The MCU Timeline Break Down: In Expectation of Captain Marvel's Debut
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been entertaining audiences for more than ten years, and while all the films are amazing, each new entry can sometimes confuse viewers who might not be familiar with the timeline. For anyone planning to binge-watch all the MCU films before ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the following article is the perfect guide.
BEFORE THE MCU
Even before the creation of Earth, there were six singularities: Power, Time, Reality, Soul, Space, and Mind. These later became the Infinity Stones created by cosmic entities, and they would also be known by other names as time went by. Around this time, the Elders of the Universe, such as the Collector from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and the Grand Master from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ came into existence.
Furthermore, Quill’s father, Ego, came into existence a few million years ago. He is also a Celestial, a powerful race of cosmic beings. Thousands of years ago, Asgardians, Krees and Humans societies were created. The Sorcerer Supreme, Agamotto, founded the Masters of the Mystic Arts, creating three sanctuaries on Earth.
He was also responsible for making the Eye of Agamotto, which could use the power of the Time Stone. During the first battle of Svartalfheim, the Dark Elves were led by Malekith to destroy the Nine Realms with something called the Aether, which is revealed to be the Reality Stone. Luckily, Odin’s father, Borr, led the Asgardian army to defeat Malekith, and they were able to hide the Reality Gem.
When Odin took over Asgard, he and Hela conquered the Nine Realms for themselves, but Hela became greedy and malicious and Odin banished her. He had Thor and erased every trace of his firstborn. Afterward, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim invaded Midgard, aka Earth. But when Odin and his soldiers defeated them, he adopted a blue baby, Loki, and brokered a truce with the King of the Frost Giants, Laufey.
THE HISTORY OF BLACK PANTHER
The Vibranium meteorite crashed into Africa, and war between the closest five tribes started. The fighting stopped once a leader stepped up as the Black Panther because the god Bast appeared. But, the Jabari tribe stayed in the mountains, not joining the new leadership. Wakanda developed amazing technology with the material, but they isolated themselves from the rest of the world.
IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS LATER ON
In 1014 C.E., the Kree started a war with the Nova alien race that lasted several thousand years. In 1342 C.E., The Ancient One from ‘Doctor Strange’ was born. Shortly after that, Odin decided to hide the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone, in Norway. In 1876, the then-Black Panther killed Ulysses Klaue’s great-grandfather. In 1918, before the end of WWI, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, and Tony Stark’s father are born.
What came next was shown in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. During WWII, Johann Schmidt forced Professor Erskine to create a Super Soldier Serum; but things did not go well, and Johann became Red Skull. Then, he joined HYDRA, finds the Tesseract and starts making weapons with it. Meanwhile, Professor Erskine found another subject for the Super Soldier Serum, creating Captain America.
Steve was given a Vibranium shield created by Howard Stark, and in the meantime, Bucky Barnes was going on several missions with the unit called The Howling Commandos. Bucky went missing, which was a common occurrence. Red Skull disappeared when he tried to use the Space Stone, and Captain America crashed a HYDRA plane, sacrificing himself for the greater good.
Everyone believed that he was dead until decades later. However, Rogers, Bucky, and Tesseract were found. However, Arnim Zola kept Bucky’s reappearance a secret and renamed him The Winter Soldier, after changing his memories. In 1946, Howard Stark was considered a traitor because several of his inventions were being sold on the black market.
He became the target of the Strategic Scientific Reserve after escaping in fear of getting arrested or worse. During the cold war, his name was cleared and he founded S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Peggy Carter. But Armin Zola was able to join and started rebuilding HYDRA inside S.H.I.E.L.D. In the 60s, Howard Stark decided to step back from S.H.I.E.L.D. and focus on Stark Industries.
With the help of Anton Vanko, he started working on Arc-reactor technology, but Anton was accused of being a spy and got exiled to Siberia. Howard took all the credit for that technology, but he was not the only scientist developing incredible things at this point. Hank Pym has recently discovered the Pym Particles that could decrease an object’s size.
He and Bill Foster worked on this tech for Project Goliath, which would allow people to grow up to 20 feet. When his partnership with Foster turned sour, they parted ways, and Hank and his wife, Janet, created super suits. They worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as Ant-Man and The Wasp. During this time, Yondu Udonta was freed from Kree slavery after 20 years.
He joined The Ravagers, who were basically considered thieves, but still had certain codes no one should break. However, Yondu broke them by working with Ego and bringing him his children (even though they all died). Ego went to Earth and met Meredith Quill, who gave birth to Peter in 1980. At the time, Ant-Man and the Wasp were still on their missions, when one went tragically.
