It’s all been leading to Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Infinity War'!

Destiny arrives this Friday, April 27, with the arrival of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War. Ten years in the making, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to a head when our heroes come together for battle against the Mad Titan himself. Over the years, this shared universe has developed into a complex web of stories filled with compelling crossovers that keep fans on their toes.

To understand how we got to “Avengers: Infinity War,” we have to start at the beginning. Marvel.com will break it down for you film by film – starting with Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers—focusing on key events and characters to get you ready to assemble for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War! Let’s start from the beginning, in 2008 with the debut of Marvel Studios’ first MCU movie, Iron Man!

IRON MAN

  • Tony Stark—genius, billionaire, playboy—and leader of Stark Industries, a defense company he inherited from his father Howard Stark, is captured by terrorist group Ten Rings in Afghanistan
  • After the attack, Stark and fellow prisoner Doctor Ho Yinsen rig an electromagnet implant in Stark’s chest to keep shrapnel shards from reaching his heart
  • In an attempt to escape, Yinsen sacrifices himself while they create an electric generator to power a suit of armor
  • Returning home with the intent of no longer manufacturing weapons, Stark finds his father’s old Stark Industries partner Obadiah Stane who disagrees with this plan of action
  • Stark uses his time to build a more technologically-advanced suit, as well as a more sophisticated arc reactor, a mechanism that is keeping him alive
  • As the Ten Rings gather up pieces of Stark’s prototype suit to rebuild, Stane kills them and takes the suit for himself, called the Iron Monger
  • Stark’s personal assistant Pepper Potts, upon discovering Stane hired the Ten Rings himself, devises a plan to help Stark with the aid of Agent Phil Coulson from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
  • Stane and Stark’s showdown culminates in a battle that shows off the power of the arc reactors
  • While Agent Coulson attempts a cover up narrative, Stark brazenly admits “I am Iron Man”
  • POST CREDIT: S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury tells Stark about the Avengers Initiative, “You think you’re the only super hero in the world?”

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

  • After exposure to gamma radiation, Dr. Bruce Banner, now with the ability to transform into a creature when his heart rate rises above 200, is on the run and a fugitive from the U.S. military who want to weaponize him
  • Discovered after Banner’s blood accidentally makes his way into a factory bottle, Lt. General Thaddeus Ross sends British military special ops Emil Blonsky to secure Banner, who fails and is then injected with an altered “Super Soldier Serum”
  • Banner continues to do research while corresponding with a mysterious Mr. Blue in hopes for finding a cure
  • After a second confrontation with Blonsky and Ross’ forces, Banner transforms into the Hulk and flees with Betty, his former girlfriend and Ross’ daughter
  • On the run, Banner and Betty meet “Mr. Blue,” Dr. Samuel Sterns, who believes he has found an antidote for Banner, but also reveals he had synthesized his blood into a mass supply
  • With Banner and Betty in custody, Blonsky demands to be injected with Banner’s blood serum regardless of consequences, which turns him into the Abomination
  • Ross allows Banner to transform into the Hulk to stop the Abomination
  • With Blonsky defeated, Banner retreats to Bella Coola, British Columbia where he experiments with transformation control
  • POST-CREDIT: Tony Stark approaches General Ross about a team that he’s putting together

