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 into outer space and onto team Guardians of the Galxy, as we catch up with Peter Quill and crew who aren’t teaming up with Thor. We’ll also take a look at what’s going on with Ant-Man and Hawkeye, two big names who haven’t made an Infinity War appearance yet.
Star-Lord’s role in Avengers: Infinity War is immediately obvious from the film’s trailers – to be a pain in the neck for Tony Stark.
But seriously, Star-Lord (along with Drax and Mantis) will team up with Tony Stark and Spider-Man to visit the wreckage of Thanos’ homeworld – a journey that, from the looks of the trailer, goes quite south for the assembled Avengers and Guardians.
But before that, Star-Lord and the rest of the crew of the Milano will discover Thor floating in space (another social interaction Star-Lord kinda botches), setting them directly on a course for Earth and a crossover with the Avengers, so even though he’s not great at making friends, the leader of the Guardians will get his moments with the Marvel Universe’s biggest names.
The literal-minded Drax the Destroyer has been on a quest to destroy Thanos (and his Kree henchman Ronan) since minute one of his MCU career – something he’s put on hold to aid the Guardians of the Galaxy twice now, each time coming away with a bigger grudge against the Mad Titan.
But in Avengers: Infinity War, Drax may finally get his moment to come face to face with Thanos and put his reputation for destruction to the test.
That said, Drax’s chances aren’t looking too great. Even if he wins and takes down Thanos (not likely), what’ll be left for the Destroyer once his revenge is complete?
The Guardians of the Galaxy’s newest recruit has come under Drax’s wing since the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Mantis has been on the Milano since Ego’s defeat, and is with the team when they discover Thor.
Very little is known of the direct part Mantis will play in Avengers: Infinity War, but her relationship with the Guardians and Drax will put her side-by-side with Iron Man and Spider-Man at some point in the film – and on a direct collision course with Thanos.
The Guardians’ resident assassin Gamora is a major presence in the marketing for Avengers: Infinity War, providing a trailer voiceover in which she explains to Tony Stark how Thanos plans to use the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the life in the universe “with a snap of his finger.
Like the other Guardians, she’s one of the heroes who rescues Thor from space - but her larger role as Thanos’ daughter hasn’t been revealed just yet.
What has been shown is what appears to be a look into Gamora’s past, where Thanos is shown escorting a young girl with green skin to some kind of coronation ceremony.
When last we saw Nebula at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, she had reconciled with her adopted sister Gamora after escaping Ego and the Sovereign fleet. But despite their newfound relationship, Nebula left Gamora and the Guardians behind to hunt down Thanos herself.
Nebula’s specific place in Avengers: Infinity War hasn’t been revealed – but actress Karen Gillan has made it clear that Nebula will play a big part in the film’s story. That makes sense, considering the daughter of Thanos was also a key player in Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet comic book event.
Scott Lang made it to the big time in Captain America: Civil War, taking Cap’s side in the fight with Iron Man and achieving Giant-Man status (though he got taken down thanks to a strategy from his fellow arthropodal Avenger Spider-Man). His last appearance showed him dealing with the fallout of choosing “Team Cap,” something that’s alluded to in the trailer for Ant-Man’s upcoming solo sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (more on that later).
Ant-Man hasn’t popped up in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War marketing yet (aside from a layout in Vanity Fair, that is) and Paul Rudd’s name hasn’t been listed on the posters.
So is Ant-Man in Infinity War or not? Well… We’re not sure. We know he was present for filming, and that he’s definitely got a role in the still ominously-untitled Avengers 4. But whether he crawls his way into Infinity War or not, he’ll definitely return in this summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which may be set between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War.
Like Ant-Man, Hawkeye (and Jeremy Renner) hasn’t shown up in any Avengers: Infinity War marketing yet. But unlike Ant-Man, Hawkeye is a founding Avenger, so it would be a bit surprising if he didn’t get an on-screen send-off.
Hawkeye showed up in Captain America: Civil War, coming out of retirement to bust Scarlet Witch out of Avengers headquarters – and get her away from the Vision. But when we last saw him he was stuck in the Raft as a prisoner following helping Cap at the end of Civil War.
So did Clint Barton head back to the family farm? Are he and Ant-Man on the run together? Perhaps we’ll find out in Infinity War.
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. You can read part one which covers Team Iron Man right here, and part two which covers Team Thor right here.