Warning: all the spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead! I mean it. All of them.
How does Avengers: Infinity War end, you ask? With my broken heart.
OK, fine, the real answer: with the end of half of the universe. Yep, Thanos finishes collecting all six Infinity Stones and snaps his fingers, wiping out countless lives just as he does in the comics. Here's how it goes down.
By the time Thanos has the Power, Time, and Reality Stones, the Avengers and Co. split up to deal with the other stones. The Earth contingent gathers in Wakanda to protect the Mind Stone in Vision's forehead; Iron Man (aka Tony Stark), most of the Guardians, and Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) end up on Titan after Ebony Maw abducts Doctor Strange (aka Stephen Strange) and the Time Stone; and Thor takes Rocket and Groot to Nidavellir with him for a new weapon to defeat Thanos. Gamora, unfortunately for her, unwillingly accompanies her murderous adoptive dad to Vormir in search of the Soul Stone. It turns out the only way he's able to get the Soul Stone is by sacrificing something he loves in return; in a heartbreaking twist, he throws Gamora over the cliff to her death for it.
On Titan, Iron Man, Strange, Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill), Nebula, Drax, Mantis, and Spider-Man almost manage to take the mostly complete Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. When he learns about Gamora's death, though, Quill loses his cool and costs them their victory. Strange surrenders the Time Stone to save Tony, and Thanos departs for Earth for the last stone.
Thanos arrives in Wakanda in time to handle most of the remaining Avengers while Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) attempts to destroy the Mind Stone. She ultimately succeeds and kills her android boyfriend Vision in the process. Alas, Thanos utilizes his handy-dandy new Time Stone to turn back time and take the Mind Stone from Vision's forehead, killing him again as Wanda watches. (Check out that completed Infinity Gauntlet now, Avengers.) Right as Thanos prepares to snap his fingers, Thor flies onto the scene to bury his new ax Stormbreaker in Thanos's chest. For a second, it looks like victory — and then Thanos smiles, says, "You should have gone for the head," and snaps his fingers.
Poof. Just like that, half of the universe disappears into dust and Thanos portals himself and his crumpled gauntlet to a far-away world to watch the sunset (all in a day's work).
A shocked Steve Rogers watches his newly returned best friend Bucky Barnes crumble to ash, and over half of the heroes follow suit. The remaining earthbound Avengers gather in Wakanda, as only Tony and Nebula are left alive on Titan with the Guardians' ship, the Benatar. For once, the Avengers fail and the bad guy wins. The credits roll with nary a sound . . . until the postcredits scene, that is.
While Avengers 4 comes out next May, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel both arrive beforehand. We've got over a year to wait for the resolution of this story, so buckle in and put on those tin hats in the meantime. I want a plan for getting T'Challa and Wanda back stat.