As the major climax in Marvel Studios' Phase Two films, Avengers: Age of Ultron prepared audiences for the next four year's worth of films. To help prepare you for the hailstorm of Marvel Phase Three movies, here are the biggest plot points introduced in Age of Ultron that establish the next chapter in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Superhuman Registration Act (Captain America: Civil War)
The 2006 comic event Civil War showed the rift among the superhero community over a controversial law called the Superhuman Registration Act. The official movie synopsis of Captain America: Civil War confirms that 2016's threequel will feature its own version of the Superhuman Registration Act, created by the world's governments after the Hulk and Iron Man destroyed an African City and Ultron partially decimated the fictional country of Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But we may have already seen the beginnings of the Superhuman Registration Act in Age of Ultron, when Maria Hill says that several governments were pushing for Bruce Banner's arrest after his Hulk-out with Iron Man. Given the amount of damage that Hulk inflicted, it's likely that his decision to go into hiding will have big consequences Captain America: Civil War.
Captain America vs. Iron Man (Captain America: Civil War)
The movie synopsis of Captain America: Civil War states that Captain America and Iron Man will split the Avengers into two opposing factions over the Superhuman Registration Act. Captain America and Iron Man already didn't see eye to eye in Age of Ultron, with Cap holding Iron Man responsible for Ultron's creation and Iron Man believing Cap to be naïve and overly idealistic. The two even came to blows in the film after Captain America tried stopping Tony from uploading JARVIS into Ultron's synthetic body (which ultimately created the Vision). Leaked concept art for Captain America: Civil War features Captain America and Iron Man rushing at each other with their fists raised, so even more fighting between the pair seems more than obvious.
Ulysses Klaue (Black Panther)
In Age of Ultron, arms dealer Ulysses Klaue loses both his hand and vibranium (the world's strongest metal) supply to Ultron and the Maximoff twins. Klaue is an updated version of the Black Panther villain Ulysses Klaue, so it's almost certain that Andy Serkis's character will appear in the 2018 Black Panther film. In the comics, Klaw first encounters the Black Panther when trying to steal Wakanda's vibranium supply, so a similar scenario seems likely for their cinematic counterparts. As for Klaue's missing hand, expect him to replace it with a high-tech vibranium device that controls and manipulates sounds waves, as he does in the comics.
Asgard Goes to Hel (Thor: Ragnarok)
When the Scarlett Witch starts playing mind games with the Avengers, she gives Thor a nightmarish look into his possible future. In his vision, Thor sees Heimdall and other Asgardians celebrating in the middle of a crumbling empire as animal-headed giants lurk in the shadows. The subtitle of the next Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, references a Norse myth that describes the end of the world and the death of the Norse gods. Ragnarok was also the title of Marvel Comics' story arc that killed Thor and Asgard, and removed them from their publishing line for several years. The Ragnarok myth details the deaths of several characters that appear in the Thor films, including Heimdall, Loki, Odin and Thor himself. As for the animal-like giants, could these be creatures from the realm of Hel, which Heimdall mentions as he attacks Thor in his dream?
The Infinity Stones (Avengers: Infinity War Part I, Part II)
During his visions in the Water of Sight, Thor sees the Infinity Stones and realizes that someone has been trying to collect them for an unknown purpose. The movie also confirmed that Loki's scepter from the first Avengers movie contained the Mind Gem, which Thor later used to birth the Vision. While Thor doesn't know who is after the Infinity Stones, the true puppet master, Thanos, appears during the mid-credit scene. Vowing to take a more direct approach towards collecting the stones, Thanos grabs the one weapon capable of harnessing all six stones; the Infinity Gauntlet.
Past Marvel movies have introduced four of the stones (the Tessarect from Captain America: The First Avenger, Loki's scepter, the Aether from Thor: The Dark World, and the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy), leaving two unaccounted for. It's likely that one of the stones will appear in the 2016 Dr. Strange movie, while the other will appear in either Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy 2. An Infinity Stone would certainly be powerful enough to destroy Asgard, and the Guardians of the Galaxy could encounter another Infinity Stone during their next misadventure.
What other ways do you think Avengers: Age of Ultron sets up future Marvel movies? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!