Marvel fans rejoice! In this article, we will guide you through the exciting world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and show you how to watch the Marvel shows in order. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store:
1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): Get familiar with the expansive and interconnected world of the MCU, where superheroes and villains collide.
2. Phase One: Discover the beginning of the MCU, starting with Iron Man and leading up to The Avengers. Witness the birth of some of your favorite superheroes.
3. Phase Two: Dive deeper into the Marvel universe with thrilling sequels and new heroes. The stakes are higher, and the action is more intense.
4. Phase Three: Brace yourself for epic battles, emotional moments, and groundbreaking storytelling. This phase introduces new characters and explores uncharted territories.
5. Phase Four: Explore the future of the MCU with Phase Four, which promises to bring new adventures, heroes, and unexpected twists that will leave you wanting more.
6. Disney+ and Marvel TV Shows: Find out about the exciting new era of Marvel TV shows that are exclusively available on Disney+. These shows are an integral part of the MCU and expand upon the stories we love.
7. Chronological Order vs. Release Order: Understand the dilemma of deciding between watching the shows in chronological order or release order, and the pros and cons of each approach.
8. Recommended Viewing Order: We’ll guide you through the recommended viewing order that combines the best of both chronological and release orders, ensuring an optimal and enjoyable viewing experience.
9. Bonus Shows and Tie-Ins: Discover additional Marvel shows and tie-ins that complement the main storyline, providing further depth and expanding the Marvel universe.
So buckle up, grab your popcorn, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through the Marvel universe. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the MCU, this article has all the information you need to watch Marvel shows in the right order and experience the full magic of this incredible franchise.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, also known as the MCU, is an expansive and interconnected world of superheroes and villains created by Marvel Studios. It all started with the release of Iron Man in 2008, and since then, the franchise has grown to include a multitude of films and TV shows that captivate audiences worldwide.
What sets the MCU apart is its unique blend of action, humor, and compelling storytelling. Each film and show is intricately linked, forming a cohesive narrative that spans multiple storylines and characters. From the epic battles of The Avengers to the personal struggles of individual heroes, the MCU offers a diverse range of stories that cater to every fan’s taste.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the MCU is its ability to create a shared universe. Characters from different films and shows often cross paths, creating thrilling crossovers and team-ups that fans eagerly anticipate. Whether it’s seeing Iron Man and Captain America fight side by side or witnessing the cosmic adventures of Guardians of the Galaxy, the interconnectedness of the MCU adds depth and excitement to the viewing experience.
Another highlight of the MCU is its commitment to diversity and representation. The franchise showcases a wide range of characters from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders, providing representation and relatability to audiences around the world. From the mighty Thor to the technologically advanced Black Panther, Marvel has introduced numerous iconic and empowering heroes that inspire and resonate with fans of all ages.
The success of the MCU is a testament to the incredible storytelling, talented actors, and dedicated filmmakers behind the scenes. With each new release, Marvel continues to push the boundaries of what superhero movies and TV shows can achieve, captivating audiences with their heartfelt moments, thrilling action sequences, and thought-provoking themes.
Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe marked the beginning of a revolutionary storytelling approach, introducing audiences to a new era of superhero movies and setting the stage for the interconnected universe we know today.
The journey kicks off with the release of Iron Man in 2008, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr. as the brilliant and charismatic Tony Stark. This film not only introduced us to the witty billionaire playboy but also laid the foundation for the MCU as we see Stark embrace his alter ego, Iron Man.
The next installment in Phase One is The Incredible Hulk (2008), directed by Louis Leterrier and featuring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, a scientist with a dangerous alter ego. Though it is often considered the black sheep of the MCU due to Norton’s departure from the role, the film still contributes to the overarching narrative.
In 2010, Phase One continued with the release of Iron Man 2, directed again by Jon Favreau. This film further explores the adventures of Tony Stark, as he grapples with both personal and professional challenges. It also introduces Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, who becomes a key character in the later phases.
Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branagh, transports audiences to the mystical realm of Asgard to follow the journey of the mighty Thor, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth. The film delves into the origins of Thor and sets the stage for his evolution as a hero.
The last two films of Phase One are Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012). Directed by Joe Johnston, Captain America introduces Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as a super-soldier battling against the forces of evil during World War II. It sets the stage for his eventual appearance in The Avengers, where he joins forces with Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye to save the world from Loki and his army.
