Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

This glossary offers quick definitions of terms used in discussing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this wiki.



Absolute Point

Specific and fixed event in time wherein the outcome always occurs, no matter what is done to prevent it. Absolute points in time cannot be altered without significant universal - or multiversal - consequence.


Adrenaline or Epinephrine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It is secreted by the adrenal medulla. When released into the bloodstream it increases heart rate and stroke volume, dilates the pupils, and constricts arterioles in the skin and gut while dilating arterioles in leg muscles. Often listed as being the source of abnormal feats of strength or agility, or the trigger of super-human powers.


Adjective commonly used to refer to a being who originates elsewhere than Earth.

Alter Ego

An alter ego (from Latin, "other I") is another self, a second personality or persona within a person. The term is commonly used in comic books and related media, for the alternate or secret identity of a superheroes and supervillains.

Classically, an alter ego is used by superheroes to conceal their identities in order to protect their friends and family from harm at the hands of their enemies, whereas supervillains usually have an alter ego to make sure they do not get arrested.


Capable of breathing and existing in air or in water.


A blood serum containing antibodies used to pass on passive immunity to a particular diseases.


An artificial being designed to resemble a human being in as many ways as possible, and whose physiology and life functions replicate and mimic those of human beings as closely as possible. An android could be a robot or synthetic organism.


An anti-hero has widely come to mean a character who has some characteristics that are antithetical to those of the traditional hero. An anti-hero will perform acts generally deemed "heroic," but will do so with methods, manners, or intentions that may not be heroic.


Matter composed of particles that are the counterparts of the particles composing positive matter (the matter of which this universe is composed), but have opposite charges; e.g., anti-protons instead of protons, and positrons instead of electrons. Should positive matter come in contact with an equal amount of antimatter, both will be annihilated and converted to energy.

Artificial Intelligence

The intelligence exhibited by machines or software.



The scattering of radiation or particles in a direction opposite to that of the incident radiation due to reflection from particles of the medium traversed.


Electricity generated naturally by a living being.


Of or having to do with an artificial simulation of a living thing or, more usually, of part of a living thing. A cyborg possesses certain bionic limbs or organs. An android's body is entirely bionic.

Black Hole

A region of space-time with such a strong gravitational pull that no particle or electromagnetic radiation can escape from it.



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A catchphrase is a phrase or expression that is spontaneously popularized after a critical amount of widespread repeated usage in everyday conversation (i.e., it "catches" on). Some catchphrases become the "trademark" or defining characteristic of the person or character with whom they originated.


Precognition or Clairvoyance are the ability to perceive information about future places or events before they happen. It is done by mentally scanning the various alternate futures, rather than using deduction based on current knowledge. Clairvoyance can also be used in the present and past times.

Clairvoyance (from 17th century French Clair meaning "clear" and Voyant meaning "seeing") is a supposed form of extra-sensory perception claiming the transference of information about an object, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses.

A being who possesses precognition or clairvoyance is sometimes called a "precog" or a clairvoyant.


A unit of space travel measurement used in the intergalactic community.[1]


The need of an individual to find a firm answer to something, or to bring a feeling of finality or resolution.


Of a scale beyond that which is normal on Earth.

Cosmic Beings

Creatures of often immense power. They are usually immortal and often have Cosmic parentage.
(See Also: Cosmic Beings)

Cosmic Power

Energy derived from non-Earthly sources that the technologies of most sentient races cannot tap, and that is on a scale far beyond what most Earthly technology can tap or generate.


Crossovers of multiple characters have been used to set an established continuity, where characters can frequently meet within one setting. This is especially true of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as different characters frequently interact with one another since they live in the same "universe". The movie The Avengers is a crossover between the four different franchises released prior to its premiere: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.


A state of preservation in deep-freeze conditions.


Any chemical compound that contains molecular group consisting of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. It is often used to refer to Potassium cyanide, a highly toxic crystalline salt that emits lethal hydrogen cyanide upon contact with the acidity of the stomach.


The comparative study of automatic control and communications systems, whether biological (e.g., the human nervous system) or artificial (e.g., computers). More narrowly, the term refers to the science of synthesizing mind and machine, and to the engineering problems involved in detecting thoughts in the brain and translating them into mechanical responses.


Cyborg is a contraction of the words cybernetic organism. A cyborg is any organic being with robotic or cybernetic augmentation or implants to replace or enhance physical parts.



