The MCU: What You Need to Know Before the End

*SPOILER WARNING: this article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, but will not discuss the leaked footage from Endgame, which I have not seen and which people should avoid sharing, because this is a movie experience that has been in the works for ten years and shouldn’t be ruined by someone on the internet.*

The MCU has been growing and expanding for the last ten years, and it has all been leading up to this: Avengers: Endgame comes out on Apr. 26, and the world is already freaking out about it. 

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve been following these movies since the beginning, or maybe you’re just interested in the sequel to the biggest crossover event cinema has ever seen — or anywhere in between. Wherever you stand on the spectrum of MCU fans, we all have to admit that a LOT has happened in the last nineteen movies, and it might be hard to keep it all straight. 

With exams upon us, and a million other life stresses taking up our time, there might not be time to binge watch the entire MCU lineup before the movie. And, if you’re like me, it might be too painful to watch Infinity War and experience all of that again, so here is a helpful breakdown of where all the characters stand going into the final showdown. 

At the end of Infinity War, Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half the universe, decimating the Avengers team. Instead of listing all the people who got dusted, I’m just gonna list those that survived and where you can find them going into Endgame

In Space: Tony, Nebula 

The Guardians of the Galaxy were joined by Tony, Dr. Strange and Peter Parker to battle Thanos on his home territory — and hopefully prevent him from getting all five Infinity Stones. The ambush on Titan was catastrophic, with approximately 98 per cent of those fighting Thanos turned to dust in the snap (percentage courtesy of me, an English student who has not taken math in two years). The only surviving members stranded on the planet are Tony and Nebula. How they’re going to reunite with the survivors on Earth is unclear. I predict nanotechnology since that seemed to be the magical technology of the last movie. 

On Earth: Steve, Thor, Rocket, Natasha, Rhody, Bruce, Okoye, M’Baku

The number of survivors left on Earth is a little more promising. The final battle against Thanos took place in Wakanda, with a large CGI alien army going head to head against some of the Earth’s mightiest heroes. Thor appeared out of nowhere to help out, but it turns out his new hammer 2.0 wasn’t enough to stop the snap. Beloved characters dropped like flies, leaving only the original team — and a couple of others — standing. 

Steve, Nat, Thor, Rocket, Rhody, Bruce, Okoye and M’Baku are all in Wakanda when the movie ends, and where they will go from here is unclear. I assume Steve will pine the death of his love Bucky, and shave his beard in grief, which is a tragedy for us all. 

Those not in the film: Clint, Scott, Carol 

The Endgame teaser trailer confirmed that Clint is, in fact, alive, and has some crazy new hair, which I personally am super excited about. Where he was during all the stuff that went down in Infinity War I’m not sure, but my theory is that he was getting that sleeve tattoo and just couldn’t get up from the chair. But then his tattoo artist got turned to dust, so here he is. 

Scott is also alive, which we saw in the end credit trailer of Ant-man and the Wasp. He’s currently trapped in the quantum realm, and I have no idea how he’s going to get out of there, but I’m sure he will since, according to a particular fan-theory that I will not go into detail about, he is going to be crucial in defeating Thanos. 

And finally, Carol is alive as well. At the very end of the Infinity War, as Nick Fury and Maria Hill turned to dust, Nick pulled out a little pager with the Captain Marvel symbol. We can assume that she is going to play some part in the events of Endgame, and is possibly just the key to defeating Thanos and saving the universe. 

So there you have it, a really quick outline of where all the characters left off at the end of Infinity War. If a character you love was not featured on this list you can assume, unfortunately, that they have been dusted. But don’t be sad: qe don’t know yet how the game is going to end, and the MCU has a number of films lined up after this one — so our favourite characters may not really be gone. 

Farewell true believers, and I will see you at the end. 

Excelsior.