What is the correct order to watch The Avengers Movies?

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Avengers Movie Timeline 03For a while now, in the back of my mind, I’ve had a burning question.

No it isn’t how to cure world hunger (There are people already on that) or how we’ll be overrun by bar-tending robots one day…
No, this is quite profound… I tussle and fret over what the correct order to watch movies are.

Not just any movies, though, but The Avengers and the movies that lead upto it.

Now, The Avengers (Like Star Wars, in a way) have a build up that include crucial narrative and character elements that are within other movies (And a couple of shorts).

Its basically down to this, as I see it:
The Avengers, as a movie by itself is crammed full of ego.
Its a film about a group of superheroes, and you need to consider that for a second to appreciate it for more than it appears at first glance.

Superheroes…

Here we have a Movie, which has had 5 other movies almost made for it. Each of these characters have their own backstory, enemies, love interests, fears, insecurities and character flaws. They’re also superheroes, of course, which makes them powerful. One is a god, too.

So to watch the Avengers and really appreciate it, the movies that explain these elements should first be watched… But there’s more!

Of course, these movies have their own order, and not just that, but they intersect in places and some even span different time periods and therefore cause havoc in the chronology of the timeline. Questions are raised and before long this becomes a web of connections, storylines, meetings, mentions, passing glances, movie quotes, newspaper clippings and… Ok, maybe not newspaper clippings, but you get the idea.

Anyhow, after some idle research comprised mostly of reading many comic-nerd discussion threads on the internet, think I have it! There is also a cool infographic made by Patrick Casey Bennett over at CBM which neatly, but still confusingly, displays the timeline. If you’re interested, there is a complete infographic as well as a lot of explanation of the various elements, which I wont quote here. If you’re interested its on CBM.

Here is the condensed version:
Avengers Movie Timeline 01

I’ve determined that The Avengers and its supporting movies should be watched in the following order:

1. Captain America. – This is definitely the film that has the earliest origin.
2. Iron Man – Apparently supposed to take place around 6 months before Iron Man 2.
3. The Incredible Hulk – Very close in timeline to Iron Man 2 and could switch places. It does break up the Iron Man movies though…
4. Iron Man 2 – Obviously!
5. Thor – This movie ending leads most directly into the Avengers.
6. The Avengers!

But wait, there’s more!

There are also 2 short movies included in the whole timeline which sit uneasily between the feature-length movies to add extra background on some of the characters. These were originally provided as extras on some of the Blu-Ray discs. It should also probably be noted that there are a lot more deleted scenes and extras that could also be mentioned here and (Of course) a lot of comic content to fill the space between movies, but even I’m not that particular about that…

So the complete list would be:

1. Captain America – This is definitely the film that has the earliest origin.
2. Iron Man – Apparently supposed to take place around 6 months before Iron Man 2.
3. The Incredible Hulk – Very close in timeline to Iron Man 2 and could switch places. It does break up the Iron Man movies though…
4. Iron Man 2 – Obviously!
5. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer – Short Movie
6. Thor – This movie ending leads most directly into the Avengers.
7. The Consultant – Short Movie
8. The Avengers!

So there you have it, at least now you know.

I know I do, and I’ll sleep better for it…

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