The MCU timeline is no easy beast to navigate. There are now well over 20 movies, a few dozen TV shows, and even some "One-shots" that come in between the major releases. Diving into how exactly how every major event from the Marvel movies and TV shows fit into chronological order is, therefore, quite a challenge.
However, we here at GamesRadar+ love a challenge. We're compiled the entire MCU timline – and we mean complete. No stone has been left unturned when putting all the Marvel movies and TV shows into chronological order. We track it all, from Cap's 1940s beginnings, right through to Spider-Man: Far From Home and its leap into the future. All the One-Shots are here, too.
With the upcoming Black Widow movie and Marvel Phase 4 on the horizon, there's never been a better time to brush up on the MCU timeline. So, without further ado, here's every Marvel movie and TV show in chronological order.
MCU timeline: 1943-1995
- Captain America: The First Avenger (1943-45)
- One Shot: Agent Carter (1944)
- Agent Carter season 1 (1946)
- Agent Carter season 2 (1947)
- Captain Marvel (1995)
Things are relatively simple – for now. The tale of Steve Rogers does, admittedly, take place partly in 2011 thanks to the First Avenger's post-credits scene. Yet the vast majority of the story takes place during World War 2 in 1943-1945, so we've included it here for clarity's sake (this will become a running theme).
After that, the Agent Carter One Shot (which charts the foundation of S.H.I.E.L.D) begins and ends in 1944. Both season of Agent Carter take place after that. Then, some 50 years later, Captain Marvel crashes into Blackbuster and meets Nick Fury. After that, there’s a big time gap until a certain Iron Man shows up.
MCU timeline: 2010-2012
- Iron Man (2010)
- Iron Man 2 (2011)
- The Incredible Hulk (2011)
- One Shot: The Consultant (2011)
- One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (2011)
- Thor (2011)
- Avengers (2012)
- One Shot: Item 47 (2012)
- Iron Man 3 (2012)
This is where things in the MCU timeline begin to ramp up a bit. Iron Man, according to Marvel’s 10 Years of Marvel Studios book, actually takes place in 2010, not 2008. Iron Man 2 comes a year later, as do The Incredible Hulk and Thor, which both, incredibly, take place that same week .
Tucked in-between the Jade Giant’s solo movie and Thor’s arrival on Earth, however, are a pair of One Shots (which were very in vogue at Marvel during the early 2010s and meant to be an added incentive for fans to buy the DVDs). Of course, Avengers tops it all off with the Battle of New York in 2012. And then comes Iron Man 3, which, despite being a Phase 2 film, takes place later that same year. Still with me? It only gets tougher from here on out.
MCU timeline: 2013-2015
- One Shot: All Hail the King (2013)
- Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 1-7 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 8-16 (2014)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 17-22 (2014)
- Daredevil season 1 (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2014)
- Agents of Shield season 2, episodes 1-19 (2015)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Agents of Shield season 2, episodes 20-22 (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Jessica Jones season 1 (2015)
- Daredevil season 2 (2015)
- Luke Cage season 1 (2015)
- Agents of Shield season 3 episodes 1-10 (2015)
Are you sitting comfortably? The All Hail the King One Shot comes several months after the events of Iron Man 3, firmly placing it in 2013. Meanwhile, Thor: The Dark World is directly mentioned after the eighth episode of the first Agents of Shield season. A similar thing happens with The Winter Solder (this was when Marvel TV were trying to tie their series into the movie events, something they later stopped doing). Everything from episode 17 right through to the end of the first season takes place after Hydra’s plan is uncovered in Winter Soldier.
Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, Vol. 2, take place in 2014, immediately after each other. Meanwhile, Daredevil season 1 also takes place that year.
In 2015, Agents of Shield season 2 deals with the fallout from Age of Ultron post-episode 19. From there, it’s a fairly straightforward run to the end of the year: Ant-Man, Jessica Jones season 1, Daredevil season 2, Luke Cage season 1 (as per Luke Cage actor telling ComicBook.com it takes place “a few months” after Jessica Jones), and the first 10 episodes of Agents of Shield season 3 – because there’s a slight time-jump after that.
