Nine days. Just over a week remains until Avengers: Endgame premiers in what will certainly be the largest opening weekend of all time. Two hundred hours are all thats left for us to prepare for the cheers of triumph as our favorite heroes vanquish Thanos, and also the tears that are sure to flow as some are taken away from us forever. That also leaves us with just about 13,000 minutes to binge as much of the current MCU as we can. If you’re just starting you might be able to fit all the films in before the final Avengers team up, but those alone add up to a whopping 44.7 hour runtime! Without further ado, let’s get back into it!
Daredevil 201-213 – Season 2 of the Netflix smash hit follows Matt Murdock’s exploits as he confronts a mysterious group of assassins known only as The Hand, along with Frank Castle, better known as the Punisher. Connections to the greater MCU firmly tie in the events within Hell’s Kitchen to the greater universe, even if we’ve yet to see this version of Daredevil show up on the big screen.
Luke Cage 101-113 – Power Man seems to be at the top of his game when he’s part of the two man team known as Heroes for Hire, but Luke Cage shows that he can be just as great on his own. Unbreakable skin is a nice perk to have, but even that might not be enough to save him from one of New York’s biggest crime lords. Look for it on Blu-Ray and Netflix.
Agents of SHIELD 301-319 – Unlike past seasons, the bulk of season three is content to stay within its own corner of the MCU. Inhumans are on the rise and Agent Coulson begins the task of creating his own superhero team known as the Secret Warriors.
Captain America: Civil War – Many jokingly refer to this film as Avengers 2.5 due to it’s huge cast (Iron Man, the Avengers, and newcomers Spider-Man AND Black Panther), but this is still very much Cap’s story. It also feels more impactful than Age of Ultron, since the Sokovia Accords and the ensuing brawl between Cap and Tony’s rival teams have a lasting effect that has yet to be resolved.
Agents of SHIELD 320-322 – While the Sokovia Accords threaten the team from within, the Secret Warriors must band together to take on Hive, perhaps the most dangerous Inhuman they’ve faced off against yet.
Black Panther – Truly a cultural force to be reckoned with, Wakanda took the world by storm in 2018 and propelled the film to become Marvel Studios’ fifth billion dollar release. The self-contained story sees T’Challa return home to take his place as king after his father’s untimely death in Civil War. His reign seems to be short-lived, however, as the villainous Killmonger leads an uprising that not only threatens Wakanda, but the entire world.
Doctor Strange – It’s hard to place exactly when the events of Doctor Strange occur since it’s place in the overall timeline is somewhat of a mystery, but here seems just as good a place as any. After all, it takes Stephen Strange years to transform from arrogant surgeon to our dimension’s protector as the Sorcerer Supreme. Here we are introduced to the time stone, the final infinity stone to turn up before the events of Infinity War.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Ignore the opening banner that asserts this film takes place eight years after the first Avengers film. Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has already confirmed that the date is a flub and the film takes place shortly after the events of Civil War. Although Sony’s first partnership with Marvel Studios throws a wrench in the timeline, it is actually one of the best Spider-Man films ever made, thanks to the wonderful cast of Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton as the menacing Vulture. Iron Man even makes an extended cameo appearance, as if the title itself didn’t tip off viewers that Spider-Man is officially back at Marvel.
Agents of SHIELD 401-422 – Taking a cue from season 3’s fantastic ratings, AOS continues to ignore the happenings of the greater MCU and march to their own beat. Three separate segments, or “pods” split the show into self-contained storylines that feel more like the three unique seasons. Ghost Rider makes his MCU appearance in the first, while the second sees S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrated with Life Model Decoys, sophisticated robots similar to Blade Runner’s replicants. Agents of Hydra turns the series on its head as the team wake up to find themselves in a world taken over by Hydra.
Iron Fist101-113 – If you’re running behind on your marathon and want to play catch up, by all means skip this Netflix series. Plot lines are left behind, characters are bland, and for a series about a martial arts master, the fight scenes are complete crap. Just jump ahead to The Defenders if you want to see Danny Rand in action.
The Defenders 101-108 – Just like The Avengers did before it, Marvel brings together the disparate faces of the Netflix MCU to take on a villain too strong for one alone. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist face off against Alexandra, leader of The Hand who is brought to life by the wonderful Sigourney Weaver. Unfortunately the series is a one-off and rather short at only eight episodes.
The TV side of the MCU is absolutely explodes after this, although the shows’ timelines aren’t set in any particular place. We just know they take place after Civil War and before Thor: Ragnarok, so watch them whenever you like. These include:
The Punisher 101-113
The Punisher 201-213 – Both series of the Punisher take place shortly after the events of The Defenders and can be found on Netflix.
Inhumans 101-108 – Marvel seems to have forgotten this series exists…it’s so bad maybe we should too.
Runaways 201-213 – This show based off one of our favorite comic books is exclusive to Hulu.
Jessica Jones 201-213
Luke Cage 201-213
Iron Fist 201-213
Daredevil 301-313 – Although we didn’t know it, the latest seasons of the NMCU (Netflix MCU) would also be the last. Iron Fist improves but is still the weakest of the bunch, but Daredevil really returns to form and received ratings on par with its first season. We can only hope these characters return on Hulu, Disney +, or maybe even in future films.
Agents of SHIELD 501-522 – Sitting at an astonishing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, season 5 sets an impressive benchmark for other shows to achieve. The Coulson and team go to space, we are reacquainted with the Kree, and the squad must fight off an alien invasion above Chicago. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Ant-Man and the Wasp – After the tragic events of Avengers: Infinity War, it was nice to take a breather with the hilarious bug-sized duo. Much of this film takes place after Civil War, but you might want to hold off on that post credit scene since it directly ties into the last Avengers film.
Thor: Ragnarok – Director Takai Watiti injects the Thor franchise with a heavy dose of his signature comedic style that serves to reinvigorate the franchise. It’s a little odd that the film set around the destruction of Asgard can be so funny.
Avengers: Infinity War – If you didn’t see this film in theaters last year, you’re in the minority. Thanos leaves a trail of destruction throughout the galaxy as he sets out to collect all six of the infinity stones and obliterate half the universe. It’s without question one of the best superhero films to ever grace the screen, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch half our heroes turn to dust.