A Quick Guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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With the tickets for Avengers: Infinity WarΒ now on sale (Yes I have got tickets for my first viewing already while also in the midst of organising my second viewing) and the countdown to the showing on. I felt it only right to take a moment to have a little chat about the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) as it stands and showcase my Top Five films. (Upon proof reading I am splitting this into two posts and the Top Five will come later)

For the newcomers and rookies to the MCU, I am going to quickly throw the groundwork out for you.

  • MCU is a studio, just because it says Marvel in the title doesn’t mean every Marvel film that was a comic book is part of it.
  • X-Men, Fantastic Four & Deadpool all Marvel creations but NOT part of the MCU.
  • First Five Spider-Man films (Maguire and Garfield ones) are NOT MCU but Tom Holland’s Homecoming IS.
  • Things get a bit deeper when we get to Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. But let’s not go there.

So starting 10 years ago, almost to the date. MCU snuck onto the scene with THE summer blockbuster of the year. Iron Man – Giving Robert Downey Jnr a shot of redemption for his past mistakes (Google it if you are unsure, look for the mug shot) which almost mirrors the story arc for Tony Stark. The film was an instant success, it slung wit, humour and action into one neatly wrapped package. But then it also did something not so new but thought to be the father of it and threw an after credits tease into the mix. Introducing the legendary Sam Jackson as Nick Fury who was looking to talk to us about The Avenger Initiative which wouldn’t grace our screens for another 4 years. We are one film in and there is already a sense of something bigger could be coming our way.

We got a second Iron Man movie, a Hulk movie (which I liked, and it was wayyyy better than that mess of an Eric Bana adaptation), Thor and Captain America origins. Before the biggest cinema experience ever hit the screens and saw the likes of Hulk, Iron Man and Nick Fury share the same screen time. This film was set up over the four years, teasing plot points (The Tesseract – The Blue Square floating about in The Avengers), character developments and new introductions along the way – mainly the very sneak peek of who we now know is Thanos. At the time a young 2012 Ross was left confused and asking – who is this purple chin dude. What the actual funk?

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Things took a darker turn in Phase Two, we saw SHIELD take a tumble and by that I mean become a mess as we find out it was filled with Hydra agents the whole time. Thor goes to the dark world as well, which is used to introduce another rare mystical power (The Ether) but more on that later. Then we got our first taste of space douchebags turned hero’s in Guardians of the Galaxy which bought a new team to the MCU game. Imagine the Avengers in space. Now we’re curious to see where this is heading – and wait is that a third gem (The Orb) that a story revolves around. What could these all mean.

This phase ends technically with Ant Man but just before that is the second Avengers movie, the team tackle a seemingly indestructible robot army, while also introducing a fourth mystical stone, recruiting a few new members, shipping one-off on a spaceship and also dropping a city on earth. All important pieces that once again will be used somewhere else to set up events in up coming films – but we don’t know that right now.

civilThe next phase swoops in and we see Avenger vs Avenger in the biggest event to date in the MCU (in my eyes) watching Cap and Tony go toe to toe backed up with hero’s galore. . . oh and a cheeky introduction of a now newly acquired Spider-Man and some guy in a Cat Suit. All of this came about due to the events of Avengers: Age of UltronΒ and will be seen in more to come.

That film leaves a massive void though, the team is broken, divided and both sides took some massive hits. Which once again is cleverly setting up more exciting things. Next we meet Doctor Strange in his origin film and along with it another mysterious piece of powerful jewellery. Wait is that five now? For the die-hard comic fans they know what is coming, what these stones mean and who that big purple dude is that keeps popping up. We then witness a Guardians sequel, a stand alone Spidey film, the third and maybe . . just maybe the best Thor film and The Black Panther movie (which I am avoiding talking about, as I only had one viewing and first impressions were weaker than expected). Again throughout all of these movies the insanely smart and ambitious production teams and writers are slowly setting up the genius links which, along with the frequent cross overs and nods to other theories and bigger pictures, we are one track nicely for THE BIGGEST comic book phenomena movie of all time – in fact it’s so big it needs two movies.

We’ve been teased about Thanos, this glove and these random stones – which all possess crazy amounts of power for 10 years now. It’s time to see the pay off, to witness the adventure come to an emotional yet without a doubt joyous and amazing conclusion.

Or will it?

I for one can not wait for this movie! I love the whole Universe and what it has done and produced. Yes we have all heard the rumours that someone big will bite the dust in this installment but nevertheless we WILL be there for them.

I hope this guide has helped you in some way bring you up to speed – if it didn’t help then you got 3 weeks to watch 18 movies – which is 6 a week. So one a night will get you there. I love a challenge!


Click on the images below to throw the Phase 1 or 2 box sets into your basket. Get buying, Get Watching, Get Ready.


Avengers Infinity War hits cinemas on April 25th – book your tickets now with your local cinema.

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