It’s (Pocket-lint) – In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Four has already begun with new Disney+ programs like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight, and films like Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness, thanks in part to these and other recent releases.
The next couple of years will see a slew of Marvel-produced television series and films. To help you prepare for the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theatres and cinemas, we’ve compiled a list of recommended films and shows, including the recently aired Disney+ series Moon Knight. Now that Marvel is expanding into the Multiverse, this is your go-to viewing guide to refresh your knowledge.
We’ve listed the episodes in chronological order, but if you’re looking for a little variety, we’ve included alternate ways to watch each episode at the end of this guide. For those who want to see Marvel movies and TV shows in chronological order, this guide is not for you.
Marvel Movies in Chronological Order
As an MCU fan, you can’t watch the Marvel movies and series in chronological sequence if you want to keep up with the storyline. They don’t follow a set order. As a result, we’ve organized the events in chronological sequence. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched in 2008, Iron Man was the first film you should see. Captain America: The First Avenger is a good place to begin. It was released in 2011 and is Marvel Studios’ fifth feature. It begins in 1942, many years before the events of Iron Man.
Only the Marvel flicks and the new Disney+ series is being presented in this chronological order in its entirety. Spoilers are to be expected. Go to the bottom of the guide for a complete list of all Marvel films and television shows. We’ve also assembled a few more.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011 – Movie)
Iron Man, The Hulk, and Thor were all previously featured in Marvel Studios films before Captain America: Civil War. However, it is the first film on our list because the events took place during World War II. Chris Evans’ super-soldier character is created and his first confrontation with Hydra and its boss Red Skull is seen in this episode. It is revealed in the film that the Tesseract, which is the first Infinity Stone, is one of these mighty gems that can manipulate reality, is also introduced in this film.
Captain Marvel (2019 – movie)
In 2019, we’ll see the second picture on our list. Carol Danvers, represented by Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, falls to Earth in 1995 and begins a search for the shape-shifting Skrull invaders. For those of us who grew up in the ’90s, this film will bring back memories of Blockbuster stores and dial-up internet.
Iron Man (2008 – movie)
The official Marvel timeline shows that Iron Man takes place in 2010. Robert Downey Jr. portrays Tony Stark, a talented inventor, and philanthropist who also happens to be a playboy. A terrorist group has him in custody, and the commander of the group demands Stark’s newest weapon system. However, to get away, Stark creates something much more powerful: the first Iron Man outfit.
Iron Man 2 (2010 – movie)
As in the first Iron Man, director Joe Johnston returns Tony Stark to his pre-Iron Man self in Iron Man 2. When Stark refuses to hand up the technology that powers his armor to the government, another weapons maker reveals that he will do anything to get his hands on it. Black Widow and War Machine, two new Avengers, make their screen debuts in this flick.
It is possible to watch The Incredible Hulk before Iron Man 2 if you so desire. However, Marvel stated that The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor would all be released around the same time. Confusion, we understand. However, we’ve followed Marvel’s official advice and recommend that you see Iron Man 2 first for consistency’s sake.
The Incredible Hulk (2008 – movie)
Captain America: The First Avenger tracks down Bruce Banner as he flees from the United States military under the command of General Thunderbolt Ross. To manage the Hulk, Ross tries to build his version of the Hulk using another soldier, but he swiftly loses control of the new creature. Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as the Hulk in 2012, and he’s been the big green guy ever since.
Thor (2011 – movie)
Loki tricked his father Odin into banishing the god of lightning from Asgard to Earth. To regain control of his hammer, he had to reclaim his powers.
Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor has to show he’s worthy. Fortunately, he encounters an Earth scientist played by Natalie Portman who can assist him in regaining control of Asgard before Loki takes full power.
The Avengers (2012 – movie)
The MCU’s “Phase One” has come to an end with the release of The Avengers. The true challenge was finding a challenge that would drive all of the primary characters to work together.
