Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Infinity Saga Quickie Recap

Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga consists of twenty three feature films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe divided into Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three. The saga begins with 2008’s Iron Man and concludes with 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. We are introduced to the Avenger’s Initiative and its heroes against many different human and alien villains. It all culminates in a war with the Mad Titan, Thanos, as he looks to eliminate half of life in the entire Universe with the snap of a finger.

Phase One

Iron Man (2008)

Everything begins with Tony Stark. The billionaire playboy with a big ego (and his own personal demon in a bottle) is the son of weapons contractor Howard Stark. While in Iraq for a weapons presentation, Tony Stark rides behind enemy lines with Lt. Col. James Rhodes.

The terrorist group, Ten Rings, attacks them, and badly injures Stark. They capture him, and take him to their cave where fellow captive, Professor Ho Yinsen implants an electromagnet into Stark’s chest. It serves to keep the shrapnel in his chest from reaching his heart and killing him.

Stark and Yinsen secretly build an arc reactor which powers Stark’s electromagnet and an armored prototype suit Stark uses to escape. Yinsen sacrifices himself in Stark’s escape, and Tony makes them pay for it.

Stark then perfects the Iron Man suit, and announces his company will no longer manufacture weapons, but this displeases his father’s old partner and the company’s manager, Obadiah Stane.

Stane has been trafficking arms to criminals worldwide, and wants to replace Stark as Stark Industries’ CEO. He reverse engineers Stark’s prototype Iron Man suit from the wreckage Ten Rings gave him to build his own suit. The two Iron Men battle it out, and Stark wins before Stark publicly admits to being Iron Man.

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The Incredible Hulk (2008)

We next meet scientist Bruce Banner who winds up in deadly gamma radiation accident. While he survives, the incident transforms his body into an incredible hulking monster anytime he loses his temper. After this day, Bruce lives his life in the shadows to try to find a cure without hurting anyone.

However, this world is full of warmongers, charlatans, and power hungry people. General Thaddeus Ross is one such person, and he sends Emil Blonsky and his team out to bring Banner back to use his health condition for military benefit.

Bruce winds up returning to civilization, and turning to the only woman he’s ever loved for help, Betty Ross; the general’s daughter. However, after an experiment turns Blonsky into The Abomination whose strength matches the Hulk’s, it drives him insane. A fight for survival between him and the Hulk ensues which threatens to leave New York City in ruins.

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

A few years have now passed since Tony Stark revealed to the world he’s Iron Man, and everyone wants his technology including a rival weapons contractor named Justin Hammer.

Also in the world is the revenge minded Ivan Vanko. His recently deceased father, Anton Vanko, helped invent the joint arc reactor with Howard Stark. Ivan was sent to the gulag after Howard had him deported for trying to sell the arc reactor for profit. Now, Ivan would love nothing more than to take his revenge on Tony.

Ivan tries to take out Stark during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix competition, but Stark suits up, and fights back. Although Tony narrowly defeats Vanko, his armor is utterly ruined in the melee.

However, this near victory for Vanko impresses Hammer, and he breaks Ivan out of prison. He fakes Ivan’s death, and then hires him to build him a number of armored drones to sell to various militaries and to also take out Stark.

Soon, Hammer unveils these new armored drones at an expo with Stark’s best friend, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, leading them, and wearing a special prototype suit. As Stark arrives to warn Rhodes about Hammer’s nefarious plans, Vanko remotely takes control of all the drones and Rhodes’ armor to kill Stark.

The plan fails. Hammer winds up under arrest. Vanko kills himself and destroys the drones in the process. Fury relegates Stark to a S.H.I.E.L.D. consultant due to his difficult personality and drinking problem.

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Thor (2011)

Over a thousand years ago, Odin, king of Asgard, fought the Frost Giants, and defeated them in Tønsberg, Norway to capture the source of their power called the Casket of Ancient Winters.

In the present day, and Odin’s son, Thor, prepares to ascend the throne. However, when the Frost Giants return for their Casket, Thor, his brother Loki, Sif, and the Warriors Three confront the Giant’s leader, Laufey.

Odin intervenes to save them, but in doing so, it breaks the truce between the two peoples. Odin strips Thor of his powers, and exiles him to Earth with his hammer.

