The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the first (long-term) successful attempt to create and stick to a unified continuity between multiple films and genres under the banner of a single franchise: To, in effect, create an entire ever-expanding bank of films, television series, streaming series and short-subjects that not only tell their own stories but fit together as part of a singular ongoing story. To the degree that anything undertaken by a multibillion dollar subsidiary of the Disney Corporation can be called an “experiment,” the MCU certainly qualifies as just about the riskiest sort – especially since the success or failure of each new production is often seen as a referendum on the whole enterprise.

Thus far, at least according to the box-office, the experiment has been a success in terms of getting audiences onboard and invested in the ongoing Cinematic Universe storyline itself. But all those connections can be hard for even the most dedicated fan to keep track of – especially since the individual films and shows often feature flashbacks, descriptions of past events and other references to events outside of the otherwise linear “one after the other” nature of each film (or TV episode).

Sure, it’s easy to remember that Captain America: The First Avenger happens in World War II, well before all the other films. But other films like Ant-Man, Guardians of The Galaxy and The Incredible Hulk featured scenes set in the 70s, 80s and 90s – when did those stories happen, in regard to each other? Was Peter Quill abducted before Hank Pym cut his ties with S.H.I.E.L.D, or after? What were the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doing during the destruction of their own organization in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? What childhood connection do Daredevil and Daisy Johnson have in common? It’s a lot to keep track of.

One solution: A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Not simply a breakdown of which films to watch in which order, but rather a point-by-point narrative of the known significant events of the Marvel story as we know it so far, along with which film/episode/short each occurred in. Not necessarily a stringent attempt to recap every step taken by every character across every minute of screen time, nor to “work out” unknowable details like the exact date and time of each event; this is an overview – a revisitation of what happened when and why it mattered to what came next. An opportunity for both hardcore fans and casual viewers looking to catch up before the next big blockbuster, in order to view the MCU as a single linear story from start to finish (or, at least, wherever it most recently paused to catch its breath.)

With that in mind, we may as well start at The Beginning…

GENESIS (Creation of The Universe and The Infinity Stones)

Thors Vision of the Infinity Stones A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

At “the dawn of recorded time,” the explosive cosmic event known as The Big Bang creates the known universe. At this same moment, six previously-existing singularities are compressed by unknown forces into tiny concentrated ingots of near-immeasurable power later called The Infinity Stones, each imbued with command over specific cosmic force: Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Time and Soul. At one point wielded as tools (and weaponry) of powerful beings called Celestials, they are eventually scattered across the universe and become sought after by all manner of powerful beings for eons. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

An unnamed Celestial is beheaded during an unknown conflict in deep space. It’s head (roughly the size of a small moon) becomes fixed in space near the vicinity of what will one day be The Nova Empire. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

Over time, at least two of the Infinity Stones are given new physical forms: The Space Stone becomes an energy cube known as The Tesseract, while the Reality Stone becomes a seemingly-sentient red liquid known as The Aether. (Thor: The Dark World)

The Infinity Stones figure prominently in conflict among the mortal races that begin to populate the young universe. A war is fought between The Asgardians (led by King Bor) and the Dark Elves (led by Malekith) for control of The Aether, which is ultimately won by Asgard. The Aether is sealed in a pocket-dimension whose access-point is hidden on the planet eventually to be named Earth. (Thor: The Dark World.)

PRE-HISTORY (Prior to Known Human History)

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The Kree and the united planets of the Nova Empire, two of the earliest alien civilizations to achieve intergalactic travel, begin an ongoing military conflict that will last for millennia. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

The skull of the beheaded Celestial near the Nova Empire is colonized by miners looking to extract its precious mineral/biological deposits, evolving over time into a ramshackle hub of underground commerce called “Knowhere.” (Guardians of The Galaxy.)

For reasons yet to be revealed, the otherwise unremarkable planet Earth (aka “Midgard” in Asgardian cosmology) becomes a focal point for alien interference as its dominant species, humanity, takes its first steps toward higher-consciousness. The Kree establish an outpost on prehistoric Earth and conduct genetic-engineering experiments on a population of early humans, adding Kree DNA to their genetic code and creating a separate strain of humanity gifted with a variety of exceptional individual powers that manifest when exposed to a rare (on Earth) element called Terrigen. Eventually, these lines of altered-humans come to call themselves “Inhumans.” (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Though the Kree intend to use The Inhumans as soldiers, they instead rebel against their creators. Alveus, a powerful Inhuman bred to be a general whose body is comprised of a hive-mind of parasites which he can spread in order to mind-control fellow Inhumans, leads the rebellion to drive the Kree from Earth – but is revealed himself to be a dangerous megalomaniac with designs on world conquest and a penchant for devouring “normal” humans to sustain himself. Using a Kree relic called The Monolith, a large stone which can temporarily liquefy into a makeshift black hole, the other Inhumans banish Alveus (now called “Hive,” to the far-off planet Maveth. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

Unknown to the Inhumans who exiled him, Hive finds nine warring civilizations on Maveth and gradually wipes them out in order to feed himself. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

The remaining Inhumans who have already undergone the “Terrigenesis” transformation largely go into hiding, working to hide remaining evidence of Kree presence on prehistoric Earth and conceal remaining samples of Terrigen in Obelisks, which transform any non-Inhuman that touches them to stone. Over time, the existence of Inhumans is largely forgotten by the rest of humanity, though some families continue to pass (increasingly vague) stories of their alien lineage down through the ages. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Seasons 1 & 2)

King Bor dies in an unspecified war and is succeeded on the throne of Asgard by his son, Odin. (Thor: The Dark World)

Between this period and his first appearances on Earth, Odin comes into possession of The Tesseract – aka The Space Stone. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

EARLY HISTORY (Ancient and Pre-Modern Earth)

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Young(er) Odin leading Asgardian troops in Tonsberg during the Asgard/Jotunheim War

With The Inhumans largely having passed into mythology, a religious cult grows among early humanity that reveres Hive (aka Alveus) as a god and seeks to bring him back to Earth from Maveth. Evolving across centuries and through hundreds of civilizations, this cult becomes a powerful shadow-organization that eventually comes to call itself HYDRA. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

The Frost Giants, an alien race hailing from the planet Jotunheim (regarded as one of the Nine Realms by Asgardian cosmology) launch an attack on Earth in the region of ancient Norway. They are repelled by an Asgardian force led by Odin in what will one day be present-day Tonsburg, who also adopts the abandoned son of the Frost Giant king, Laufey, as his own (after chasing the Frost Giants back to their homeworld and claiming their super-weapon, the Casket of Ancient Winters); naming him “Loki” and raising him as a brother to his own son, Thor – concealing his true heritage from all but his wife Frigga… including Loki himself. This turns out to not be the best idea Odin ever had. (Thor)

Asgardians (who are mortal but live for thousands of years by human counting) continue to appear on Earth frequently enough that the early Germanic cultures come to revere them as gods, with stories of their exploits forming the basis of Ancient Norse religious mythology. (Thor)

A random Asgardian stone mason, bored with his ordinary (for Asgard) life, volunteers to be a Berserker in Odin’s army for a trip to Earth. At the conclusion of his campaign, he elects to stay on – living multiple lives across the centuries on Earth as a near-immortal eventually known as “The Warrior Who Stayed,” though he does no “warrior”-like things for the most part. He hides his Berserker Staff (which grants superhuman rage-powers in humans) on Earth in pieces, which become sought-after relics. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Some time after this, Odin elects to conceal The Tesseract on Earth – it comes to be hidden in a Medieval Christian Church in the same region where the war with the Frost Giants took place. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

HYDRA reacquires The Monolith. Seeking to control its shifts from solid stone to a liquid-portal, the most powerful echelon of the cult undertake semi-regular rituals wherein lots are drawn and a “chosen” individual is sent into the portal to Maveth, ostensibly to locate and free Hive but in reality as little more than sacrifices. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

EARLY MODERNITY (The Pre-World War II Era)

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The Red Room Academy, Soviet Russia. Training facility of Dottie Underwood and Natasha Romanoff (“The Black Widow.”)

A vigilante nicknamed The Two-Gun Kid becomes famous in the American West. Details of his life are sketchy, but his exploits will eventually become well known enough in popular culture to inspire a comic book and a feature film. (Agent Carter, Season 2)

A secret society of enormously-wealthy American businessmen known publicly as The Arena Club but privately as The Council of Nine begin to manipulate power in the early 20th century United States, going so far as to order the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 and the stock market crash that touches off The Great Depression in 1929. They use symbolism and structure similar to that of pre-modern HYDRA, but connection between the two is unconfirmed. (Agent Carter, Season 2)

“Name-brand” HYDRA, at this point led by German scientist Johann Schmidt, allies itself with Hitler’s Third Reich in the guise of a Nazi “deep science” division. In reality, he is seeking to weaponize relics of alien presence on ancient Earth, presumably gleaned from HYDRA’s own extensive records. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

During this same period, the Soviet Union begins using brutal physical and psychological conditioning techniques to turn young girls into deadly assassins in a facility called The Red Room Academy. (Agent Carter, Season 2 & Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Werner Reinhardt, an ambitious young Nazi officer, is recruited into HYDRA and distinguishes himself to Schmidt as a ruthlessly-effective relic hunter. Upon locating one of the Inhuman Obelisks, he is dispatched to Asia to learn more about its origins. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Schmidt abducts and forces an Austrian scientist named Abraham Erksine to give him an experimental formula said to release the full physical potential of the human body. It works, but Schmidt undergoes a transformation that leaves him disfigured and earns him the moniker of The Red Skull. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

WORLD WAR II

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Sometime after the U.S. entry into World War II, Abraham Erskine is recruited along with brilliant young inventor/playboy Howard Stark to form The Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) with a specific focus on recreating Erskine’s human enhancement formula in order to create super-soldiers to combat Hitler’s forces. Peggy Carter, a British Special Agent, is also assigned to the project. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

