The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to become the biggest thing in entertainment, and some sixteen (almost seventeen) films later, it's sometimes hard to fully comprehend how far we've come.
Take a trip down memory lane by checking out the first theatrical posters for every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, from Iron Man to Black Panther!
This poster for Iron Man is the one that kicked off the entire MCU - as well as shaping the mold for a lot of the MCU movie posters that would follow.
The stacked design of photoshopped character images looks pretty good in this initial poster - but the quality definitely waned in later one-sheets.prevnext
The Incredible Hulk
This poster, like the movie it represents, is an outlier. It's a design that's meant as a throwback to the classic Incredible Hulk TV series, but lacks the grandeur and splendor of a now-traditional MCU one-sheet.
Just one more aspect of The Incredible Hulk that has been swept under the rug of the MCU.prevnext
Iron Man 2
This is when the MCU formula really began to lock into place.
Of course, having the villain in the foreground was an early design aspect that would later be altered (putting the villain in the background), but the shoddy photoshop was beginning to show.prevnext
As you can see, by the time that 2011 came around, Phase I of the MCU was in full swing, and Thor's theatrical poster reveals that the gameplan was taking hold.prevnext
Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel's first throwback story got a standard poster.
However, most fans would probably agree: The flames are a bit of overkill. With the exception of that one WWII montage, The First Avenger didn't even really have that many explosions. An odd choice.prevnext
Obviously the game had to change when The Avengers came around, as the film brought together the MCU's biggest solo franchise heroes into one place.
There is no real overriding design to this one-sheet - it's just all the heroes of The Avengers, positioned and scaled according to their respective popularity. Iron Man and Thor are clearly the biggest and most prominent - as were their franchises at the time.prevnext
Iron Man 3
In the beginning of Phase II, Marvel Studios had gotten almost too comfortable with its own formula, which would lead to a new set of problems.
However, given the departures that Iron Man 3 director Shane Black took with his film, it's almost ironic that it got such a standard poster.prevnext
Thor: The Dark World
What's there to say about Thor: The Dark World? It's pretty much one of the most forgettable movies in the MCU lineup, so it's little surprise that it got a cookie-cut and forgettable one-sheet to match.prevnext
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America 2 has almost the opposite problem than Thor 2.
The Winter Soldier was a bold departure for Marvel Studios - the moment when the rote and routine formula was abandoned, in favor of bigger stylistic risks. And yet, even with a change in stylistic approach, the film still got a rote and routine one-sheet, which barely even features the titular character.prevnext
Guardians of the Galaxy
Like Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy was a bold departure from the standard MCU movie formula - but definitely not a departure from the MCU poster formula.
Guardians does get a pass, though, thanks to the sheer colorfulness of this poster.prevnext
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
The second Avengers team-up took a more equal opportunity approach to its character heirarchy, by putting the various franchise characters on the same plane, in relatively equal sizing.
If anything, it's a sign of how far the franchise had come: The Avengers, as a team, were now big stars.prevnext
Phase II of the MCU ended with one more disappointing stacked design, photoshopped, one-sheet.
Of course, unlike its predecessors in Phase II, Ant-Man wasn't a stylistic departure, it was just another standard MCU origin movie. So in this case the one-sheet design fits.prevnext
Captain America: Civil War
Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been all about diversity, in every sense of the word. That includes a new approach to the posters, and Captain America 3 kicked off that new era.
This poster was pretty easy to nail: put a bunch of MCU superheroes on opposing sides, getting ready for a major battle. Films like Harry Potter 7 and Batman v Superman contextualized their big rivalries with similar visual designs - and it works.prevnext
Doctor Strange was all about visual presentation, and the film's ambitiously psychedelic concepts of multiverse theory and magic are captured well in this initial one-sheet.
It's also the only time since The Incredible Hulk that the hero has gotten to occupy the poster all on his own.prevnext
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
If you think Guardians of the Galaxy went for a colorful approach with its first theatrical poster - get a load of how the poster design team upped the ante with this one-sheet for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2!prev