Warning! Nothing you read here will spoil Avengers: Infinity Wars because I didn’t understand it.

As a vibrant, relevant, totally hip and “with it” dad I am proud to say that I have now seen every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  All nineteen of them.

I am less proud to admit that, of those Marvel movies that I can remember, I didn’t understand any of them.  Too many characters. Too many plot lines. Too many details to keep track of. Too much time between movies.

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Too many movie credits to sit through.

Not that I care all that much, but it means that being vibrant, relevant, hip, and “with it” has its limits.  And mine are disturbingly evident.

Fortunately, I still have kids around the house to jog my memory whenever a new Marvel movie comes out.  And when I say jog my memory, what I really mean is they remind me of how little of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I have retained over the past ten years since I first saw Iron Man with them.

Iron Man was about a womanizing billionaire with a huge ego who ultimately takes credit for saving the world.  Not only did Iron Man spawn the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it apparently spawned the equally prolific White House Cinematic Universe.  

After that was Thor and Hulk and Captain America and Spiderman and Ant Man and Star-Lord and Dr. Strange and Black Panther.  Think Village People with superpowers.

And some lesser superheros too.  Like Falcon and Hawkeye and Vision and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, who despite her star power, is still a superpower short of getting her own movie.

And if you sat through the lengthy credits of Iron Man you would have known through a cleverly injected trailer, somewhere between a list of the makeup artist chauffeurs and the security guards at Marvel, that this group would later become the Avengers.

It is not entirely clear what the Avengers avenge, but they do fight a lot of really powerful foes and in the process level buildings and streets and entire cities causing billions of dollars in damage.  Fortunately the movies gross enough to easily cover the replacement of Manhattan, which the Avengers destroyed saving us all from a giant mechanical flying worm in the Battle of New York.

And of course, all the construction workers were listed in the credits.

Because among other things, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced the world to incredibly long closing movie credits which are broken up with teaser trailers that foreshadow or explain important plot lines.   To watch a Marvel movie is to sit through a scrolling telephone directory in order to watch a 20 second plot line clue for an upcoming Marvel movie.

What happened to the days when you could walk out when a movie was over?  

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for giving credit where credit is due, but I don’t really need to know all 25 people who work for the caterer that fed the Incredible Hulk.

Where was I?  Oh yes, my kids.  Every time there is a new Marvel movie coming out they remind me of all the important stuff I either have forgotten or failed to understand from the previous movies.   

Recently, they helped me prepare for Avengers: Infinity Wars.

It didn’t help.  I still didn’t fully understand the movie and had to sit through 15 minutes of credits to watch a trailer that I also didn’t understand.  But there was lots of destruction. So all in all, it was a great movie.

So here is what you need to know in order to be less confused than I am.  

There is a big, bad purple linebacker named Thanos who is after some insanely powerful gemstones that he can lodge into the knuckles of his glove so that he can destroy half the universe.  Fortunately for us, it is the half of the universe that doesn’t have movie theaters.

The Infinity Stones are singularities that formed in the universe just before the Big Bang, when Disney purchased Marvel.  The only thing older than the Infinity Stones are the Rolling Stones.

There are six Infinity Stones:  The Power Stone, the Time Stone, the Space Stone, the Reality Stone, the Mind Stone, and the Kidney Stone.  Or maybe it is the Soul Stone. I can’t remember.

Anyway, I am not spoiling anything here because apparently the six Infinity Stones have been revealed in previous Marvel movies, I presume somewhere in the closing credits.

And that is really all you need to know.  So sit back and enjoy the carnage. And if you can explain the plot line to me, I will gladly give you a scrolling credit in my next Marvel movie review.

Special thanks to Bob, who sold me popcorn at the theater.