To say that the things with the Avengers were left a little dicey in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War would be an understatement. With half the team now fugitives and the other half licking their wounds back at the newly minted Avengers compound, the team dynamics are decidedly in flux as we approach May's highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War release.
Things got even more complicated following the release of Infinity War's first images and trailer, which showcased new looks, new alliances and new status quos for most, if not all, of Marvel's live action A-listers.
Thankfully, a tie-in comic has been released by Marvel Studios to help fill in some of the gaps for our heroes as they gear up to face off against Thanos and his Black Order.
First, a little refresher: the final act of Civil War had "Team Cap" (Captain America, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch) facing off against "Team Iron Man" (Iron Man, War Machine, Spider-Man, Vision, Black Panther and Vision) in a fight that left the entirety of Team Cap -- minus Steve and Bucky -- prisoners in the ultra-high security metahuman black site prison, the Raft.
Infinity War: Prelude #1 the first of a two-part story by Will Corona Pilgrim and Tigh Walker, picks up immediately following Civil War's post-credits scene which showed Captain America infiltrating the Raft to free his team, and it goes on to explain what each Avenger did following their escape.
For Clint Barton, freedom apparently means real retirement -- though, if the leaked Infinity War set pictures mean anything, it looks like any peace and quiet in Hawkeye's future might be short lived yet again. Still, we see that he is able to return to his wife and children (introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron), at least for the time being.
Scott Lang takes a similar out, and is shown to have gone back to his daughter, Cassie, at home.
The comic confirms the much-teased (and well known to comic book fans) relationship between Wanda Maximoff and Vision. He has apparently developed the human guise we saw during the first Infinity War trailer during her imprisonment, likely in order to allow the two of them to interact publicly without being the center of attention. The two are shown walking hand-in-hand in an unspecified European city.
Bucky Barnes, as we saw in the other Civil War post credits sequence, has agreed to be put back in cryostasis in Wakanda to be stripped of his Hydra programming and trigger words.
Meanwhile, for Sam, Steve and Natasha, things are definitely not slowing down. The three of them have joined forces -- Steve, now sporting his already-beloved Infinity War beard, Natasha with her bleach-blonde bob hair cut -- to continue to work as an unsanctioned covert superhero team. They are, apparently, focusing their efforts on trying to clean up alien tech left over by the Chitauri invaders, all the way back in the original Avengers movie in 2012. This is a theme we've seen explored briefly in Spider-Man: Homecoming as an origin and motivation for the Vulture, and potentially something we'll see more of in the future, maybe even beyond Infinity War itself.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4 of this year. Infinity War: Prelude #2 is set to hit shelves on Feb. 28.