Marvel Studios have released a number of films over the years, rife with superheroes and villains. The trend officially started with the release of Iron Man in 2008. However, Iron Man doesn’t merit the first watch just by virtue of being the first to released. Think of it as the Machette Order of Star Wars. So here’s the deal, there’s a better way to view all the Marvel films and it’s not in the order of release.
#1 Captain America: The First Avenger
This film launched in 2011 and is the fifth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The events in Captain America: First Avenger occur a few decades before the events of the first Marvel film, Iron Man, and also The Avengers.
#2 Iron Man
The first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it gives us a look at how Iron Man came in to being and how Tony Stark designed his iconic suit. The film ends with Nick Fury discussing the Avengers Initiative with Tony Stark.
#3 The Incredible Hulk
The events in this film occur at the same time as Iron Man 2 and Thor. It also includes a cameo by Tony Stark.
#4 Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 has a post credit scene that shows Thor’s hammer and also has a few scenes from The Incredible Hulk
The god of thunder is introduced to fans of the MCU around the same timeline of events as The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2. This film marks the start of the Avengers.
#6 The Avengers
Now the Avengers are formed and includes Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
#7 Iron Man 3
This film is set about six months from the events of The Avengers and shows Stark suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the battle of New York.
#8 Thor: The Dark World
Events of this film are set a year after the events in The Avengers.
#9 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier shows Steve Rogers working with SHIELD and teaming up with Black Widow and Falcon to stop the Winter Soldier. The events in this film occur two years after The Avengers.
#10 Guardians of the Galaxy
The film begins with Peter Quill being kidnapped by aliens following his mother’s death. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film takes place 26 years after Quill’s kidnapping.
#11 Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
In an interview, director James Gunn said that Vol. 2 is set three months after the events in the original film.
#12 The Avengers: Age of Ultron
With an ensemble cast, this film brings back several superheroes and also introduces Vision and the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. A post credit scene shows Thanos with Ulysses Klaue, who is the villain in Black Panther.
#13 Ant Man
This film is set a few months after the event sof Age of Ultron and has a scene showing Lang infiltrating a facility held by the Avengers until Falcon stops him.
#14 Captain America: Civil War
With the Avengers broken in to two fractions – one led by Iron Man, the other by Captain America – the film introduces Black Panther and Spiderman.
#15 Doctor Strange
The film shows the world’s best neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, suffer an injury that ruins his career. The post credits show Thor in a cameo and sets up Ragnarok.
#16 Spiderman: Homecoming
This is the first Spiderman film since The Amazing Spiderman 2 which is not connected to this universe. The events in Homecoming occur a couple of months after Civil War.
#17 Thor: Ragnarok
The events of Ragnarok occur after Age of Ultron. Thor is imprisoned and he must save his homeworld of Asgard from being destroyed.
#18 Black Panther
After Civil War, T’Challa goes back to Wakanda, his homeland. His job is to protect his country and prevent a world war.
#19 Avengers: Infinity War
This is the sequel to Age of Ultron and is set four years after the events of GofG Vol. 2. In Infinity War the Avengers will be teaming up with the Guardians to fight against Thanos.
#20 Ant-Man and the Wasp
According to reports Ant Man will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Currently it is unclear where exactly we can place this film until more information is made available.