Table of Contents
There are currently 30 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and counting, all of them taking place in the same universe and connected by characters, events, and settings. So you’d be forgiven for being a little confused as to how, exactly, they all fit together and which order to watch them in. Marvel broke new ground with 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers, which brought together disparate heroes from their own individual movies (Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor) into one team-up movie, before then splitting them off again into their own sequels. Of course this way of telling stories had been done in comics, but telling a serialized story across many, many films with diverse tones and characters was brand new, and continues to be a gold mine of compelling stories and characters.
But as the MCU has grown in quantity, it’s also grown in complexity. Some films take place worlds away but at the same time as events that are occurring on Earth. And some films take place in the far past.
If you’re wondering how to watch the Marvel movies in order, we’ve got you covered. Below we’re offering two viewing options: the Marvel movies in order of chronological events, and the Marvel movies in order of when each film was released in theaters. Both are highly recommended and are the ideal ways to view this series if you’re in the mood to binge-watch a franchise. And below that, we’ve got a rundown of how to watch the Marvel Disney Plus shows in order. The order of these lists also pulls heavily from our own comprehensive MCU timeline, which gets into the nitty-gritty of when every event happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on October 5, 2023
Marvel Movies in Order of Release
Here are all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in order of when they were released, broken up into “phases” that Marvel Studios uses to denote smaller story arcs within the larger MCU arc.
The Infinity Saga
- Iron Man – May 2, 2008
- The Incredible Hulk – June 13, 2008
- Iron Man 2 – May 7, 2010
- Thor – May 6, 2011
- Captain America: The First Avenger – July 22, 2011
- Marvel’s The Avengers – May 4, 2012
- Iron Man 3 – May 3, 2013
- Thor: The Dark World – November 8, 2013
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4, 2014
- Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1, 2014
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
- Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Black Panther – February 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – April 27, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019
- Avengers: Endgame – April 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home – July 2, 2019
The Multiverse Saga
- Black Widow – July 9, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – September 3, 2021
- Eternals – November 5, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – May 6, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder – July 8, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 5, 2023
- The Marvels (aka Captain Marvel 2) – November 10, 2023
- Deadpool 3 – May 3, 2024
- Captain America: Brave New World (previously known as Captain America: New World Order) – July 26, 2024
- Thunderbolts – December 20, 2024
- Blade – February 14, 2025
- Fantastic Four – May 2, 2025
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – May 1, 2026
- Avengers: Secret Wars – May 7, 2027
Beyond Phase Six
- Armor Wars – TBA
- Untitled Shang-Chi sequel – TBA
- Untitled Eternals sequel – TBA
- Untitled mutants film – TBA
- Untitled Spider-Man 4 – TBA
Marvel Movies in Chronological Order of Events
1. Captain America: The First Avenger
Chronologically speaking, the film that is set the earliest in the Marvel timeline is Captain America: The First Avenger. The Steve Rogers origin story begins in the year 1940 with Steve (Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) enlisting and ends in 1945 with Steve’s plane crashing and him being frozen for the next half-century.
2. Captain Marvel
Next up we have Captain Marvel, which is actually one of the most recent Marvel movies but whose events precede those of the main MCU timeline. Brie Larson’s pilot character crashes her plane in the year 1989 and is subsequently trained as a Kree before returning to Earth in 1995, which is the year in which most of Captain Marvel takes place.
3. Iron Man
The first Marvel movie released is third in chronological order, and believe it or not—according to Marvel’s own timeline—it actually takes place in the year 2010 and not 2008 when it was released.
4. The Incredible Hulk
The events of the Edward Norton Hulk movie take place shortly after the events of Iron Man.
5. Iron Man 2
The Iron Man sequel is set in the year 2011.
The events of Thor also take place in 2011, around the same time as the events in Iron Man 2, although there are flashback to events that go back centuries.
7. The Avengers
The team-up finally occurs in the year 2012.
8. Iron Man 3
The underrated Iron Man 3, which deals heavily with Tony Starks’ PTSD from the events of The Avengers, take place in the year 2012.
9. Thor: The Dark World
The forgettable sequel is set in the year 2013.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The big fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. is set a couple of years after the organization helped form The Avengers, set in 2014.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy
The events of Guardians of the Galaxy also take place in 2014, around the same time as The Winter Soldier.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Guardians sequel takes place a couple of months after the events of the first film.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The second Avengers team-up film takes place in the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dismantling, in the year 2015.
