The beginning of time: The Big Bang explodes from six preexisting singularities. As the universe is created, remnants of these singularities are forged into objects with incredible power over specific aspects of existence: Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Soul and Time. These objects, eventually known as the Infinity Stones, become dispersed throughout the universe, often in forms that make their true nature unrecognizable.
The Distant Past: The most ancient beings in the universe, Celestials, are born. The oldest of them, Ego, comes into existence and finds itself alone. Ego spends millennia slowly learning to control matter, eventually creating a planet around itself, as well as a human-like extension of itself to explore the universe, searching for other life.
Ego finds life — and is pretty underwhelmed by it. He decides to spread himself across the universe. He travels the universe planting seeds of himself on different planets; at the same time, he fathers children with a number of species, hoping for a child that can help him activate the seeds.
As other Celestials emerge, they become the first to understand and make use of Infinity Stones, devising technology to channel their power into weapons of unimaginable destruction. At one point, several celestials figure out how to share the Infinity Stones’ energy among themselves, but are quickly destroyed by it.
During this period, an unnamed Celestial is decapitated. Billions of years later, his severed head is turned into the interstellar mining colony called Knowhere.
Some time later, beings known in the comics as Elders of the Universe come into existence. Immortal (though not all -powerful), these beings cope with their long lives by indulging their obsessions. Among them are Taneleer Tivan, later known as The Collector, and En Dwi Gast, later known as The Grandmaster.
Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of years ago: a massive meteor made of pure Vibranium crashes in central Africa. Over eons, the impact crater is covered by earth and foliage until it’s buried underground.
Between 130,000 and 10,000 years ago: On Earth, five early human tribes discover the Vibranium meteor impact site, and over time found the nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans eventually use the powerful technology created with Vibranium — and the advantage of being Earth’s only source of it — to hide themselves from the rest of the world. The kings of Wakanda use the Heart-Shaped Herb that grows near the original vibranium impact site to become the Black Panther.
2988 B.C.: The Nine Realms — including Asgard (home of the Norse Gods), Midgard (Earth), Jotunheim (Frost Giants), and Svartalfheim (Dark Elves) — become aligned in an event called “Convergence,” which happens every 5,000 years.
During the Convergence, Malekith, genocidal leader of the Dark Elves, gains possession of the Aether, actually the Reality Infinity Stone, and tries to destroy the Nine Realms with it. He is defeated by Asgard, led by king Bor. Asgard then comes into possession of the Aether.
Asgard also comes into possession of another Infinity Stone, the Space Stone, around this time. The Space Stone will eventually become known as the Tesseract.
Sometime later, Bor’s son, Odin, becomes king and leads Asgard in the conquest of the Nine Realms. He’s assisted by his firstborn, Hela the goddess of death, but soon realizes she has become consumed with lust for destruction and conquest. He’s forced to wage war to stop her, only winning after enormous sacrifices, including the death of all but one of his elite Valkyrie warriors.
After Hela is imprisoned, Odin transforms Asgard into a peaceful, enlightened society built around culture and science rather than conquest, and all record that Hela ever existed is scrubbed from the historical record.
965 AD: Odin leads Asgard in war to stop the Frost Giants of Jotunheim from conquering Earth. In the aftermath, he takes the Frost Giants’ prince and adopts him, naming him Loki. Loki, raised alongside Odin’s natural born son, Thor is never told he’s a Frost Giant, and neither of the brothers are told about Hela.
Around this time, Odin hides the Tesseract among Asgardian worshippers in Tønsberg, Norway. This is eventually forgotten and the Tesseract is considered lost. By this point, the Aether has also become lost, and forgotten.
1934: HYDRA leader Johann Schmidt convinces the Nazi High Command to allow HYDRA to conduct research and develop weapons for the Third Reich. Schmidt captures scientist Abraham Erskine and forces him to work on his super-soldier serum for the Nazis.
1936: 18 year-old Steve Rogers’ mother dies from tuberculosis in Brooklyn, New York. After the funeral Steve’s best friend, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, offers his support and help, telling Steve he’ll be “with you til the end of the line.”
