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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

By the time that this article gets published, Avengers: Endgame will have already hit theatres. However, the people who need to see this article are probably not the people that will be seeing the film within the first couple of days after its release. This article is for those of you lost in the Marvel cinematic universe, who don’t know Captain America from Starlord or can’t seem to remember the name of that big purple dude with the shiny glove. Let me break down exactly what you need to know about the MCU to understand what the heck is happening in Endgame.



Marvel Movies

  • Phase 1: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers

  • Phase 2: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man

  • Phase 3: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame

So yeah, there’s a lot of these movies… There’s also tons of videos and articles out there about which ones you actually need to watch in order to understand the chaos that is Avengers: Endgame, so I would check those out if you’re starting from scratch:


Heroes Still Alive

  • Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Rocket Raccoon, Bruce Banner (Hulk), Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Thor, James Rhodes (War Machine), Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Captain Marvel, Okoye, Nebula, Valkyrie, Pepper Potts

There are a lot of people who we are unsure about concerning whether they’re alive or not, but these guys are definitely still in the land of the living (for now at least).


The Infinity Stones

  • Space (blue), mind (yellow), reality (red), power (purple), time (green), and soul (orange).

The infinity stones have been used throughout the MCU to tie together and connect the events of different films. These stones have shown up in different parts of the galaxy and were all successfully collected by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War in order to allow him to wipe out half of all existence.

Check out this article for more detailed information on the Infinity Stones, their individual powers, and their relevance in different movies:


Infinity War Events

If watching a bunch of the other movies leading up to Endgame and learning about all the characters is too much for you, there’s only one movie that you should definitely see before Endgame, and that’s Avengers: Infinity War.

BUT, if even watching that is too much, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what happened. Basically, Thanos and some of his kids are on a mission to get all of the Infinity Stones into Thanos’ gauntlet so that he’ll have the power to “restore balance to all worlds” (which means wipe out half the population). Some of Thanos’ children come to Earth to collect the stones there and so our heroes assemble in different groups to defend them. There’s also a bunch of heroes up in space taking on Thanos head on. Unfortunately, Thanos manages to get all of the Infinity Stones and the movie ends with him snapping his fingers, which causes half of all life throughout the galaxies to crumble to dust.


So there you have it. I could go on and on about the intricacies of this complicated cinematic universe or my undying love for hunky actors named Chris, but that might take a while and there are way too many subplots and connections to go through each one. Thanks for letting me nerd out for a bit, and I’ll see you on the other side of Avengers: Endgame.

Rachel Kehl

Waterloo '22

I'm in my third year of Global Business and Digital Arts at UW and this term I'm Senior Editor for HC Waterloo. I love discussing movies (don't get me started on Parasite or anything made by Taika Waititi) and eating peanut butter cups, preferably at the same time.
Hi there! My name is Caitlyn Gellatly and I am the Campus Correspondent and President for the Waterloo Chapter of Her Campus! I am a Digital Arts Communication and International Studies student in my 4th year. I love to read, write, cook and spend time with friends, family, and sorority sisters!