While the Avengers are fighting off ol’ Ultron, Scott Lang is busy becoming Ant-Man in 2015.
15. Captain America: Civil War
The Captain America sequel that’s also kinda-sorta an Avengers movie takes place in 2016, bringing additional characters into the fold to set the table for Infinity War and Endgame. But it also contains flashbacks that take place between The First Avenger and Iron Man, revealing the circumstances that surrounded the death of Tony Stark’s parents.
16. Black Widow
The Black Widow movie takes place in the immediate wake of the events of Captain America: Civil War and finds Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff on the run. It ends before the events of Avengers: Infinity War begin.
17. Spider-Man: Homecoming
The first MCU Spider-Man movie takes place the fall after the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker struggling to become his own hero.
18. Black Panther
2016 is a busy year in the MCU, as it’s also when Black Panther takes place over in Wakanda.
19. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange bridges the gap between 2016 and 2017, as Stephen Strange’s transformation into a superhero takes a bit of time.
20. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok takes place in 2017 shortly after the events of Doctor Strange, as we see Thor visit Doctor Strange on Earth to try and track down his father.
21. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Despite being released after Avengers: Infinity War, the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp take place in 2018 right before Thanos arrives on Earth and the film ends with the infamous Thanos Snap. Although there are flashbacks to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the late 1980s.
22. Avengers: Infinity War
The events of Avengers: Infinity War take place over a very compressed time period—just 24-48 hours—in 2018.
23. Avengers: Endgame
The second have of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline begins shortly after the Thanos snap in 2018, but after Thor cuts Thanos’ head off, the film flashes forward and is set primarily in the year 2023—although it also sees the characters traveling back in time to events in the years 1970, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
24. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home, takes place shortly after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
25. Thor: Love and Thunder
The fourth entry of Thor seems to go somewhere in 2024, even though it was released after Multiverse of Madness. We can calculate this based on Jane and Thor’s breakup which is likely around late 2015 to 2016 before Thor left Earth. In Love and Thunder, Thor corrects Jane saying that they’ve been broken up for eight years, seven months, and six days. Jane only thinks it’s been 3 or 4 years but seeing as she disappeared after the blip, that loss in time makes sense.
26. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings begins with a prologue that takes place hundreds of years in the past and also features extensive flashbacks to the year 1996, the bulk of the film takes place in the year 2023 not too long after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Although the Eternals have been around for over 7,000 years on planet earth, the main conflict of the movie is set sometime after Shang-Chi, around eight months after the events of Endgame.
28. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Of course, as we enter into the multiverse (and because of COVID), the timelines are going to be a little wonky. Technically Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is supposed to be set before Spider-Man: No Way Home, but release dates have to be shifted around. No Way Home takes place in the latter half of 2024, and because of the snap, time in the MCU is no longer parallel to our own world.
29. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
While it makes stray references to Spider-Man, it’s clear that this story was meant to take place before No Way Home, and while the official timeline might put this now shortly after No Way Home in Spring of 2025 – consider this one a gimme. Feel free to switch the order of this and Spider-Man around if you want to spend some time in the multiverse timeline where we got this movie first.
30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever begins with the death of T’Challa, which takes place in 2024. But the bulk of the story is set one year later, in 2025. It’s possible that there’s some overlap between the events of this movie and Doctor Strange 2, but there’s nothing specified, so it does seem like it happens after the events of that film. In any case, as the conclusion of Phase Six, it does make sense to watch this movie after all the other films in this particular phase.
31. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
While the Quantum realm usually makes time a bit more wibbly-wobbly than usual, we do know that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania takes place after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which places it sometime within the first half of 2026.
32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Like the other films in the series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is also mostly unaffected by the events that take place in other films. However, we do know that it takes place after Thor: Love and Thunder and possibly after Wakanda Forever as well. That would place the story sometime in 2026 or late 2025 at the earliest. We’re leaning towards the former as the film does seem to be the furthest along on the MCU timeline so far.
