It’s here! You either have BLACK PANTHER left, or you’ve already finished the Marvel Movie Marathon that began in January. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is this Friday! Let’s look at the top 6 things we learned from Phase 3 of the MCU as it relates to INFINITY WAR!

Road to Infinity War: 8 Things We Learned from MCU’s Phase One

1. New Heroes at the Start of Phase 3

Phase 3 begins with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. This film is essentially another AVENGERS film, as it features not only the majority of the Avengers, but it also introduces new heroes into the mix. Newcomers Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) join the MCU in this film, getting introductions here and having their own films later on in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Both joining Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) side in the battle against Cap (Chris Evans).

Phase 3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This is a great part of CIVIL WAR that really starts Phase 3 with a bang. Not only do we get to see these new heroes, but they get set-ups for the future: their own films, as well as parts in INFINITY WAR. Both Black Panther and Spider-Man will have large roles in the upcoming film, adding their abilities and characters into the huge ensemble that is the MCU.

2. Heroes Divided

Another part of CIVIL WAR that really sets up INFINITY WAR is where the film leaves the dynamic of the Avengers. In the end, Captain America and those who side with him go underground. Serving as rogue Avengers, they help wherever and whoever, as they choose. Tony and those who agree with him go under the supervision of a UN-appointed panel, which determines where they should go.

The Avengers will essentially be divided and broken at the start of INFINITY WAR as a result. This will undoubtedly prove difficult. Before they can stop Thanos, they will have to figure out how to work together again, putting their hang-ups aside in order to save the universe as they know it.

Road to INFINITY WAR: 8 Things We Learned in MCU’s Phase 2

3. Doctor Strange and the Time Stone

Phase 3 continues with DOCTOR STRANGE. This film adds the concepts of magic and the multiverse to the MCU, and also introduces the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Stephen Strange. Created as an origin movie, the story follows Strange on his journey from a prideful doctor, to a broken man, to eventually Master of the Mystic Arts.

Doctor Strange will also be another hero that will join the fight against Thanos. He will most likely be a big help too, as his knowledge of magic should prove to be a large asset to the Avengers. Along the way, audiences see the Eye of Agamotto, an amulet that comes into Strange’s possession. It gives him the ability to control and manipulate time. Later, near the end of the film, he learns that it is an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone.

Phase 3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This is the fifth out of sixth Infinity Stone that has been introduced, with the Space, Reality, Power, and Mind Stones having already been introduced in the first two phases of the MCU. The sixth and final Stone, the Soul Stone, remains an unknown. It will most likely appear in INFINITY WAR as Thanos begins his quest collecting them.

4. Nebula’s Revenge

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 is pretty much its own story with very little to tie it to the rest of the goings-on in the MCU. However, there is one very important part that does, and that’s with Nebula. She is Gamora’s sister, with the both of them being adopted daughters of Thanos. In the first GUARDIANS film, they both leave him in order to escape his brutal and oppressive nature.

Phase 3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Nebula’s motivations come to light in this sequel, now that she is on her own. Those motivations are all about revenge. She first seeks revenge on her sister, for never relenting when their father would force them to fight each other. Each time she lost, Thanos would replace a piece of Nebula with cybernetic enhancements, claiming it would make her a better warrior.

After she and Gamora come to a sort of resolution, Nebula leaves at the end of the film to go after Thanos, desiring to kill him. Gamora doesn’t think that it’s possible. Expect Nebula’s vendetta to feature in INFINITY WAR. She will most likely appear alongside the Guardians and Avengers as they strive to protect the world and stop Thanos. She probably wouldn’t be able to bear the thought of Thanos’ defeat if she’s not part of it. Her desires for revenge are too strong.

5. Everything Will Work Out Fine?

These are the words Thor says to Loki during the post-credits scene of THOR: RAGNAROK. Thor is taking the remnants of Asgard to Earth. Loki asks if it’s a good idea to bring him back as well, to which Thor says probably not, but he thinks everything will work out fine.

Right as he says this, a shadow looms over them from outside their ship. A massive battleship has risen to come face to face with them. It belongs to THANOS, looking for Loki, who secretly possesses the Space Stone. This can’t be good for Thor, Loki, or anyone else aboard their ship.

Phase 3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Based on the trailer we know that the first act of INFINITY WAR will begin right after this scene, indicating that the Space Stone will be one of the first Thanos acquires. Who knows what’ll happen to those aboard.

6. Wakanda: A Future Battleground

The final film from Phase 3 before INFINITY WAR is BLACK PANTHER. Not only do we get to see more of T’Challa, the Black Panther, but also his kingdom: Wakanda. Wakanda is a secret region in Africa. Sequestered from the rest of the world, T’Challa is crowned as king. After facing Killmonger, T’Challa makes a bold choice as Wakanda’s king.

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Eric Killmonger is a villain of Wakanda’s own making. His father was N’Jobu, brother to T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father, and the previous king. When N’Jobu betrayed Wakanda by trying to give vibranium weapons to outsiders, T’Chaka had to arrest him. N’jobu drew a gun and T’Chaka killed him. In order to cover it up, Eric is left behind. This drives Eric to one day come to Wakanda and claim the throne, with the intent to use Wakanda to begin a conquest as an empire.

Phase 3
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T’Challa learns all of this and sees the flaws of his father and kings past. As with the situation with Eric, the protection of Wakanda trumps doing what is right. T’Challa vows that this will happen no more. The end of the film sees T’Challa opening up outreach facilities in America, as well as offering Wakanda’s knowledge and resources to the rest of the world at the U.N.

Phase 3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This choice is so important because if any nation is best equipped to combat Thanos, it’s Wakanda. With their advanced technologies, defenses, and weapons, it makes sense the Avengers would seek aid from T’Challa, as seen from the trailers.

Phase 3 and The MCU In General

A film like INFINITY WAR isn’t made without the foundational aspects of the entire MCU. It’s so amazing to look at all of the connective tissue that leads up to Friday. Looking back, you can see all of the building blocks from all of the different movies being set up, culminating with INFINITY WAR. Phase 3 offers the final bits, and now we’re ready. INFINITY WAR will be a closing chapter, and hopefully the start of something even better as we go forward. Do you have your tickets yet?

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AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR releases this Friday, April 27th.

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