|For the in-universe film, see The Snap|
The Snap was the massive fallout across all civilizations and species in the universe which wiped out fifty percent of all life in random succession after the Infinity Gauntlet was activated. The mass genocide was initiated by Thanos at the end of the Battle of Wakanda, marking the end of his campaign to retrieve all six Infinity Stones.
Thanos' Killing Spree
- "The entire time I knew Thanos, he only ever had one goal: To bring balance to the universe by wiping out half of all life. He used to kill people planet by planet, massacre by massacre."
"Including my own."
"If he gets all six Infinity Stones, he can do it with the snap of his fingers."
- ―Gamora and Drax the Destroyer[src]
In his quest to obtain the Infinity Stones, Thanos invaded Nidavellir and forced the Dwarves to create the Infinity Gauntlet, a golden glove capable of harnessing the power of the Infinity Stones. Thanos later massacred every single one of them, save for Eitri. After Thanos invaded Xandar, destroyed the Nova Corps, and stole the Power Stone from the Orb, he slaughtered half of the Xandarians as part of his desire to balance the universe.
After having retrieved the Power Stone, Thanos and the Black Order intercepted the Statesman, which was carrying the Asgardian survivors of the cataclysm, Ragnarök. While the Black Order slaughtered half of the ship's population, Thanos personally confronted and defeated Thor, the new king of the Asgardians with Asgard having been destroyed. After easily defeating Hulk in single combat, he murdered Heimdall after he used his last breath to send Hulk back to Earth by way of the Bifrost. He then forced Loki to give up the Tesseract by threatening to kill Thor. After Loki gave it to him and then tried to kill him, he murdered Loki as well. Thanos crushed the Tesseract in his hand, revealing the Space Stone as its power source. Having gained the next stone, he destroyed the Statesman with the Power Stone, leaving Thor and the dead Asgardians in space.
On Earth, Hulk, who was saved by Heimdall's Bifrost Bridge, crashed into the New York Sanctum and warned the Masters of the Mystic Arts of Thanos' incoming arrival. Doctor Strange, Wong, Iron Man, and Hulk gathered at the Sanctum and discussed the history of the Infinity Stones' history across the Nine Realms. However, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian launched an assault in New York City, prompting the four to fight back. During the ensuing battle, however, Doctor Strange was abducted by Ebony Maw, while Wong sent Cull Obsidian through a portal to the Arctic. Iron Man and Spider-Man, who left his school bus to help them, managed to sneak onto the Q-Ship. Eventually, Iron Man and Spider-Man rescued Doctor Strange and created a hole in the ship which sucked Maw into deep space, killing him. The three then decided to confront Thanos on his home planet, Titan. In Edinburgh, Vision and Scarlet Witch were ambushed by Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, who attempted to draw the Mind Stone out of Vision's head. The couple then received combined reinforcements from Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon. Thanos' two children retreated and the five Avengers traveled to the New Avengers Facility to discuss the Mind Stone.
Obtaining the Reality Stone
Meanwhile, Thanos personally traveled to Knowhere to obtain the Reality Stone, which was entrusted to the Collector after the conclusion of the Second Dark Elf Conflict. He infiltrated the Collector's museum and located the Reality Stone, which was in the form of the Aether. He then solidified the Aether into the Reality Stone and added it to his Infinity Gauntlet. As Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Mantis arrived on Knowhere to confront Thanos, he conjured a false illusion of him interrogating and torturing the Collector into revealing the location of the Stone, having accurately predicted that the Guardians of the pursue him to Knowhere.
Obtaining the Soul Stone
The illusion worked perfectly and Thanos abducted Gamora and forced her to divulge the location of the Soul Stone with the threat of torturing her sister Nebula with the Power and Space Stones. Thanos' threat forced her to reveal the stone's location, which was hidden in Vormir. Thanos and Gamora then traveled to the mysterious planet, where they were greeted by the Red Skull, who became the stone's guardian as a punishment for abusing the Tesseract's power during World War II. After hearing Red Skull's elucidation that he would have to sacrifice someone he loved in order to obtain the Infinity Stone, he tearfully threw Gamora from the cliff and was granted possession of the Soul Stone.
The Last Confrontations
On Earth, the Avengers traveled to Wakanda and tasked Shuri with removing Vision's stone so it could be destroyed without killing him. However, Wakanda soon was attacked by the Black Order and Thanos' army of Outriders, who demanded the Mind Stone. Led into battle by Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje, Jabari Tribe, Border Tribe, and the Wakandan Royal Guard fought back. Thor arrived on Wakanda with his newly forged weapon Stormbreaker, along with Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The Outriders and the remaining members of the Black Order were eventually defeated and killed. Meanwhile, on Titan, Thanos was confronted by the combined efforts of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis, and Nebula. Although the seven managed to briefly overwhelm Thanos, he used the power of the four stones to gain the upper hand. A beaten Doctor Strange then relinquished the Time Stone to Thanos so that he wouldn't kill Stark. Having obtained the fifth stone, Thanos used the Space stone to teleport himself to Wakanda.
