Better late than never: What I learned watching all the Marvel movies for the first time

Honestly, I didn't think I'd ever watch all the Marvel Universe movies.

Even now, after Endgame, they're planning to release more. I rarely go see movies as it is, and the two or three times a year I go, I've got embarrassingly hipster preferences for Wes Anderson films or epic period pieces like Dunkirk.

But when cold weather and a Disney+ subscription aligned this month, I figured I'd give Marvel a go. I didn't think I'd binge them in less than three weekends, and I definitely didn't think I'd cry, but here we are.

It's not like I didn't like superhero movies before. I liked Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man circa 2002-07. (Why'd they need a new one in 2017?) I loved X-Men, and as a teenager, I appreciated the broody D.C. antiheroes in Constantine and Batman Begins. I'd even seen Iron Man and Black Panther, but until this month, it felt like a lot to learn dozens of new characters.

But as soon as I started watching in timeline order (as dictated by a Reddit meme), Captain America and Captain Marvel successfully sucked me into the 22-movie adventure. Between Disney+, Netflix, and prior knowledge of major characters like the Hulk and Spider-Man, I made it through to Avengers: Endgame.

My way-behind-the-game takeaways.

  1. Captain America is too pure for this world.
  2. Thor is a giant douche until his third appearance. Then you love him. Then they go too far and give him a dad bod for "laughs" and sympathy, and I'm not here for it. His brother Loki the trickster, on the other hand, is pretty perfectly balanced, repeatedly gaining your trust, then betraying it, as you know he will.
  3. I didn't realize Iron Man was kind of the biggest deal of them all. As a science lover, I appreciated that his genius helps the team match mystical, other-worldly forces.
  4. Ant-Man sounds really dumb, but his abilities to go both big and subatomically small were actually cool.
  5. Why did no one tell me Doctor Strange was an awesome, Inception-style cityscape-bending movie?
  6. Lastly, when it comes to the Avengers movies, you really will laugh and cry. Despite living in a universe full of "ability"-man heroes, female heroes shine, too. You experience the real anguish and fear as the heroes face impossible odds to save the universe. Some will sacrifice everything. But you walk away with the uniting feeling superheroes are meant to give us: If good people band together to root out evil, love and kindness prevail. ♦

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...