In just two short weeks, millions, perhaps even billions of people will crowd cinemas to witness the movie event of the decade, Avengers: Endgame. It’s taken over a decade and twenty-one movies to get here, the final showdown between and earth’s mightiest heroes that promises to close this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While nothing may prepare us for the emotional wreck that lies ahead, we can at least use the few days left until Endgame’s release to spend some more time with our favorite heroes. We hope you’ve spent the last week binging through Phase One, because if you’ve not started by now you’d probably need the Time Stone to catch up. Let’s get started with Phase Two!
Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 – After the Battle of New York left loads of alien tech scattered across the city, you’d think more than a few people would want to get their hands on it. This short film found on The Avengers home video release follows a couple who have some nefarious plans for the Chitauri weapons they’ve scooped up.
Iron Man 3 – Our personal favorite of the Iron Man trilogy adapts the iconic Extremis storyline from the comics. While still recovering from PTSD due to the events of The Avengers, a dark figure from Tony’s past comes back not to haunt him and destroy everything he holds dear.
Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King – Found on the Blu-Ray of Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s final one-shot was perhaps an attempt to dissipate many fans’ disappointment with Iron Man 3’s portrayal of its main antagonist. Personally we love Ben Kingsley’s take on the iconic Mandarin, so this feels somewhat unneeded.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 101-107 – Phil Coulson, the lovable S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that popped up throughout most of the Phase One films as well as Captain Marvel returns to helm a special task force with the mission of investigating some of the world’s most dangerous and bizarre cases.
Thor: The Dark World – Along with Iron Man 2, this film ranks fairly low among the MCU movie slate thanks to its disappointing villain, the dark elf Malakith who wants to use a mysterious event called the Convergence to swallow the nine realms in eternal darkness. Tom Hiddleston’s fantastic performance as Loki is more than enough reason to stick through it, along with the introduction of the Reality Stone.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 108-116 – Coulson, newcomer Skye, and agents May, Fitz, Simmons, and Ward are on the hunt for a mysterious figure known as the Clairvoyant. While season one takes a while to find its feet, those who stick through this slower period will be very happy when it does.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Steve Rogers has spent his time since the Battle of New York working as a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, but when he suspects something sinister brewing within the organization he quickly finds millions of lives on the line. Nick Fury and Black Widow along with newcomer Falcon join Cap to take on Hydra once again in Joe and Anthony Russo’s astounding entry into the MCU.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 117-122 – The final episodes of season one see Coulson and team on the run and wondering who they can trust after the events of The Winter Soldier leave S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray.
Guardians of the Galaxy – When it was first announced, many thought this unknown team spelled the end of the MCU. How wrong they were! The Guardians brings us back to the cosmic side of the universe as Star-Lord and company band together to fight Ronan the Accuser a fanatical Kree terrorist who intends to get his hands on the Power Stone. Thanks to the epic space battles, quirky characters, and catchy 70’s mixtape, this film immediately became our favorite Marvel Studios film.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 – Surprisingly, director James Gunn has stated that the Guardians sequel takes place only a few months after the team’s first adventure. The self-contained story follows the family drama between sisters Gamora and Nebula as well as Star-Lord and his father Ego. While it can’t hold up compared to the original, another superb soundtrack as well as the emotional story of family bonds make for a satisfying romp through the cosmos. And really, who can’t help but fall in love with Baby Groot?
Daredevil Episodes 101-113 – Gritty, raw, and powerful, Netflix’s take on the Man Without Fear is consistently ranked as one of the best shows to ever grace the small screen. Matt Murdock is a lawyer by day, vigilante by night who is determined to take down the organized crime wave that has blossomed in NYC in the aftermath of the Chitauri invasion. If you don’t have Netflix, don’t worry; you can find the show on Blu-Ray as well.
Jessica Jones Episodes 101-113 – Former superhero turned private investigator, Jessica must use her skills to track down a nightmare from her past who has mysteriously resurfaced. David Tennant’s personation of the diabolical Purple Man puts him right up with Loki as one of Marvel’s best villains. Like the rest of Netflix’s Marvel shows, Jessica Jones has plenty of references to the larger MCU, but sadly have no impact on the films.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 201-219 – Season 2 showcases the rise of the Inhumans, super-powered individuals who are the result of Kree genetic manipulation eons ago.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Tony Stark is tormented with the knowledge that Loki’s attack on New York is a sign of something much worse to come. His visions lead him to use the Mind Stone to create Ultron, a sentient android who quickly decides that humanity is its own worst enemy. While the film can feel like it’s juggling too many storylines at times, the action scenes are great and it’s here we meet Vision, Scarlett Witch, and Quicksilver for the first time.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 20-22 – The final three episodes of this season directly tie into the events of Age of Ultron and reveal that Coulson and crew had a huge part to play in the Avengers’ final victory.
Ant-Man – After the earth-shattering events in the last film, Marvel decided to give audiences a breather with a much smaller adventure. Paul Rudd plays the adorably funny Scott Lang, a criminal who gets more than he bargained for when his latest heist lands him a suit that allows the wearer to shrink…and interact with the creepy crawlies in the yard. This film is true comedy gold and often gets lost in the franchise’s bigger offerings.