Entertainment Weekly

THE ULTIMATE MARVEL BINGE GUIDE

DON’T HAVE TIME TO REWATCH ALL 18 MOVIES IN THE MCU BEFORE INFINITY WAR? FEAR NO MORE. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOUT EACH FILM.

PHASE ONE

PHASE ONE REPRESENTS THE FIRST WAVE OF THE MCU, INTRODUCING HEROES AND CULMINATING IN 2012’S THE AVENGERS

Iron Man

MAY 2, 2008

DIRECTOR Jon Favreau

CAST Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Terrence Howard (Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes), Jeff Bridges (Obadiah Stane), Happy Hogan (Favreau)

THE STORY While in the Middle East, billionaire playboy and weapons manufacturer Tony Stark is kidnapped by terrorists and held captive in a cave. His heart is severely damaged in the ambush, so Tony uses the technology he has at hand—which mostly consists of Stark Industries weapons the terrorists acquired—to create a powerful miniature arc reactor. Installed in his chest, the reactor not only fixes his heart but also powers a suit of armor that helps him escape. Upon returning home, Tony decides to leave the arms business and focus all his energy on perfecting his armor. Unfortunately, his business partner, Obadiah Stane, who was selling weapons to both the U.S. government and terrorists, has other plans for Tony’s new tech, and the two of them come to blows in their dueling suits of armor.

KEY MOMENT In the wake of the end battle, Tony holds a press conference where he reveals that he is indeed Iron Man.

EFFECT ON THE MCU Introduces S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who invites Tony to join the Avengers Initiative.

The Incredible Hulk

JUNE 13, 2008

DIRECTOR Louis Leterrier

CAST Edward Norton (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Liv Tyler (Betty Ross), William Hurt (Gen. Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross), Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky/Abomination)

THE STORY In an attempt to replicate the Super Soldier Serum from World War II that created Captain America, scientist Bruce Banner accidentally poisons himself with gamma radiation. The accident creates the Hulk, a destructive monster who’s unleashed whenever Bruce gets angry. As Bruce searches for a cure for his ailment, he must also evade capture from General Ross, who wants to exploit the Hulk’s powers. Banner reconnects with the love of his life, Betty (the general’s daughter), and in New York he comes face-to-face with the commando Blonsky, who transforms into the powerful Abomination.

KEY MOMENT At the end of the movie, Bruce learns how to control the Hulk.

EFFECT ON THE MCU Barely any. Save

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