen in an unintentional hibernation. Found by SHIELD seventy years later, Steve wakes up to find that he is now in our present and needed just as much now as he was then.

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5. The Tesseract

The Tesseract is first seen at the end of THOR and is the first big clue in Phase One of the MCU’s bigger threat. Used by the Red Skull to create weapons for Hydra, the Tesseract is a glowing blue cube emitting raw energy. After Captain America fought him, The Red Skull disappears up into a portal into space due to holding the cube. The cube then falls into the ocean, later to be found by Howard Stark, and put into SHIELD custody as he is a founding member.

The Tesseract is the main subject of interest for this week’s film THE AVENGERS, the sixth and final film in MCU’s Phase One. The film opens in an undisclosed location in space, with sprawling stairs leading to a floating throne. An adviser speaks to the shrouded figure sitting on the throne.

He says that the Tesseract has awakened. He informs that it is on Earth, and their ally Loki will lead their army of Chitauri to retrieve it and conquer the world. The Tesseract opens a portal and Loki appears on Earth, taking the cube from SHIELD. Using the scepter given to him by his unknown benefactor, Loki takes over Hawkeye’s mind, and he goes with him.

Phase One

This is what prompts Fury to assemble the Avengers. In a defining battle over New York, the Avengers prevent Loki from unleashing his forces. They close the portal he opened with the Tesseract. The cube is taken from Loki. He and the cube return to Asgard in chains with Thor.

6. “Who Controls the Would-Be King?”

When Thor first confronts Loki on Earth in THE AVENGERS, Loki mentions that he has seen worlds that Thor has never known about. He claims that he has seen the true power of the Tesseract. Hearing this Thor asks, “Who showed you this power? Who controls the would-be king?” This is further confirmation that Loki’s mysterious patron is much stronger and powerful.

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7. “To Challenge the Humans, is to Court…Death”

With Loki and the Chitarui forces defeated, the Avengers part ways at the film’s end. However, there is the first post-credits scene. The adviser again speaks to the unknown ruler of his throne in space.

“Humans…They are not the cowardly wretches we were promised. They are unruly, and therefore cannot be ruled.”

The figure rises from his throne, and the adviser bows in fear for his slight against his master. He then adds, “To challenge them, is to court…death.” The figure turns and reveals his face with a grin.

The hidden ruler is none other than Thanos, the Mad Titan, Lover of Death. Audiences now know that Thanos is playing a game, a game that most likely involves his signature plan from the comics: the collection of the Infinity Stones, whose power he will harness with the Infinity Gauntlet. Fans then began to wonder if the tesseract was the space stone, with its ability to transport people across space. This was confirmed in later movies in Marvel’s Phase 2.

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8. Shawarma has got to be Delicious

The second post-credits scene is a crucial scene in the entirety of the MCU. It’s even bigger than Thanos. If shawarma is delicious enough to be the meal of choice post-alien invasion for the Avengers, then it must be the key to everything. Expect shawarma to be featured heavily in INFINITY WAR. It may be the key to defeating Thanos and his power.

Phase One

…just kidding but wouldn’t that be hilarious?

Final Thoughts on Phase One

All jokes aside, Phase One fulfills the goals of creating a foundation for the MCU. The key heroes get their introduction, they assemble, and the major threat is revealed. The threat of Thanos continues into Phase Two and Three and will culminate in INFINITY WAR.  Phase One will continue to be legendary and deserving of its place as a great beginning to a historic cinematic universe.

INFINITY WAR will release this May 4th, 2018.

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