Marvel Studios has produced more than a decade of media within a shared universe, crafting a single timeline that includes 19 movies and 17 seasons of television so far. It’s an incredible amount to watch made even more impressive by the coherent story they tell when joined together. However, it can be difficult to know exactly what order everything goes in. That’s why we have sat down and assembled a chronological watch order for every Marvel Studios production to date, as well as some upcoming films.
This list has been assembled into seven distinct “Ages” that separates movies and shows into similar groups based on timing and tone from the very first superhero adventures to the most recent installments. If your goal is to watch the complete Marvel universe evolve right up until the final moments of Avengers: Infinity War, then this is your comprehensive guide.
A few notes on method: In general the movies and shows occur in chronological order based on their release date, but with some notable exceptions. Whenever there is no reference to the events of surrounding stories, we accepted Marvel Studios’ trend of releasing stories in chronological order as a baseline rule. However, whenever events occur within a specific context or frame of another film, we adjusted their location accordingly. We have also broken up seasons of television whenever they are interrupted by the events of another story. Finally, each film and show has been ranked according to its primary timeline. Whenever the majority of a story takes place, excluding flashbacks and other similar storytelling devices, that is when it falls. The result should be the most seamless chronological viewing order possible. So enjoy!
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (July 2011)
2. Peggy Carter (Season 1) (January - February 2015)
3. Peggy Carter (Season 2) (January - March 2016)
4. Captain Marvel (March 2019)
Notes: The Golden Age contains all of the events prior to the start of the modern timeline with Iron Man. We chose to include Captain Marvel in this list as reports from the set indicate the majority of the film will take place in the 1990s, setting it far before the events of Iron Man.
5. Iron Man (May 2008)
6. The Incredible Hulk (June 2008)
7. Iron Man 2 (May 2010)
8. Thor (May 2011)
9. The Avengers (May 2012)
Notes: The Silver Age completes the first phase of Marvel Studios films. It also completes the eras that are relatively simple, with all movies falling into chronological order and no television series, besides Peggy Carter, to speak of. After The Avengers things quickly become busier.
10. Iron Man 3 (May 2013)
11. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 1, Ep. 1-7) (September - November 2013)
12. Thor: The Dark World (November 2013)
13. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 1, Ep. 8-15) (November 2013 - March 2014)
14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014)
15. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 1, Ep. 16-22) (April - May 2014)
16. Guardians of the Galaxy (August 2014)
17. Daredevil (Season 1) (April 2015)
Notes: The Age of Heroes represents the opening up of the Marvel universe with many of the main characters stories being continued, while the first sets of new teams and heroes emerge. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being separated into three distinct units by the events of Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it makes clear how much the story is expanding.
18. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 2, Ep. 1-19) (September 2014 - April 2015)
19. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015)
20. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 2, Ep. 20-22) (May 2015)
21. Ant-Man (July 2015)
22. Jessica Jones (Season 1) (November 2015)
23. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3, Ep. 1-10) (September - December 2015)
24. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 2017)
Notes: The Age of Ultron continues the trends found in the age of heroes with more heroes being introduced in both movies and television. Every single installment on this list represents some sort of growth, with no better example than Avengers: Age of Ultron, which introduced fans to The Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is also included due to its close proximity to the original, complete with a very young Groot who needs plenty of time to grow up before very recent events.
25. Daredevil (Season 2) (March 2016)
26. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3, Ep. 11-19) (March - May 2016)
27. Captain America: Civil War (May 2016)
28. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3, Ep. 20-22) (May 2016)
29. Black Panther (February 2018)
30. Luke Cage (Season 1) (September 2016)
Notes: The events of Captain America: Civil War define the Dark Age, as heroes are split in a fashion that has lasted all of the way through Avengers: Infinity War. There’s also plenty of tragedy to be found in Daredevil, Black Panther, and other television series first released throughout 2016.
31. Doctor Strange (November 2016)
32. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4, Ep. 1-15) (September 2016 - February 2017)
33. Iron Fist (Season 1) (March 2017)
34. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4, Ep. 16-22) (April - May 2017)
35. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 2017)
36. The Defenders (Season 1) (August 2017)
37. Inhumans (Season 1) (September - November 2017)
Notes: A new wave of heroes was introduced in their own movies and series following the rift of Civil War. Every entry during this period, except the continuing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., represents an important introduction for the characters who will continue the Marvel traditions after Iron Man and other original Avengers leave the franchise.
38. The Punisher (Season 1) (November 2017)
39. The Runaways (Season 1) (November 2017 - January 2018)
40. Jessica Jones (Season 2) (March 2018)
41. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 5) (December 2017 - May 2018)
42. Ant-Man and The Wasp (July 2018)
43. Thor: Ragnarok (November 2017)
44. Avengers: Infinity War (April 2018)
Notes: The Infinite Age primarily reflects the build to Avengers: Infinity War. As the universe continues to grow on television, every event on the big and small screen seems to be defined as coming before Thanos’ act of universal genocide. That is also why we’ve grouped Ant-Man and The Wasp as coming before the events of both Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War, as it seems apparent that most of humanity is still alive in trailers for the film.
Part of what makes building a chronology like this so exciting though is its need to be continually updated. By the end of this week, the first season of Cloak & Dagger will have premiered, and likely warrant inclusion in The Infinite Age. Beyond that there is a whole new age of films and series to be defined and categorized. We already know a fourth Avengers movies is on its way, alongside new installments for Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. On television there are new series for Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist all in various stages of production. Even with so much history already created, it’s apparent that Marvel Studios is far from being finished.