Marvel movies: How to watch all Avengers films in chronological order

28 March 2021, 22:32

Watch the final trailer for Marvel's Black Widow

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

A complete guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline with all 24 films in chronological order, leading up to Spider-Man: Far From Home.

After 24 films, countless crossovers and 4 incredible Avengers films, the MCU as we know it has changed forever.

With Disney+ now in our hands and Phase 4 ushering in Black Widow and WandaVision, it's time to give yourself a refresher course...

READ MORE: QUIZ: Only MCU experts can score 100% on this ultimate quiz

There's two orders in which you can watch all 24 Marvel films before the release of Black Widow. You can either watch them in the order of release or you can watch them in chronological timeline order.

The order of release will see you start with 2008's Iron Man and work your way through to 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you want to experience the full chronological order? Well, that's a completely different list that actually starts with Captain America: The First Avenger.

This list will also include the Disney+ series WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. There will be spoilers ahead!

Here's a guide to the chronological order you should watch all 24 Marvel films.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Chronological film order
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Chronological film order. Picture: Marvel Studios

1) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Set in '40s during the Second World War. The film sets up the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) which we later know as S.H.I.E.L.D. and also gives us the history and earliest known location of the Tesseract (the Space stone) on Earth.

2) Captain Marvel (2019)

Set in 1995. The film introduced Nick Fury, Agent Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. It gives insight into how the Tesseract ended up back on earth and in Fury's possession. It introduces the Kree, who later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy. It also sets up the start of Fury's Avengers Initiative.

3) Iron Man (2008)

Set in 2010. Establishes Tony Stark as the figurehead of the MCU and eventual first recruit of the Avengers Initiative in a post-credits scene.

4) Iron Man 2 (2010)

Set in 2011. According to Marvel, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and Thor all take place within the same week. Hulk can be seen in the background on a TV at the safe house at the end of Iron Man 2. Iron Man 2 also introduces Black Widow/Natasha Romanova ahead of Avengers.

5) The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Set in 2011. It might not feature Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, but it's still part of the MCU. Throw it in between Iron Man 2 and Thor for the full effect. This takes place at the same time as Iron Man 2 and Thor.

6) Thor (2011)

Set in 2011. Again, takes place at the same time as Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk. Introduces Thor and sets up the big finale of Phase one of the MCU. Hawkeye also makes his first appearance in Thor, ahead of Avengers.

7) Avengers (2012)

Set in 2012. The final movie of Phase 1 and introduces the Mind Stone.

Marvel's Avengers (2012)
Marvel's Avengers (2012). Picture: Marvel Studios

8) Iron Man 3 (2013)

Set six months after the events of Avengers. Tony deals with PTSD following his near death experiences in the Battle of New York.

9) Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Set in 2013. One year after Avengers and six months after Iron Man 3. The Dark World introduces the Aether, which is later explained to be the Reality Stone. It also introduces The Collector, who is later seen in Guardians of the Galaxy and Infinity War.

10) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Set in 2014, one year after Thor: The Dark World and two years after Avengers. Steve Rogers joins forces with Black Widow and Falcon to stop Bucky Barnes, now known as The Winter Soldier. Post-credits scenes also introduce Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

11) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Starts in 1988 but is set 26 years later, taking place in 2014 - the same year as The Winter Soldier. Guardians Vol 1 introduces the Power stone and explains why the Infinity Stones are so important.

12) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Set three months after Vol 1 in 2014. The story has very little impact on the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron but continues to explain more plot points that are relevant to the film.

13) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Set in 2015. Features the first appearance of Thanos and hints at his plans. Also reveals more information about the Mind Stone, which ends up as part of Vision. The film also introduces Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

14) Ant-Man (2015)

Set months after the events of Age of Ultron in 2015. Flashback scenes with Hank Pym takes place in the '80s pre-Captain Marvel and introduces the very important Quantum Realm.

Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War. Picture: Marvel Studios

15) Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Set in 2016, one year after Age of Ultron. Introduces T'Challa ahead of Black Panther and Peter Parker ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sets up the feud between Tony and Cap and sees the group split going into Infinity War.

16) Black Widow (2021)

Set in 2016, directly between the end of Civil War's airport fight and the final scene of the film. The film starts with Natasha Romanoff on the run and in hiding after betraying Tony Stark and helping Steve Rogers and Bucky escape. The events of Black Widow appear to take place over three weeks. The film also introduces Yelena Belova and the dives into the origins of the Black Widow programme.

17) Black Panther (2018)

Set in 2016, takes place immediately after Civil War as T'Challa returns home. Officially introduces Wakanda and several new and important characters to the MCU, including Okoye, Nakia, Killmonger, M'Baku and Shuri.

18) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Set in 2016. Takes place a few months after the events of Civil War as we see Peter Parker coming off the high of joining the Avengers at the airport in Germany.

19) Doctor Strange (2016)

Set in 2016. The film takes place over a year, starting around the same time as Civil War and ends just after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Introduces the Time Stone also known as the Eye of Agamotto. Strange helps Thor locate his father, Odin in a post-credits scene that leads straight into Ragnarok.

20) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Set in 2017. Ragnarok takes place immediately after the end of Doctor Strange. The film sees the complete destruction of Asgard. Ragnarok's post-credit scene leads immediately into the opening scene of Infinity War, as we see Thanos arrive on his ship.

21) Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Set in 2018, exactly two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War (the length of Scott's house arrest sentence) and runs parallel with the timeline just before Thanos' snap. Contains important information about the Quantum Realm, which is also an important part of Endgame. The post-credit scene shows Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne and Hope all turning to dust as a result of Thanos.

22) Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Set in 2018, immediately after the events of Thor: Ragnarok. The end credits scene shows Captain Marvel showing up at the Avengers facility, after the remaining Avengers manage to find Fury's pager.

23) Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Endgame begins in 2018, a few weeks after the snap, with Tony spending 21 days in space with Nebula. The remaining Avengers have made it back from Wakanda, and Captain Marvel has arrived after Fury's distress call. After Thor kills Thanos, five years pass by, taking us to 2023, where the Avengers travel back in time to stop Thanos' master plan.

------ WandaVision (2021)

Set in 2023. The Disney+ series focuses on Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch and the alternate sitcom reality in which she is living in. In episode 4, it's revealed that the events takes place a few weeks after Hulk's snap in Endgame. A grown-up Monica Rambeau returns from the blip and heads back to work for S.W.O.R.D. who are investigating Westview, the town that Wanda ends up in after fighting against Thanos.

----- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)

Set in 2023, six months after the events of Endgame. Sam Wilson, who has now given Steve Rogers'/Captain America's shield away to the Smithsonian, teams up with Bucky to investigate an organisation called the Flag Smashers.

24) Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Set in the summer of 2024, Far From Home takes place eight months after the final events of Endgame, with the blip and Tony Stark's death still playing heavy on the world's mind.

Happy watching!