This non-comic book guy aims to watch all of the MCU movies, plus...

Me, I’m considering withdrawing from polite society after mostly enjoying the majority of Marvel Studios productions.

I am a monster. I’m so sorry.

(Things I found pretty good:

Daredevil S1 + S2
Wanda (mostly)
Thor 3
Capt America 2

– If you give a fart, you should watch all 4 Avengers movies at some point. They are the city into which, collectively, all roads pour. –


If your take away from any of the James Gunn films was ‘this is dull’, well, you and I clearly have nothing to talk about in films :)

Oh, you’re saying that Guardians 2 actually explores the repercussions of dealing with abuse and familial trauma, and the effects it can have on children and siblings?? BO-RING! More typical superhero fluff!

Guardians of the Galaxy, right? Yeah, that was one of the good ones.

This is unhelpful, as I can’t suggest where you should start because it would be too colored by my preferences, but I’m really interested to read your thoughts on the MCU films.

I would especially love to hear from anyone who has a take on why this particular cycle has become such a sustained blockbuster presence for nearly 15 years, beyond them just being beloved characters/iconic pre-existing properties and Disney being a vertically integrated conglomerate. There’s tons of stuff that was super popular in the 1960s and 1970s that today is limited to niche pockets of interest and would struggle to widely resonate with audiences. Is there something about the way these hero narratives are tailored that is a symptom of a larger cultural impulse? Is it the novel way the movies interact with each other, setting up new characters and plot lines in those infamous inserts and post-credit sequences? Is there an American mythology at play?

One of the reasons I think the MCU has succeeded where DC’s efforts have been highly mixed to poor, is that pretty much all of Marvel’s major characters and certainly the ones that have made it into the MCU are, no matter how powerful, grounded in some sort of real humanity and have meaningful social and personal issues woven into the core of their stories, and the MCU has been willing to run with that, I think in some cases more so than the comics.

I’m not saying there’s none of that in DC, but it’s just not nearly as intrinsic and Zack Snyder for one has done fuck all to present it.

I actually think this specifically has very little to do with it. Loads of these characters (Moon Knight? Shang-Chi? The Guardians of the Galaxy?) are much deeper cuts than even a lot of comics enthusiasts will be familiar with, and most of the people who’ve gotten hooked on the MCU have never read the comics the movies and series are based on.

Besides the perennial “Why didn’t Captain Marvel show up to help with X?”, I can’t think of a case where this would be an issue. None of the chronological order I’ve seen put Doctor Strange anywhere but the beginning of Phase 3.

Captain America is still a Phase 1 movie, so it shouldn’t be that jarring. And the FFW order above spaces out the two Guardians movies.

Besides that insane person who edited together every scene in chronological order, no one is recommending breaking up the actual movies. When people talk about a chronological viewing order, it’s understood that stories might include flashbacks and time travel.

My literal entire exposure to Moon Knight prior to the show?

Pinball FX table. A @tomchick favorite table if I recall

If the ball doesn’t split into three balls at one point then it’s a missed opportunity.

Good point, I had never heard of any of those characters. If it wasn’t for the marketing, branding, and opening credits, I would’ve easily mistaken Guardians for an original sci-fi adventure.

Release order. Only d+ series, also in release order.

D+ has a handy playlist in the right order under their marvel hub.

Another vote for release order.

Watch them in release order, without exception

For all the same reasons people have already said, but also because even some of the recommendations in this thread that are mostly release order but with some exceptions go on to cite exceptions with serious spoilers for other films.

What I’m about to put in spoiler text is not itself a spoiler, but I’m going to call out a specific recommendation made a couple times here already that I disagree with about a film you should watch in “chronological” order, so if you don’t even want to know what film I’m debating with people about, don’t read this: who are you loons who think you should watch Black Widow out of order when its post credits scene plainly references events that will happen after other significant films?

Now if you’re not in the least bit spoiler-averse (I mean, the article about viewing order you linked to yourself drops some spoilers itself), or feel like you’ve already had everything ruined for you by *gestures to culture at large*, then sure, it’s a little less important. But even if you’re not worried about having surprises ruined, there will be little quirks of continuity retcons that are inconsistent regardless of sequence, but easier to shrug off if you’re dealing with them in the same order they were written for audiences to deal with them.

Watch the D+ shows when you get to them (including the animated “What if…?”, it counts too), only dabble with the other shows as your personal interests dictate
If you’ve already watched a season of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, you’ve sampled the most critically acclaimed of the pre-D+ shows. If those left you ambivalent, you’re not going to be missing out on anything better unless it’s just a personal preference you want to indulge. And as has been pointed out, continuity with the MCU in all of those pre-D+ shows is all fuzzy at best—despite all of them initially being presented as if they were canon. Some parts are, some aren’t, some we just don’t really know. Absolutely check out Agent Carter if you love Hayley Atwell, but drop it if you’re bored with it. None of them are essential to the films or the later D+ shows.

I emphasized that one phrase, because I think it’s a key reason why the MCU worked.

I’m going to make this super short, but Marvel filed for bankruptcy in 1996, and they desperately sold off the movie rights to as many characters as they could. Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Daredevil, Fantastic Four…all those rights went to other studios. And when those movies because successful in the 2000s, Marvel saw almost none of the profits. (I think they made something like $20,000 off of Spider-Man.)

So when they decided to make their own studio in the mid-2000s, they could only use their less-popular characters, like Iron Man and Thor and Captain America. Since they couldn’t bank on the name recognition, that forced them to focus on quality and just making the best standalone movies that they could. And then they committed to making connected stories that led to event movies like The Avengers.

The other key element is Kevin Feige, who started producing on X-Men and Spider-Man, but also worked on bad movies like Elektra and Man-Thing. Working on every Marvel movie from 2000 to 2008 taught him a lot of lessons about what to do and what not to do when making a movie. They took a big swing on a risky movie and it paid off.

Yeah, this is a huge differentiator between Marvel and DC. Someone said that Marvel is about humans dealing with being gods, and DC is about gods dealing with being human. I think that (very generally speaking) people can relate more to Peter Parker not being able to pay his rent than to Superman being basically indestructible. Also, I’ve always like that Marvel comics are set in New York and Los Angeles and Chicago, instead of Metropolis and Gotham.

Watch them in alphabetical order.

You know, I had forgotten the post-credits scene in Black Widow which does contain spoilers. It’s really too bad they did not make a Black Widow film earlier than they did. I guess overall pure release order is best.

The end-credits scene only hints at later events, without specifying when or how they happened. A lot of movies will drop hints like that, and they generally don’t ruin the experience. Hell, Captain America does the exact same thing!

Plus, if you’re telling people to watch in a different order, you can easily tell them to skip the end-credits scene.

“Hey, remember the Incident! The Green Guy, the Guy with the Hammer…I got footage of all of 'em!” Congratulations, you now have the complete context of how the MCU films cross over with the Netflix shows!


…Yeah that works!

Have you never watched Nailed It?