I’ve watched the Marvel movies a couple of different ways: Chronological & Release Order. As of February 2023, there are 31 movies in the MCU with a total runtime of 70 hours and 25 minutes. So this experiment took me 4,225 minutes to accomplish.
Watching the MCU in Release Order allows you to follow the events as they occurred in theaters, which I would say is the best order for new fans.
Watching in Chronological Order puts the events in the timeline that they would have happened in real life. So you’d start with Captain America: The First Avenger (1942-1945) and end with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (takes place in 2025). If you’re looking to have everything line up the way it would have unfolded year by year this is an interesting way to take them in. I didn’t particularly love this order since I didn’t feel they were ever really made to line up this way. So it’s the nerdiest of all the ways.
But I decided to try a new way and watched all 31 movies character by character.
Movie Mike’s Character Order
Watching in Character Order helps you understand the development of each Marvel hero. I wanted to get a better grasp on each individual Avenger’s origin story, character arc and how it would stand alone as its own franchise.
My biggest concern would be that things wouldn’t make sense since it is way different than any other order. But I found that for the most part you are still able to follow along to the overarching storyline in the MCU as long as you start with the Avengers movies that I believe are the foundation of all the films.
It’s also interesting to see how some stand alone better than the others. Some series prove to be a great embodiment of their heroes and others feel like they were merely building blocks in the MCU.
Here is the viewing order I created if you want to try it out!
- The Avengers (2012)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Iron Man (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Thor (2011)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
- Black Panther (2017)
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
- Eternals (2021)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Black Widow (2021)
Check out the full episode here:
Looking for more movie reviews? Check out my podcast Movie Mike’s Movie Podcast on iHeartRadio or wherever you get your podcasts!