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.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Brooklyn native Steve Rogers participates in a scientific experiment designed to create super-soldiers. When the program’s creator is killed by German Hydra agents, Steve, the only one to complete the program, is considered a test subject and relegated to selling war bonds under the title of “Captain America.” When he travels to the warfront to perform for the soldiers, he discovers his best friend’s company has been captured by Hydra. Steve disobeys orders and with the help of Agent Peggy Carter and inventor Howard Stark, travels into Nazi territory where the men are being held for scientific purposes. The territory surrounds an energy source Hydra has discovered, called the Tesseract. Steve liberates the POWs and several of them form a unit to fight Hydra. On one of their missions, Steve’s friend, Bucky Barnes, falls off a train to his apparent death. Steve then goes head-to-head with leader of Hydra and arch nemesis, Red Skull, and must crash the airplane they are in into the ocean to save humanity from destruction. This causes the Tesseract to be lost for many decades, until Stark finds it while searching for Steve’s body. Almost 70 years later, Steve’s body is discovered in the ice, still alive. He later wakes up in modern day New York and is approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury.
Agent Carter (2015 – current)
After the events of “The First Avenger” Agent Peggy Carter is now working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R) and Howard Stark has been branded a fugitive for allegedly selling weapons to American enemies. With the help of Stark’s butler, Jarvis, Peggy is set on a mission to clear Stark’s name. While going behind the back of her superiors, Carter’s mission leads her to discover a remaining Hydra faction bent on revenge.
Iron Man (2008)
Stark’s son and weapons developer, Tony, is captured by a Middle Eastern terrorist group known as the Ten Rings. During the attack, he is too close to a missile and has fragments of metal blown into his heart. In order to survive this, Tony creates an arc reactor to prevent the metal from impaling his heart. To escape, he builds a metal suit and realizes its potential to become a line of defense. He improves the design with the help of his AI, J.A.R.V.I.S. When he discovers his business partner, Obadiah Stane, is selling Stark Industries weapons to the Ten Rings, he uses the suit to destroy the weapons. Stane builds his own suit to fight Tony, and although Tony is able to defeat Stane, the secret is out. Tony reveals himself at a press conference as Iron Man.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Scientist Bruce Banner is on the run from authorities in Central America after a failed Gamma ray experiment caused him to transform into a green monster when his pulse was elevated. He is seeking a cure and travels to visit his former love interest, Betty Ross, who was involved in the experiment as well. Betty’s father, General Ross, is obsessed with capturing Banner and creates his own monster in order to defeat Bruce. Bruce and Betty visit a scientist who believes he can cure Bruce from his affliction, but the cure fails and Ross’s monster attacks Banner. After their fight, Banner disappears, still on the run from the military.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Tony Stark reinstates his father’s expo to bring together scientific minds. In the midst of the expo, Tony faces his own mortality as he realizes that the arc reactor keeping him alive is also poisoning him. Tony searches for an alternative power source while under investigation by the government, which wants to appropriate his suit as a weapon. Tony is then attacked by the son of his father’s former Russian coworker, Ivan Vanko. Vanko is arrested but Tony’s rival weapons manufacturer, Justin Hammer, recruits him to help create Iron-Man style suits. Stark hands control of Stark Industries to Pepper Potts and hires Natalie Rushman, who is later revealed to be S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, as an assistant. At a party, Tony and his friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes get into a fight which ends with Rhodey stealing one of the Iron Man suits and Tony being put under house arrest by S.H.I.E.L.D. With the help of Nick Fury, Tony is able to manufacture a new element to power his arc reactor, saving his life. Meanwhile the suit Rhodey took has been modified by Justin Hammer, and Ivan has built an army of drones. The drones, when displayed at the Stark Expo, begin to attack, controlled by Vanko who is seeking revenge. Tony, Rhodey, Pepper, and Natasha team up to defeat the drones, Vanko, and Hammer.
Thor is about to be crowned King of Asgard when a rival alien species, Jotuns, break into a royal vault to steal an ancient weapon. Thor, angry that the Jotuns ruined the celebrations, decides to take his friends, the Warriors Three and Lady Sif, and his brother, Loki, to attack Jotunheim in retribution. When defeat is imminent, Odin comes to attempt to renegotiate a peace, but peace is lost. Odin takes Thor, Loki, and their friends back to Asgard, where he then banishes Thor for his ignorance in nearly starting a war. Thor is sent to Midgard (Earth), along with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, and is immediately hit by a car belonging to scientists studying atmospheric phenomena.
Meanwhile in Asgard, Loki finds out that he is not actually Odin’s son, but instead was taken from Jotunheim, his home planet. His angry outburst sends Odin into a coma, and Loki takes control of the throne. Back on Earth, without his power or Mjolnir, Thor befriends scientists Jane Foster, Eric Selvig and Darcy Lewis. The Warriors Three and Lady Sif decide to travel to Earth to find Thor, and Loki sends a weapon called the Destroyer after them. In the ensuring battle Thor is wounded and sacrifices himself for the others. This sacrifice allows Mjolnir to return to him and his powers are reinstated. Thor defeats the Destroyer and returns to Asgard to confront his brother. This confrontation leads to the near death of Odin, apparent death of Loki, and destruction of the Bifrost, forcing Thor to remain on Asgard.
By Heather Clark and Lily O’Connor
Summaries of “The Avengers”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and the slew of sequels coming tomorrow!