The newest Marvel Movie, The Black Panther, is coming out this weekend (2/15). This movie is the last one to come out before the much anticipated movie The Avengers: Infinity War. This new Avengers movie will bring together the entire Marvel Universe to try and defeat a common enemy: Thanos.
The Avengers: Infinity War will feature and bring together characters from the majority of the Marvel movies since Iron Man in 2008. This first Iron Man movie rebooted the Marvel brand. In the first several Marvel movies after Iron Man each one faced a new and different villian, the movies do not seem to connect much. As the movies continued they began to mention other Avengers and superheroes’ names to show that they are aware of each others existence and that they are indeed in the same universe. The first Avengers movie that came out in 2012, and was the first movies that truly connected some of the characters. At that point the main Marvel characters were Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Iron Man has remained the main Avenger throughout the Marvel reboot up until the movies in 2017.
Since the start of the Marvel reboot in 2008, Marvel has greatly expanded their universe. After the second Avengers movie they have branched out to show other characters than the major four of five with movies such as Ant-man, Dr. Strange, and more recently, Deadpool. These movies all seem very different and to be fighting very different enemies. As the universe expands, the villains get bigger and the audience can slowly see connections between villains through subtle comments and calls from their bosses. This foreshadowed that there could possibly be a connection through the villians in these seemingly different movies.
There has also been many crossovers or cameos of other superheroes in single superhero movies. The most recent example of this is Thor: Ragnarok featured Thor, but the Hulk was also a major part of the plot and the movie. Spiderman Homecoming also heavily featured and depended on the timeline of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ironman. These cameos and features of other characters in each others movies show how dependant they are on one another.
This dependence on one another is a thread that was slowly entwined into the franchise since 2008. It started out subtle and will now end with a big bang in 2018 when all of the characters come together to fight the same powerful enemy.