If you ever wonder what my life is like, picture this scenario– twelve months before Avengers: Endgame I’ve just finished seeing Infinity War in the theater and I am SO hopped up, I’m determined to go home and start watching the entire MCU over again, leading up to Endgame just to fully immerse myself in the universe again.

Fast forward eleven months and two weeks

Oh yeah. About that watching every MCU movie before Avengers: Endgame thing…

Nonetheless, I persist! On Sunday, April 7th I decided that I was going to watch all twenty-two films leading up to the big April blockbuster event (that I already have Imax tickets for). Well, technically twenty-one films, I saw Captain Marvel in the theater and don’t have a way to re-watch that one before April 26th.

Still, plenty of time for a guy who has a fifty hour a week job and a forty hour a week indie author career, right?

I’m proud (and okay maybe a bit distressed) to admit I finished Phase 1 in four days.

A few things that pop to mind:

1) Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 get a bad rap.

These two films are fun as hell, even if they have their faults. Sure, Tony Stark pees in his Iron Man armor, then proceeds to invent a new element by shooting lasers at stuff, but it features Don Cheadle’s debut as an awesome James Rhodes, donning the War Machine armor for the first time, and I’m pretty sure I’m genetically unconditioned to hate any film that Sam Rockwell stars in. Sorry not sorry.

I prefer Ruffalo’s Banner as well, but the Incredible Hulk film is still a joy. That battle on the campus of the college is craaaazy and though I do wish the destruction of Harlem was referenced SOMEwhere (like maybe the Netflix Luke Cage series?!?) that battle with Abomination was the stuff of legends. Plus, Tim Roth.

2) Avengers is almost a perfect movie.

Even though it’s not my favorite MCU film, it’s certainly my favorite Phase 1 film and executed what it was attempting to achieve to perfection. I’m still amazed at how seamlessly they bring together a global threat, all of the various Avengers, and still manage to weave humor, danger, and a blockbuster mentality without sacrificing any single element. There are moments of Whedon cringeworthy dialogue (and I’m a huge Whedon fan) but, damn. It’s everything Justice League was not.

3) We have come a loooooong way.

It’s easy to forget how relatively understated those first few MCU films were. Period pieces, character driven stories were plot and atmosphere overcame effects. You could really see the puzzle pieces just starting to come together. Looking at a “spectacle film” like Thor, and then Black Panther, it’s absolutely mind-blowing just where the MCU has gone in ten years and how much they’ve cranked up the whole blockbuster mentality.

Phase 1 is great stuff, beginning to end, pretty much without a stinker in the bunch, however its highs are not quite as highs as some of the highs of future phases. Solid foundation, though.

Sixteen days left and fifteen movies… can I make it in time?