Ever since Marvel announced the release date of not one, but two Avengers sequels (Avengers: Infinity War, and an untitled fourth film), people have been waiting for 27 April 2018, to witness what has been termed as “the most ambitious crossover event in history”.
Not all of us would have seen the 18 preceding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies though. They are made in such a way that new entrants to the fandom can understand the basic plot of a film without having seen the ones released before it. I know that because the first MCU masterpiece that I saw was Thor: Ragnarok (the 16th one as per chronological order)!
When I came out of the theatre, I felt like I had to know the entire storyline. Since I wasn’t aware about how the plot was laid out across the films, I watched them all in a random fashion. Obviously, that wasn’t of much use, because I missed out the details and sneaky crossover mentions.
So, if you want to dig deeper into the plot and ensure that you know the Universe well, do it the right way! To make life easy for you, here is the correct order in which the movies are supposed to be watched. Marvel has divided the storyline into three phases and it is believed that Avengers: Infinity War will mark the beginning of Phase Four. Read on to get your phases right and get ready to binge watch!
MCU’s first phase, also famously called “Avengers Assembled”, comprises of the first six films, which were released between 2008 and 2012. It begins with the origin stories of four Marvel superheroes – Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America – and culminates into the first Avengers film, where these superheroes join forces along with Black Widow and Hawkeye to stop the villains (Loki and Thanos) from using an Infinity Stone (Tesseract) to invade Earth, *phew*! Apart from introducing the core characters, it also brings into picture organizations like Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D., and recurring characters such as Nick Fury, War Machine and Odin.
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
The next set of films released between 2013 and 2015 is known as Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It explores more crossovers in terms of core character appearances in the movies and details the Infinity Stone storyline further. Another team of superheroes is introduced, namely the Guardians of the Galaxy, formed by Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax the Destroyer. Other new characters include the Winter Soldier, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Ant-Man and Vision.
7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
12. Ant-Man (2015)
Phase Three includes the subsequent set of six films and represents doom in all the worlds – humans losing faith in the Avengers, a discord among the superheroes, Ragnarok (the destruction of Thor’s home planet, Asgard) and Star-Lord losing his powers. This phase also has three new origin stories – those of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and Black Panther – who are set to play a major role in the upcoming Avengers film, by joining forces with the Avengers and the Guardians to beat Thanos.
13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
14. Doctor Strange (2016)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
18. Black Panther (2018)
Once you have seen all the above films, consider yourself ready to watch Avengers: Infinity War. Make sure you stay glued to your seat till the very end; you do not want to miss the mid-credits and end-credits scenes!
Cover Image Credit: WallDevil