Howard Stark is asked to create a stimulant to help soldiers go without sleep, but deems the result of his experiment (code name: “Midnight Oil”) to be too dangerous for military use. However, a U.S. general uses it anyway to try and give a detachment of Russian soldiers in Finnow, Germany a fighting edge against the Nazis… only to find that it instead drives those exposed to it into a murderous animalistic rage. The Russians tear each other apart in a massacre, which the Army covers up as “The Battle of Finnow.” (Agent Carter, Season 1)

The Red Skull locates and takes possession of The Tesseract, allying with a Swiss inventor named Arnim Zola to use its near-limitless power to build super-advanced weaponry that will allow HYDRA to usurp power over the Nazis and ultimately the entire world. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

Steve Rogers, a patriotic native of Brooklyn, New York, yearning to join the army but repeatedly turned down for enlistment because of his small stature and physical frailty, is chosen for the Super Soldier program after a chance encounter with Erskine. Following a successful treatment with chemicals and radiation, he gains superhuman speed, strength and reflexes – but is unable to prevent a HYDRA agent from murdering Erskine, destroying all hope of making more super-soldiers. Rogers is instead drafted into service as the propaganda mascot “Captain America.” (Captain America: The First Avenger)

While in China, Werner Reinhardt begins conducting experiments on innocent prisoners to determine the secrets of the Obelisk, ultimately killing all of them save for one: A seemingly-ordinary local woman named Jiaying gifted with superhuman self-healing powers – in other words, an Inhuman. (Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. Season 2)

While on a USO tour of Eastern Europe, Rogers learns that his best friend Bucky Barnes is among soldiers abducted by The Red Skull. He conducts a one-man rescue operation, leading to Captain America become an official part of the SSR’s covert war against HYDRA. Bucky Barnes is seemingly killed during a mission which leads to the capture of Zola. Rogers defeats The Red Skull (who is seemingly obliterated when he attempts to physically handle The Tesseract) but is unable to safely stop a HYDRA warplane loaded with explosives headed for New York City – forcing him to crash the doomsday weapon into the arctic and apparently sacrificing his own life. (Captain America: The First Avenger.)

Agent Peggy Carter, who had been developing a romance with Captain America before his death, takes up his place as field-leader of the SSR’s “Howling Commandos” unit and tracks down Werner Reinhardt, who had decamped to Austria having become the de-facto most powerful man in HYDRA following The Red Skull’s demise. Reinhardt is seized, along with his treasures – including The Obelisk and the preserved corpse of a Kree alien. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2)

Howard Stark, during one of many expeditions to find the still-missing wreckage of Red Skull’s plane and Captain America’s body, finds and takes possession of The Tesseract. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

EARLY COLD-WAR ERA

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Agent Peggy Carter in postwar NYC

Experiments to re-create Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier serum continue in the U.S. and abroad to varying degrees of non-success, often creating dangerous compounds instead. (The Incredible Hulk)

The SSR is reconfigured into a domestic counter-terrorism and investigative agency in the United States operating in New York. Peggy Carter is recruited into the agency based on her reputation, but her colleagues disrespect her and privately joke that she was hired strictly because she had been involved with the late Captain America. She is recruited to conduct a private investigation into the disappearance of several high-tech weapons prototypes by their creator – Howard Stark, who suspects the Soviet spy outfit Leviathan is behind the theft. (Agent Carter: Season 1)

Carter’s investigation (alongside Stark’s resourceful butler Edwin Jarvis) uncovers that Stark is being targeted by a Russian survivor of the Finnow massacre who blames him for the event, and who has reinvented himself as a psychiatrist and master-hypnotist named Johann Fennhoff. Carter herself is targeted by (and becomes the obsession of) a Red Room Academy graduate who calls herself Dottie Underwood. Carter eventually stops their attempt to kill Stark (though Underwood escapes) but also insists that Howard let her destroy the most valuable but also potentially-dangerous item in his collection: The last remaining vial of Steve Rogers’ blood. (Agent Carter: Season 1)

Sent to federal prison by the SSR, Fennhoff discovers that his cellmate is Arnim Zola. (Agent Carter: Season 1)

One year later, Agent Carter, Howard Stark and others reunite in Los Angeles in a bid to solve a bizarre murder case that is instead linked to The Arena Club, film actress and scientific-genius Whitney Frost and a mysterious new element alternately called Zero Matter or Darkforce that was released (possibly from a tear in the fabric of dimensions) during at atomic bomb test. (Agent Carter: Season 2)

Infected with Zero Matter, which grants her superhuman abilities but also drives her to madness, Whitney Frost attempts a hostile takeover of The Arena Club and The Council of Nine, but she is thwarted by the efforts of her concerned Mafia-connected lover Joseph Manfredi and Carter & Company. (Agent Carter: Season 2)

Agent Carter, still marginalized by her colleagues due to her gender, is contacted by Howard Stark about plans to found a new intelligence agency in the vein of the original wartime SSR – an initiative that will eventually become S.H.I.E.L.D. As part of the plan, a supposedly reformed Arnim Zola is released from prison and conscripted to help S.H.I.E.L.D. develop new surveillance technologies. (Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Unknown to S.H.I.E.L.D, Zola remains allied with HYDRA, aiding a Russian detachment of the organization in recovering the body of Bucky Barnes – whom they transform into a brainwashed cyborg assassin codenamed The Winter Soldier. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

MID COLD WAR ERA (1960s-1970s – “The Quiet Period”)

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Wilson Fisk, aka “The Kingpin,” as a child in Hell’s Kitchen

Throughout the 1960s and 70s, superhero and supervillain activity retreats largely to the shadows as S.H.I.E.L.D. rises to prominence as an intelligence agency and while HYDRA (and growing army of sleeper-agents within S.H.I.E.L.D. itself) nudges world events in their own preferred direction – up to and including inciting the Vietnam War – often via assassinations carried out by The Winter Soldier. (Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Howard Stark and Russian scientist Anton Vanko develop “arc reactor” technology, but Vanko is suspected of espionage and deported – leaving Stark to take full credit for the technology. Stark marries a woman named Maria, has a son named Tony and reinvents himself as a beloved public figure with a Walt Disney-esque image – while his business partner, Obadiah Stane, takes the company back into weapons-development. (Iron Man, Iron Man 2)

Brothers Gideon and Nathaniel Mallick become heirs to leadership of the oldest HYDRA sect with the death of their father. They meet the still-imprisoned Werner Reinhardt (now calling himself “Daniel Whitehall,” who tries to convince them that Hive-worship is foolish and HYDRA should be redirected into his vision of a world superpower – while also revealing to them that their father became powerful by cheating at the Monolith lot-drawings. While they swear to undertake a “fair” drawing to restore their family honor, Gideon uses his father’s cheating method – inadvertently condemning Nathaniel to be sacrificed. (Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. Season 3)

Arnim Zola dies, but his brain patterns are transferred into a S.H.I.E.L.D. supercomputer – effectively allowing him to live on as a digitized ghost. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Bill Fisk, a brutish wannabe-politician from Hell’s Kitchen, New York, is beaten to death with a hammer by his emotionally-troubled son Wilson after years of physically and verbally abusing the boy and his mother. Said mother, Marlene, helps her son dispose of the body and sends him to live with relatives until suspicion has died down. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Scientist Hank Pym discovers “Pym Particle” technology that allows matter to change its size but retain its physical density. Constructing a suit in order to undergo size-changes himself without suffering deleterious psychological effects (and also a device that lets him talk to ants, because… just because), Hank agrees to use his technology to undertake anti-Soviet espionage missions on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. – providing they don’t attempt to replicate his technology (Ant-Man)

LATE COLD WAR ERA (The 1980s – Things Fall Apart)

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The abduction of Peter Quill – 1987

A boy of Earth named Peter Quill is abducted by alien pirates called Ravagers under the leadership of Yondu Udantu on the same night his (Quill’s) mother succumbs to cancer. This will be important later. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

While Pym’s (and his wife Janet, who also has a size-changing suit) are no known to the public, they become an urban legend in the spy community: “Ant-Man & The Wasp.” Tragically, during an attempt to disable a rogue Soviet missile, Janet shrinks herself below the known safety threshold to complete the mission – seemingly killing herself by regressing into subatomic-space. Pym becomes depressed and emotionally estranged from their daughter, also breaking ties with S.H.I.E.L.D. when he discovers that they tried to replicate Pym Particles behind his back. (Ant-Man)

Kevin Thompson, a young boy born afflicted with a terminal brain infection, is subjected to torturous medical treatments by his scientist parents in order to save his life. While it cures him, it also destroys his sanity and grants him the frightening ability to exercise powerful mind-control over individuals by simple vocal commands. He will eventually use this power to become a serial-killer and rapist, changing his name to “Killgrave.” (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Alexander Pierce, a former soldier, politician and secret HYDRA member, becomes Secretary to the World Security Council, an independent government organization (headed at the time by Gideon Mallick) that oversees S.H.I.E.L.D. As one of his first acts, he quietly orders the elderly Daniel Whitehall (aka Werner Reinhardt) released from prison. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Daniel Whitehall is brought by HYDRA loyalists to his old laboratory in China, where he learns that the Inhuman woman Jiaying is not only still alive, she doesn’t seem to have physically aged thanks to her healing powers. Whitehall imprisons Jiaying and dissects her alive, finally finds a way to borrow her healing powers and making himself several decades younger – summarily dumping her flayed remains in the wilderness. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

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Jiaying and Calvin Johnson (aka Calvin Zabo, aka “Mister Hyde”)

