Marvel Cinematic Universe, consisting of over 20 released feature films, 11 television series and scores of animated films and comic books, is the largest film franchise on the planet, with over a $15 billion revenue from box office collections, excluding those from the TV series and comics. A cinematic sojourn that began with ‘Iron Man’ (2008) that will continue this year in 2019 with awaited potential blockbusters like ‘Captain Marvel’, ‘Avengers Endgame’ etc., Marvel has given us unforgettable memories.
18. Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight! (2015)
In a strange turn of events, Loki and Ymir are trying to conquer the world by stealing Santa Klaus’s powers. Before doing that, they plan on finding Jolnir, an ice giant who knows Santa’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, the Avengers — Captain America, Captain Marvel and Iron Man — witness that the Christmases of millions of children in the world have been ruined after Santa’s capture. Rocket and Groot are also looking for Santa in order to get a bounty by turning him in so that they could buy another ship. Heroes are set against one another until Santa is free and children can celebrate Christmas again. ‘Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!’ is a holiday-themed flick but don’t expect an intense, gripping narrative or a good animation; it’s just an average flick for those seeking respite from holiday blues.
17. Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell (2016)
16. Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United (2014)
The very first movie from Marvel’s own studios without having to tie up with any other production company, ‘Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United’ is the story of the two eponymous Marvel superheroes, who usually engage in fights as friends and have their own unique styles of dealing with their enemies, be it a logical and aggressive way or be it a more belligerent, sadistic yet deliberate manner. When Red Skull and his Hydra army threatens to take on the world, Iron Man and Captain America must resolve their differences and fight for a common cause irrespective of their styles. The relentless action and a watertight script keep the viewers engaged in this superhero saga, with a special appearance from the Hulk himself. Oops, didn’t I say spoiler alert?
15. Lego: Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled! (2015)
Well, as the name suggests, ‘Avengers Reassembled’ witnesses the coming together of all the Avengers at the Avengers tower for partying, when it turns out that Stark’s armor is being controlled by Ultron. After Tony Stark attacks and flees, Captain America and Thor follow him into a battle between the trio. Vision then notices that it was Yellowjacket who was controlling the armour. After a fight, aided by Ant-Man, Spider-Man and the Hulk, the Avengers head to the tower again, as it is revealed that it was Ultron’s master plan to control the Iron Legion. A decisive battle ensures the victory of the Avengers after which the party resumes. ‘Avengers Reassembled’ is a definitive LEGO movie that you can watch if you’re a fan of both LEGO as well as the Avengers.
14. Iron Fist (2017- 2018)
When he was young, Danny Rand survived a plane crash in which all of his family died. For fifteen years, he mastered kung-fu with powerful monks and learned to summon the power of the Iron Fist. Fifteen years after he was presumed dead, he returns to New York City to reconnect with his past and defeat the evil organization called The Hand. However, the path is not always clear and Danny Rand has to choose between his family legacy and his responsibilities as the Iron Fist. Although not the best Marvel show, martial arts enthusiasts should give ‘Iron Fist’ a try. However, one shouldn’t expect groundbreaking performances or a compelling narrative, let alone any action scenes that are worthwhile. As boring as an origin story can get, ‘Iron Fist’ has defied all odds and formed a new low among all superhero origin series. Still, because it is a novel concept, one can cherish it while he/she can.
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13. Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload (2013 – )
A five-episode animated series, ‘Maximum Overload’ combines the awesomeness of the Marvel superheroes and the charm of a Lego movie in one, thus making it one of the most heartfelt animated TV series on this list. The entire series is set around the antagonist Loki who has set up a super army to conquer the Earth. The Avengers ensemble comprises of the original Avengers along with Iron Fist, Wolverine, Falcon among others, who’re put up against Loki’s super-army comprising Loki himself, along with Venom, Doc Oc, Mandarin, and the Red Skull. This heroes versus villains saga, where everyone has superpowers of their own, is a must-watch for those fans who had been vying to see all of their favorite superheroes at once.
