How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide

How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide

The Marvel franchise is perhaps the biggest and the most popular franchise currently. Now I know the fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, and many will be offended but let’s get serious, nothing comes close to Marvel in its scale, storytelling, and mass appeal.

I think it’s safe to say there are three kinds of Marvel fans:

  • The ones who’ve followed the MCU franchise till Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
  • The ones who’ve followed the MCU franchise and other marvel titles such as MODOK, Hit-Monkey, Daredevil, Defenders, and other non-canon titles.
  • Finally, the ones who’ve followed it all and read the comics as well.

Don’t worry; this article is not to find out who is a bigger fan but a level playing field for all. In this article, I will cover the watch order for all the Marvel canon and non-canon films, series, shorts, and more. So sit back because this one’s going to take a while.

The Marvel franchise spans across multiple universes and production companies, including films and series from Sony, Disney, Netflix, and the MCU itself. All these titles do not form a sequential storyline but create mini universes of their own. We will explore those universes in this watch order, and I’ll be going through it all!

1. The MCU Franchise

1.1 Release Order

1.1.1 Phase One

  1. Iron Man |  2008
  2. The Incredible Hulk |  2008
  3. Iron Man 2 | 2010
  4. Thor | 2011
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger | 2011
  6. The Avengers | 2012
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Iron Man |  2008 and The Incredible Hulk |  2008 | Source: IMDb

1.1.2 Phase Two

  1. Iron Man 3 | 2013
  2. Thor: The Dark World | 2013
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier | 2014
  4. Guardians Of The Galaxy | 2014
  5. Avengers: Age Of Ultron | 2015
  6. Ant-Man | 2015

1.1.3 Phase Three

  1. Captain America: Civil War | 2016
  2. Doctor Strange | 2016
  3. Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 | 2017
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming | 2017
  5. Thor: Ragnarok | 2017
  6. Black Panther | 2017
  7. Avengers: Infinity War | 2018
  8. Ant-Man And The Wasp | 2018
  9. Captain Marvel | 2019
  10. Avengers: Endgame | 2019
  11. Spider-Man: Far From Home | 2019

1.1.4 Phase Four

  1. WandaVision | 2021 | Disney+ Series
  2. Falcon And The Winter Soldier | 2021 | Disney+ Series
  3. Loki | 2021 | Disney+ Series
  4. Black Widow | 2021
  5. What If…? | 2021 | Disney+ Series
  6. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings | 2021
  7. Eternals | 2021
  8. Hawkeye | 2021 | Disney+ Series
  9. Spider-Man: No Way Home | December 17, 2021
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
WandaVision | 2021 | and Falcon And The Winter Soldier | 2021 | Source: Marvel

1.1.5 Phase Four and Beyond (To Be Released)

  1. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness | May 6, 2022
  2. Thor: Love And Thunder | July 8, 2022
  3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | November 11, 2022
  4. Moon Knight | 2022 | Disney+ Series
  5. Ms. Marvel | 2022 | Disney+ Series
  6. The Marvels (Captain Marvel 2) | Feb 17, 2023
  7. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 | May 5, 2023
  8. Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania | July 28, 2023
  9. Blade | TBA
  10. Captain America 4 | TBA
  11. Fantastic Four | TBA
  12. Untitled Mutants Movie | TBA

This series is the entire MCU canon franchise, which has 44 titles in it. It has the first four phases and even beyond. So fans who want to stick to this alone, well, look no further. But hold on, there’s the chronological watch order too.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 4 (2023) Teaser Trailer | Marvel Studios & Disney+ Anthony Mackie Movie

1.2 Chronological Watch Order

We all know playing with the timeline is no joke, thanks to the events of No Way Home. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can rearrange all the movies in this chronological order and experience them in a whole new way.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. The Incredible Hulk
  6. Thor
  7. The Avengers
  8. Iron Man 3
  9. Thor: The Dark World
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  11. Guardians Of The Galaxy
  12. Guardians Of The Galaxy 2
  13. Avengers: Age Of The Ultron
  14. Ant-Man
  15. Captain America: Civil War
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  17. Doctor Strange
  18. Black Widow
  19. Black Panther
  20. Thor: Ragnarok
  21. Ant-Man And The Wasp
  22. Avengers: Infinity War
  23. Avengers: Endgame
  24. Loki
  25. WandaVision
  26. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
  27. Falcon And The Winter Soldier
  28. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  29. Eternals
  30. Hawkeye
  31. Spider-Man: No Way Home
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Spider-Man: No Way Home | Source: Fandom

