Its been just over a decade since the magnificent creature Kevin Feige birthed what will go down in history as the most successful film franchise to ever grace the silver screen: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences have laughed, cried, and been enraptured by storytelling that has changed both the film industry and the way we consume our media, even being considered some of the best action movies of the decade. It goes without saying that in order to accomplish a feat of this magnitude, the world-building over the past decade has been grounded in the milestone moments that pepper the MCU's catalogue; not all of them are dramatic. Heck, not all of them are from the films, but they are all important for laying the groundwork for the next decade of properties that will be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Keep in mind, we're looking at the big picture here, so that A-Force tease in Avengers: Endgame or Peter meeting Liz's dad in Spider-Man: Homecoming, while awesome narrative points, aren't tentpoles of the MCU.
Here are some of the most important narrative moments in the MCU that happened in the 2010s.
What can we say? He is Iron Man.
Tony's sacrifice in Endgame has a huge effect on society. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we see the cultural reaction to Tony's passing through memorials and art across New York and the world, but what a number of people don't initially realize is that there is now a huge gap in the scientific community. The contributions Tony Stark has made to the betterment of society with technology like the Arc Reactor are monumental. Potential candidates that could fill this void are Shuri, Reed Richards, and maybe even an AI version of Tony that was programmed before his passing.
Apart from wiping out half of all organic life, the Snap also ends thousands, if not millions, of lives indirectly. Pilots and drivers are among those Snapped, but many of their passengers aren't, leading to some pretty significant bloodshed.
When the Snap is eventually reversed, as explained in Spider-Man: Far From Home, everyone's ages are off, as their lives have effectively been paused for five years, and the universe as a whole has had to move on without them. This will have an enormous psychological effect for years to come and societies that have restructured will have to either revert to how they functioned previously, or conflict will inevitably arise.
The impact of the Battle for Earth has not really been talked about in the MCU as a whole, but remains incredibly significant in the grand scheme of things. Not only is Thanos dusted away from existence, but the event also cements Earth as a planet that can withstand the biggest challenges that get thrown its way to the rest of the universe and anyone - or anything - that might try to mess with it.
It will be interesting to see how Earth itself manages following the end of the Infinity War beyond mourning the heroes that sacrificed themselves to save the universe.
Tony's brand of redirection is right up there with his trademark wit, but nothing says "welcome to Earth, now leave" like a nuke being chucked through a wormhole towards an alien ship.
Apart from Captain Marvel back in the '90s, this marks the first major defensive maneuver by Earth against an alien attack, and aside from Thanos, it seems to have been a pretty great deterrent.