Unknown to Whitehall, Jiaying was at that point married to an American “Doctors Without Borders” volunteer named Calvin Johnson, with whom she’d had a daughter, Daisy. Calvin locates her remains and, using his medical knowledge (and understanding of her Inhuman nature) pieces her back together in a way that allows her healing powers to revive her – but Jiaying has been driven psychotic by the trauma, and now fixates on retrieving Daisy (whom Calvin had left with friends in a village in China.) Angered by having been powerless to stop any of this, Calvin attempts to concoct a super-strength formula for himself – which also drives him mad. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Jiaying and Calvin (having now adopted the ironic nickname “Mr. Hyde,”) come looking for baby Daisy, but recognizing the pair as insane the villagers rally to hide her and are slaughtered in the process – with survivors later describing the pair as a duo of “monsters.” Daisy is eventually found by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who recognize that something is “special” about her and opt to conceal her under the name Mary-Sue Poots through a series of “foster homes” that are actually S.H.I.E.L.D fronts. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1 and 2)

Jiaying divorces Calvin Johnson in order to assume full-time leadership duties of “Afterlife,” a hidden sanctuary city for Inhumans. Calvin swears that he will continue refining his “Mr. Hyde” formula and seeking Daisy, taking the new surname “Zabo” and becoming a fixture of the international criminal underworld commonly referred to as The Doctor. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2)

Hank Pym’s company is largely stolen out from under him by his ambitious protégé Darren Cross, who resents Pym for not sharing the secrets of his Ant-Man suit (which Pym denies ever existed.) Pym’s daughter Hope stays on at the company as well, their relationship strained by his bitterness following the death of Janet Van Dyne. (Ant-Man)

PRE-AVENGERS ERA (The 90s – Early-2000s)

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A HYDRA cell operating out of Siberia orders brainwashed cyborg Bucky Barnes – aka The Winter Soldier – to assassinate Howard and Maria Stark in order to steal experimental research on December 16th, 1991. The death, which is staged to look like a random car crash, causes young Tony Stark to inherit the company and the family fortune – much to the chagrin of Obadiah Stane. (Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Natasha Romanoff, a child-soldier in training at the still-operating Red Room Academy (the Russian facility that also created Dottie Underwood) graduates at the top of her field as an assassin, earning the nickname “The Black Widow.” (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Matt Murdock, young son of NY-area professional boxer “Battlin’ Jack” Murdock, is blinded in an accident where mysterious toxic chemicals are splashed into his eyes. Upon waking, he discovers that while his sight is gone, his remaining senses have been increased to superhuman levels. (Daredevil: Season 1)

“Battlin’ Jack” Murdock is asked to throw an upcoming fight against Carl “Crusher” Creel by the New York Mafia. Instead, he arranges for a substantial sum to bet on his victory with winnings placed in a savings account for Matt. Murdock wins, and is killed by the mob in retaliation. When Matt’s estranged mother proves an unfit caretaker, he comes to live at Saint Agnes Orphanage. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Science students Bruce Banner and Betty Ross (daughter of prominent military general Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross meet while volunteering for experiments at Harvard University. (The Incredible Hulk)

A HYDRA project to create more Winter Soldier assassins using Howard Stark’s stolen research creates a team of dangerously-unstable superhumans resistant to the mind control protocols that govern the original model. The superhumans are placed in stasis chambers in a hidden bunker deep in the mountians of Siberia. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

John Garrett, a top-ranking HYDRA sleeper agent working inside S.H.I.E.L.D, recruits troubled but physically-gifted youth Grant Ward (the son of a prominent U.S. politician) into the organization. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

In the region of space near the Nova Empire, abductee Peter Quill grows up as a Ravager under Yondu Undontu’s tutelage and begins calling himself “Starlord” (though nobody else does.) Unknown to Quill, the Ravagers had originally been conscripted to deliver him to his biological father, an alien, but decided against it for undisclosed reasons. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

Teenaged Jessica Jones is the lone survivor when her family’s car is hit by a truck carrying unknown experimental chemicals possibly related to an experimental drug called IGH. She is adopted by the family of a wealthy classmate, Patsy Walker, as a publicity stunt for Patsy’s reality TV series. On discovering that Patsy’s mother is abusive, Jessica befriends her and reveals that the accident has given her superhuman abilities including super-strength and possibly flight. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

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Young Matt Murdock and Stick

A young woman named Raina comes to believe that she is descended from beings with special powers (i.e. an Inhuman) based on stories from her grandmother. She begins searching the world for information about powered-people, establishing relationships with HYDRA and with Calvin Zabo, aka “Mr. Hyde.” (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 1 & 2)

Matt Murdock is trained in the martial-arts by a blind master named Stick, who also teaches him to use his super-senses covertly and claims to be preparing him for a future battle against the forces of evil. When Matt shows friendly affection to Stick, the master vanishes from his life. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Unknown to Murdock, Stick’s mysterious martial-arts order has another child pupil: A girl with sociopathic tendencies named Elektra. Upon coming to suspect that Elektra is the latest incarnation of The Black Sky – an evil force sought by the order’s ancient enemies, the ninja clan The Hand – he is ordered to kill her, but instead places her with a wealthy adoptive family in Greece. (Daredevil: Season 2)

S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Clint Barton, aka “Hawkeye,” is sent to terminate Natasha Romanoff, The Black Widow, under orders from S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury. He spares her life with an offer to join S.H.I.E.L.D. instead, which she accepts after befriending Barton. (The Avengers)

The now-grown Tony Stark, living life as an anarchic playboy while Obadiah Stane runs much of his company, encounters a disabled young inventor named Aldrich Killian looking for investors in his think tank, A.I.M. Stark lies about being interested to get rid of him, turning Killian into a bitter enemy who forms a partnership with scientist Maya Hansen, the creator of a bioweapon called “Extremis” also annoyed at Stark for seducing and stepping out on her. (Iron Man 3)

With reports of “enhanced” persons beginning to once more appear more regularly on Earth, Nick Fury covertly launches “The Avengers Initiative,” a plan to recruit super-powered individuals to work as an emergency-measures team under S.H.I.E.L.D. (Iron Man, The Avengers)

SUPERHUMANS EMERGE (Early-to-Mid 2000s)

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Bruce Banner, after looking like The Hulk but before looking like Mark Ruffalo

A secretly HYDRA-backed NASA mission sends Astronaut Will Daniels and two comrades through The Monolith portal to Maveth, supposedly awaiting an extraction team. Sometime after this, The Monolith comes into the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, General “Thunderbolt” Ross creates the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project, a continuation of WWII-era attempts to recreate Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier formula used in the creation of Captain America. (The Incredible Hulk)

Bruce Banner, still romantically involved with General Ross’ daughter Betty, jones the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project under false (on the General’s end) pretenses, looking to apply his work in the field of gamma radiation. However, a freak lab accident involving a combination of gamma-rays and imitation super-soldier serum to mutate Banner’s DNA, causing him to transform into a gigantic green monster called The Hulk when he becomes angry. Banner goes on the run to seek a cure, pursued by Ross for several years. (The Incredible Hulk)

Now a young adult living on her own, Mary-Sue Poots (aka Daisy Johnson) seeks information about her biological parents and becomes an expert computer hacker. Renaming herself “Skye,” she discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. has redacted her family information from all official records, and becomes obsessed with uncovering the Agency’s secrets, eventually founding an anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. hacker collective called The Rising Tide. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Matt Murdock, pretending that he remains a “normal” blind person rather than a superhuman, attends Columbia Law School and befriends Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. He becomes romantically involved with a now-adult Elektra, whom he does not known has been sent to manipulate him by Stick. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Elektra baits Murdock with an opportunity to murder the mob enforcer who killed his father. When he refuses on moral grounds, she vanishes from his life (Daredevil: Season 2)

melinda may cavalry A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Melinda May becomes “The Cavalry.”

Aldrich Killian uses Maya Hansen’s Extremis techno-virus to heal his physical disabilities, continuing to build A.I.M. into a defense-contracting powerhouse to rival Stark. (Iron Man 3)

S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Melinda May, the second most-dangerous combatant in the agency outside of The Black Widow, is dispatched to Bahrain to handle a superhuman “cult leader” whose soldiers have taken several Agents hostage and begun killing them. Though everyone believes the leader in question to be an adult woman named Eva Belyakov, it is actually her daughter Katya – a small child with sensory-manipulating powers and a sadistic streak. May is ultimately forced to kill Katya to save her fellow Agents, none of whom learn the truth of what actually happened and give May the nickname “The Cavalry.” Suffering from PTSD over having to kill a child (which also destroys her marriage to psychiatrist Andrew Garner), May retires from field work. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Unknown to May (or any human), Eva and Katya Belyakov were both Inhumans expelled from Afterlife after turning on Jiaying for refusing to let Katya undergo Terrigensesis. Using stolen Terrigen Crystals, she was turned anyway. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Philip Coulson (best friend of Melinda May and the only other person who knows the truth about Bahrain), a nostalgia enthusiast obsessed with superheroes and the legend of Captain America in particular, is placed in charge of a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. project codenamed “T.A.H.I.T.I.” that seeks to use a serum synthesized from the Kree alien corpse (recovered at the end of WWII from Werner Reinhardt by Agent Carter) to bring Agents killed in the line of duty (and potentially members of Fury’s Avengers) back from the brink of death. While it at first appears to work, the revived subjects soon display erratic and dangerous behavior, along with a compulsion to sketch strange alien design-patterns on any available surface. The revived subjects have their memories erased and are placed in witness protection. Coulson recommends the project be terminated, but is not heeded. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 1 & 2)

THE AVENGERS ERA

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Tony Stark is kidnapped in Afghanistan by terrorists affiliated with The Ten Rings (said to be controlled by a mysterious figure called “The Mandarin.”) Mortally wounded, a fellow captive scientist named Yensin builds a battery-powered device that keeps his damaged heart working, which Stark augments with a makeshift version of his father’s Arc Reactor technology. Ordered to make a bomb for his captors, Stark instead builds a suit of powered armor and escapes. (Iron Man)

