How to Binge the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Apparently, from what I’ve heard, Avengers: Infinity War is supposed to be the biggest superhero movie to date. I really have no idea, it’s just what people are saying and I want to be a part of it. The amount of buzz behind this movie is insane. After only one day, the new trailer is the most watched of all time [over 230 million in 24 hours across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter]. So where does that leave people like you and me, who are currently on the outside looking in? Well… still the outside of course, but don’t worry, we’ll get in. What I’m attempting to do here [with a little help of the incredibly well versed Scene Invaders guys] is provide a detailed breakdown of how to get things started and where to go from there.
If you’re like Dan, you’ve already requested off work for the May 4th premier of Infinity War. If you’re like me [the exact opposite of Dan] you don’t even have a clue which superheroes reside in which universe. You have no idea when these movies even started coming out or when they began to follow a streamlined path towards the ultimate goal of rounding out an entirely encompassed MCU. Like many-a-lay-person, I never dove into the MCU outside of the occasional watch when a friend or a roommate decided to throw a movie on. Oh, I know the Hulk. Yeah man, who doesn’t love Robert Downey Jr. How fun was Guardians of the Galaxy, chief?? After that though… what the fuck is an Ant-Man and what the hell kind of powers would Captain America even have? But I’m here to learn and if you’re reading, I’m guessing you are too. We’ve got some holiday time off coming and the entire New Year to catch up on close to 20 MCU films by the time Avengers: Infinity War drops. Let’s get into it….
Anyone can hop on wikipedia, read the list, and watch these movies in the order they were released, but what’s the fun in that. The movies are broken down into three phases, each with an Avengers movie serving as it’s endpoint*.
Start off with Captain America: The First Avenger [shout out to Chris Evans and Jenny Slate getting back together, a beam of light in our own dark chaotic universe]. None of this would be possible without Cap, so show some goddamn respect and let my man bat lead off. Then you’re gonna wanna jump into Iron Man and Iron Man 2 [our first look at Black Widow. Hey Now. I see you, boo]. Both of these films were directed by Jon Favreau and I’m a BIG Jon Favreau guy, thought I’d mention it. The Iron Man movies were probably the biggest and most publicized in these early goings and for good reason. They absolutely SMASHED at the box office. Next we can check out The Incredible Hulk [played by Edward Norton, before the roll was eventually taken over by Mark Ruffalo] and lastly Thor [a Hemsworth with a Shirtoff, sign me up], before our Phase One capstone, Marvel’s The Avengers [our first major role for Hawkeye and the first time our ensemble is all on screen together] rounds it all out.
NOTE: If you’re worried about there being a thousand Avengers and losing track of so many names, the Phase One breakdown is a great way to introduce us to the heaviest hitters early on. I almost shit my pants going back to find out when even just Black Widow, Hawkeye, or Nick Fury we’re finally introduced, so appearances from any major or minor characters who don’t have a movie named after them may or may not be missed going forward. It’s confusing.
Capitalizing on the success of the early Iron Man movies, Phase Two throws us right back into the ring with our boy Tony Stark for Iron Man 3. While piggybacking off Iron Man’s cinematic triumphs, in my outsider’s opinion, this is where Thor and Captain America really start to gain some ground within the franchise. So, next, as well as keeping with the order of releases, we’ll go with Thor: Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. [Also just realized while I was peaking at the cast that Natalie Portman in the Thor movies ….sup?? and Anthony Mackie makes his debut as Falcon in The Winter Soldier]. Next on the list, a movie that even I’ve seen, Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt at the height of his career, bomb soundtrack, I mean, who hasn’t seen it. You just had so much fun watching it, you can keep it rolling, and skip right over to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 after that. Lastly, as is customary, we close out this phase with another sprawling Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Phase Three (we’re almost home)
As the (*) above and below has foretold, we here at Scene Invaders like to consider Ant-Man the beginning of Phase Three. I remember watching this over a few beers and still having a good time on limited attention. Plus it’s always good to see Paul Rudd in anything. Up next is Doctor Strange. I know literally nothing about Doctor Strange except that he’s played by Benny Cumbo and apparently he isn’t a bad guy, despite the sinister name. By this point we’ve been well introduced to Captain America and from the title, it’s looking like we’ll have some internal strife with our next adventure, Captain America: Civil War. Following that up, we finally get our first look at an old favorite in Spider-Man: Homecoming [with Tom Holland taking over as Peter Parker]. Lastly and finally getting us up to date with all the major MCU releases is Thor: Ragnarok, another 2017 box office banger for Marvel Studios.
So there you have it… a roadmap for catching up on everything MCU [movies only, no TV series were included because my head would probably explode]. Hopefully we can knock these out in time for Black Panther on February 16th, but if not, just throw it at the end of list and get it in before the May 4th debut of Avengers: Infinity War.
One last note to make you and I really appreciate how big of a release this is… Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4 [which Dan and Bill tell me will be titled Infinity Gauntlet] were filmed back to back on a $1B budget. That’s right, a Billon. I can’t wait.
*I’m told Ant-Man is technically the end of Phase Two, but it’s really the start of Phase Three and that’s what we’re going with
OFFICIAL SCENE INVADERS MCU ROADMAP FOR BEGINNERS
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- Marvel’s The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Doctor Strange
- Captain America: Civil War
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Black Panther [Feb 16th]
- Avenger: Infinity War [May 4]
Infinity War Trailer:
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