Thor winds up in New Mexico, where Dr. Jane Foster and team finds him. S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson soon winds up in possession of Thor’s hammer but Thor gets it back. However, he can’t lift it because his father placed a spell on it where only someone worthy can wield it.

Loki discovers that he is actually Laufey’s biological son, and he confronts Odin. This drives Odin into a deep sleep, and Loki taking his throne. Loki then offers Laufey the chance to kill Odin, and retrieve his Casket. Sif and the Warriors Three bring Thor back from Earth to stop him.

Loki sends the Destroyer after all of them, and he defeats them. After Thor sacrifices himself for the others, he proves himself worthy to wield his hammer. It restores Thor’s powers, and he defeats the Destroyer.

Loki kills Laufey before Thor arrives to fight him. Odin wakes from his long sleep to prevent the two from falling into an abyss. Loki allows himself to fall anyway after Odin rejects him, and then Thor and Odin make up, but Thor isn’t ready to be king.

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

It’s World War 2, and we meet the sickly and frail Steve Rogers who badly wants to enlist in the military, but his small frame keeps getting him rejected. However, when Dr. Erskine spots Rogers, he appreciates his strong will and unwavering conviction, so he accepts his latest application.

What Rogers doesn’t know is that is that Erskine is in charge of a government project to create a force of super soldiers, and he plans for Rogers to be his first one. However, the colonel in charge of the project doesn’t see Rogers’ potential to succeed.

Meanwhile, Johann Schmidt, leads a German science division known as HYDRA, and fears Erskine will be successful, and that can be trouble for him. He sends Heinz Kruger to take care of Erskine. He does, but with Rogers’ new abilities, he chases Kruger down.

With Erskine dead, no more American supermen can be made, so Rogers becomes a propaganda tool in the USO named Captain America. While the position is very undignified, he does his duty…that is until Schmidt captures his BFF, Bucky Barnes. Captain America heads out to save him.

It’s revealed that Schmidt is really The Red Skull, and the two men battle it out. This leads to the Red Skull’s disintegration into the cosmos, and Steve in a coma for the next 70 years. No word yet on Bucky’s condition.

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The Avengers (2012)

When Loki accepts an offer from the Other, the leader the Chitauri, to retrieve the Tesseract from Earth in exchange for being its king, he agrees.

This leads Nick Fury to reactivate his Avengers Initiative. He recruits Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton to stop the invasion.

Loki gets the Tesseract, but Rogers takes it back, and arrests him. Thor shows up to get his brother out of jail.

Now the Avengers are split on what to do with the Tesseract once they learn S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to use it to develop weapons of mass destruction to fight hostile aliens.

Eventually, there is a Battle of New York when the Avengers must defend the planet against the Chitauri’s fleet. The government launches a nuclear missile into Midtown Manhattan where Iron Man intercepts it. He guides it through the wormhole leading to the Chitauri fleet. The missile explodes and destroys the Chitauri mothership; thus disabling their forces on Earth.

Stark’s suit overloads, and he falls back through the wormhole as it closes. As he falls to the Earth, the Hulk saves him. Thor and Loki return to Asgard with Loki while Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return.

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Phase Two

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Following the Battle of New York, Stark remains haunted from its aftermath. Unable to sleep, he builds many new Iron Man suits which annoys his girlfriend, Pepper Potts, and it strains their relationship.

Elsewhere in the world, an enigmatic terrorist named the Mandarin threatens to bring America to its knees. When one of his attacks injures Tony’s pal, Happy Hogan, Stark issues a very public challenge to the Mandarin, and gives him his home address.

Of course the Mandarin attacks, and Stark winds up with a badly damaged Iron Man suit to defend himself with. This leads Col. James Rhodes, now calling himself the Iron Patriot, and a young boy named Harley to help him uncover the real identity of the Mandarin, and to try to stop him before it’s too late.

After the terrorist kidnaps the President of the United States aboard Air Force One, both Iron Man and the Iron Patriot fend him off to save the day.

With that threat over, Stark says his Iron Man days are numbered, and finally has the shrapnel near his heart removed.

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

An eon ago, Dark Elves attempted to send the universe into darkness with a super weapon called the Aether. Asgard stopped them, but the Elves’ leader Malekith escaped to fight another day. Asgard warriors find the Aether, and try to hide it as it can not be destroyed.

