Right, I know, Captain Marvel hasn’t come out yet — but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest a few films you should watch to understand what the deal is with Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, and the state of the MCU. If you’re not a rabid Marvel fan, or just need a refresher, you can get ready with just four MCU films. (Or three films and two short videos, if you’re short on time.)
In a real way, audiences are lucky with Captain Marvel — it’s a relatively painless entry point for an MCU movie.
By this, I mean you don’t need to sit down this week and watch the 20+ movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain Marvel (the film) goes back in time to the 90s, making it essentially the chronologically first film in the Avenger timeline. (Ignore for now that Captain America – The First Avenger started around World War 2…)
So, you’re off the hook for this film in a way you CAN’T be for the spring 2019 release of Avengers 4 – End Game. End Game will require audiences to be on their toes and completely up to date. As the title suggests, it’s the culmination of a long ranging plan. Ten years of movies! And it will be over three hours long, so you’ll need our Peetimes for it.
For Captain Marvel, these are my guesses to understand the events we’re about to see (links go to RunPee’s movie reviews):
- Avengers 1 – Avengers Assemble – This movie best establishes the characters of Nick Fury and Agent Phil Coulson, who should have major roles in the Captain Marvel story. Also, this movie is a great entry point to explain who the Avengers are without having to watch every individual origin story. And there’s this: where was Captain Marvel during the Battle of New York? I’m hoping the upcoming film explains why Fury didn’t see fit contact her then, or ever, until Infinity War.
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 – You need to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1 to understand the cosmic end of the Marvel universe, see who the Kree are, what Xandar is about, and get a proper introduction to Ronan The Accuser. Of all the movies on this list, GOTG 1 is probably the most crucial to view. Fortunately, this kick-ass film is always a crowd-pleaser.
- Avengers 3 – Infinity War – Why does Fury carry that pager around for decades and only use it now? This is the only story that refers to Captain Marvel explicitly. We still don’t know how she fits in. I’m going to warn you: Infinity War is a HUGE film, with its own list of must-preview movies. I dithered about putting this on the list, to be honest. If you’re a complete novice to the MCU, I recommend you skip it. You’d be hopelessly lost. Just watch the end credit scene, provided here (a MUST):
- Ant-Man & The Wasp – This one contains the most speculation on my part. Will Ant Man and crew even show up in Captain Marvel? Probably not. But since Time Vortices are mentioned, and the Quantum Realm might play a role in Captain Marvel’s story, this might be worth watching. It’s still on Netflix, so grab it while you can (before Disney pulls all the Marvel films off onto their own subscription streaming channel). Captain Marvel is supposed to have time travel in it. If you can’t get your hands on the Time Stone, the Quantum Realm is the next best place place to look, and only the guys in Ant-Man know about it. So far.
I also have another movie in mind worth viewing, but mentioning it would be a complete spoiler if the rumors are true. This particular superhero is covered in Infinity War anyway, so it’s fine to skip it. I think. (Remember, this is a speculation article.)
UPDATE after seeing Captain Marvel: I was thinking above that the Dr. Strange movie would be a part of the Captain Marvel story. It wasn’t. But it’s one of the Marvel films that has time travel as a major component…so it’s possible that Strange and Marvel get together to save the day in Avengers – Endgame. Actually, who are we kidding? Let’s just say it’s going to happen.
Update: Watch a Short MCU Video About Agent Phil Coulson for Free, Now
- A Funny Thing Happened…I found a handful of super short Marvel Cinematic Universe one-offs this week, and sat down to watch them all. It didn’t take long, and they don’t offer many hints on the MCU, to be honest. But there’s one you MUST see before Captain Marvel if you don’t know much about the main characters. Watch these few fun minutes of Agent Phil Coulson in his Thor years, in a short called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer:
After Captain Marvel comes out, we can see how close my guesses are. What do you think?
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)