Marvel Movies in Order – Chronological Timeline & Release Order

Marvel movies have become a cinematic phenomenon, creating the most successful franchise in film history. With interconnecting storylines, recurring characters, and cliffhanger endings, Marvel has engineered a thrilling universe of superhero films.

But with over 30 movies spanning several franchises and phases, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can be confusing to navigate. To properly understand these movies and their epic, overarching story, you must watch them in the correct order.

So strap in true believers, and get ready for a chronological journey across the Marvel movies in order of their events – from World War II to the distant future. Here is the definitive timeline to watch and enjoy Earth’s Mightiest Heroes unfold on the big screen.

The First Avenger

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America: The First Avenger

The founding events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begin during World War II with Captain America’s first appearance in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

Set largely during 1942-1945, a frail Steve Rogers becomes a supersoldier and battles the evil HYDRA organization. In the end, he crashes into the Arctic, freezing himself for nearly 70 years. Along with introducing the iconic hero and villain Red Skull, The First Avenger also establishes key objects like the cosmic Tesseract which becomes crucial later on.

Avengers Assembled – 2012

After being revived in the modern day, Captain America joins fellow superheroes Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye in 2012’s epic crossover The Avengers. Directed by Joss Whedon, this thrilling team-up movie sees the Avengers battling Loki and his alien army in the streets of New York.

Avengers Assembled - 2012

Bringing together the stars and plot threads from previous solo films, The Avengers merges their franchises into one shared universe. The explosive success of this movie also codifies the concept of the summer crossover event and post-credits scenes.

The Dark World and Beyond – 2013

Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins exploring the fallout from The Avengers battle in New York City. 2013’s Iron Man 3 finds Tony Stark dealing with anxiety and PTSD from the experience, facing off against classic comic foe The Mandarin.

Meanwhile Thor: The Dark World sees the God of Thunder deal with meddling from the Dark Elves in Asgardian affairs. In a key moment, the Reality Stone (Aether) is entrusted to The Collector.
These Phase 2 movies expand the cosmic lore and threats facing our heroes.

The Winter Soldier and the Guardians – 2014

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

2014 delivered two more pivotal entries in the form of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. The former is a politically charged thriller that tears down SHIELD and reveals Hydra’s infiltration. It also introduces the titular Winter Soldier, Cap’s best friend Bucky Barnes who has been brainwashed into an assassin.

Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy takes the MCU properly cosmic for the first time. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot form a ragtag group of unlikely heroes who keep the Power Stone away from Ronan The Accuser. In doing so, they help set up the concept of the Infinity Stones which become crucial to Thanos‘ plan.

Avengers Re-Assembled – 2015-2019

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Endgame

With Thanos lurking on the horizon, the next few phases of the MCU see heroes old and new uniting to try and stop his crusade. 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron forms a new team featuring classic comic lineups like Vision and Scarlet Witch, as Tony Stark’s creation Ultron threatens the world.

2016’s Captain America: Civil War fractures the Avengers in an ideological clash while introducing Black Panther and a new Spider-Man. Offbeat entry Ant-Man and mystical Doctor Strange expand the ranks even more.

Avengers ENDGAME

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther develop those solo heroes further, setting the stage for the epic Avengers: Infinity War. This movie and its sequel Endgame form Thanos’ Infinity Saga arc that has been built up since 2012. Some major deaths occur, with time travel launching the saga to an epic conclusion after 22 movies.

The epilogue Spider-Man: Far From Home deals with the aftermath, as Peter Parker faces life after Tony Stark’s sacrifice against Thanos.

Multiversal Madness – 2020 and Beyond

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Black Widow
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Eternals
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

With Thanos defeated and Iron Man gone, the MCU heads towards the future with new heroes in Phase 4 and beyond. The Prequel movie Black Widow honors Natasha Romanoff after her Endgame sacrifice, while the martial arts epic Shang-Chi introduces the Master of Kung-Fu.

Eternals ambitiously span 7000 years of human history to reveal this cosmic protector race created by God-like Celestials.

Meanwhile, sequels like Doctor Strange 2 and Thor 4 explore wild multiversal adventures, setting up even greater dangers. And Spider-Man: No Way Home brings back former live-action Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield for an electrifying crossover event.

As the Multiverse explodes open, the next era looks set to be the most outrageous and game-changing phase yet for the MCU. Who knows what thrilling match-ups and status-quo changes are in store as Marvel Phase 4 shapes the future!

Marvel Movies in Chronological Order

Let’s break down the full Marvel movies in order of timeline across all phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU):

MCU Phase 1

The first phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe consists of six films, from 2008’s Iron Man to 2012’s mega-blockbuster The Avengers. These initial movies introduced beloved characters like Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America while revealing that they coexisted in the same universe.