Back in the United States, Stark decides to stop manufacturing weapons and builds an upgraded suit of armor he uses to travel to terrorist hotbeds and destroy their weapons in penance for making many of them in the first place. Obadiah Stane, who had actually masterminded the kidnapping, builds his own “Iron Monger” suit and attempts to kill Stark – who defeats him and accepts his publically-anointed role as the superhero “Iron Man.” Shortly thereafter, he’s visited by Nick Fury, who invites him to join The Avengers Initiative. (Iron Man)

The Hulk re-emerges in South America, and is attacked by soldiers under the command of General Ross and led by Russian-British mercenary Emil Blonsky. Bruce Banner returns to the U.S., looking to salvage some of his original University research after communicating with fellow scientist Samuel Sterns online about a cure. While in town, Banner secretly reconnects with Betty Ross. Blonsky’s force attacks him once again on the University campus, with Blonsky being severely injured trying to fight The Hulk. (The Incredible Hulk)

Ross uses imitation super-soldier serum to heal Blonsky and give him superhuman strength, but it also drives him mad. Seeking out Banner’s friend Stern for more of the serum, Blonsky instead mutates into The Abomination – requiring Banner to forego his potential cure and become The Hulk to stop him, going on the run again. After having his lab destroyed by Blonsky, Stern is doused with chemicals, which cause a mutation of his brain the end results of which are still unknown. (The Incredible Hulk)

Tony Stark discovers that he is being gradually poisoned by the arc reactor, and will likely die soon. Regressing into alcoholism, he becomes easy prey for the armored villain Whiplash – aka Ivan Vanko, the adult son of Howard Stark’s former partner. Vanko allies himself with Stark’s business nemesis Justin Hammer, who conscripts him to build military robots. S.H.I.E.L.D. secretly inserts Agent Romanoff into Stark’s life as a handler along with Philip Coulson. (Iron Man 2)

Tony Stark’s friend Col. James Rhodes, concerned for his mental state, “borrows” an Iron Man suit and asks Hammer to build it into a military-grade version for him called War Machine – realizing too late that Hammer’s technology is secretly under Vanko’s control. Stark discovers the secret to curing his poisoning in his father’s old workshop, where he and Agent Coulson discover a prototype Captain America shield. (Iron Man 2)

Thor, now an adult and famed as a warrior, is poised to be named King of Asgard when his coronation is interrupted by Frost Giants attempting to retrieve the Casket of Ancient Winters from Odin’s treasure vault. Enraged, Thor breaks Asgard law and attacks Jotunheim himself along with Loki and his friends, The Warriors Three. Quickly outmatched, they are rescued only by the intervention of Odin who, in his anger, strips Thor of his powers and banishes him and his magic war-hammer Mjolnir to Earth. The hammer with a spell that will only let Thor lift it and regain his powers when he proves himself worthy. (Thor)

Loki discovers his true nature and schemes to seize power, kill Thor and destroy Jotunheim himself after Odin falls into a regenerative coma called The Odinsleep. On Earth, Thor meets Agent Coulson (in charge of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team monitoring the discovery of Mjolnir) and makes friends with Eric Selvig and Jane Foster, two scientists researching interdimensional travel. He regains his powers to save them from Loki’s machinations, but must destroy the portal to Earth – separating him from Jane, whom he’d begun a romance with. (Thor)

Iron Man and War Machine defeat Whiplash and Hammer’s weaponized robots. S.H.I.E.L.D. declares Stark unfit to join The Avengers, but asks him to stay on as a consultant – though the Agency’s first use of him is to purposefully irritate General Ross in order to dissuade plans to bring The Abomination of him onto the team. (Iron Man 2, Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant)

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S.H.I.E.L.D. brings Eric Selvig onboard to research The Tesseract, which had become property of the Agency after Howard Stark’s death. (Thor)

The frozen body of Captain America is discovered in the arctic. Incredibly, the super-soldier serum has kept him alive and un-aged after almost 60 years, and Steve Rogers re-awakens to find himself in the 21st Century. He is met by Nick Fury, who offers him a role in S.H.I.E.L.D. – which he at first declines. (Captain America: The First Avenger)

The Tesseract’s presence on Earth is discovered by Loki (thought killed during his battle with Thor) who has traveled to the realm of intergalactic despot Thanos. Thanos gives Loki a mind-control scepter (powered by The Mind Stone) and tasks him with retrieving The Tesseract – in exchange, Loki will be permitted use of an army of Chitauri warriors to conquer Earth. (Thor, The Avengers)

Loki appears on Earth, steals the Tesseract and places Selvig and Hawkeye under mind control, along with an army of mercenaries possibly including HYDRA members. In response, Nick Fury activates The Avengers Initiative and brings together Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk and Black Widow as a “response team,” with Thor joining them shortly thereafter. Despite setbacks (including Cap discovering that S.H.I.E.L.D. was planning to build an arsenal based on the Tesseract) they eventually form a cohesive team in time to beat back Loki’s Chitauri invaders, though many are killed during the battle – including Agent Coulson, whose death is used by Nick Fury as a psychological “push” to get the team to put aside their differences and unify. (The Avengers)

Following The Battle of New York, “The Avengers” become global celebrities as the existence of so-called “superheroes” becomes widely known for the first time. The team remain allies, but will not be officially S.H.I.E.L.D-sponsored despite Widow, Hawkeye and (sometime later) Captain America remaining employed at the Agency. Thor returns with the Tesseract and the captive Loki to Asgard. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, having become close during the mission, depart together. (The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

AFTERMATH OF THE AVENGERS

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Wilson Fisk returns to Hell’s Kitchen after The Battle of New York

Nick Fury uses the still-active T.A.H.I.T.I. program to revive Phil Coulson, which works but with the same negative psychological results as before. Coulson’s memory is altered to believe that he was only seriously wounded (instead of being clinically dead for several days), that Fury lied about his death to motivate The Avengers and that he spent a pleasant vacation recuperating in the actual Tahiti instead. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

The Battle of New York left several areas of the city devastated, including Hell’s Kitchen. Efforts to rebuild the area attract emissaries of several international organized crime syndicates, who are secretly acting out a long-term gentrification scheme masterminded by a now-grown Wilson Fisk. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Thor leads the armies of Asgard on missions to quell wars that have broken out following his destruction of the Rainbow Bridge in order to defeat Loki the first time. Loki remains condemned to a life of imprisonment in Asgard’s dungeons. (Thor: The Dark World)

Scott Lang, a small-time computer programmer, discovers that his employer VistaCorp (a credit-card company) is illegally overcharging its customers using an algorithm disguised as a coding error. After being fired for discovering this, Lang breaks into the company and reprograms the system to return the money. He’s caught and sent to prison, leading his wife to divorce him and retain sole custody of their daughter Cassie. (Ant-Man)

Tony Stark becomes obsessed with improving his Iron Man armor following the events of The Avengers, particularly when after the Ten Rings leader The Mandarin begins appearing in propaganda videos for the first time, issuing threats at President Matthew Ellis and Stark himself and staging suicide-bombings using what turn out to be disabled U.S. military veterans. When one such bombing nearly kills Stark’s friend Happy Hogan, Iron Man sets out to battle The Mandarin himself. (Iron Man 3)

Iron Man discovers that The Mandarin is actually an actor, Trevor Slattery, hired by Aldrich Killian to create an imaginary terrorist threat he could profit from. Killian used the Extremis virus to control the veterans and set off the bombings, and refers to himself as the actual Mandarin. Stark defeats him, and also elects to cure his heart condition for good – seemingly ending his time as Iron Man. (Iron Man 3)

Now grown, Jessica Jones is encouraged by Patsy (now “Trish”) Walker to use her still secret super-powers to become a costumed superhero. She resists the costume, but seriously considers using her powers for good. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson reject an offer to intern at a prestigious law firm, instead planning to start a community-focused law practice in Hell’s Kitchen. (Daredevil: Season 1)

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Agent Coulson (back from the dead) and his original team

Agent Coulson (still believed dead by the general public and even The Avengers) is placed in charge of his own independent S.H.I.E.L.D. team, based out of airplane laboratory/office/HQ called The Bus. Coulson’s unit includes young scientists Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons, along with Grant Ward and Melinda May as their pilot. Unknown to Coulson, May (along with S.H.I.E.L.D second in command Maria Hill) knows the truth about his resurrection and is assigned by Fury to keep an eye on him. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Coulson’s team intervenes when a seemingly super-powered man is sighted in Los Angeles. They discover that he is Mike Petersen, granted powers from participating in a shady science experiment for an organization calling itself “Centipede.” They also encounter Skye, who is offered a chance to join S.H.I.E.L.D. and use her hacking skills for good. She agrees – secretly planning to continue hacking them from inside. She eventually becomes a valued member of the team and, once she explains her background, Coulson agrees to help her find out why S.H.I.E.L.D. is covering up her personal information. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Killgrave witnesses Jessica Jones’ using her super-strength as a vigilante and places her under his mind-control spell, keeping her bound to him for several months during which time she is repeatedly raped and compelled to use her powers to commit violent criminal acts. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Raina, continuing her obsessive quest for her superhuman heritage, allies herself with Centipede and a mystery individual called “The Clairvoyant,” who claims to be able to predict the future. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Coulson begins to regain memories of what really happened after his death, launching an independent investigation into the matter. During a mission related to the Asgardian “Warrior Who Stayed” (now living as a history professor named Elliot Randolph) Melinda May and Grant Ward both become affected by The Berserker Staff. They elect to enter into a no-strings sexual relationship in order to mutually “burn-off” the hyper-aggression caused by the relic. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Coulson and Melinda May learn about Skye’s S.H.I.E.L.D-protected background from a retired Agent, but only that she was rescued from a village destroyed by “monsters.” (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

