What Essential Marvel Films to Watch Before Avengers: Endgame

Fortunately, you don’t actually have to rewatch all 21 MCU movies to prep for Endgame. We’re breaking down the essentials here, the ones that introduce key characters or deal directly with the Infinity Stones that are so important in Infinity War and Endgame. Check them out below…

Spoilers of course follow for everything but Avengers: Endgame!

The Avengers marks the first time Earth’s Mightiest Heroes banded together to fight a common enemy. This movie is the true launching point for much of what’s unfolded since in the MCU. Not to mention that it technically showcased the first conflict between the Avengers and Thanos’s forces, though that fact wasn’t made clear until the mid-credits scene.

Perhaps most importantly, The Avengers hinges on Loki’s efforts to steal the Tesseract and acquire it for Thanos. That story finally came full circle in Infinity War.

  • See it on Amazon

Thor: The Dark World

While not generally regarded as one of the better MCU movies, Thor: The Dark World makes one important contribution by introducing another Infinity Stone, the Reality Stone, found in the destructive weapon known as the Aether. This film also sets the stage for the downfall of Asgard in later MCU movies, ending with Odin being betrayed and replaced by his adopted son, Loki.

  • See it on Amazon

Prior to Infinity War, most of Thanos’ screen time came in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. That film more firmly established his role as a shadowy power player on the intergalactic scene, as well as his habit of raising women like Gamora and Nebula to be his fiercely loyal assassins. The Thanos/Gamora relationship was a crucial part of Infinity War, and Nebula looks to have an equally important role in Endgame.

The first Guardians movie is also notable for introducing the Power Stone (encased in the Orb everyone is after in this film), which is among the first Thanos adds to his Infinity Gauntlet. Plus, one of the biggest selling points of Infinity War and Endgame are that they feature the first team-up between the Avengers and the Guardians, so it doesn’t hurt to see where the latter team got their start.

  • See it on Amazon

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The road to Infinity War became a lot clearer in the second Avengers movie. This film introduced the Mind Stone, revealing it to have been hidden within Loki’s mind-controlling staff and serving as the catalyst for the birth of Vision. Vision and his stone later became major plot catalysts in Infinity War.

But in a larger sense, Age of Ultron is all about alluding to bigger, darker events awaiting the Avengers. Tony Stark has a nightmare/hallucination about the team being destroyed by an unstoppable cosmic threat, influencing his reckless decision to create Ultron. Similarly, Thor is haunted by visions of extinction – visions which would shortly come to pass for Asgard. This is all important foreshadowing for movies like Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok.

  • See it on Amazon

Captain America: Civil War

Every Avengers movie is essential viewing ahead of Endgame. And given that Captain America: Civil War is basically The Avengers 2.5, it’s among the most critical MCU movies. Civil War is most crucial when it comes to establishing the present state of the Avengers, showing how the fallout of Age of Ultron and the ratification of the Sokovia Accords drove a wedge right down the middle of the team. One of the biggest challenges facing Cap, Iron Man and the rest in Infinity War was that they weren’t united against this powerful new threat. We’re hoping to see them finally become whole again in Endgame.

Civil War also introduces two new MCU heroes who become critical in Infinity War – Spider-Man and Black Panther. Both characters have since had their own solo movies, but you learn everything you need to know about the two in Civil War.

  • See it on Amazon

Doctor Strange

Infinity War marked the first time we saw Stephen Strange and Wong fight alongside the Avengers, so it doesn’t hurt to go back and watch their MCU debut in 2016’s Doctor Strange. This film is also important in that it introduces the Eye of Agamotto, a time-manipulating artifact that houses the Time Stone. That stone, and the visions of the future it bestows to the doomed Doctor Strange, are both critical to Infinity War and Endgame.

  • See it on Amazon

Thor: Ragnarok

The most recent Thor movie did quite a lot to alter the status quo of the MCU and pave the way for Infinity War. This film chronicles the destruction of Asgard as hinted at in Age of Ultron and Thor’s rise to power as the new king of a homeless people. The post-credits scene directly sets up the events of Infinity War, as the resilient Asgard is finally annihilated by Thanos and the Black Order.

Ragnarok is also a key chapter in the story of Thor’s relationship with his brother, Loki. It’s also a big movie for Hulk, explaining what the character has been up to in the years since Age of Ultron and why his return to Earth is such a big deal.

  • See it on Amazon

\r\nNow if only she could not kill a bunch of innocent people, inadvertently creating the Sokovia Accords, that would be fantastic. Wanda\u0027s a prime example of an all-powerful being not being able to wield their power to the max. But, narratively, there\u0027s a reason why she got dusted before Endgame. She\u0027s one of the, if not THE, heaviest hitters.”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/11\/goosemaxresdefault-1552317116109.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/11\/goosemaxresdefault-1552317116109_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:” Who Is the Strongest Avenger?”,”relativePosition”:12,”albumTotalCount”:13},{“caption”:”1: THOR
\r\n\u0022You guys are so screwed now!\u0022<\/em>\r\n

\r\nThor\u0027s had character flaws, family flaws, hair flaws, and an arc that\u0027s involved him morphing from an arrogant meathead unworthy of wielding his own hammer to a mindful warrior who sacrifices all of Asgard to save his own people. But there\u0027s also a reason why more than one MCU film has saved his introduction to the third act fight for last, creating a massive crowd-pleasing moment. Thor\u0027s raw Asgardian power, durability, speed, and nifty knack for being able to create game-changing lightning charges out of thin air allow him to soar in from above and completely clear a battle field. Dude\u0027s over a thousand years old and has bested Dark Elves, Frost Giants, galactic fire demons, and a plate of hard-earned, artery-clogging shawarma. He\u0027s also withstood the heat of a dying star. Yeah, he\u0027s a keeper.”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/11\/thor-chris-1280-1552317094370.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/11\/thor-chris-1280-1552317094370_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:” Who Is the Strongest Avenger?”,”relativePosition”:13,”albumTotalCount”:13}]’data-ads-disabled=’false’data-ad-frequency=’3’data-image-size=’1280w’> Who Is the Strongest Avenger?10+ IMAGESFullscreen ImageArtboard 3 CopyArtboard 3ESC

Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are basically two halves of one, epic story, so it goes without saying that Infinity War is a mandatory viewing experience for anyone interested in Endgame. Infinity War delivers a massive superhero epic that ties up most of the loose ends from the first decade of the MCU. The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy finally join forces to take on Thanos. And surprisingly, the movie ends not on a triumphant note, but with complete and utter failure. Infinity War raises the stakes as the survivors prepare to confront Thanos one more time in Endgame.

Honorable Mention #1: Black Panther

In terms of its ties to Infinity War, Black Panther isn’t quite as essential as the other films on this list. The title character himself is already introduced in Captain America: Civil War. That said, it’s still worth adding it to your watch list if there’s time. One of the major action sequences in Infinity War takes place in Wakanda, and as one of the survivors of Infinity War, T’Challa’s bodyguard Okoye has a role to play in Endgame. Plus, Black Panther is one of the best MCU films to date, and there’s never a bad time to rewatch it.

  • See it on Amazon

Honorable Mention #2: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Marvel’s first post-Infinity War release actually takes place before the events of that movie, but it still has direct bearing on the plot of Endgame. Ant-Man and the Wasp deals heavily with the Quantum Realm and explains why Ant-Man was MIA during Infinity War. We’re not convinced that’s enough to makes this sequel an essential part of a pre-Endgame marathon (especially with Doctor Strange also dabbling in the Quantum Realm), but you can always skip right to the mid-credits scene.

Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.

Source: Read Full Article