Avengers: Infinity War has finally landed on Digital HD and is about to hit Blu-ray, and a whole new wave of MCU movies are on the way in 2019. With so many films and TV series making up this shared universe, it can be tough to keep track of all the major players.
Consider this a refresher course on where your heroes (and a few villains) currently are, where we last left them, and where they might be going in the ever-evolving shared universe that is the MCU. From the Avengers (are they still together?) to Spider-Man (uhhhhh) to Captain Marvel (who’s that now?), we break it all down for you below.
Just beware of spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Agents of SHIELD!
Tony Stark’s worst nightmare came true in Avengers: Infinity War. Despite all his efforts to prepare Earth for the threat he knew was coming, he failed to stop Thanos from completing the Infinity Gauntlet and wiping out half of all life in the universe. The cruelest stroke of all is that Stark’s surrogate son Peter Parker died in his arms. Last seen on Thanos’ devastated homeworld Titan, expect a much darker, bitter version of this normally wisecracking billionaire superhero in Avengers 4.
Steve Rogers has abandoned the mantle of Captain America and spent the two years since the events of Captain America: Civil War as a fugitive from the law. He and his Secret Avengers finally resurfaced to join the fight against Thanos in Infinity War. But while Steve survived the chaotic battle in Wakanda — where we last saw him — most of his team wasn’t so lucky.
It’s been a difficult journey for Thor of late. The god of thunder had his hammer destroyed by Hela and sacrificed Asgard to save his people. Then many of those same people were slaughtered by Thanos and the Black Order. Thor found his revenge by forging a new hammer and mortally wounding Thanos, but not before the Mad Titan used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out trillions of lives — including, presumably, even more Asgardians. Thor, however, survived.
Despite initially siding with Iron Man’s faction in Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff eventually defected and joined Steve Rogers’ Secret Avengers. She survived the bloody battle at Wakanda where many of her friends didn’t.
Clint Barton is the only member of the original Avengers not to join the fight against Thanos. Having already violated the law once during Civil War, Clint apparently preferred to stay home with his family (under house arrest) rather than push his luck again. But assuming he survived Thanos’ snap, we suspect he’ll be eager to make up for lost time in Avengers 4.
Bruce Banner exiled himself from Earth after losing control of his darker half in Avengers: Age of Ultron. That led to a brief stint as a space gladiator before Banner reunited with Thor and returned to Earth. Unfortunately, after being beaten half to death by Thanos, Hulk seems unwilling to manifest himself anymore, leaving Banner to wear the Hulkbuster armor instead during the battle in Wakanda. He, too, survived Thanos’ snap.
Peter Parker proved himself as a hero on his own terms by defeating Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Then he got his first taste of being an Avenger in Infinity War. Unfortunately, he became one of the trillions of casualties when Thanos snapped his fingers. The good news is that production is underway on Spider-Man: Far From Home, so his death won’t last long.
Wanda Maximoff is one of the Avengers who defected and joined Steve Rogers’ underground team. Despite being on opposite sides of the fight, she fell in love with Vision and became instrumental in the fight against Thanos. But despite sacrificing her lover for the fate of the universe during the battle in Wakanda, Thanos reversed time and claimed his final prize anyway — the Mind Stone nestled in Vision’s forehead. Wanda was one of many heroes to be wiped out of existence by Thanos’ snap.
Vision became a primary target of Thanos and the Black Order in Infinity War, as his synthetic body and mind are powered by the Mind Stone itself. He was ultimately killed when Thanos harvested the stone and completed his gauntlet. However, at the time Shuri was working furiously to rewire Vision’s mind and free him of his bond to the stone, suggesting he may return in a new form in Avengers 4.
After years of struggling against Hydra’s brainwashing, Bucky Barnes was finally his own man again. The brilliant scientists of Wakanda healed his mind and provided him with a fancy new cybernetic arm. Unfortunately, none of that was enough to stop Bucky from becoming a casualty of Thanos’ intergalactic genocide.
Sam Wilson has been a faithful member of Steve Rogers’ Secret Avengers, ever since being broken out of the Raft. He joined the fight against Thanos but became one more Avenger to fall at Thanos’ hand.
Cap’s love interest (and Peggy Carter’s great niece, and we’re not gonna judge at all here, Cap…) Sharon Carter was last seen helping Rogers secure his team’s equipment prior to Team Cap’s battle with Team Iron Man. Whether or not her position as a CIA agent was affected by this act is currently unclear. As is whether or not she was snapped out of existence, for that matter.
James Rhodes sided with his best friend Tony Stark during the conflict over the Superhuman Registration Act, and he paid a terrible price when he was paralyzed in the ensuing battle. That didn’t stop Rhodey from defying his government’s orders and joining forces with his ex-teammates once Thanos came calling. Rhodey is one of the few Avengers to have survived the conflict with Thanos, and was last seen in Wakanda.
Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan
Tony Stark’s former assistant and girlfriend Pepper Potts is now the CEO of Stark Industries. While they ended their romantic relationship prior to the events of Civil War — because Tony could not detach himself from the Iron Man and Avengers lifestyle — by the time of Infinity War the two are engaged to be married. Pepper and Tony’s bodyguard Happy Hogan both appeared in Homecoming along with Stark. Pepper herself was last seen urging Tony not to board Thanos’ spaceship in Infinity War. It is unknown whether or not they survived Thanos’ assault.
Loki and the Asgardians
There don’t seem to be too many Asgardians left in the universe. Many were slaughtered by Hela, and then even more by Thanos and the Black Order — and that was before the snap! Heimdall and the Warriors Three are dead. Even Loki was killed by Thanos after finally siding with his fellow Asgardians. Sif, however, remains whereabouts unknown.
Valkyrie, Korg and Miek
Valkyrie another Asgardian whose whereabouts are currently unaccounted for. This Asgardian warrior reclaimed her birthright after a little prodding from Thor, but as far as we know, she mysteriously vanished before Thanos’ attack on the Asgardian refugees. Ditto the aliens Korg and Miek, who had joined with the Asgardians at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. Still, they and Valkyrie could still be alive and ready to join the fight in Avengers 4.
Hela and Surtur
The goddess of death Hela returned to conquer Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok. However, her reign didn’t last long, as Thor unleashed the mighty Surtur on his beloved home. Surtur was last seen bringing his massive sword down on Asgard, and it’s unclear whether he or Hela survived its destruction. And even if they did, how Thanos’ snap might’ve affected them.
It’s been a while since Thor has seen his human friends. Jane Foster and Thor ended their romance by the time of Thor: Ragnarok (long distance relationships!), although the Asgardian has been known to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig as recently as the Ultron incident. It’s unknown whether Jane, Erik or Darcy the intern — or the intern’s intern Ian! — survived Thanos’ attack.
After avenging his father’s death and reclaiming his throne from Killmonger, T’Challa took the first steps toward opening up Wakanda to the outside world. That included offering a safe haven to Vision and the Avengers in Infinity War. Unfortunately, T’Challa was one of many to be wiped out by Thanos, leaving the surviving Wakandans to mourn yet another monarch.
T’Challa’s younger sister is responsible for many of Wakanda’s most impressive pieces of technology. She worked to free Vision’s mind of its connection to the Mind Stone in Infinity War. Whether she completed her task or even survived Thanos’ act of cosmic mass-murder remains to be seen (she was last seen in her lab during the battle in Wakanda). But if she lives, she may well be next in line to the Wakandan throne.
The Dora Milaje
The Dora Milaje are the most skilled warriors in Wakanda. Okoye and her soldiers bravely defended her homeland from both Killmonger and the Black Order. She survived Thanos’s devastating attack, only to find her fellow Wakandans dissolving before her eyes. She’ll no doubt be a valuable asset to the depleted Avengers now. It remains to be seen if T’Challa’s lover Nakia, who is a member of the nation’s War Dogs spy agency, also survived this conflict.
CIA agent Everett Ross has unexpectedly found himself become the outside world’s leading expert on Wakanda. He recently helped T’Challa defend his homeland from a takeover by Killmonger, earning the king’s undying gratitude in the process. However, T’Challa is currently dead and it is unknown if Ross survived Thanos’ attack.
Star-Lord and Gamora
They may be two-time galaxy savers, but the Guardians of the Galaxy have seen better days. Gamora was murdered by her adoptive father Thanos in order to summon the Soul Stone, while Star-Lord basically blew the plan to defeat Thanos because of his rage over her death. Which then allowed Thanos to snap away most of the other Guardians, including Star-Lord himself…
Rocket and Groot
After heading out on a space adventure with their new friend Thor, Rocket and Groot found themselves on Earth fighting alongside the Avengers in the battle in Wakanda. Unfortunately, Groot was snapped away by Thanos while Rocket survived — only to watch his friend dissolve. Director James Gunn has since revealed that Groot’s last words, as he looked to Rocket, could be translated into “Dad.”
Drax and Mantis
Drax and Mantis did their best to battle Thanos on Titan alongside Star-Lord, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Nebula, but in the end they ceased to exist when Thanos snapped his fingers all the way back on Earth.
The only two Guardians to survive the events of Infinity War were Rocket back on Earth and Nebula on Titan. Interestingly, the daughter of Thanos now finds herself stranded on that world with just one other survivor — Tony Stark. Who could’ve predicted that team-up would ever happen?
Dr. Stephen Strange proved his worth by defeating Dormammu and becoming Earth’s first line of defense against supernatural threats. He joined the fight against Thanos but made the questionable decision to hand over the Time Stone to his enemy. If Strange is to be believed, it was the only way to achieve ultimate victory. Unfortunately, he was wiped from existence before he could elaborate.