THE INFINITY STONES REAPPEAR

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Jane Foster inadvertently discovers and becomes infected by The Aether (aka The Reality Stone) while working in London. This event awakens Malekith and the Dark Elves from their hibernation and draws Thor back to Earth. In the ensuing battle against Malekith, Frigga is killed when Dark Elves attack Asgard and Thor reluctantly frees Loki to help him defeat the villain and save Jane. Thor ultimately declines a new offer to take Asgard’s throne, and instead returns to Earth in order to be with Jane Foster. (Thor: The Dark World)

The Aether is placed in the care of Tanaleer Tivan, aka “The Collector,” a cosmic being of immense power known for collecting rare organisms and relics, in order to avoid storing two Infinity Stones (the Tesseract being the other) in the same realm. Unknown to Asgard, The Collector has already been seeking to acquire the stones himself. (Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of The Galaxy)

Unknown to all, Loki (believed killed by Malekith) has used his powers of illusion to disguise himself as Odin and now occupies the throne of Asgard – the real Odin’s whereabouts are not known. (Thor: The Dark World)

The Nova and Kree Empires sign a peace treaty, ending their war. However, a rogue Kree militant, Ronan The Accuser, refuses to stop fighting and seeks the aid of Thanos, who offers him the aid of his adopted (read: kidnapped) daughters Gamora and Nebula and the promise of greater aid if Ronan will retrieve a mysterious relic, The Orb, for him – with Ronan unaware that The Orb contains the “Power” Infinity Stone. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

Killgrave orders the still-enslaved Jessica Jones to kill an innocent woman, Reva Connors. Jones is forced to obey, but briefly rebels enough to startle Killgrave – causing him to be hit by a bus. Believing Killgrave dead, Jones flees the scene. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Mike Peterson is seemingly killed in an explosion while trying to rescue his son, who had been abducted by Raina and Centipede. Agent Coulson is kidnapped by Raina, who uses a brainwave-analyzing device to unlock more of his memories. Though rescued, Coulson is emboldened to continue his search, eventually remembering that his resurrection was so painful that he’d asked the doctors to kill him. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Trevor Slattery participates in a documentary about his life while in prison, discovering too late that the documentary crew are actually agents of the real Ten Rings, who inform him that there actually is a real Mandarin – and he’s not happy about his image having been repurposed. Slattery is abducted, current location unknown. (Marvel One-Shots: All Hail The King)

THE FALL OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

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“Well, that explains a lot.”

Captain America continues engaging in field work for S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Black Widow, but objects when he learns Nick Fury plans to outfit the Agency with automated, heavily-armed hellicarriers that will pre-emptively respond to threats via increased public surveillance. He also makes friends with a fellow veteran, Sam Wilson, also known as The Falcon for his mastery of a high-tech wing-suit. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Agent Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team discovers that tech billionaire Ian Quinn and prosthetic-cybernetics company Cybertek are involved with Centipede and the transformation of Mike Petersen into a superhuman. Quinn reveals that Peterson is still alive in a hyperbaric chamber, and gifts him with further cybernetic upgrades to restore his damaged body – ultimately transforming him into the cyborg “Deathlok.” During an attempt to storm Quinn’s villa, Skye is shot in the stomach and mortally wounded. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

John Garrett (Ward’s HYDRA master) unites with Coulson (who knows him as a friend but not of his real affiliations) to help save Skye. Reasoning that whatever is at T.A.H.I.T.I. that revived him could save her, they raid a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility called “Guest House” and retrieve the serum. Coulson discovers the Kree corpse (which he doesn’t remember), but is too late to stop Skye from receiving the serum – which, strangely, revives her without any of the previously noted side-effects. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Lady Sif, one of Thor’s Warriors Three, returns to Earth to help Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team take down Lorelei, as Asgardian sorceress who enslaves biker gang The Dogs of Hell to be her servants and attempt to take over Las Vegas. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Nick Fury is seemingly assassinated by The Winter Soldier, whose identity is quickly discovered by Captain America. Seeking answers, Cap and Black Widow investigate an old SSR site and discover that the digital “ghost” of Arnim Zola has been running a HYDRA sleeper cell within S.H.I.E.L.D. all along, and that the HYDRA Agents have now been ordered to assume full control of S.H.I.E.L.D’s new apparatus to take over the world via an act of mass-murder. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

News of HYDRA’s infestation of S.H.I.E.L.D. reaches Team Coulson at the same time as Coulson discovering May had been reporting on him to Nick Fury, causing further distrust among the team. S.H.I.E.L.D. upper-level Agent Victoria Hand, believing Coulson and Garret to be part of the emerging conspiracy, orders them taken out, but they escape – only for Garret to subsequently reveal himself as both HYDRA and Raina’s “Clairvoyant;” having used his S.H.I.E.L.D. contacts to appear able to predict future events. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

HYDRA agents take over S.H.I.E.L.D. installations all over the globe one by one, releasing superhuman prisoners and looting relics and dangerous weapons discovered by Coulson’s team to aid their cause. The Iliad, a top-secret oceanic battleship captained by Agent Robert Gonzales, is ordered to sink itself in order to protect its cargo – The Monolith. Gonzales, along with loyal Agents Mack and Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse, instead defeat the HYDRA infiltrators themselves and take the ship off the grid. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

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Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Maria Hill and a not-dead-after-all Nick Fury conspire to destroy the corrupted S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to save the world. Cap exposes the conspiracy to the public, Widow leaks S.H.I.E.L.D’s entire archive to the internet Alexander Pierce is killed and the Helicarriers are destroyed over The Potomac.The Winter Soldier appears to regain some of his memories, and saves Cap from drowning before disappearing again. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Agent Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team sends Ward to bring a now-captive Garret back into custody. Instead, Ward murders Victoria Hand (revealing himself as HYDRA to someone other than Garrett for the first time) and helps his master escape and reconnect with Raina. Garrett’s real endgame: He’s an earlier, failed part of the Deathlok program, and he wants the formula for the Kree serum Coulson took from “Guest House” to heal himself. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Coulson’s team makes contact with a S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house operated by Agent Koenig, one of multiple identical brothers who may or may not be clones, robots or both. Amid the ongoing collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D, Skye discover’s Ward’s true nature, May seeks out her secret-agent mother to help find the missing Maria Hill, Coulson rescues an ex-girlfriend from a superhuman stalker released during the chaos, Ward abducts Skye and attempts to murder Fitz and Simmons by locking them in a container and dropping it into the ocean. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Garrett is injected with Kree serum (“GH.325”) and gains super-strength, but also shows the same symptoms of madness and compulsion to draw Kree symbols on everything as the previous (non-Skye) subjects. He and Ward are eventually defeated by Coulson and The Agents, while Nick Fury rescues Fitz and Simmons from the ocean. Fury declares Coulson the Director of a new, secret version of S.H.I.E.L.D. that must continue to exist to fight HYDRA (even as both have been declared terrorist organizations by the U.S. Government) and finally reveals his real “secret” reason for resurrecting Coulson: He’s the ideal S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, the only choice for leader – and his friend. (Aw.) (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Natasha Romanoff testifies before the U.S. Government about the now-outlawed S.H.I.E.L.D. Maria Hill takes a job working for Tony Stark, who has begun reconstituting The Avengers as a privately-operated institution. Captain America and The Falcon agree to begin searching for The Winter Soldier. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Raina, having abandoned Garrett after learning he only pretended to be super-powered, reports to Calvin Zabo that she’s found his daughter (Skye). Unknown to all but himself and Melinda May, Coulson has begun drawing Kree symbols (which Garrett had called “The Words of Creation”) again. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1)

Wolfgang Von Strucker, a HYDRA leader, takes possession of Loki’s Scepter (and The Mind Stone) after the looting of S.H.I.E.L.D. and uses it to transform orphaned twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff into the superhumans Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron)

NEW HEROES EMERGE

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Peter “Starlord” Quill betrays The Ravagers to seek a treasure on his own, which turns out to be the same Orb sought by Ronan’s forces. Quill is captured along with Gamora (who’s real aim is to prevent Ronan and her father from acquiring The Orb) and bounty hunters Rocket Raccoon and Groot on Xandar while trying to fence the Orb and sent to a space prison, where they befriend (sort of) Drax The Destroyer, a brute warrior who seeks to kill Ronan. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

Starlord’s team learn from The Collector that The Orb contains The Power Stone and aim to keep it from Ronan, but circumstances lead to him getting it and betraying Thanos – planning to use the Power Stone to destroy the Nova capital Xandar. Starlord reunites his team and makes a deal The Ravagers to save the planet, ultimately defeating Ronan and heading off on further adventures – leaving the stone in the care of Xandar’s Nova Corps soldiers. Starlord learns that his father is an ancient alien, but his identity remains unknown. (Guardians of The Galaxy)

During a mission in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Frank Castle singlehandedly rescues his squad from a terrorist trap. He later serves in Iraq returns home with honors, but also psychologically-affected by his service. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Having searched since she first disappeared with Killgrave, Trish Walker finds Jessica Jones – who has herself only recently remerged from hiding and has set herself up as a Private Investigator in Hell’s Kitchen – having become an alcoholic in order to cope with her post-traumatic stress from dealing with Killgrave. She also keeps tabs on Luke Cage, a bartender who also happens to have been Reva Connors’ husband. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson officially open their independent law firm, Nelson & Murdock, in Hell’s kitchen. In their first case, they help Karen Page (a woman falsely accused of murder and being targeted by a crooked construction company) and offer her a secretary job. Meanwhile, Murdock begins donning a mask and using his martial-arts skills to conduct violent vigilante justice by night, rescuing Karen once and making the acquaintance of a good-Samaritan nurse named Claire Temple. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Murdock conducts a one-man-war as “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen” (and later “Daredevil”) against the local crime syndicates, gradually discovering that they are all working for Wilson Fisk as part of his plan to gentrify Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Matt works with Karen, Foggy and reporter Ben Urich to take Fisk down by legal means. Fisk himself begins to emerge as a public figure, emboldened by a romantic relationship with an art dealer named Vanessa who knows what he is but falls in love with him anyway. (Daredevil: Season 1)