Phase One concludes with Marvel’s The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon. This highly anticipated team-up film brings together all the heroes introduced in the previous movies, showcasing their unique abilities and dynamic interactions. The Avengers not only solidified the success of the MCU but also paved the way for future phases and expanded the scope of the universe.
Phase One of the MCU introduced audiences to a diverse range of heroes, each with their own unique abilities and stories. It successfully set the stage for the interconnected universe that would continue to captivate fans for years to come.
Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes the superhero storytelling to new heights, pushing the boundaries of action, emotion, and interconnected storytelling. This phase builds upon the foundation established in Phase One, introducing new characters, expanding existing storylines, and paving the way for future adventures.
The phase begins with Iron Man 3 (2013), directed by Shane Black. In this film, Tony Stark faces his greatest personal challenge as he battles against the formidable Mandarin. Iron Man 3 explores the consequences of Stark’s actions in The Avengers and delves deeper into his character development.
Next up is Thor: The Dark World (2013), directed by Alan Taylor. This film sees Thor reuniting with Jane Foster and facing a cosmic threat known as the Dark Elves. The movie further explores the mythology of Asgard and deepens the relationship between Thor and Loki.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, brings a thrilling spy-action element to the MCU. Steve Rogers teams up with Black Widow and battles against the mysterious Winter Soldier, uncovering a dangerous conspiracy along the way. The film also sets the stage for the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its long-lasting impact on the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), directed by James Gunn, takes audiences on a cosmic adventure like no other. This film introduces a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot. Filled with humor, music, and a vast universe, Guardians of the Galaxy showcases the diversity of the Marvel universe.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), once again directed by Joss Whedon, reunites Earth’s mightiest heroes as they face off against Ultron, an artificial intelligence with a destructive agenda. The film delves into the complexities of heroes dealing with their own internal conflicts while trying to save the world.
Ant-Man (2015), directed by Peyton Reed, introduces Scott Lang as the lovable rogue who becomes the shrinking superhero. This film showcases the smaller-scale adventures within the MCU and adds a touch of humor and heist elements to the mix.
Phase Two comes to a close with Avengers: Age of Ultron, setting the stage for the impending conflict that will shape the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a phase filled with character growth, unexpected twists, and the exploration of new dimensions within the interconnected universe.
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes audiences on a whirlwind journey filled with epic battles, emotional moments, and groundbreaking storytelling. This phase expands upon the established characters while introducing new heroes and exploring uncharted territories within the MCU.
Phase Three commences with Captain America: Civil War (2016), directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. This film pits former allies against each other as Captain America and Iron Man lead opposing sides in a battle over the regulation of superheroes. The conflict has far-reaching consequences that forever alter the dynamics of the MCU.
Next, Doctor Strange (2016) directed by Scott Derrickson, introduces the mystical side of the Marvel universe. Audiences are transported to realms of magic and sorcery as they follow the journey of Dr. Stephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film explores mind-bending dimensions and introduces powerful artifacts that shape the future of the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), once again directed by James Gunn, assembles the beloved misfit heroes as they embark on a new adventure filled with humor, heart, and an unforgettable soundtrack. This film delves deeper into the character dynamics, explores familial relationships, and expands the cosmic scope of the MCU.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), directed by Jon Watts, brings the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man back to the big screen. Tom Holland takes on the role of Peter Parker as he navigates the challenges of being a high school student and a superhero. The film blends coming-of-age elements with thrilling superhero action.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017), directed by Taika Waititi, takes the audience on a wild cosmic ride with Thor, as he faces the destruction of Asgard and encounters new and old allies along the way. The film infuses humor, vibrant visuals, and a fresh take on the character, reinvigorating the Thor franchise.
Phase Three reaches its climax with Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), both directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. These films bring together a vast array of heroes to confront the universe-threatening villain, Thanos. The epic battles, emotional sacrifices, and unexpected twists make these two films unforgettable milestones in the MCU.
Phase Three also includes other noteworthy films such as Black Panther (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), and Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018), each contributing to the overall narrative and expanding the Marvel universe in their own unique ways.