1940: Schmidt injects himself with a prototype of the super-soldier serum, which gives him powers, but disfigures his face, leading to him taking the nickname “Red Skull.” Erskine is rescued from HYDRA by British secret agent Peggy Carter. He joins American industrialist Howard Stark in continuing his super-soldier research for the Allies via the Strategic Scientific Reserve, predecessor to the agency called S.H.I.E.L.D.
1942: Bucky enlists in the U.S. army after the outbreak of World War II. Steve makes multiple attempts to join him, but is repeatedly turned down due to poor health and small stature.
That same year, Red Skull finds the Tesseract hidden in a church in Tønsberg. He uses it to power several experimental machines and weapons.
1943: Erskine recruits Steve Rogers as a candidate for his refined serum. The serum transforms Rogers from a small, weak man into a super-soldier, but Erskine is killed by a HYDRA agent during the procedure. Rogers takes on the persona of Captain America and becomes a war hero after rescuing Bucky and other American soldiers from a HYDRA facility overseen by scientist Arnim Zola, who conducts inhumane experiments on POWs.
Bucky and some of the rescued soldiers become known as the Howling Commandos, an elite squad led by Captain America.
1945: Captain America and the Howling Commandos successfully capture Zola, but Bucky is lost during the operation and presumed dead. Two months later, Captain America defeats Red Skull, but in order to prevent Red Skull’s bomber from attacking the United States, Cap is forced to crash the plane somewhere near Greenland. He is lost and presumed dead. Howard Stark recovers the Tesseract during his search for Cap’s body, and it eventually becomes top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. property.
1949: Arnim Zola is released from prison as part of project paperclip and joins S.H.I.E.L.D., but secretly enacts a plan to rebuild HYDRA within it. He recruits sleeper agents and spreads them throughout the agency and the U.S. government. HYDRA recovers Bucky Barnes, who survived his presumed death thanks to Zola’s earlier experiments. Bucky is brainwashed to become an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The procedure removes his memories of his past life and identity, and when he’s not on mission, Bucky is frozen in cyrostasis, keeping him in peak physical condition for decades.
1960s: The Winter Soldier is used for covert HYDRA missions, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Hydra operatives work behind the scenes to sow chaos worldwide as part of a plan to eventually create a fearful population desperate for security.
1980: Ego, still seeding the universe, reaches Earth, where he falls in love with Meredith Quill. They have a son, Peter Quill. Ego leaves Meredith, although he returns on two occasions to visit her.
1984: S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Hank Pym invents a suit that allows him to shrink to an insect’s size, and a device that allows him to communicate with and command ants. He takes on the mantle of Ant-Man, while his wife, Janet, makes a suit of her own and becomes The Wasp. The two perform covert operations on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.
1987: To disarm a Soviet missile headed toward the U.S. The Wasp is forced to shrink to fit between the molecules of the casing to get inside. She’s presumably lost in the subatomic Quantum Realm, unable to return to normal size. In his grief, Hank gives up being Ant-Man. Two years later, he resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to keep them from replicating his technology.
1988: Realizing he’s fallen in love with Meredith, Ego gives her cancer in order to preserve his goal. Following her death, aliens called the Ravagers abduct Peter Quill from Earth. Ego hired The Ravagers, led by Yondu, to abduct his children from across the galaxy. Yondu discovers Ego has been killing his children, and so keeps Peter to raise him as a Ravager.
~Late 1980s-1991: Young Natasha Romanoff is recruited into a ruthless KGB assassin program. This continues after the dissolution of the USSR and she becomes one of Russia’s top assassins, code-named Black Widow.
1991: HYDRA deploys the Winter Soldier to assassinate Howard Stark and his wife to steal S.H.I.E.L.D.’s remaining super-serum, while making the deaths look like an accident. Howard’s son, Tony Stark, inherits Stark Industries.