In the forests of Wakanda, Thanos appeared and used the stones to subdue the Avengers before making his way to Scarlet Witch, who was using her powers to destroy the Mind Stone in Vision's forehead. Although she managed to destroy the last stone and Vision with it, Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse Wanda's destruction, restoring Vision to life and repairing the Mind Stone. After extracting the stone and killing Vision, Thanos completed the Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones and prepared to use it but was caught aback when Thor brutally attacked him with Stormbreaker, momentarily disarming the Mad Titan.
As Thor confronted and reminded Thanos that he made a promise to kill him for his actions during the Attack on the Statesman, including his murders of Heimdall, Loki, and half of the Asgardians, Thanos simply taunted him that Thor should have aimed for his head to ensure his swift death. Recovering from his injury, Thanos, much to Thor's horror, snapped his fingers to activate the Infinity Gauntlet and passed out.
He awakened in the Soulworld where he approached a younger Gamora, who asked him if he completed his mission, to which he solemnly replied yes. Gamora asked what it cost him, to which he replied "everything". Thanos then returned to his consciousness and, his plan complete, used the Space Stone to escape Wakanda travel to the Garden.
Shortly after the activation of the Infinity Gauntlet, the destructive effects of Thanos' Snap began to take hold, with half of all life in the universe disintegrating in random succession. Outside Earth and Titan were several Asgardian casualties, such as Sif and an Asgardian actor who portrayed Loki in The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard. Even dimensions across the Multiverse, such as the Quantum Realm, were affected by the Snap.
On Earth, there were at least 3,200,000,000 humans confirmed deceased or missing worldwide, according to a statistic in the New Avengers Facility. Both sentient and insentient beings perished in the Snap, including the bacteria in the bodies of the Snap survivors.
In Wakanda, Bucky Barnes was one of the first to die, crumbling into dust in front of Steve Rogers and Thor. The raging battle quickly wound down into a ceasefire as many Wakandan soldiers and Dora Milaje operatives corroded into dust, while M'Baku and other survivors watched in horror. Casualties of the Golden Tribe included Shuri and T'Challa, who collapsed into dust in front of Okoye. Rocket Raccoon tearfully watched Groot vanishing into dust, as he could do nothing to save his life. Kneeling over Vision's lifeless body, Maximoff peacefully vanished into dust. Hidden in long grass, Falcon disintegrated as James Rhodes called out to him, not realizing his companion was already gone.
The United States of America had broadcasted a state of emergency in the wake of the erasing of many of the country's citizens. In Atlanta, Nick Fury and Maria Hill while driving witnessed the Snap claiming the lives of the civilians around them, plunging the city into chaos. As Hill disintegrated before Fury's eyes, the former Director hurried to retrieve his last resort Transmitter Pager. Realizing he was disintegrating as well, Fury managed to use to transmit a last-ditch distress call to distant Captain Marvel before he was reduced to dust.
In San Francisco, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne planned to send Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm to extract quantum energy to aid Ava Starr. Using the portable Quantum Tunnel in Luis' Van, Lang made his way to the Quantum Realm and harvested needed energy. However, Pym, Hope, and Janet were all erased from existence, leaving Lang stranded in the Quantum Realm. The van was later impounded and put into a unit for storage along with the remainder of Lang's possessions.
At Midtown School of Science and Technology in New York City, the high school was gathered in the gymnasium watching the marching band at the time of the snap. Half the band and audience disintegrated, much to the shock of the survivors. Among those who were killed were Ned Leeds, Michelle Jones, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, Jason Ionello, Sue Lorman, and Andre Wilson.
Among the billions of other victims of the Snap on Earth were Laura Barton and her three children, Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel, who perished at their homestead, May Parker, who was killed in her home, Betty Ross, Erik Selvig, Sharon Carter, Thaddeus Ross, Jane Foster, Wong,  Mary Livanos, Erika Denton, Cammie Conroy, David Jerome, Elijah Cortez, Billy Peskers, Hiro Kajimoto, Karen Oggerton and one of her patients, Isaiah Sorenson and his pet cat, Phillip Carroway and his wife, Jenae Jazrem's husband, Theo Boskowtiz's father, and a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
On Titan, in the aftermath of their defeat by Thanos, the effects of the gauntlet began to claim more lives. Mantis was alerted to what was happening and soon became the first to vanish followed by Drax and Star-Lord. Doctor Strange claimed there was no other way to win and soon vanished. Lastly, Spider-Man succumbed to the effects of the Snap while desperately begging to live before crumbling away in Iron Man's arms, leaving him and Nebula as the only survivors on Titan.
As the effects of Thanos' mass genocide took hold across the universe, the remaining survivors could do nothing but accept the reality of Thanos' overpowering ascendancy and the consequences it had for them and the rest of the universe.
