The Marvel cinematic universe has made a huge impact on cinema & fascinated billions of film geeks everywhere. It all started with Ironman in 2008 & is now expanding into the first canon Marvel TV show Wanda Vision in 2021, resulting in an almost all-time viewer record on disney+. Despite the marvel studios dreamlike journey in the cinema, there are still millions of people who do not know what marvel movies are. I mean that’s why you’re here right? You’re here to start the marvel marathon order, aren’t you?
You’re in the right place, don’t rush. First and foremost, it’s not a day thing, you can’t just finish the whole franchise in one day. Darling, you have no idea how many films are in MCU. Currently, the marvel cinematic universe is the biggest movie franchise that holds 23 movies & over 20+ projects are in production now. You heard it right, marvel studios has bigger plans for their upcoming projects & already slated their plan for the next 5 years.
So, given the statistics, if you reached the decision to start the marvel marathon & excited to cling to the franchise. Here you come.
Why You Should Be Attentive While Watching Marvel Movies?
Every film in the marvel cinematic universe is interweaved, which means you have to watch all the movies to comprehend the progressing narrative. One of the interesting facts of MCU is, the studios have consistently been sneaking Easter eggs in the movies since the very first movie, Iron Man. In case you don’t know the meaning, an easter egg is simply a hidden element that may foreshadow the outcome or hint at the events from the next film which is what Marvel has done in these years with their films. They are all worth watching & holds your spellbound throughout the franchise. I’m sure you won’t fly the cope from the marvel universe. Because you know what? It’s addicting.
Said that, I understand there are two approaches to watching marvel movies. The former is watching them in the timeline order and the latter is watching according to the release date. You have your choices, but here’s what I would say as a huge marvel devotee.
“Do watch the films in the way marvel showed them. It’s far better to stick to the release date approach. It’s special & authentic viewing.
Marvel Marathon Order ( Release Date ) :
Brief Release Date Order :
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
- Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spiderman: Far From Home (2019)
1. Iron Man – 2008
It all begins with the Ironman film, one of the most beloved characters in the comic book series embarks on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, captivating every Marvel fan with a perfect origin story. It’s still regarded to be the best origin story for a Marvel superhero.
2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
I guess, if there’s one movie you could avoid from MCU, it’s gotta be The Incredible Hulk. The events in the film don’t actually resonate with the marvel timeline. Norton who portrayed bruce banner in this feature got dropped out later the film released, replacing him by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers. However, with the recent projects announced by marvel, it’s a film you have to watch to catch the details of some character arcs such as General Ross & Abomination who will be playing crucial roles in Phase 4.
3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
After the events of Ironman, we’ll catch up with tony stark’s conceit and his achievements that fall under the government’s eye while he suffers from deteriorating health condition. How will he cope with these obstacles?
4. Thor (2011)
Thor is considered to one of the underrated films in the MCU. It introduces Thor’s character and Asgard along with his devious brother Loki. The film explores the concept of realms & astronomical aspects that may intrigue you. It also introduces Jane foster ( thor’s old flame of wine ) who plays a major role as well.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America The First Avenger didn’t excite people as much as Iron man & Thor did. But, as far as I’m concerned, I liked the film. It introduces Steven Rogers ( A honest & nobleman who is zealous to fight for his country ). During the film, we’ll meet the vital roles of Peggy Carter and Bucky Barnes who play major roles along the way.
6. The Avengers (2012)
Here we are now, Each of the characters you were introduced to in previous films will assemble here & team up to battle the Chitauri army. It was a defining film for marvel studios at that time. It was also the time when Marvel Studios decided to expand their universe after they saw how The Avengers was received by the audience.
7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
The Avengers events lead Tony Stark to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder & have his ominous nightmares resurface. Along with that, he must face his demons. What’s more interesting about Ironman 3, is it sows the seeds for Avengers Infinity War.
8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Later The Avengers, we’ll meet Thor & his beloved Jane who is anticipating his return on the earth. In the course of the movie, Thor & his father must face Malekith, the leader of dark elves, who wants to destroy nine realms.