We cut to the present day where Jane Foster waits for Thor to return. In his absence these past two years, he’s been trying to bring peace to the nine realms. When Jane discovers an anomaly similar to the one that brought Thor to Earth, she goes to investigate. There, she finds a wormhole which sucks her into it.

On Asgard, Thor yearns to return to Earth, but his father, Odin won’t let him go. Heimdall, who can see into all the realms, tells Thor that Jane disappeared from his sight.

As Thor then returns to Earth to find her, she reappears. However, she now has this odd energy about her, so Thor brings her to Asgard to find out what happened. Somehow, Jane and the Aether cross paths when she disappeared, and it entered her.

Elsewhere, Malekith, senses the Aether and goes to retake it. He attacks Asgard, and kills Thor’s mother Frigga as she protects Jane. Odin wants to use Jane as bait on Asgard so that Malekith will come to him, but Thor disagrees with that.

So, Thor forms an uneasy alliance with Loki to save Jane, stop Malekith, and save the Nine Realms from descending into total chaos and darkness. Will Loki help Thor or himself along the way?

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

We find Steve Rogers still coming to grips with living in modern day America after surviving 50 years frozen in ice. He learns of a new threat against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the world named The Winter Soldier.

While they do not know who the Winter Soldier is, they know he works for Hydra’s organization. He kills Nick Fury, but not before he tells Romanoff and Rogers there are double agents in S.H.I.E.L.D.

Eventually, Rogers is labeled a traitor when he finds that the Winter Solder is actually a brainwashed Bucky Barnes, his childhood BFF.

He an Romanoff soon learn of a Hydra run project within S.H.I.E.L.D. called Operation Insight that can remotely control the next generation of Helicarriers.

Now the race is on to stop Hydra, and for Rogers to save his pal, Bucky.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

On Earth, Peter Quill’s mother is near death from cancer which will leave the boy with an uncertain future as he’s never known his father. Once she passes, Peter runs out of the hospital where a spaceship appears and abducts him.

We next find a grown Peter now calling himself Star-lord, and trying to steal a mysterious orb on the edge of space. Ronan the Accuser then hunts him down to steal the orb from him.

Eventually, there’s a bounty placed on Peter’s head that attracts Rocket and Groot, and they too try to nab him as well as Thanos’ daughter, Gamora. The four of them wind up in jail where they meet Drax, and they all escape together.

Once Ronan has the Orb, which contains an Infinity Stone, there is a mad dash by these new Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him. They are the Guardians, so of course you know they do.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create an Artificial Intelligence called Ultron after a successful raid on a HYDRA base. The A.I. is designed to assist the Avengers in protecting the world from any threat. However, Ultron becomes self aware, and he sees the human race as the actual threat. Ultron sets out to destroy the planet along with the Avengers.

Now Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, join forces to take Ultron out. First, the Avengers must get two powerful twins named Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to help them along with another new ally named Vision; created from an Infinity Stone and Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. program hiding in the dark web. Only then do the Avengers fight as one to defeat the mighty Ultron.

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Ant-Man (2015)

The year is 1989, and scientist Dr. Hank Pym quits the S.H.I.E.L.D. program once he discovers that they tried to replicate his shrinking technology named Ant-Man which he considers too dangerous for man.

The film jumps to the present day where his daughter Hope van Dyne and his former protégé Darren Cross force the doctor out of his company, Pym Technologies, to run it without him. Darren is secretly developing his own shrinking technology named Yellowjacket.

Elsewhere, small-time criminal Scott Lang is released from prison only to find his former cell mate Luis waiting for him to help participate in a heist. However, Scott just wants to find a job to take care of his daughter Cassie who now lives with his estranged wife Maggie and her future husband Detective Paxton.

His criminal record keeps him from finding that decent job, so he accepts Luis’ offer to participate in the heist of the house of a millionaire. When he cracks a safe there, he only finds a dumb suit in it before the police arrest him again.

He learns the house belongs to Dr. Pym, and he is the one behind the heist because he want’s Lang’s help in stealing the Yellowjacket suit. With a bit of prodding, Scott, Pym, and Hope plan one a theft of their own to stop Cross, and save the world from his evil.

