15+ Marvel Movies You Must Watch
If you are reading this, then you too probably share a passion for superheroes. It makes sense. The golden age of superhero movies we have entered has either reignited, or introduced, a collective desire for these characters that hasn’t been seen since the height of the comic book era. When I was a kid, I loved spending hours going back through my comic books and just looking at all the cool fight scenes and crazy characters. I had no idea that twenty years later I’d be doing much the same thing- only this time with films.
While the Marvel movies that have come out have all been fun pieces of entertainment by themselves, the film universe in which they exist has gotten more and more complicated. Between the shows and the multiple movies, it can be hard to keep track of where in the timeline a certain scene lies. Certain Easter Eggs and clues are usually given, but often you need to be a rabid fan or incredibly perceptive to catch them.
I want to spend some time going through the timeline, and explaining which movies are key to understanding the Marvel Universe. If this topic is something that interests you as much as me, you should go and discover the untold story of Marvel with ‘Marvel Comics: The Untold Story’ by Sean Howe on Geeker.
The Marvel Movie Timeline
The Marvel movies’ timeline is actually pretty complicated – especially Wolverine’s after the recent Logan movie. Though his involves quite a bit of time travel, so that’s to be expected. Luckily we won’t be diving into the X-Men side of the storyline since it’s really its own thing for the most part.
Rather than go into detail about the entire timeline, something that would take pages and pages of effort, I am instead going to list the essential movies (well mostly essential, Ant-Man could probably be missed without the loss of too much Universe storyline) and the order in which they should be watched. If you accomplish this, you will have a good sense of the timeline of events and will be able to watch any of the other properties without too much confusion.
There are also a number of Marvel movies upcoming that will likely slide in-between some of these in the timeline. Also, X-men and Deadpool are more or less off in their own world (not literally but they are isolated from the rest regarding the cinematic universe) and are not included in this list.
I’ve also omitted the TV series such as Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Agents of Shield. For reference, Agents of Shield carries on throughout the timeline, while Luke Cage, the Punisher, and Iron Fist seem to be located sometime after Civil War. Daredevil should go before Age of Ultron and Jessica Jones right after.
So keep all that in mind as well.
1. Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America has been kicking bad guy butts since the Nazis. This movie takes place in 1941, introduces Captain America, and sets the stage for some of the central characters seen throughout a good chunk of the marvel lineup. Since it takes place in WWII, it is also the oldest period outside of the origins of Wolverine that the Marvel movies really get into.
2. Iron Man
Tony Stark is introduced here as well as SHIELD. In the post credits you even get a shot of Nick Fury talking about the Avengers.
3. The Incredible Hulk
4. Iron Man 2
The Norse god of thunder makes for a pretty good movie. SHIELD is in full swing by the time this movie takes place and plays a central role in the story. Hawkeye also makes a quick appearance in this film, see if you can catch it.
6. The Avengers
Now that the major characters have almost all been introduced, it’s time for the crossover. Watching all of those origin movies leading up to this one makes it ten times better. All the characters have been introduced in one way or another and it’s a real treat to see them all interact.
7. Iron Man 3
8. Thor: Dark World
9. Captain America: Winter Soldier
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
13. Captain America: Civil War
This is one of the unique ones. Hero versus hero. All of the buildup and investment in these characters is utilized to construct the drama around their war with one another. The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man – all get their shots in on one another.
14. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Upcoming Essential Movies to Look Out for
Marvel movie release dates are usually pretty accurate, so you can expect to see most of these in the next few years or so.
15. Black Panther (2018)
16. Avengers Infinity War (2018)
17. Captain Marvel (2019)
And this list wasn’t exhaustive by any means. I hope now you have a better grasp of the Marvel movie timeline and where you should begin if you wish to dive in.