Avengers Movies In Chronological & Release Order
One of the biggest franchises in cinematic history, the Avengers movies follow the adventures of some of Earth's mightiest heroes. While they've spawned spin-off after spin-off after spin-off, we're only including movies that see the Avengers working together, as opposed to those that feature separate members on solo outings. In this context, the answer to "how many Avengers movies are there?" is four. With all the solo films out of the way, watching the Avengers movies in order is easy enough, as each film in the quartet follows from the previous. Here's our Avengers movie list to help guide you through what happens when and to whom.
1) The Avengers (2012)
Widely considered to be one of the best Avengers movies, this is the one that kicks it all off. While we’ve already been introduced to most of the heroes through their solo films, this is where they unite to form the super-team. Events are put in motion courtesy of Thor’s brother, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. After striking a deal with the alien Chitauri, he’s all set to take over the Earth. In the meantime, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (SHIELD) has been meddling with alien tech to develop weapons capable of seeing off extra-terrestrial invaders. However, do they know what they’re messing with? With all this in the balance, it’s up to Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansen), and everyone’s favourite jade giant, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to save humanity. The first of the Avengers movies, this sets the tone for the following three, combining witty dialogue, blockbusting action, and dazzling effects for a thrill-a-minute ride.
2) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
With Joss Whedon back on writing and directing duties, Age of Ultron picks up roughly three years after the first film. On a raid on a HYDRA base, the Avengers rescue Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen) and discover Loki's sceptre. The sceptre houses an artificial intelligence, which Stark and Banner use to complete their Ultron defence initiative. However, Ultron takes on a personality of its own, twisting logic to conclude that, to defend Earth, mankind must be eradicated. After battling Ultron, the Avengers retrieve his synthetic body and, using one of the Infinity Stones, upload Stark's computer, JARVIS, into it. The combination of the two results in the creation of a new hero, Vision, played by Paul Bettany. We also learn that Wanda is none other than the Scarlet Witch, a superhero with magical powers. However, Ultron's not entirely done and comes back for a final round, bringing an army with him.
3) Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Another three years in the MCU go by, making this the third of the Avengers movies in order of chronology and release. Thanos, a lurking presence since the Age of Ultron, is on the hunt for the Infinity Stones. With one in his grasp, he ransacks Asgard and plans to wipe out half of all living beings in the universe. Responding to a distress call from Asgard, the Guardians of the Galaxy turn up while Thanos busies himself collecting the rest of the Stones. Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, joins the fray, warning that he can see only one timeline in which the Avengers save the day. In a final showdown in Wakanda, the Avengers, aided by Spider-Man and the Black Panther, are beaten. Thanos uses his Stone-studded Infinity Gauntlet to snap his fingers, wiping out half of life in the universe, including many of Earth’s mightiest heroes. One of the darkest, but one of the best Avengers movies in the set, this ending caused consternation amongst fans everywhere.
4) Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Fast forward five MCU years, and we find ourselves in 2023. During that time, a lot’s changed for the remaining heroes. Thor has piled on the pounds and is enormously depressed, the Hulk has combined Banner’s intelligence with ol’ greenskin’s strength, Stark has retired, and Hawkeye has become a cold-hearted vigilante. However, Ant-Man returns from the Quantum Realm, having missed all the action. The realm's existence sets the Avengers thinking that time travel might be possible and task Banner and Stark with building a time machine.
With their new ability to zip between timelines, the Avengers split into various groups, each with the mission to retrieve an Infinity Stone from a period in time before Thanos collected them. This sees our heroes pitted against the likes of Loki, the Red Skull (played by Ross Marquand), and even having to race against past versions of themselves to get their gauntlets on them.
With the Stones in the Avengers' power, they create an Infinity Gauntlet and use it to reverse Thanos' actions from Infinity War. However, Thanos has turned up mob-handed, and things don't go well for the super-team. Although the Hulk is the only one powerful enough to wield the Infinity Gauntlet, Stark uses it to destroy Thanos and his army, sacrificing himself in the process. While the ending of Endgame is tinged with the loss of Iron Man, it's shot through with hope and optimism that Earth's superheroes will always be there to protect us.
5) Beyond Avengers: Endgame
If you look at the order of play, from the earliest to the latest Avengers movies, you'll see that the dates of release don't coincide with the dates in which the films are set. However, this is the way to go if you want to watch the Avengers movies in order. For those who want to dig deeper into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, each of the heroes has their own films, many of which explain how they came to be part of the team.
Fans of the franchise might already be aware that there are two more Avengers movies in the pipeline: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, set for release in 2025, and 2026, respectively. Although there's no word on which heroes will feature, who the villains are, or what the stories are set to be, diehards can explore the Marvel comics from which these titles have been drawn. The Marvel juggernaut shows no signs of slowing, which is good news for those who like their escapism action-packed.
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