10:00 am EDT, October 29, 2014

Marvel’s Phase 3: A crash course

Marvel just announced a whole slate of new properties that they’ll be working on over the next five years. We thought it might be helpful to give you a crash course on all of the characters and stories!

After all, most of these characters aren’t really household names like “The Hulk” or “Thor.” They’re slightly lesser-known properties (at least to the public) that have evoked a lot of “Huh?”‘s and confusion.

“Who or what are the Inhumans?” “Wait, I thought Captain Marvel was a man… and a DC Comics character!” “Is Ragnarok a person or an event?” Get ready to have all of these questions answered (and so many more) in our crash course on Marvel’s upcoming (and extremely lengthy) Phase 3!

‘Captain America: Civil War’

Captain America: Civil War

Rumors about this movie’s potential Civil War storyline have been flying ever since it was reported that Robert Downey Jr. had joined the cast of Captain America 3. Why? Well, in the comics, Civil War was a giant event that spanned across the entire Marvel universe. It had its own specific comic books but was also featured prominently in singular characters’ stories as well.

Basically, the general public wants superheroes to be held accountable for their actions and for endangering lives. So, the government passes a registration act that states that every superhero has to register their secret identities with the government. Feeling guilty from past mistakes and decisions, Tony Stark aligns himself with the government. Steve Rogers believes that registration is wrong and endangers heroes, therefore opposing the registration act. From there, all of the superheroes are divided and begin to fight each other. In the end, Rogers’ side loses because he refuses to have there be anymore destruction and bloodshed. He’s eventually assassinated by Crossbones (aka Rumlow in The Winter Soldier) and Tony Stark hands the shield and Captain America title over to Bucky Barnes.

(While we have our theories on how Civil War will play out, we hope it won’t end with Captain America’s assassination. It just can’t. Also, keep in mind that these are the bare bones of the event and that storylines get changed quite a bit in the MCU.)

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‘Doctor Strange’

Doctor Strange

Doctor Stephen Strange (who was, if you recall, mentioned by Agent Sitwell in The Winter Soldier) is a super brilliant but egotistical neurosurgeon who really only cares about himself and money. In other words, he’s like an extreme version of Tony Stark. Anyway, a freak car accident leaves him with shaky hands so he’s no longer able to perform surgeries. He searches everywhere for a cure for his problem and settles upon a healer in the Himalayas. The healer, also known as The Ancient One, can’t help with his shakiness but instead teaches him the ways of the mystic arts. As you can imagine, his powers invite magical threats that he then must face.

In the comic book universe, Doctor Strange is considered the as protector of Earth against all magical and mystical threats. (In the MCU he’s considered a threat to Hydra, so we can’t be too far off base.)

‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Yeahhhhh we don’t know much about this one at all yet. We don’t even have a secondary title (or know if there will even be one). All we have is the announcement title art with Peter Quill-style graffiti on it and the knowledge that James Gunn is currently working on the script. But here are a few things that could happen in the sequel:

  • We learn who Quill’s father is (as Gunn has said that the father will not be the same as in the comics).
  • We will see another Infinity Stone (after all, we still have quite a few more to discover).
  • We’ll get more Guardians members (because there are so many others out there)!


‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Thor: Ragnarok

Ok, so “Ragnarok” can be one of two things. The first option is that Ragnarok is referring to an actual person. Or, well, sort of. In the comics, Ragnarok is a cyborg clone of Thor. No, really. He is. In the Civil War storyline, Thor goes MIA and is presumed dead. So, because he needs extra manpower, Tony takes one of Thor’s hairs and creates a cyborg clone of the god. The clone is seemingly killed in one of the Civil War battles by his own hammer, but, issues later, reawakens thinking that he’s the real Thor. He then, of course, confronts the real Thor (who is, in fact, still alive) and loses.

Having the movie title include “Ragnarok” can also refer to an event that brings world destruction and the death of all Norse gods. So, it would be pretty similar to the previous Thor movies, what with world destruction and all. In mythology Ragnarok’s not all bad, though. After the world is submerged completely in water, it rises up and rebirth begins. It’s said that both the surviving and returning gods will meet and that two individuals will repopulate the world. While that sounds like a good thing, we can’t see Thor accepting Ragnarok and his imminent death (along with the death of his friends, his girlfriend, and his people).

