MCU Catch-Up (Part 3)

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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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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In the 1980s, a young Peter Quill is kidnapped from Earth. Years later, he is part of a band of intergalactic thieves and goes by the name Starlord. While stealing a mysterious artifact, he is targeted by two bounty hunters—Rocket, a surgically enhanced raccoon, and Groot, a humanoid plant. An assassin Gamora, working for terrorist Kree leader Ronan, also wants the artifact, the Orb. They are all captured by authorities and sent to a space prison, where Gamora is attacked by an alien called Drax the Destroyer, who is seeking revenge for Ronan killing his family.

Quill manages to convince them all to work together long enough to escape the prison and deliver the Orb to a buyer. They agree, but when they prepare to sell the Orb to a man known as the Collector, the Orb is revealed to contain one of six Infinity Stones, which also include the Tesseract and the Aether. The stone causes an explosion and the group realizes it needs to be given to the Nova government authorities, but Ronan has tracked them to the Collector’s home. In the battle, Ronan takes the Stone and Quill and Gamora are captured by Quill’s old employers, the space thieves, the Ravagers. Quill convinces the Ravagers to help him get back the stone, and they ally with the Nova fighters to stop Ronan. The stone is recovered and Ronan is destroyed, but Quill discovers that he is not entirely human. He and the others decide to continue working together.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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While taking down Hydra outposts, the Avengers discover Loki’s scepter as well as two enhanced siblings. While fighting against Hydra and the Maximoff twins, Clint Barton is shot and is airlifted to Helen Cho, a doctor who works closely with the Avengers. Meanwhile, Stark is attacked by Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, who has the ability to manipulate the mind, causing Tony to see a horrible future. The Avengers are able to retrieve the scepter and return to Stark Tower, which has been renamed Avengers Tower.

Tony begins scientific experiments on the scepter, which he discovers has a computer inside. His attempts to link it to J.A.R.V.I.S. are eventually successful, although the new intelligence proves to be an adversary to Stark and his companions. The creation, named Ultron, takes over Tony’s collection of Iron-Man suits and attacks the Avengers, later disappearing into the internet when he is defeated.

The Avengers travel to Africa to meet with an arms dealer about a supply of Vibranium, the same metal that makes up Steve’s shield, which Ultron wants so he can build an infallible body. They arrive too late, and the Hulk, under the influence of Scarlet Witch, wreaks havoc on the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. With nowhere else to go, Clint takes the Avengers to his safe house, where they discover that Clint is married with children.

The Avengers try to figure out what to do next, and eventually realize that Ultron is attempting to build a flesh body for himself with the help of Helen Cho, whom he took control of with the use of the mind stone, an infinity stone contained in Loki’s scepter. The Avengers steal Ultron’s body before he can be fully integrated into it, and Tony decides to input JARVIS into the body instead. This creates the being known as the Vision. The Avengers, plus Vision, hurry off to Sokovia, the home-country of the Maximoffs, to face Ultron one last time.

The Maximoffs, realizing Ultron only wants war and death, switch sides and team up with the Avengers. In the midst of trying to evacuate the city is forced into the air, and S.H.I.E.L.D. sends help to save the civilians. During the battle, Pietro, one of the twins, is shot saving Clint’s life and dies. A grieving Wanda is able to destroy Ultron’s body, but he narrowly escapes. He is eventually defeated by the Vision. The movie ends with Steve training a new set of Avengers, including Tony’s friend Rhodey, Sam Wilson, and Wanda.

Ant-Man (2015)

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Recently released from prison, burglar Scott Lang is trying to work and live a normal life while attempting to get visiting rights for his daughter. When he loses his job, some of his old friends talk Scott into robbing a safe in a mansion. The only thing in the safe is what looks like a motorcycle suit. However, after trying the suit on, Scott realizes it has the ability to shrink a person to the size of an ant. Freaked out, Scott tries to return the suit, and is arrested for breaking and entering. He is able to escape jail by using the suit, which was given to him again, and he discovers that his ‘release’ was caused by the suit’s owner, Dr. Hank Pym. Dr. Pym used to work with Howard Stark until he tried to get Pym’s shrinking particles to be used as a weapon.

Pym’s protégé, Darren Cross, is attempting to recreate the particle, something Pym is trying desperately to stop. With the help of Scott, and Pym’s daughter Hope, Pym plans to steal the prototype suit. In order to steal the suit, Scott needs to break into the new Avengers facility to get a part and ends up fighting with Sam Wilson. He is able to escape and heads back to the Pym household. He enlists help to break into Cross’s facility, but is unable to steal the suit before Cross takes it out of storage. Scott must then fight Cross, which alternates between normal size and ant size in Scott’s family’s house. He is eventually able to defeat Cross. The movie ends with Sam Wilson asking around about this new “hero.”

By Heather Clark and Lily O’Connor

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