It's a Marvel Movie Special! To those of you who do not know what Marvel is all about, they have been making movies for a long time. The Avengers are Marvel characters , the X-men are Marvel characters, Venom is a Marvel character, but the purpose of this article is to inform the ignorant of the information they need to understand Avengers Endgame. So, we will not be going through all 54 marvel movies ever made, but rather the 21 that you need to have seen or know about in order to see the new film without any confusion. So without further adieu, here are my personal rankings from worst to best, and summaries of the Marvel cinematic universe films.
20. Thor 2, The Dark World - The truth about this film is that it's not a bad movie at all. Why is it at the bottom of my rankings you ask? Good question. Every Marvel movie that I will cover in this article is at the very least a decent film. So this movie is not bad per say, it is just well, the least enjoyable of the bunch. This film is the sequel to Thor, the god of thunder, and arguably most powerful Avenger. In this film Thor’s lovely Earth-born girlfriend, Jane foster, uncovers an ancient weapon that she really just should of left alone. Nevertheless, she finds the weapon and releases and ancient group of dark elves who want nothing but to of course, destroy our solar system and rebuild it as their own. Well you can probably guess what happens next. Thor and his mischievous brother Loki, band together and stop the elves in the nick of time to save the galaxy yet again. This film is not very important to your understanding of the finale, but definitely make sure you know Thorthe axe/hammer wielding God of thunder, and Loki- the sometimes hero sometimes villain brother who can make people see alternate realities.
19. Iron Man II - Self proclaimed genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony stark makes his second debut in this sequel to the original movie that started all of this: Iron Man. Tony stark is a character that all of us should hate, but we can't help to love. In this film, some of Tony's technology is leaked, and he basically gets a taste of his own medicine. With pressure to give his technology over to the military Tony Stark begins to feel the pressure and he cracks just a little, but yet again he reigns victorious in the end. This film is important because we are introduced to the character who will play War Machine in the following films: Rhodey. Rhodey is a military colonel who is for some reason one of Tony's best friends. Eventually, Tony gifts him with an iron man shot known as War Machine, and the two fight side by side for the rest of the series.
18. The Incredible Hulk - The origin story of my personal favorite Avenger, the big green one who smashes things. Dr. Bruce Banner is exposed to an extreme amount of gamma radiation when he tried to recreate the experiment that created the first super soldier: Captain America. the experiment fails and thus the Hulk is created. Dr. Banner transforms into the Hulk when he is angered or in danger, but as we learn later in the first Avengers movie, Dr. Banner is always angry and he can unleash the beast at any point he chooses. Now if you saw this movie you might be slightly confused because the actor who plays the Hulk in this film is Edward Norton, but in every other Marvel movie, the Hulk is played by Mark Ruffalo. This movies after credit scenes also reveals that Tony Stark is beginning to think about the avengers initiative for the first time.
17. Avengers Age of Ultron - A classic story really. Tony goes too far with technology trying to create artificial intelligence, an he ends up making a hyper intelligent robot, who is hellbent on destroying the human race. This film is low ranked, but it is extremely important because we are introduced to two new Avengers in this film, and so,e pretty powerful ones too. Vision, a half robot half human that is powered by on of the six infinity stones Thanos layer uses to wipe out half of all life, and Scarlett Witch, a young girl who is capable of distorting energy around objects causing them to move and sometimes explode. Ultron is of course eventually stopped, but not before he kills millions in Sokovia. This film marks the beginning of the split in the Avengers that will ultimately pit them against one another and cause their downfall.
16. Ant man and the Wasp - This film is one of the most recent in the Marvel series and there is no huge significance to the film. Scott Lang also known as Antman encounters an angry girl who is dying because of a terrible mistake made long ago. She has developed the ability to phase through objects and become invisible, but her powers are slowly killing her. The only thing you need to know about this movie is that the trailer for Avengers Endgame shows Antman as an unexpected presence that could turn the tide against the Avenger’s War with Thanos. He's a little guy, but he's important.
15. Thor - Here we are introduced to our very handsome prince of Asgard (Jupiter). In this film Thor is cast of by his own father for being power hungry, but after a short stay on Earth, Thor realizes that in order to be a great king you must choose peace before you choose War. While on Earth, Thor is introduced to another Avenger, Hawkeye. The family man who is really good with a bow and arrow, and is best friends with Black Widow. Thor is in fact the only Avenger who can kill Thanos, and he comes so so incredibly close, but he should of aimed for the head. Anyway, this film basically just informs us of the backstory of the god of thunder, which in short is this: He was young and stupid, he matures and becomes wise, for the next sixteen movies he is am all powerful presence that usually in the group movies, saves the day.
14. Iron Man 3 - Well the sequel was definitely not better than the original, and I don't really know what this is called the trequel maybe? I'm not sure, but it is also not better than the original. All this film does is show us the PTSD that Tony has from his alien fight in New York. It seems a little out of place because at the end of this movie, Tony figures pit a way to survive without his digital core that allows him to be Iron Man. He throws that core into the ocean and claims he is finished, yet in the next film he is suited up right beside the rest of them. This movie is really just another story that proves how flawed Robert Downey Jr’s character is, but that in the end he can always be counted on.
