How to Prepare for Avengers: Endgame

If you’re a huge Marvel nerd like me, you’re probably so hype up for this Thursday that you can’t even sleep. However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not a die hard Marvel fan. Maybe you’ve seen the hype everywhere and want to see what all the fuss is about. However, 21 movies is a lot to tackle in such a short amount of time. As someone who has done the full watch through four or five times, it’s definitely possible and a lot of fun. It’s what I 100% recommend if you have the time to do it. This way, you get the full scope of the MCU and how interwoven and interconnected all the movies and characters are. However, not everywhere has the time to do this. If you want to get a good idea of the MCU before watching Avengers: Endgame, then check out a few options for watching the movies quickly without watching all 21. Below I’ll give you three options to get you going.

Long Option

Iron Man

Captain America: The First Avenger

Avengers Assemble

Thor: The Dark World

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Captain America: Civil War

Doctor Strange

Thor: Ragnarok

Avengers: Infinity War

Ant Man and the Wasp

Captain Marvel

So this list is 12 movies long, which is just over half the MCU. Each movie here is somehow vital to the story. Iron Man sets up the entire MCU as we know it. Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Doctor Strange all contain infinity stones, which are the center piece of the first three phases of the MCU. Thor: Ragnarok is very important to the character arcs for Thor and Hulk. Infinity War is the direct prequel to Endgame, and is essentially part one of two of the last two Avengers. Ant Man and the Wasp is also very important, due to the quantum realm and it’s assumed impact and importance in Endgame. To watch these movies, you will need 26 hours and 9 minutes. While it’s a daunting task, it can certainly get done in a week if you’re dedicated and free on weekends.

Short Option

Avengers Assemble

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Captain America: Civil War

Avengers: Infinity War

This list is only four movies long and covers some major events. Essentially, it’s like you’re treating the Avengers’ movies like their own separate franchise and watching them. This gives you exposure to all the characters, all the stones, and some of the major plot lines of the MCU. Civil War is thrown in there because it’s essentially Avengers 2.5 and has major implications on the MCU and specifically Infinity War. From there, you can watch whatever movies you want based on what characters you like from these movies. Total runtime here is 9 hours and 51 minutes, which is much more manageable than the long option.

REALLY Short (Russo) Option

The Russo brothers (directors of the last two Captain America movies as well as Infinity War and Endgame) came out and said the movies you absolutely need to see are Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. The logic behind this is that Infinity War is the prequel to Endgame and Civil War is why the Avengers are fractured and not fighting together in Infinity War. This option is only 5 hours and 7 minutes of runtime, which is much more manageable, especially if you want to see Endgame on opening weekend.

So there you have it. Your guide to catching up on the MCU before the biggest, most hyped movie in the history of cinema.

-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)


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