In honor of its 10th anniversary, Marvel Studios is releasing Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years, a two-volume book that is chock-full of behind-the-scenes images, easter eggs, production details, and interviews with the cast.
One specific feature included in the book is an official timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), from Iron Man to Avengers: Infinity War. There are plenty of MCU timelines out there, but this is the first to come from Marvel instead of fans’ analysis.
According to the book, the movies take place in the following years:
- 1943 to 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
- 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man
- 2016: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming
- 2016 to 2017: Doctor Strange
- 2017: Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War
It is unclear who exactly compiled this timeline, but it solves some previous continuity questions while raising others.
While many of the movies take place around the time of their real-world release, others have been moved. In the early years, Marvel shifted Iron Man to 2010, placing it closer to Iron Man 2.
Things get most interesting in Phase 3, as Screen Rant points out. Fans previously believed that Doctor Strange took place from 2015 to 2016, but this timeline places it a year later. This makes sense, though, as it cuts down the time between the movie and Strange’s appearance in Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel also moved Black Panther to 2017, which explains why Wakanda hasn’t significantly opened its borders by the time of Infinity War.
While those changes do make sense in some respects, they ignore some explicit time references in the movies themselves. Infinity War specifically states that two years have passed since Civil War, which is not the case in this timeline.
Even more problematic is Black Panther’s new timing. Setting it a year after Civil War means T’Challa would have left Wakanda without a king for quite some time, and that doesn’t seem right.
It’s also important to note that the timeline doesn’t include anything outside the movies, such as Agents of S.H.E.I.LD. or the Defenders’ shows on Netflix.
While the official dates don’t ultimately impact the stories these movies tell (in a universe where quantum realms and time manipulation are possible, what difference does a year make?), there are rumors that time and time travel will play an important role in Avengers 4.