Marvel Cinematic Universe Continuity Analysis V3.5
- Tony Stark shows up at the end of The Incredible Hulk and says "What if I told you we were putting a team together?" The audience should already know who Tony Stark is when they see this scene.
- Iron Man 2 takes place during The Incredible Hulk, and the end credits scene of Hulk actually takes place after Iron Man 2. Thus, there's no logical reason why Hulk needs to be watched before Iron Man 2.
- Phil Coulson leaves for New Mexico halfway through Iron Man 2, and the end credits scene shows him going after Thor's hammer in the New Mexico desert. Thor shouldn't be watched before this scene is watched, and therefore should be watched after Iron Man 2.
- The plot of Captain America is centered around the Tesseract, which is from Odin's treasure vault and was left on Earth in 965 AD. This ancient battle on earth is shown in Thor. The end credits scene of Thor shows the Tesseract and is intended to make the viewer curious about the nature of this strange object before they see it in action in Captain America. However, this end credits scene could also be seen as leading directly into The Avengers. In V2, Captain America has been adjusted to not require having seen any previous movies.
- The Avengers shouldn't be watched until all of the previous movies have been watched, for obvious reasons.
- A large portion of the plot of Iron Man 3 directly references and flashbacks to the events of The Avengers.
- Thor: The Dark World references The Avengers many times, including when Jane says she saw Thor in New York on TV, and Erik Selvig's poor mental state after having Loki inside his head in The Avengers.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier features the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. In Thor: The Dark World, Jane fears that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents will come after her, so this should be watched before we see S.H.I.E.L.D. go down. Additionally, at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see Maria Hill go to work for Stark Industries, so this movie shouldn't be watched before Iron Man 3 as she's nowhere to be seen in that film.
- Guardians of the Galaxy features a visit to the Collector, which is teased by the end credits scene of Thor: The Dark World. This scene introduces the Collector and the concept of Infinity Stones, which are explored and explained further in Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron directly deals with the fallout from the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D., making it imperative to have watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier prior to watching this movie. It also features a vision in which Thor sees the four infinity stones revealed so far, including the orb from Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Ant-Man references Avengers: Age of Ultron in multiple ways, including the line "[The Avengers are] probably busy dropping a city" and Ant-Man's fight with the Falcon at the New Avengers Facility only makes sense if you know that the Falcon joined The Avengers, which takes place in Age of Ultron.
- In Civil War, Sam Wilson gets Ant-Man to help team Cap fight team Stark. He's able to do this because he began searching for Ant-Man at the end of Ant-Man. This movie is so confusing already that there's no need to make it more confusing by not watching Ant-Man before watching this movie.
- Doctor Strange introduces the Time Stone, the 5th Infinity Stone to be seen in the Marvel Universe. As this stone is not included in Thor's Age of Ultron vision of Infinity Stones, Doctor Strange should be watched AFTER Age of Ultron.
- The only movie that needs to be watched before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Guardians of the Galaxy! This movie takes place shortly after the first one, and bears no connection to any movies in between.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming includes a Spidey-vlog from Civil War, and in general the plot heavily draws from Civil War.
- Thor:Ragnarok features Doctor Strange, and therefore must be watched after Doctor Strange. Interestingly, it doesn't reference any other movie since Age of Ultron.
- Black Panther takes place after Civil War and parts of the Plot reference T'Chaka's death in Civil War.
- Infinity War must be watched after every movie released prior to it. It picks up directly from the ending of Thor: Ragnarok; it features the Guardians of the Galaxy including Mantis, who was introduced in Volume 2; it references Tony and Pepper's engagement which took place in Spider-Man: Homecoming; and it references Wakanda opening their borders in Black Panther.
- The end credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp shows how the ending of Infinity War affected the characters from Ant-Man and the Wasp.
- The mid-credits scene of Captain Marvel shows the direct result of Infinity War.
- Endgame follows from the mid-credits scenes of Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
- The plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home is driven by Tony's death in Endgame.