Marvel Phase 3 Movies In Chronological Order

After two successful phases, Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a big step forward. Phases 1 and 2 had six movies, but Phase 3 had almost twice as many, with 11 films. Since 2017, the MCU has made three movies a year instead of two. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos was getting ready to show up, so Phase 3 brought in a bunch of new heroes. Four major franchises based on Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel were started, and superpowered supporting characters like Valkyrie, Wasp, Shuri, Mantis, Korg, Wong, and others joined the universe to prepare for the event film that had been in the works for years.

Phase 3 of the MCU is one of the more confusing ones because the stories come out in different order than in Phase 2, like in Phase 1. It also has two movies from earlier times in the bigger picture. If you want to make sense of the MCU Phase 3 timeline, here’s how to watch the film chronologically or, if you prefer, in the order they came out.

MCU Phase 3 Movies in Chronological Order

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel was one of the last Phase 3 movies to come out, but it happened before every other MCU movie except Captain America: The First Avenger. Most of the movie takes place in 1995 when Carol Danvers is trying to figure out how she got her superpowers and what happened in her past. She is also caught up in a fight between the Kree Empire and the Skrulls, two alien groups that will be important in the upcoming Secret Invasion.

As an MCU prequel, Captain Marvel can answer many questions about the universe. The movie shows Nick Fury as a young man and tells how he lost an eye. It also shows that the Avenger’s Initiative is named after Carol Danvers, whose call sign was “Avenger.” The fact that Carol Danvers got her powers and was thought to be missing in 1989, the same year Hank Pym quit S.H.I.E.L.D., is fascinating. The spy organization had a rough year. They lost the Tesseract, and Ant-Man quit.

The film’s final scene takes place after Avengers: Infinity War. Nick Fury uses a pager to call Captain Marvel to Earth, setting up Avengers: Endgame.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes place six months after the first movie, so it would technically be part of Phase 2’s timeline before Avengers: Age of Ultron. This short time jump between the first and second movie lets the second movie focus on the idea of found family, which is at the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In the first movie, the team becomes a family, but it can be challenging to keep them together.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is important because it sets up Nebula and Gamora’s childhood friendship under Thanos, which is important for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It also shows Peter Quill’s father, Ego, who is a Celestial. Celestials were first mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy and became more critical in Phase 4’s Eternals. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a scene with a teenage Groot that takes place four years after the rest of the movie. This means that it takes place before Avengers: Infinity War.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War was the first movie in Phase 3, which is very important. Many movies that came after this conflict directly inspired it. The film divides the superhero community over laws that say when and where they can work. Iron Man leads the side that wants registration, while Captain America breaks the law to help his friend Bucky. At the movie’s end, Captain America and Iron Man have an emotional showdown that breaks up the Avengers.

One important MCU date is 1991 when the Winter Soldier killed Tony Stark’s parents. This was a rough time in the MCU. The other is that the movie seems to take place a year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, and Vision have formed a strong team. It also introduces two new heroes to the MCU: Black Panther and Spider-Man, whose solo stories will be the next ones on the list.

One important MCU date is 1991 when the Winter Soldier killed Tony Stark’s parents. This was a rough time in the MCU. The other is that the movie seems to take place a year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, and Vision have formed a strong team. It also introduces two new heroes to the MCU: Black Panther and Spider-Man, whose solo stories will be the next ones on the list.

Black Panther

Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming could happen right after Captain America: Civil War, but Spider-Man: Homecoming jumps ahead three months, which suggests that Black Panther might come first. In the movie, T’Challa goes back to Wakanda after his father dies. He takes his rightful place on Wakanda’s throne and deals with an invading threat.

The movie’s first scene occurs in 1992, one year after the Winter Soldier killed Howard and Maria Stark. It also shows that Ulysses Klaw, first seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, had the Vibranium for a long time before Ultron got it. At the movie’s end, T’Challa realizes that Wakanda can no longer be closed off from the rest of the world. He opens Wakanda’s borders to the rest of the world, greatly affecting the MCU.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

When it first came out, Spider-Man: Homecoming made many fans confused. In the movie’s beginning, Adrian Toomes is cleaning up after the Battle of New York right after The Avengers. But the movie’s title card said it was eight years later, which didn’t make sense. Kevin Feige, who is in charge of Marvel Studios, said this mistake can be ignored.

