There’s a reason the MCU is called the Marvel Cinematic Universe — its timeline spans roughly a thousand years and exists in multiple, occasionally interconnecting dimensions. Far from being a straightforward chronological tale, the movies jump back and forth through time and space to create a complex web of befores, afters, and nevers that fascinates its many fans.
One fan, Disney parks reviewer and comedian Tony Goldmark, took it upon himself to undergo the herculean task of putting not just ever Marvel movie in precise chronological order, but every single scene in the 23 released MCU films. His timeline, which he published in four intense screenshots on Twitter, went viral for its meticulous methodology.
Well nerds, I fuckin’ did it.
Took me a global pandemic and a damn quarantine, but I did it.
I figured out the precise chronological order of all the MCU movies (so far) BY SCENE.
I’m out of my Goddamn mind. You’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/3VXjqk4kjQ
— beautiful internet weirdo (@tonygoldmark) May 27, 2020
Goldmark took into account the fact that most of the prologues and flashbacks in the Thor movies take place before the main events of the MCU. He also took into account the flashbacks of pre-serum Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Bucky’s years of work under Hydra control in Civil War to create a complete timeline of Captain America’s life.
There’s also a complicated breakdown of the events of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, and Thor, which overlap often in the “real time” plot and also have several flashback sequences.
In his first Tweet, Goldmark did not take into account the Time Heist elements of Avengers: Endgame, saying that the alternate timeline created in that movie negates its place in the main chronology. But hey, it’s Twitter, so he quickly relented and released an update to his timeline that hammered out more of the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey contortions of Endgame’s time travel.
Goldmark’s work is an achievement in MCU-ology and should be regarded as such for all fandom discussions to come, but the real question is…who will be the first to cut his sequence into a 3,000+ minute, two day long Marvel superfilm? Fan editors, assemble!