The ultimate viewing order for the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline has been set, as the chronological order of the MCU has been complied. Though even the most casual viewer is aware that the movies starring Thor, Iron Man and Captain America take place in the same universe, the exact timeline has been tricky to nail down. Now things are a little bit more clear.
The timeline used to be relatively simple in Phase 1 of the MCU, as everything (save for most of Captain America: The First Avenger) took place in the order that it was released. Yet as the universe has gotten bigger, things have become much more confusing, especially in light of the events of Spider Man: Homecoming and Doctor Strange (which seemingly broke the established MCU timeline). Still, one group of fans has charged ahead and tried to demonstrate that the MCU movie and TV show timeline of events does, in fact, make sense.
The crew at the New Rockstars put together a video that aims to put (nearly) everything in the MCU into proper chronological order. It's not comprehensive. It also expects fans to have watched or at least be aware of all the major MCU releases, as a full timeline would take literally hundreds of hours to watch. All the same, it's about as complete and logical as can be expected, even if there are some notable exemptions for the timeline. For example, while the video does add in the Defenders "universe," Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, it leaves out a few notable MCU TV properties. Hulu's Runaways, which is set in the MCU, is nowhere to be found on the timeline.
However, the more notable exclusion might be Black Panther, though it could be argued that we won't know where exactly Black Panther falls on the MCU timeline until it releases. The chances are good on it (mostly) taking place after Captain America: Civil War and before Infinity War, but there's a big gap between those two stories.
The interesting thing about this timeline is how very specific it gets with the events of the MCU. For example, it's stated that Luke Cage season 1 takes place from November 2015 to December 2015. (For reference the season was actually released in September 2016.) This makes it so Luke Cage takes place exactly a few months before Iron Fist season 1 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3. This specificity of the timeline might truly be its most impressive feature. It helps, in a big way, to make the MCU feel more complete, especially seeing events like a young Kingpin killing his father during Daredevil season 1 occurring between a flashback episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Peter Quill's conception from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
However, it's not a flawless factual representation of the MCU. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 is listed as taking place in Fall 2017 when most of it takes place much, much later in the timeline. Likewise, the "flashback" moment in Civil War of a young Tony Stark talking to his parents before their deaths took place in 1991, not mid 1980s as the video proclaims.
Even with the slight discrepancies, the timeline is a truly admirable feat. If any Marvel Cinematic Universe fan has the time and energy, it does serve as a nice guideline for watching the entire universe from beginning to end, so far.
Source: New Rockstars
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019