Explaining the Marvel Universe (WARNING: Spoilers for Endgame and more!)


Hi Falcons! If you love superhero movies but want to understand their meaning, this is the article for you. Marvel Comics is a publishing company that originally published comic books, and then blockbuster movies.


The majority of this article was written before the release of Avengers: Endgame, hence there is some information we did not know about it when writing summaries, bios, etc.


What is the actual Marvel universe?

The Marvel universe is supposed to be composed of multiple alternate universes where different superheroes live in different ones. It is not just one universe because you would notice that the X-Men and the Avengers never meet. Originally, they were all in the same universe, but due to licensing agreements between Disney (Avengers) and Fox (X-Men), that division needs to remain preserved. This also explains why when Thanos snaps his fingers and erases half of the entire universe, the X-Men storyline remains untouched since they are indeed in an alternate sub-universe. However, with Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox, we may see some aspects of the MCU come into contact with Fox’s cinematic universe.


A brief explanation on the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) (Spoilers ahead!).

The current MCU began with the release of Iron Man in 2008. It continued with the releases of multiple other superhero movies, including Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk, among others. These movies all came together with The Avengers, the first major crossover in the MCU. It focused on the Avengers fighting the forces of Loki and the Chitauri, which were being secretly led by Thanos. After other movie releases, the Avengers joined forces once more for Age of Ultron. This movie saw the Avengers fighting a rogue AI that Tony Stark had made. However, some of the problems caused in the fight with Ultron prompted the government to create the Sokovia Accords. These documents caused loads of problems and led to Captain America: Civil War, in which our beloved heroes fought over the Accords. This led to a split in the Avengers, with some heroes backing Iron Man and others Captain America. Once again, there were multiple other movies released before the epic Infinity War. The movie consisted of the fight that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes underwent against Thanos and his army to prevent him from collecting all 6 Infinity Stones. However, Thanos succeeded and killed half the life in the universe in a snap (literally). We later got the conclusion to the Infinity Saga: Avengers: Endgame. This movie saw the remaining heroes on their quest to reverse Thanos’s snap and finish him, once and for all. They succeeded, but not without loss. Iron Man and Black Widow sacrificed themselves to stop Thanos and restore the lost lives in the universe. It also saw the conclusion of Captain America’s story. He went back in time to live his life with his long-lost lover, Peggy Carter. However, Endgame was nowhere near the end of the MCU. It was simply the end of one chapter of the story, with many more to come.


How are the superheroes organized in terms of power?

Though some superheroes are more popular than others, their powers vary greatly. Each superhero falls into a classification of powers based on how much universal super humanness they possess. The top three most powerful superheroes in the Marvel universe are considered almost universal forces themselves.


Number three is Doctor Strange (MCU). His movie came out in 2016 and he contains the ability to warp matter around him to fit the shape or form he sees fit. He can also transfer into different regions by creating a wormhole that connects the spaces through a golden ring.


Number two is Captain Marvel (MCU). She has extraterrestrial powers that are closely linked with her emotions and can blast away matter with light-like powers that come from her limbs in the form of beams. She is suspected to come and save the world from Thanos’s damage (the final post-credits scene in Infinity War) with the help of Nick Fury and possibly the Skrulls.


The most powerful known superhero in the Marvel Comic Universe is Jean Grey (X-Men universe), also known as Phoenix. She is the most formidable and dangerous enemy to the X-Men because when she releases her abilities, all matter around her disintegrates into ash. Originally, Phoenix was just Jean Grey: a helpless child who caused an explosion every time she screams or cries. Later, Professor Xavier takes her under his wing and tries to detach her powers from her emotions in order to create a hero out of her. Eventually, she goes rogue and becomes an enemy of the X-Men and uses her final act to destroy a common enemy, named Dark Phoenix. The suspected reason Dark Phoenix is so powerful is that every million or so years, the forces of the universe (aka the Phoenix force) need a host viable to be possessed by the power so that the universe remains balanced. For an unknown reason, Jean Grey was the host, making her the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe. Her movie will come out later this year (titled Dark Phoenix).


Hopefully, you now understand much more about the Marvel Universe and can take that knowledge with you to the movies to understand the plot a little bit more!