It was Loki, the Tesseract, and an alien invasion of New York City that brought these superheroes together, and it was a friendship that endures to this day.
Iron Man 3 (2013 – movie)
The third and final standalone Iron Man film takes set six months after the epic battle in New York City. After the battle, Tony Stark is struggling to come to terms with what happened (and nearly killed him). He built an Iron Man suit army so that he can always be ready in the event of an attack.
Thor: The Dark World (2013 – movie)
After the invasion of New York City by Loki and his minions, the second Thor film sees our hero return to Asgard. As the Dark Elves return, he has little time to relax. His grandfather once fought and defeated them, so they were supposed to be extinct. Once again, they are on the prowl for the Aether, a potent weapon revealed to be an Infinity Stone, one of six mystical jewels found across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014 – movie)
Since the events of The Avengers, Captain America has been working for Shield, a special government agency, but he has begun to mistrust the organization’s objectives. On top of that, his best buddy, played by Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, returns from the grave and becomes an enemy. The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, is also introduced in this film.
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014 – movie)
Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, a rogue scavenger who discovers an Infinity Stone hidden in the ruins of an extraterrestrial world in the film Guardians of the Galaxy. While racing against time, he gathers an unlikely band of outcasts, including a talking raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot the talking tree, and others. They can’t stop Ronan the Accuser from using the Infinity Stone unless they all work together.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017 – movie)
There are a few months after the first film when this sequel takes back up. Peter Quill’s feelings for Zoe Saldana’s Gamora are growing stronger. Then Kurt Russell’s Ego, a godlike creature, confronts him and forces him to confront the riddles of his history. It’s difficult to fit these Guardians of the Galaxy films into the MCU Timeline because they all take place in outer space and appear to be distinct stories.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 – movie)
Ultron, voiced by James Spader, was developed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as a result of a blunder. Ultron can continue to fight the Avengers even if only one of his robots is remaining. The Scarlet Witch (played by Elizabeth Olson), Quicksilver (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Vision (played by Mark Ruffalo) are among the new Avengers introduced in this film (played by Paul Bettany).
Ant-Man (2015 – movie)
Paul Rudd stars as a thief who is hired by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to wear the Ant-Man suit and stop the technology from being used for military purposes. Corey Stoll, Pym’s former prodigy, has recreated the technology in the shape of a yellow jacket suit, and Ant-Man must fight him and save the day in the smallest size possible.
“Let me tell you the story of the space viking, Thor Odinson…”
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) May 24, 2022
Captain America: Civil War (2016 – movie)
Even though Civil War is a Captain America picture, it contains nearly all of the Avengers, as well as two newcomers: Black Panther and Spider-Man. Due to Captain America’s desire to save his friend, Bucky Barnes, who looks to have been responsible for the bombing of a United Nations session, the Avengers have been split into factions.
Spiderman: Homecoming (2017 – movie)
Michael Keaton’s Vulture, the construction foreman turned black market weapons dealer who recovered technology from the New York City conflict in the first Avengers film, goes out against Spider-wall-crawling Man’s web-slinger in his solo outing. Additionally, Peter Parker is coping with all of the typical issues that arise as a freshman at school.
Doctor Strange (2016 – movie)
Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Stephen Strange, a world-class surgeon, and he’s well aware of it. Almost everyone who has to interact with Strange finds him intolerable, but that is until a horrible accident takes away his ability to use his hands. As a result, Strange sets out on a worldwide quest to locate a treatment that will restore his ability to use his hands.
Black Panther (2018 – movie)
T’Challa must be crowned king of Wakanda after the UN attack in Captain America: The Civil War. Wakanda has an ongoing policy of isolation, which he must deal with once he is there. Michael B Jordan plays Eric Killmonger, a mistake from his father’s past that could be the best villain in any Marvel film.
