From two weeks before Spider-Man – No Way Home (2021), my teenage son went off Instagram and WhatsApp so he wouldn’t get spoilers before the release. It was well worth it, albeit that I had to watch reruns of audiences’ euphoric reactions to the long-anticipated return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Of course, trying to be the ever-cool mom, I thought it’s time to see what all the hype is about. However, not being that cool, I didn’t know where to begin. So here it is for those of us too embarrassed to admit we don’t know where to start.
Chronological Order vs Release Date
There are currently 27 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies that have been released in theatres. Purists will tell you that the release date order is the best way, whilst others prefer to see the Marvel timeline play out by order of chronology i.e. viewing them based on the year in which each film is set. So while Iron Man, was set and released in 2008 and was the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America in The First Avenger of 2011, takes place in 1942. If you want to see the Marvel and Avengers movies in chronological order, start with Captain America – The First Avenger (2011) which was set in 1942, during World War II. Then run through until Spider-Man – No Way Home (2021).
Whilst even though some films like Captain Marvel and Captain America: The First Avenger are not in order of release date, they are complete prequels set in the 1990s and 1940s respectively. If you prefer to watch chronologically, you can make sense of the timeline because of the detailed and intricate scripts throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU):
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Iron Man (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Thor (2011)
- Marvel’s the Avengers (2012)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Black Widow (2021)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021)
- Eternals (2021)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
The Marvel Comic
Whilst we’re looking at the chronology of the big screen, let’s not forget the precursor to all this, the beloved comic book. Whilst some teenagers, my own among them, think that all literacy began on the screen, some of us remember and bow to the great age of the comic book. The world of the true superheroes.
In 1939, Timely Comics published their first series of comic book stories under the name Marvel Comics #1, which featured several superhero characters and later in 1941 introduced Captain America. 1961 was the ushering in of Marvel’s “Silver Age” when it transitioned into Marvel Comics, where readers were introduced to the legendary artistry of the creators Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and the original Bullpen. The 1960s onwards saw the emergence of stories that embraced a modern brand of superhero characters, the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey. Equally, some famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others have emerged. Marvel has also launched successful franchises like the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows, video games and online slots.
If you’re a comics buff but never got down to watching all the Marvel cinematic masterpieces, be sure to read this guide before you start your binge fest! Superheroes have long been a feature in various forms of media and modes of entertainment. From novels, television and film, theme parks and live performances – you can even find them in an arcade and console games as well as online slots at your favorite casino. Quite literally, if you love comics you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to incorporating them into your lifestyle and leisurely activities!
Let’s not forget that the appeal of online slots is that you’re hedging your bets on a superhero!
Now just when we think we’re all caught up, prepare for phase 4, which includes among others, the following releases in 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor – Love and Thunder and Black Panther – Wakanda Forever. For 2023, we can look forward to The Marvels, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and then Ant-Man and the Wasp – Quantumania.
Even the die-hard comic reader will admit that detailed online graphics and CGI allows one to witness the evolvement of the industry and the technical genius of the latest cinematics. It also allows you to see the refinement of Marvel’s storytelling over the ages.
So, I’ve now got my viewing all set up chronologically and kids who are willing participants to share my journey.
As for me, who needs a bucket list when you have an Endgame!