2. The X-Men Franchise

2.1 Release Order

  • X-Men | 2000
  • X2: X-Men United | 2003
  • X-Men: The Last Stand | 2006
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine | 2009
  • X-Men: First Class | 2011
  • The Wolverine | 2013
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past | 2014
  • Deadpool | 2016
  • X-Men: Apocalypse | 2016
  • Logan | 2017
  • Deadpool 2 | 2018
  • Dark Phoenix | 2019
  • The new Mutants | 2020
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
X-Men | Source: IMDb

Now the X-Men franchise might not be everyone’s favorite, and rightly so, but it gave us one if not two of the most memorable characters – Logan and Wade F***ing Wilson!

This series is nowhere close to the MCU in terms of scale and storytelling but makes up for a good bunch of popcorn movies. However, as a fan of the franchise, I just wish that so many characters had the potential to shine and evolve into something great but didn’t.

Furthermore, what bothers me is how they’ve tried to start afresh with Days of Future Past and Apocalypse events but couldn’t manage to do anything with the clean slate. If you’re a fan or want to pass the time, you can binge these films over a weekend.

2.2 Chronological Watch Order

  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • X-Men
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • The Wolverine
  • Deadpool
  • The New Mutants
  • Deadpool 2
  • Logan
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
The Wolverine | Source: IMDb

This is the film’s chronological order and perhaps is the better order to follow in this case. The release order muddles up the timelines too many times, so it’s best to experience the series in this chronological order.

3. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • Spider-Man | 2002
  • Spider-Man 2 | 2004
  • Spider-Man 3 | 2007

I don’t think this trilogy needs any introduction. After all, he’s the original Spider-Man. Although Spider-Man 3 wasn’t a successful film, the first films set the bar the framework of how a superhero origin story should be told, and nothing can take that away from Sam Raimi.

For all those wondering if Tobey Maguire’s my favorite Spider-Man, then the answer is an absolute yes!

If you watch these three films today, the action and the VFX might seem a little janky considering how far we’ve come with our technology. Still, back then, it was the best superhero film of all time, beating even DC’s Batman and Superman renditions of the previous era.

The release and the chronology order are the same, so don’t worry, you’ve got nothing to untangle here.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man Duology Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • The Amazing Spider-Man | 2012
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 | 2014
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
The Amazing Spider-Man | Source: IMDb

We can all agree that we were pretty disappointed with these two films to the point where the third installment was canceled. But as a fan of the character and a fan of the actors, I think Andrew Garfield sure did deserve a better story and a better narrative. After all, he grew up watching Tobey and was completely starstruck by the character.

5. Fantastic Four (Original and Reboot) Release and Chronological Watch Order

Original

  • Fantastic Four | 2005
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer | 2007

Reboot

  • Fantastic Four | 2015
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Fantastic Four 2015 | Source: IMDb

Needless to say, all the three films, the original duology, and the reboot weren’t great successes and did not appeal to the masses. But their comic histories are so rich and full of exciting plotlines. Don’t believe me? Let me just say one word – Galactus.

Galactus is a supervillain way bigger than Thanos himself, and there’s speculation that Galactus might come into the MCU. That’s how significant the Fantastic Four were.

However, the Fantastic Four franchise is now part of the MCU, and there will be a movie coming sooner than later , so I guess we can rest and hope for an impeccable storyline.

6. Blade Series Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • Blade | 1998
  • Blade II | 2002
  • Blade: Trinity | 2004
  • Blade: The Series | 2006
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Blade | Source: IMDb

This one’s yet another impeccable superhero movie that goes unnoticed by Marvel fans. People who are fans of the vampire-slaying genre, this one is worth every penny you spend on it. The films have the same release and chronological order, while the show also takes place after the events of Blade: Trinity.

If you want to experience what vintage action and sword fight feel like, don’t miss this one. You might even find a gag or two in these films.

7. Ghost Rider Duology Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • Ghost Rider | 2007
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance | 2012
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Ghost Rider | Source: Fandom

While the first movie was entertaining, the second not so much. In fact, you can watch it merely for Nicholas Cage yelling, but I guess that gets jarring too after a point.