1992: Prince N’Jobu, acting as a spy for Wakanda, heads to Oakland, California. The racial disparity he encounters causes him to believe Wakanda should abandon its isolationist stance and arm oppressed people across the globe. N’Jobu secretly works with arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to steal Vibranium from Wakanda, and in the process, several people are killed, including the parents of W’Kabi, a friend of Prince T’Challa.
King T’Chaka comes to Oakland and confronts N’Jobu, killing him in the dispute. T’Chaka leaves behind N’Jobu’s young son, N’Jadaka, known in the U.S. as Erik Stevens, rather than return the boy to Wakanda.
News Year’s Eve 1999-2000: Tony Stark meets scientist Aldrich Killian, who promotes his company, Advanced Idea Mechanics. Stark promises to meet Killian later, but blows him off to spend the night with Maya Hansen. Hansen, another scientist, shows him her research into a means of rewriting genetic codes to regrow human tissue that has the side effect of causing biological material to explode. They sleep together, but the next morning, Tony leaves without saying goodbye.
~Late 1990s-early 2000s: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Clint “Hawkeye” Barton is sent to kill Natasha Romanoff , but convinces her to defect to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead.
2005: As part of a government project, Dr. Bruce Banner uses gamma radiation in an attempt to recreate Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier formula. Banner experiments on himself but the process turns him into The Hulk. Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross pursues Banner, and Banner goes on the run. He remains at large for the next six years.
2010: Tony Stark, who turned Stark Industries into a major weapons manufacturer, is captured by terrorists during a missile demonstration in Afghanistan. Stark takes shrapnel to the chest during the attack, but a fellow captive scientist named Yensin creates a device that keeps the shrapnel from destroying his heart. Tony adapts this into the power source for a prototype Iron Man suit, which he uses to escape. He now must live with the device permanently lodged in his chest, or he’ll die.
Upon his return, Stark discovers that his father’s business partner, Obadiah Stane, orchestrated Stark’s capture and has been using the company to sell weapons to terrorists. Stark perfects the Iron Man suit, defeats Stane, and reveals he is Iron Man during a press conference, becoming only the second publicly-known superhero. Soon after, he is recruited into the Avengers Initiative by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury.
May 29-June 4, 2011: The events of “Iron Man 2,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Thor” occur during a single week.
First, Tony Stark is now a celebrity for his exploits as Iron Man, but the Arc Reactor in his chest, which keeps him alive, is also poisoning him. He’s attacked by Ivan Venko, who believes that Howard Stark ruined his father. Venko is helped by rival industrialist Justin Hammer. Tony’s friend James Rhodes is forced to use one of Stark’s prototype suits to stop Stark’s increasingly reckless behavior, and Rhodes confiscates the suit for U.S. Air Force, becoming known as War Machine. Together, Stark and Rhodes defeats Venko and Hammer.
Meanwhile, in Asgard, Thor makes war on the Frost Giants in Jotenheim against Odin’s wishes. During the battle, Loki learns he is Frost Giant. Odin banishes Thor to Earth as punishment for his defiance and strips him of his right to use the hammer Mjølnir. In Asgard Loki is angry at having been lied to about his origin and plots to overthrow Odin. On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster and Eric Selvig, uncovers Loki’s plan, and returns to Asgard to save the day. During the fight, Asgard’s Bifrost Bridge, a wormhole Asgardians use to travel throughout the Nine Realms, is destroyed and Loki presumed dead.
Finally, Bruce Banner is discovered hiding in Brazil. After escaping capture by covert military forces, he makes his way north to the United States seeking a cure for his Hulk problem. Instead, the military replicates his condition in military contractor Emil Blonsky, who turns into The Abomination and rampages through New York City. Banner is forced to transform into the Hulk to defeat him, but in the process large sections of Harlem are destroyed. Banner goes back into hiding.
S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps tabs on Banner but leaves him be for the time being. Meanwhile, aware that earth is vulnerable to extraterrestrial threats, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Selvig to study the Tesseract in order to develop weapons that could defend against invaders. Unknown to everyone, Loki survived, somehow made his way to Earth, and now secretly controls Selvig’s mind.
