The Infinity Saga is a saga of films made up of the first twenty three films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, encompassing Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three. The saga began with Iron Man and concluded with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The saga's prominent theme is the gathering of the Infinity Stones and the war against Thanos.
The Infinity Saga is the name given to the overarching storyline comprising of the original twenty-three films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the primary focus being around the Infinity Stones, a collection of six powerful objects, with each individually controlling a different aspect of the universe. The primary antagonist of the saga, the extraterrestrial warlord Thanos, who made it his goal to collect all the stones and use them to exterminate half of the universe's inhabitants, believing that it will spare the universe from being destroyed by overpopulation. His primary opposition is the team of superheroes known as the Avengers.
The earliest points of history explored in the MCU show that three of the stones, the Time, Reality and Space Stones, found their way to the Nine Realms. While the Time Stone fell into the possession of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, the latter two were procured by the Asgardians. They later hide the two stones away, with the Space Stone sent to Earth where it is eventually acquired during World War II by the Nazi science organization, HYDRA. Their efforts to use the Space Stone to further their own goals of conquering the world lead to Steve Rogers' transformation into the super-soldier Captain America, and together with operatives of the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) manages to defeat HYDRA's leader and re-obtain the Space Stone. However, Rogers himself is lost and frozen in the Arctic for nearly seventy years.
The SSR is later reformed as the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., unknowingly infiltrated by HYDRA. The agency continues to experiment with the Space Stone, and in the 1990s, rogue members of the Kree Empire come to Earth and try to use it to help save the Skrulls from the Kree's genocidal war against them. The battle between the two races results in United States Air Force pilot Carol Danvers being given superpowers by the Tesseract, and she wards the Kree away and leaves Earth to help the Skrulls relocate. The experience with Danvers and the extraterrestrials prompts S.H.I.E.L.D. into creating the Avengers Initiative, a global defense program designed to recruit superpowered individuals.
In the present day, the Avengers comes to comprise of six members: Steve Rogers himself, who is rescued and revived by S.H.I.E.L.D.; billionaire inventor Tony Stark; scientist Bruce Banner; the Asgardian prince Thor; and prominent agents Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton. Together, the six of them form the original Avengers and have their first battle with Thanos' forces when he sends an army of Chitauri under the command of Thor's errant brother Loki to steal the Space Stone. The Avengers defeat Loki and the Chitauri in a grande battle in New York City, and the Space Stone is returned to Asgard. A year later, the Reality Stone reemerges when astrophysicist Jane Foster unwittingly stumbles upon it while studying the cosmic phenomenon known as the Convergence, leading to a series of altercations between Asgard and the Dark Elves, who seek to use the Reality Stone to wipe out the Nine Realms. Thor manages to single-handedly defeat the Dark Elves, and the Reality Stone is placed in the care of the Collector. Also during this time, various intergalactic parties working both for and against Thanos conflict over the Power Stone. A small cadre of alien outcasts, the Guardians of the Galaxy, manage to keep Thanos and his allies from obtaining the stone by fighting and killing his conspirators on Xandar, the capital world of the Nova Empire.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is later destroyed when HYDRA's infiltration is brought to light, and the Avengers are left to work against HYDRA independently. In their last battle against the terrorists, the Avengers come across the Mind Stone, which had been recovered earlier by Thanos but lost on Earth after Loki's defeat. Experiments with the stone lead to the empowerment of twins Wanda Maximoff and Pietro Maximoff and the creation of two powerful androids, Ultron and the Vision. However, Ultron becomes megalomaniacal and attempts to wipe out the human race. The Avengers manage to stop him, but the destruction wrought by the conflict causes friction between them and the public. This dissension escalates with the creation of the Sokovia Accords, a set of documents meant to regulate the Avengers' activities. The Accords cause a schism in the Avengers, leading to multiple conflicts and the eventual disbandment of the team.
The fracturing of the Avengers team coupled with the destruction of Asgard wrought on by the return of Thor's sadistic older sister Hela leaves the many factions of the universe vulnerable when Thanos finally sets out to obtain the Infinity Stones himself. Xandar is obliterated when he takes the Power Stone, and he acquires the Space Stone from the survivors of Asgard's fall. Thanos sends his children to Earth to find the Time and Mind Stones, then goes to Knowhere to take the Reality Stone from the Collector and captures Gamora, knowing she found the Soul Stone on Vormir, where it is kept by Red Skull, who wound up there after touching the Space Stone. Tearfully, Thanos sacrifices Gamora to obtain the Soul Stone and returns to his home planet of Titan expecting his children to have the Time and Mind Stones for him, only to face Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis and Nebula in a battle for the Time Stone, while another battle rages in Wakanda for the Mind Stone. The battle on Titan ends with Strange giving Thanos the Time Stone to save Stark's life as Thanos' army is defeated by the combined efforts of Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon, War Machine, Bucky Barnes, Thor, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Black Panther and the Wakandan tribes. Although Scarlet Witch destroys Vision to prevent Thanos from getting the Mind Stone, Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse Vision's destruction and rips the Mind Stone from his head to complete his collection of all six stones. Thor tries to finish him off with Stormbreaker, but Thanos manages to snap his fingers and decimate half of all life in the universe. Victims of the Snap include Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, Hope van Dyne, and Barton's family.
Three weeks after the Snap, Stark and Nebula are brought to Earth by Captain Marvel and the remaining Avengers ambush Thanos on his new homeworld upon discovering that he used the stones again, only to learn that he destroyed the stones so his work could not be undone. Thor then cuts his head off, making the Avengers' efforts to bring back their allies all for naught.
