The Complete MCU Timeline 2021

25 Aug 2021

The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps on growing and growing, and if you like to watch your cinematic universes in order, it can be hard to know where to start!

The MCU timeline depends on what you watch

First, you need to decide what you want to watch in the MCU timeline. Whether you want to watch the Marvel movies in order, or whether you want to watch the TV shows too. And then, which TV shows should you include in your marvel movies watch order? Who’s ready for a movie marathon?

According to James Gunn, (the writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, along with other contributions to the MCU), any TV show produced before WandaVision isn’t canon. On the other side, the emerging multiverse means that anything officially Marvel can be canon, no matter who produced it.

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The complete MCU timeline: Marvel movies & tv shows in order

As of mid-2021, here is a complete list of all Marvel movies in order and Marvel TV shows in order for a comprehensive Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline.

Along with the Marvel films and shows in this list, there are some Marvel one-shots. These are short films (typically no more than 15 minutes), that add a bit of context. They are by no means essential watching, but they can be fun to check out.

Movies are bolded and anything considered non-essential is marked with an asterisk.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  2. Agent Carter (seasons 1 and 2)*
  3. Captain Marvel (2019)
  4. Iron Man (2008)
  5. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  6. The Incredible Hulk (2008)*
  7. Thor (2011)
  8. The Avengers (2012)
  9. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  10. Thor: The Dark World (2013) Can be swapped with the above, they don’t interact
  11. Agents of Shield (season 1, up to episode 16) *
  12. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  13. Agents of Shield (end of season 1) *
  14. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – no interaction with the rest of the canon so far
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017) – set months after 1 and still no interaction
  16. Daredevil (season 1) *
  17. Jessica Jones (season 1) *
  18. Agents of Shield (Season 2, up to episode 19) *
  19. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  20. Agents of Shield (end of season 2) *
  21. Daredevil (Season 2) *
  22. Luke Cage (season 1) *
  23. Ant-Man (2015)
  24. Agents of Shield (season 3, up to episode 19) *
  25. Iron Fist (season 1)*
  26. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  27. Agents of Shield (end of season 3) *
  28. The Defenders (season 1) *
  29. Black Widow (2021) – occurs immediately after Civil war
  30. Black Panther (2018) – follows the events of Civil War
  31. Doctor Strange (2016)
  32. Agents of Shield (season 4) *
  33. Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)
  34. Thor: Ragnarök (2017)
  35. Inhumans (season 1) *
  36. The Punisher (season 1) *
  37. Runaways (season 1) *
  38. Jessica Jones (season 2) *
  39. Agents of Shield (season 5, up to episode 18) *
  40. Cloak and Dagger (seasons 1 and 2) *
  41. Like Cage (season 2) *
  42. Iron Fist (season 2) *
  43. Daredevil (season 3) *
  44. Runaways (season 2) *
  45. The Punisher (season 2) *
  46. Jessica Jones (season 3) *
  47. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  48. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  49. Agents of Shield (end of season 5) *
  50. Agents of Shield (seasons 6 and 7) *
  51. Runaways (season 3) *
  52. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  53. WandaVision (season 1)
  54. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (season 1)
  55. Spider-man: Far from Home (2019)
  56. Loki (season 1)
  57. What if… (season 1) *
  58. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  59. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  60. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Marvel Avengers
Image Credit: Disney/Marvel

What if I just want to watch the Avengers movies in order?

The entire MCU is not a shortlist, and if you’re watching on the go, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of mobile data ready. However, if you don’t want to stray into TV land and want to see all the avengers in the major films of the franchise, you have a much shorter watch ahead of you.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  2. Captain Marvel (2019)
  3. Iron Man (2008)
  4. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)*
  6. Thor (2011)
  7. The Avengers (2012)
  8. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  9. Thor: The Dark World (2013) Can be swapped with the above, they don’t interact
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
  13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  14. Ant-Man (2015)
  15. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  16. Black Widow (2021)
  17. Black Panther (2018)
  18. Doctor Strange (2016)
  19. Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)
  20. Thor: Ragnarök (2017)
  21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  22. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  23. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  24. Spider-man: Far from Home (2019)
  25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  26. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  27. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Where to watch the MCU in chronological order?

Most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe content is on Disney+. If you subscribe to the belief that no TV show before WandaVision is canon, then all of the MCU is on Disney+. However, the shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all Netflix original shows, so you can only watch them there

Going forward, it’s likely that all Marvel movies and TV shows will be on Disney+. So far, that’s where Marvel Phase One to Four content has been released, and where we expect Marvel Phase Five content to arrive.

Wanda Vision Show
Image Credit: Disney - Wanda Vision

What’s Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4 of the MCU?

Marvel and Disney have organised the Marvel Cinematic Universe into phases. Each phase is made up of several movies, and those movies combine to create a larger story arc for each phase.

Marvel Phase One

Phase One includes any films from 2008 to 2012.

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Avengers
Marvel Phase Two

The MCU phase two runs from 2013 to 2015.

  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
Marvel Phase Three

Phase three MCU continues from 2016 to 2019.

  • 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
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
Loki Marvel
Image Credit: Loki - Marvel
Marvel Phase Four

The MCU phase four is the phase we’re currently in. It started in 2020, and it’s unclear when it will end and when Marvel phase five will take over for the upcoming Marvel movies. As of mid-2021, we only have a few instalments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe phase four.

  • WandaVision
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  • Loki
  • Black Widow
  • What If...?
  • Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Where to start with the MCU timeline?

While a lot of the stories feed flow into each other and are informed by the movies and shows that were released earlier, you can watch whatever Marvel movie or show you like.

There might be some references that don’t make sense or some plot lines that don’t mean as much to an audience that hasn’t seen the earlier films in the Marvel movies in chronological order. But if you’re fine with that, then jump in wherever you like!