With 21 Marvel movies leading up to this month’s Avengers: Endgame, binge watching all of them can be difficult. Here is my list of the MCU must watch (or re-watch) prior to seeing Endgame April 26th. These are the ones that give the most vital details of Thanos, the Infinity Stones, and pivotal characters like Gamora you need to know before seeing Endgame.
Though Iron Man launched the MCU in 2008, it doesn’t contain any details about Thanos or the Infinity Stones. If you have the time, it is always a good start to any Marvel marathon, but the first must see to me is:
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Not only does it give us the creation of the world’s first superhero, but introduces the Tesseract which contains the first Infinity Stone we learn about, the Space Stone. We also are introduced to the Red Skull who reappears later on, though briefly.
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012). The first mega team-up in the MCU brings back the Tesseract/Space Stone and gives us the Mind Stone in Loki’s staff. This is also the first time we glimpse Thanos as he sends Loki (who may or may not have been influenced by the Mind Stone) to lead an army on an attack of New York, a pivotal event in the rest of the movies (and one we may see again if leaked photos of Endgame are real). So many things are set up in this movie it is a definite to watch before Endgame.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). We finally learn more about Thanos in this one and meet his children including Gamora and Nebula both of whom are pivotal in the remaining films. We also get one of the other Infinity Stones, the Power Stone, and for the first time, get a history of the stones thanks to The Collector. It also shows us that Quill has the ability to hold an Infinity Stone though it is unclear if he still can after the events of Guardians Vol 2 (I didn’t include it here as, though Vol 2 gives us the history of Quill, it doesn’t do more with the key IW concepts).
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Introducing us to Scarlet Witch and creating Vision who holds the Mind Stone in his head makes this a pivotal part of the Endgame watch party. It also shows us Tony Stark’s fear of Thanos and starts building Steve Rogers’ distrust of him.
- Captain America: Civil War (2016). This one is optional as it doesn’t give us any new info on Thanos or the Infinity Stones but is included because it introduces Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and Black Panther without having to watch their individual movies. It also shows the break up of the team which is a key part of Infinity War.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). Okay, technically I am putting this one out of order and it is a bit optional, but as the Quantum Realm which is set up here is vital to Endgame, it is probably one you will want to watch. You could watch the post credit scene after Infinity War though just to keep the story in order.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017). This one brings together Hulk and Thor and introduces Doctor Strange which is why it is in the watch party. We also see the Tesseract (that thing gets around!) and Thanos at the end (well, his ship). As this leads directly into Infinity War, it’s the one to watch just before it.
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Of course you need to watch this one before Endgame as this is part 1 to it’s part 2. We see all 6 Infinity Stones and get Thanos’ back story.
There you have it – 8 movies in total which is definitely binge able in the days leading up to Avengers: Endgame.