Five years later, the Avengers attempt to get on with their lives when Scott Lang, having returned from the Quantum Realm, comes up with a plan to go back to various points in time and take the Infinity Stones before Thanos can collect them all. Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Ant-Man go back to 2012 New York to retrieve the Space, Mind and Time Stones. However, when Loki escapes with the Tesseract, Stark and Rogers go back to 1970s New Jersey to retrieve the Space Stone from the camp where Rogers was trained. Thor and Rocket go back to 2013 Asgard to retrieve the Reality Stone from Jane Foster and Thor has a heart-to-heart with his mother Frigga before leaving with Mjølnir. War Machine and Nebula go back to 2014 Morag to retrieve the Power Stone before Star-Lord, while Black Widow and Hawkeye head to Vormir to retrieve the Soul Stone. Black Widow sacrifices herself for the Soul Stone just as Thanos in that time becomes aware of the Avengers' plan to undo the Snap and sends past Nebula to take her future self's place and use the Quantum Realm to bring him and his army to 2023 just as Hulk uses the stones to reverse the Snap. Thanos comes to the realization that only wiping out half of all life would be a mistake and declares his intention to destroy the entire universe and recreate it in his image. A massive battle ensues between the heroes of the universe and Thanos, during which Nebula kills her past self after convincing Gamora from 2014 to rebel against their adoptive father and Captain Marvel arrives to lend her assistance. Just as Thanos is about to redo his deed, Iron Man snatches the stones and with the snap of his fingers, wipes the villain and his army out of existence, sacrificing himself in the process.
In the aftermath, Stark is memorialized by his allies, as well as his wife Pepper Potts and daughter Morgan. The remaining Avengers then go their separate ways with Thor joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, Barton reuniting with his family, and Rogers making Wilson the new Captain America by giving him his shield, having decided to live out the life with Peggy Carter he always wanted after returning the stones to their proper places, thus concluding the Saga.
Eight months later, Parker tries to take a break from being Spider-Man with a trip to Europe, during which he intends to confess his feelings for MJ. The trip doesn't go as planned when "Fury" recruits Parker for a mission to stop the Elementals alongside Quentin Beck, who claims to be from another Earth, but is actually a former Stark Industries employee looking to fill the void left by Stark's death. Beck's plans are ultimately foiled during a final showdown in London when he tries to kill Parker, only to end up dead from a misfired gunshot. Fury and Hill turn out to have been impersonated by the Skrulls Talos and Soren, taking orders from the real Fury, who's in space with other Skrulls. In the meantime, just as things are looking up for Parker, a news story had surfaced to the public, blaming him for Beck's death and outing him as Spider-Man.
Iron Man (2008)
The film tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
In this new beginning, scientist Bruce Banner desperately hunts for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him: the Hulk. Living in the shadows--cut off from a life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross--Banner struggles to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thunderbolt Ross and the military machinery that seeks to capture him and brutally exploit his power. As all three grapple with the secrets that led to the Hulk's creation, they are confronted with a monstrous new adversary known as the Abomination, whose destructive strength exceeds even the Hulk's own. One scientist must make an agonizing final choice: accept a peaceful life as Bruce Banner or find heroism in the creature he holds inside--The Incredible Hulk.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts and "Rhodey" Rhodes by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the epic adventure, "Thor", which spans the Marvel Universe from present-day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is the mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth by his father Odin and is forced to live among humans. A beautiful, young scientist, Jane Foster, has a profound effect on Thor, as she ultimately becomes his first love. It's while here on Earth that Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment... Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by "vita-rays". Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.
The Avengers (2012)
Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures "Marvel's The Avengers" — the superhero team-up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel superheroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
In the aftermath of Marvel's "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy--the Winter Soldier.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits--Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand--with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Marvel Studios presents Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man." Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Doctor Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark's surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Doctor Strange (2016)
From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of the world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange – armed with newly acquired magical powers – is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Set to the backdrop of "Awesome Mixtape #2," Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man, who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark. Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
In Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarök – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first, he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther follows T'Challa who, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T'Challa's mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!
- Although Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Spider-Man: Far From Home are part of the Infinity Saga, they do not feature and do not have any mentions of the Infinity Stones.
- Iron Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 only featured minor references to the stones, while both Thor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier only featured one of the stones in their post-credit scenes.
- Apart from the Infinity Stones, many elements from these movies do carry forward through the story, including recurring concepts, locations, characters, weapons, etc.
Behind the Scenes
- In March 2019, Kevin Feige revealed to Empire Magazine that he dubbed the first wave of Marvel Cinematic Universe films (from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame) as the "Infinity Saga" to separate them from the films that will follow: "We wanted to bring to a conclusion a series of movies in a way that had never been done before. Harry Potter had an ending because there were only so many books. Lord of the Rings too. But we thought, 22 movies in, wouldn't it be fun to bring some finality to the storyline?"
- Originally slated as the first film of Phase Four, Spider-Man: Far From Home, the 23rd film in the MCU, was later changed to be the last film of Phase Three and the conclusion of the "Infinity Saga" instead of Avengers: Endgame as originally announced. In June 2019, Kevin Feige explained: "We realized that the true end of the entire Infinity Saga, the final film of Phase 3, had to be Spider-Man: Far From Home, because we lose Tony Stark at the end of Endgame. The relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark is so special over the five films that Tom Holland has portrayed Spider-Man in the MCU, that we needed to see where his journey went, and see how does Spider-Man step out of the shadow of his mentor, Tony Stark, and become the true hero that he was always meant to be. And it's for that reason that Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home are essentially two pieces of the same story."