12. Hulk. Vs (2009)
If you are pining for a crossover between the ‘X-Men‘ franchise and MCU, let me tell you that the possibility is now brighter than ever since the production houses of both these franchises, 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios, are both now owned by Disney. However, before that possibility materializes, you can already enjoy watching the heroes from these two genres fight it out in this animated film. ‘Hulk Vs.’ is actually a collection of two films, in one of which Hulk faces off against Thor, while in the other, he has to battle Wolverine.
11. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
One of the latest Marvel feature films to be released on Netflix, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ aims to continue the adventures of Ant-Man after the decisive battle at the end of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. Scott Lang is facing a house arrest after his violation of accords. Hank and Hope then come to the conclusion that they could have the whereabouts of Hope’s mother. Scott and Hope later try to fight a masked woman, who is way too agile and invincible as compared to both of them. Nicknamed the “Ghost”, the woman is later revealed to be the daughter of one of Hank Pym’s former associates, and her current instability is the result of a failed experiment. Although ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ couldn’t replicate the critical and commercial success of its predecessors, it has some hilariously funny moments and decent action sequences which make the movie unmissable.
10. The Defenders (2017)
This TV show follows superheroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist as they try to save New York City from a secret organization. They must learn to work together and forget their fears to defeat such an evil force. ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ should be watched after the other Netflix series from Marvel because that will help you get a better understanding of the storyline and the motivation behind the superheroes’ actions. Primarily, we could see all the four teaming up to fight their common enemy — The Hand. Whether they succeed or not entirely depends upon how they work together as a team.
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9. Luke Cage (2016 – 2018)
A few years ago, Luke Cage was part of an experiment that gave him super strength and unbreakable skin. He escapes from prison and lives a quiet life in Harlem, New York. But his past soon catches up with him and he must use his abilities to fight for the heart of the city he loves so much. With an incredible soundtrack, ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ is a fantastic TV show, with memorable performances from Mike Colter, Simone Missick, and Rosario Dawson. Although the second season wasn’t received well by critics and audiences, the first season was a thumping hit.
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8. Black Panther (2018)
The first-ever superhero flick to be nominated in the Best Picture category of the Oscars, ‘Black Panther’ depicts the events after ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and begins with the flashback story when T’Chaka, the father of T’Challa, met his brother N’Jobu and asks him to surrender and answer for his crimes in Wakanda. He asks him to stop smuggling Wakandan vibranium to Ulysses Klaue, a black-market arms dealer. Years later, after T’Chaka’s death, his son T’Challa is all set to become the Black Panther, with the only challenge from the Jabari tribe’s M’Baku, whom the former defeats. N’Jobu’s son nicknamed The Killmonger challenges T’Challa’s ascent to the throne and asks for a duel, which he wins, and becomes the King of Wakanda. A battle follows between Killmonger and T’Challa and the latter emerges victorious. ‘Black Panther’ is not a great story, but its scintillating visuals and powerful performances, along with the ethnic touch make it one of the best films of 2018.
7. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013- )
Agent Phil Coulson puts together a team of Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement: Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) to handle and fix alien events. With the rise of supervillains everywhere, this division is long overdue. One of them, the organization HYDRA, which takes weapons to create terrorist attacks, is the main focus of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. With five seasons, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is a visually stunning TV show that every Marvel fan will love.
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6. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘ is the first film about Marvel’s most famous superhero which gives mainstream fans the idea of the multiverses which dominate the world of comic books. The version of the world in which Spider-Man as we popularly know him is one among many such universes that exist simultaneously. And each of these universes has its own version of Spider-Man and all other Marvel superheroes. The protagonist of the story is a teenager called Miles Morales who is in love with Spider-Man and wants to follow in his footsteps. His wish comes true when he too gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superhuman powers. Morales discovers a number of Spider-Men from other dimensions who are being hidden by Peter Parker’s Aunt May, and teams up with them to take down the Kingpin, one of Spider-Man’s and Daredevil’s enemies, who is trying to get a particle reactor to work. The film has some brilliant animations, boasts of a great story filled with fun, excitement, and brilliant sequences, and can prove to be a great watch for any fan of the teenaged superhero.
5. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Arguably the best film of the Thor trilogy, ‘Thor Ragnarok’ opens with Thor who has been imprisoned by Surtur. Odin is no longer at Asgard and Ragnarok may soon destroy Asgard. After the death of Odin, his firstborn and Thor’s elder sister, Hela comes to Asgard to claim her right to the throne, while Thor and Loki are stuck in a planet called Sakaar, which is ruled by the Grandmaster. Hulk is a warrior on the planet fighting as a gladiator whom Thor confronts, but Hulk relentlessly fights him regardless. As Thor and Hulk hatch a plan to escape from Sakaar, Hela wreaks havoc on Asgard and a final battle ensues between the three, with Thor and Loki emerging victorious. Be that as it may, ‘Thor Ragnarok’ also saw appearances from Hulk and Doctor Strange among others. MCU fans must be thrilled to see an actress as brilliant as Kate Blanchett entering their beloved MCU as one of the toughest female villains in comic book history.
4. Jessica Jones (2015- )
After a tragic past that has left her broken and tormented, Jessica Jones spends the day drinking and focusing on her career as a private investigator. Jessica Jones is not your typical superhero, she is hot-tempered and sarcastic. But, because she has superhuman strength, she is able to use her remarkable abilities to deal with her cases. However, when she learns that a man from her past is alive, she sets out on a dangerous journey to destroy him and prevent anyone else from getting hurt. Kristen Ritter’s performance as the leading character is tremendous in this series. She brings out the vulnerability and the inner turmoil of the character beautifully. The essence of this series is in the fact that everyone goes through a lot of pain in life. But heroes are those who learn to use their personal pains to make life better for the people around them. If you are looking for a badass female superhero, search no more!
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3. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The highest-grossing film of 2018 and one of the highest-grossing films of all time, if considered as an independent film, ‘Infinity War’ witnessed the rise and rise of Thanos as a man who wields absolute power by assuming control of all the six infinity stones by beating Avengers on different planets and by killing a lot many of them. Perhaps one of the saddest movies of the MCU, Infinity War witnesses more superhero deaths than all other superhero movies combined. The abrupt ending, which keeps the viewers guessing, sets the background for its sequel ‘Avengers: Endgame’ which released in 2019. The scale of this film and its sequel are unlike anything we have ever witnessed in Hollywood. Some of the biggest A-listers come together in this film, but a respectable amount of screen-time is given to almost all of them.
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2. The Punisher (2017- )
We first meet Frank Castle in Season 2 of ‘Daredevil’, and with that glimpse in this character, we get an idea that he is going to be nothing like how Castle is portrayed in the earlier films. Frank Castle was once a Marine soldier with a lovely wife and two children. But after his family is brutally murdered, he becomes a violent vigilante named “The Punisher”. He is ruthless and has only one goal — to avenge his family and get rid of all the bad influences in the city. ‘The Punisher’ would not be the same without the presence of Jon Bernthal. The actor is splendid in his role, capturing the tortured soul of Frank Castle perfectly. The action scenes in this movie are brilliantly choreographed and shot, but they are far too bloody for the viewing pleasure of children.
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1. Daredevil (2015 – 2018)
When Marvel joined forces with Netflix for the first time to bring out a number of shows based on certain characters who were officially not a part of the MCU yet, ‘Daredevil’ is the first name that came up. The man behind the superhero, Matt Murdock grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, surrounded by criminal events daily. When he was a child, he was blinded by a chemical spill that also gave him superhuman senses. He cannot see but can sense everything else. Now, Matt Murdock is an attorney by day and a vigilante by night. Known as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, he must fight for justice in a corrupted city. It is a fantastic series, filled with intriguing characters and mesmerizing action scenes. The performances of the leading actors definitely deserve a special mention here. While Charlie Cox pulls off the titular character with great panache, Vincent D’Onofrio steals the show as Daredevil’s main antagonist, Wilson Fisk.
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