‘Black Panther’

Black Panther

First and foremost, Black Panther (whose alias is T’Challa) was the first black superhero to be featured in mainstream American comics, which makes him a pretty big deal. (Fun fact: His name actually came before the name of the Black Panther Party!) Anyway, the character is a native of the Panther Tribe in Wakanda, an African nation. The name “Black Panther” was given to him because he was the chief of the tribe (a role that was passed down to him). Like the other chiefs before him, Black Panther strove to keep Wakanda hidden from the outside world so as to keep outsiders from harvesting vibranium (an extremely rare, vibration-absorbing mineral that makes up Captain America’s shield) from the ground.

Black Panther is driven by the urge to avenge his father’s death. His father was killed by an adventurer named Ulysses Klaw (who becomes Black Panther’s main antagonist) when he was a child. Klaw later becomes a supervillain composed of sound. Black Panther travels between Wakanda and New York City, protecting people wherever he goes.

‘Captain Marvel’

Captain Marvel

Can we just say how incredibly jazzed we are about having Carol Danvers join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?! Seriously though! Not only are we finally getting our first female superhero movie, but we’re also adding a fantastic hero into the Avengers mix.

Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel, was first introduced into the Marvel universe as a member of the U.S. Air Force. She later becomes Ms. Marvel and earns superpowers because her DNA mixes with Kree DNA (think Ronan, The Accuser). In July 2012, Carol Danvers took up the mantle of being the seventh Captain Marvel. The first Captain Marvel (or, Mar-Vell as he’s called) was a captain of the Kree Imperial Militia before they tried to attack Earth. He then became Earth’s protector, as did his successors.

When people think of Captain Marvel, they usually think of either Carol Danvers, Captain Mar-Vell, or DC’s Captain Marvel (who later became Shazam because a DC hero couldn’t have Marvel in his name). In between being Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel, Danvers was also known as “Binary” for a time (but that storyline won’t enter in here because it deals with the X-Men) as well as “Warbird.”

Carol’s Captain Marvel is pretty much a beast. She has superhuman strength and stamina, as well as the ability to blast radiant energy from her fingertips. Plus, she can fly at the speed of six time the speed of sound. Six. Aside from these super powers, Danvers is a talented pilot, marksman, hand-to-hand fighter, and spy. The woman can do it all.


The Inhumans

Inhumans are a race of superhumans, created by the Kree as an experiment. They’re an offshoot of the human race, made by splicing DNA of the Eternals (a race created by the Celestials aka Knowhere in Guardians of the Galaxy). The Kree eventually abandon the Inhuman race, leaving them to fend for themselves.

While they have abilities and qualities that naturally exceed those of humans, they can also gain superpowers through what’s called the Terrigen Mist. Some Inhumans don’t expose themselves to the mist because sometimes the results could be more harmful than beneficial. The Inhumans generally refers to the Inhuman Royal Family, a group of superhumans who act as defenders of their kind. Like all families, The Inhumans have their issues but ban together in tough times. There have been crossovers between The Inhumans, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four in the past. In fact, one Inhuman was previously married to Quicksilver!

For a more in-depth look at the Inhumans (and a more precise explanation than the one we just gave), we suggest you check out the one from Empire Magazine!

‘Avengers: Infinity War’

The Avengers: Infinity War

Ah, yes. The Infinity War. This is what everything has been leading up to. We’ve been on this path pretty much since Thor when we learned about the Tesseract in the post-credits scene. Essentially, there’s this big bad guy named Thanos who has been trying to collect all of the Infinity Stones (which are these extremely powerful forces of energy that take tangible shapes) so as to be the most powerful being in the universe. Did we mention that Thanos is completely obsessed with death? So, you can imagine how much the Avengers don’t want this to happen.

So this one is a bit more complicated to explain than you might think, so let’s back up a bit. In the comics, Infinity Gauntlet preceded Infinity War. In Gauntlet, Thanos wipes out half of the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet in order to impress the personification of Death. He’s then defeated by the Avengers.

From what we understand, Infinity War was a six issue special event where a character named Adam Warlock gets the Infinity Gauntlet (which houses all of the stones) and gets rid of both the good and evil parts of himself, rendering him a completely logical being who’s worthy of using the Gauntlet. But, Warlock is forced to give up the Gauntlet. At the same time, the Magus (the evil part of Warlock) starts collecting Infinity Stones and creating clones of all of the superheros in the universe so that he can take over. For some reason, Thanos switches sides to become a sort of protector of the Gauntlet and the stones, fighting against Magus.

These two very different Infinity storylines could be the cause for the Avengers 3 split. Just sayin’.

Which of Marvel’s Phase 3 movies are you most excited for?

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