With so many rumors and theories flying around about “Avengers: Endgame,” you know you’ve got to see how it ends yourself. There are 21 movies that come before this one, and even if you do a double feature every night before the big showdown April 26, there’s no way you can finish them on time. Lucky for you, we at the Clog have made a list of which Marvel movies you should watch before you head to theaters to see “Avengers: Endgame.” Bonus: we’ve organized it according to the MCU timeline, too.
Warning: spoilers for the Marvel movies leading up to “Infinity War” ahead.
1. “Captain America: The First Avenger”
Our favorite heroic protagonist, Captain America’s background not only explains a lot of the decisions he makes throughout the series, but also his attachment to Bucky and his penchant for doing the right thing for everyone. To get an inside look into Cap’s mind, this one’s a must.
2. “Captain Marvel”
With the post-credits scene leading straight into “Endgame,” this one’s an obvious choice. From her friendship with Nick Fury to the importance of her powers, this movie explains why Fury contacted her right at the end of Infinity War and drops massive hints about her role in “Endgame.”
3. “Iron Man”
With Tony Stark’s bad boy philanthropy and tech genius, the birth of Iron Man shows us what motivates Tony and why he doesn’t always agree with the rest of the Avengers. As he continually keeps himself responsible for basically everything, the movie explains Stark’s fear of the apocalypse and loss.
4. “The Avengers”
With the team being thrown together at the sight of an emergency, this one shows us how they come together to defeat the bad guy for the first time. Also, Loki’s butt being kicked is really satisfying, and we get the first peek at who might be behind all of this (hint: it’s not Loki).
5. “Thor: The Dark World” — post-credits scene with the Collector and the Aether
As our second sneak peek at the Infinity Stones, this movie helps us see why it was so important to hide them in the first place. With the Collector’s greed and the Asgardian’s prudence, the lure of the stones becomes obvious in this film.
6. “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 1”
This movie provides us with a look at the second team that’s important in this series of movie’s finale, and we also get to see how the Guardians came together and how the roles are broken down among the five of them (plus Nebula, we suppose). The movie also reiterates the power of the Infinity Stones and suggests what happens if they’re used collectively.
7. “Captain America: Civil War”
As Phase III of the MCU begins, everything is mayhem. With the Avengers team breaking down and the bad guys still coming, we start to see how much the world relied on these six people and that sometimes heroes can’t really fix everything. This movie builds up the tension and drama, and we now know that Iron Man and Cap need to get back together, stat.
8. “Doctor Strange”
A powerful neurosurgeon-come-sorcerer, this movie shows how Doctor Strange gains his powers and how he relies on them. With his thirst for knowledge and photographic memory, it doesn’t take long for the doctor to come into his own. Moreover, we see the last glimpse of an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone, and what it really does before “Infinity War.”
9. “Thor: Ragnarok”
Ragnarok is where we really see our hammer-wielding god at his best. After his whole world changes due to his sister, he jumps back up to protect the people he loves and comes into his full powers in the best battle scene the MCU has made pre-“Infinity War.”
10. “Ant-Man and the Wasp”
Based on the trailers for “Endgame,” we see that Scott Lang, and more importantly time travel, are really going to help out when it comes to the closure of the MCU. To get to know our favorite humorous good guy and understand what the quantum realm and time vortexes really are, you’ve got to watch this one.
11. “Avengers: Infinity War”
With “Endgame” picking up straight from the (literal) remnants of “Infinity War,” there’s no arguing about the necessity of watching this one before our finale. From knowing how Thanos got the better of our heroes, this one really is a mega-packed revelation of what all of the previous movies have been building up to. Remind yourselves of what the stakes are now that Thanos has succeeded and what the heroes need to do to come back from this by watching this last movie.
Good luck, fellow Marvelites! Enjoy the marathon and more importantly, “Endgame.” We know we’ll be stocking up on tissues and popcorn for it.