Marvel Disney Plus Shows in Order of Release Date
- WandaVision – Premiered January 15, 2021
- The Falcon & The Winter Soldier – Premiered March 19, 2021
- Loki – Premiered June 9, 2021
- Marvel’s What If… – Premiered August 11, 2021
- Hawkeye – Premiered November 24, 2021
- Moon Knight – Premiered March 30, 2022
- Ms. Marvel – Premiered June 8, 2022
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – Premiered August 18, 2022
- Werewolf by Night (Special) – Premiered October 7, 2022
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Special) – Premiered November 25, 2022
- Secret Invasion – Premiered June 21, 2023
- Loki Season 2 – Premiered October 5, 2023
- Echo – Premiering January, 2024
- What If…? Season 2 – Premiering Winter 2023
- Agatha: Darkhold Diaries – Premiering Fall 2024
Beyond Phase Five:
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year – 2024
- Marvel Zombies – 2024
- Daredevil: Born Again – TBA
- Ironheart – TBA
- Untitled Wakanda series – TBA
- Spider-Man: Sophomore Year – TBA
- Wonder Man – TBA
- Untitled Nova series – TBA
- Vision Quest – TBA
- What If…? Season 3 – TBA
Marvel Disney Plus Shows in Chronological Order
All of Marvel’s live-action Disney Plus shows thus far take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but with the introduction of time travel and multiverses, it can be a bit tricky to figure out the exact chronological order.
A peak example of how tricky the timeline is getting, Loki is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but picks up with the alt-Loki who got his hands on the tesseract and escaped. That means Loki technically picks up back in 2012 after The Avengers’ Battle of New York. However, once the TVA gets involved Loki takes place at multiple points in the timeline, from the distant past to the near future, and indeed, outside time itself when within the walls of the TVA.
Despite the illusion of taking place in multiple eras, WandaVision’s timeline is actually much more clean cut. The series takes place very soon after the events of Avengers: Endgame, in the year 2023. Through the various experiences of the characters, the series takes us from the moment that the blipped returned through about a month later. That means the series is set after Endgame but before Spider-Man: Far From Home, which takes place about eight months after the end of Endgame.
3. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Likewise, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier also takes place in 2023, between Endgame and Far From Home, but a bit later than WandaVision. When we spoke with director Kari Skogland, she revealed that the series is set about six months after the events of Endgame.
4. Marvel’s What If…?
Set within various alternate timelines of the multiverse, the animated series Marvel’s What If…? isn’t exactly set within the established timeline of the MCU, but beside it, ranging from the events of Captain America: The First Avenger to Guardians of the Galaxy and more.
5. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
This is tricky because even though She-Hulk: Attorney at Law came out after Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, its timeline is a little screwy. The story appears to be set in the summer of 2024, with a possible overlap with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The only thing about the show’s setting that is certainly fixed is that it’s after Endgame and possibly before No Way Home (which honestly isn’t a lot of help). However, considering the content and the fact that the only other MCU show it really connects to is the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again, you could watch the series after Ms. Marvel and still have no real issue figuring out the interconnected story.
Set firmly in the holiday season of 2024, Hawkeye takes place sometime after Endgame. Clint’s family is un-blipped and enjoying their time in the city. Theoretically this timeline should actually line up with Spider-Man No Way Home, and while there is no crossover, both projects do feature characters from the Daredevil series, with Charlie Cox appearing in Spider-Man and Vincent D’Onofrio appearing in Hawkeye.
7. Moon Knight
We can surmise that the events of Moon Knight take place after Hawkeye, and since it doesn’t look that cold in London, it is likely past the Winter season. The series takes place sometime in 2025.
8. Ms. Marvel
It’s safe to assume that Ms. Marvel comes after Moon Knight, but more importantly, it capitalizes on the fandom around the superheroes in-universe post-Endgame. There are more than enough references to the big fight to prove it, and you can see signs of it all around the Avengers Con that Kamala attends. It’s unclear what year Ms. Marvel takes place, but it’s likely sometime in 2025.
9. Werewolf by Night
Marvel’s first-ever special presentation, Werewolf by Night is a pretty self-contained story, so you can honestly place it anywhere on the timeline without any issues. However, for all intents and purposes, it does seem like the story is taking place after the events of Ms. Marvel so it’s probably best if you watch the special after all the other Phase Four shows that came before it.
10. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
This one’s a lot easier to place as Marvel has made it pretty clear The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special takes place after Werewolf by Night. Like the previous special, this one is also pretty self-contained, though it is (as you might have guessed) set around Christmastime.
Where to Watch the Marvel Movies Online
The following Marvel movies are all currently available to stream on Disney+:
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Marvel’s The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Black Panther
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Captain Marvel
- Avengers: Endgame
- Black Widow
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Not on Disney+
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (Starz)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (Starz)
Therese Lacson, Remus Noronha, and Michael Thomas also contributed to this article.