What order should you follow each Marvel movie and TV show?

Marvel Studios has released Avengers: Endgame/Spider-Man: Far From Home, so we're officially moving into the next MCU phase.

If you're new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which includes movies produced by Marvel Studios, Marvel comics, comics, and series from Marvel TV, we've created a guide to help you get up to speed. You can't watch Marvel movies in the order they are released. They are not in chronological order, which is quite strange if you like timelines.

That's why we show you a different order - organized when the events in each movie happen. While the MCU officially started in 2008 with the release of Iron Man, it's not the first movie you should watch. You should start with Captain America: The First Avenger. It was released in 2011 and is already the fifth film from Marvel Studios. But, originally, in 1942 - decades before Iron Man.

There will be some spoilers below. If you want to avoid that go to the bottom. We have a short list of only Marvel movies and it is spoiler free. Along with this list, we've compiled two others: one complete MCU chronology list from both movies and TV shows; Another is the speed of the list of only the most important Marvel movies worth watching to the end.

  • Disney+ streaming service: release date, video, and line-up show

Unfortunately for Marvel comic nerds, these guides are just for people who want to watch Marvel movies and TV shows in the correct order.

Marvel Movies: The Best Order Viewer
Chronological order of films Chronological film (spoiler free)
Chronological film + shows order Must watch movies before endgame

Every Marvel movie in the right order

PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America is the fifth studio Marvel film, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and all films up to the cover. But this is the first film on our list, because the events take place in - the first - during the Second World War. We see the creation of super-soldiers portrayed by Chris Evans, as well as his first battle with the Hydra and its leader Red Skull. The film also introduces the Tesseract, a key object in the microcontroller.

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Captain Marvel (2019)

The second movie on our list recently hit theaters. In Captain Marvel, which is set in 1995, we see protagonist Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, fall to Earth and begin a hunt for shapeshifting Skrull aliens. There's so much action, there's nostalgia here, especially if you're a 90s kid, thanks to blockbuster scenes in stores and even the internet.

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Iron Man (2008)

According to the official Marvel timeline, Iron Man is ranked in 2010. All about Genius/Inventor/Playboy Philanthropist Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. is captured by a terrorist organization whose leader wants the latest weapons systems Stark has designed. However, Stark had something even more powerful to help himself escape: the first Iron Man suit.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

The second Iron Man picks up where the first left off: Tony Stark fighting his Iron Man identity is revealed. The government wants the technology behind his suit, and when Stark refuses to hand over to another weapons manufacturer, he shows that he is willing to do anything to get his hands on it. This movie also introduces fellow Avengers Black Widow and War Machine.

Note: technically, you could watch The Incredible Hulk before Iron Man 2. Marvel said The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and all of that happened around the same time - although The Incredible Hulk, which came out a couple of years ahead of the rest. Confused, we know. We have, however, followed the official guide of the Marvel Universe, and you are encouraged to watch Iron Man 2 for the first time for consistency purposes.

Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk follows Bruce Banner on the run from General "Thunderbolt" Ross and the US military. Realizing that he can never control or contain the Hulk, Ross decides to create his own version of the Hulk with the help of another soldier, but he quickly loses control. The Incredible Hulk stars Edward Norton, but Mark Ruffalo replaced him in 2012 and has been the big green man ever since.

Thor (2011)

The god of lightning was banished to Earth from Asgard by his father Odin, all thanks to the cunning of Loki. In order to earn his power and control his hammer, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, must prove himself worthy. Luckily, he is introduced to an Earth scientist, played by Natalie Portman, who can help him set things right before Loki assumes total control of Asgard.

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The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers is the culmination of the so-called "Phase 1" of the microcontroller. With all the main characters introduced, the real challenge was to find something challenging enough to get them to work together. The combined power of Loki, the Tesseract, and the Alien Horde's invasion of New York proved to be a match that made these superheroes become friends in life and at the front.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

The third and final standalone Iron Man movie takes place six months after the giant fight in New York. Tony Stark deals with the memories of the fights that took place (and nearly killed him). The memories led him to build an army of Iron Man suits so he can always be ready.

