‘Eternals’ Disney Plus debut reveals a shift in the MCU timeline

remix by Keane Eacobellis

That’s the thing about multiverses — just when you think you’re used to things as they are, something comes along to shuffle everything around.

Eternals just made its Disney Plus debut and, as expected, the celestial epic has been slotted into the streaming service’s chronological lineup of Marvel Cinematic Universe properties. The lineup gives a fairly reliable timeline as to what happens when in the MCU, starting with the WWII war movie action of Captain America: The First Avenger all the way up to Disney’s latest streaming series, the Christmas-y noir Hawkeye.

Eternals is slotted in just before the avenging archer’s solo-ish series, indicating that the film’s contemporary non-flashback sequences, as well as the world-threatening climax, occur slightly after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Apparently, the folks in Hawkeye were either too weary after the events of Endgame to pay any lip service to the global events in Eternals or just wanted to enjoy the holiday break without discussions about the fate of the planet. Or perhaps they were just being New Yorkers.

According to The Direct, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore has stated the Eternals occurs “right around the same time as Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the world recovering from the attack of Thanos and the return of half the world population.” 

Of note is that Loki, slotting in as the first post-Phase Three project, implies that the matter of the Multiverse has been a factor since the beginning of Phase Four. No telling how this will affect the next project slated for cinematic release, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, or indeed whether any chronology will be anything but fuzzy after the introduction of multiple timelines inherent in the multiverse concept.

The new order of properties – not including The Incredible Hulk or the Sony/Marvel Spider-Man movies which are not currently available on Disney Plus – stands as follows:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. Thor
  6. The Avengers
  7. Thor: The Dark World
  8. Iron Man 3
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy 
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  12. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  13. Ant-Man
  14. Captain America: Civil War
  15. Black Widow
  16. Black Panther
  17. Doctor Strange
  18. Thor: Ragnarok
  19. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  20. Avengers: Infinity War
  21. Avengers: Endgame
  22. Loki
  23. What If…?
  24. WandaVision
  25. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  26. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  27. Eternals
  28. Hawkeye

Eternals is now available to stream on Disney Plus.