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Compared to The First Avenger, Steven Rogers, the version in The Winter Soldier is completely different. As he’s trying to adjust to the modern world, he teams up with Natasha & his new mate Sam Wilson, to uncover murky secrets & track the mysterious man behind the mask. The film is regarded to be one of the best MCU films of all time.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Now, here we are with new characters. Guardians of the galaxy, the wacky & quirky characters that entertain you all throughout the film with their silly acts. How each character stumbles upon another & how they team up?
11. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
For the second time, Avengers reunite to work & retrieve something important. As everything appears settled for the avengers, Ultron shows up and throws a wrench in their plans. In addition, it introduces two heroes, Wanda Maximwoff and Pietro Maximwoff, who have remarkably prominent roles throughout the MCU.
12. Ant-Man (2015)
As we go through new characters, Antman is one of them. Scott Lang, a master of burglary comes across a mysterious suit & ends up becoming a hero. Antman is one of the hilarious MCU films with absolute amusing characters.
13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Post the Age of Ultron events, when the Sokovian government demands the avengers to work under their thumb. Steve & Tony face conflict due to their opinion differences regarding the accords. It’s literally avengers vs avengers event, which extremely affects the MCU moving forward.
14. Doctor Strange (2016)
A well-esteemed neurosurgeon, Stephen Strange’s life heads to a world of mystic arts, where he learns about the internal world & something the world isn’t aware of. Doctor Strange is a visual treat for marvel fans with its engaging tale & stunning visuals.
15. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
As guardians passing through their mundane missions, they run across something that is really mean to Quill which later reveals to be abnormal & sinister. Follow up to vol 1, Vol 2 was a good sequel & impressed the audience.
16. Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)
Say Hello to the MCU Spiderman whom we last met in the Civil war. An awkward nerd gets an internship with stark, and tracks down the story behind the strange activities he encounters while both balancing school life and the mission. Unlike the previous spiderman movies, MCU spiderman is fresh & regarded to be the most accurate from comics.
17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
With an underwhelming response for previous thor films, Marvel broke the new grounds & gave us a comical version of thor which was a huge success & goes on to become one of the best MCU movies. Unlike first thor films, Thor Ragnarok is full of humor & action which is purely a feast for thor fans.
18. Black Panther (2018)
Introducing the first MCU Black superhero, Chadwick Boseman was immensely embraced by millions of marvel fans whom we last met in the Civil war. Black Panther introduces the world of Wakanda & its history. It was a special MCU movie that received plenty of nominations at the Academy. It’s sad & heartbreaking to watch the film since our Chadwick Boseman is no longer with us.
19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
We’re here, to witness the biggest battle & nightmare Tony has had since Iron Man 3. It’s a sheer fan feast for marvel fans & an absolute masterpiece from marvel. The biggest crossover that had never happened in MCU with an ending no one wouldn’t expect. I just don’t wanna say anything about the film’s plot.
20.Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Meanwhile, Scottland charged with home arrest for the things he did in the civil war. It’s another wacky film, about how he deals with home arrest & things he does sneakily with Hank Pym & Hope to accomplish the mission.
21. Captain Marvel (2019)
We pick up where we left off in infinity war with a transmitter pager. We then get our first look at Carol Danvers, the first female superhero in the MCU. Though the movie Captain marvel was underwhelming & disappointed the fans, it depicts the rise of the Avengers Initiative, Nick Fury, & other significant pieces a marvel fan shouldn’t miss.
22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
A pathway to the most monumental event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers endgame, a journey of how avengers accomplish their mission & vindicate their undying purpose. A film to behold & experience in the theatre & a film that makes you feel thrilled, excited, enthralled, and emotional which collectively makes it a roller coaster ride and concluding the arc of The Infinity Saga.