Marvel recommends that you view this film before Captain America: The Civil War, although you can do so if you prefer.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017 – movie)
Hella, Cate Blanchett’s long-lost sister who played Thor’s sister in the previous two films, takes the role of the hero’s long-lost sister in the third solo feature for Thor. Due to the absence of the Hulk, he finds himself pitted against him in gladiator battles. Loki and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie join forces with Thor and Hulk to take on Hella.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018 – movie)
As part of his role in the Civil War and siding with Captain America, Scott Lang has been placed under house imprisonment. Hank Pym and Hope Pym, Hank’s daughter, have been apart from him for a long time. To his dismay, he reluctantly decides to assist them in the hopes that Pym will be able to return Hope’s mother from the Quantum Realm… For those who haven’t seen Infinity War, the post-credits scene is worth the wait.
Black Widow (2021 – movie)
Sadly, Black Widow’s death in Endgame necessitated her getting her movie.
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov is in exile in Black Widow, but that doesn’t stop it from following her around. It occurs after Captain America: Civil War, but before Infinity War and the Snap. It’s being developed as a prequel to provide context for Black Widow’s past. Her previous acquaintances and family, including a fatherly figure played by David Harbour who is known as the Red Guardian, are shown to us as she journeys back in time. The Soviet Union’s version of Captain America, if you will. The arrival of Florence Pugh’s Yelena, a second Black Widow, is critical to the future of the MCU.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018 – movie)
After Thanos snapped away half of all life, leaving the universe in chaos, the Avengers must try to make things right. Five years pass and a slim chance emerge for them to undo it all, but before that can happen, Captain America and Tony Stark need to make peace and reunite the Avengers one final time.
Avengers: Endgame (2019 – movie)
As a result of Thanos’ snapping away half of all life, the Avengers are now tasked with attempting to restore order to the cosmos. Captain America and Tony Stark must come to terms and reunite the Avengers for the final time for them to have any hope of undoing the damage they caused five years before.
WandaVision (2021 – Disney+ TV show)
A tragic figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, has been an unsung hero. In a bombing, she and her brother were left stuck in the ruins for days. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, her brother was killed by Ultron’s ray.
Thanos would have gotten his hands on the Mind Stone had she not killed Paul Bettany’s Vision to keep it from him. In addition to killing him, Thanos altered time and killed Vision in front of her. Wandavision, Disney+’s first live-action MCU show, sees the character take over a small New Jersey village to create a happier version of her own life.
Wandavision begins almost soon after Wanda’s return from the Snap, making it the closest to the Endgame of all the phase four Marvel content.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021 – movie)
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the events of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings take place in April of 2024, which places it well before the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. The protagonist, Simu Liu, must take on The Mandarin, played by Tony Leung Chiu-wai, in this action-packed Hong Kong film.
This time Ben Kingsley is back as the phony Mandarin from Iron Man 3, and Marvel fans will recognize him. This time, we get to meet the genuine deal, as well as several friendly faces.
Spiderman: Far From Home (2019 – movie)
We get our first peek into the Marvel Cinematic Universe five years after the events of Avengers: Infinity War in Far From Home, the final film in Marvel’s “Phase Three” trilogy. Peter Parker, who was recently freed from captivity, is on a study abroad vacation to Europe when he is accosted by Nick Fury and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, who asks for his assistance in fighting Elementals.
Six months after “The Blip,” when the Avengers brought back everyone who had been snapped in Endgame, this movie takes place.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021 – Disney+ TV show)
In March 2021, Marvel’s second new Disney+ series will premiere. Falcon and The Winter Soldier team up to take on a new threat in the form of an organization known as the Flagsmashers, who have obtained some type of super-soldier serum similar to that which made their former friend Captain America, Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier).
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the government has chosen John Walker to be Captain America’s shield-bearer (Wyatt Russel).
Considering that this series takes place six months after the Snap, we’ve decided to put it before Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter’s school year ends in 2024, and the events of Far From Home occur barely a year later, in 2025.
