MCU Phase 1 Guide
Those words, spoken by Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man, were the first hints that the story of Tony Stark was not the only tale to tell in what is now known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Consisting of six movies and a handful of short films, Phase One of the MCU introduced viewers to the first live action version of The Avengers, Marvel's premier superhero team. More importantly, this first phase demonstrated how a series of film franchises could exist in the same world, reference each other, and crossover at key moments, much like the Marvel Comics they are based on.
Characters like Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye each appeared at least once in the five films leading up to the The Avengers. This unprecedented crossover event was a culmination of several character arcs and storylines that had been developing for years, but it was still only the beginning. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the following is your viewing guide to the first chapter of the MCU.
Film: Iron Man
Official Synopsis: Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
film: The incredible hulk
Official Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner desperately hunts for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him: The Hulk.
Living in the shadows--cut off from a life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross--Banner struggles to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thunderbolt Ross and the military machinery that seeks to capture him and brutally exploit his power.
film: iron man 2
Official Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands.
With Pepper Potts and "Rhodey" Rhodes by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.
one-shot: A funny thing happened on the way to thor's hammer
Synopsis: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson finds himself in a precarious situation on the way to his next assignment.
Official Synopsis: As the son of Odin, king of the Norse gods, Thor will soon inherit the throne of Asgard from his aging father. However, on the day that he is to be crowned, Thor reacts with brutality when the gods' enemies, the Frost Giants, enter the palace in violation of their treaty. As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While Loki, Thor's brother, plots mischief in Asgard, Thor, now stripped of his powers, faces his greatest threat.
one-shot: The Consultant
Synopsis: Agent's Coulson and Sitwell come up with a unique approach to get General Thunderbolt Ross on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s side.
Film: Captain America: The First Avenger
Official Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers wants to do his part and join America's armed forces, but the military rejects him because of his small stature. Finally, Steve gets his chance when he is accepted into an experimental program that turns him into a supersoldier called Captain America.
Joining forces with Bucky Barnes and Peggy Carter, Captain America leads the fight against the Nazi-backed HYDRA organization.
Film: The Avengers
Official Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki, gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract, Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., initiates a superhero recruitment effort to defeat the unprecedented threat to Earth.
Joining Fury's "dream team" are Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
one-shot: Item 47
Synopsis: When an alien weapon from the Battle of New York is used in a bank robbery, Agent Sitwell and S.H.I.E.L.D. intervene.