MCU Phase 1
  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. The Avengers (2012)

Iron Man (2008)

Tony Stark is a billionaire playboy and genius inventor who builds a high-tech armored suit after being captured by terrorists in Afghanistan. Naming himself Iron Man, he vows to protect the world as he uncovers a nefarious plot.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Exposed to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner transforms into the monstrous Hulk whenever enraged or excited. On the run from the military, Banner searches for a cure while battling villains also created by gamma radiation.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

With the world aware of his Iron Man identity, Tony Stark faces new trials including a vengeful Russian using his own advanced tech against him. Stark reluctantly teams up with friend Rhodes as War Machine to stop the villain Whiplash.

Thor (2011)

The arrogant god Thor is banished from Asgard to Earth by his father Odin to learn humility. Stripped of his powers, he falls for scientist Jane Foster and must stop his jealous adoptive brother Loki from destroying a small town.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Frail WWII soldier Steve Rogers volunteers for a secret experiment turning him into the super soldier Captain America. Fighting Hydra and his nemesis Red Skull, Cap sacrifices himself but is revived in the modern day.

The Avengers (2012)

To save the world from his conquering brother Loki, Thor must ally with fellow heroes Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. Forming the Avengers, these reluctant heroes must learn to work as a team.

MCU Phase 2

The second phase brought together new heroes like Falcon while delving deeper into the cosmic side of Marvel. The overarching plot involves the villainous schemes of Thanos as he seeks the all-powerful Infinity Stones.

MCU Phase 2
  1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  2. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  6. Ant-Man (2015)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Still haunted by events in The Avengers, Tony Stark faces anxiety attacks and insomnia. The mysterious terrorist Mandarin soon launches a campaign of deadly bombings, forcing Iron Man into action once more.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The evil Dark Elves invade Asgard, forcing Thor to battle them across realms. With treacherous Loki’s help, Thor must stop their leader Malekith from returning the universe to eternal darkness using an ancient force.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Adjusting to modern life, Steve Rogers teams with Black Widow and new ally Falcon to battle a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Uncovering a deeper conspiracy, Rogers must question everything he stands for.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Star-Lord form a ragtag team of intergalactic criminals turned heroes. They must stop Ronan from acquiring an Infinity Stone capable of galactic destruction.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence creation Ultron goes rogue, forcing the Avengers to assemble against this new threat. As Ultron aims to wipe out humanity, the heroes struggle to defeat his seemingly unstoppable mechanized army.

Ant-Man (2015)

Thief Scott Lang steals an incredible shrinking suit and is trained by former Ant-Man Hank Pym to become a miniature hero. Facing Pym’s destructive ex-protege Yellowjacket, Lang must master the size-changing technology to save the day.

MCU Phase 3

Phase Three concludes storylines for many of the original Avengers while expanding the MCU into cosmic threats. New heroes like Black Panther and Captain Marvel are also introduced before an epic showdown with Thanos.

MCU Phase 3
  1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  2. Doctor Strange (2016)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  5. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  6. Black Panther (2018)
  7. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  8. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  9. Captain Marvel (2019)
  10. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The Avengers are torn apart into opposing factions after the government pushes for superhero oversight. Captain America clashes with former ally Iron Man over the mounting collateral damage from their missions.

Doctor Strange (2016)

After losing his surgical skills in an accident, Dr. Stephen Strange journeys to Tibet where he learns mystic arts from the Ancient One. As Earth comes under threat from dark dimensional entities, Strange becomes a sorcerer.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardians meet Peter Quill’s celestial father Ego while battling alien races and uncovering dark secrets. As this dysfunctional family fights to stay together, Groot forms a unique bond with Mantis.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Thrilled by his adventures with the Avengers, Queens high schooler Peter Parker strives to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Under mentor Tony Stark’s guidance, he faces the vulture-themed black market arms dealer Vulture.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Imprisoned on an alien planet, Thor battles the Hulk in gladiatorial combat while his home Asgard is invaded by the Goddess of Death Hela. Thor must race against time to stop Asgard’s destruction and save his people.

Black Panther (2018)

After his father’s death, T’Challa returns home to the isolated African nation Wakanda to inherit the throne and power of the Black Panther. He soon faces a challenge to the crown from a dangerous adversary with ties to his family’s past.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

The arrival of intergalactic tyrant Thanos forces the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy to assemble to stop him from collecting the six all-powerful Infinity Stones. If Thanos succeeds, he can destroy half the universe with a snap of his fingers.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Under house arrest after Captain America’s Civil War, Scott Lang reluctantly teams up with scientist Hope van Dyne on a mission to rescue her mother Janet from the microscopic Quantum Realm.

Captain Marvel (2019)

In 1995, Air Force pilot Carol Danvers becomes imbued with alien powers that transform her into Captain Marvel. With help from Nick Fury, she discovers her own mysterious past while taking on galactic threats.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The surviving Avengers execute an audacious ‘time heist’ to gather the Infinity Stones and reverse Thanos’ apocalyptic snap. Traveling into the past, they stage an epic final stand against Thanos across time and space.

