Avengers: Endgame is almost here! As the pre-sale drama has indicated, people are pretty excited for this movie. After over ten years of this shared Marvel cinematic universe, it all culminates here in this battle against Thanos. This is a movie that will end several storylines and it will likely forever change the MCU going forward.
There have been a lot of important moments leading up to this film. From the very beginning of the franchise, Kevin Feige and the masterminds behind the scenes have been building to this. As we look back at the history of the MCU, it's interesting to see those touchstone moments that brought us here. Revisit the most important moments in the MCU that led to Endgame.
If Nick Fury had not met Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, back in the '90s, the Avengers might never have been formed. It was that encounter with a super-powered being that inspired Fury to seek out others who could help defend Earth. And thanks to that modified pager, he was able to bring her in to even the odds against Thanos.
When we met Tony Stark, he was far from what you would call a hero. The super-rich and super-smart weapons manufacturer was content with staying ignorant to what his weapons were being used for. It took him getting taken by the Ten Rings to understand his purpose.
Stark saw what damage could be done when his tech got in the wrong hands. So he built the first Iron Man suit and escaped captivity, showing himself that he could use his staggering knowledge for good. It put Stark on the path to do whatever it takes to keep the world safe.
Iron Man was a wildly entertaining superhero movie, but it wasn't until the credits finished rolling that it revealed itself to be something much more exciting. It was, quite literally, part of a bigger universe.
As Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury stepped out of the shadows to introduce the Avengers Initiative, this world opened up. It helped set the idea of one day there being a threat so big that Earth would need its mightiest heroes to save the day. It's funny to look back now and remember how crazy of an idea it sounded at the time.
Captain America is the first Avenger. Long before Fury even had the idea of the team, Steve Rogers had become a true hero, fighting for what was right, and sacrificing everything to save the day. While he didn't die, that sacrifice meant he had to pay a heavy price.
When Steve was revived after being frozen, he was in a new world. Everything he knew and loved was gone. He had no home to go back to. It was this struggle that has defined the hero and his journey in the MCU. A man out of time who will nonetheless give everything to the cause.
Both within the universe and in the movie-making world, The Avengers was proof this concept could work. The day Fury planned for finally arrived as a threat arrived that has beyond anything Earth could handle and they needed the help of extraordinary individuals.
The Avengers coming together to stop the Chitauri invasion showed the rest of the universe that Earth had some big league defenders. It was also a moment that forever changed Tony Stark as he became convinced there was a bigger threat still out there.
Ant-Man may seem like one of the more insignificant heroes, but he likely has a key to help defeat Thanos and save all those who are gone. In Ant-Man, Scott is told by Hank Pym about the dangers of the Quantum Realm. Sure enough, Scott gets first-hand experience with this.
While there are still so many questions about the Quantum Realm, the fact that Ant-Man finds himself stuck there during the event of Infinity War, it probably means he's uncovered something important. Many theorize that the Avengers will be heading into the Quantum Realm in Endgame in an attempt to reverse what happened.
The Avengers were never the healthiest of teams to begin with. Pretty much every member of the squad has fought each other at one point or another, so perhaps it's no surprise it came to this.
After the revelation that a brainwashed Bucky killed Tony's parents, Tony and Steve had a very serious falling out. It was this breaking apart of the team that set the stage for Thanos' victory. Could the Mad Titan have succeeded if the team fought side-by-side? It appears as though they have learned from their mistakes and come together in Endgame.
Thor and the Asgardians have always been among Earth's strongest defenders. Even though they might not travel to our planet too often, they keep a watchful eye on humans and anyone who might threaten their world. However, Thor: Ragnarok showed the Asgardians themselves are becoming an endangered species.
By the end of the movie, Odin is dead and Asgard is destroyed, leaving the remaining citizens as refugees. This was a turning point for Thor as a character. As king of his people and with so few of them left, Thor has become a more desperate hero than we have ever seen him before.
Doctor Strange proved to be one of the most interesting characters in Infinity War. Tasked with defending the Time Stone, Strange makes it known that he will let his fellow heroes die in order to keep the stone safe.
However, when Thanos is about to kill Tony Stark, Strange gives up the stone to save his life. While it might seem like a quick character turn, it’s likely he saw something in the multiple timelines that told him giving up the stone was the only path to victory. We’ll wait and see what path he put the remaining heroes on.
There has not been a more impactful moment in the MCU than when Thanos fulfilled his promise and wiped out half the universe. It is a moment that shocked fans as they watched heroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther and Star-Lord disappear into nothing.
For the first time ever, these heroes have failed and the consequences were catastrophic. It is a vulnerable place for the Avengers to begin, but it seems they were destined for this battle. They all lost someone, and Endgame is their opportunity to avenge them.