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe showcases the culmination of years of storytelling, highlighting the growth of beloved characters, introducing new heroes, and paving the way for the future of the MCU.
Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ushers in a new era of storytelling, introducing fresh faces, exciting adventures, and unexpected twists that will leave fans eagerly anticipating what’s to come. This phase promises to redefine the landscape of the MCU and take audiences on thrilling new journeys.
The phase begins with the long-awaited Black Widow (2021), directed by Cate Shortland. This standalone film takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, exploring Natasha Romanoff’s past and delving into her complex character. It sets the stage for new revelations and further exploration of the Black Widow legacy.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, introduces audiences to the Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi. This film brings martial arts action to the forefront, as Shang-Chi confronts his past and finds his place in the ever-expanding Marvel universe.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), directed by Jon Watts, promises to shake up the MCU with its multiversal storyline. Tom Holland returns as Spider-Man, facing the consequences of revealing his identity and dealing with the ramifications of his actions. This film is set to feature surprising crossovers and intense battles that will have fans on the edge of their seats.
Phase Four also includes highly anticipated films such as Eternals (2021), directed by Chloé Zhao, which introduces a powerful group of immortal beings, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), directed by Sam Raimi, which explores the mystical realms and the repercussions of tampering with alternate realities.
Furthermore, Phase Four brings a wave of new TV shows exclusively available on Disney+, including WandaVision (2021) and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021), both of which continue the stories of beloved characters and explore their personal journeys in depth.
Phase Four holds the promise of pushing the boundaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even further, introducing new heroes, exploring new dimensions, and delving into uncharted territories that will keep fans eagerly anticipating each new release.
Disney+ and Marvel TV Shows
With the advent of Disney+, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded into the realm of television, offering fans a plethora of exciting and immersive TV shows that delve deeper into the stories and characters we know and love. These shows are an integral part of the MCU and provide a new platform for storytelling.
One of the flagship series on Disney+ is WandaVision (2021), which takes a unique approach to storytelling, combining sitcom-style episodes with a larger mystery surrounding Wanda Maximoff and Vision. This show explores the depths of grief, love, and identity, and sets the stage for future events in the MCU.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) continues the story of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes as they navigate a complex world post-Avengers: Endgame. The show tackles social and political issues while delving into the personal struggles of these heroes, all while setting up new storylines and characters.
Loki (2021) focuses on the fan-favorite trickster god, played by Tom Hiddleston, as he traverses through time and space, dealing with the consequences of his actions. The show explores alternate timelines and promises to have far-reaching implications for the future of the MCU.
Other upcoming Disney+ shows include Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk, all offering unique perspectives and exploring untapped corners of the Marvel universe. These shows allow for greater character development and storytelling opportunities, while also providing a platform to introduce new and diverse heroes.
The Marvel TV shows on Disney+ intertwine with the films in the MCU, creating a cohesive narrative across multiple mediums. By watching these shows alongside the movies, fans can fully immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the Marvel universe and gain a deeper understanding of the characters and their journeys.
Additionally, these shows provide an opportunity to delve into the backstories and motivations of characters who may not have had as much screen time in the films. They allow for exploration and expansion of the Marvel universe, ensuring that no character is left behind and that every story is given its due attention.
Disney+ and the Marvel TV shows offer an exciting and immersive experience for fans, providing a platform to continue the interconnected storytelling of the MCU while further expanding the universe and paving the way for new and exciting adventures.Chronological Order vs. Release Order
When it comes to watching the Marvel shows and movies, one of the dilemmas that fans often face is whether to follow the chronological order or the release order. Each approach has its pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on personal preference and the viewing experience you desire.
Following the chronological order means watching the Marvel content in the order in which events occur within the timeline of the MCU. This approach allows for a more cohesive and linear storytelling experience. You get to see the events unfold in chronological sequence, which can provide a deeper understanding of the interconnected storylines and character arcs.
On the other hand, watching in release order means following the order in which the shows and movies were originally released to the public. This can be seen as the intended viewing experience by the creators and allows you to witness the evolution of the MCU as it was experienced by audiences at the time of release. It can be exciting to see how the universe unfolded in the order it was meant to be seen.
Watching in chronological order can be especially beneficial when it comes to understanding the timeline and the larger narrative structure of the MCU. It can also highlight the extensive planning and carefully crafted connections between different shows and films. However, this approach may require some jumping around between different properties and may disrupt the intended pacing and storytelling flow.
