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Every Marvel thing you need to know before seeing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’

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Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) hangs with his dad (Kurt Russell), a living planet, in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’ (Photo: Chuck Zlotnick)
Get ready for more Marvel.

We’re getting yet another one of those movies this weekend with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which brings back our space super friends Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) for another round of adventures. It’s the 15th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But what, casual action-movie fans may be asking, is the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”? We present: The answers to all your Marvel Cinematic Universe questions that you were maybe too embarrassed to ask. Once you’ve read this, you’ll be 100% prepped for Guardians 2 and anything else Marvel throws at Hollywood.

So, what’s the deal with the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

At the premiere of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ star and Marvel super-fan Clark Gregg explains, to our reporter’s mother, what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is.

The MCU, as the fans call it, is a really clunky way of describing the 15 existing movies and many TV shows made by Marvel Studios, starting with Iron Man in 2008.

What makes them different than various other superhero movies and shows is that they are all connected, much like the comics themselves.

And, which superheroes are in the MCU?

Some of the biggest ones are Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk. Marvel gets to pick from a pool of its comic-book heroes (except for certain ones for legal reasons, like the X-Men, whose movies are produced by 20th Century Fox). The more movies Marvel makes, the further it digs into the vault of heroes. In addition to movies around those four heroes, we now have two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, and films starring Black Panther, The Wasp, Captain Marvel and more in the works.
Definitively not part of the MCU: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Suicide Squad and their friends. They’re all from DC Comics and have their own cinematic universe onscreen.

Catching up with the Avengers before ‘Civil War’
Which movies do I need to see before Guardians 2?

Don’t worry, you don’t need to see every single Marvel movie to understand the latest. But you should probably watch the first Guardians to understand how the team comes together and why they’re so interested in Star- Lord’s dad, played in the new movie by Kurt Russell.

How do the Guardians movies connect to everything else?

Here’s where it gets a little complicated. While you can see both movies without having seen anything else in the MCU, they do have connections and Easter eggs that relate to the other films. The first Guardians movie has Thanos (Josh Brolin) in it, a villain who was introduced in a post-credit scene for the first Avengers film. Thanos will show up in future Avengers movies because he’s after the infinity stones, super-powerful gems that have popped up in multiple Marvel films. In the original Guardians film, Star-Lord and the rest are attempting to prevent an infinity stone they find from falling into the wrong hands. Those future Avengers films will also include the Guardians, because Marvel loves nothing more than putting its heroes together.

Should I stay after the Guardians 2 credits?

Yes. There are multiple post-credit scenes so make sure you stay until the very last credit rolls if you want to catch all of them. Some hint at the future of the MCU, but some are just amusing.

How many more Marvel movies are coming?

Um, a lot. Marvel is one of the hottest names in Hollywood right now, between its box-office returns and action-figure sales, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Highlights of the upcoming slate include the universe’s first solo film led by a black superhero, Black Panther, in 2018; the first solo film led by a female superhero, 2019’s Captain Marvel; and more from the Avengers in Infinity War in 2018 and an untitled film in 2019. It’s a lot to, well, marvel at.

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