With the release of this summer’s Ant-Man, Marvel Studios’ Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to an end. Granted, it was a somewhat anticlimactic ending given that Avengers: Age of Ultron was initially intended to close out Phase Two, but it completed a second round of interconnected films nonetheless. As we look to the start of Phase Three, which kicks off with April’s Captain America: Civil War and promises to blow the scale of the MCU up in a very big way, it’s nice to look back and remember how this all started in Phase One.
A new retrospective video does just that, charting the first phase of Marvel Studios films from Iron Man to The Avengers. While Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige always had an inkling that he could maybe get to make an Avengers movie someday and cross over characters from individual films just like in the comic books, the first couple of Marvel movies were very much made with only the goal of succeeding on their own merits in mind. That’s why Iron Man remains one of the best of the Marvel lot, because Jon Favreau was simply trying to make a different kind of superhero movie, one that wasn’t incredibly bothered by adhering to an established universe’s tone and aesthetic.
But after learning what to do after the success of Iron Man (and what not to do with the muddled The Incredible Hulk and overstuffed Iron Man 2), Marvel Studios began forging a more confident path with subsequent features like Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, leading up to the little experiment that could, The Avengers.
As the MCU grows ever larger by adding more characters, locations, and tonal shifts, it’s swell to look back and see where everything began with this solid retrospective video crafted by Jakub Ignarski (via The Playlist).