IRON MAN 2

  • Stark has maintained peace through the use of his armor despite pressure from the government, and reinstated the Stark Expo as a nod to his father Howard’s legacy
  • The palladium core in the arc reactor that powers his suit as well as keeps Stark alive, is slowly poisoning him, prompting Tony to appoint Pepper Potters CEO of Stark Industries and hires Natalie Rushman to replace her as his personal assistant
  • While racing at the Monaco Grand Prix, Stark is attacked by an electric whip-wielding Ivan Vanko, whose father Anton collaborated with Howard Stark on the first arc reactor, and now seeks to avenge his father’s death
  • Tech rival Justin Hammer fakes Vanko’s death and enlists him to build a line of armored suits to rival Stark’s, while James “Rhodey” Rhodes takes the Mark II suit to the U.S. military after going toe-to-toe with a despondent and out of control Stark
  • Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury reveals Stark’s new personal assistant is actually Agent Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) and that his father Howard was a S.H.I.E.L.D. founder
  • Fury gives Stark some of his father’s old documents, including a hidden diagram of a new element, which he synthesizes for his arc reactor with J.A.R.VI.S., solving his palladium dependency
  • At Stark Expo, Hammer reveals his new Vanko-designed armored drones, led by Rhodey in a heavily weaponized version of the Mark II armor, which Vanko turns to attack Iron Man
  • Romanoff returns control of the Mark II armor to Rhodes while Stark defeats the drones, ultimately neutralizing the Vanko threat
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to only use Stark as a consultant, Stark and Rhodes receive medals for bravery, and Pepper steps down as CEO
  • POST CREDIT: Agent Coulson reports on a large hammer’s presence at a New Mexico crater 

THOR

  • Physicists Jane Foster and Erik Selvig, along with Darcy Lewis, drive towards a lightning storm in New Mexico where they hit a person with their car in the chaos
  • In a flashback, Odin, King of Asgard, defeats King Laufey and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, and seizes their source of power, the Casket of Ancient Winters
  • In present day, just as Odin’s eldest son Thor prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, Frost Giants arrive to retrieve the Casket, prompting Thor to travel to Jotunheim to confront Laufey against his father’s warnings with his brother Loki, Sif, and the Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun)
  • For his betrayal, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him from Asgard to Migard, as a mortal, with his enchanted hammer Mjölnir, which he can only wield again once he’s worthy
  • After being hit by Foster’s van, Thor goes on the hunt Mjölnir with Foster, where he infiltrates a S.H.I.E.L.D. site where he discovers he is no longer worthy enough to lift his hammer
  • Loki, who learned he is not Odin’s biological son, but a descent of the Frost Giants, becomes acting king after falls into an “Odinsleep” coma and sends the Destroyer to Migard to follow Sif and the Warriors Three and kill Thor
  • The Destroyer attacks the warriors prompting Thor to sacrifice himself, proving him worthy of wielding Mjölnir
  • Betraying Laufey, Loki believes he has proved himself worthy to his adopted father Odin
  • In a fight between Loki and Thor that destroys the Rainbow Bridge, Loki sacrifices himself after Odin refuses to give his approval
  • Thor admits to his father that he is not ready to reign, as Foster and her team on Earth search for a way to connect with Asgard
  • POST CREDIT: Selvig is taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and shown the Tesseract. Mind-controlled by Loki, Selvig agrees to investigate the object. 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

  • In 1942, the Nazis, led by Johann Schmidt, discover an object known as the Tesseract
  • Steve Rogers, rejected from World War II recruitment due to his small stature and health issues, attends an exhibition of future technologies with friend James “Bucky” Barnes where he meets Dr. Abraham Erskine, who allows Rogers’ military enlistment
  • Sacrificing himself during basic training, Rogers proves his worth to Erskine, Col. Chester Phillips, British agent Peggy Carter, and the Strategic Scientific Reserve’s “super-soldier” experiment
  • Schmidt, who underwent a similar super-soldier procedure, and Arnim Zola harness the energies of the Tesseract for the purpose of powering Zola’s inventions
  • Just as Rogers successfully completes the super-soldier treatment, Schmidt’s assassin kills Erskine and flees with the last of the super-soldier serum
  • Rogers tours the country with a revue selling war bonds as “Captain America”
  • Schmidt secedes from the Third Reich, completing the process of forming HYDRA to follow his own agenda
  • Learning that Bucky and his unit were lost in a battle with Schmidt’s forces, Rogers begins a solo rescue attempt, with the aid of a Vibranium shield gifted from Stark, that leads to the discovery of Schmidt’s Red Skull
  • Rogers recruits a team, the Howling Commandos, made up of Barnes, Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, Jim Morita, James Montgomery Falsworth, and Jacques Dernier, to take on HYDRA directly
  • The Tesseract destroys the Red Skull, which Stark recovers in the ocean, while Barnes and Rogers are both presumed dead
  • Rogers awakens to present-day Times Square where Nick Fury tells him he has been asleep for 70 years
  • POST CREDIT: Nick Fury brings Steve Rogers an assignment

MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS

  • During his exile, Loki meets the Other, leader of the Chitauri, striking a deal – recover the Tesseract in exchange for conquering Earth
  • Erik Selvig, lead on Tesseract experiments, unknowingly activates the object, opening a wormhole, and summoning Loki to Earth
  • Loki escapes with Selvig and Clint Barton, whom he brainwashed, as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill reactivates the Avengers Initiative
  • Agent Natasha Romanoff is sent to find Bruce Banner, Agent Coulson visits Tony Stark, while Fury recruits Steve Rogers, in order to retrieve the Tesseract, putting in play the Avengers
  • His tough brotherly love ineffective, Thor agrees to Loki’s imprisonment aboard S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Hellicarrier
  • Loki escapes his prison at the cost of Coulson’s life, providing fuel for the Avengers to cooperate as a team
  • Reunited, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye take on Loki’s Chitauri invasion of Earth
  • The World Security Council decide to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile which Stark intercepts and diverts into the wormhole before falling back to Earth and being caught by Hulk
  • The explosion stops the Chitauri attack, while Romanoff closes the portal with Loki’s scepter, ending the battle
  • Thor returns home to Asgard with Loki and the Tesseract in tow, while Fury notes that the Avengers will reassemble again if needed
  • MID-CREDIT: The Other tells his master of Loki’s defeat, warning that engaging the Avengers would be courting Death, thus prompting Thanos to smile
  • POST-CREDIT: Post battle, the Avengers enjoy shawarma in silence among the rubble

Don’t get locked out of opening weekend – grab tickets to “Avengers: Infinity War” on Fandango now!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com as we tackle Phase Two and Phase 3 of the Essential Marvel Cinematic Universe Guide.

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Look back at the most jaw-dropping and heart-stopping moments in Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Back-stabbing, spies, puny gods and more made their way into the first phase of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Whether they resolved a conflict or changed the course of the universe, these unexpected moments changed the face of the MCU. Check out the biggest shocks in the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and watch out for the biggest shocks of Phase Two coming soon!

Make sure to stay tuned to Marvel.com for more look backs at the Marvel Cinematic Universe! These articles will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched all the Marvel Studios films.

Obadiah Turns on Tony Stark – Marvel's 'Iron Man'

Obadiah Turns on Tony Stark – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

Obadiah Turns on Tony Stark – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

Despite being family friends and business partners, Obadiah (Jeff Bridges) always seemed to have ulterior motives at Stark Industries. When Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) learns he no longer has control of his own company, Obadiah reveals he orchestrated the plan. This betrayal also led to Obadiah creating his own suit of iron, but Tony triumphed both with his business and in the heavyweight battle.

Abomination Bites Back – Marvel's 'The Incredible Hulk'

Abomination Bites Back – Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Abomination Bites Back – Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Pumped full of Super Soldier serum and blasted with radiation, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) became the monstrous Abomination in hopes of destroying Hulk! Becoming more powerful than expected, the military turned their weapons towards this creation, and when Abomination caught a rocket and bit into the explosion, Hulk saw the strength he was up against.

Meet Black Widow – Marvel's 'Iron Man 2'

Meet Black Widow – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

Meet Black Widow – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

Tony Stark hired Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) knowing she could handle anything he threw her way. Tony didn’t realize Natalie’s full capabilities, though, until Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) confronted Tony’s reckless behavior and re-introduced the billionaire to Fury’s operative Black Widow, who Tony recognized as his assistant.

