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Marvel Movie Timeline: A Complete History Of The MCU

Fury's Big Week - 2011

Although the next three Marvel movies were technically released between 2008 and 2011, they're bound together in a tight chronology by the tie-in comic Fury's Big Week. This establishes that the events of The Incredible HulkIron Man 2, and Thor all intersect. In order to examine how these events relate to one another, we'll mostly examine them from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s perspective.

General Ross tracked down Banner in Brazil, and launched an unsuccessful covert op to bring him in. This led to Banner sneaking into the United States, much to Fury's concern. Unfortunately, this coincided with a difficult period for Tony Stark, whose body was dying of palladium poisoning. Under intense pressure due to an attack from Ivan Vanko, Stark crumbled, and a drunken party turned dangerous. His friend James Rhodes, disgusted, took one of the Iron Man armors and became the superhero War Machine.

Fury intervened personally, helping stabilize Stark and point him towards his own father's research to cure his poisoning. This intervention led Black Widow to blow her cover, and Widow supported Stark directly in defeating an attack by Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer. With Black Widow no longer needed at Stark Industries, Fury sent her to Culver University, to monitor the growing conflict between General Ross and the Hulk. That situation went public when General Ross's illegally-created super-soldier, Emil Blonsky, went on a rampage in Harlem. Blonsky was defeated by the Hulk.

At the same time, Agent Phil Coulson dealt with a first contact situation in New Mexico. Thor was banished to Earth after picking a fight with the Frost Giants; his brother Loki pursued him with the Destroyer. Thor eventually triumphed, and returned to Asgard in order to defeat Loki. In order to do so, he was forced to destroy the Bifrost.

The New Mexico incident made it clear that Earth was dangerously outgunned. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s budget was increased, and Fury focused on both the Avengers Initiative and creating Tesseract weapons. These experiments attracted the attention of Thanos, who claimed Loki as his agent. Meanwhile, in space, the destruction of the Bifrost had plunged the Nine Realms into chaos. The other Realms depended on Asgard for protection, and were now victim to countless forces of raiders.

Sources: The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor; Fury's Big Week, Thor: The Dark World Prelude, Marvel's The Avengers: The Avengers Initiative

The Avengers Initiative - 2012

S.H.I.E.L.D. successfully recovered Steve Rogers, and discovered he was still alive. Rogers was briefly sent to a S.H.I.E.L.D. safehouse in the countryside to acclimatize, before returning to New York. He would soon be needed.

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s experiments with the Tesseract drew Loki to Earth, and the Asgardian prince successfully opened a portal for the Chitauri using the Tesseract. Fortunately, Fury was able to assemble the Avengers - who were joined by Thor, sent by Odin to take Loki back to Asgard for trial. The Avengers defeated the Chitauri forces, and deactivated the portal. Although Thor took Loki back to Asgard, it was without the mysterious scepter Loki had wielded; that was stolen by Hydra agents within S.H.I.E.L.D., and taken to a Hydra base in Sokovia.

RELATED: Who Are Thanos's Allies In Avengers: Infinity War?

Although the Avengers had saved the world, it was at a price Nick Fury believed too high; the death of Coulson. Fury reluctantly had Coulson resurrected using Project T.A.H.I.T.I..

The Battle of New York is a pivotal moment in the MCU's history. It marks the point when the world had to accept that aliens existed, but also the moment when the Avengers became public knowledge. Reactions to this dual revelation were mixed; on the one hand, Earth suddenly felt a lot more vulnerable. On the other, though, it had defenders for the first time. World leaders began to consider both how to protect themselves from alien threats, and how to regulate and control "enhanced" individuals. One possible option was to follow the lead of James Rhodes, who continued to operate as the US Government's War Machine. Rhodes wasn't involved in the Battle of New York, as he was in Asia at the time, dealing with a Ten Rings terrorist attack.

Sources: The AvengersAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1; Iron Man 3 Prelude, Thor: The Dark World Prelude, Avengers: Age of Ultron - This Sceptre'd Isle

Page 9: Avengers Fallout

Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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