With Black Panther finally arriving in Hong Kong cinemas on February 13, and Avengers: Infinity War dropping shortly after on May 4, now is the perfect time to catch up with what the Marvel gang is up to.
The king comes home
During the much anticipated release of Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is still reeling over the murder of his father, but the newly minted ruler of Wakanda doesn’t have time to grieve. A challenger to his throne rises in the form of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a black ops mercenary and exile of Wakanda with his own agenda … and what appears to be his own version of Black Panther’s suit, but with flashy gold accents.
The Cap in black
After standing up for what he believes in and refusing to sign the Sokovia Accords in Civil War, Captain Steve Rogers, otherwise known as Captain America, went toe-to-toe with his good friend and fellow Avenger, Iron Man Tony Stark. After the (SPOILER ALERT) final scene where he lays down his iconic shield, he goes on to break his side of the team – Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch – out of prison.
In the trailer for Infinity War, he’s sporting longer locks, a manly beard, and a darker colour palette when he shows up in Wakanda to ask for T’Challa’s help. But there’s still no sign of another shield, so what new weapon will he throw at his enemies now? His rugged handsomeness?
Tony Stark: Genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist. Father figure?
After nearing killing the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in retaliation for his parents’ deaths, Iron Man has to ask himself some tough questions. Who can he really call his friend? Why did he ever let Pepper go? Should he mentor this plucky, superpowered teen that goes by “Spider-Man”, a kid in serious need of an upgrade? (Definitely). We’re hoping that he’ll work out his differences with Captain America soon, so they can team up again against the real threat of the Mad Titan. Sort it out, guys.
The doctor is in
Former ace neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is now the powerful Sorcerer Supreme. Aside from a brief cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, where he helps the God of Thunder find his father Odin - while casually making the God of Mischief, Loki, fall through (presumably) time and space for 30 minsutes - the good doctor has been relatively quiet. That looks to change in Infinity War, where he’s seen wielding the funny orange glowing orbs again.
Are we late to the party?
Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt et al) have all had individual adventures lately, but with the fate of the entire universe at stake, it’s time to head back to Earth. With Thor (SPOILER!) having lost an eye in his recent fight with evil sis Hela, let’s hope someone else is steering the spaceship. Maybe it’ll be super tough Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) or teenage Groot. I am Groot and also groot at driving?
Bonus: Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man’s (Paul Rudd) superpower is the ability to turn really really small. Or really really big. After choosing Captain America’s side in Civil War, his relationship with his young daughter is affected, as he is branded a criminal once more. Lucky for him, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is on hand to cut him down to size as his budding love interest and new sidekick, the Wasp. Also, watch for more fun interactions between Rudd and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man and also Hope’s father. Cue awkwardness.