5 Movies/TV Shows You Need to Watch Before ‘The Marvels’

in Marvel, Movies & TV

Every lead from The Marvels poster

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvels (2023) is set to release on November 10. That means you only have 109 days to watch everything you need to understand what’s happening in the film. To save you some time, here are the only movies and shows that are absolutely necessary to binge.

The 'Portals' Scene in 'Avengers: Endgame' (2019)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Look. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a lot. It features 32 movies and at least 11 television series that fall under the MCU banner. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of characters that are connected through these different productions, including Iron Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Black Widow, Agent Phil Coulson, Pepper Potts, Happy, and so many more.

Marvel Studios will add another film to that list in November, The Marvels. Naturally, it can feel pretty intimidating for a newcomer to the MCU. How can you watch all those movies and shows by November 10 and not get sick of Marvel? Fortunately, you don’t need to see every single one of those items to be ready for The Marvels. Instead, you can narrow it down to just five productions.

Five Necessary Viewings to Understand ‘The Marvels’

Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau on The Marvels poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

Through a strange wormhole, Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), somehow become entangled, causing them to swap places whenever one of them uses their powers. Now, they must work together in order to return to normal and, of course, save the world.

If this seems confusing, that’s because it is. Multiple backstories are being interwoven, and a lot of exposition is needed to build a solid foundation for the film. While it can be argued that there are more films or series that would be helpful for your The Marvels prep, they’re not all necessary. Instead, you can just focus on two movies and three television shows, which is a much easier pill to swallow.

Captain Marvel

captain marvel poster (l-r) samuel l jackson as shield director nick fury, brie larson as carol danvers aka captain marvel, jude law as yon-rogg
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Captain Marvel’ Movie Will Be Banned For Millions of MCU Fans

An extraterrestrial Kree warrior, Vers, AKA Captain Marvel, is caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. After being captured by the Skrull Talos, she finds herself on Earth, where she has recurring dreams about an Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers. With the help of a young Nick Fury, it’s up to Captain Marvel to remember her past, unlock her powers, and save the galaxy.

Why it’s necessary: Since The Marvels is considered Captain Marvel 2, it only makes sense that Carol Danvers’ debut would be on this list. Fortunately, the movie is a ton of fun, and Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have wonderful chemistry. Also, you get to meet an evil space kitty. Who doesn’t love that?

Avengers: Endgame

"Avengers: Endgame" breaks box office records
Credit: Marvel

The Avengers have been defeated by Thanos. As Tony Stark drifts into space with Nebula, his oxygen begins to run low. Fortunately, Captain Marvel saves them and returns them to Earth. It’s now up to Tony, Nebula, and the remaining Avengers to travel back in time and recover the Infinity Stones.

Why it’s necessary: Not only is this the second time we see Captain Marvel in action, but it’s arguably the most significant moment in MCU history. This is when everyone is brought back from the snap, and life on Earth is changed forever, influencing everything in Marvel moving forward.


Wanda and Vision on the WandaVision poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

Wanda and Vision lead an idyllic life in the town of Westview, New Jersey, almost like a 1950s sitcom. Soon, their reality moves through different decades. It’s up to Wanda, Vision, and the people outside of Westview to figure out just what’s going on.

Why it’s necessary: This series is where we meet the second member of The Marvels, Monica Rambeau, as an adult. We learn much about her character and perspective while seeing how she received her powers. On top of this, it’s the best and most creative show in the MCU. You owe it to yourself to watch this.

Ms. Marvel

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel and Matt Lintz as Bruno carrelli
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: The 11 Best MCU Villains

A 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl, Kamala Khan is an Avengers superfan, particularly of Captain Marvel. She has trouble fitting in with her family and most other kids until she gains powers of her own.

Why it’s necessary: This is the introduction of Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, the final member of the team. The show follows how people in the world have changed post-snap. On top of this, watching Iman Vellani geek out over Captain Marvel is a lot of fun. She’s really perfect for playing Kamala Khan.

Secret Invasion

Nick Fury shocked in Marvel's 'Secret Invasion'
Credit: Marvel Studios

While some Skrulls have made peace with life on Earth, shapeshifting to remain hidden, others try using these abilities to take over the world. The only person who can stop them is Nick Fury, who creates a covert team of the humans he trusts most. Or so he thinks…

Why it’s necessary: Samuel L. Jackson said it himself: Secret Invasion “has to happen so that The Marvels can happen.” Since it’s the most recent show and it focuses on Nick Fury, Carol Danvers’ closest ally, you know that it ties directly into the film. On top of this, Secret Invasion also focuses on the Skrull, meaning that Danvers is closely connected once again.

That’s A Lot of Homework for ‘Ms. Marvel.’ Anything Else?

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: The 15 Highest-Grossing Superheroes, Ranked

While these movies and shows are necessary to be ready for The Marvels, some other titles could be helpful. Naturally, you’ll want to watch Avengers: Infinity War (2018) if you’re going to watch Endgame since they are parts one and two of the same story.

If you specifically want to look for Captain Marvel appearances, you also need to check out Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). It has excellent action setpieces, and Captain Marvel is featured in the end credits. But if you’re looking for efficiency and doing the bare minimum, you only need to watch the five titles mentioned above.

What makes you most excited about The Marvels? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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