Illustration by Jen Kelly.

A (cynical) guide to surviving the Infinity War


Navigating the Marvel Cinematic Universe

There are too many Marvel movies for people to keep track of. The combined 18 movies have earnings of more than the GDP of a significant amount of nations.

Here is a guide through the Marvel storm as we approach the Marvel cinematic singularity: The Avengers: Infinity War.


The movies and the comics are in two totally different realms of existence, especially when you consider deep comic book lore. For example, in the comics, Captain America is secretly a Nazi and Ant-Man beats his wife. For the sake of this guide, let’s pretend they don’t exist.

There are two Marvel movies that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that I have not seen. They are Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk, and Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming. (There are just too many Spider-Man movies.) If anything incredibly important happened in those two movies that directly relates to Avengers: Infinity War, sorry.


All of the movies in the MCU somehow relate to objects called the infinity stones. For the purposes of the movies, they are convenient plot points. Something for heroes and villains to fight about. There are six infinity stones: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. They are supposedly fragments of what came before the universe, and you know they’re important because they glow. The end boss of all the Marvel movies thus far is a mysterious purple man named Thanos who really wants to put the glowing stones on his glove.


There are the Earth Avengers, the Space Avengers and the Avengers In-Between. Only three characters have had three movies all to themselves: Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. Each of those characters represents a division of the MCU. Each of them has their own team of lackeys who make up most of the characters. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a separate group who also represent a sizable amount of characters. Every character connects with the infinity stones in one way or another.

Where we left off

When we last saw our brave heroes, Captain America’s lackeys and Iron Man’s lackeys did not like each other very much. Thor was in space after successfully destroying his homeworld with the help of the Hulk, and the Guardians of the Galaxy were also in space after killing Kurt Russell. The infinity stones are spread out amongst our heroes. The red stone was last seen out in space with Benicio del Toro, but his house blew up so no one really knows where it is. The purple stone was dropped off at John C. Reilly’s place, but Thanos has it in the Infinity War trailer, so R.I.P John C. Reilly. The yellow stone is in the living incarnation of Iron Man’s computer’s face. Benedict Cumberbatch has the green stone, and Thor’s greasy adopted brother has the blue stone. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that we’ve seen the orange one unless Spider-Man has it and no one told me.


All 50,000 characters are going to learn to work as a team and form the mega ultra avengers. At least one of the main Avengers will die. All the actors must be tired of this whole thing by now, though it’s not clear whose contract is up yet and who will get an out. (It has been a decade since the MCU started, and each of them must have enough money to buy entire nations at this point.) Thanos will almost destroy the universe, but our brave heroes will stop him, and Disney will have all the money in the world by 2030.

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