The time is almost here for the Avengers to assemble! Avengers Infinity War will be releasing in Malaysia next week on 26th April 2018. Now I’m going to recap Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) from Captain America: Civil War (2016) to Black Panther (2018).
13) Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War felt more like an Avengers 2.5 instead of simply being the culmination of Steve Rogers’ trilogy of movies. This was another highly-anticipated MCU movie since it was going to adapt the famous Civil War storyline from the comics. What we got, in the end, was one of the best MCU movies. This movie was also notable for breaking the Avengers apart and introducing the Black Panther and Spider-Man into the MCU.
The movie starts with a flashback to when the Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes was still under HYDRA, where we see him being dispatched against an automobile in the year 1991. It turns out that he was the assassin who killed Tony Stark’s parents. Fast forward to the present and we see some of the Avengers involved in an operation to capture Crossbones / Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon in Nigeria. That mission ended badly when an explosion damaged a building and killed several civilians. The fall out of the mission is that the UN is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which is the MCU’s version of the Superhuman Registration Act from the comics, in order to regulate and oversee the team’s actions. A bomb later kills King T’chaka of Wakanda at the Sokovia Accords conference, where the killer looks to be the Winter Soldier. T’chaka’s son, T’challa who is the Black Panther vows to kill his father’s killer. It turns out that Baron Zemo is the true villain behind the bombings, and he’s been brainwashing Bucky into committing the acts, in order to turn the Avengers against each other. Stark assembles a team of his own to fight against Rogers’ team. They fight at an airport, where James Rhodes becomes paralyzed in the aftermath while most of Rogers team are captured. At the end, when Tony finds out that Bucky killed his parents, he fights Bucky and Rogers to a standstill and Zemo’s plans are fulfilled. The Avengers are officially disassembled. The movie ends with Rhodes recuperating with the help of Stark tech and Rogers saving his team from the Raft prison.
In the mid-credits scene, Bucky is granted asylum in Wakanda and chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until his brainwashing is cured. In the post-credits scene, Peter Parker tests a new gadget built by Stark for him.
14) Doctor Strange (2016)
This movie was a pleasant addition to the MCU because it finally introduced true magic elements into the MCU. Doctor Strange is a hard character to pull off due to his psychedelic and quirky roots but Marvel Studios managed to do it. This movie was notable for revealing another of the Infinity Stones, the Time Stone, which will be vital for Avengers Infinity Stone.
Stephen Strange is a neurosurgeon who severely injures his hand in an accident, rendering him unable to continue his work. This brings him to the fabled land of Kamar-Taj, where miracles happen and the Ancient One lives. He hears of the place from a person named Pangborn, who had his legs cured there. Strange meets Mordo and the Ancient Mordo, where they reveal that other dimensions and the astral plan exist. Strange learns at Kamar-Taj and he learns from Wong the librarian that Earth is protected from threats from other dimensions by a shield generated from three buildings called Sanctums, in New York City, London, and Hong Kong, which are all connected and accessible from Kamar-Taj. The sorcerers of Kamar-Taj protect these from threats like Dormammu. In order to defeat Kaecilius and Dormammu, Strange had to use the forbidden Eye of Agamotto AKA the Time Stone to reverse everything that happened. Dormammu left Earth alone after Strange stuck him inside a time loop. Mordo leaves after finding Strange and the Ancient One’s use of the dark arts as unnatural. Strange becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme of Earth.
In the mid-credits scene, Strange decides to help Thor, who has brought his brother Loki to Earth to search for their father Odin, leading to the movie Thor: Ragnarok. In a post-credits scene, Mordo confronts Pangborn and steals the mystical energy that he uses to walk, declaring that Earth has “too many sorcerers”.
15) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
The MCU’s cosmic side continues with the second GOTG movie, which remains standalone from the events that happen on Earth. This movie is notable for adding Mantis into the team and Quill meeting his real father. Other than that, it’s pretty much standalone.
The movie starts with the team doing a mission for the Sovereign Ayesha. The mission goes wrong when it turns out that Rocket stole from Ayesha. They escape the planet and crash land on another planet where they meet Ego, who reveals himself as Quill’s father. Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his Ravagers to find the GOTG. It turns out the man who initially hired Yondu and the Ravagers to kidnap Quill was Ego himself. Ego is one of the Celestials, whose consciousness is tied to a planet. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels, he planted seedlings on thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the power of two Celestials. He has been impregnating women from countless worlds to find an heir who inherits the same Celestial power. The team stops Ego’s plans but Quill seemingly loses his power and Yondu dies in the process.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a bunch of mid-credit scenes and one post-credits scene. Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control-fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot has grown into a teenager; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam (who is actually Adam Warlock from the comics) and a group of uninterested Watchers abandon their informant, who is discussing his experiences on Earth. He’s Stan Lee.
16) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The movie no one thought would ever happen in the MCU. It still happened. The first MCU movie to feature the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler himself was pretty much standalone, in the vein of GOTG Vol. 2, with the exception of Tony Stark’s cameo. The movie was notable for Peter’s growth as a hero and him realizing the suit isn’t what makes a hero.
The movie focuses on Peter Parker’s life after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where he’s still learning the ropes of being Spider-Man. He keeps stumbling into the activities of Adrian Toomes AKA the Vulture, who has been appropriating the alien tech from the Battle of New York (The Avengers, 2012). Tony Stark reclaims the high-tech suit he gave to Peter when he fails to stop a ferry from breaking apart. He fights Toomes with only his old suit, to stop him from stealing Stark tech. The movie ends with Peter declining Stark’s invitation to join the Avengers and he receives the high-tech suit, which he puts on just before Aunt May enters his room.
In the mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, which Toomes denies. It looks like the start of the Sinister Six, as Gargan is supposed to be the Scorpion from the comics.
17) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
2017 is the first time ever that 3 MCU movies were released in the same year. All 3 were most;y standalone and were important only in furthering the story arcs and progression of its own heroes. Thor: Ragnarok had ramifications for the universe as a whole too and directly leads to the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
The movie starts with Thor unsuccessful in his search for the Infinity Stones and being captured by the fire demon Surtur in Muspelheim. Thor defeats Surtur after listening to Surtur talking of bringing the end of Asgard through Ragnarok. Thor returns to Asgard to force Loki into helping him search for their father, Odin. They ask for the help of Doctor Strange. Odin reveals that he is dying and that his death will allow his first-born, Hela, Goddess of Death to escape her prison. She destroys Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and takes over Asgard. Thor and Loki escape and find themselves on the planet Sakaar. They meet the Grandmaster and the fallen Valkyrie. Thor is forced to participate in the Contest of Champions, where he faces the Hulk. It turns out that Hulk was also stranded here after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). They stage a revolution against the Grandmaster and return to Asgard to face Hela. They bring about Ragnarok in order to stop Hela and Thos loses his right eye in the process. Thor and the others, along with surviving Asgardians escape Ragnarok on the Grandmaster’s space vessel.
In the mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by an even larger ship, presumably owned by Thanos. In the post-credits scene, the Grandmaster encounters his subjects who rebelled.
18) Black Panther (2018)
This is the last MCU movie before Avengers: Infinity War hits us. Surprisingly, in my opinion, it’s also the best MCU movie to date, after Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. This movie is also pretty much standalone but its own mythology is expansive in scope on its own.
The movie starts with a flashback to the past, telling us about how Wakanda was formed when the tribes united under the Black Panther and Vibranium. They’re the most advanced nation on Earth but pretend to be a Third-World country. In 1992, the King of Wakanda T’chaka visits his brother N’Jobu in the US, where he was accidentally killed to protect another undercover Wakandan named Zuri. He covered up the death and left his brother there, not knowing that his brother had a son. In the present, King T’challa completes the coronation ceremony by defeating M’Baku leader of the Jabari Tribe to complete his trial for the crown. T’challa learns of Erik Killmonger, who is actually the son of N’Jobu, making him his cousin and a contender for the throne. Erik concocts a plan to reclaim the crown by defeating T’challa in a ritual ceremony. T’challa, with the help of his genius sister Shuri and CIA agent Everett Ross fight against Erik and W’kabi. Erik dies and T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died to be run by Nakia and Shuri.
In the mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri helps Bucky Barnes with his recuperation, as it turns out that his brainwashing has been cured and people are now calling him the White Wolf.
It’s almost here, folks!
That’s a wrap for recapping all 3 Phases of the MCU before Avengers: Infinity War arrives. I’m personally incredibly hyped for the movie. Stay tuned on Kakuchopurei for more coverage on Avengers Infinity War.
Here are the Phase 1 and Phase 2 recaps. If you wanna know where the Infinity Stones are before watching Avenger Infinity War, check out this article where I tell you where each of them is in the MCU right now. If you wanna know what exactly happens between Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, check out this article for the events that transpired just before Infinity War.