Thor Handles Hulk – 'Marvel's The Avengers'

Thor Handles Hulk – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Thor Hits Hulk – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

The legend of Hulk’s destructive abilities spread amongst all the Avengers, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes genuinely feared him. But for an Asgardian Prince who had little fear in his heart, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) stood up to Hulk during a rampage on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. When Thor leveled Hulk with a punch, the two formed a mutual respect for one another’s might!

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Coulson’s Demise – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

The Avengers had good reason to fear Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his attempts at ruling the universe, but audiences learned of Loki’s true villainy when he fatally injured S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). The character contributed humor to every scene he appeared in, so his untimely death came as a shock to audiences and Avengers alike.

Hulk vs. Chitarui – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

The future looked grim when Loki opened a portal that allowed otherworldly invaders to wreak havoc in New York City. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) arrived just in time to lend a hand defending the city, starting with a massive knockout punch delivered to a massive Chitauri beast!

Hulk Settles the Score – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Never have the Avengers worked together so harmoniously than when they all utilized their strengths to defend New York City from the Chitauri. All animosity they might have held towards one another disappeared, until Hulk and Thor took down a massive beast and Hulk remembered he owed Thor a knockout punch!

'Puny God.' – 'Marvel's The Avengers'

‘Puny God.’ – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

‘Puny God.’ – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Loki has a way with words, along with a superiority complex, so he quickly unleashed a soliloquy upon Hulk, belittling the monstrous Avenger. Loki learned he wasted his time trying to have a verbal sparring match with Hulk when Banner grabbed the Asgardian by the leg to smash him repeatedly! Hulk ended the argument with two words: “Puny god.”

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The bigger they were, the harder they fell! Look back at the most fearsome foes faced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The further the legends of the heroes in the MCU spread, the more villainous their foes became! From former business partners and brothers to hideous experiments and intergalactic invaders, the enemies came in all shapes and sizes. Take a look back at some of the villains who left a lasting legacy of brutality in the first two phases of the MCU!

Take a look at these terrifying threats and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more look backs at the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! These articles will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched all the Marvel Studios films.

Obadiah Stane - Marvel's 'Iron Man'

Obadiah Stane – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

Obadiah Stane – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

A lifelong friend of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his father, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) first betrayed Tony by locking him out of his own company. He then stole the Iron Man blueprints and constructed a bigger, badder version of the already powerful suit. Both brain and brawn prove Iron Monger’s power, but it takes more than that to topple Tony.

Abomination - Marvel's 'Incredible Hulk'

Abomination – Marvel’s ‘Incredible Hulk’

Abomination – Marvel’s ‘Incredible Hulk’

No weapon in Thunderbolt Ross’ (William Hurt) arsenal could take down Hulk (Edward Norton), so he had to create one. With a combination of Super Soldier serum and a few special ingredients, Emily Blonsky (Tim Roth) transformed into a monstrous “Abomination.” This horrific creation remains one of Hulk’s most aggressive adversaries and their brawl leveled city blocks!

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Frost Giants – Marvel’s ‘Thor’

Many threats exist in the Nine Realms, but few can compare to the sheer size of the Frost Giants. Add the power of freezing their enemies to their size, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) proves his wisdom by avoiding them unless absolutely necessary, and even when that happens, it takes the diplomacy of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to settle the dispute.

Red Skull - Marvel's 'Captain America: The First Avenger'

Red Skull – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

Red Skull – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

A brilliant tactician and genius scientist, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) could have become one of the greatest minds the MCU has ever seen. Instead, Schmidt underwent a terrible transformation into the Red Skull, allowing him to form Hydra and plant the seed for the most evil organization in the entire Marvel Universe!

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Loki – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

First appearing in “Thor,” Loki manipulated friends, family, and Asgardian royalty in hopes of carrying out his plans. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have only barely managed to contain his villainy and mischief, as his nefarious schemes also permeated Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World.”