MCU Phase 4

Phase Four explores the fallout after Thanos while introducing concepts like the multiverse. Fan-favorite heroes get more spotlight and new characters join the fray. The Infinity Saga may be over, but the future of the MCU is brighter than ever.

MCU Phase 4
  1. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  2. Black Widow (2020)
  3. Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings (2021)
  4. Eternals (2021)
  5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  6. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
  7. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

On a European vacation with friends, Peter Parker is reluctantly recruited by Nick Fury to help mysterious hero Mysterio battle gigantic elemental creatures attacking cities.

Black Widow (2020)

In 2016 after Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is forced to confront her dark past and broken relationships when a conspiracy tied to her origins as a spy surfaces.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Martial arts master Shang-Chi confronts the mysterious Ten Rings organization and his own past after being drawn back into his father’s sinister dominion.

Eternals (2021)

Ancient aliens emerge from hiding after thousands of years to save Earth from monstrous Deviants, despite orders not to interfere from their cosmic masters, the Celestials.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Peter Parker seeks help from Doctor Strange to make the world forget he is Spider-Man. But the spell fractures reality, bringing dangerous foes from parallel universes into his world.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Dr. Strange peers into the ominous Multiverse to try and protect young America Chavez from the Scarlet Witch, who desperately seeks the girl’s universe-hopping powers.

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Thor endeavors to achieve inner peace but is pulled back into action when the galactic butcher Gorr the God Butcher seeks to eliminate all gods in the cosmos.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Queen Ramonda, Shuri, and the Dora Milaje fight to protect Wakanda after King T’Challa’s death, facing underwater threat Namor and his civilization.

MCU Phase 5

MCU Phase 5
  1. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
  3. The Marvels (2023)
  4. Deadpool 3 (TBA)
  5. Captain America: New World Order (TBA)
  6. Thunderbolts (TBA)
  7. Blade (TBA)

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Super-Hero partners Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

The beloved misfit Guardians return to confront Adam Warlock and wrap up stories that began in Volume 2. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

The Marvels (2023)

Captain Marvel teams up with fellow heroes Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan in an epic adventure. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Deadpool 3 (2024)

The Merc with a Mouth returns for another outrageous adventure. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Captain America: New World Order (2024)

Sam Wilson continues his tenure as Captain America, navigating threats in a world without Avengers. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Thunderbolts (2024)

A team of reformed villains turned heroes goes on high-risk black ops missions. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Blade (2025)

The half-mortal vampire hunter Blade confronts undead threats in the supernatural underworld. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

MCU Phase 6

MCU Phase 6
  1. Fantastic Four (TBA)
  2. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (TBA)
  3. Avengers: Secret Wars (TBA)

Fantastic Four (2025)

Marvel’s original superhero family finally joins the MCU. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026)

The Avengers assemble once more to confront the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]

Avengers: Secret Wars (2027)

The Avengers’ saga culminates in an epic multiversal showdown. [Upcoming – no plot summary yet]


And there you have it – the full chronological timeline for the Marvel movies in order! Following this definitive sequence allows you to properly experience the MCU, how it establishes concepts, develops characters over time, and weaves an intricate narrative tapestry across decades.

From WWII super soldier adventures to infinity stone quests to multiversal madness, the Marvel Cinematic Universe truly offers an unparalleled, immersive cinematic achievement. It has redefined the concepts of shared universes, post-credits scenes, crossover events, and expanded filmdom.

It’s hard to believe the MCU has only been around since 2008. In that short time, Marvel Studios has produced blockbuster after record-shattering blockbuster to rival the dominance of movie legends like Star Wars.

The Marvel movie juggernaut rumbles on at full speed, collecting iconic heroes and villains throughout its phases. And with interconnected storytelling and long-term planning, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ensured these films feel like one fluid mega-franchise.

No other collection of franchises – be it Harry Potter, Star Wars, the DCEU, or classic horror monsters – has managed to create such a unified, linear narrative on this scale. As Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has often said, it’s all connected. Watching the movies in timeline order helps prove that.

So if you want to properly follow your favorite superhero characters through their trials and tribulations, be sure to watch the Marvel movies in the right timeline sequence. This guide to the chronological order.

Have fun in your Marvel movie marathon! Let me know if you have any other questions about how to watch Marvel films in order. Excelsior!

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Founder of Comicphase and based in New York in the United States. With a decade-long journey of tracking the Marvel library, Ben initiated the website in 2022. His unwavering passion for all things Marvel Comics, Movies, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fuels his dedication. Ben’s pursuit of a degree in Media Studies further honed his storytelling and analytical skills, making him a valuable source for in-depth Marvel insights. | Contact:

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