Movie Talk,  Previews

The Marvels: What Other MCU Titles Should You Watch First?

A friend on Facebook posted the collage graphic below earlier this week. Note the original source is The Direct > MCU. The only ones I have missed are Werewolf By Night (probably too scary for me), the Groot shorts (just haven’t had the time), and the Guardians Holiday Special (which, it turns out, should be watched BEFORE Guardians Vol 3, or a few bits of dialog will be like “whoa, wait, what?!”). I will also note that the second small image within this one is actually for the Agent Carter – Marvel One Shot (short), not for the series, which is technically missing from the list, as is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What I mentioned to my friend – and then decided to put here as well – relates to the upcoming The Marvels film, specifically what someone might need or want to watch prior to seeing it if you haven’t been keeping up with every single Marvel/MCU thing that has been released (which is totally fine; it’s a lot, and even we have missed a few things).

Let’s start with the most obvious: Captain Marvel. That you need to see it should go without saying. This is effectively “Captain Marvel 2.”

Based on what I’m seeing in the previews, the Ms. Marvel series is definitely required viewing before seeing The Marvels. There is so much context that is important, and I don’t think there is any way they can put in everything you should probably know without making it a 4-hour movie. We really enjoyed the series! I would say it is definitely one of my favorite Marvel series on Disney+. It was (mostly) light and fun, with a definite teen vibe, and much more “comic book-ish” (not in a bad way!) than your typical “grounded” Marvel things. Iman Vellani is the young lady playing Kamala Khan; she is delightful, and I am really excited for Kamala to finally meet her hero in The Marvels.

While WandaVision is absolutely crucial for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (as in, I feel like Multiverse is more of a “series finale” for WandaVision than it is a Doctor Strange film), I can’t tell from the previews if WandaVision is also important for for The Marvels, or if you can probably get what you need from context and whatever small bits they might include to assist those who missed it. [Also, note that I expected Spider-Man: No Way Home to be critical to the Doctor Strange sequel, and it turned out to be almost completely unrelated, which surprised me.] We liked WandaVision but didn’t love it. It starts as an amusing tongue-in-cheek spoof of old sitcom styles, but it’s confusing because you spend the first few episodes feeling like “okay, this is fun, but where the heck are we going?” It takes a while to get to the point, but the journey is pretty fascinating, and they drop a HUGE bomb at one point in the middle. I about fell out of my chair!! It’s a wink and a nod to long time non-MCU Marvel fans, even if it does end up not “being real” or making a difference in the end. They then drop another at the very end that will leave Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans reeling! (Though I don’t think it’s the same physical item; related, probably, but not meant to be the exact same one. Can’t be any more specific without spoilers.)

Secret Invasion, which we just finished this week (review coming) may end up being somewhat important to The Marvels, but that is just speculation at this point. I have not seen any direct references to the events or new characters in any of the previews, but I suspect one character in particular (and possible a second one) might show up. And while I’m sure that character’s general significance will be explained, the deeper nuances will be lost if you haven’t seen the series. That said, Secret Invasion feels long (even at only 6 episodes). It has a few fun moments, and definitely some incredibly sad/emotional moments, but on the whole, it is largely not a fun watch. Can’t say I really recommend it, particularly for just the casual MCU fan.

Let me know if you have any questions!