13. Antman - Paul Rudd, the actor who plays Antman, will never cease to make me laugh. This film is definitely one of the more comical of the series and is just a really enjoyable movie to watch. Scott Lang (Antman), is chosen to become Antman and slough reluctant at first, becomes a natural hero. He stops the evil yellow jacket, saves his daughter, and proves that traveling to the subatomic level and returning is possible. Basically he can get really really small and still come back, which could prove handy in the Avenger’s fight against Thanos.
12. Captain America: The First Avenger - Although this film was not made first, it takes place during World War II, making it the oldest movie chronologically in the Marvel universe. Steve Rodgers is a scrawny young man, who's only goal in life is to join the military. He eventually joins with his muscular friend, Bucky Barnes. Bucky is killed in an attack during this movie but don't worry he obviously comes back later. Back to the plot, Steve goes under some experimental testing and comes out a human beefcake, capable of some pretty amazing things. This movie is when Captain picks his legendary shield, and thus the leader of the Avengers is born. In this film Cap is fighting against a man named Redskull. Now that information would not necessarily be important, but in Avengers Infinity War, Redskull shows up again and leads Thanos to another infinity stone. With the possibility of time travel in the next film, Redskull might show up again, so just know he is Nazi supervillain, who Cap defeated once and might have to again. At the end of this movie Captain America send a plane straight into an iceberg in order to save the United States, he wakes up seventh years later with a bunch of bad memories and no idea what to do now.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 - The rag tag comic relief of the group fighting Thanos, the Gaurdians of the Galaxy are comprised of: Gamora- Thanos adopted daughter, Peter Quill aka Starlord- an earth born man who listens to a Walkman and has a pretty messed up past, he is also n love with Gamora, Drax- A super strong balde wielding alien who's family was indirectly killed by Thanos, Rocket raccoon- exactly what it sounds like, he is a raccoon that builds large weapons, and Groot- a walking tree that is pretty badass, but can only say one phrase: I am Groot. Ok so in this sequel to the first film, Peter Quill finds out that his father is not from earth. He is instead a man that goes by Ego and is both a ,an and a planet. That's confusing I know so let me break it down for you. There is a planet that contained the power to create life. This planet created for itself a physical being that resembles a human in order to procreate. As it turns out Peter Quill contains the same power that his father does, but his father of course wants to use it for evil. Quill kills his father and in turn loses his power as the planet is destroyed. We are also briefly graced with the presence of one more key character: Nebula. Nebula is Gamora’s step sister who was made into a machine by their father Thanos. All she wants is to kill her father and she may get the chance. However. This experience brings the guardians closer together, and in this war, true friendship is scarce.
10. Spider-Man Homecoming - This film introduces us to the newest actor portraying Spider-Man: Tom Holland. Now in this version Spider-Man is a fifteen year old kid, but that does not stop Tony Stark from recruiting him to become an Avenger. This film however, is more about showing us what Spider-Man can do. He is very capable of handling himself and takes down an international aliens arms dealer despite his mentor, Tony Stark, forbidding him from acting as a hero. This film is important to your understanding because in the finale, we will see Tony Stark stricken with grief. He blames himself for Spider-Man's death because he recruited this young kid to fight essentially a god. He never forgives himself truly.
9. Captain America Civil War - I hated watching this movie. Well that's not entirely true. This movie was great, and it included Antman, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, as avengers for the first time, but I had to watch my favorite characters fight eachother. The teams split like this: Team Iron man: Spider-Man, Vision, War machine, Black Panther and Black Widow; Team Cap: Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Antman. Now these two teams are basically fighting over Bucky Barnes, Cap’s thought to be deceased best friend from World War II. You see both of Tony’s parents were killed in a car accident when Mr. Stark was younger. It is revealed in this film that Bucky killed Tony's parents. Now mind you Bucky had been brain washed and he had no control of his actions, but that doesn't stop Tony from wanting to kill him. The Black Panther also believed that Bucky killed his father, so he wants Bucky dead as well. However good ole Steve Rodgers is not gonna let his best friend die twice. Cap escapes with Bucky after a painful scene of the two best friends physically beating Tony.
8. Doctor Strange - Benedict Cumberpatch is Steven Strange in this mystical movie. He becomes a guardian of the Earth from mystic threats such as the one he fights in this movie, Dormammu. Now the plot of this movie won't help you any and it's just really confusing, but here's what will help you. Dr. Strange is given one of the Six infinity stones that Thanos needs to wipe out half of all life in the universe. In Avengers Infinity War, Dr Strange uses this stone to look at every possible future there is for how the Avenger’s war with Thanos will turn out. He claims there is only one where the Avengers reign victorious, after saying this, he hands over the stone to Thanos and states “We’re in the Endgame now.” No one knew what this meant until the title of the fourth avengers movie was released, now we understand that Dr. Strange knew what was going to happen, and he gave us the best possible chance at winning.
