The Marvel movie timeline covers from the dawn of time to now across 21 movies and many more TV shows: here's a complete history of the MCU.
10 years ago, Marvel introduced moviegoers to a unique, innovative movie universe with a shared timeline, one that's grown to become the biggest film franchise on the planet. But how do you weave this ongoing story into a single, cohesive narrative? That's the fundamental challenge facing Marvel visionary Kevin Feige, in the face of an ever-expanding canon. He's promised an official timeline will eventually be published, and claims it will answer every fan's questions. But this timeline is unlikely to resolve all the issues, and if it's published by Marvel Studios, it may not even include the TV shows and tie-in comics.
Read More: Marvel Has Released An Official MCU Timeline
First, here's the order of when all the MCU movies take place. This is a chronological order, not release order: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 released in 2017 but is set shortly after the original, several films are set directly in the wake of Captain America: Civil War, while 2019's Captain Marvel is set in 1995.
- 1943-1945: Captain America: The First Avenger
- 1995: Captain Marvel
- 2010: Iron Man
- 2011: Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor
- 2012: The Avengers, Iron Man 3
- 2013: Thor: The Dark World
- 2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man
- 2016: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther
- 2016 through to 2017: Doctor Strange
- 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
- 2018: Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man & the Wasp
- 2019: Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home
With that established, it's now time to dive deeper into the history of the MCU, from the Dawn of time to Thanos' snap.
Last updated: March 7, 2019
- Page 1: 13 billion to 2.5 billion years ago - The Dawn of Time
- Page 2: 3000 BC to 0 AD - The Creation Of Asgard & Fall Of Titan
- Page 3: 0 AD to 1990 - The Rise of K'un Lun & Hydra
- Page 4: 1940s - WWII, Hydra, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Page 5: 1950s-1990s - Hydra (& Others) Plan for Domination
- Page 6: 1990-2007 - Captain Marvel & Main Story Setup
- Page 7: 2008-2011 - The Age of Heroes
- Page 8: 2011-2012 - Fury's Big Week and The Avengers Initiative
- Page 9: 2012-2014 - The Avengers In Action
- Page 10: 2014-2016 - New Heroes Rise
- Page 11: 2016 - The Avengers Fall
- Page 12: 2016-2018 - The Road To Infinity War
The Dawning Days of Creation Itself
The Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to follow the so-called "cyclic model," with an eternal cosmos locked in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. According to the Collector, the Infinity Stones come from the universe before our own. As he told the Guardians of the Galaxy:
"Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots... Infinity Stones."
The Infinity Stones weren't the only thing to survive the previous universe. The dying days of the universe before ours were ruled by the Dark Elves, some of whom also somehow made their way into this cosmos. They were used to a reality that was in the last stages of heat death, an infinite darkness. They settled on the realm of Svartalfheim, and would forever seek to restore their dark universe.
The Age of the Celestials
The powerful race known as the Celestials were born in the earliest days of the universe. These beings were forged from so-called "living light," which they used to manipulate matter itself and create their own bodies. It's possible these were the beings who "forged" the Infinity Stones into their current form. They certainly took possession of the Power Stone, and the Collector showed footage of the Celestials using it to judge entire worlds and civilizations.
The final fate of the Celestials is unclear, but it seems likely that other races rose up to wage war against them. The Celestials were rendered virtually extinct, with just fragments of their bodies left behind; one gigantic skull would ultimately become the mining installation Knowhere. Only one last Celestial was left, the newborn being who would come to call himself Ego.
According to the Collector, the Power Stone was briefly acquired by a group of lesser beings, who used its power for moments before being consumed. It's possible they used it against the Celestials, and that these monstrous alien beings were destroyed by their own weapon. The Power Stone was ultimately secreted on the planet Morag.
Sources: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Founding of Wakanda
2.5 million years ago, a Vibranium meteorite impacted East Africa. The entire area was transformed by Vibranium dust, with the energies emitted from the rare metal leading flora and fauna to evolve in a unique way. Humans settled in the area over 10,000 years ago, and warring tribes battled it out. The tribal conflict ultimately came to an end when one warrior-chieftain, Bashenga, received a vision from the Panther God. He was guided to the rare Heart-Shaped Herb, and ingesting this granted Bashenga tremendous superhuman powers. Bashenga used these powers to unite the tribes, and formed the world’s first civilization – Wakanda. He became the first Black Panther.
Wakanda was mostly dedicated to worship of the Panther God, Bast, although the Jabari tribe continued to worship Hanuman. It seems likely Bashenga was the one who first guided the Wakandans to begin tapping into the secrets of Vibranium, as they named the Vibranium mound after him. The Black Panthers became ancestral defenders of Wakanda, with successive Black Panthers protecting their nation from any threats. Wakanda became increasingly isolationist over the millennia, distancing itself from the rest of the world.
Sources: Black Panther; The Art of Black Panther
Page 2: Extraterrestrial Societies
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019