When it started in 2008 with Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe started laying the groundwork for 2012's The Avengers. However, when that film came out, fans were treated to a special scene featuring Thanos. In the seven years since that movie has released, each film in the MCU has set up the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which will be the culmination of the cinematic universe thus far.
We're going to start with the very first movie in the MCU: Iron Man. The end of that film saw Tony Stark announce his secret identity, which then led to Nick Fury approach him about the Avengers Initiative. This served two purposes: it united Earth's Mightiest Heroes and introduced Nick Fury, who has been one of its most important characters.
Check out the video below for more of the most important events leading up to Endgame.
It's not totally clear what shape the MCU will take following Endgame. It's likely that there's going to be a new big-bad that requires Earth's Mightiest Heroes to once again assemble, though that team might look a lot different. Endgame may set up that enemy, but it's entirely possible that the MCU will get some breathing room. As the Fox/Disney merger is now complete, it's entirely possible that characters formerly unavailable to Marvel Studios -- including the Fantastic Four and X-Men -- might play a role in the MCU's next major event.
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Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film arrives April 26.