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Stick returns to Hell’s Kitchen, needing Daredevil’s help to stop The Hand (one of the gangs working under Fisk in the guise of “normal” Yakuza) from importing a Black Sky into the U.S. When Daredevil learns this would mean killing a child, he refuses to help. Stick seemingly carries out the mission himself. Daredevil is subsequently tricked into killing Hand general Nobu in combat by Fisk (revealed as having unexpected strength himself) and learns that Chinese gang leader Madame Gao possesses superhuman fighting-skills similar to Stick and Nobu. (Daredevil: Season 1)

Karen Page is kidnapped by Fisk’s underling, Wesley, but kills him herself and covers it up. Fisk murders Ben Urich, shortly after which he is revealed as a crimelord by the press and arrested. He attempts an escape, but Daredevil (armed with a next armored uniform) defeats him in hand-to-hand combat. However, upon being sent to prison, Fisk immediately begins taking over the criminal operations of his fellow incarcerated felons. (Daredevil Seasons 1 & 2)

Coulson’s new “underground” version of S.H.I.E.L.D. gains new members in Agents Bobbi Morse, Antoine Triplett (who joined during the fight against Garrett) and “Mack” Mackenzie, along with Morse’s mercenary ex-husband Lance Hunter. They defeat HYDRA operative Carl Creel (who has been transformed into the Absorbing Man) and strike an uneasy truce with government S.H.I.E.L.D-hunter Glenn Talbot. They also come into possession of the Kree Obelisk that had been claimed by Daniel Whitehall – who is still at large and wants it back. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. hunt down the still-living subjects resurrected at T.A.H.I.T.I., all of whom continue to be obsessed with The Words of Creation (as is Coulson.) Coulson is cured of his mania, however, upon discovering what they actually mean in a 3D sculpture created by a fellow resurrectee: It’s a map to an underground Kree temple, left over from when they’d occupied prehistoric Earth. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Grant Ward escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and murders his family, whose abuse he blames for driving him to join HYDRA in the first place. Daniel Whitehall brainwashes a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent to use a shape-shifting mask to impersonate Melinda May, but the real May defeats her and damages the mask – fusing it to “Agent 33’s” face. She eventually teams up with Ward. (Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. Season 2)

After several skirmishes with HYDRA, S.H.I.E.L.D. seeks out the Kree temple. Mr. Hyde and Raina, who had both temporarily allied with Whitehall (who doesn’t know who Hyde really is or that he plans to kill him) and Ward, confront Skye and The Agents at the site of the Temple, where Coulson kills Whitehall – denying Calvin the opportunity to do so. Skye and Raina eventually find their way into the Temple, where they trigger The Obelisk and undergo Terrigenesis (the Terrigen crystals released also kill Triplett, who’d followed them.) Skye emerges from her cocoon with vibration-causing powers, while Raina has been transformed into a reptilian-looking creature with porcupine-like spines. (Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. Season 2)

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Jessica Jones begins taking hired-muscle assignments from powerful NYC attorney Jeri Hogarth, and also agrees to help an out of town couple, The Shlottmans, search for their missing daughter Hope. Jessica locates the girl, only to realize that Hope’s kidnapper is actually Killgrave – and that he planted a command in her mind to murder her parents once reunited. Jessica vows to prove her innocent, but that will mean proving that Killgrave (regarded as an urban legend or figment of her imagination) actually exists. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Jessica has a one night stand with Luke Cage, who later appears in her apartment again and reveals that he saw her using her super-strength and that he, too, has unbreakable skin and bones. Realizing that they can be intimate without worrying about hurting each other, they begin a relationship – even though Jessica subsequently discovers that Reva Connors was Cage’s wife (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Jessica learns that Killgrave has been manipulating her life ever since she “escaped,” and escalates when she learns he is back. Trish Walker is attacked by a mind-controlled police officer, Will Simpson. Jessica founds a support group for Killgrave’s victims, and helps Hope obtain an abortion when she learns she’s carrying the supervillain’s child. After breaking up with Cage to protect him, Jessica even attempts surrendering to Killgrave and trying to make him use his powers for good – none of which takes. Eventually, she learns the truth about his origins and allies with her parents to trap him; but he manages to escape. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Trish Walker begins a relationship with Will Simpson, but discovers that he is mentally unstable owing to experiments with focus-enhancing medications as a soldier. Jessica ultimately confronts and finally manages to kill Killgrave. Investigations that both Jessica and Trish had begun into the bigger picture surrounding Killgrave learn about a mysterious drug, IGH, that potentially connects them, Simpson, Luke Cage and possibly certain unresolved mysteries in the life of Matt “Daredevil” Murdock. (Jessica Jones: Season 1)

Frank Castle and his family find themselves caught in the crossfire of a three-way mob shootout, during which Castle’s wife and daughter are both killed. Driven mad, Castle begins using his military skills to terrorize and wipe out New York’s crime families. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Mr. Hyde, enraged that Coulson stole his chance to kill Whitehall and seems to be regarded as more of a father figure by Skye than him, declares war on S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

ULTRON & THE INHUMANS EMERGE

raina transformed A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Raina, pre and post-Terrigenesis

S.H.I.E.L.D. rescues Skye from the Temple, while Raina escapes and eventually finds her way to Afterlife with the aid of Gordon, an Inhuman with no eyes and teleportation powers. Coulson sends Skye to a “retreat” originally designed by Bruce Banner to contain The Hulk so that she can work on controlling her new powers. Coulson orders the assassination of what are believed to be the remainder of HYDRA’s leadership. Elsewhere, Grant Ward finds and develops a relationship with Agent 33. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

A Kree enforcer named Vin-Tak comes to Earth because of the activation of The Obelisk (which he calls a Diviner) and tries to kill Skye on realizing she’s an Inhuman. Lady Sif intervenes. It’s discovered that a supposed cache of Diviners has been looted. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Mister Hyde contacts Skye and reveals her real name. He later assembles a team of enhanced villains from S.H.I.E.L.D’s index of enhanced individuals and uses them to attack Coulson. Instead, he is abducted to Afterlife by Gordon, where he is dressed-down by Jiaying for his actions. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Bobbi Morse and Mack reveal that they are actually double-agents for a second underground S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off led by Robert Gonzales from The Iliad, who do not recognize Coulson’s authority because of his association with alien influences like his own resurrection and now Skye. This “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” overwhelms Coulson’s team and attempts to unlock the “Toolbox” of precious data bequeathed to him by Nick Fury. Gonzales’ team also attacks The Retreat and tries to capture Skye, but she is rescued and brought to Afterlife by Gordon, where she meets Jiaying and finally learns the truth about her origins. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Raina, who has been living in Afterlife, has discovered that in addition to her monstrous appearance she also has the ability to see visions of the future – an actual clairvoyant. She tells Jiaying that her visions have included Loki’s scepter and city’s being destroyed by “metal men.” (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Sure enough, the reconstituted Avengers (now led by Captain America and funded by Iron Man) are in that same relative timeframe attacking Von Strucker’s stronghold in Sokovia to retrieve The Scepter. During the battle, Tony Stark receives a dark vision of The Avengers dying in a cosmic battle from Scarlett Witch, who has been sent to battle them by Strucker (who is himself captured.) Stark discovers that the Scepter’s power source (the Mind Stone) operates like an artificial brain, and convinces Bruce Banner to help him use it realize an old project: “Ultron,” a benevolent A.I. that could replace The Avengers as a global peacekeeper. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Upon being activated, Ultron “kills” Stark’s original A.I. construct, J.A.R.V.I.S., and rapidly evolves into a higher-intelligence that reasons that the only way to save the world is to eliminate the human race and repopulate with his own mechanical offspring. Claiming one of Iron Man’s drones as a body, he confronts The Avengers before beaming his consciousness to Strucker’s laboratory in Sokovia to mass-produce new bodies. He also conscripts the Maximoff Twins to his side, offering them a chance to finish off The Avengers (they blame Tony Stark for the weapons used to kill their parents years ago.) (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

AgeofUltron A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

In South Africa, Ultron buys vibranium (the unbreakable metal used to make Captain America’s shield) from Ulyssey’s Klauwe. Scarlett Witch manipulates The Hulk into destroying a nearby city, forcing The Avengers to fight him into submission before going into hiding to regroup. Nick Fury emerges to help The Avengers work out Ultron’s master plan, which involves levitating Sokovia into the atmosphere and dropping it on Earth to recreate the asteroid-strike that killed the Dinosaurs. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Thor visits a magic spring known to Asgardians and has a cryptic vision of himself in Hell and of The Infinity Stones in the cosmic realm. The other Avengers attack Ultron in Seoul (along with The Twins, who have learned his real plans) and steal the new body he was building himself out of vibranium. Stark wants to incorporate the Mind Stone into the body along with J.A.R.V.I.S.’ consciousness in order to create an anti-Ultron weapon, “The Vision,” but the others try to stop him because that sounds insane. Thor, however, arrives and uses his lightning to complete the experiment, having foreseen that Vision will be a good guy. Sure. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

S.H.I.E.L.D’s infighting continues, as Coulson refuses to hand over his secrets to Gonzales – in particular, a directive known as Theta Protocol. Meanwhile, Skye grows closer to Jiaying and learns how to focus her powers with help from an electricity-powered Inhuman, Lincoln. She also attempts to reconcile her parents, though the unstable Calvin is still technically a prisoner of Afterlife, not a guest. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Ultron activates his master plan in Sokovia, with The Avengers arriving to combat him and try to rescue the civilians. Observing this in secret, Nick Fury calls on Coulson to activate Theta Protocol – which is revealed to be the last remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier. Fury and Maria Hill use the ship to rescue survivors from Sokovia, allowing The Avengers to defeat Ultron and destroy the floating city before it can be fully weaponized. Quicksilver is killed. Bruce Banner, as The Hulk, locks himself in a Quinjet and blasts off for parts unknown, having determined himself too dangerous even for The Avengers. (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

