My experience of the Marvel marathon
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
*THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS*
One thing we've all done much more of in lockdown is tele watching. I've done a few pieces about things I've been watching, so check those out if you're looking for ideas of what to watch (or in the case of Your Honor, what NOT to watch).
One thing we worked through was all the Marvel movies. I had only seen a couple of the films, one of us had seen about half, and one had seen all of them in marathon format and was ready to do it all over again.
We watched them in the order they should be watched according to Disney+ and the Marvel universe timeline, not in the order they were released. If you're wondering what that order is, I will finish this piece with a little snap shot of each film and what I thought.
I would highly recommend doing this as everything you notice along the way and how all the pieces come together is really clever. Doing it in marathon format can be intense (we were averaging four films per weekend which I know isn't realistic when you're not in lockdown) but with a group of friends it is really satisfying as you work through the timeline. We started mid-January and finished by early-April.
It started in 2008 with the first Iron Man, and now there are 23 films (with more films/series to come). 21 of these are on Disney+, the other three (The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Far from Home) aren't due to licensing issues. This is irritating, but all three of these films don't add loads to the overall story. Plus, Edward Norton plays the Incredible Hulk who is then played by Mark Ruffalo in all the other films so there's no loss there.
Here's a look at the order we followed and what I thought to each one (again, there are NO spoilers here, just my initial reaction):
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (set mostly in the 1940’s during World War II, with some segments set just before The Avengers)
Captain America is too much of a nice guy to me. He's self-rightious and annoying, but this was a good start with a strong story. I liked the links to WW2, it added a bit of reality.
2. Captain Marvel (set in the 1990s)
It feels bad to say this because she's a badass female lead, but this one was a bit lost on me. Not my favourite at all.
3. Iron Man (set in 2008)
I love Tony Stark. Enough said.
4. Iron Man 2 (set in 2009, six months after Iron Man)
Same as above really. You'll either love or hate Tony, and if you hate him chances are you'll be on team Captain America so we're polar opposites there.
5. The Incredible Hulk (set around the same time as the first two Iron Man movies)
We missed this one as I said above, but it doesn't add to the overall story, it just shows you the creation of the Hulk.
6. Thor (set at the same time, and just after, Iron Man 2)
Classic good vs bad brother for the throne, I liked this one. Loki is a likable baddie and he's even got his own TV show now which I'm still to watch.
7. The Avengers (set in 2012)
Really enjoyed this because it was the first time I was seeing a lot of the 'gang' so it was a big story with everyone involved.
8. Thor: The Dark World (set in 2013, a few months after Avengers)
Some of this got a bit far-fetched for me (which seems silly to say in Marvel) but definitley not up there with my favourites.
9. Iron Man 3 (set in 2013)
The Iron Man films are always strong for me.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (set in 2014)
Loved this despite not particularly liking the lead character. Good to see a familiar face back again though (which isn't Captain America by the way, you'll know who I mean when you watch it).
11. Guardians of the Galaxy (set in 2014)
This whole world felt very alien to me after what we'd seen in all the other Marvel films. Different characters, different world, different style. Didn't love it. I did love the soundtrack though, and the humour in it was decent.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 (set in 2014, a few months after Guardians of the Galaxy)
Same as above.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (set in 2015)
The Avengers films are strong for me due to the amount of characters you have to play with. Lots of egoes in one film means lots of action and drama.
14. Ant-Man (set in 2015, a few months after Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Weirdly, this was one of my favourites. I love Paul Rudd anyway, and his humour really came across in this. It wasn't a 'traditional' superhero film and I loved that when I was ready for it to be one of the poorer ones.
15. Captain America: Civil War (set in 2016)
I hated Captain America in this, his self-righteiousness really peaked.
16. Black Panther (set just after the events of Captain America: Civil War)
LOVED THIS. It was cool, clever, and the characters were epic.
17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (set mostly in 2016, a few months after Captain America: Civil War)
Although we didn't watch this as part of the marathon, I had seen it previously and it was decent. Better than the other two attempts at Spider-Man in my opinion - Tom Holland is great.
18. Doctor Strange (set mostly in 2016, with a brief epilogue in 2017)
Although I love Benedict Cumberbatch, this was a bit meh for me. Too clever and sometimes a bit too complicated, I don't like it when films make your head hurt.
19. Thor: Ragnarok (set mostly in 2017, with a brief epilogue in 2018)
LOVED THIS. The humour was great, the story was great, and Cate Blanchett was awesome as Thor's evil sister. Stand out character is Korg though - he needs his own film in my opinion.
20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (set in 2018, just before the events of Avengers: Infinity War)
I really liked this follow-on from the first Ant-Man.
21. Avengers: Infinity War (set in 2018, picking up just after Thor: Ragnarok)
I found this exhuasting to watch because it was nearly three hours of them all getting their arses kicked by the big bad guy - Thanos. This was definitely building up to Endgame. SO MUCH happened in this film.
22. Avengers: Endgame (starts out a few months after Avengers: Infinity War, then time jumps five years to 2023)
WOW. This tied everything up (pretty much) and I cried most of the way through. It brought everything together and left me feeling mentally exhausted but very satisfied. Although I have to say, if I'd watched these films in a spread out order (rather than watching them all in three months) I would have been so lost and wouldn't have appreciated it for what it was.
23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (set in 2023, a few months after Avengers: Endgame)
We didn't watch it in the marathon but I had seen this before (mainly because I'm a fan of Tom Holland and Spider-Man). Despite this, I didn't think much to it at all. The story was just a bit boring.
Here are some of the series/films that have come out since Far From Home, or that are set to come out this year:
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (series)
Black Widow (film)
Spider-Man: No way home (film)