Official MCU Timeline Released – But Does It Make Sense?

If you've wanted official confirmation regarding the MCU timeline, you're in luck. The book Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years offers up a timeline that firmly places the majority of Marvel Cinematic Universe films in distinct years – but there's a catch. Obsessive (some would even say nerdy) fans have already begun to pick this timeline apart and comment that some of it doesn't add up. See the official MCU timeline below. Plus: learn when Avengers: Infinity War is coming to Netflix.

The many movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe span several decades, which has understandably led to some confusion. Just when are all these films taking place? Sometimes it's clear that the stories being told are unfolding in the same particular time period. But other times, it can be a bit muddled. The new book Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years attempts to set the record straight with an official timeline (via ScreenRant):

1943-1945: Captain America: The First Avenger

2010: Iron Man

2011: Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor

2012: The Avengers: Iron Man 3

2013: Thor: The Dark World

2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man

2016: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming

2016-2017: Doctor Strange

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2017: Black Panther, Thor Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War

You might immediately notice that Ant-Man and the Wasp isn't included here, even though we know it took place on or around the time of Infinity War. It's likely the timeline was put together before Ant-Man and the Wasp hit theaters, and the book went to print before it could be updated. There has been some other shifting as well. Even though Iron Man was released in 2008, the time period has been bumped up to 2010 so it can be a bit closer to Iron Man 2.

Most of the shifting is to make the events of the films run smoothly, but it also has inadvertently led to some revisionist history. For instance: dialogue in Avengers: Infinity War specifically dates it two years after Civil War, but the official timeline makes it only one year. And there's a whole different headache with Spider-Man: Homecoming and where its prologue places the rest of the film on the timeline. This will no doubt irk sticklers who love to obsess over this stuff – and that's fine. If you enjoy nerding out over this sort of thing, more power to you. But at the end of the day, Marvel should do what works best for the particular story they're telling. Sure, some sort of synergy between the multiple films is nice – and even partially essential. But it's okay to alter things if it's in service of a good story.

Meanwhile, if you're hoping to stream Avengers: Infinity War soon, you're in luck! The mega-Marvel movie will start streaming on December 25, 2018, just in time for Christmas.