In the aftermath of The Battle of Sokovia, it is learned that known casualties include an American aid worker named Charles Spencer and the family of a Sokovian soldier named Helmut Zemo. (Captain America: Civil War)

Thor elects to leave the Mind Stone as part of Vision to keep it safe, but opts to return to Asgard himself in order to personally investigate why The Infinity Stones are continuing to reappear after being lost for so long. Tony Stark retires as an Avenger, gifting Captain America a new facility in upstate New York to use as a new base of operations. War Machine, The Falcon and Scarlett Witch join Captain America and Black Widow as the new lineup of The Avengers. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Thanos decides that he will have to collect The Infinity Stones himself, rather than relying on surrogates like Loki or Ronan. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

THE S.H.I.E.L.D/INHUMAN CONFLICT

jaiying gonzales A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jiaying murders Agent Robert Gonzales in Afterlife

Realizing that Coulson is on the level after witnessing him work to aid The Avengers in Sokovia, the two sides of S.H.I.E.L.D. reconcile. However, The Inhumans discover that The Iliad is carrying The Monolith – creating new tensions between both of Skye’s surrogate families. It’s agreed that Gonzales, not Coulson, should travel to meet Jiaying. During this undertaking, Agent 33 kidnaps Bobbi on behalf of Grant Ward. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Gonzales meets with Jiaying and proposes that The Inhumans “come out” to the world by allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to classify them on the index of enhanced individuals, explaining that his organization is not like HYDRA. However, Jiaying reveals that her experience with Reinhardt/Whitehall has left her with a psychotic hatred of all humans even worse than Calvin’s – she murders him using Terrigen and injures herself with his gun, ordering Gordon to steal a Quinjet and open fire on Afterlife itself; aiming to start a war between “her” Inhumans and S.H.I.E.L.D. that will eventually escalate to wiping out the human race using The Monolith. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

A battle breaks out between S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Inhumans of Afterlife. Skye at first sides with her mother, not knowing the whole truth, but upon witnessing Jiaying murdering Raina (who has foreseen her plans) eventually realizes what’s happening and sides with her friends – escaping along with Cal as a prisoner. A detachment of Inhumans attempt to hijack The Iliad and claim The Monolith. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Ward and Agent 33 torture Bobbi in revenge for her not rescuing 33 while she (Bobbi) was briefly undercover in HYDRA. They attempt to set a double death-trap for Lance Hunter, but Agent 33 is killed instead. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

Coulson realizes that Calvin has let himself be taken prisoner willingly, as he has overdosed on his Mr. Hyde formula and plans to use his monstrous final form to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside while Jiaying takes over The Iliad. Coulson reasons with him, eventually getting him to understand that Jiaying is mad but he might be able to help stop her – and save Daisy (aka Skye.) (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

S.H.I.E.L.D. attacks the Inhuman-controlled Iliad, with Coulson, Mack and Fitz managing to neutralize and kill Gordon to secure The Monolith – though Coulson is nearly consumed after touching a Terrigen crystal, Mack saves him by chopping off his hand before the infection can spread. Skye attempts to fight Jiaying but can’t match her – ultimately, Calvin has to intervene and kill his wife to save his daughter. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

In gratitude for his help, Coulson lets Cal go free and grants him a mind-wipe to forget his pain, his Hyde persona and his past, remaking him as a small-town veterinarian. Grant Ward escapes and decides to rebuild HYDRA in his own image. Agent May opts to take time off from S.H.I.E.L.D. to reconnect with Andrew Garner. Coulson and Skye (now calling herself Daisy) devise a plan to seek scattered Inhumans and offer them a chance to join a S.H.I.E.L.D-sponsored “Secret Warriors.” While investigating The Monolith, Jemma Simmons is swallowed by the relic in its liquid form and deposited on Maveth. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2)

THE ROAD TO CIVIL WAR

Ant Man Captain America 3 Civil War A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Seeking revenge for his family, Helmut Zemo begins systematically tracking down and killing former HYDRA operatives, seeking information about The Winter Soldier Project and the assassination of Howard and Maria Stark. (Captain America: Civil War)

Reports emerge in New York City of a mysterious new hero who “swings and crawls up walls,” later known as Spider-Man. (Ant-Man)

Melinda May has ceased her attempts to reconcile with Andrew Garner after he disappeared during their vacation without explanation, instead visiting her family. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

Jemma Simmons arrives on Maveth and survives on her own for several weeks before encountering stranded astronaut Will Daniels, the last of his team. Both are aware that they share the desert planet with a malevolent entity, but neither know that it’s Hive or what Hive is. On Earth, Leopold Fitz uses his S.H.I.E.L.D. connections to travel the world seeking answers for how to activate The Monolith and rescue Simmons. Lance Hunter is also on a personal mission to kill Grant Ward for torturing Bobbi Morse, which he ultimately fails to do. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

Darren Cross finally manages to develop a variation on the Pym Particle and creates his own version of the Ant-Man suit, “Yellowjacket,” which he plans to sell to representatives of HYDRA. Learning of this, Hank Pym sets out to stop him. (Ant-Man)

Scott Lang is released from prison and attempts to go straight, but is unable to find gainful employment in the private sector because of his criminal record. He is talked into undertaking a heist along with his former cellmate Luis, but it turns out to have been a test by Hank Pym to see if the thief could break into his house and steal the Ant-Man suit. Pym wants Lang to use the suit (and the ant-controlling powers) to stage a heist and steal Yellowjacket from Cross. Part of the plan involves Lang breaking into the Stark compound that’s now Avengers HQ, which leads to a fight with The Falcon that Lang wins. (Ant-Man)

Lang successfully becomes the new Ant-Man, defeating Yellowjacket and also proving that it’s possible for a miniaturized person to return from the subatomic realm, leading Pym to wonder if Janet could be retrieved after all. He also elects to build a new Wasp suit for Hope, who has begun a romantic relationship with Lang. (Ant-Man)

Agents of SHIELD Chaos Theory Lash A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Andrew Garner, aka “Lash,” in his transformed state

S.H.I.E.L.D., now run entirely under Director Coulson’s supervision, discovers that Jiaying’s supply of Terrigen was dumped into the ocean during the battle on The Iliad and is gradually spreading through the world. While not lethal to regular humans when not in its crystal form, it still causes anyone with Inhuman DNA to transform and manifest powers. Skye, now called “Daisy Johnson,” is placed in charge (with consultation by Andrew Garner) of locating new Inhumans and offering them a chance to join a S.H.I.E.L.D.-sponsored reserve team called The Secret Warriors. Lincoln, the electricity-powered Inhuman who’d flirted with Daisy at Afterlife, reluctantly becomes involved. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

It’s discovered that a government agency led by a woman named Rosalind Price, The Advanced Threat Containment Unit, is also hunting Inhumans and placing them in stasis-chambers. The ATCU is funded by Gideon Mallick, now (secretly) the last living official leader of HYDRA. Inhumans are also being targeted by a serial killer, himself a powerful monster-like Inhuman named Lash who appears to have a sixth-sense for finding members of his species. After a confrontation, Daisy discovers that Lash can morph into a regular-looking person – later revealed to be Andrew, Garner who’d been exposed to Terrigen while examining relics from Jiaying’s personal effects – explaining his disappearance from May. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

With help from secret-Asgardian Elliot Randolph, S.H.I.E.L.D. reopens the Monolith portal and Fitz is able to rescue Simmons. After appearing distant for several weeks, she explains about Will and reveals that she was rescued shortly after their own failed escape attempt and that she is desperate to open a new portal and rescue him. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

Grant Ward abducts and tortures Wolfgang Von Strucker’s last living relative in a bid to gain access to Gideon Mallick, who brings Ward’s “rebooted” HYDRA into the official fold and tells him the truth about Hive, Maveth and The Monolith. Eventually recognizing that they are on the same side and that Mallick is using ATCU’s “contained” Inhumans to build an army for HYDRA, Coulson and Rosalind Price team up and begin a romantic relationship – which is cut short when Grant Ward assassinates her. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

At an unspecified point in this relative period, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, previously in charge of pursuing The Incredible Hulk, nearly dies from a heart attack during a game of golf. He survives following a quadruple bypass surgery and, having gained new perspective on life, recommits himself to a post-military political career. He is soon thereafter appointed Secretary of State by President Matthew Ellis. (Captain America: Civil War)

Secret gatherings of the various New York City gangs and organized crime families (including an NYC chapter of The Dogs of Hell) jockeying for control of the city’s underworld amid the vacuum left by the imprisonment of Wilson Fisk (now known as “The Kingpin” in jail) begin to be massacred by unknown assailants using military tactics and high-powered ammunition. Investigating these events as Daredevil, Matt Murdock discovers that the killings are actually the work of one man: Frank Castle, who has undertaken a vigilante killing-spree to avenge his family. The media nicknames him “The Punisher.” (Daredevil: Season 2)

Daredevil captures and subdues The Punisher, turning him over to the police. Matt Murdock steps up to defend Castle at trial, believing that an unscrupulous D.A. wants him executed in order to cover up the circumstances of the shootout that led to Castle’s family being killed. (Daredevil: Season 2)

DaredevilCharacters A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Daredevil, Elektra and The Punisher