23. Spiderman: Far From Home (2019)
In the aftermath of avengers endgame, Peter tries to find consolation & move on with his teenage life. When Peter & his school are on a school trip, he must fight for the cause & save the day with the new supposed superhero, Mysterio.
Here’s the image you may want to save :
So, that’s the release date order which I think is the best viewing order of marvel movies.
In case, if you’re curious about timelines & want to follow the films through chronological events. Here’s the list :
According to MCU TIMELINE:
- Captain America: The First Avenger – ( takes place in 1940s )
- Captain Marvel – ( takes place in 1990s )
- Iron Man – ( takes place in 2010 )
- The Incredible Hulk – ( Unspecified, assumed to be between Ironman 1 and 2 )
- Iron Man 2 – ( takes place in 2011 )
- Thor – ( takes place in 2011 )
- The Avengers – ( takes place in 2012 – soon after steve wakes up )
- Iron Man 3 – ( Post The Avengers )
- Thor: The Dark World – ( takes place in 2013 )
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – ( takes place in 2014 )
- Guardians of the Galaxy – ( takes place in 2014 )
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – ( takes place in 2014 )
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron – ( takes place in 2015 )
- Ant-Man – ( takes place in 2015 )
- Captain America: Civil War – ( takes place in 2016 )
- Spiderman: Homecoming – ( Post civil war )
- Black Panther – ( takes place in 2016 )
- Doctor Strange – ( takes place in 2016-2017 )
- Thor: Ragnarok – ( Post doctor strange, Prior to infinity war)
- Avengers: Infinity War – ( takes place in 2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp – ( During infinity war )
- Avengers: Endgame – ( 2018-2023 , time jump )
- Spiderman: Far From Home – ( Eight months after endgame )
You can find all these movies on the Disney+ platform, besides Spiderman & Hulk features which originally belongs to Sony Pictures, can be found on Netflix.
Generally, Marvel movies are classified into three phases officially known as ” The Infinity Saga ” :
- Phase 1 ( Ironman – The Avengers)
- Phase 2 ( Ironman 3 – Antman )
- Phase 3 ( Civil War – Far from home )
- Phase 4 ( Wanda Vision – )
We left off with spiderman far from home in 2019 for quite a long time. There was no marvel content up until 2021 January, marvel got into the limelight and fresh-start with the first phase 4 project, the Wanda Vision Tv show.
Upcoming Marvel Movies and Shows – Phase 4
Due to COVID 19, marvel had to put off their new projects to 2021.
- WandaVision TV Show (Jan 15, 2021)
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV Show ( Mar 19, 2021)
- Loki TV show ( June 9, 2021)
- The Black Widow movie ( July 9, 2021)
- What If…? TV Show ( August 2021)
- Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (Sep 3, 2021)
- The Eternals ( Nov 5, 2021)
- Spider-Man 3 ( Dec 17, 2021)
- Hawkeye series TV Show – ( Late 2021 )
- Ms. Marvel TV Show – ( Late 2021 )
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ( March 25, 2022)
- Thor: Love and Thunder ( May 6, 2022 )
- Moon Knight TV Show – ( 2022 )
- She-Hulk TV Show – ( 2022 )
- Moon Knight TV Show – ( 2022 )
- She-Hulk TV Show – ( 2022 )
- Secret Invasion TV Show – ( 2022 )
- Black Panther Wakanda Forever – (July 8, 2022)
- Captain Marvel 2 ( The Marvels ) – ( November 11, 2022)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – (Feb 17, 2023)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, TV Show – ( Prior to GOTG3 release, 2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – (May 5, 2023)
- Fantastic Four – (TBD)
- I Am Groot TV Show – (TBD)
- Armor Wars TV Show – (TBD)
- Ironheart TV Show – (TBD)
- Blade – (TBD)
- Deadpool 3 – ( TBD)
Marvel is racing towards bigger heights & expanding the marvel cinematic universe to more profound levels with their extraordinary storytelling & focusing on unexplored characters. We’ll see a completely new version of MCU from phase 4, & witness the epicness as we go through every project.