April 2012: Captain America is discovered frozen, but still alive thanks to the super-soldier serum. S.H.I.E.L.D. revives Rogers, who discovers that he has been asleep for 66 years.
May 2012: Using a scepter that allows him to control minds, Loki steals the Tesseract and attempts to conquer the Earth with the help of an alien army. In response, Nick Fury assembles Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner as The Avengers, soon joined by Thor. After an uneasy start, The Avengers pull together and defeat Loki, though much of New York City is destroyed during the battle. Thor returns to Asgard with Loki, and takes the Tesseract with him. Bruce goes to work for Tony Stark, and Captain America becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Black Widow and Hawkeye. S.H.I.E.L.D. also takes possession of Loki’s mind control scepter.
Unknown to The Avengers, the scepter is powered by an Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone. Further, Loki was actually working for the Mad Titan, Thanos, who seeks to control all six Infinity Stones. Thanos is warned by his henchmen that Earth is a much greater threat than previously assumed.
Shortly after the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his crew are contracted by the city to salvage alien wreckage and clean up the battle site. They lose the contract when Damage Control, a joint venture between the government and Stark Industries, takes over. Toomes switches to a life of crime, using salvaged alien technology his crew didn’t turn over to Damage Control to build illegal weapons and sell them on the black market.
December 2012: Tony Stark, suffering PTSD after nearly dying during the Battle of New York, once again encounters Killian, who has since teamed up with Hansen to create super soldiers based on her earlier work. Killian has nursed a grudge against Tony for twelve years and using a made-up terrorist called “The Mandarin” (actually a drug-addled actor) as a smokescreen, plans to kill the U.S. president, sell super soldiers to the government, and destroy Tony Stark. On Christmas Day Stark, with help from Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Stark Industries CEO and Tony’s girlfriend, defeats Killian. Shortly after, he invents a way to remove the shrapnel from his heart, and decides to retire as Iron Man.
November 2013: Jane Foster, investigating a scientific anomaly caused by the latest Convergence of the Nine Realms, comes into contact with the Aether, which uses her as a host. This will kill her, so Thor brings her to Asgard for more advanced medical care. The Dark Elves attack Asgard and Earth in an attempt to reclaim the Aether, and Thor enlists Loki’s help to stop the Elves. During the battle, Loki fakes his death (again). Thor brings the Aether back to Asgard. Meanwhile, Loki has disguised himself as Odin and now rules Asgard.
Shortly after, it’s decided that having two Infinity Stones in the same place is too dangerous, so Asgard gives the Aether to The Collector, who lives on Knowhere, for safekeeping.
2014: Arnim Zola and his hidden HYDRA sleeper agents finally enact their plan to take over S.H.I.E.L.D. and use its technology to eliminate anyone who might be a threat. With the help of Nick Fury, Black Widow, and his new friend Sam “Falcon” Wilson, Captain America uncovers the plan, and is forced to fight The Winter Soldier, whom he discovers is his old friend, Bucky. With Cap’s help, Bucky regains some of his memories and goes on the run as a fugitive.
That same year, Peter Quill — now known as Star-Lord — teams with Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon create the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to stop Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser (also working on behalf of Thanos) from possessing an object called the Orb, actually the Power Infinity Stone. The Guardians defeat Ronan, but Gamora’s sister Nebula (both were raised by, and hate Thanos) escapes. After initially wanting to sell it to The Collector, they instead leave the Orb in the care of Nova Corps.
A few months later, Peter Quill and the Guardians encounter Ego, who found out about Peter after hearing he briefly held the Infinity Stone without dying. Ego explains that Quill is his son and that he’s also part Celestial, which is why the Infinity Stone didn’t kill him immediately. Ego attempts to use Quill to power up his seeds and take over the galaxy, but the Guardians, joined by Nebula and Yondu, stop him — although Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill.