Elektra reappears in Hell’s Kitchen. She knows that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and asks for his help in fighting The Hand, who have returned to New York led by a somehow still-living Nobu. Stick also returns, revealing his connections to Elektra. It’s discovered that The Hand are abducting people, draining their blood, turning them into zombie-ninja slaves and have secretly dug a gigantic chasm under the city for unknown purposes seemingly related to the war against evil Stick’s order has been preparing for. They seem to be storing the drained blood in huge clay jars, implied to have been used in Nobu’s resurrection. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Unable to manage his time between these problems and Castle’s trial, Murdock begins to neglect his friends – leading Foggy Nelson to step up and distinguish himself as a lawyer in his own right and spoiling a budding romance between Matt and Karen Page, who departs the firm to become a crime reporter in Ben Urich’s old post. (Daredevil: Season 2)

In prison, The Kingpin uses The Punisher to kill a prison rival who happens to have been one of the men responsible for the park shootout that killed is family. The Punisher slaughters an entire army of said rival’s men, then promises to also kill The Kingpin should they meet again before being smuggled out of prison to seek out “The Blacksmith,” allegedly the true mastermind of the shootout – who turns out to be Castle’s own former military commander. Castle kills him, and uncovers a cache of advanced weaponry he decides to use to continue his campaign against organized crime. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Daredevil and Elektra team up to take down The Hand, who reveal Elektra’s true nature as a Black Sky. She ultimately attempts to reject her calling and fight against The Hand, and is killed in the ensuing final battle (which is also joined, briefly, by The Punisher.) Stick decapitates Nobu, seemingly killing him for good. Nelson & Murdock disband, with Foggy taking a job with Jeri Hogarth’s firm. Murdock elects to continue operating as Daredevil. (Daredevil: Season 2)

The Hand take possession of Elektra’s body, and entomb it in a huge clay jar – implying that they plan to revive her the same way Nobu was. (Daredevil: Season 2)

Agents of SHIELD Spacetime Hive A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Alveus, aka “Hive,” inhabiting the body of S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor Grant Ward

Gideon Mallick and Grant Ward force Leo Fitz to open a new portal to Maveth. Ward and Fitz both enter, pursued by Coulson. Hive, who has killed Will Daniels and assumed his form, tries to trick Fitz into taking him back to Earth, but is found out and incapacitated. Fitz and Coulson escape, but Coulson takes a moment to crush Ward’s chest with his new mechanical hand, killing him. This allows Hive to take over Ward’s body and use it to escape to Earth, meeting up with Mallick and assuming control of HYDRA. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

Hive, in the guise of Grant Ward, takes total control of HYDRA and uses his powers to mind-control all of the cult’s Inhuman soldiers; unveiling his true ambition: The wipe out humanity and claim Earth as a homeworld for The Inhumans – united by his parasitic “collective consciousness.” As a display of power, he murders Gideon Mallick’s daughter out of “revenge” for Mallick’s sacrificed brother. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3)

During an attempt to apprehend the HYDRA fugitive Brock Lumlow, aka “Crossbones,” The Avengers become engaged into a brawl in Lagos, Nigeria. When countermeasures taken against Crossbones detonating a suicide vest backfire, the explosion instead destroys a nearby building – claiming the lives of several Wakandan diplomats and leading to worldwide outrage. In response, The United Nations drafts a proposal called The Sokovia Accords, which would place The Avengers under U.N. oversight and require the registration of all superheroes and “enhanced” individuals. Tony Stark, having recently been confronted by the mother of Charles Spencer, announces that he will back the accords, and asks The Avengers to join him. (Captain America: Civil War)

Agent Peggy Carter dies peacefully in her sleep. At her funeral, Steve Rogers’ onetime S.H.I.E.L.D. handler “Agent 13” reveals that she is, in fact, Sharon Carter – Peggy’s niece. (Captain America: Civil War)

CIVIL WAR

captain america vs iron man shield A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Doctor Andrew Garner, aka the Inhuman serial killer “Lash,” turns himself in to S.H.I.E.L.D. believing himself to be only one transformation away from permanently becoming a monster. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

A terrorist matching the description of The Winter Soldier detonates a bomb at the signing of the Sokovia Accords in Germany, killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Captain America, aided by The Falcon and Sharon Carter, opts to investigate the matter and track down Bucky Barnes himself – violating The Sokovia Accords and aligning Iron Man, War Machine, Black Widow and The Vision against him. T’Chaka’s son, Prince T’Challa – inheritor of the symbolic mantle of The Black Panther (a suit of vibranium armor cast in the image of Wakanda’s patron god) – vows to kill The Winter Soldier on his own. (Captain America: Civil War)

Acting under The Sokovia Accords, General Talbot assumes more direct oversight of S.H.I.E.L.D. During this time, an attempt to rescue a precognitive Inhuman from Hive provides Mallick with an opportunity to surrender himself – and for Daisy to experience a flash-forward vision of an unknown S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent dying in outer space. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

 

Captain America and The Black Panther battle over custody of The Winter Soldier, with all players ultimately surrendering to the U.N. backed Avengers until Barnes (activated by mind-control trigger phrases uncovered by Helmut Zemo) goes on a rampage. Ultimately subdued, Barnes remembers the existence of the other Winter Soldiers and asks Captain America to help him find and neutralize them; believing that Zemo intends to reactivate them. Captain America, Carter and Falcon recruit Scott Lang – aka “Ant-Man” – to help them escape Germany. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Tony Stark, having discovered that the mystery superhero Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker – a teenager from Queens, conscripts him to help recapture Captain America and his “rogue” heroes. He outfits the boy with a new high-tech version of his uniform, under the guise of an academic scholarship and an agreement not to inform his aunt, May Parker, of his secret identity. Elsewhere, Hawkeye (who had retired as an Avenger) helps Scarlet Witch escape from Avengers HQ, where she had been being kept against her will by The Vision and Iron Man for her own “protection.” (Captain America: Civil War)

Spideyheader A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Hive stages an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, which Daisy and Lincoln (who were offsite recovering one of Afterlife’s lost anti-Hive weapons from a reclusive Australian Inhuman) attempt to thwart by activating the Secret Warriors program and calling S.H.I.E.L.D.-allied Inhumans in to help. Though initially successful, it is revealed that Hive’s influence has infected one or more of the good Inhumans, leading to mistrust and a lockdown. However, the infectee turns out to be Daisy herself, who devastates much of S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ before leaving to join Hive and taking the “weapon” with her. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

Captain America, Iron Man and their respective forces clash at the Berlin International Airport as Cap attempts to depart for Siberia to stop Zemo. Much of the airport is destroyed in the ensuing battle, as Ant-Man reveals a previously hidden ability to reverse his powers and become a giant. During the fight, Cap and Bucky are able to escape when Black Widow betrays Stark’s team by stalling The Black Panther from thwarting their escape – but elsewhere on the field, a distraction causes The Vision to misfire his energy beam weapon; wounding War Machine and ultimately paralyzing him from the waist down. Cap and Bucky escape, but their comrades are arrested and sent to the superhero prison The Raft by Secretary Ross. Stark orders Spider-Man to return home to New York. Black Widow, now wanted by the authorities herself, disappears. (Captain America: Civil War)

Iron Man is informed that evidence has been discovered confirming Helmut Zemo as the true architect of the U.N. terrorist bombing, and travels to Siberia to help Captain America and Bucky Barnes. However, once there they discover that Zemo has murdered the surplus Winter Soldier operatives, and has instead lured the trio to the facility in order to reveal video evidence of The Winter Soldier murdering Howard and Maria Stark. As Zemo had planned, this causes Stark to attack Barnes in a rage; leading to a skirmish during which all three men beat eachother nearly to death: Barnes loses his cyborg arm, Iron Man’s armor is disabled and Captain America symbolically surrenders his shield – which had been designed by Howard Stark. Zemo attempts to commit suicide, but is instead taken into custody by Black Panther, who had followed the heroes and learned the truth. (Captain America: Civil War)

Peter Parker returns to Queens, New York to resume his high school life and career as Spider-Man. He is still in possession of the advanced suit given him by Iron Man, which appears to contain secrets that he is still discovering. (Captain America: Civil War)

Hive and Daisy, along with Hive’s other “turned” Inhumans, take control of a small town to use as a base of operations. Using the “weapon” – actually a beacon that alerts Kree agents to his whereabouts – Hive summons several of the aliens in a bid to kill them and use their blood to create a weapon to transform all of humanity into enslaved “primitive” Inhumans with the aid kidnapped human scientist Holden Radcliffe. However, when a S.H.I.E.L.D. strike force kills the Kree invaders before they can be harvested, Hive aims to use Daisy’s blood instead – even if it kills her. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

In a desperate bid, S.H.I.E.L.D. releases Lash as an anti-Hive measure. He manages to rescue and “cure” Daisy, but at the cost of his own life – which he believes to have been his destiny all along. Hive later allows himself to be taken “captive,” instead releasing himself and his minions into S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ where he attempts to use their aircraft to carry out his “Terrigen Bomb” master plan. Daisy, now believing that her vision showed her own fate as giving up her own life to kill Hive, tries to do so – but Lincoln does the deed instead, flying himself and the villain into Earth’s upper atmosphere and detonating the hip, killing both himself and Hive. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Daisy A Chronological History of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Several months after the fight with Captain America in Siberia, Stark (who has committed his resources to restoring War Machine’s ability to walk using bionics) receives an anonymous delivery of a cellular phone and a letter from Captain America implying a possible reconciliation. As he reads it, he receives word from Secretary Ross that Captain America has broken into The Raft and liberated Ant-Man, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch. (Captain America: Civil War)

Believing himself too dangerous to be free with HYDRA’s triggers still programmed into his head, Bucky Barnes elects to be placed back into cryogenic stasis by scientists in Wakanda. It is implied that, outside of the doctors and The Black Panther himself, only Captain America is otherwise aware of this. (Captain America: Civil War)

At an unspecified point in the near future, Phil Coulson is demoted from his post as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director and returned to active field duty, the new Director’s identity being yet unknown. Coulson’s new mission is to track down Daisy, who has left S.H.I.E.L.D. and is now operating as a vigilante protecting her fellow Inhumans. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3)

 

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