Avengers, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange… It’s not easy to find out in the apparent confusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), you can keep track of the many Marvel films and Marvel series. In over In ten years, mastermind Kevin Feige has made almost 30 films, and also in 2023 and the following years come again Numerous new Marvel films in the cinema and series in the cinema Streaming offered from Disney+.

Marvel movies and series by MCU phases

The Marvel Cinematic Universe provides a certain overview right from the start by dividing its films and series into so-called phases. There are currently 6 of them, which are clocked until 2025. It should be noted that the phases have nothing to do with the chronological order. If, for example, we take parts of “Captain America” and the first “Thor” film as a comparison, they take place before Strategic Scientific Research (SSR for short).

Instead, the phases are based on an overarching theme and/or introduce superheroes who meet or work together later in the phase to fight a greater evil. The first three phases are therefore also known as the “Infinity Saga”, as it was largely about the Infinity Stones and Thanos as an overpowering opponent. The other three phases, on the other hand, are referred to as the “Multiverse Saga”, as they are all about the multiverse, the “Secret Wars” and Kang as the new villain.

  1. MCU: Phase 1
  2. MCU: Phase 2
  3. MCU: Phase 3
  4. MCU: Phase 4
  5. MCU: Phase 5
  6. MCU: Phase 6

MCU: Phase 1

The beginning was still a risk in 2008: Iron Man was more of a hero from Marvel’s second row at the time. Actor Robert Downey Jr. was also anything but at the peak of his career at the time. But the success of the first “Iron Man” movie turned the MCU’s lights green.

The plan was as simple as it was ingenious: seemingly independent films were connected by an overarching storyline. And above all, it was only gradually that the individual heroes were introduced and made known, to then unleash them together on the cinema audience.

After five solo films about four heroes, the first mega-event came in 2012: the premiere of the hero troupe called Avengers. The preparation through the solo films paid off: “Marvel’s The Avengers” was able to stay in the worldwide top 5 of the most successful films of all time for years.

·         Iron Man The Incredible Hulk

·         Iron Man 2

·         Thor

·         Captain America: The First Avenger

·         Marvel’s The Avengers

MCU: Phase 2

After the Avengers established themselves at the box office, Marvel took the next big risk with “Guardians of the Galaxy” in Phase 2. The Guardians were virtually unknown in the mainstream and the film seemed to be detached from the Avengers films. However, Chris Pratt’s squad was convincing even without obvious Avenger’s help.

  1. Iron Man 3
  2. Thor: The Dark Kingdom
  3. The Return of the First Avenger
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  6. Ant-Man

Unofficially, seasons 1 and 2 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, season 1 of “Marvel’s Agent Carter” and season 1 of “Marvel’s Daredevil” are also part of MCU Phase 2.

MCU: Phase 3

With “Ant-Man” Phase 2 came to an end. Phase 3 began immediately afterward. For legal reasons, Spider-Man was not allowed to star in the MCU for a long time (we are still waiting for the X-Men today). That finally changed with “Civil War”: The agreement between Disney and Sony was a milestone since then Spidey has been allowed to swing through the MCU. Another new one: Ant-Man had to deal with an Avenger in his first appearance, but the film showed that Marvel wants to and can further expand the MCU.

Black Panther also made his first appearance in “Civil War”. That didn’t stop him from breaking almost all Marvel records with his first solo film, which is why a new hero sat on the Marvel throne just in time for “Infinity War”, against whom the mega-event had to be measured. But “Infinity War” is more than just another Avengers movie: For ten long years, the complex and extensive storyline around the Infinity Stones ran towards this great climax that fans had been eagerly waiting for!

After “Avengers: Infinity War” left non-comic book readers shocked, an end credits scene announced the next important heroine: Captain Marvel is so strong that she could turn the whole MCU upside down. But “Ant-Man and the Wasp” also contained important information that was to be decisive for the grand Thanos finale in “Avengers: Endgame”.

  1. A little digression: “Captain Marvel” – The MCU Exception
  2. The First Avenger: Civil War Doctor Strange
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  5. Thor: Day of Decision
  6. Black Panther
  7. Avengers: Infinity War
  8. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  9. Captain Marvel
  10. Avengers: Endgame
  11. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Like Phase 2, Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unofficially completed by various series. Accordingly, season 3 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, season 2 of “Marvel’s Agent Carter”, season 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil” and the first seasons of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and “Marvel’s Luke Cage” belong to phase 3.

MCU: Phase 4

After “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, the fourth phase of the MCU was finally ushered in. This was to run for two years and include both theatrical films and series on Disney’s streaming service Disney+. If you wanted to stay up to date, you had to take out a subscription.

