Skip to main content

MCU recap: A complete rundown of every Marvel movie up until Spider-Man: Far From Home

Ant-Man and the Wasp

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Things have not been going smoothly for Scott Lang since Civil War. The Ant-Man has been placed under house arrest and both Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne are very, very angry that Lang used his super-suit to join the Avengers. To top it all off, Lang has been quantum entangled with Hope's mother, Janet, who was believed dead. He keeps getting sent messages from her and decides, with only two days of house arrest left, to contact Hank and Hope.

They sneak Lang out from under the watchful eye of FBI agent Jimmy Woo, and the three begin working on building a way to speak with Janet through the quantum realm. However, they need parts, so they speak with criminal Sonny Burch, who tried to double cross them. A fight erupts between Sonny, Hope (who has now taken on the mantle of The Wasp) and Ant-Man, but something happens: another person shows up, Ghost. The disappearing woman vanishes with Hank's lab, which has been shrunk down.

The gang go to Hank's old partner, Ben Foster, who helps them locate the lab. However, Lang, Hank and Hope are captured by Ben and Ghost, who are working together. Ghost is actually Ava Starr, a woman who is in an unstable state. They believe using quantum energy, Ghost can be fixed, though doing so may kill Janet.

Our heroes eventually escape with the lab and form a quantum tunnel to meet Janet.  However, Sonny soon finds them, having injected Luis with a truth serum, and calls the FBI. Lang and the gang go on the run, and Hank heads into the quantum realm to meet Janet. Time, it turns out, work differently in the quantum zone. They return and Janet stabilises Ava with her energy. 

Woo, having not seen most of the action, is suspicious of Lang, but frees him from house arrest so he can see his daughter. Ava goes into hiding, while Lang, Hank, Janet and Hope use the Ant-Man suit to harvest quantum energy. While Lang's suspended in another realm, Thanos's snap happens and the other three are dusted.

Things to remember:

  • Lang's suspended in the quantum realm, where time works differently
  • If it weren't for the snap, the Pyms would be one happy family
  • Ben Foster and Ghost are in hiding

Captain Marvel

Marvel

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

Taking place in the '90s, Captain Marvel starts with Vers, an apparent Kree warrior, having nightmares involving a grey-haired woman. Her mentor, Yon-Rogg, keeps her focused and trains her ahead of a mission to re-capture a Kree operative who has been undercover with the Skrulls.

Things go badly wrong. Vers is captured by the Skrull commander Talos, and has her mind probed. During the process, remnants of her previous unseen life on Earth emerge. As luck would have it, the Skrull are also heading there, thanks to information gleaners from Vers’ probe.

Vers, though, manages to escape the Skrull’s clutches and teams up with Nick Fury to look into Project Pegasus, a top-secret initiative that keeps cropping up in Vers’ memories. After being ambushed by Skrulls (and S.H.I.E.L.D., under the control of a Talos-disguised director doppelganger) at an army base during their investigation Fury and Vers eventually hijack a plane and the pair, along with stowaway cat, Goose, fly to Louisiana.

While there, Vers reunites with who she now knows as Monica Rambeau, her old flying partner from the air force. Talos also arrives and, in a plot twist, explains that he’s been looking for the grey-haired woman tied up with the history Vers (who is revealed to be Carol Danvers).

The truth comes out: the grey-haired woman was Mar-Vell, a Kree scientist on Earth who was looking for a way to protect and shelter Skrulls who were hiding from Kree on the warpath. Danvers’ mentor, Yon-Rogg, is also revealed to have killed Mar-Vell during a crash that also involved Carol getting her powers, after she tried to blow up an engine being powered by the Tesseract/Space Stone.

The group eventually arrive at Mar-Vell’s cloaked spaceship, which houses several Skrull refugees, including Talos’ wife and child. Carol also finds out that the Kree have been holding her back with an implant. Now fully powered up, Carol/Captain Marvel (along with help from Goose, who is revealed to be an alien called a flerken and the thing that removed Fury's eye) helps the Skrulls escape and defeats Yon-Rogg.

Captain Marvel escorts the Skrulls ito a new homeworld. She leaves Fury with a gift: a pager to help contact her anytime she needs help. Fury’s finishes a first draft of the Avengers Initiative.

Things to remember:

  • Vers/Captain Marvel is actually Carol Danvers, an air force pilot from Earth who gets powers after a training accident gone wrong
  • The Skrulls are good, the Kree evil – a reversal of the comics
  • The Tesseract’s ‘90s whereabouts is revealed: as part of Mar-Vell’s engine
  • Goose is a flerken!
  • Captain Marvel gives Fury a pager

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame Captain America

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Having been stranded on Titan after the events of Infinity War, Nebula and Iron Man are rescued by Captain Marvel and brought to Earth. The remaining Avengers are still dealing with the loss of half the universe, but eventually find where Thanos is thanks to a huge power spike in the furthest reaches of the galaxy.

Thanos is confronted by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the farm planet from the end of Infinity War. He reveals that he destroyed the Infinity Stones so there’s no way of reversing the snap. In a fit of rage, Thor beheads and kills Thanos.