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The second Thor movie sees its hero return to Asgard Loki after the invasion of New York. He doesn't have much time, however, as the ancient dark elves return. They were once defeated by his grandfather and are considered extinct. They are now back and looking for the Aether, a powerful weapon, which is later revealed to be the Infinity Stone, or one of six powerful stones in the microcontroller.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America works for The Shield, a special government agency, after the events of The Avengers, but he finds himself questioning the organization's motives as he learns more about his plans. Also, his closest friend will come back from the dead and become an adversary, the Winter Soldier, played by Sebastian Stan. This film also introduces the Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, a rogue scavenger who stumbles upon the Infinity Stone hidden in the ruins of an alien world. In a race against the clock, he forms a rabble group of misfits that includes a talking raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot a talking tree, and others. Together they must stop Ronan the Accuser from holding the Infinity Stone.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)

This sequel picks up a few months after the original. Peter Quill is falling deeper in love with Gamora Zoe Saldana. And he is forced to confront the mysteries of his past when he comes face to face with the divine entity known as "ego", played by Kurt Russell. Part of the problem with placing these Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the MCU timeline is that they seem to be separate and all happening in outer space.

The Avengers: The Age of Altron (2014)

The Avengers reunite to face the bug created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner: the artificial intelligence known as Ultron, voiced by James Spader. If one robotic version of Ultron is left standing, he can continue to fight the Avengers. This film also introduces the new Avengers: Scarlet Witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Sight (played by Paul Bettany).

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd as a cat recruited by Michael Douglas, Hank Pym before dawn, Ant-Man suit in order to stop technology becomes a weapon. Former prodigy Hank Pym (played by Corey Stoll) has recreated technology in the form of a yellow jacket, and it's up to Ant-Man to fight him and ultimately save the day on the smallest scale imaginable.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Although it's a Captain America movie, Civil War features just about every Avenger, adding two more heavy hitters in the lineup—Black Panther Chadwick Boseman and Spider-Man Tom Holland. Unfortunately, the Avengers are split into different factions due to Captain America wanting to save his friend Bucky Barnes, who appears to be responsible for the UN session bombing.

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Spider-Man: Return (2017)

The wall-indexing web slinger is making his solo debut here, where he faces off against SIP Michael Keaton, a job foreman turned black market arms dealer after recovering technology from the New York Battlefield in the first Avengers movie. On top of it all, Peter Parker deals with the usual problems that come with being a freshman in high school.

Dr. Strange (2016)

Stephen strangely played by Benedict Cumberbatch is a world class surgeon and he knows it. Strangely unbearable to almost everyone who deals with him, until a tragic accident takes away the work with his hands. Then strangely travels the world in search of a cure that will give him the use of his hands - and he will not find the answer, in the form of some ancient magic.

Black Panther (2018)

After being bombed by the UN in Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa must return home to Wakanda and be named king. Once there, he is faced with the continuation of the lockdown policy that helped protect Wakanda. He also faces a bug from his father's past in the form of Eric Killmonger, played by Michael B Jordan and could have been the best villain in any Marvel movie.

Note: this movie is about the events of Captain America: Civil War so you can watch after this movie, but Marvel prefers to watch here.

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The third solo film Thor finds the hero thrown into space after the death of his father and the destruction of his hammer on his long-lost sister, Hella, played by Cate Blanchett. He finds himself stuck in friend fights against the Hulk who haven't seen the Avengers since the Avengers defeated Ultron. Together, Thor and Hulk teamed up with Valkyrie Loki and Tessa Thompson to take on Hell.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Scott Lang returned, but he was placed under house arrest after his role in Civil War and siding with Captain America. He became estranged from Hank Pym and Pym's daughter, Hope. But he reluctantly agrees to help them, thinking that Pym can get Hope's mother from the quantum realm. (Head up: Save the scene's post-credits while you've seen Infinity War.)