Eternals (2021 – movie)
The Eternals, established by a Celestial to defend humans from evil beings known as Deviants, are shown in this Marvel film as the earliest view so far into the MCU timeline. Spidey: No Way Home takes place between four months (around the time of Shang Chi) and a year (after The Blip) after the main action of the film.
Angelina Jolie, Selma Hayek, and Richard Madden star in Chloe Zhao’s film, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Three powerful entities who have been guarding humanity for millennia have appeared out of the shadows.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021 – movie)
In the latest Spider-Man movie, Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker in the role of Spider-Man.
As in the previous Spider-Man film, Peter is accused of murdering Mysterio while his identity is revealed to everyone. Sorcerer Dr. Strange is summoned to help Peter Parker evade the ramifications of the public outcry, which has a devastating effect on those closest to him.
It begins in the summer of 2024 in the MCU version, although the main action takes place exactly a year after the Blip, in October of 2024.
Hawkeye (2021 – Disney+ TV show)
Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), an ardent admirer of the Avenger and aspiring archer, joins Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, in Hawkeye. It’s the holidays in New York City with Hawkeye’s family when Kate Bishop happens to find across his Ronin outfit from the Snap.
When Bishop dons the suit and goes on the offensive against some bad people, it attracts Hawkeye and the rest of the nefarious characters out to exact revenge on Ronin. To erase Hawkeye’s experience Ronin, Bishop and Barton must grudgingly work together.
We know that the events of the series take place in December 2024, 14 months after the Blip, because of the Christmas scene.
Moon Knight (2022 – Disney+ TV show)
In Disney+’s Moon Knight, Oscar Issac plays Steven Grant, a mercenary with Dissociative Identity Disorder who discovers he’s been leading a double life as Marc Spector. Ethan Hawke makes his MCU debut as Arthur Harrow in the series, which is directed by Mohamed Diab.
Moon Knight’s timeline hasn’t been established by Marvel, although there are indications in the episodes that have been broadcast so far, like references to the Global Repatriation Council, which was featured in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, putting it after Hawkeye and definitely after The Blip.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022 – movie)
Doctor Strange enters the Multiverse of Madness after Moon Knight. We recently learned that Benedict Cumberbatch is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but Sam Raimi (who helmed the first Spider-Man trilogy with Toby Maguire) returns to direct.
He’ll be aiding Spider-Man to close a hole in time by casting a spell so that everyone will forget about him, according to the trailer. The new teasers for the next Doctor Strange movie show Strange teaming up with Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff, while there are rumors that other Marvel properties will make an appearance as well.
Loki (2021 – Disney+ TV show)
Finding out where Loki fits in the MCU is a mind-boggling endeavor.
Apocalyptic hurricane in 2050 and Mount Vesuvius’s 79AD explosion have both been featured in the episode. Even the internal workings of the TVA appear to take place outside of the chronology.
For this reason, we’ve put it at the end of our watchlist, as the show is a comprehensive look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s timeline, from Loki’s battle with the Avengers in New York to the death of both Loki’s mother and himself at the hands of Thanos, and even subtle references to other Marvel films (like Guardian of the Galaxy Volume II’s villain being a target of the Variant’s time bombing).
Kang the Conqueror’s entrance and timeline shattering are two of the largest unsolved questions in the MCU at the moment.
What’s next in the MCU?
Doctor Strange is just the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s journey into Madness. Ms. Marvel, the Disney+ TV series that follows Hawkeye and follows Kamala Khan, a fangirl of the Avengers, in particular Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, as she struggles to fit in until she develops her powers and becomes Ms. Marvel, will premiere in June.
In July, we’ll return to familiar territory with the release of Thor: Ragnarok, the latest in the Thor series. This time around, Chris Hemsworth will reprise his role as the God of Thunder, but he will not be the only one. Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will share Mjolnir with him.
You can find out more about these and other forthcoming MCU projects by visiting: Upcoming Marvel movies: Every new MCU film and television show in development.