Played by Anthony Mackie
Meet Sam Wilson (aka Falcon)
After being discharged from the US Military, Sam Wilson was working with returned soldiers with PTSD for the Department of Veterans Affairs working when he first encountered Captain America. The two struck up a quick friendship, and when all the s@#t hit the fan at SHEILD when
Hydra took over, Cap and Black Widow imposed themselves on Wilson’s hospitality as they sought to lie low. It was then that Sam revealed his true former position in the military, as a pilot of an experimental winged jetpack. Figuring they needed some more backup to take down Hydra, the three “borrowed” one of those jetpacks from the US Airforce (I’m assuming they just asked real nice and promised to bring it back fully refuelled).
When Clint Barton aka Hawkeye retired from the Avengers, Sam came on board as a new recruit. In typical Stark fashion he was fitted out with a more advanced version of his jetpack complete with a detachable remote drone dubbed Redwing. Last we saw of Sam, he was imprisoned in the offshore super-max prison for enhanced individuals (dubbed “The Raft”) for helping Captain America during the events of Civil War. It is assumed that Cap later helped him escape.
Fun Fact: Sam Wilson is another character in the comic books that ended up taking on the mantle of Captain America following Steve Rogers’ death. Whilst the odds favour Bucky Barnes taking up the shield, there is a chance it may fall to Sam.
Played by Paul Bettany
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Vision began life as Tony Stark’s disembodied AI butler JARVIS, named after his father’s real life butler according to the spinoff TV series Agent Carter. During the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the mechanised villain Ultron sought to create himself the ultimate body using a combination of the rare alien metal vibranium (the stuff Captain America’s shield is made from) and the yellow Mind Stone (one of the six infinity stones Thanos is seeking) that once powered Loki’s sceptre during his invasion of New York in the first Avengers film. If Ultron had been successful in taking control of this body, things would have ended up very differently for the Avengers – thankfully though, the Avengers managed to capture the body prior to its completion and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner managed to upload the consciousness of JARVIS into it instead.
Unfortunately for Vision though, that means he’s now walking around with an Infinity
Stone embedded into the middle of his forehead, which would put him pretty high up on Thanos’ hit list. Vision is one of the odds on favourites to be a victim to fall to the might of Thanos, unless he can somehow survive having the mind stone ripped right out of his head.
Fun Fact: In 1968 Philip K. Dick’s story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which is the basis for the Bladerunner films, inspired Stan Lee to tell writer Roy Thomas to create a new android character for the Avengers – resulting in Vision’s first appearance.
Played by Elizabeth Olsen
Meet Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch)
Wanda is played by Elizabeth Olsen, aka the little sister of the Olsen twins from Full House. Feel old yet?
Like a few other characters in the films, things are little different for Scarlet Witch in the MCU than they are in the comics, largely due to the movie rights we discussed back in lesson 1.
In the comics Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver were the children of the mutant Magneto, but alas seeing as 20th Century Fox had dibs on all things mutant, they gave the siblings an alternate origin story by which they received their abilities after being experimented on by Hydra. Originally an enemy to the Avengers in general and Tony Stark in particular, having been trapped in a war-torn building with a Stark Industries marked bomb as children, Wanda and her brother were doing a pretty good job of giving Earth’s mightiest heroes some major grief. But when Ultron’s plans to destroy humanity became clear, the two swapped sides and assisted in the evacuation of Sokovia. Wanda’s brother Quicksilver didn’t make it out alive, but Wanda became a fresh Avengers recruit alongside Falcon and War Machine.
Fun Fact: Scarlett Witch’s budding romance with Vision also draws its inspiration from the comics, where the pair ultimately end up with two children of their own thanks to Wanda’s reality bending powers.
The Sorcerer Supreme
Played by Benedict Cumberbatch
Meet Dr Stephen Strange (aka The Sorcerer Supreme)
Another hero in possession of an Infinity Stone, Dr Strange is a former neurosurgeon turned master of the mystic arts. When a car accident damaged his hands and ended his career as a world-class surgeon, Dr Strange went searching the world for a way to treat his injuries, and instead came face-to- face with the Ancient One who would tutor him in the ways of the arcane arts.
With the death of the Ancient One, Strange has taken up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme and possession of a talisman known as the Eye of Agamotto – which houses the green time stone. This would also put him pretty high on Thanos’s hit list, but at least the time stone only hangs on a
necklace around his neck and isn’t embedded into his forehead like poor ol’ Vision (boy is the
android REALLY gonna cop it).
Fun fact: Dr Stange was first name dropped in Captain America: Winter Soldier as a key Hydra target
in their plan to use automated SHIELD helicarriers to kill any who might pose a threat to their intended world order.
Played by Tom Holland
Meet Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man)
Fans rejoiced when word broke that Marvel Studios had brokered a deal with Sony to use Spider-Man in the MCU, and we weren’t disappointed. Easily the best on-screen Spidey to-date, Tom Holland’s rendition of Peter Parker first debuted in Captain America: Civil War where he was recruited by Tony Stark to help combat Captain America’s band of rogue heroes. He quickly stole the show, and followed up with his own film Spider-Man: Homecoming where we learned that the Spidey suit Stark had made for him contained a few neat techno-tricks of its own – complete with its own AI named Karen.
In Infinity War Peter will be getting another upgrade, and donning the Iron-Spider suit (think Spider-Man with Iron Man gadgets and big mechanical legs which come out of his back) first revealed at the end of Homecoming – this will be the first time we’ll see the suit in action on the big screen and it promises to be AWESOME!
Fun Fact: The voice of Spidey’s AI Karen is played by 80s child star Jennifer Connelly, who is married
in real life to Paul Bettany, who plays Vision and formerly Stark’s AI JARVIS.
Played by Chadwick Boseman
Meet King T’Challa (aka Black Panther)
Another break out hero from Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther's recent stand-alone film has become one of the biggest box office smashes of all time – at least until Infinity
War gets released.
King T’Challa is the sovereign of a fictional African nation named Wakanda. Blessed with a metric shit-tonne of Vibranium (it’s a real measurement, I promise) and more advanced tech than Tony Stark’s wildest wet dreams, Wakanda has lived quietly in the shadows for centuries, fiercely protective of their secrets. This all changed following the events of the Black Panther film, when King T’Challa vowed to share Wakanda’s knowledge and advancements with the world – which is just as well, because with Thanos on the way, the world is going to need every advantage it can get.
Fun fact: In the comics King T’Challa married Ororo Monroe (aka Storm of the X-Men), though the
union didn’t last long. Also, before he signed on to play Blade, Wesley Snipes was trying to get the green light for his own Black Panther movie.
The Missing Avengers: Ant-Man and Hawkeye
Conspicuous by their complete absence from Infinity War marketing material, there is a big
question mark over two Avengers in particular: Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) and Scott Lang (aka Ant-
Man). Last we saw, both heroes had been imprisoned on The Raft for helping Captain America
during the events of Civil War. It is assumed Cap broke them out with Falcon, but where or what
they may be up to during the events of Infinity War remains a mystery yet to be answered.
Well that’s it for this lesson, next up Lesson Three: I AM GROOT! Or, Meet the Guardians of the Galaxy!