MCU Phase 1’s Pre-Avengers Timeline Shows How Marvel Could’ve Avoided Its Saga Problem

  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a complex timeline due to its vast amount of content, including films and TV shows that fit into the overarching narrative.
  • The use of BIM and AIM timeline markings, like Star Wars' BBY and ABY, would simplify the MCU's timeline by indicating events in relation to Iron Man, avoiding confusion with specific years and dates.
  • Clearly defining each project's place on the timeline could compromise storytelling integrity and immersion, so the MCU faces ongoing challenges in reconciling its timeline complexities.
The timeline markings previously used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before The Avengers were much simpler and would have fixed a franchise Saga problem had it continued. Given the ever-expanding state of the MCU be it on TV or the big screen, it is becoming increasingly difficult to watch every single Marvel movie in order. From the immensely time-consuming task of watching 33 films and 10 TV shows to the way each of these installments fits into the timeline, the MCU remains one of the most dizzyingly sprawling franchises in movie history, something that is only set to continue with Marvel's upcoming movie list.
Refreshingly, the one and only Marvel movie in 2024 to do this will be Deadpool 3, yet the combination of the MCU with 20th Century Fox's X-Men universe will only further muddy the timeline. Despite the release of Marvel Studios' timeline-dedicated book in October 2023, the clarification of the franchise's timeline is more difficult than ever, especially across both the Infinity Saga and the Multiverse Saga. Ironically, if the MCU had stuck to a timeline barometer the franchise used before 2012's The Avengers, this confusion may have been avoided entirely.


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