Chitauri – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Each of the Avengers proved that they could take down a Chitauri warrior in a one-on-one situation, but their endless numbers make these aliens so intimidating! In addition to their numbers, having beasts whose size rival skyscrapers make for unrelenting destruction. Well, unless you have a Hulk to stand up to them.

Thanos – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

A threat that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have yet to face head-on, Thanos (Josh Brolin) has limitless resources at his fingertips and he will happily aid anyone hoping to enslave anyone who proves their perseverance! When the Avengers finally clash with the Mad Titan, it will be a battle for the ages.

Malekith - Marvel's 'Thor: The Dark World'

Malekith – Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Malekith – Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Taking a page from Loki’s playbook, Malekith’s (Christopher Eccleston) villainous legacy comes from his skills as a fiendish plotter, carefully orchestrating schemes to weaken Thor and his family. Once Malekith gains the power of the Aether, the Dark Elf becomes one of Thor’s most destructive adversaries!

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Ronan – Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

A descendant of the powerful Kree race, Ronan (Lee Pace) has the advantage of super-strength, agility, and agility. His hammer-like armament, the Universal Weapon, assists in his eradications, and when combined with the Power Stone, it became an asset capable of destroying planets! Luckily, Ronan has no rhythm.

Ultron – Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Tony Stark designed Ultron (James Spader) to help protect the planet. Ultron perverted that benevolent idea into the belief the only way to save the planet involved wiping humans from the face of it. Constantly evolving, adapting, and expanding, Ultron’s vigor rested in his resiliency, his cruelty, and his inhumanity.

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Celebrate the completion of Phase Two by looking back at the most bone-crunching battles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

We’ve already taken a look at the relatively fair fights with the Top 10 Showdowns in the MCU, but now we focus on the bedlam that ensued when our heroes were outnumbered! Assassins, the army, and aliens all took the offensive against the heroes of the MCU, leading to some of the most destructive, and most exciting, moments captured on film. Check out our picks for biggest battles and relive the mayhem!

Take a look at these biggest battles and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more look backs at the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! These articles will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched all the Marvel Studios films.

Hulk vs. the Army – Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) visits the college campus that has the data necessary to unlock the secrets of his violent transformation. Before he can put the data to use, General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) unleashes a secret military force on Banner, leaving him with no choice to go mean and green! This battle marked the first glimpse of the unbridled rage of the Hulk in the MCU.

Iron Man vs. Drones – Marvel's 'Iron Man 2'

Iron Man vs. Drones – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

Iron Man vs. Drones – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

Originally designed for different military branches, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) hacked into hordes of high-powered drones that mirrored Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) technology. When Whiplash himself entered the fray, it took the combined powers of Iron Man and War Machine (Don Cheadle) to end the mayhem!

Thor vs. Frost Giants – Marvel's 'Thor'

Thor vs. Frost Giants – Marvel’s ‘Thor’

Thor vs. Frost Giants – Marvel’s ‘Thor’

When Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Warriors Three, and Sif head to Jotunheim to seek justice for invading Asgard. The mighty Asgardians hold their own against the massive Frost Giants, but Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) arrival and apology brings an end to the disastrous conflict.

Battle of New York – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Loki’s partnership with Thanos pays off when the Mad Titan sends a legion of Chitauri sentries to New York City to destroy everything in their path. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembled to hold back the terrifying horde in a battle so destructive that its ramifications continue to be felt years later in the MCU!

Iron Men vs. Extremis – Marvel's 'Iron Man 3'

Iron Men vs. Extremis – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3’

Iron Men vs. Extremis – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3’

Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and all of his Extremis-infused underlings seem nearly unstoppable. Lucky for Tony, he has a legion of high-tech armor, his pal Rhodey, and even Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) to help him vanquish his foes in an explosive, high-octane orchestra of fire and metal!

