MCU: Why You Should Watch Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ Before the First ‘Avengers’ Movie

One argument about the MCU around a while is watching the movies in chronological order should occur at least once. No matter if Marvel intended people to watch the movies as they were released, the jumping around in time once confused even the most ardent fan.

This argument is somewhat similar to the Star Wars saga and how fans should watch them. There seems to be a greater demand in watching those films in the order of the story’s timeline rather than watching the prequels after the first trilogy.

Brie Larson at the world premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame'
Brie Larson at the world premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’ | VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

In the world of the MCU, the order of the movies is a little more malleable. Anyone could line them up in specific ways and still enjoy them. Now fans think Captain Marvel should be watched a little earlier.

Is there a good argument for watching ‘Captain Marvel’ in Phase 1?

Since Captain Marvel is entirely a flashback movie, it does make sense to place it in context before The Avengers. After all, it does set up Nick Fury quite a bit by showing up him in his younger years. The Avengers has Fury featured considerably and refers to things seen in Captain Marvel, it generally makes sense to watch in this order.

Someone on Reddit started a thread recently giving logic to sandwiching Captain Marvel between Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers. The timeline lines up fairly well when going by the available history (so far) in The Avengers trajectory.

However, it goes beyond introducing Nick Fury to a more thorough extent. The thread starter argues viewers can learn more about Phil Coulson, plus gain more knowledge about the Tesseract.

Even SHIELD is referenced considerably, something seen more often in Phase 1 before being shut down. All of this seems like a great lead-in to The Avengers, if not necessarily in perfect alignment with all fan feelings.

Other fans disagree ‘Captain Marvel’ really belongs in that order

Almost every Reddit thread has a contrarian who comes in and contradicts the original argument. Nobody can deny the original thread above had a lot of excellent points. Perhaps quarantine for COVID-19 made people think a little harder on creating more thoughtful threads of late.

Nevertheless, someone came in and rebutted Captain Marvel may work better as a standalone flashback film rather than a chronological entry. The argument is, viewers never really learn enough about Nick Fury in Captain Marvel to make any difference in The Avengers.

Another opinion is no one really learns all that much about the Tesseract either, despite being in the custody of the Skrulls. Another problem is the end credit scenes, something already confusing if watching things in the proper timeline order.

With more MCU movies showing up on Disney+, will more fans watch them in this suggested order, or should they just stick with when they were released? If going by the philosophy of respecting director decisions, perhaps everyone should watch them the way Marvel intended them.

Will future flashback MCU films be watchable with earlier phases?

All reports are Captain America 2 will move up to the present MCU timeline, so no one should expect another flashback movie there. Black Widow, of course, will be a flashback to the events in between Civil War and Infinity War. Also, The Eternals will supposedly release in 2021 with likely plenty of flashbacks to earlier times in Marvel lore.

How many more flashback movies the MCU makes is up in the air? A good bet is more will be made to keep an emotional connection to the original Avenger team.

In the meantime, fans are going to continue to rearrange the last three MCU phases in the orders they want, including likely adding future flashback features. No other franchise is as pliable as Marvel’s, giving hundreds of millions of views for these movies decades into the future.