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Phase Three

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The Avengers find politicians now want them regulated like everything else in the world. Tony Stark agrees with them, but Steve Rogers thinks he knows what’s better for himself than these greedy leaders. The Avengers take sides, and it splits them in two.

During a UN meeting to discuss such regulations, there’s an explosion which kills the King of Wakanda. A quick investigation reveals that the Winter Soldier, who is also Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s childhood friend, is behind the attack.

Now everyone wants to take out Barnes except for Steve who wants to help his old friend. Rogers finds him, but he says he didn’t plant the bomb. Someone else did. Suddenly the son of the Wakandan King, T’Challa shows up to take Barnes in.

Once in custody, a psychiatrist evaluates Barnes, but during a power outage the psychiatrist whispers trigger words to him. Barnes snaps, and breaks out. Rogers must then go after him. Rogers still think’s Barnes is innocent, and he tries to prove it.

Meanwhile, Stark is informed that Rogers is wanted for helping Barnes, and he offers to bring Rogers in. He enlists War Machine and Black Widow to help. T’Challa soon joins them. We end up with one more big confrontation which splits the Avengers apart even more.

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Doctor Strange (2016)

Dr. Stephen Strange is a brilliant neurosurgeon in New York with a huge ego. That is until a car accident renders his hands useless. His ex-girlfriend, surgeon Christine Palmer, does her best to help him, but fails to return the use of his hands to him.

Strange wanders the planet looking for experimental treatments for his little fingers until he learns of a paraplegic Jonathan Pangborn who was healed from his severe injuries. He tells Strange he was healed in Kamar-Taj. Off Strnge goes to Katmandu to meet the sorcerer Mordo. There, Mordo introduces him to The Ancient One.

The Ancient One reveals the astral plan and other dimensions to him, and she says that three Sanctums: one in New York, one in London, and one in Hong Kong protect the Earth. However, her former protégé contacted the powerful demon Dormammu in the Dark Dimension to destroy the three Sanctums to rule the world. Now it is up to the Ancient One, Dr. Strange and Mordo to save the world from this Dark Lord.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back, and everyone loves them. The leader of the well Sovereign race, Ayesha, hires them to destroy a monster trying to steal their valuable batteries. Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Baby Groot defeat the monster, and receive Gamora’s sister, Nebula, as payment.

However Rocket steals the batteries on the way out. So Ayesha and the Sovereign attack their ship. Suddenly, some mysterious entity destroys the Sovereign before the Guardians crash on an unknown planet.

They soon learn that entity is Ego, Peter Quill’s father. He invites Peter to visit with him on his planet, and Gamora and Drax join him. Rocket and Baby Groot fix the spaceship while Nebula remains with them handcuffed to debris. Gamora and Drax meet the empathetic Mantis as Ego teaches Peter about his powers he has as a celestial. Meanwhile Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta, who raised Quill, to hunt down the Guardians for them which leads to Ego’s death, Yondu’s death, and Peters loss of celestial powers.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Shortly after Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker waits for Tony Stark to give him a mission as a junior Avenger of sorts. Parker balances his life between high school and his alter ego of Spider-Man.

When Parker encounters Adrian Toomes and his thugs selling Chitauri-based weapons Spidey finds himself in over his head, and Stark has to use Iron Man to come help bail Parker out. They save the day, but poor Peter isn’t quite ready to be an Avenger yet.

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Thor: Ragnarok> (2017)

The fire demon Surtur imprisons Thor, and we learn that his father Odin is no longer on Asgard, and the prophesied Ragnarök, which will destroy that the realm once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault is upon us.

Thor frees himself, defeats Surtur, and takes his crown; preventing Ragnarök from ever happening. Thor returns to Asgard to find Loki posing as Odin.

He exposes Loki as a fraud, and then the two go find their father using directions from Dr. Strange on Earth. They find Odin in Norway. There, Odin reveals he’s dying, and Ragnarök is imminent because his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela, to escape from a prison he sealed her in long ago.

Hela was once the leader of Asgard’s armies, and she conquered the Nine Realms with Odin, but Odin had to imprison her and write her out of history after she became too ambitious and powerful.

Odin dies, and Hela appears. She destroys Thor’s Hammer Mjölni, and chases after them as they attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge. Hela goes to Asgard where she defeats its army, and then kills the Warriors Three.

She resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, and makes plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire. Thor eventually realizes the only way to stop Hela is to bring forth Ragnarök, but at what cost to his people?

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Black Panther (2018)

Eons ago, five African tribes go to war over a meteorite containing Vibranium. After one warrior ingests a heart-shaped herb, he gains superhuman abilities to become the first Black Panther. He unites all but the Jabari Tribe to form the nation of Wakanda.

Centuries pass, and the Wakandans use the Vibranium to develop advanced technology all the while posing as an isolated Third World country.

We hit 1992, and Wakanda’s King T’Chaka kills his brother N’Jobu in Oakland, California for assisting black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in stealing Vibranium from Wakanda. This leads to a modern day confrontation between their sons over who will lead the Wakandans now that King T’Chaka is dead.

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Thanos, the mad titan Thanos finally begins his personal quest for the Infinity Stones so he can wipe out half the life in the Universe. He kills Loki for the Space Stone, and then captures the Power Stone.

Thanos sends Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian to retrieve the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Then he orders Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive to bring back the Mind Stone from Vision. Tony Stark meets with Bruce Banner, Doctor Strange, and Wong in the meantime. With help from Peter Parker, Stark and Strange join forces together to stop Thanos.

Out on the edge of space, Thor joins with the Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, and Gamora. As Thanos’ daughter, Gamora warns Thor of the gravity of the situation, and not to underestimate her father.

Thor goes to take on Thanos with Rocket and Groot, while the other Guardians help Stark, Strange, and Parker.

In Wakanda, Steve Rogers has a team of Black Widow, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, and Bruce Banner trying to protect Vision and the Mind Stone in his forehead. King T’Challa offers his Wakandan army to fight Thanos’ legions, but in the end, Thanos gets all the stones he needs to snap away half of all life in the Universe.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

It’s been two years since Scott Lang found himself under house arrest for his involvement with the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords. Hank Pym and his daughter Hope briefly open a tunnel to the quantum realm. They believe Pym’s wife, Janet, is trapped there after shrinking to sub-atomic levels in 1987.

When Lang previously visited the quantum realm, he unknowingly became entangled with Janet, and she sends him a message. Even with only a days left of house arrest, Lang finds it necessary to bail on his house arrest, and he contacts Pym about his wife.

Hope and Pym kidnap Lang before leaving a decoy of him so his absence doesn’t arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Pym believes the message from Janet proves she is alive. The three build a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve her.

First though, they must buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer named Sonny Burch. When he realizes there’s great profit he can earn from Pym’s research, he double-crosses them.

Hope puts on the Wasp outfit and Lang joins in too to fight off Burch and his men to keep from losing Janet in the quantum realm for the next few centuries.

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Captain Marvel (2019)

Carol Danvers finds herself in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races, but she has no memory of her past life. It’s only after she learns about the crash of an experimental aircraft that she learns that the Kree that rescued her are not all they seem.

When their enemy, the Skrulls, attack the Earth six years later, Danvers begins to discover there’s more to her past than she was lead to believe. With help from S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, they unravel the truth which leads to Carol Danvers becoming Captain Marvel, and the Kree’s biggest nightmare.

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

With Thanos’ victory, the universe is in tatters. There’s only a handful of Avengers remaining, and they assemble for what could be their last time to reverse Thanos’ dirty deed, and restore the universe.

Along the way, the Avengers return in time to re-collect the Infinity Stones, and sacrifice everything before Thanos can stop them from undoing everything he worked so hard for. Many favorite Avengers die, and some come back. Eventually, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff pay the ultimate price to help the Avengers defeat Thanos.

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Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Peter Parker finds himself back in high school after Thanos’ defeat and his mentor, Tony Stark’s death. Peter travels to Europe with his classmates where he wants to take a break from Spider-Man and try to put the moves on his crush, MJ.

However, his trip is ruined after mysterious creatures called Elementals attack. This along with Nick Fury trying to recruit Parker into Avenger Initiative, and there isn’t much of a break for Parker.

After Quentin Beck tricks Parker into giving him some special glasses Stark created, Parker becomes Spider-Man to stop Beck who now goes by the name of Mysterio.

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