Later this month The Avengers: Infinity War will hit cinema screens (25 April to be exact). Ten years ago Iron Man was the first episode in what has become an ongoing, multi-layered series know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU). Infinity War represents the coming together of many of these interwoven strands. Hints of what or who would be involved in Infinity War were being dropped as early as Iron Man 2 and Thor, but various powerful Infinity Stones, the Infinity Gauntlet (which can wield the power of these stones), and the character of Thanos (who very much intends to do the wielding) have featured throughout the series.
With such a long timeframe and so many films, it can be easy to lose track of these appearances, so some re-watching might be in order before the release of Infinity War. Or you could just crib from the list below.
Due warning – SPOILERS FOLLOW:
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010) – A drawing of a cube-like artefact is shown in one of Howard Stark’s old notebooks. This is the first appearance of an Infinity Stone, specifically the Tesseract.
- Thor (2011) – A right-handed Infinity Gauntlet is shown in Odin’s trophy room. Post-credit scenes hint that Loki is up to no good with the Tesseract (also known as the Space Stone)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – The Tesseract’s earthbound history is revealed and its ability to be used as a weapon.
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – Loki really was up to no good with the Tesseract (aided and abetted by Giant Purple Bad Ass, Thanos). Both Loki and the Tesseract end up in Asgard for safe keeping. Loki’s Chitauri sceptre, which holds the Mind Stone is acquired by S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013) – The Aether (or the Reality Stone) wreaks havoc with Astrophysicist Jane Foster and at the end of the film is transferred by Asgardian warriors Sif and Volstagg to the care of The Collector.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – The Mind Stone in Loki’s sceptre falls into Hydra’s hands and is used to create enhanced individuals Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – The Orb (that contains the Power Stone) is the thing that everyone, including Thanos, wants. Originally in the archives of The Collector, it ends up on the planet of Xandar in the care of Nova Corps. The Collector provides a brief explanation to the Guardians of what the Infinity Stones are.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Thor has a vision that includes several of the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet. The Avengers capture Loki’s sceptre and the Mind Stone which is then used to power a synthetic body with an AI mind, called Vision. The stone sits in his forehead. It is revealed that Thanos has a left-handed Infinity Gauntlet.
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016) – The Time Stone is contained within a relic known as the Eye of Agamotto which resides in the mystical compound of Kamar-Taj in Nepal.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – The Tesseract is shown in Asgard where Loki makes eyes at it, so there is a suggestion he may have it. Hela reveals that the Infinity Gauntlet held in the same vault is a fake. Thanos makes an ominous appearance.
- Black Panther (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – This is where the locations of the stones in relation to Thanos and his gauntlet will start to be Very Important.
If you’re planning on seeing Infinity War soon, my suggestion IS THAT YOU WATCH ALL THE MOVIES AGAIN WITH NO BREAKS. No, but seriously don’t do that. That’s just not wise from a health and safety perspective.
But if you do want to do a bit of catch up I’d recommend watching:
- The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron to get up to speed on Infinity Stuff
- Captain America: Civil War is worth another look to be reminded of how the various Avengers were placed at the end of that film, and it’s directed by the Russo brothers who are both helming Infinity War
- Thor: Ragnarok just because it’s jolly good fun
To Infinity and beyond!