Wong remains Strange’s faithful assistant. When he was last seen in Infinity War, he resumed guarding the Sanctum Sanctorum in Strange’s absence. As for Strange’s former ally, Karl Mordo, he’s in the midst of a quest to rid the world of those he sees as being unworthy of wielding magical power. Whether either of these wizards survived Thanos’ attack remains to be seen.
The dread Dormammu was outsmarted by Doctor Strange in their first encounter, but the extra-dimensional entity which rules over the Dark Dimension exists still in that warped domain — unless it too was snapped away by Thanos. Either way, it seems unlikely that Strange has seen the last of the immensely powerful being.
Scott Lang found himself on the wrong side of the law again during Captain America: Civil War, and has spent the ensuing two years under house arrest. That didn’t stop him from suiting up to help battle Ghost and rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. Though he succeeded and is once again a free man, Scott found himself trapped in the Quantum Realm when Hank Pym, Janet and their daughter Hope were wiped out by Thanos.
The Pym Family
Hope van Dyne recently took up the mantle of Wasp in her mother’s absence and has become a superhero in her own right. Unfortunately, no sooner did she and her father succeed in rescuing Janet from the Quantum Realm than all three were killed by Thanos’ attack.
Hulk’s Friends and Enemies
Most of the cast of The Incredible Hulk has not been seen since that film was released in 2008 (even the green one himself was recast), but somewhere out there — assuming Thanos’ snap didn’t get them — Bruce Banner’s love interest Betty Ross is alive and well, as is Emil Blonsky/Abomination — albeit in captivity in a cryocell in Alaska. General Thaddeus Ross is now the U.S. Secretary of State and was a key player in enacting the Sokovia Accords. And the scientist Samuel Sterns was last seen becoming infected by Banner’s blood, apparently doomed to become the hyper-intelligent and cranially-expansive villain known as the Leader. He has not been seen onscreen since.
Thanos finally stepped out of the shadows in Avengers: Infinity War. The Mad Titan carried out his master plan to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet and force the universe into his twisted vision of balance. Thanos ultimately succeeded in wiping out half of all life, though not before losing most of his children and being gravely wounded by Thor. It’s unclear whether Thanos even survived his final act of villainy or if his soul is now trapped within the Soul Stone.
The Black Order
The Black Order was comprised of Thanos’ four children, making them four of the most accomplished killers in the universe. They were instrumental in helping their father carry out his plans, though all four were ultimately killed in battle with the Avengers.
The original leader of Hydra was seemingly killed at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, but Infinity War revealed that he was instead transported to the remote world of Vormir. There he maintained a lonely vigil, guarding the Soul Stone until Thanos finally arrived to claim it. It is unclear what his true nature was at that point, and whether or not Thanos’ snap might’ve affected him.
MCU fans have yet to see Carol Danvers in the flesh, though she’ll be making her debut in 2019’s Captain Marvel. That film will explore her ‘90s-era origins, while she’s poised to return in the present day in Avengers 4. Right before he was snapped out of existence, Nick Fury summoned Captain Marvel via an old-school emergency beacon. Let’s hope she too hadn’t been snapped away so she can receive the call!
Nick Fury and Maria Hill
Nick Fury and his right-hand-woman Maria Hill have remained active despite the dissolution of SHIELD. They were last seen responding to the Thanos crisis in the post-credits scene for Avengers: Infinity War. Both were wiped out of existence, but not before Fury activated that beeper that summoned Captain Marvel.
The Agents of SHIELD
Phil Coulson and his Agents of SHIELD remain very active, if typically disconnected from the events of the Avengers and the rest of the MCU movies. Recent adventures have included run-ins with various enhanced individuals and advanced tech in the wake of the Sokovia Accords, including the Ghost Rider, the Life Model Decoy program, and most recently… outer space. Unfortunately, Coulson himself recently retired, realizing that the end of his life is fast approaching.
A new generation of heroes has emerged to defend the streets of New York in Netflix’s various MCU series. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist had their first big team-up in The Defenders: Season 1. That team doesn’t look to be due for a reunion anytime soon, but these four heroes will continue to fight on their own. Even Daredevil, who was believed to have been killed in his final battle with The Hand, is returning for a third season. Presumably none of the Netflix heroes will be affected by Thanos’ snap since these shows barely acknowledge that they exist within the MCU.
Frank Castle has been busy waging a one-man war on crime while simultaneously working to expose those in the military who betrayed him and had his family killed. With a little help from his new partner, Micro, Castle was able to clear his name and is finally a free man once more. Unfortunately, he may have a serious problem on his hands when his old Marine buddy Billy Russo finally wakes up from his coma…
While the Inhumans were first introduced on Agents of SHIELD, the best known characters from the comics — the Inhuman royal family of Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Crystal, Maximus and the rest — finally got their own TV series, depicting a threat to the family as their rule over a hidden city on the moon came under a military coup, forcing them to go on the run on Earth. As the show’s first season ended, Black Bolt trapped his evil brother Maximus on the moon, before joining his fellow Inhumans on Earth, their new home. One can only hope they were snapped away by Thanos…