Janet was lost in the Quantum Realm after shrinking to subatomic size. Pym retired from his role as Ant-Man, and his relationship with his daughter, Hope, went south. Meanwhile, Thanos and his Black Order were going from planet to planet eliminating half their people. The Mad Titan met Gamora and took her as his daughter. He did the same to Nebula.
The Mad Titan forced both daughters to fight each other, but Gamora always won, and each time, Thanos would remove a part of Nebula’s body, exchanging it for cybernetics. The sisters became skilled fighters when they worked for Ronan the Accuser, but Gamora would rebel against him later on. After the death of his mother, Peter was kidnapped by Yondu.
However, instead of taking him to Ego, Yondu decided to keep Peter for himself and raised him with The Ravagers. Shortly after losing his wife, Hank Pym found out that S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to recreate the Pym Particles, specifically Howard Stark, who desperately wanted them. Hank quit S.H.I.E.L.D., but not before discrediting Elihas Starr’s work and banished him from the organization. The Starrs had a daughter at this point called Ava.
ANOTHER SUPER SOLDIER
Howard Stark was determined to make the Super Soldier Serum again, even without Hank Pym. When he and his wife went to deliver an incomplete product, they were killed by the Winter Soldier. After Howard’s death, his partner, Obadiah Stane, became the leader of Stark Industries. Meanwhile, Elihas Starr’s Quantum experiment went awry, killing him and his wife, Katherine.
However, his daughter, Ava, gained incredible powers. Bill Foster went to find her. The events of ‘Captain Marvel’ are set to take place around this time. The teasers have revealed that it’s somewhere in the mid-90s, but there are still no clear details. However, Nick Fury looks younger and has both eyes, and Blockbuster Video exists, which means that it has to be before 1996 when they rebranded to just Blockbuster.
In 1998, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Clint Barton is sent to look for Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff. In the meantime, Tony Stark was finding trouble for himself in the 99, when he met Aldrich Killian at a party in Bern, Switzerland. Tony told him he was interested in Aldrich’s project but left him hanging.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Bruce Banner is testing a new type of Super Soldier Serum and gets hit with gamma rays, becoming the Hulk. He went into hiding to stop others from using him as a weapon. At this time, Tony Stark does not want anything more to do with making weapons because he was kidnapped during a missile test.
However, he created his Iron Man armor. The parents of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff were killed by a Stark missile around this time as well, which means that Tony earned two new enemies, although he really didn't need anymore. Tony defeated Obadiah Stane, aka Iron Monger, and truly becomes Iron Man. Nick Fury contacted him and talked about the Avengers initiative at that point.
In ‘Iron Man 2’, Anton Wanko’s son, Ivan, wanted revenge over his father exile years earlier. Tony’s friend Rhodey steals one of his suits and helped him get through it. Meanwhile, Asgard was going through its own set of problems, as depicted in ‘Thor’. During Thor’s coronation, Frost Giants invaded, prompting Thor to want revenge, and similar to his banishment of Hela, Odin sent his son to Earth.
Loki discovered that he was a Frost Giant and tried taking Asgard for himself. When Thor and Loki battled each other, the God of Thunder destroyed the Bifrost Bridge and sent the God of Mischief through space. At this point, he met Thanos, who is known for adopting people into his army. Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to unfreeze Captain America.
S.H.I.E.L.D. was also able to track down Dr. Bruce Banner. Loki was sent to Earth by Thanos to obtain the Space Stone, and to open a portal for the Chitauri army. The Avengers assemble for the first time to stop him. This is the end of Phase One, which included the films: ‘Iron Man’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘Thor’, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, and ‘The Avengers’.
After the Chitauri invasion, Stark Industries takes over the cleanup of New York, but contractor Adrian Tombs is left out of business. However, with the help of the materials from the Chitauri, he goes into the illegal weapons business. In ‘Iron Man 3’, Tony has to face the consequences of leaving Aldrich Killian on that rooftop in 1999.
Aldrich wanted to take control of the U.S., but Iron Man was able to stop him. In ‘Thor: The Dark World’, Thor’s love interest, Jane, stumbled upon the Aether, which attached itself to her. She was brought to Asgard for treatment, but the Aether woke up Malekith and his Dark Elf army. He killed Thor’s mother, Frigga, and he asked Loki for help. The God of Mischief provided assistance but tricked Odin into giving him the throne of Asgard.
After that, the Reality Stone was given to the Collector, who had tasked Gamora with finding the Orb, which housed the Power Stone. Then, the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ take place, and S.H.I.E.L.D. made Project Insight, which wanted to keep track of superhumans. HYDRA was behind this, and they blacklisted Captain America.