After a five-year time jump, we find the Avengers still active, but very much depleted, with Iron Man having stepped away from the superhero scene to raise his new daughter, Morgana. Ant-Man finds his way out of the quantum realm and rushes to Avengers HQ to help formulate a plan to head through the quantum realm, travel back in time using Pym Particles, and retrieve all the Infinity Stones.

They bring the plan to Tony who, after some back-and-forth, eventually agrees. The team recruit some of those who have fallen by the wayside to help pull the heist off, including the newly-transformed Professor Hulk, an overweight Thor, and Hawkeye, now known as vigilante Ronin after his family were all snapped away.

Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and Ant-Man all go back to the Battle of New York in 2012 to grab the Time, Mind, and Space Stones. The Time Stone is eventually given up by the Ancient One, the Mind Stone is snagged by Cap from the clutches of Hydra, who has to fight off his own 2012 self, but the Space Stone proves elusive. Loki manages to escape with it, which forces Cap and Iron Man to use Pym Particles to head back to the 1970s to grab the Space Stone from an earlier point in the timeline, which they eventually do.

Elsewhere, Rocket and Thor reclaim the Reality Stone on Asgard during the events of Thor: The Dark World. The God of Thunder also gets Mjolnir back, too. Nebula and War Machine get the Power Stone on Morag in 2014, though Nebula is switched with the contemporary, 2014 Nebula. This timeline’s version of Thanos also finds out about his future self’s plans and eventual death, and sets out to stop the Avengers.

Finally, Hawkeye and Black Widow go for the Soul Stone, which requires one of them to perish. Black Widow eventually makes the ultimate sacrifice and Hawkeye returns with the Soul Stone.

With the Stones complete, Stark and the team put together a Nano Gauntlet to hold the Stones. Hulk wears the glove and snaps his fingers, bringing back half the universe. At the same time, Evil Nebula uses the quantum realm portal to bring Thanos’ army to Avengers HQ’s door.

A fight ensues, and a game of hot potato involving the Gauntlet rages on throughout the tussle. Eventually, the remaining dusted heroes return thanks to the effects of Hulk’s snap, and they fight off Thanos’ army. Thanos gets his hands on the Gauntlet and goes for a snap, but Iron Man switches it and does a snap of his own and kills Thanos.

Iron Man dies due to the injuries he sustained from using the gauntlet. The Avengers celebrate his life at his funeral. Thor takes off with the Guardians, crowning Valkyrie Queen of New Asgard. Cap goes to put the Infinity Stones back to their rightful resting places in the timeline, though he comes back as an old man, having lived a full life with his beau, Peggy Carter. Cap gives his shield to Falcon.

 Things to remember:

  • There's bee a five year time skip
  • All the dusted heroes are back
  • Thanos is defeated. Twice.
  • Iron Man and Black Widow die
  • Captain America goes back in time to live with Peggy
  • Sam Wilson is the new Captain America

Spider-Man: Far From Home

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

Still dealing with the death of Tony Stark in Endgame, Peter Parker goes on a vacation with his school friends. While in Venice, he and his classmates are attacked by a Water Elemental. Mysterio swoops in and saves the day.

Later that night, Nick Fury breaks into Peter’s hotel room and eventually whisks him away to the impromptu HQ he has set up in Venice. It’s there where Peter meets Mysterio, who reveals himself as Quentin Beck, a man who comes from another version of Earth thanks to the rip in the universe caused by Thanos’ snap. Fury also gifts Peter E.D.I.T.H., the defence system Tony set up.

Fury diverts the trip to Prague so Peter/Spider-Man can help battle the Fire Elemental. With Mysterio’s help, the Elemental is defeated. Impressed by Beck, Parker gives E.D.I.T.H. to the fish-bowled 'hero'. In the most plainly obvious twist of all time, Beck is revealed to be evil, and is actually not from the multiverse; he's just a pissed-off former Stark employee. His invention, B.A.R.F., was hijacked by Tony and he now uses it to fabricate projections of the Elementals to trick the world into thinking he’s a hero.

Also in Prague, MJ figures out Peter’s secret identity, and the two also uncover Beck’s plans thanks to a rogue drone that was transmitting the projections. Peter hunts down Beck, but is defeated thanks to the B.A.R.F. technology.

Pete eventually enlists the help of Happy and the pair travel to London, where Mysterio is making his final play to lead the Avengers by creating a Wind Elemental. Peter takes down Mysterio, who then dies, but not before releasing the one final ace up his sleeve: revealing Spider-Man’s secret identity to the world (via J. Jonah Jameson) and framing him as the mastermind behind the events in London. Also, Fury is revealed to have been Talos during the course of the movie. The real Fury is away in space undergoing a secret mission.

Things to remember:

  • MJ figures out Peter is Spider-Man
  • Quentin Beck (Mysterio) is an ex-Stark employee, hellbent on revenge against Tony Stark and superheroes
  • For this movie only, Fury (and Maria Hill) are Skrulls
  • Spider-Man’s secret identity is revealed to the world thanks to Mysterio