In Spider-Man: Homecoming, three months after Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker tries to prove to Iron Man that he is a superhero. There are a lot of fun world-building easter eggs in the movie, like a Captain America PSA that, based on his costume, was supposedly filmed after The Avengers.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange doesn’t say when it occurs, but some hints might help you figure it out. Doctor Strange takes place over a long period. Stephen Strange has an accident and goes through several surgeries before he starts studying magic, so it is safe to say that the movie takes over many months or even a whole year.

But the central part of the movie, where Strange learns magic and saves the world, probably happens after Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Doctor Strange is known for making the time stone, the last of the infinity stones. The scene in the middle of the credits goes right into the next movie on the list, Thor: Ragnarok.

Thor: Ragnarök

Thor: Ragnarok says Thor and the Hulk have been gone for two years since Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thor: Ragnarok changes the Thor series and the MCU in big ways that will have effects for a long time to come. Odin’s death releases Thor’s long-lost sister Hela, which means that Asgard must be destroyed to stop her. Just before everything goes to hell, Thor and Loki finally make up.

The movie starts Bruce Banner and the Hulk on a path that eventually leads them to become one person. It also brings Valkyrie and Korg into the MCU and rewrites Thor’s character arc as a man defined by loss, which will continue into the following two movies. In the scene after the credits, Thanos’ ship sneaks up on the Asgardian ship.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Even though Ant-Man and the Wasp came out after Avengers: Infinity War and has a scene during the climax of Avengers: Infinity War, most of the movie takes place before that movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp is about Captain America’s Civil War aftermath, like Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Scott Lang is almost done with his house arrest and needs to find his old mentor Hank Pym and his romantic interest Hope Van Dyne to save Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm.

After Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp might have seemed like a nice break, but it has become one of the most important movies in the MCU. In Avengers: Endgame, the Quantum Realm was the primary way the Snap was fixed. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania, we’ll learn more about the Quantum Realm. We’ll also meet Kang the Conqueror, the new big bad of the MCU. Ghost, the main bad guy in Ant-Man and the Wasp, will be in Thunderbolts next.

Avengers: Infinity War

In Avengers: Infinity War, all superheroes had to work together. Thanos wants to kill half of all life in the universe. People like The Avengers, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy work together to stop him. But the heroes are not working together because of what happened in Captain America: Civil War. Instead, they are fighting Thanos on three different fronts.

The movie’s shocking ending, in which Thanos snapped his fingers and killed half of the universe, including many fan-favorite characters, was one of the biggest cliffhangers in movie history. People had to wait a year to see how the heroes would compensate for what they had lost.

Avengers: Endgame

The first part of Avengers: Endgame occurs right after Avengers: Infinity War. About a month goes by before the heroes go into space to fight Thanos and find out that he destroyed the Infinity Stones and the Avengers have lost.

The movie takes a big creative risk by jumping five years to 2023. This shows some big changes for the characters, like Tony Stark having a daughter, Bruce Banner and the Hulk becoming one person, and New Asgard being set up. The movie is the big finale, where all the MCU franchises unite to fight Thanos and save the universe. In the end, popular heroes like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America are gone, but the future looks bright because a whole new group of heroes has stepped up to protect the world, and there are still many stories to be told.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Even though Avengers: Endgame would be the last note to end Phase 3, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the one that tops the Phase and the whole Infinity Saga. This movie picks up after Avengers: Endgame and shows how the world reacts to the sudden disappearance and reappearance of the world’s population. Peter Parker is at the center of the story. He wants to be a normal kid going on vacation, but he also has to deal with the fact that everyone looks to him as the next big superhero.

The movie takes place in the summer of 2024, after Avengers: Endgame. This means that many other Phase 4 projects will happen before it. The main bad guy, Mysterio, connects the movie to the first Phase 3 movie, Captain America: Civil War, and the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Iron Man. This makes it a good ending to the trilogy. Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most well-known heroes, brings Phase 3 to a close.

MCU Phase 3 Movies in Release Order

  • Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
  • Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarök – November 3, 2017
  • Black Panther – February 18, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War – April 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018
  • Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019
  • Avengers: Endgame – April 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home – July 2, 2019