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Dark Elf Invasion – Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’

With Loki imprisoned, Thor believes he has ensured the safety of his people, but when a rogue Dark Elf causes a prison escape, anarchy consumes Asgard! The Dark Elves eventually leave Asgard, but the casualties of the battle, including Frigga (Renee Russo), prove this sequence to be one of the most deadly in the MCU.

Street Fight – Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Street Fight – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Street Fight – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Still unsure of his true identity, Captain America (Chris Evans) wages battle against the mysterious Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in chaotic combat in the streets of Washington, D.C. Lucky for Cap, he has Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to help him survive the vicious attack and plan a more organized brawl.

HYDRA Revealed – Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

HYDRA Revealed – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Hydra Revealed – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

No longer lurking in the shadows, Hydra Agents turn on the remaining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that stand in their way! With Hydra’s plans culminating, Captain America and company make their last efforts to destroy the evil organization, bringing down the Winter Soldier and three tricarriers along with it.

Battle for Xandar – Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Battle for Xandar – Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Battle for Xandar – Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Armed with the Power Stone, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) poses such unrelenting ferocity that it takes the Nova Corps fleet to attacking his ship and the Guardians of the Galaxy attacking him face-to-face to even slow him down. Ultimately, it’s a combination of brawn, brains, and pelvic sorcery to stop Ronan’s punishment. 

Sokovia Under Siege – Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Sokovia Under Siege – Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Sokovia Under Siege – Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Designed to help protect the human race, Ultron (James Spader) corrupted that ideal and instead set his sights on destroying them. By lifting the nation of Sokovia into the sky in hopes of it hurtling back towards Earth, the Avengers fought with everything they had to save the nation’s population and destroy the land mass, all while caught in a melee with Ultron’s minions.

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Celebrate the end of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by remembering its biggest and baddest showdowns of the biggest heroes and villains!

Marvel Studios has created adventures of enormous proportions featuring some of the bravest heroes that theaters have ever seen! These stories have caused Marvel’s heroes to square off in mighty bouts with menacing villains in impressive showdowns. We’ve compiled some of our favorite moments where heroes faced off against villains, and in some cases, even against one another!

Take a look at our 10 favorite one-on-one brawls and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more look backs at the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! These articles will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched all the Marvel Studios films.

Iron Man vs. Iron Monger – Marvel's 'Iron Man'

Iron Man vs. Iron Monger – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

Iron Man vs. Iron Monger – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’

Unsurprisingly, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) thought nothing could stop him in his high-tech Iron Man armor. Unaware that his former partner Obadiah Stone (Jeff Bridges) stole Tony’s high-tech plans, the two went toe-to-toe in armors  of their own design. Having more prototypes under his belt, Tony emerged victorious after exploiting weaknesses in Stone’s designs.

Hulk vs. Abomination – Marvel's 'The Incredible Hulk'

Hulk vs. Abomination – Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Hulk vs. Abomination – Marvel’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Although the military managed to capture him, Bruce Banner’s (Edward Norton) meaner, greener side proved to be the only force capable of taking down Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) after becoming the monstrous Abomination. The savage beasts wrought pain and destruction throughout the city and Hulk reigned supreme in one of the most brutal fights in the whole MCU!

Iron Man vs. War Machine – Marvel's 'Iron Man 2'

Iron Man vs. War Machine – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

Iron Man vs. War Machine – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2’

With his health diminishing, Tony got a little out of hand at his house party. While Tony destroyed household objects to impress his guests, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) commandeers a suit to subdue Stark. Although no clear winner emerged from the bout between friends, Rhodes proved he had the skills to deserve his own high-powered suit.

Iron Man vs. Thor – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

When Tony finally crossed paths with Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the hero attempted to imprison him in a S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjet. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had his own plans for Loki for his crimes on Asgard. The powerful heroes traded words, and blows, in an altercation so powerful that Captain America (Chris Evans) had to intervene to spare the two any grave injuries.