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

After years of organizing things from behind the scenes in order to find all the Infinity Stones, Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) decided to make them himself. The only thing standing in his way is the Avengers, who are currently spreading throughout the universe. To raise the stakes even further, Thanos' sole reason for seeking the power of the stones is to wipe out half of all life in the universe.

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

After Thanos cut off half of all life, leaving the universe in chaos, the Avengers must try to make things right. Five years pass and the chance appears for them to undo everything, but before that happens, Captain America and Tony Stark need to make amends and reunite the Avengers one last time.

Avengers: Endgame will be available as a paid download on July 30 and on Blu-ray on August 13, 2019.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)

Far From Home is Marvel's last film, but it marks the start of an entirely new chapter (or "phase") in MK. Over the decade, the series built towards infinity war. Now that's done, we have to wonder what's next.

Recently unsnapped Peter Parker is leaving for Europe on a field trip, but he has surprised Nick Fury and Mysterio Jake Gyllenhaal, who need his help against the enemies known as the Elementals. There's a lot we don't know yet about the movie, but it's landing in US theaters July 2, so you should watch this movie last.


Complete microcontroller graph at a glance

List 1: Every Marvel movie in the right order

So, here's a short version of the list above, which only has Marvel movies in the microcontroller:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Thor (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • The Avengers: The Age of Altron (2014)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Return (2017)
  • Dr. Strange (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)

List 2: each Marvel movie and show in order

Once Marvel became extremely successful with his films, he began to create more Marvel content for the small screen. His Marvel TV shows take place in the same universe as the films, usually focusing on the effects caused by the films. They don't have to be watched, but if you're like us and are trying to consume every last drop of Marvel before the endgame, then check them out.

However, if you're trying to watch them in the correct chronological order, it gets a little tricky. With that in mind, here's an expanded short list that includes where the Marvel TV show fits into the Marvel Studios films. TV shows appear below in bold type.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Marvel Agent Carter Season 1 (2015)
  • Marvel Agent Carter Season 2 (2016)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Thor (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (2013)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • Daredevil Season 1 (2015)
  • The Avengers: The Age of Altron (2014)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 (2014)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Jessica Jones Season 1 (2015)
  • Daredevil Season 2 (2016)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 (2015)
  • Luke Cage Season 1 (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Return (2017)
  • Dr. Strange (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Iron Fist Season 1 (2017)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 (2016)
  • Season Defenders 1 (2017)
  • Inhuman Season 1 (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • The Punisher Season 1 (2017)
  • Jessica Jones Season 2 (2018)
  • Luke Cage Season 2 (2018)
  • Cloak and Dagger Season 1 (2018)
  • Breakout Season 1 (2017)
  • Daredevil Season 3 (2018)
  • The Punisher Season 2 (2019)
  • (2017 Marvel's agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5)
  • Iron Fist Season 2 (2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Avengers Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)

List 3: Must Watch Marvel Movies Before Endgame

So if you're looking to get up to speed quickly before watching Avengers: Endgame and don't have the time to work out 21 movies let alone the numerous Marvel shows, then you're in luck. You can just watch the important films, skip the ones you don't need (*cough* The Incredible Hulk *cough*), and you'll still know what's going on when you finally watch Endgame.

We've put together a third short list of all Marvel Studios films that are critical to understanding the plot and events in the endgame.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • The Avengers: The Age of Altron (2014)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Return (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

You are so?

Then maybe you'll like our guide to all other upcoming Marvel movies:

  • Upcoming Marvel Movies: What's next after Avengers Endgame?

We also have a Star Wars guide for those of you who don't want to watch these movies in machete order:

  • In what order should you watch all the Star Wars movies?
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