Assembling the Avengers

The Avengers

The Avengers

The definitive guide to ALL of the crossovers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Now that we’re all getting excited for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seemed like a good time to review a bit of what got us here to begin with. Marvel was cleverly planting teasers from Iron Man on. Little cross references to other Marvel movies and important elements that became the basis for The Avengers. We’re not going to review the Marvel movies here, but rather just focus on those things that reference the Marvel Universe outside of each hero’s particular series. Let’s have a quick refresher course while we anxiously await Avengers 2.

  • Iron Man (2008)
    -Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Agent Coulson, Nick Fury, and JARVIS all go on from this movie to The Avengers.
    -First introduction of S.H.I.E.L.D., the agency that later assembles the Avengers.
    -Captain America’s shield is seen sitting on a workbench.
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
    -Bruce Banner (The Hulk), goes on to The Avengers.
    -Banner is bombarded with Gamma rays in an effort to recreate the super-soldier experiment of Captain America: The First Avenger.
    -Nick Fury’s name appears on paperwork in the opening credits.
    -A portrait of Steve Rogers (Captain America) appears in General Ross’s office.
    -Dr. Reinstein’s (Captain America) name appears on a storage tank.
    -Tony Stark (Iron Man) appears in a cameo talking about the Avenger Initiative.
    -In a deleted scene, Captain America would have been seen frozen in the ice.
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
    -Black Widow goes on to The Avengers. Nick Fury is also featured.
    -As Tony looks through his father’s case, he finds a Captain America comic book and a prototype of the Captain’s shield.
    -A sketch of the Tesseract from Captain America and The Avengers is shown in Howard Stark’s notebook.
    -Footage of the Hulk’s battle on the Culver University campus in The Incredible Hulk appears on TV.
    -Thor’s hammer is discovered by Agent Coulson during the post-credits sequence.
  • Thor (2011)
    -Thor, Loki, Haweye, and Dr. Selvig, go on to The Avengers. Nick Fury is also featured.
    -Dr. Selvig talks about a pioneer in gamma radiation that worked with S.H.I.E.L.D., referencing Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk).
    -Some discussion occurs that mentions the Destroyer might belong to Tony Stark (Iron Man).
    -A Norwegian village seen in a flashback scene is the village the Tesseract is found in during Captain America: The First Avenger.
    -A picture appears of Odin holding the Tesseract.
    -In the post-credits sequence, Nick Fury shows the Tesseract to Dr. Selvig.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    -Steve Rogers (Captain America) goes on to The Avengers. Nick Fury is also featured.
    -The title itself references The Avengers.
    -The Tesseract is an important device driving the plot of this movie.
    -Steve and Bucky go to the Howard Stark expo seen in Iron Man 2.
    -Howard Stark demonstrates technology that appears to be early versions of Iron Man technology.
    -Characters talk about gods, referring to the Asgardians (Thor).
    -The wall hiding the Tesseract has a picture of the World Tree talked about in Thor.
    -An instrumental version of the song “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” (written for Iron Man 2) is played.
  • The Avengers (2012)
    -Thor’s battle with the Destroyer is included in Stark’s briefing.
    -A picture of Jane Foster (Thor) appears on a computer as they explain where she is.
    -Bruce Banner says he “broke Harlem,” referring to The Incredible Hulk.
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
    -Tony and Harley discuss “what happened in New York,” meaning the climax of The Avengers.
    -Killian talks about “that big dude with the hammer who fell out of the sky,” meaning Thor.
  • “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (2013-?)
    -Agent Coulson’s experiences throughout the previous movies, including his death, are part of his back story.
    -Coulson’s car, “Lola,” is likely a version of the magnetically floating car made by Howard Stark (Captain America: The First Avenger).
    -Coulson says the last 0-8-4 was a hammer, referencing Thor (and Iron Man 2).
    -Tony Stark (Iron Man) is referred to as a consultant.
    -Coulson uses an explosive door opener from Iron Man.
    -An alien helmet from the Battle of New York (The Avengers) is an important plot element in an episode.
    -Coulson use the gun he used on Loki.
    -Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill appear in some episodes.
    -Lorelei escaped during the Asgard raid from Thor: The Dark World.
    Agent Sitwell is ordered to report to the Lemurian Star from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    -The plot twist involving S.H.I.E.L.D. from Captain America 2 also takes place in this series.
    -Some footage of Captain America 2 is shown.
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    -Jane Foster slaps Loki and says, “That’s for New York” referring to The Avengers.
    Guardians of the Galaxy is teased during the credits.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    -Howard the Duck is shown in a post-credits scene.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America 3 (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
  • Thor 3 (?)
  • Iron Man 4 (?)

The Marvel Universe is constantly expanding. I included some of the upcoming releases on the list because we know there are still more crossovers to come! Robert Downy, Jr. confirmed today (Oct 7) on Ellen that he will be back for Iron Man 4!

Did I miss anything? Did I tell you anything you didn’t already know? Let me know in the comments!

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