Luckily, he along with Falcon and Black Widow were able to eliminate the project - but several files from S.H.I.E.L.D. were compromised. Therefore, Nick Fury created a secret version of the organization, and Bucky was able to recover some of his memories. In ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, the Kree and Nova empires finally ended their years of war, but Ronan the Accuser was not happy about it.
Star-Lord teamed up with Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and Groot to stop Ronan from using the Power Stone, which is acquired by the Nova Corps. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ might be a Phase Three movie, but it takes place right after the first one. Rocket stole Anulax batteries from the Sovereign, who are now seeking revenge against the Guardians.
Peter and his friends realize that they need to stop Ego from conquering the universe. They welcome a new member, Mantis. However, Peter realized that Yondu loved him all along. Sadly, he died to save him. Then, the events of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ take place. The team runs into Wanda and Pietro who hold a grudge against Tony because of the missile that killed their parents.
Ultron is created from an A.I. with the power in Loki’s scepter, and the program Tony was building to protect Earth. That plan misfired, and they had to create Vision from J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Mind Stone. The post-credits scene showed that Thanos finally obtained the Infinity Gauntlet. The final film of Phase Two is ‘Ant-Man’, where Scott Lang was just trying to steal something and fell into Hank Pym’s trap.
He trained him to stop Darren Cross from completing the yellow jacket. Scott battled Falcon when they tried to take a piece of tech from the Avengers compound. He used it to defeat Yellow Jacket later on and learned that he could come in and out of the Quantum Realm. By the end of the movie, Falcon tracked down Scott and Tony discovered Peter Parker, who would play a role in the following film.
In ‘Captain America: Civil War’, after a huge battle between the Avengers and Crossbones, the city of Sokovia was destroyed. This prompted the governments of the world to form the Sokovia Accords, which would regulate superhero activity. The team separates because some think they shouldn't sign.
T’Challa, the current Black Panther, seeks revenge against the Winter Soldier who was blamed for the death of his father, King T’Chaka. Tony Stark later learned that the Winter Soldier did kill his parents many years ago, but Bucky was not responsible for the death of T’Chaka. Instead, Helmut Zemo orchestrated it to separate the Avengers.
The next films happen around the same time. In ‘Black Panther’, T’Challa became King of Wakanda, and he tried to bring back Ulysses Klaue for smuggling Vibranium out of the country. Killmonger appeared and the truth about T’Challa’s uncle, Killmonger’s father, is revealed. Killmonger tried taking the throne, but T’Challa took it back and decided to open Wakanda to the world. Additionally, Shuri is helping Bucky Barnes heal in Wakanda.
Dr. Stephen Strange’s story begins when he lost the use of his hands in a car accident. Looking for a solution, he studied the mystic arts with Mordo and the Ancient One. He wields the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation. Doctor Strange was also able to defeat Dormammu. But, the Ancient One died, and Mordo turned to the other side after discovering that the Ancient One was alive, thanks to the powers of the Dark Dimension.
After the events of ‘Civil War’, Peter waited eagerly for Tony to send him on a mission and discovered Adrian Tombs, aka The Vulture, and his illegal weapon trade. Unfortunately, he caused problems in a ferry accident, which led to Tony taking back the Spider-Man suit. Luckily, he later stopped the Vulture from stealing things from an Avengers airplane and was offered a position on the team, which Peter turned down.
The God of Thunder was on a quest for the Infinity Stones and battled Surtur, taking his horned helmet to Asgard. However, when he got there, he discovered that Loki had taken disguised himself as Odin, who died later on. Hela is unleashed from her banishment, and they have to cause Ragnarok in order to stop her. The Asgardians escape on a ship, which is unfortunately ambushed by Thanos’ spaceship.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Thanos had taken the Power Stone from the Nova Corps and took the Space Stone from Loki, who had recovered the Tesseract from Asgard before leaving. The Mad Titan killed Gamora for the Soul Stone, took the Reality Stone from the Collector, battled Iron Man, The Guardians, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange for the Time Stone, and finally, took the Mind Stone from Vision’s head in Wakanda.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
The events of the film happen before ‘Infinity War’, but the post-credits scene takes place after Thanos snapped his fingers, and Hank Pym, the newly recovered Janet, and Hope disappeared, leaving Scott Lang in the Quantum Realm. There is speculation that the Quantum Realm will play a great role in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, so Scott getting stuck is vitally important.
It’s likely that ‘Captain Marvel’ will reveal several new details that will alter a bit of the timeline, but Marvel probably integrated her origin well with the current run. Let us know which MCU was your favorite and why. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who cannot wait for April. See you next time!