MCU timeline: 2016
- Agents of Shield season 3, episodes 11-19 (2016)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Agents of Shield season 3, episodes 20-22 (2016)
- Agents of Shield season 4, episodes 1-8 (2016)
- Agents of Shield: Slingshot (2016)
- Agents of Shield season 4, episodes 9-22 (2016)
- Iron Fist season 1 (2016)
- The Defenders (2016)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
- The Punisher season 1 (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016-2017)
As you can tell, 2016 was quite a wild ride in the Marvel universe. The MCU timeline, though, is pretty easy to follow. Agents of Shield season 3’s eleventh episode has a bit of a jump, and Civil War is dealt with from episode 20 onward. Agents of Shield season 4 is only interrupted by the Slingshot web series (which is non-essential).
Spider-Man: Homecoming did its level best to mess up the MCU timeline, but it’s definitely in 2016, as explained by the director.
On the Marvel Netflix side of things, meanwhile, Iron Fist season 1 introduces the last of the Defenders, who then team up later that year in The Defenders. The Punisher season 1 takes place after all of those street-level shenanigans have concluded. Doctor Strange, of course, isn’t bound by time. His story starts in 2016 and continues into 2017. Speaking of which…
MCU timeline: 2017
- Agents of Shield season 5, episodes 1-19 (2017)
- Black Panther (2017)
- Black Widow (2017)
- Jessica Jones season 2 (2017)
- Inhumans season 1 (2017)
- Luke Cage season 2 (2017)
- Iron Fist season 2 (2017)
- Daredevil season 3 (2017)
- The Punisher season 2 (2017)
- Jessica Jones season 3 (2017)
- Runaways season 1 and 2 (2017)
- Cloak and Dagger season 1 and 2 (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017-2018)
- Agents of Shield season 5, episodes 19-22 (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2017-2018)
- Agents of Shield season 6 (Unknown)
This is it. The year of the Snap.
The Marvel Netflix shows are much of a muchness at this point, though Luke Cage season 2 definitely comes before Iron Fist season 3, and Daredevil season 3 landing a little later on the timeline makes a bit more sense thematically. Then there are the Freeform shows, Cloak and Dagger along with Runaways, which also take place pre-Snap. Or, at least, they have not dealt with Thanos's reign of terror properly yet, so there remains some question over when exactly they take place.
The Black Widow movie may be the first Marvel Phase 4 entry, but it's actually tucked in-between Civil War and Infinity War. As the third Avengers movie ends in 2018, it's a safe guess to predict that Natasha Romanoff's standalone movie takes place in 2017.
Black Panther is perhaps the hardest to place. The death of T'Challa's father in Civil War is still raw by the time his movie rolls around but, according to Marvel's own official timeline to mark the ten-year anniversary of the MCU, Black Panther is set in 2017, not 2016. Send your complaints to Kevin Feige.
Finally, when it comes to Ant-Man and the Wasp and Thor: Ragnarok, both take place immediately before Infinity War, so can be watched in either order. Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post-credits scene, though, runs simultaneously alongside Thanos’ Snap, while Ragnarok’s post-credits only take us to the beginning of Infinity War. Yes, that’s confusing. Thor: Ragnarok before Ant-Man and the Wasp is probably your best bet.
Things don't stop there, though. There's the conundrum of Agents of Shield season 6. With season 5 explicitly leading into Thanos' big moment, fans were slightly confused when season 6 failed to feature half the world disappearing. The showrunners have since reasoned that they simply couldn't deal with the Snap as they – at the time of writing season 6 – were not aware of how Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home would deal with "the Blip". Perhaps the TV show takes place on an alternate timeline? Hopefully, season 7 will clue us in.
MCU timeline: 2018-2024
Avengers: Endgame has a clear five-year-jump after the Snap (dubbed "The Blip" in Fr From Home), meaning much of the movie takes place in 2023, five years after the end of Infinity War. Spider-Man: Far From Home is set eight months after Endgame with Peter Parker mourning the loss of Tony Stark. That places it at just before, give or take, the 2024 summer holidays, hence the European vacation.
The Eternals is also set to take place sometime after Avengers: Endgame according to its official synopsis, but we'll know more later this year.