Thor vs. Hulk – 'Marvel's The Avengers'

Thor vs. Hulk – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Thor vs. Hulk – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

With Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) monstrous side unleashed inside a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Thor sprang into action to slow him down. Outmatched in size, Thor demonstrated the might of Mjolnir and leveled the Hulk. After both being thrown from the helicarrier, the two left the tussle with a newfound respect for one another’s power.

Black Widow vs. Hawkeye – 'Marvel's The Avengers'

Black Widow vs. Hawkeye – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Black Widow vs. Hawkeye – ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

When a mind-controlled Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) led a siege on the helicarrier, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) hoped to talk sense into him. When talking failed, Black Widow instead had to knock sense into him, and given their history together, the tussle had both physical and emotional ramifications, but resulted in Hawkeye leaving with a clear mind.

Pepper & Iron Man vs. Aldrich Killian – Marvel's 'Iron Man 3'

Pepper & Iron Man vs. Aldrich Killian – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3’

Pepper & Iron Man vs. Aldrich Killian – Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3’

Powered by Extremis, which allowed Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to create extreme heat from his body and regenerate lost limbs, all of Tony’s attempts to neutralize Aldrich proved ineffective. It looked like Aldrich had the power to destroy Tony, but when Pepper appeared with her new Extremis skills, Aldrich lost his head for the last time.

Thor vs. Malekith – Marvel's 'Thor: The Dark World'

Thor vs. Malekith – Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Thor vs. Malekith – Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’

The Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) infiltrated Thor’s realm, set loose prisoners and murdered his mother. Seeking retribution for all the carnage Malekith caused, Thor grappled with the Aether-powered Dark Elf in a realm-spanning quarrel that proved yet again the might of Thor.

Steve vs. Bucky – Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Steve vs. Bucky – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Steve vs. Bucky – Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Captain America needed to retreat from his first few grapples with the mysterious assassin Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), but Cap stood his ground in hopes of completing his mission aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Winter Soldier won the battle, but as their vessel plummeted to Earth, what remained of Bucky Barnes in Winter Soldier carried Steve Rogers to safety.

Iron Man vs. Hulk – Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Tony Stark has a contingency plan for every thinkable situation, and the same goes for Hulk going on a rampage. The most massive brawl in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the collision between technical ingenuity and pure rage left copious amounts of collateral damage, and more than a few destroyed buildings.

Ant-Man vs. Yellowjacket – Marvel's 'Ant-Man'

Ant-Man vs. Yellowjacket – Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’

Ant-Man vs. Yellowjacket – Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’

This face-off deserves a spot on the list, despite technically being the most miniscule battle in the MCU. With Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his Ant-Man suit conflicting with Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) in his Yellowjacket armor, this dispute takes place entirely in Scott’s daughter’s room where toy trains, cars, and blocks are destroyed with blatant disregard for dented plastic.

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Celebrate the release of Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' in theaters now, with a look back at Phase 1 & 2 from SDCC 2014!

Re-live your favorite moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe of the past six years with this exclusive new video previoulsy only shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2014! Celebrating the release of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in theaters now, this highlight reel brings perspective to the vast cosmic spread of the MCU!

It started in 2008 with “Iron Man,” when Marvel Studios took a gamble on introducing the world to Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. Looking back, it’s hard to see how that could be viewed as a risk, considering how big it paid off with fans and critics worldwide. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has spread far and wide, with heroes ranging from Asgardians and their sibling rivalries, to a “kid from Brooklyn,” and now into galactic territories.

The MCU continues to expand into the cosmos with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which brings together a thief, an assassin, two thugs, and a maniac to save the universe from a madman bent on total destruction. Watch this clip to remind yourself of the MCU’s humble beginnings and get a better feeling for how much further that universe will spread!

Get your tickets for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” in theaters now, and follow @Guardians on Twitter and like Guardians of the Galaxy to keep up with your favorite intergalactic misfits and stick with Marvel.com for all things MCU!

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