Throughout the year, HYDRA boss Baron von Strucker conducts experiments on Sokovian siblings Wanda and Pietro Maximoff using Loki’s Scepter — AKA the Mind Stone — giving them superpowers.
May 2015: Tony Stark comes out of retirement to help The Avengers mop up remaining HYDRA forces. They retrieve Loki’s Scepter — and the Mind Stone, and Stark and Bruce Banner use it to create what they hope will be a peacekeeping artificial intelligence that could replace the Avengers. Instead they accidentally create the powerful robotic entity Ultron, which attempts to destroy humanity and remake the planet in his own image. The Avengers defeat Ultron, but not before it destroys a city in Sokovia, costing many lives.
Ultron’s scheming results in the birth of The Vision, a merging of Stark’s JARVIS AI with the Mind Stone. He joins the Avengers along with Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch. Meanwhile, Banner, traumatized by the events and his own uncontrollable nature as Hulk, leaves Earth in the Avengers’ Quinjet for an unknown destination.
July 2015: Recently-paroled thief Scott Lang breaks into Hank Pym’s home in hopes of stealing something valuable to pay for child support. Instead, he finds Pym’s Ant-Man suit and its capabilities. Pym convinces Lang to become the new Ant-Man to help stop Pym’s former protege, Darren Cross, who hoped to create a copy of the Ant-Man suit called Yellowjacket and sell it to HYDRA. Amid all this, he fights Falcon, who will later recruit him during the Marvel Civil War.
Late 2015: Queens high school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops super powers. He makes a makeshift costume and operates in Queens as Spider-Man.
June 2016: Already distrusted after disasters like Sokovia and New York, the Avengers cause an international incident when operation in Yemen accidentally causes the death of several Wakandan aid workers. This prompts the Sokovia Accords, an international treaty to make the Avengers subject to UN oversight. Captain America opposes the accords while Iron Man supports them, forcing the other Avengers take sides.
A bomb is detonated at the signing of the Sokovia Accords in Vienna, killing T’Chaka, the king of Wakanda, and Bucky Barnes is subsequently framed for it. The king’s son, T’Challa, assumes the identity of Black Panther and vows to kill Bucky, while Captain America moves to protect him. Barnes and Cap learn that Helmut Zemo was really responsible for the attack, and believe he is trying to get control of several remaining HYDRA super-soldiers. But the Accords make unsanctioned attempts to stop Zemo illegal, and he is now a wanted man.
Tony Stark the authorities to let him be the one who brings Steve in. He assembles the Avengers who support the accords, while Steve gathers those who oppose them. The two factions clash, but in the War Machine is severely injured. Steve and Bucky escape, and the Avengers who joined them are arrested and sent to secret prison for superpowered people. Stark realizes that the Avengers have been manipulated by Zemo, but his friendship with Steve is nearly destroyed when he learns Bucky killed his father. Black Panther apprehends Zemo and takes Barnes to Wakanda to heal his mind. Cap goes on the run with the heroes who supported him, and all the Avengers’ relationships are badly damaged.
Days later, T’Challa returns to Wakanda for his coronation, officially becoming king and Black Panther. When Ulysses Klaue resurfaces, T’Challa and his allies team with the CIA to capture Klaue, but Klaue is rescued by his ally, Erik Stevens, who is also known by his U.S. Special Forces nickname, Killmonger.
T’Challa returns to Wakanda and admits he couldn’t stop Klaue, but soon after, Killmonger arrives in Wakanda with Klaue’s body. Killmonger uses killing Klaue, an enemy of Wakanda, and his status as N’Jobu’s son to challenge T’Challa and become king. T’Challa’s allies manage to escape before Killmonger can harm them, and later find T’Challa’s injured body, reviving him using the Heart-Shaped Herb.
Killmonger prepares to use Vibranium weapons to arm people across the world and create a Wakandan-led revolution. T’Challa returns and eventually defeats and kills Killmonger, but decides to end Wakanda’s isolationist practices in favor of using the nation’s wealth and technology to help the rest of the world.
