You saw Black Panther and loved it. Now you’re kinda curious about this whole Marvel Studios universe. You know Black Panther is in Avengers: Infinity War, but have no clue what that’s about and see that is the 19th Marvel Studios film. Hold up. How are you supposed to watch 18 more films by May? And do you need to in order to understand the point of Infinity War? Yes and no. For maximum enjoyment and appreciation of the characters and relationships, spend a couple weekends and watch all of them. You’ll enjoy it. But for those of you who can’t invest that much effort, here’s the Avengers: Infinity War marathon viewing guide on a time budget.
We’re five films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe before we reach the first must-see for Infinity War purposes. A key component of Infinity War is Thanos claiming each of the Infinity Stones. When combined into the Infinity Gauntlet, the user has unlimited and unstoppable power. The first glimpse of this terrifying prospect is shown in Marvel Studios’ fifth film. Captain America, his best friend Bucky and the Howling Commandos take down The Red Skull, who has gained possession of a mysterious device capable of boundless energy and power.
Even without the benefit of watching Thor, Incredible Hulk or the first two Iron Man films, you’ll be able to quickly catch up on their personalities and agendas. Thor’s brother, Loki, has aligned with a galactic army hellbent on taking over Earth. To aid him in his glorious battle, Loki, has a sphere capable of mind control and making enemies his flying monkeys.
Obviously, this is one of the important films in the Infinity War saga as it introduces many of the key players, another Infinity Stone and the first appearance of Thanos.
Admittedly one of the weaker films, The Dark World introduces the Aether, which is the most destructive of the Infinity Stones. It enhances the user’s power and invulnerability, which would prove useful for a Mad Titan willing to take on The Avengers. This film also follows up on Loki’s arc as the former villain becomes more of a shade of grey character whose actions are even more unpredictable.
Far off on the other side of the galaxy, Star-Lord teams with Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket to reluctantly take the responsibility to stop a would-be conqueror. Guardians is one of the most important films in this marathon.
It introduces Infinity War’s other main superhero team, features Thanos in a prominent cameo role, establishes Drax’s vendetta against him and brings out another Infinity Stone. And it’s a really good movie too.
The Avengers start to show signs of fracturing while battling the evil sentient robot, Ultron. Age of Ultron plays out like a real comic book with a ton of plot points to keep up with that will make sense in the more condensed marathon format.
Most importantly, it brings new Avengers to the fold, foreshadows the splintering of the Avengers, reveals the hidden Infinity Stone and starts to direct their attention to Thanos’ plans.
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Captain America and Iron Man go to war over governmental superhero registration and their respective teams come to blows. While this is one of the two films on the marathon not to feature an Infinity Stone, it’s important as it shatters the Avengers while introducing pivotal players in Black Panther and Spider-Man and sets the stage for the Avengers’ status quo for Infinity War. This is also the driving film for establishing Black Panther’s role in the larger MCU.
The arrogant Stephen Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme making him the most powerful magician on the planet. Doctor Strange inadvertently becomes very familiar with arguably the most dangerous of the Infinity Stones — the time gem.
Thor reunites with fellow Avenger The Hulk as they attempt to save Asgard from Ragnarok. Thor and Loki reach an understanding and this marks the first film where the Avengers encounter Thanos and his forces.
So that’s the Avengers: Infinity War marathon viewing guide. This will still run you about a full weekend to view so don’t take too much time to start checking it out.