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Watch the first 10 Marvel movies in just 40 GIFs

Get ready for Age of Ultron with the world's quickest Marvel crash course

By David Ehrlich
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Avengers: Age of Ultron is finally arriving in theaters, making it the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which, scientists have confirmed, is continuing to expand faster than we can accurately measure). And unlike some of the other big franchises out there, the Marvel movies are deeply interconnected—walking into Age of Ultron without a working knowledge of the ten installments that preceded it would be like drinking an entire keg of beer without any food in your stomach: still kinda fun, but almost certainly fatal. Fortunately, as a lifeline for the stragglers out there, we’ve condensed the entire MCU into just 40 GIFs so that you can confidently spend this beautiful spring weekend inside a multiplex with the rest of your friends. Here we go:

Billionaire playboy inventor Tony Stark has too much time on his hands.

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So he invents a suit that can kill things.

It kills things real good.

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Fortunately, his secret identity is safe, as no one could possibly figure out which billionaire playboy inventor might be inside of it.

…Scratch that.

Meanwhile, in New York, it’s showtime at the Apollo as scientist Bruce Banner—inflicted with a serum that makes him turn into the Hulk whenever he gets angry—destroys Harlem.

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Tony eats a donut.

In Russia, Mickey Rourke loses his pet cockatoo, and he is not happy about it. (This character will later kill himself after accomplishing absolutely nothing.)

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Hey, did you know that Robert Downey Jr. overcame a history of substance abuse? You should ask him about it, sometime.

Tony gets some assistance from Black Widow, the MCU’s first female superhero. He saves the world—she maces a guy who was just trying to get through a double shift.

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In 1940s Brooklyn, a scrawny kid named Steve Rogers doesn’t like bullies, and he doesn’t care where they’re from.

But no one's going to bully him after he's injected with a serum that gives him some Nazi-killing pecs. Serums are the best.

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Oh, Hitler is not going to be happy when he hears about this. Meanwhile, in Scandinavian space…

That’s Thor. He’s a nice guy. Unfortunately, his adopted brother Loki has some daddy issues.

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Loki gets Thor exiled from their Shakespearean LSD trip of a home planet and banished to Earth. But it’s not all bad, because coffee.

Thor charms the earthlings.

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But Loki is all “I can charm the earthlings, too!"

But Loki confuses "charm" with "murder" and so the heroes team up to kill him. Fortunately, they're all instant best friends. 

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Captain America is too nice to fight anyone, but he really gives it to this punching bag:

Loki summons an army of aliens to attack Manhattan, even though Los Angeles is just sitting there, with exactly zero Avengers protecting it. 

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And the Avengers (as they now call themselves) put aside their differences to protect Grand Central Station, because God forbid we lose Metro North.

It's a tough fight, and Black Widow is definitely there to see it. (Spoiler alert: she still hasn't gotten her own movie.)

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An innocent bystander.

Hulk wins.

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The team celebrates with some gratuitous shawarma product placement.

And so the Avengers saved the world. Unfortunately, there's a big purple guy floating in space.

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Meanwhile, back on Earth, the stakes get even higher for our heroes. Iron Man 3, for example, is an entire movie about Tony Stark trying to find faster ways of getting dressed.

And Thor: The Dark World… well, Wikipedia swears that it actually happened.

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Captain America and Black Widow try to survive an appointment at the Genius Bar.

But it’s cool, Captain America obviously got the AppleCare because he’s just so responsible.

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But there’s no AppleCare in space. Fortunately for Peter Quill, the only human in his galaxy, he still has a working WalkMan.

He also has his own motley crew of reluctant do-gooders. They’re kind of like the Avengers, but even motlier.

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Vin Diesel plays a talking tree, which is so crazy because it’s usually the other way around.

He dies and it's sad. But then he's a dancing baby tree and it's not sad.

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People were really into that.

Even this guy. Remember him?

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He's going to try and kill everyone at some point, so here's hoping that the Avengers can make it through Age of Ultron without losing their team spirit!

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