During the Marvel civil war Peter Parker was recruited by Stark to help in the brief battle between Avengers. Afterward, Stark gives Parker a new technologically advanced Spider-Man suit. Spider-Man returns to New York and does low-level crime-fighting.
Two months later, Spider-Man struggles to balance high school and a social life with his responsibilities as Spider-Man. He encounters criminals robbing an ATM, using powerful weapons created from salvage from the Battle of New York. Spider-Man tracks the sales back to Toomes, who uses specially designed flying “vulture” armor to steal technology from Damage Control to build weapons.
Spider-Man stops Toomes, who is sent to prison, where he encounters one of his buyers, Mac Gargan (aka the Scorpion), who vows revenge against Spider-Man. Tony Stark offers to make Spider-Man an Avenger, but Spider-Man turns down the offer, opting to help the regular people of New York instead.
Early Fall, 2016: In Kathmandu, Nepal, the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and steal a few pages from an ancient, mystical text belonging to the Ancient One, a long-lived sorcerer who has taught every student at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius and his followers escape.
Around the same time, famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange suffers major nerve damage to his hands in a car accident and spends several months recovering. No longer able to perform surgery, Strange begins a desperate search for ways to heal himself.
Late Winter-Fall 2017: Stephen Strange finds out about Kamar-Taj and travels to Nepal, where he spends the year learning sorcery from The Ancient One. In early Fall, Strange learns that The Ancient One has lived for centuries by tapping into the power of an godlike being from the Dark Dimension called Dormammu. Soon after, The Ancient One is killed by Kaecilius, who seeks to allow Dormammu to take over Earth and end death. Strange defeats Kaecilius by locking Dormammu in a time loop using the Eye of Agamotto, which is actually the Time Infinity Stone. He then takes up residence in the New York City as the city’s master of the mystic arts.
Strange’s friend and magical mentor, Karl Mordo, is disillusioned by The Ancient One’s violation of “natural law” and leaves, later vowing to wipe out all unsanctioned sorcery.
Late 2017-Early 2018: After spending a couple of years looking for a way to stop Ragarok (he had a vision during the fight against Ultron), Thor realizes that Loki has deposed Odin. He returns to Asgard to find out WTF and the pair go to Earth to locate Odin, where they’re aided by Dr. Strange. Odin reveals he is dying, tells Loki and Thor about Hela, and warns his death end her imprisonment. Hela arrives on Earth, destroys Mjølnir, and exiles Thor and Loki, who wind up on planet Sakaar.
Hela takes over Asgard while Thor is forced to fight in the Sakaar gladiator arena, run by the Grandmaster. There, Thor finds that Hulk is Sakaar’s favorite fighter. Eventually, Thor convinces Hulk and the last surviving Asgardian Valkyrie to help him fight Hela.
Back on Asgard, Hela gouges out Thor’s eye. But with the help of Valkyrie, Hulk and Loki, Thor manages to defeat Hela by actually letting Ragnarok begin. Asgard is destroyed, but the Asgardians survive as refugees on a massive spaceship. In the escape, Loki takes the Tesseract with him.
As the Asgardians, with Thor as their new king, head to Earth, they’re intercepted by a massive spaceship. That ship is the Sanctuary II, commanded by Thanos.
(Warning! Every possible spoiler for “Avengers: Infinity War” beyond this point!)
Thanos attacks the Asgardian ship, killing half Thor’s remaining people. Heimdall is killed after sending Hulk back to Earth using the bifrost. Loki turns over the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, to Thanos in return for Thor’s life, but then attempts to stab Thanos, who kills him. Thanos sends his lieutenants, the Black Order, to recover the remaining two Soul Stones on Earth.
(Warning! All the spoilers for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” beyond this point!)