A little digression: New generation: The Young Avengers

Marvel movies in Phase 4:

MCU: Phase 5

At Comic-Con in San Diego, Kevin Feige recently revealed what the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will bring us. In addition to a short detour into Phase 6, the Marvel boss also staked out the entire Phase 5 in its full glory.

Marvel movies in Phase 5:

  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  3. The MarvelsBlade
  4. Captain America: New World Order
  5. Thunderbolts

Marvel series in phase 5:

  1. Secret Invasion
  2. Echo
  3. Loki (Staffel 2)
  4. Ironheart
  5. Agatha: Coven of Chaos
  6. Daredevil: Born Again
  7. Armor Wars

Spider-Man: Freshman Year

It gets complicated at the latest about Sony: Since the studio still owns the main rights to the Spider-Man comics, Sony continues to produce superhero films. Unofficially, the following films are also part of the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far no one has commented on whether the films are part of the MCU):

MCU: Phase 6

Phase 6 marks the end of the second major era in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Similar to the end of Phase 3, which concluded with the big event two-parter “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”, Phase 6 will also end with a bang. In the meantime, we also know what the new, three-season story arc is called: The Marvel Infinity Saga is followed by the Marvel Multiverse Saga. And it has it all!

Known so far:

Marvel movies and series by release

Is the division into individual phases more likely to confuse? Then we have listed all the films and series of the MCU here again in the order in which they got into the cinema and the Disney+ program.

•       Iron Man (2008)

•       The Incredible Hulk (2008)

•       Iron Man 2 (2010)

•       Thor (2011)

•       Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

•       Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

•       Iron Man 3 (2013)

•       Thor: The Dark Kingdom (2013)

•       The Return of the First Avenger (2014)

•       Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

•       Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

•       Ant-Man (2015)

•       The First Avenger: Civil War (2016)

•       Doctor Strange (2016)

•       Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

•       Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

•       Thor: Judgment Day (2017)

•       Black Panther (2018)

•       Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

•       Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

•       Captain Marvel (2019)

•       Avengers: Endgame (2019)

•       Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

•       WandaVision (2021 on Disney+)

•       The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021 on Disney+)

•       Loki (on Disney+ since 2021)

•       What If…? (since 2021 on Disney+)

•       Black Widow (2021)

•       Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

•       Eternals (2021)

•       Hawkeye (2021 on Disney+)

•       Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

•       Moon Knight (2022 on Disney+)

•       Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

•       Ms. Marvel (2022 on Disney+)

•       Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

•       I’m Groot (on Disney+ since 2022)

•       She-Hulk: The Attorney at Law (on Disney+ since 2022)

•       Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

•       Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

•       Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

•       Secret Invasion (2023 on Disney+)

•       Echo (coming to Disney+ in 2023)

•       The Marvels (from 2023)

•       Blade (from 2023)

•       Ironheart (coming to Disney+ in 2023)

•       Agatha: House of Harkness (coming to Disney+ in 2023)

•       Daredevil: Born Again (from 2023 on Disney+)

•       Captain America: New World Order (from 2023)

•       Thunderbolts (from 2023)

•       The Fantastic Four (from 2024)

•       Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (from 2025)

•       Avengers: Secret Wars (from 2025)

•       Deadpool 3 (TBA)

•       Armor Wars (TBA)

•       Spider-Man: Freshman Year (TBA)

•       Marvel Zombies (TBA)

Marvel movies and series in chronological order

Recognize every cross-reference and dare to try to understand the overall story with all its details. This is especially interesting for die-hard Marvel fans – they should watch the Marvel movies by narrated time and not by year of production:

1.     Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

2.     Captain Marvel (2019)

3.     Iron Man (2008)

4.     The Incredible Hulk (2008)

5.     Iron Man 2 (2010)

6.     Thor (2011)

7.     Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

8.     Loki (on Disney+ since 2021)

9.     Iron Man 3 (2013)

10.   Thor: The Dark Kingdom (2013)

11.   The Return of the First Avenger (2014)

12.   Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

13.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

14.   Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

15.   Ant-Man (2015)

16.   The First Avenger: Civil War (2016)

17.   Black Widow (2020)

18.   Black Panther (2018)

19.   Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

20.   Doctor Strange (2016)

21.   Thor: Judgment Day (2017)

22.   Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

23.   Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

24.   Avengers: Endgame (2019)

25.   Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

26.   Eternals (2021)

27.   She-Hulk: The Attorney at Law (on Disney+ since 2022)

28.   Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

29.   Hawkeye (2021 on Disney+)

30.   Moon Knight (on Disney+ since 2022)

31.   Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

32.   Ms. Marvel (on Disney+ since 2022)

33.   Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

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