A new book will see Marvel finally clear up the MCU’s timeline confusion once and for all

Marvel Cinematic Universe MCU
Image via Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline has gotten very confusing over the years. Once upon a time, these movies came out in roughly chronological order, though even 2011’s The First Avenger was primarily set during World War II. For example, 2021’s Black Widow is set in the aftermath of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and the time skip in Avengers: Endgame pushed the entire MCU forward in time so newer movies like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are set in 2026.

Add the Disney Plus shows to the mix (which generally take place between 2023 and 2025) and you’ve got a real headscratcher on your hands.

Marvel Studios recognize this, with Disney Plus providing a chronological playlist of the entire MCU, but now a new book – Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline – will clear everything up once and for all for diehard fans.

Described as “the definitive, filmmaker-endorsed guide to the lore, timelines, and characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” this deluxe hardback will begin the story “from before the Big Bang” and take us through the Blip and beyond. Along the way, we’re promised step-by-step guides to the evolution of Iron Man’s armors, the complete history of Captain America’s shield, and a compendium of alien incursions to Planet Earth.

The only downside is that we face quite a wait. Publishers Dorling Kindersley lists it as coming on Sep. 5 2023, likely targeted for the 2023 holiday season. By that point, we’ll have had Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Secret Invasion, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Loki season two and The Marvels. On top of that, we may also have What If…? season two and Agatha: Coven of Chaos, though they’re likely to drop after the September publication.

Here’s hoping this book is up to date, then, as the MCU is evolving so constantly that any point of reference may end up quickly obsolete.