Book Review: “Marvel Studios The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline” is a Comprehensive Guide to the MCU

Beginning all the way back in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has delivered 15 years worth of stories. We’ve been introduced to incredible heroes, unforgettable villains and everything in between. But over the years, those stories have been so intertwined that it can be a bit difficult to keep track of it all. Luckily, there’s a brand new resource that feels like it’s come straight out of the TVA to help out with that.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline is a complete guide to all of the happenings throughout the history of MCU.

Before even getting into the meat of this new book, it features a foreword by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Not only is it fascinating to read his words as the reflects on the 15 years of storytelling, but he also very briefly looks ahead to the future of the MCU. Any time Kevin Feige uses the words “hint, hint/spoiler alert,” Marvel fans are going to take notice.

One of the most impressive aspects of this new book is the sheer volume of it. It blows you away for see how much story has been told over the years. Obviously, we’ve seen the films and series, but when you see all of these stories laid out chronologically, it stretches things out so much more. Plus, there’s the lore of the Marvel Universe that is touched on only briefly in films and gets lost in the shuffle. There’s plenty of that worked into this long, long timeline as well.

It’s also a whole lot of fun to see what parts of the MCU overlapped. While it’s easy to follow the timeline of a single film like Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk, it’s interesting to see when those films may have been occurring simultaneously. Then you throw in films like Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which, despite being released years later, contained events that occurred at or near the same time as those two films. It’s a unique perspective on the MCU and it’s nice to have it all laid out like this.

Of course, eagle-eyes fans have pointed out continuity errors over the course of the MCU. Whether it was another studio making the film, a recasting or whatever else, there are bound to be some inconsistencies here and there. This book features some insights from Miss Minutes’ who promises the TVA is looking into these mistakes. It also includes some other fun features like character specific guide pages that track the timeline of an individual character.

The only downside to this book is that it is a complete guide, until something new comes out. Unfortunately, this otherwise comprehensive book is already behind by two movies (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Marvels) and two Disney+ series (Secret Invasion and Loki season 2). Of course, this is just the nature of printed media and there’s not much that can be done to fix this issue, but fans should be aware that this marvelous new book will never fully encompass the entirety of the MCU.

Overall, The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline is an incredible new piece to add to the collection of Marvel fans. It’s a great new way to look at the MCU and a fun read for those who may want to learn more. It could even be used to help grasp the idea of this massive story for those who are maybe just scratching the surface of the many, many Marvel projects out there. And if nothing else, it looks great on a shelf or coffee table for Marvel fans everywhere.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline is available now.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."