A form of cosmic negative energy that manifests itself as a non-reflective black substance, it is highly unstable but very powerful.
(See Also: Darkforce)


Dendrotoxins are a class of neurotoxins produced by mamba snakes that block particular subtypes of potassium channels in neurons.


Electrostatic Field

An electric field associated with static electric charges, the electric charges at rest on the surface of an insulated body.


A certain humanoid being native to the realms of Alfheim and Svartalfheim.


EMP stands for Electromagnetic Pulse, a short burst of electromagnetic energy that is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels it can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures.


  1. Human being, or individuals from other races, with superpowers bestowed by man-made experiments or accidents, instead of natural powers acquired through genetic heritage.
  2. In the context of the level of physical attributes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki, a level beyond regular human beings, but still within the overall limits of human potential. Captain America is the primary example of an individual with "Enhanced-level" physical attributes, sometimes capable of superhuman feats within very specific circumstances, but not superhuman in otherwise normal circumstances.


The universal tendency for energy in a closed system to equalize. On a universe-wide scale, it is the inevitable degradation of matter and energy to an inert uniform state incapable of sustaining life.


ESP stands for Extra-Sensory Perception. The psychic powers of telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s official stance on psychic powers prior to the discovery of the Inhumans was that they did not exist, as there were no credible studies that supported them. Forms and Types of Extra-Sensory Perception

  • Precognition: The ability to see in the future.
  • Clairvoyance: The ability to see in the future, in the past, and/or in the present in a way impossible to classic senses.


A rigid framework inside which an organism's other components are contained, or a mechanical device that amplifies the strength of the user, who stands or sits in an open cabin.


  • A being from a world in this dimension other than Earth.
  • Of or having to do with a world in this dimension other than Earth.



A contraction of "fan-canon", something of a contradiction in terms. It is basically fan-created material that is unofficial, but can expand or spin off of established canon, such as fan art or fan fiction.

Force Field

In science fiction and fantasy literature, a force field or protective shield is a barrier made up of energy to protect a person, area or object from attacks or intrusions. The idea may be based partly on the concept of a vector field, though in character it resembles the "warding spells," the defensive magic claimed to be used by the Druids and shamans of the ancient world.


The part of the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared to near-ultraviolet, all wavelengths are useful to plant or animal life; in particular.


Gamma Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation of an extremely high frequency and therefore high energy. Gamma radiation is a type of ionizing radiation and biologically hazardous.
(See Also: Gamma Radiation)


Having to do with the genes, the section of a cell of a living being that contains the molecule DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which controls the transmission of hereditary characteristics from parent to offspring.


The study of the process of heredity of physical characteristics in living organisms.


A humanoid of extraordinary lenght and strenght. The definition is commonly used between humans to talk about extraordinary tall subject. It also used to identify some races or being from the Nine Realms, like the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, or the lord of the Fire Demons Surtur.


Power that go beyond the capabilities of regular human beings, commonly known as "superpowers".


Initially, any person with superpowers. Following the clarification of the origin of superpowers, it only applies to people who had natural superpowers instead of acquiring it due to man-made experiments or similar sources.


A high atomic number element that distorts gravity fields within itself but, when stimulated by an electrical current, is capable of solidifying and cause powerful gravity fields to emanate from it.
(See Also: Gravitonium)


A unit of weight measurement used in the intergalactic community.[2]


A term used by humans of centuries past to refer to extraterrestrial beings with a longer lifespan and greater physical powers than human beings.



Any subatomic particle made of quarks and subject to a strong force, most notably protons and neutrons.


A Henchman is an underling of a more powerful criminal mastermind or super-villain. In recent years, the term has bred a neologism known as "Hench", which is an acting verb used to describe the actions of a Henchman.


A three-dimensional image of an object, produced by the patterns formed by a laser beam.


Having virtually the same physical characteristics as a human being. Only a normal Earth human being can properly be termed human, although Inhumans can be classified as human under a broader definition of the term. Beings who greatly resemble human beings in physical characteristics, but are not exactly like them are humanoids. Beings who resemble humans in some major outward physical characteristics but not in others that are of equal importance are called semi-humanoids.


Hybrids, sometimes called "Half-breeds", are the result of the cross between two species, one or both not necessarily humanoids. The spawn from hybrids are also considered as hybrids. The Hybrids are supposed by their nature to be sterile in theory, but that does not coincide with the reality.


