Avengers: Infinity War is just days away from theatrical release, and with dozens of characters appearing onscreen to tie up 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe plot-threads, there’s a lot to consider going into the imminent blockbuster.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our field guide of sorts to the characters of Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s everything you need to know about the Avengers, their allies, and their enemies before you see the film.
We’re kicking off with the MCU’s leading man Tony Stark, along with his squad from the film – Spider-Man, Bruce Banner, Doctor Strange, and Wong.
Tony Stark/Iron Man
Tony Stark is still the heart and soul of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios' first big screen hero, he’s also responsible for recruiting one of its newest names, having last appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming mentoring a young Peter Parker (more on that in a minute).
Since Captain America: Civil War drove a wedge between the armored Avenger and Captain America, Stark has returned full-time to being Iron Man – and reunited with Pepper Potts. Heading into Avengers: Infinity War, he’s developed a new nanotech “Bleeding Edge” armor – but according to the trailers, he’s still not entirely prepared for Thanos.
Fortunately, he’s got allies in the form of Bruce Banner, Doctor Strange, Wong, and Spider-Man, the latter of whom will also join Stark in traveling into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy in Infinity War.
Given Robert Downey Jr.’s decade-long tenure in the MCU (and Marvel’s insistence that Infinity War is an ending), Tony is also one of the biggest targets in the film. The vision Tony Stark had of being the last man standing over the bodies of his allies in Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t bode well for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, either.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man is the youngest Avenger going into Infinity War (though he might have his driver’s license by now). The high school hero was recruited by Tony Stark during Captain America: Civil War and mentored by Stark in his own solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
At the end of Homecoming, Peter turned down the chance to serve as a full-fledged Avenger (and the high-tech Iron Spider suit included in the offer). But as of Infinity War, he’s at least running with the team – and he’s sporting that Iron Spider suit to boot. He'll also wind up in space alongside his mentor Tony Stark and some of the Guardians of the Galaxy at some point in Infinity War.
Bruce Banner is coming back to Earth in Infinity War having spent two years as the Hulk, fighting in the gladiator pits of the Planet Sakaar (as seen in Thor: Ragnarok). Banner wound up on Sakaar after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which he took a Quinjet into space and wound up getting sucked through a wormhole – in other words, the whole reason he sat out Captain America: Civil War.
In Ragnarok, Banner deduced that after his prolonged time as the Hulk, another transformation could leave him trapped as the Hulk forever. That didn’t stop him from Hulking out at the end of that movie – though both Hulk and Banner have appeared in Infinity War marketing material, so it seems he got better.
Banner (or at least the Hulk) will also spend time in Wakanda in Infinity War, where he’ll reunite with Black Widow, possibly rekindling their strained romance from Age of Ultron.
Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum is one of the first battlegrounds of Avengers: Infinity War. Strange has in his possession one of the Infinity Stones – the Time Stone, to be exact, which is housed inside his Eye of Agamotto – and you better believe Thanos (or at least the Black Order) will come calling for it. Strange has even been shown being tortured by Ebony Maw of the Black Order – though it seems that he may manage to hold onto the Time Stone, since Thanos hasn’t been seen adding it to his Infinity Gauntlet yet.
Strange last showed up in Thor: Ragnarok, helping Thor and Loki locate Odin. It seems he’s been promoted to Sorcerer Supreme since his solo film as well, potentially giving him another leg up on Thanos. He’s also officially wearing the Eye of Agamotto now, having decided he needed time to grow his power before wielding it at the end of Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange’s faithful ally at the Sanctum Sanctorum, Wong was last seen in Doctor Strange, aiding Strange in his duties as the then steward of New York’s Sanctum Sanctorum (like we said, he’s been promoted since then).
Wong hasn’t met the rest of the Marvel Universe yet, but he’s got a wry wit to match Tony Stark, and he can hold his own in a fight – both physically and magically.
Stay tuned to Newsarama throughout the week for more of our field guide to the MCU, leading up to the April 27 theatrical release of Avengers: Infinity War.