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Marvel movies order: How to watch MCU in chronological order

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Chances are, if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ve watched every film and TV show back multiple times.

Regardless of your stance on the MCU, there’s no denying that studio president Kevin Feige and his assembled team of writers and directors have made the viewing experience extremely fulfilling for many fans of the superhero genre.

With every new film, there are plenty of Easter eggs and callbacks for viewers to unearth, with the series getting more interlinked as it progresses. While many have probably watched back all the MCU projects numerous times in release order, doing so in chronological order seems to be a feat only the most dedicated Marvel fan has achieved.

This may be due to the fact it seems like a gargantuan effort to sit down and map out exactly what films and TV shows to watch and when (including Agents of SHIELD) – but fret not, The Independent has done exactly that.

Below is every single Marvel project mapped out in chronological order, with the year it takes place within the MCU written in brackets next to it.

Phase One

Captain America: The First Avenger (1943 – 1945)

Captain Marvel (1995)

Iron Man (2010)

Iron Man 2 (2011)

The Incredible Hulk (2011)

Thor (2011)

Avengers Assemble (2012)

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man

(Zade Rosenthal/ Marvel)

Summary: This is how the MCU started. While Iron Man may have been the very first film released, the Second Word War-set Captain America comes first on the timeline. The rest largely plays out in release order, minus Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, which, thanks to its 1990s setting, lands here despite being released in Phase Three. Interestingly, if you want to experience the MCU via Loki, you could watch his standalone Disney Plus TV show immediately after Avengers Assemble.

Phase Two

Iron Man 3 (2012)

Agents of SHIELD season one, episodes one to seven

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Agents of SHIELD season one, episodes eight to 16

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Agents of SHIELD season one, episodes 17 to 22

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2014)

Daredevil season one

Agents of SHIELD season two, episodes one to 19

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Agents of SHIELD season two, episodes 20 to 22

Ant-Man (2015)

Jessica Jones season one

Daredevil season two

Agents of Shield season three episodes one to 19

Thor in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

(Marvel Studios)

Summary: Phase Two also plays out almost exactly in release order, except Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, which comes directly after the first one (like Captain Marvel, the film was released in Phase Three but actually takes place before then).

While debate surrounding whether Agents of SHIELD is in fact MCU canon rages on, we have decided to include it for the simple fact that, when you watch along with the movies, events are shown to impact the series in an entertaining manner.

Phase Three

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Black Widow (2021) – don’t watch credits scene

Agents of Shield season three, episodes 20 to 22

Luke Cage season one

Agents of Shield season four, episodes one to eight

Agents of Shield: Slingshot (web series)

Agents of Shield season four: episodes nine to 22

Iron Fist season one

The Defenders season one

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)

Doctor Strange (2016 – 2017)

The Punisher season one

Runaways season one

Black Panther (2017)

Agents of Shield season five, episodes one to 1

Cloak and Dagger season one

Jessica Jones season two

Inhumans season one

Luke Cage season two

Iron Fist season two

Daredevil season three

Runaways season two

The Punisher season two

Cloak and Dagger season two

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2016) – don’t watch credits scene

Thor: Ragnarok (2016)

Avengers Infinity War (2016)

Ant-Man and the Wasp credits scene (2016)

Agents of Shield season five, episodes 20 to 22

Avengers: Endgame (2023)

Zendaya and Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’

(J Whilden/Columbia/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Summary: Made it this far? Give yourself a pat on the back. There’s a lot of television to wade through in Phase Three, but there are some pretty huge films also, It’s worth noting that, despite being released after, Doctor Strange begins before Captain America: Civil War – and then surpasses it chronologically. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place directly after Civil War, while Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Ant-Man and The Wasp all lead directly into Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

It’s worth noting that the later Agents of SHIELD episodes take place concurrently with both Avengers films.

Black Widow credits scene (2023)

Loki (all over the place in time)

What If…?

WandaVision (2023)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2023)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2023)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2024)

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2024)

Eternals (2024)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2024)

Hawkeye (2024)

Moon Knight (2024)

Ms Marvel (2024)

Thor: Love and Thunder (2024)

Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

(Marvel Studios)

Summary: Loki might be the third Marvel series to be released on Disney Plus, but it’s the first one that occurs chronologically. You could theoretically watch some of it after Avengers Assemble, but it skips around in time a lot. As for the shows set post-Endgame blip, we have WandaVision which took place three weeks after the events of that film, with roughly six months having passed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

While Spider-Man: Far from Home is technically Phase Three, it takes place a year on from Endgame, placing it after all of these Marvel shows chronologically. While not specified, it seems Shang-Chi and Eternals both take place concurrently with Far From Home. Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up immediately after Far from Home.

Congratulations. If you’ve watched all of the above, you’ve processed over nine days worth of Marvel movies and television. And there’s still more to come – which we will add to this chronological list as soon as it’s released.

Next on the MCU agenda is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney Plus on 17 August) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (in cinemas on 11 November).

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