From Thanos to the Infinity Stones, here’s a guide to understanding Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

In Arts & Entertainment, Film & TV, Lifestyle
A collage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters, including Thanos and the Avengers

Ten years ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, also known as MCU, began with “Iron Man,” where the Avengers Initiative was first introduced in the first ever Marvel post-credit scene. The MCU has grown exponentially in popularity since, leading to the release of 18 films.

“Avengers: Infinity War,” to be released Friday, is a highly anticipated culmination of every one of these films. Each movie led up to this moment that will drastically change our lives, and possibly take the lives of our favorite heroes.

So, are you ready to watch it? Have you brushed up on your knowledge of the villains yet?
Have you rewatched every single MCU film in preparation for “Infinity War”?

If your answer is no (or yes), no need to worry, here is everything you need to know before watching “Infinity War.”

Thanos, Who?

They call him the Mad Titan.

That scary looking purple dude that’s been sitting in his throne for over six years? That’s Thanos (Josh Brolin), the main villain of “Infinity War” and the deadliest foe the Avengers will face to date.

Thanos is on a mission to raze half of the universe with all six Infinity Stones loaded into the Infinity Gauntlet. His motive? In the comics, he wishes to impress and express devotion by annihilating millions for the love of his life, Mistress Death. However, in the MCU, his motive is to save and bring order to the universe that he believes is vastly overpopulated.

In “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it was revealed that he is the adoptive father of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). He had slain the people of their home world and kept the girls to turn them into deadly weapons with bionic enhancements to assist him in his cruel crusade. Father of the year, right?

There are many iterations to Thanos’ origins, many of which say he was born on one of Saturn’s moons in Titan, a land filled with super-powered beings. His odd, misshapen and purple-hued appearance was due to the deviant gene, which augmented his strength and intellect from birth.

He was ostracized from his people on Titan because he was different and deformed. Many believe this is the reason why his ideology became distorted over time, making him obsessed with nihilism and death.

The Black Order AKA The Children of Thanos

The Black Order is an alien group made up of four of Thanos’ generals who will make their debut in “Infinity War.”

Corvus Glaive (Michael Shaw), who can be seen tearing the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead in the first “Infinity War” trailer, is the leader of the Black Order. He has enhanced strength and speed, carrying a glaive that makes him immortal. Corvus Glaive is a skilled tactician, making him a valuable asset to Thanos as Corvus Glaive studies the history of warfare of the worlds Thanos plans to conquer.

Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) carries a spear, forged by Thanos, that has the ability to transform into energy, cut through anything and strike a target with precision. She is a master warrior and also the wife of Corvus Glaive.

Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) uses supernatural persuasion and manipulation abilities to psychologically break his opponents. His power is not to be underestimated since he is known for controlling the mind of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the comics, which we might see translated on the big screen.

Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary) is the muscle of the group. He is a brute with impenetrable skin and wields a hammer. In the comics, he was tasked with leading the charge against Wakanda by Thanos.

Infinity Stones

There are six Infinity Stones that existed before creation and they harness enough power to mow down entire civilizations like wheat in a field. Here is the breakdown for each stone:

The Space Stone, commonly known as the Tesseract, has the ability to open portals and allow teleportation to anywhere in the universe. Whoever possesses it can be everywhere and nowhere all at once. It has made appearances in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Avengers” and “Thor: Ragnarok” and is currently in Loki’s possession.

The Power Stone enhances strength by drawing energy from the ends of infinity, giving it the ability to destroy entire planets and the life that inhabits them. It has made one appearance in “Guardians of the Galaxy” as an orb and is currently under the control of the Nova Corps on the planet Xandar.

The Reality Stone, most commonly known as the Aether, turns matter into dark matter and can bend the laws of reality and gravity. It has symbiotic characteristics as it seeks a host to feed off of. It has made one appearance in “Thor: The Dark World” and its location is not certain since it was last left at the Collector’s museum, which exploded in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The Mind Stone, which was the stone inside of Loki’s scepter, gives its user psychic powers and the ability to control minds. This stone was used to unlock the minds of people to reveal their hidden abilities; it’s how Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch from “Avenger: Age of Ultron” got their powers. Vision currently possesses it on his forehead.

The Time Stone, also known as the Eye of Agamotto, can create time loops and travel into the past or the far distant future with its ability to manipulate time; it’s the necklace that Doctor Strange wears.

The Soul Stone has not made a cameo in the MCU, leading many fans to speculate where it could be hiding. According to the comics, this stone is sentient and can control all living souls and even resurrect the dead. It has also been used to steal superpowers.

Brace yourself for the powerful forces of Thanos, the Black Order and the destructive Infinity Stones in “Avengers: Infinity War” coming to theaters on April 27.

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