The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the great film phenomena of our time, with 20 films to date, starting with 2008’s Iron Man and running up to Ant Man and The Wasp, released just ten days ago in the United States.
The argument about which is the best, however, is only settled by watching the job lot of them. Bloody hell, LADs, some of us are still just about catching up with Game of Thrones – where are you supposed to find time in the day for all this?
Luckily, for those of you still baffled by the best way to plough through them all while standing a chance of fully understanding events in Avengers: Infinity War, someone has worked out the perfect chronological sequence for you to get your superhero kicks.
Not in terms of the date at which they were released, of course – we could just look that up on Wiki, couldn’t we? – but the time in which they are set.
Marvel’s first “Avengers” movie was in the works well before Robert Downey Jr.’s smarmy charisma brought Tony Stark to life in 2008’s “Iron Man,” but the studio was careful to not say anything definitive about a crossover flick until they knew they had an arc-powered hit on their hands. As such, the early Marvel movies are careful to only build up towards 2012’s “The Avengers” and little more. With Tony Stark’s warmly received debut and a lasting narrative hangover caused by him having the most screentime of any Avenger prior to their team-up, Iron Man’s narrative arc lays most of the groundwork for “The Avengers.” Even though Captain America’s debut takes place 50 years earlier, you’ve gotta start with Stark.
With that in mind, here’s what order to watch everything in:
- Iron Man (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (2013)
- Daredevil Season 1 (2015)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 (2014)
- Jessica Jones Season 1 (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Daredevil Season 2 (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Luke Cage Season 1 (2016)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Agent Carter Seasons 1 and 2 (2015-16)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 3 and 4 (2015-16)
- Iron Fist Season 1 (2017)
- The Defenders Season 1 (2017)
- The Punisher Season 1 (2017)
- Jessica Jones Season 2 (2018)
- Luke Cage Season 2 (2018)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 (2018)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)