Of or having to do with a level of pressure higher than atmospheric pressure.


A theoretical dimension whose physical laws differ from Earth's in the following ways. First, it is possible to surpass the speed of light within hyperspace. Second, hyperspace is "warped" in comparison to Earth's dimension so that the distance between two points in hyperspace might be immensely shorter than the distance between the equivalent points in Earth's dimension. Interstellar travel is impractical for any sentient race that has not discovered the means of traveling through hyperspace in order to reach a destination in their own dimension. Hyperspace is also known as sub-space and warp-space.



A multiversal event in which reality is destroyed as two universes collide.

Inertial Confinement

Inertial confinement fusion is a type of fusion energy research that attempts to initiate nuclear fusion reactions by heating and compressing a fuel target, typically in the form of a pellet that most often contains a mixture of deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen.


A metallic element of the platinum family, and one of the densest and rarest elements on Earth.
(See Also: Iridium)





The psychic, psionic, magical (but not physical) ability to screen the physical body from the effects of gravity and thus rise off the ground.

Life Model Decoy

A robot that duplicates all outward aspects of a living person.
(See Also: Life-Model Decoy)



Fiction within fiction; for example, The Captain America Adventure Program or Trevor Slattery's TV show Caged Heat.


A unit of length measurement used in the intergalactic community.[2]

Mind Control

In comics, mind control often appears as the means whereby a person literally seizes control of the minds of the victims to the point where not only their bodies come under direct control, but also their consciousness as well, so that they become puppets or slaves to the controller.



A soft silvery metallic element that tarnishes in air, often used as neodymium-doped glasses in lasers.

Nexus Event

An event in the Sacred Timeline that creates a new reality. It can also be what is called "point of divergence", when a certain moment happens differently to what it was supposed to happen.


An unstable molecular compound capable of creating a vacuum implosion that crushes matter as it engulfs it.
(See Also: Nitramene)



Odinforce is the power that enables Odin to be the most powerful of the Asgardians.
(See Also: Odinforce)


Odinsleep is a state of deep sleep where Odin recharges the Odinforce.
(See Also: Odinsleep)


All-powerful. The term is also used generically to describe beings possessing vast power, which, although not unlimited, by far surpasses that of most sentient beings.


In the comic industry, a one-shot is a piece that is created as a pilot comic or stand-alone story. Many artists publish one-shots to test a possible new story, or to express information that would not fit with the story arc of a multiple-issue monthly series, particularly a long-running regular series. Marvel Studios used that term from the comics to name the series of short films released with some of the Home Video version of its feature films.
(See Also: Marvel One-Shots)



A rare and lustrous silvery-white metallic element.


A tribe, clan, or race of gods of a common origin.


When used as a verb, a term meaning to pass through another object through altering the synchronization of the atoms of the object passing through with the atoms of the object being passed through.


A super-heated state of matter consisting of charged subatomic particles.


An artificial replacement for a missing limb or other body part. If the prosthetic part simulates all of the functions (or more) of the natural part, it is called bionic.




Reboot, means to discard all previous continuity in the series and start anew. Effectively, all previously-known history is declared by the writer to be null and void and the series starts over from the beginning. This differs from a creator producing a separate interpretation of another creator's work; rather, the owner of the creation declares that the rebooted continuity is now the official version.

In the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some of its films and TV series are considered reboots of previous live action appearances of particular franchises that were unrelated to Marvel Studios.


A repulsor is a form in which a high density muon beam can be projected, as a powerful blast of concussive energy called repulsor blasts. Repulsor blasts may be directed by magnets and focused by electrostatic lenses, although they may also be self-focusing. One of the luminaries of repulsor design technology is Tony Stark, who has incorporated them into every iteration of his Iron Man armors since the Mark II, and previously in the Jericho missiles. Constructed using micro-circuitry, these repulsors are implemented into the palms of his battlesuit and are one of the armor's primary offensive tools, though they can also be used to stabilize flight.


A retcon (short for retroactive continuity) is, in a nutshell, a storyteller's tool that adds previously unknown material to an event in a previous story. As with any tool, the quality of the finished product depends on the user's skill and intent.


A mechanical entity sometimes but not always possessing a humanoid configuration. This could include androids and synthezoids.

Rope Dart

A flexible weapons in Chinese martial arts, consisting of a long rope with a metal dart attached to one end, which allows the user to throw the dart out at a long-range target and use the rope to pull it back.


