The moment, and the movie, fans have waited for since the mid-credits of 2012's The Avengers finally arrives on Thursday with Avengers: Infinity War, as virtually every hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe unites to stop the threat posed by Thanos and his Black Order.
That's dozens of characters, spanning from 2008's Iron Man to 2018's Black Panther, which doesn't even take into account the armies of Wakanda or the Mad Titan's invading Outriders. And, as Infinity War opens, the familiar heroes are scattered from New York City to Wakanda to the far reaches of space.
But while Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther brought us at least somewhat up to date on the whereabouts of several of the key players, we're left with questions about the statuses of others, some of whom we haven't seen since 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Luckily, however, Marvel Comics' Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1-2 fill in at least some of the gaps. So, let's get up to speed on where Earth's Mightiest Heroes (and friends) are as Infinity War opens.
Captain America, Black Widow & Falcon
At the end of 2016's Captain America: Civil War, a rogue Steve Rogers frees his comrades in arms -- Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, Clint Barton and Scott Lang -- from The Raft, the high-security prison in the Atlantic Ocean designed to incarcerate those with enhanced abilities (and also Falcon, Hawkeye and Ant-Man, apparently). But Cap being Cap, his mission didn't end there.
As a recent clip from Avengers: Infinity War suggests, Rogers continued his partnership with Falcon and Black Widow, forming a sort of "Secret Avengers." The trio infiltrated terrorist cells trafficking in weapons of mass destruction modified with Chitauri technology salvaged in the aftermath of the Battle of New York in 2012's The Avengers, all while keeping Tony Stark in the dark. Whether this is how they cross paths with Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, members of Thanos' Black Order, won't be known until Infinity War.