|For the in-universe film, see The Snap|
|For the event which resurrected the victims of the Snap, see Blip|
The Snap, also known as the Blip, was the moment Thanos snapped his fingers while using the Infinity Gauntlet during the Infinity War and caused the extermination of half of all life in the universe. Wanting to restore balance to the universe, by averting universal resource conflicts due to overpopulation, Thanos embarked on a quest to assemble all six Infinity Stones needed to achieve this goal. In 2018, during the Battle of Wakanda, Thanos activated the completed gauntlet and initiated the Snap, causing a universal genocide which eliminated fifty percent of all life, randomly disintegrating individuals into dust.
The Snap had devastating universal repercussions. On Earth, the Snap led to a five-year period in which the world fell into societal collapse and many countries followed a one-world government. Major cities across the world, such as San Francisco and New York City, fell victim to disenfranchisement. In 2023, the victims of the Snap were resurrected by the Avengers, after they went back in time to collect the Infinity Stones.
- 1 Background
- 2 Snap
- 3 Aftermath
- 4 Victims
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Behind the Scenes
- 8 External Links
- 9 References
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 dwarf, 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 after Asgard had 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, prompting Thor to threaten to kill him. 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 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 himself interrogating and torturing the Collector into revealing the location of the Stone, having accurately predicted that the Guardians of the Galaxy would 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 under threat of torturing her sister Nebula with the Power and Space Stones. She revealed that the stone 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. Bucky Barnes, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje, Jabari Tribe, Border Tribe, and the Wakandan Royal Guard fought back, led into battle by Captain America. 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 taken aback when Thor brutally attacked him with Stormbreaker, momentarily disarming the Mad Titan.
As Thor attacked Thanos, he reminded him that he had promised to kill him for his actions during the Attack on the Statesman, including his murdering Heimdall, Loki, and half of the Asgardians. Thanos simply taunted him, saying 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 then passed out.
He awakened in the Soulworld where he approached a younger Gamora, who asked him if he completed his mission. He solemnly replied yes. Gamora asked what it had cost him and he replied "everything". Thanos then returned to his consciousness and, his plan complete, used the Space Stone to escape Wakanda and travel to the Garden.
Shortly after Thanos activated the Infinity Gauntlet, the destructive effects of the Snap began to be apparent, with half of all life in the universe randomly disintegrating into dust. Beyond Earth and Titan, there were also several Asgardian casualties, including 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 3,797,000,000 humans confirmed deceased or missing worldwide, according to a statistical report issued by the United Nations in conjunction with the World Bank. All types of life forms 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 issued a state of emergency in the wake of the deaths of many of the country's citizens. While driving in Atlanta, Nick Fury and Maria Hill witnessed the Snap claiming the lives of 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 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 into 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 storage unit along with the rest 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, 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-- a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Monica Rambeau, and Wilfred Nagel.
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 Stark and Nebula as the only survivors on Titan.
As the effects of Thanos' mass genocide swept across the universe, the survivors could do nothing but accept Thanos' overpowering ascendancy and its consequences.
On Earth, the majority of world governments were in a state of chaos because half of the world's population had disappeared. Over the course of five years, the victims of the Snap would come to be known as the Vanished, with memorial sites erected in their honor in every city in the world.
Maria Rambeau, the leader of S.W.O.R.D., remained hopeful that the people killed in the Snap, including her daughter, would someday return. Because of this, she created policies and guidelines specific to the S.W.O.R.D. agents who had died, so that in the event they were ever restored, they would only be allowed terrestrial operations.
Post-Battle of Wakanda
In the aftermath of the Battle of Wakanda in 2018, Captain Marvel arrived on Earth after 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 went to find Tony Stark, who was adrift in space on the Benatar, after having been stranded on Titan.
Danvers located 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.
World Without Borders
This section needs a rewrite
In the aftermath of the Snap, many of Earth's nations came together and put aside their hostilities and differences and opening their borders. This would lead to an ideology of a world without borders and the formation of the Flag Smashers.
In 2023, five years after the Snap, Scott Lang was freed from the Quantum Realm and witnessed the aftermath of the Snap for the first time. Lang then traveled to the New Avengers Facility, where he proposed to the Avengers the idea of resurrecting the victims of the Snap by using the Quantum Realm to travel back in time and obtain the Infinity Stones from the past.
Deciding to initiate a Time Heist, Tony Stark created a Time-Space GPS along with a Quantum Tunnel that the Avengers used to travel to various points in the past, creating alternate timelines from where they could acquire the stones. When the Avengers had finally acquired all the Infinity Stones from the past, they returned to their timeline's 2023, unaware that a version of Nebula from an alternate 2014 had joined them to bring her timeline's Thanos to their time.
As they fit the Stones into a Nano Gauntlet, it was decided that Bruce Banner would be the one to wield it. Despite the great difficulty of wielding the Infinity Stones' raw power, Banner was able to snap his fingers and ultimately resurrect the victims of the Snap. The Avengers were alerted to Banner's success when Lang witnessed several birds seemingly appear out of nowhere, while Clint Barton received a 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 was unsettling to most of the survivors, who had moved on with their lives without thinking they would ever return. Their return also caused confusion surrounding their identity documents, because those who returned in the Blip remained the same age they had been before the Snap, despite the five year lapse. The students of Midtown who were killed in the Snap had to repeat the entire school year the following term, despite having already completed midterms, much to their frustration. The year following the Time Heist, a documentary film about the event, entitled The Snap, was released.
This section requires expansion
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Captain Marvel (mentioned)
- Avengers: Endgame (mentioned)
- Eternals (mentioned; unreleased)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (indirectly mentioned)
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (mentioned)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (poster; unreleased)
- The victims of this event are also known as "The Vanished".
- In the 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. Despite this, the Snap is referred to as the "Blip" in WandaVision and also in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
- Marvel's Kevin Feige on the MCU Multiverse, Far From Home Post-Credits Scenes and the Future of Spider-Man
- Avengers: Infinity War
- 'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors Reveal Who Died And Survived Off Screen
- SDCC 2019 Panel Recap: Writing Avengers: Endgame with Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus
- Captain Marvel Mid-credits Scene
- ‘Spider-Man’ Writers Break Down What Really Happened During the Marvel Blip
- Avengers: Endgame
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Avengers: Endgame script by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus
- The Daily Bugle
- WandaVision 1.04: We Interrupt This Program
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: 1.03: Power Broker
- ‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Screenwriters Answer Every Question You Might Have
- The Directors of Avengers: Endgame on Its Biggest Twists
- WandaVision: 1.04: We Interrupt This Program
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier 1.01: New World Order
- The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath
- Kevin Feige Still Won’t Tell Us All Marvel’s Future Plans