For the past couple of weeks, one could not go a single day without hearing the word “endgame.” The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) phase three series sadly came to an end with the release of “Avengers: Endgame” on April 26. The film has earned over $2.5 billion and is the biggest movie of 2019. Marvel has had a long history of different movies and heroes, so today we will take you through the journey of the MCU.
It all started in 2008 with the release of “Iron Man,” which made more than $585 million worldwide and was reviewed as one of the best movies of the year. With Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire genius Tony Stark, the film was a humorous, action-packed picture that set the path for the rest of the Marvel movies to come. A favorite moment was when Iron Man destroyed a group of terrorists in his newly made suit and walked away with explosions behind him.
The next release was “The Incredible Hulk” starring Edward Norton as scientist Bruce Banner who suffers a lab accident and turns into a green monster. Unfortunately, the Incredible Hulk was highly unsuccessful compared to the first Marvel movie and received many poor reviews.
In 2010, Robert Downey Jr. returned as Iron Man in the enjoyable “Iron Man 2.” The film broadened the MCU by introducing characters such as Black Widow, a former Russian spy who changed who left the KGB to work for the good, and S.H.I.E.L.D., a counter-terrorism espionage led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
The following year, Marvel changed the scene up a bit with the release of “Thor.” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is an extremely powerful Norse god who lives on the medieval-space planet of Asgard. It brought in a new mood that was a lot more comedic than previous films.
Later that same year, Marvel released “Captain America: The First Avenger” which introduced Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a frail man eager to enlist in the US army during World War 2, but disqualifies on multiple occasions due to his health problems. With the help of a secret military experiment serum, Rogers transforms into a super-soldier. During a battle, Rogers freezes in ice and wakes up 70 years later in present day.
In 2012, marking the start of phase two, “The Avengers” film was released, uniting the heroes from the previous films into one super-team defending an alien invasion of New York City led by Thor’s evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). A fan-favorite moment from the film was when the Hulk destroys one of Loki’s giant minions, and the Avengers assemble right after The Avengers solidified the quality of MCU films and set high expectations for upcoming movies.
The next three films after “The Avengers” include “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. Each film explores the lives of our heroes after the events that took place in the Avengers, establishing a greater understanding of the heroes’ personalities.
Next came “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a film like no other. “Guardians of the Galaxy” portrays five vigilantes from across the galaxy meeting and breaking out of a space prison, eventually forming a team to help keep order in the galaxy. Regarded widely as one of the best MCU films, “Guardians of the Galaxy” created a new shift in Marvel movies.
In 2018, Marvel released two of the biggest movies in the universe, the first being “Black Panther,” which introduces the hidden, technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is the king and protector of Wakanda, but his reign is threatened when he approaches a conflict that puts the safety of his nation in jeopardy. A favorite moment from the film is when T’Challa returns to Wakanda as Black Panther and instantly takes down an airship and fearlessly runs toward the army. The second is the crowd favorite “Infinity War,” in which all the Avengers team up to fight their strongest enemy, Thanos, whose plan is to find and use the universe’s infinity stones for creating his own reality. A favorite, but heartbreaking scene is when Spider-Man is lying on the floor looking up at Tony Stark and fades away into dust. Infinity-War is so iconic, it is the highest grossing film ever.
Each of these key films contributed to the big finale of one of the greatest series in cinematic history that will live on forever. These films played big roles in many lives and created a culture and fanbase of the MCU. Despite the end of the Avengers movies, fans can still look forward to the MCU phase 4 which will include a variety of new Marvel superhero films including “Spider-Man: Far From Home” which releases on July 2.