What’s Next For Marvel: MCU Analysis and Predictions

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is, believe it or not, all one giant storyline, with one giant goal.

Pradyoth Velagapudi, Managing Editor

With the recent release of “Dr. Strange” and “Avengers: Infinity War” parts one and two scheduled for 2018 and 2019 respectively (with many more movies coming out before then), the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is getting really big, really fast. With a surplus of characters, stories, and ideas, it’s hard for even the most passionate Marvel fans to lose grasp of where the MCU is headed. So, here’s a little analysis of the Marvel movies thus far (along with predictions).

For those who aren’t particularly fluent in superhero, an Infinity Stone is a gem with immense power. There are six Infinity Stones, each with different abilities. There’s the Space Stone, Reality Stone, Power Stone, Mind Stone, Soul Stone, and the Time Stone. The big bad of the entire MCU, Thanos, wants to unite all of these stones and wield them with the Infinity Gauntlet, which lets him use the powers of each stone together to destroy all life in the universe. There is also a villain called the Collector, and he wants to collect the stones for his collection, as his name might suggest. The interesting thing is that Marvel is hiding the Infinity Stones as other objects, instead of treating them as separate artifacts. Almost all of the stones have appeared in a Marvel movie by now, although not all were explicitly referred to by their Infinity Stone name.

Think back to 2012, when “Avengers” came out. Remember the Tesseract? That blue cube that Loki used to teleport an army of Chitauri to conquer New York? That was the Space Stone, and at the end of the movie, Thor takes it to Asgard for safekeeping. This move has later implications, however, since at the end of “Thor: The Dark World” in 2013, two of Thor’s Asgard friends give the Aesir (a.k.a, the Reality Stone) to the Collector, stating that keeping two Infinity Stones together in Asgard would be unwise. The Collector then dramatically says to himself, “One down, five to go.”

Later, in “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014, we are officially introduced to Infinity Stones by none other than the Collector himself, who wants the Orb (Power Stone) for his collection. He is thwarted, however, when his slave attempts to touch the exposed stone and explodes violently, destroying most of the collection and allowing the Guardians to escape. At the end of the movie, the stone was sent to the headquarters of the Nova Corps, an intergalactic peacekeeping organization.

In “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in 2015, Tony Stark (alias: Iron Man) takes the gem of Loki’s staff (the Mind Stone) which we saw a glimpse of during “Avengers” back in 2012, and he inserts it into the head of a robot/clone he created to help the Avengers. The clone, named Vision, uses the power of the stone to help the Avengers in their battles.

Throughout “Ant-Man” (2015) and “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), we are not introduced to any new Infinity Stones. But, in “Doctor Strange” (2016), we meet the ‘Eye of Agamotto’ (a.k.a. The Time Stone) which gives Dr. Strange the power to fly as well as powers over time (plus, it holds his cloak up).

But have you noticed anything off with the narrative? That’s right, the Soul Stone is the only Infinity Stone not featured in the MCU… yet. With so many Marvel movies coming up, it’s bound to be in one of them.

It’s doubtful that it will feature in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (scheduled for 2017) since Spider Man has never had much to do with the Infinity Stones. It’s primarily an Avengers storyline. “Black Panther” (2018) comes out after part one of “Infinity War,” and so probably doesn’t feature any Infinity Stones. “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” is coming out before then in 2017, and seems pretty promising, as the last “Guardians of the Galaxy” was centered entirely around an Infinity Stone. Star-Lord’s long-lost dad could supposedly wield Infinity Stones, so that helps. However, the MCU has never really toyed with the idea of ‘souls’ before, so if anything’s going to feature that, it’s probably going to be the mythology-centered “Thor: Ragnarok” also scheduled for 2017.

Be sure to keep on the lookout for the last Infinity Stone (and some Stan Lee cameos) in the upcoming Marvel movies!