April 26th, 2019 is the day Marvel fans have been waiting for since we first heard about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All these movies, that all happen in the same “Universe” with ties into one another come to this climatic film. Heroes, Villains and secret government agencies are all intertwined with one another throughout the films. Last year, the villain that they have been building up to since The Avengers in 2012, Thanos arrived in “Infinity War” to conquer the Universe and eliminate half with the snap of his fingers. We saw a glimpse of the Mad Titan in the first Thor film when you see the artifact of the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s Vault back in 2011, but Infinity War took his level of being a villain up a few notches.
Being the Marvel fan I am, I’m often asked what movies should someone watch to “catch up” on them all. Well my first opinion is always, see all of them. One way to look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU is that it’s a book and each film is a chapter in that book. You can always skip to the end, to see what happens, but to know how it got there you really need to start at the beginning. This is where it gets a bit confusing. You can of course watch them all in the order they hit theaters. This is a great way, but to remember everything forwards and back on how things happened may get overwhelming. Each film is made at a different time in the overall big picture and sometimes seeing them in order this way is a bit easier to watch and understand the flow.
To watch the films in my suggested order, this is the path I would recommend:
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Black Panther
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Avengers: Infinity War
A few things I would maybe add, make sure that you watch every film all the way through the credits. Marvel has become famous for the “after credits and mid credit scenes.” If you have been to see a Marvel film in the theaters, you will always notice the people who get up and leave as soon as the credits start. The true fans don’t budge because they know more is coming.
Also, if you have the time, look into the Marvel One-Shots. These are just little video shorts that help explain something in the MCU. Are they necessary to understand everything, no. They are just little side films you can watch on YouTube and most are just a few minutes long. Their names and when you should watch them are:
- The Consultant – Watch after The Incredible Hulk
- A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Thor’s hammer – Watch after the first Thor
- Item 47 – Watch after the first Avengers
- Agent Carter – Watch after Captain America: The First Avenger
- All Hail the King – Watch after Iron Man 3
In 2018, the Marvel Universe lost Stan Lee, the story teller of Marvel. Stan was a staple with a cameo in each and every film, so be sure to watch for his scenes. It’s been confirmed his cameo for Avengers: Endgame was shot and will be a part of the film.
Some Marvel fans will argue that their list is in a different order, this is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own. If you are planning to go see Avengers: Endgame and haven’t watched all 21 films, it’s time to catch up. If you haven’t seen any but know the names of the characters and want to see what all the hype is about then either get someone to do a cliff notes version or spend the time and invest in watching them. Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th worldwide. Some theaters will have it showing on Thursday the 25th and that is when I will see it. Be prepared as the movie is 3 hours and 2 minutes in length and from what I’m hearing you won’t want to get up at all. Enjoy!