Spoiler alert: Proceed with caution, this piece contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, and possibly previous Marvel films.
Marvel Comics is behind some of the most beloved comic books ever created, and is only rivaled by DC Comics. After releasing older comic book based movies like the 2002 Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire and Fantastic Four, Marvel created the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The MCU is a franchise of movies and TV shows with a shared universe – shared characters, events, settings, and plot lines. The movies of the MCU are all beautifully connected, and all lead up to crossover movies like Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and of course – Avengers: Infinity War.
The Marvel superheroes that exist inside the MCU each get their own stories, and most of them their own films (sorry Mark Ruffalo). But being part of the Avengers is also part of their identity, and the major Avengers plot lines are part of their story.
Black Panther, for example, is first introduced in Captain America: Civil War as his father is killed in a deliberate explosion. We learn his backstory in the recently released Black Panther, which picks up following his father’s death, and finally we meet the people of Wakanda again in Infinity War, as they help battle against Thanos’ children.
Everything is well crafted, and comes together in movies like Avengers: Infinity War. In this case, there’s an all-out war against Thanos regarding the infinity stones, which have been featured in practically every MCU movie, slowly leading up to this very battle.
With everything woven together like it is, it can be hard to keep track of all aspects of the story – so watching Infinity War definitely raised some questions with fans of the franchise. Of course, that devastating ending might have something to do with it as well (if you haven’t watched it and you’re still reading, a major spoiler is coming).
Fans everywhere (including us) were left flabbergasted when they watched Infinity War and faced that shocking ending. We all expected the war on Thanos to take its toll on the Avengers, including some casualties, but no one expected so many of the Avengers to just disappear into thin air. We expected them to prevail! But as Thanos succeeded in his mission to destroy half of the universe’s population, many of our beloved Avengers were gone, presumably dead.
So what’s next? Can it really be that Marvel has killed off such major characters, or can they come back? And most importantly, why the heck can’t Bruce Banner turn into The Hulk anymore?