How Captain Marvel fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Spoiler: Thanos (Josh Brolin) succeeded. After gathering all six Infinity Stones in his custom gauntlet, he wiped out half of the universe’s population with a snap of his fingers. It wasn’t meant to end this way (and, more spoilers, maybe it won’t; we haven’t yet reached the endgame). The last scene of Infinity War, while showcasing the devastation wrought by Thanos’ act, also left one small way out. In the moments before Nick Fury turned to dust, the S.H.I.E.L.D. director managed to make a last-ditch call to Captain Marvel, and the call connected.

TAKEAWAY: Carol Danvers’ power could be exactly what the Avengers need to turn the tide, but if and when she does make her return to Earth, she’ll find the superheroes in rough shape. Iron Man and Nebula managed to survive the snap but were left stranded on Thanos’ home planet of Titan. Stark’s fellow Avengers founders Captain America, Thor, and Banner are all still alive, though the latter has found himself unable to summon the Hulk after getting a beatdown from Thanos. Captain America is still missing his trademark shield, and while Thor has a new hammer in Stormbreaker, the loss of Asgard and his people is catching up with him. Rocket is the last member of the Guardians. Hope may lie with the reserve Avengers like Hawkeye and Ant-Man who also survived the snap, though they weren’t powerful enough to summon during the original fight against Thanos. Then again, defeating a being with infinite power will require some unorthodox strategies. Before Doctor Strange died, he told Iron Man that giving Thanos the Time Stone had been the only way to make an unlikely victory possible. Perhaps Thanos’ self-satisfaction will be his undoing.

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