2019 is a big year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only has the franchise already seen one successful release with the massive debut of “Captain Marvel” (Marvel’s first female-led superhero film), but the end of April is likely to see a box office explosion with the opening weekend of “Avengers: Endgame.” If you’re gearing up for this final, major showdown and are wondering what order to watch Marvel movies in, here’s a guide to keep you on the right track.
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
Not only is Cap’s introductory film set the furthest back in time, it also introduces viewers to the first Infinity Stone, though at the time, it was called the Tesseract. It’s a solid foundation for the MCU timeline and introduces a few characters that will make later appearances throughout the franchise, namely Red Skull who plays an enigmatic, yet important role in one of the later Avengers entries.
Another “back in time” film, “Captain Marvel” takes place in the ‘90s and serves as a wonderful introductory story, though it also lends some clues as to the future that’s to come. The Tesseract makes another appearance, too. However, if you haven’t seen “Avengers: Infinity War,” it’s a good idea to skip the post-credits scenes as they do contain some heavy spoilers.
“Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
These two movies show the first team-up of the iconic supergroup and also shows how they’ve expanded to include more heroes. They’re good for back-to-back viewing as they move the MCU’s central story forward at a fairly solid pace. It gives more information on Thanos and the Infinity Stones and also lays the groundwork for the heroes that might take up the mantle of Avengers once the original crew decides to move on.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2)
These two movies are OK to watch back-to-back even though they were released years apart. Since the Guardians spend most of their time in space, there aren’t too many spoiler references to events on Earth. Plus, these films give us some incredibly important backstory on Thanos which truly highlights the depravity of some of his later actions.
The films themselves are a fun romp through the galaxy filled with charming chemistry, eye-boggling effects, and interesting hints on the direction the other MCU films might be taking.
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Captain America: Civil War” is often called “Avengers 2.5” as it features a vast number of the current crop of heroes (and also introduces fan favorite Spider-man). While it doesn’t move the central story forward all that dramatically, it does an excellent job of setting up the emotional stakes of the coming films.
It gives a great indication that the Avengers you’ve come to know and love are due for some heavy roster switches in the coming films and it shows that even allies can turn on one another.
“Avengers: Infinity War”
Before you see “Endgame,” get yourself fully up to speed on the central Avengers narrative. When the team finally clashes with Thanos, it’s not pretty, as the villain has proven that he will do just about anything to see his desires fulfilled. It’s an exciting spectacle of a film with some incredibly satisfying emotional beats and a whole lot of unanswered questions.
Plus, a mid-credits reference to “Captain Marvel” helps to bring the entire list full-circle. While the future may look bleak, there’s always hope that the good guys will win in the end.
Though this list is a suggestion, there’s no cut and dry way to watch the Marvel films. They’re all satisfying, exciting superhero movies that are clearly full of love and passion for the source material. If you’re a comic book fan, you’ll likely enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Image Credits: Marvel Movies from Syda Productions/Shutterstock