Whether you’re a long-time fan of Marvel Universe characters or are just getting acquainted with them, you can enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe right at home thanks to streaming services like Disney+. The first time that Marvel characters began to exist in the same world occurred back in 1940 with the release of Marvel Comics #7. Over the decades, as characters began to leap from the page to the screen, brilliant Marvel writers and producers like Stan Lee transformed their two-dimensional print creations into the legendary cinematic icons we know today. So, hold onto your popcorn and get ready to use our helpful guide to watch Marvel films and television shows in chronological order.
What Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Marvel Universe, Cinematic Universe, Marvel Multiverse–what’s it all mean? Simply put, it’s a shared universe where Marvel films and television productions are set. Superheroes and supervillains converge and even interact in the Marvel Universe. It’s here that Spiderman battles Green Goblin. It’s also where the likes of Wolverine, Captain America, Black Panther, and Iron Man show up and team up to tackle arch-rivals like Loki, Doctor Doom, Red Skull, and Venom. After watching the nearly 30 films and additional TV shows, you’ll gain a superior understanding of the Marvel Multiverse and all of its inhabitants.
How Many Marvel Movies and Shows Are There?
To date, there are 27 Marvel Universe films and 4 Disney+ TV shows you can stream. However, expect those numbers to grow. Just when you might think interest in the Multiverse is fading, a film like Spiderman: No Way Home shows up to wow kids and adults alike. The MCU has also inspired video games and short films. What began on the printed page back in the 1930s and 40s is now captivating film and TV audiences.
Streaming Services for Viewing the MCU
Disney+ offers streaming access to the majority of MCU films and television shows. Moreover, Disney also has plans to produce more MCU shows, so obtaining a subscription may be the most cost-effective way to cultivate your Marvel interest. You can also rent and stream the films on Amazon and iTunes. However, keep in mind that the television series have grown in importance and are becoming integral aspects of the evolving Marvel Universe.
Chronological Order of MCU Movies and Television Shows
When streaming MCU productions, you have some options. You can watch them according to their chronological release dates, which began back in 2008, or you can watch them as they occur chronologically within the Multiverse. That’s a bit more complex, so we’ll stick with the release date order, which is easy to follow by year. If you want to change up the viewing order for a more immersive MCU experience, you can find an alternate chronological listing here.
Release Date Order of MCU Films and Shows:
- Iron Man, 2008
- The Incredible Hulk, 2008
- Iron Man 2, 2010
- Thor, 2011
- Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011
- The Avengers, 2012
- Iron Man 3, 2013
- Thor: The Dark World, 2013
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014
- Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014
- Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2015
- Ant-Man, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War, 2016
- Doctor Strange, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2, 2017
- Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok, 2017
- Black Panther, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: 2018
- Captain Marvel, 2019
- Avengers: Endgame, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far from Home, 2019
- WandaVision (Disney+ series)
- Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+ series)
- Loki: Season 1 (Disney+ series)
- Black Widow, 2021
- What If? (Disney+ series)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 2021
- Eternals, 2021
- Hawkeye (Disney+ series)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2021
Fun Facts about the MCU
Before you line up your streaming service and gather your snacks, here are a few fun MCU facts and trivia to enjoy!
- The phrase “I love you, 3,000” appears in Avengers: Endgame, but the line was originally said by one of Robert Downey Jr’s (who plays Iron Man) own kids. He told the directors, and they liked the phrase so much they added it to the film.
- Black Panther’s infamous war rhinos were actually played by large horses.
- During the 1970s, Lou Ferrigno played the Hulk on the television series, The Incredible Hulk. He appears as a security professional in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk.
- It’s hard to imagine anyone but Chris Evans playing the role of Captain America, but the hesitant actor actually turned the role down three times before finally accepting.
- Iron Man, the film that launched the MCU, didn’t technically have a script–only an outline–when filming began. The cast did quite a bit of improvising to fill in the dialogue.
- In order to prepare for the role of Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner actually took archery training with an Olympic archer.
- Tom Holland found out along that he got the role of Spiderman along with everyone else–in an Instagram post!
How to Enjoy Watching Marvel Movies and TV Shows at Home
Now that you know where to stream them and in what order to watch, you can focus on getting your home ‘into the mood’ to enhance your MCU viewing experience. If you’re watching with friends or family members–so much the better! You can turn your viewing event into a weekend highlight for you all to enjoy. Use these tips to create a fun viewing experience for everyone:
Choose the Perfect Viewing Time
Consider your schedule when deciding when to host your Marvel cinematic viewing events. Thursday evenings? Saturday afternoons? Find out when your viewing partners are free so you can fill in a calendar with watch dates and times. Of course, if you have some time off or are snowed in, you can always binge-watch to your heart’s content. Your friends and family may not be up for an MCU binge, but there’s no reason you can’t devote all your free time to the Avengers and friends!
Setting Up your Home Movie Theatre
Consider where you’d most like to watch the MCU films. A big-screen television makes for exciting viewing. Do you have a spare room you can turn into a home theatre room? Think about transforming your family room into a space that’s ideal for movie-watching with friends and family. Once your TV is in place, consider seating. A sectional sofa, recliners, or even oversized pillows on the floor can make for a comfortable movie-watching experience. Add some TV trays so that there are places to set snacks and drinks. Be sure to keep some essential items on hand, so no one has to leave the room to fetch Kleenex, napkins, straws, or throw blankets.
Prep the Room for Sound
Consider setting up surround sound in your home theatre center to create a true movie-going experience. While the equipment requires some investment, just consider that you’ll enjoy it long after you complete the MCU films and shows. It can enhance all your home movie nights. If you aren’t excited at the prospect of installing a sound system yourself, you can opt for installation services when making your purchase.
Snacks are the bedrock of a movie-going experience, so be sure to have plenty of classic theatre snacks to accompany your MCU movie nights. Of course, you can create a custom snack bar that suits your own preferences. If you’re inviting guests, you might want to wow them with a full buffet of treats that include:
- Soft pretzels
- Hot dogs
- Pizza rolls
- Buttered popcorn
- Fresh fruit
- Candy (i.e. gummy bears, licorice, Skittles, Junior Mints, etc.)
- Ice cream treats
Don’t forget to have beverages on hand, including water, soda pop, and juice.
If you’re planning to host get-togethers, why not create a thematic snack cart to accompany films? You can serve lime sherbet punch to accompany The Incredible Hulk and red, white, and blue popcorn balls for Captain America.
Using Streaming Services
You can stream some films without a subscription. You’ll simply pay a one-time rental fee that allows you to watch the film within 24 hours. You also have the option to purchase the digital film to keep in your digital home library. If you opt for a subscription to Amazon or Disney+, you’ll pay a monthly fee and can watch the films and shows at your leisure.
Are you ready to enter the MCU? Use this guide to create your home viewing MCU experience and find out why Marvel is forging new territory in its quest to entertain new generations of superhero fans. By the time you complete the list featured here, there may be a brand new Marvel release waiting for you!