MCU Catch-Up (Part 2)

Marvel’s latest blockbuster “Captain America: Civil War” opened in theaters this weekend and intertwined multiple Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) stories. The plot brings back the usual Avengers gang (minus Thor and the Hulk) while introducing new members Black Panther, Ant Man, and Spiderman.

Because the conglomeration of these stories can be a bit confusing, staff writer Heather Clark and guest writer Lily O’Connor have written summaries of every Marvel movie leading up to “Civil War” in chronological order. “The Pulse” will be posting these summaries over the next couple of days to help refresh your mind before seeing “Civil War”, or to help you connect missing links you hadn’t caught after seeing the movie for the third time.

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Marvel’s Avengers (2012)

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S.H.I.E.L.D. is conducting experiments on the Tesseract at a secret facility when the cube opens a portal and Loki arrives through it. He takes the Tesseract and takes control of some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, including Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Eric Selvig. After Loki escapes Nick Fury sets the Avengers Initiative into action. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers arrive on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, where a search is being conducted for Loki.

Iron Man and Capitan America capture Loki, only to have him stolen by his brother, Thor. After a fight, the team discovers Loki is planning to lead an army of aliens called the Chitauri to take over Earth. Loki manages to break free during an attack on the helicarrier which causes the Hulk to appear and Thor to be thrown out of the ship. Natasha and Clint fight and she hits him in the head, causing Loki’s mind control to break. Together with the help of Steve and Tony, they realize that Loki is planning on using Stark Tower to power the portal and race to New York. Loki has already created the portal when they arrive, and they are forced to battle the aliens. S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to send a nuclear missile into the city to destroy the aliens, but Tony sends it through the portal and Natasha is able to close the gateway. The aliens are defeated and the team splits up, with Thor returning his brother to Asgard for punishment.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

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Several years before the events of the first “Iron Man” movie, Tony attended a New Year’s party in Bern, Switzerland where he met Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen. In the present, Tony suffers from PTSD after the Battle of New York, and also faces the new threat of a terrorist called the Mandarin. After an attack by the Mandarin puts Tony’s bodyguard in the hospital, Tony challenges the Mandarin and his house is attacked. Tony is assumed dead and is able to go after the Mandarin covertly. In the meantime, Pepper is kidnapped by Killian, who along with Hansen has been developing a serum to create super healing, which he calls Extremis. Tony attacks the Mandarin’s mansion only to discover that the man called the Mandarin is an actor hired by Killian to cover up accidental explosions from the unstable Extremis. Killian kidnaps the President of the United States and Rhodey and Tony attack the oil tanker Killian is using as a base and rescue the president and Pepper. Later, Tony undergoes an operation to remove the shrapnel from his heart and throws away his arc reactor after destroying all of the suits he created.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013 – current)

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Agent Phil Coulson, an agent who was killed by Loki during the attack on the helicarrier in the “Avengers”, is mysteriously revived, puts together a team of agents, and begins to investigate alien occurrences and a growing threat from inside the agency itself.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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While investigating gravitational anomalies occurring around the world, Jane Foster comes in contact with a mysterious substance that invades her body. Thor takes her to Asgard to try to find a cure, and they discover that the substance is known as the Aether, a weapon of the Dark Elves, who want to use it to turn the world to darkness using the Convergence, which causes gravitation anomalies. To remove the Aether from Jane’s body, Thor enlists the captive Loki’s help to travel to the Dark Elves’ world. The leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith, removes the Aether, but steals it for himself and Loki is stabbed in the battle. Believing him dead, Thor and Jane return to Earth and battle Malekith in London, finally managing to retrieve the Aether. Thor returns to Asgard to tell his father that he cannot be king because he has chosen to guard Earth. Odin agrees, but when Thor leaves, Odin is revealed to be only an illusion covering up the real person on the throne, Loki.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Steve Rogers, who had moved to Washington D.C. after the Battle of New York, is still working for S.H.I.E.L.D. when he is assigned to infiltrate a captured ship. While retaking the ship from pirates, Steve realizes that Natasha Romanoff, on the mission with him, is secretly gathering information from the onboard computer for Fury. When Steve approaches Fury, the director shows him the new Helicarriers being built as part of Project Insight, a new weapon designed to take out threats before they begin. Fury, however, is concerned about the project and asks senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce to postpone the project.

After his request, Fury is ambushed on the road by a group led by the Winter Soldier. Fury escapes and hides in Steve’s apartment, but is killed by the Winter Soldier after giving Steve information on Project Insight. Steve and Natasha follow Fury’s directions to Steve’s old army training camp, where they discover an underground bunker filled with supercomputers. When they access the computers, they discover that Hydra was not destroyed after the Red Skull’s death in “The First Avenger” but instead has been infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since.

Returning to D.C., Steve and Natasha ask Steve’s friend Sam Wilson for help, and they are attacked by the Winter Soldier whom Steve recognizes as his best friend Bucky. When S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to take them prisoner, the three are rescued by Agent Maria Hill and taken to a bunker where Fury reveals himself to be still alive. Steve and the others realize that Pierce, the Hydra leader inside S.H.I.E.L.D., is planning to use the Insight Helicarriers to take out threats to his own group. Steve, Natasha and Sam break into S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters and destroy the Helicarriers, although Steve fights Bucky and is thrown into the Potomac. Bucky drags him to safety and then disappears. Afterward, Steve and Sam begin to search for Bucky, with S.H.I.E.L.D. having been completely dismantled.

By Heather Clark and Lily O’Connor

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