8. Defenders Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • Daredevil Season 1 | 2015
  • Jessica Jones Season 1 | 2015
  • Daredevil Season 2 | 2016
  • Luke Cage Season 1 | 2016
  • Iron Fist Season 1 | 2017
  • The Defenders Season 1 | 2017
  • The Punisher Season 1 | 2017
  • Jessica Jones Season 2 | 2018
  • Luke Cage Season 2 | 2018
  • Iron Fist Season 2 | 2018
  • Daredevil Season 3 | 2018
  • The Punisher Season 2 | 2019
  • Jessica Jones Season 3 | 2019
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Jessica Jones Tv series (2015-2019) | Source: IMDb

All these shows’ release order and chronological watch order are the same. This entire series explores Marvel’s dark side, as we all see in DC, especially with shows like Daredevil and The Punisher.

Those two shows knocked it out of the park with the storytelling, the realistic action choreography, and even character development. What’s sad is that the same couldn’t be accomplished with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.

While the first two made up for decent shows, they didn’t pack a punch like Daredevil, and The Punisher did.

For the uninitiated, Netflix canceled all these shows, and now Daredevil and its characters are also introduced into the MCU. So it’d be interesting to see where the MCU picks up Daredevil’s story from.

9. The Hulk (Original and Reboot)

  • The Hulk | 2003
  • The Incredible Hulk | 2008
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
The Incredible Hulk | 2008 | Source: IMDb

While the first one was a mediocre film that raised a few eyebrows, the reboot with Edward Norton did not do much for the character’s fans.

People also argue if The Incredible Hulk is the first MCU film because it featured Colonel Ross, who reappeared in Civil War as the man behind the Peace Treaty. Well, I’m not here to stir anything up, but I guess if the character has made an appearance, it should ideally be the first one, even if the makers are a little hesitant about its quality.

10. Sony’s Venom Duology Release and Chronological Watch Order

  • Venom | 2018
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage | 2021
 How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Venom: Let There Be Carnage | Source: IMDb

These two films fared decently at the box office, but fans were mildly disappointed with the humorous take on a dark anti-hero character. In fact, people wanted more ‘carnage’ in the second film, and overall it was mildly disappointing.

But hold on there, there’s some silver lining here. With films like Morbius and appearances of the character in No Way Home, we might see a new universe being created where Venom might be explored with a bleaker lens, and I can’t wait for it to happen.

11. Other Non-Canon Marvel Shows Order

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
  • Agent Carter
  • Inhumans
  • Runaways
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Helstrom
  • M.O.D.O.K.
  • Hit-Monkey
How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Agent Carter | Source: Fandom

I saved this series for the last since the MCU hasn’t acknowledged them entirely as part of their canon while also having mentions or incidents that cross over with the MCU canon shows and films.

You can watch these in their release order itself and perhaps even in parallel, but it wouldn’t make a big difference. While some makeup for good shows, the others don’t. I believe the creators did not focus on these projects as much as they should have, considering characters such as Agent Carter are pretty vital to the universe but are underwhelmingly represented.

12. Not So Honorable Mentions

I’ve purposely skipped some of the old movies from the Marvel franchise, such as Captain America and Dr. Strange, released well before the 2000s. I’ve even skipped a few, like The Punisher film series, Ben Affleck’s infamous Daredevil, and Jennifer Garner’s Elektra.

How To Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon Easy Watch Order Guide
Daredevil and Elektra | Source: IMDb

The idea is to save you the pain these titles will induce in your mind, body, and soul. So skip these, and you wouldn’t regret it. They say, sometimes not doing is what you regret. Well, that saying doesn’t apply here, and it should come with a “T&C apply” warning.

13. Where To Watch

These titles are distributed across platforms such as Disney+, Netflix, PrimeVideo, iTunes, YouTube, Hulu, and whatnot. So perhaps the best way to go about this is to watch it one franchise at a time.

If not on any of the streaming platforms, you will always find the films on YouTube movies or Google Play.

14. Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, I think the best way to experience all these films is to go one franchise at a time. This way, you would not only enjoy the different stories, narratives, and performances but also see how each one is unique and distinct in its own way.

As fans of Marvel Comics, what else could one ask for!

Watch Marvel Canon and Non-Canon on:

15. About Marvel Canon and Non-Canon

The Marvel franchise includes multivarious canon and non-canon titles. The canon titles are the ones within the MCU where all the storylines across films and shows are interconnected, whereas, with the non-canon films and shows, only a few are connected to each other and run parallel to the canon MCU.