On the other hand, watching in release order allows you to fully appreciate how each show and movie builds upon the previous ones. You can witness the introduction of new characters, the development of storylines, and the excitement of post-credit scenes that tease future events. This can enhance the suspense and anticipation as you follow the journey of the MCU in the order it was unveiled to the world.
Ultimately, the choice between chronological and release order comes down to personal preference. Some fans enjoy the excitement of experiencing the releases as they happened, while others prefer a more streamlined and chronological viewing experience.
A compromise between the two approaches is to follow a hybrid order, taking into consideration both the chronological sequence and the release order. Many fans and experts have created custom viewing orders that strike a balance between the two, ensuring that important story beats are in the right order while still maintaining the intended flow of the MCU.
Regardless of the approach you choose, both chronological and release order offer unique perspectives and can enhance your appreciation of the Marvel shows and movies. Whichever order you decide to follow, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is sure to provide an incredible and immersive experience for fans of all kinds.
Recommended Viewing Order
While deciding on the ideal viewing order for the Marvel shows and movies can be subjective, there is a recommended viewing order that combines the best of both chronological and release orders to provide an optimal and enjoyable experience. This order allows you to follow the overarching narrative while preserving the intended flow of the MCU.
Here is the recommended viewing order:
- Phase One: Start with the Phase One films in release order, beginning with Iron Man (2008) and culminating in The Avengers (2012).
- Phase Two: Follow up with the Phase Two films in release order, continuing the storylines with movies such as Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
- Phase Three: Move on to the Phase Three films in release order, including Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Black Panther (2018).
- Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame: Watch these two films back-to-back as they serve as the culmination of the previous phases and set the stage for upcoming events.
- Phase Four: Transition into Phase Four with films like Black Widow (2021) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).
- Disney+ TV Shows: Integrate the Disney+ TV shows into the viewing order where they fit chronologically. Start with WandaVision (2021) and continue with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) and Loki (2021).
- Continuing Films: Watch the rest of the Phase Four films, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and upcoming releases as they become available.
This recommended viewing order allows you to experience the broad storyline in a cohesive manner while enjoying the individual character journeys and interconnected narratives. It ensures that you won’t miss any major plot points or significant developments in the MCU.
Keep in mind that this recommended order is not set in stone, and you can always tailor it to your preferences. The most important thing is to have fun and immerse yourself in the incredible world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Bonus Shows and Tie-Ins
While the main Marvel shows and movies form the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are also bonus shows and tie-ins that provide additional depth and expand the Marvel universe even further. These bonus shows and tie-ins complement the main storyline, offering fans even more opportunities to explore their favorite characters and the interconnected narrative.
One such example is the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-2020), which follows the adventures of Agent Phil Coulson and his team as they deal with the aftermath of the events seen in the movies. The show provides a unique perspective and expands upon the secret organization of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its interactions with various Marvel characters.
Another notable tie-in is the Netflix series, also known as the Marvel Netflix shows, consisting of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. These shows exist within the same universe as the MCU and offer grittier and more grounded storytelling. While they aren’t directly connected to the main movies or Disney+ shows, they still feature references and easter eggs that add to the overall mythology.
Moreover, there are tie-in comics that bridge the gaps between different movies and shows, offering additional storylines and character development. These tie-in comics can provide valuable insights into the Marvel universe and serve as a fantastic companion to the on-screen content.
Additionally, keep an eye out for post-credit scenes in both the movies and TV shows, as they often contain hints, teasers, or even direct connections to future releases. These scenes have become a trademark of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and provide thrilling surprises for dedicated fans.
Exploring these bonus shows and tie-ins is entirely optional, but they can greatly enrich your Marvel viewing experience. They allow you to dive deeper into the universe, discover new facets of beloved characters, and uncover hidden connections that enhance the overall narrative cohesion.
Whether it’s watching the bonus shows, reading tie-in comics, or hunting for Easter eggs, these additional elements provide a treasure trove of content for Marvel enthusiasts to enjoy. They expand the universe, spark discussions among fans, and show the extent of the meticulous world-building that has made the Marvel Cinematic Universe a pop culture phenomenon.