Sacred Timeline

A collection of realities that despite having notable differences between each other follow the same baseline.
(See Also: Sacred Timeline)

Secret Identity

Both heroes and villains, sometimes, choose to keep their true name and identity secret to protect themselves, their friends, their loved ones or simply their social status.


A plastic explosive used in commercial blasting, demolition and in certain military applications.
(See Also: Semtex)


Having intelligence near or above the human level. The definition of intelligence is slippery but often includes self-awareness, problem solving, and tool use.


In comic book media, the term sidekick most commonly refers to assistants of Superheroes, usually in a crimefighting capacity. The sidekick has the literary function of playing against the hero, often contrasting in skill, asking the questions the reader would ask, or performing functions not suited to the hero.


A point in space where the normal rules of physics do not apply. Normally found only in a black hole, a concentration of matter so dense that even light cannot escape its gravity well.

Sorcerer Supreme

The highest position in the Masters of the Mystic Arts; they wield greater skills and are responsible for much higher duties than any other sorcerer.


Dispersion of radiation, either electromagnetic radiation or sound waves, into a spectrum to recording or map it.

Super Soldier

Super soldier is a term often used to describe a soldier that operates beyond normal physical and mental limits of humanity.

In fiction, super soldiers are usually heavily augmented, either through genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, drugs, brainwashing, an extreme training regimen (usually with high casualty rates, and starting from birth), or other scientific means or a combination of any of those.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America was to be the first of a line of super-soldiers, a plan that was ruined when Abraham Erskine, the creator of the Super Soldier Serum, was killed. Other characters, such as Isaiah Bradley, Emil Blonsky, and U.S. Agent, are continuations of those experiments.


The term superhuman applies to an usually physical aptitude far beyond the range attainable by normal human beings. The term Enhanced refers to physical abilities that are not outside the theoretical limits of a normal human being, but are not usually presented in an average human being for being, for example, impossible or to difficult to maintain in a practical way, so it can be considered a term for "light" superhuman abilities.


A spoiler is any piece of information that reveals plot elements which some people may wish to remain unrevealed so that they may enjoy the source material to its fullest extent, without having any previous knowledge of the outcome. Some examples of spoilers would be the death of a major character or an unexpected plot twist.

Suspended Animation

Suspended animation is the slowing of life processes by external means without termination. Breathing, heartbeat, and other involuntary functions may still occur, but they can only be detected by artificial means. Extreme cold is used to precipitate the slowing of an individual's functions.


A specific type of android made partly or entirely of synthetic, organic-like materials. Designed to be as similar to a human being as possible, it does not need food or sleep as it is alimented by a powerful internal energy source.



Taser stands for "Thomas A. Swift's electric rifle", in honor of the fictional character Tom Swift, and is often used to refer to weapons that deliver electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles.


Terrigen is a rare mineral existing in Crystal form. The gas they emit, known as Terrigen Mist, has the power to unlock the special "powers" of the Inhumans.
(See Also: Terrigen Crystals, Terrigen Mist)


Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin that inhibits the firing of action potentials in nerves by binding to the sodium channels in nerve cell membranes and blocking the passage of sodium ions, responsible for the rising phase of an action potential, into the nerve cell.

Topical Reference

Due to the particular timescale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and almost any other works of fiction, there are numerous references to details that given the timespan between filming and release of the different products, should be considered topical references instead of canonical references. As such, certain references cannot be taken literally.

References to weather, clothing (winter/summer clothing), dates seen on-screen in props, screens and cellphones are not considered canonical references per se. Under the same reasoning, the lack of mentions of events appearing in different media is never a sign that those events did not happen yet.


To change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.


A term for Chinese organized crime syndicates.


A certain humanoid being native to the Nine Realms.




An alternative version of a person or a creature that differs from its Sacred Timeline counterpart by creating a nexus event.


A precious and rare metallic element, nearly indestructible, capable of completely absorb all known types of vibrations.
(See Also: Vibranium)


A civilian who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority, and often in violent ways.

Vita Radiation

Vita Radiation is a specific wavelength of electromagnetic radiation that has stabilizing properties.
(See Also: Vita Radiation)





A special sound-sensitive metal used by Centaurians.
(See Also: Yaka)


A Japanese crime clan.
(See Also: Yakuza)