7. Iron Man - This is the firs movie to ever be filmed by the Marvel directors that follows this Avengers time line. Tony stark is marooned on the middle of a desert, injured, and is force to make a nuclear missile for a group of extremists. Well he pulls a sneaky and builds an Iron Man suit instead. The suit is then improved, made sleeker, and we see for the first time the red and gold rocket man that we all love. Like I said this movie was the first to come out, so there aren't major key points of this movie you need to understand. Just know that Tony is injured and he has to create digital heart core that keeps himself alive, and powers his suit. After this movie, Tony will make hundreds more of his original suit, and make them to where they can be used by anyone.
6. Avengers Infinity War - Mr. Stark I don't feel so good. Watch the movie if you want to understand that. So basically, everyone dies. Every character I've listed so far, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange and his goons, everyone is in this film. They are all fighting against Thanos, and they come so close to killing him but once again, Thor should of aimed for the head. Now Thanos has been gathering the Six Infinity stones for a long time, and in this film he finally procures all of them. With all six he can wipe out half of all life, which he claims will bring balance to the universe, and end hunger and suffering. Now at the beginning of this next film and possibly at the end there will only be a select number of characters left. It's easier if I tell you who is still alive after this film because so many die. Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, War machine, Nebula, Rocket raccoon, Antman, and Hawkeye. Everyone else is dead including the leader of all these heroes, Nick Fury. Now just before Fury does, we see him call someone for help and we are unsure of who he called until the camera zooms in, and we see the logo of Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel’s solo movie is coming out in March so be sure to catch that before you go see Avengers four. Can Captain Marvel somehow save everyone p, or bring the dead back? We will see
5. Thor Ragnorak - After Age of Ultron, Thor and the Hulk disappear for a long time. We finally see them again in this third Thor film, which is by far the best of the trio, and they are thrown together on a sort of trash planet. They are forced to fight eachother but eventually, Hulk regains his memories and recognizes his old friend. Now in this movie, Thor and Loki come into contact with the third sibling they never knew they had, Hela goddess of death. Hela destroys Thor’s hammer, but with the help of some old demon giants, he kills his sister. In the process, however he also destroys the entire city of Asgard where his people live. These people will set off on a space ship towards earth in seek of refuge, but on the way there they run into, you guessed it, Thanos, and they are slaughtered. This scene is where Infinity War begins.
4. Black Panther - This movie shows the back story of king T’challa, and the ancestors of his people. This movie has beautifully imagery, and shows all the technological wonders of Wakanda. Wakanda is also the final battle field of the war between the Avengers and Thanos. In this film T’challa is challenged by a half brother he didn't know he hams and he is originally defeated, but later comes back to claim his crown. At the end of this movie we see that T’challa is giving refuge to Captain America and Bucky Barnes, as they prepare for the upcoming war
3. Guardians of the Galaxy - This movie was funny, action packed, and all around brilliant. Our friends who I described earlier are thrown together with one common goal, defeating a man named Ronan. Now in the grand scheme of things Ronan is a henchmen of Thanos, who is gifted one of the Infinity stones, but Ronan is defeated by the Guardians and the stone is placed in the hands of the government of Xandar for safe keeping. Thanos will later kill the entire government and take the stone back but back to the plot. The Gaurdians decide to travel around protecting people, all the while searching for Thanos. Unfortunately he finds them first in Infinity War, and will inevitably kill the only thing he loves: his daughter Gamora.
2. Captain America Winter Soldier - Once again, a beautiful movie. I remember watching it for the first time and saying “Wait what the? Is that Bucky?” And the answer to that question is yes. Steves favorite old friend is back from the dead with a metal arm and no recollection of who he used to be. He has been turned into the Winter Soldier. For most of this movie he fights Captain America but in the end we see Bucky save Steve's life and begin to remember who he was. Bucky will be the final nail that drives a distinct line down the middle of the Avengers later in the Civil War film. He too will join the fight against Thanos, but will inevitably disintegrate like many others.
Now the moment you've been waiting for… Number 1… is…
1. The Avengers - Yes I do believe this is the best movie that Marvel has made but it has to deal with the circumstances that surround the movie. For the first time we have a group super hero movie with characters that contain individual back stories and solo movies of their own. At this time there is no divide, there is no Thanos, there is only the Avengers and their desire to save the world together. In this film they will save the world from an alien attack lead by Thor's brother Loki. Now there are a lot of different Avengers, but in this original film we have six: Captain America- the leader, Iron Man- The man with the idea, Hulk- smash, Hawkeye- still slinging that bow, Black Widow- an assassin who is capable of taking down almost anyone, and Thor- all powerful god of thunder. This movie was the first time that all of these characters come together, and coincidentally or maybe not so coincidentally, all six are left alive at the end of Avengers Infinity War. I'm not sure of the significance in that, I have my theories and you should create your own.
All I know is I can't wait to see Captain Marvel, and as much as I am pained that a part of my childhood is ending as Phase four of the Marvel universe draws to a close, I know that Avengers Endgame, will not disappoint.