On Earth, the majority of world governments were in a state of total anarchy due to not being able to take a census of the situation out of the countries that weren't in a state of instability, although it became quite clear that half of all living creatures had been exterminated. Over the course of five years, the victims of the Snap would come to be known as the Vanished, with memorial sites erected in the honor of those that died in every city in the world.
Post-Battle of Wakanda
In the aftermath of the Battle of Wakanda in 2018, Captain Marvel arrived on Earth upon being hailed by Nick Fury with the Transmitter Pager. Finding herself with the remaining Avengers at the New Avengers Facility, she inquired about Fury's death, and later traversed to find Tony Stark, who was adrift in space on the Benatar, previously stranded on Titan.
Danvers was able to locate the Benatar and brought Stark and Nebula to the New Avengers Facility. After Stark's recovery, Danvers and the Avengers traveled to Planet 0259-S, where they recognized a power signature emitting from the planet's surface, similar to the power signature the activated Infinity Gauntlet emitted. Arriving on Planet 0259-S, they learned from Thanos that he used the Infinity Stones to destroy each other. With all hope lost, Thor beheaded Thanos with Stormbreaker.
- "They're not trying to stop something I'm going to do in our time. They're trying to undo something I've already done in theirs."
"I found them all. I won. Tipped the cosmic scales to balance."
"This is your future."
"It's my destiny. And that, is destiny fulfilled."
- ―Gamora, Thanos, and Ebony Maw[src]
In 2023, after spending five hours trapped inside the Quantum Realm, Scott Lang managed to escape and witness the aftermath of the Snap for the first time. Lang then traveled to the New Avengers Facility, where he proposed the idea to reverse the Snap by traveling back in time to obtain alternate versions of the Infinity Stones from the past.
Using the Quantum Theory, the Avengers then started building a time machine. Once completing the device and running several tests with it, they used it to go to various alternate versions of pivotal moments in the past to fetch the Infinity Stones. Scott Lang, and the Avengers traveled through points in time where each Infinity Stones.
When the Avengers had finally acquired all the Infinity Stones from the past, they returned to 2023, unaware that a version of Nebula from the alternate 2014 had joined them to bring Thanos to their time period. As they fit the Stones into a Stark-created Nano Gauntlet, it was decided that Banner would be the one to wield it. Despite great difficulty of wielding the Infinity Stones' raw power, Banner was able to snap his fingers and ultimately undo the Snap. The Avengers were alerted to Banner's success when Ant-Man witnessed several birds outdoors seemingly appear out of nowhere, while Hawkeye received an incoming call from his wife, an initial victim of the Snap.
Mark in History
- "Historic. Over five years ago, half of all life in the universe, including our own Midtown High, was wiped from existence. But then eight months ago, a band of brave heroes brought us back. They called it the Blip. Those of us who blipped away came back the same age. But our classmates that didn't blip grew five years older."
- ―Betty Brant[src]
The Snap was remembered as a historical event. Although the Blip eventually brought back all living beings who perished by Thanos' actions, their sudden return surprised most of the survivors, who had moved on with their lives without thinking they would ever return. It also caused confusion within the identity documents about the age of the Snap's victims as those who returned in the Blip remained the same age before the Snap despite the five years since then. The students of Midtown who were killed in the Snap had to start their whole school year over the following term despite the fact that they already completed midterms much to their frustration. The year following the Time Heist, a documentary film about the event, entitled The Snap, was released.
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Captain Marvel (mentioned)
- Avengers: Endgame (mentioned)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (mentioned)
- In the non-canon book The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath, the Snap is referred as The Decimation.
Behind the Scenes
- Kevin Feige has said that half of "all life" in the universe was erased from existence, including all sentient and insentient beings.
- The term "Blip" originated in Spider-Man: Far From Home, used to describe both half of the population disappearing due to Thanos' Snap as well as their resurrection five years later. However, following the movie's release, Kevin Feige clarified that despite Marvel Studios internally referring to both events as the Blip, the MCU fans adoption of the term "Snap" would now be used to denote Thanos' use of the six Infinity Stones, while "Blip" would henceforth be referred to as Bruce Banner's reversal of the Snap.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Marvel's Kevin Feige on the MCU Multiverse, Far From Home Post-Credits Scenes and the Future of Spider-Man
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors Reveal Who Died And Survived Off Screen
- ↑ SDCC 2019 Panel Recap: Writing Avengers: Endgame with Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Captain Marvel Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ ‘Spider-Man’ Writers Break Down What Really Happened During the Marvel Blip
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Ant-Man and the Wasp
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Spider-Man: Far From Home
- ↑ Avengers: Endgame script by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus
- ↑ The Daily Bugle/Promotional Campaign
- ↑ ‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Screenwriters Answer Every Question You Might Have
- ↑ The Directors of Avengers: Endgame on Its Biggest Twists
- ↑ The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath
- ↑ Kevin Feige Still Won’t Tell Us All Marvel’s Future Plans