Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

An ode to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially in April, and you know what that means -- it's "Avengers" month.

Think what you will about the epic, ever-expanding behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but you've got to admit, "Infinity War" is an impressive feat. When else have we seen a movie with twenty-three main characters? I might be partial to the entire thing, but I think this film just might end up being the single greatest achievement in cinematic history.

Of course, I haven't seen the film yet (unfortunately), but I'm going to use some context clues to take a wild guess that it's going to be a larger-than-life phenomenon.

With "Iron Man's" release 10 years ago, I don't think anyone could have guessed the MCU would expand into what it is today. At the time, we'd just finished the classic Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" trilogy and we were in the middle of Christopher Nolan's incredible "Dark Knight" trilogy. These are undeniably great superhero movies that began making a name for the genre (yes, even "Spider-Man 3"), but here's the thing: they were great on their own. Had someone even brought up the notion of a superhero universe in which these heroes would be interacting with one another, they would've gotten a door slammed in their face. Nobody knew what the hell a "cinematic universe" was.

Everyone who wasn't already a fan of the comics, that is. These shared universes had existed for decades in comic form, in which quite literally anything could and did happen. But with superhero movies, reaching that same level of intertextuality would require a huge slate of big-name actors signing onto one film, meaning an out-of-this-world budget. It was, seemingly, impossible.

But a beautiful thing happened, folks. Marvel Studios was born, and Kevin Feige was in charge. Feige sought to recreate that same shared universe from the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comics in film form and took to creating individual films for each of the main characters that we never imagined would one day come together.

Yet here we are, friends. 10 years later and only weeks away from the most ambitious superhero movie to ever be created. In just a short few years, "Infinity War" is seemingly defying all odds and blowing fanboys' minds everywhere.

Think back to your first time seeing the first "Avengers" in theaters. I don't know about you, but I saw that movie three times because of the sheer wow factor of these already-well-developed characters coming together. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it was actually happening. We'd never seen anything like it before.

I won't lie; I wasn't all that impressed with "Avengers: Age of Ultron," or any of the MCU's Phase Two films, for that matter. The period was a necessary evil to bridge the individual films of Phase One with the crossover films of the next phase, however, and to get us used to seeing our favorite heroes sharing one screen. "Captain America: Civil War" rescued the MCU from its slump, though, and it's been on an upward climb ever since, building up excitement and introducing us to the ever-present threat of the mysterious Thanos.

This is the first villain, really, that we've known about for a long time before he ends up becoming a threat. We've known what he's after (the titular infinity stones), and we already know where he stands in the universe. Marvel movies do have a tendency toward lacking in the villain development department, but I have a feeling that will take a sharp turn when Thanos finally makes it to Earth in "Infinity War."

I could go on and on about how excited I am for this film. I could write an entire article on how the crossover of "Black Panther" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" has the potential to make for the most incredible soundtrack in film history, or how I think Rocket the raccoon and Peter Parker are going to become best friends.

Honestly, anything can happen in the spectacle that will be Infinity War, and I'm certain it won't disappoint. We'll just have to impatiently wait and see for ourselves when it hits theaters April 27.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter