I’m posting the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War because I’ve been reflecting on what a creative accomplishment the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) truly has come to be. If you’re more of a casual fan of the films that make up the MCU, here’s some history.

The MCU officially started with Iron Man in 2008. The film began production in 2007, which is typically the reference point for when the MCU came into being. Over the course of a decade now, 17 films have been produced which comprise the MCU. Yes, 10 years and 17 films. And there are already 7 more we “officially” know about that have been green lit for production. Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, has already stated that they already have 10-20 already in the planning stages. This is just staggering to ponder if you really consider everything that producing a major motion picture film involves. It really starts to venture into the realm of ridiculous when you consider that all of these films… all of them… are connected in one way or another; be it be common plot devices or character crossovers, a thread weaves through all of them. And, with the release of Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018, that thread finally starts to pull and bring all 17 of those films together. Technically it will be 18 films by the time Infinity War is released because Marvel’s Black Panther will receive it’s theatrical release in February 2018. But, who’s counting at this point?

Suffice it to say we’ve never seen anything like this in film. Star Wars created a galaxy far far away that now encompasses 8 films with the 9th to be released in December 2017. All of the Star Wars film with the exception of one film (Rogue One) all connect to form one main saga, but since Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney in 2012 and the main saga restarted, additional anthology films have now been released or slated for release within the next few years. And, as groundbreaking as the Star Wars galaxy is, that still doesn’t even touch 17 –soon to be 18– films. Its’ remarkable. Even if you don’t necessarily like Marvel’s films, or are just a casual moviegoer who’s caught a few of them, you still have to be somewhat impressed at the feat itself. I recently had to design 4 posters all tied to one theme and I swear it nearly broke me. 

I’ll be there in May when Infinity War is released. There is one more Avengers film planned after Infinity War, which was originally billed as Infinity War: Part II, but that has since changed. Filming for Avengers 4 is being completed back-to-back with Avengers: Infinity War, so it’s probably a safe bet that the 4th installment will be tie off over a decades worth of storytelling. 

Marvel Studios has certainly adopted a formula for their films through the years. This is to the dismay of some moviegoers as they feel it’s become stale. And, being owned by Disney, there is a certain amount of safety to each film that ensures even younger audiences can partake in the joy. Again, this is to the dismay of some moviegoers. But, it hasn’t stopped these films from being entertaining and fun –with the exception of a few titles. I’m looking at you Thor: The Dark World. 

My son loves Iron Man and all the Marvel heroes, but at 6 years old he’s never watched a single film from the MCU, save for that one day he caught a few minutes of the first Avengers film on TV, which was obviously edited for TV. It will certainly be fun in a few years when he’s older and we can sit down and just marathon those movies together.