At about the same time: In the two years following the “Civil War” battle between the Avengers, Scott Lang has been under house arrest in San Francisco as part of a plea deal, after he violated the Sokovia Accords. Because he used Hank Pym’s shrinking tech, Hank and Hope van Dyne are also wanted under the Accords, and have gone on the run. While evading the FBI, Hope and Hank have started working on a quantum tunnel that will allow them to reach the Quantum Realm. Hope’s mother, Janet van Dyne, was lost in the Quantum Realm 30 years ago, but Hank thinks she might still be alive.
Just after Hank and Hope complete their quantum tunnel, Scott has a vision of Janet, as a result of his time in the Quantum Realm. Hank and Hope recruit Scott to help them find Janet. As the three try to finish the quantum tunnel to rescue Janet, they run afoul of Sunny Burch, a black market technology dealer, and Ava, also known as Ghost. Ava’s father was formerly a partner of Hank’s, but died in an accident that caused Ava’s body to lose its quantum stability, allowing her to phase through matter.
Ghost and Sunny both independently try to steal Hank’s shrunken lab, but Scott as Ant-Man and Hope as the Wasp stop both. Hank manages to save Janet from the Quantum Realm. Janet has gained powers from the Quantum Realm, which she uses to stabilize Ava and save her from dying from her affliction. The authorities fail to catch Scott breaking house arrest, and he’s finally released.
Meanwhile: On Earth, the Maw, one of the Black Order, manages to capture Doctor Strange in order to take the Time Stone from him, despite the intervention of Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Wong and Spider-Man. Tony and Spider-Man infiltrate the Maw’s ship and manage to save Doctor Strange, and the group decide to go to Titan to try to stop Thanos.
Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Galaxy respond to the Asgardian distress call and find Thor. He enlists the help of Groot and Rocket Raccoon to go to Nidavellir, where Thor’s hammer Mjolnir was forged, to get a new weapon that can beat Thanos. While there, Thor receives Stormbreaker, an axe capable of killing Thanos, and then returns to Earth with Groot and Rocket.
The rest of the Guardians go to Knowhere to stop Thanos from recovering the Reality Stone, but arrive too late. Thanos then captures Gamora, who he forces to take him to the Soul Stone by torturing Nebula. On Vormir, Thanos encounters the Red Skull, sent to the planet by the Space Stone in 1944, and recovers the Soul Stone by trading his “love,” Gamora, for it, killing her. Meanwhile, the remaining Guardians head to Titan and team with Stark, Strange and Spider-Man to ambush Thanos.
On Earth, Captain America bands with War Machine, Falcon, Black Widow, Bruce Banner and Scarlet Witch to protect Vision — the Mind Stone is part of him, and if Thanos gets it, they expect Vision will die. To avoid that, they take him to Wakanda to make a stand against Thanos’ army, while Shuri, the princess of Wakanda, attempts to make connections in Vision’s mind that would allow him to live without the stone. The plan is to destroy it to stop Thanos from getting it.
The Black Order attacks Wakanda, but the heroes and its army, along with help from a returning Thor, defeat Thanos’ lieutenants and his army. But on Titan, Doctor Strange, after using the Time Stone to view millions of alternate futures, gives up the Time Stone to save Tony Stark’s life.
With five Infinity Stones, Thanos heads to Earth to get the last stone from Vision. Scarlet Witch destroys the stone while the other heroes hold Thanos back, killing Vision, but Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse the act. He tears the Mind Stone out of Vision’s head, killing him. Before Thor can stop him with Stormbreaker, Thanos snaps his fingers, killing half the life in the universe — including Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, and all the Guardians of the Galaxy save for Rocket. Thanos escapes, triumphant.
In a final post-credits scene, Nick Fury watches as people start to disappear thanks to Thanos’ victory. As he himself turns to dust, he uses a special pager to send a message. On the pager, the logo of Captain Marvel appears.
In San Francisco, Hank, Janet and Hope send Scott into the Quantum Realm, using a shrunken version of the quantum tunnel, so he can collect “quantum healing particles” to help Ghost. While he’s gone, Thanos’s snap happens in Wakanda. Hank, Janet and Hope vanish thanks to Thanos’ wish, and Scott is left marooned in the Quantum Realm.