View by timeline, or release date? We humbly offer our take after the jump.
As we gear up for May 4th, one would be remiss if we did not take an afternoon (or several) to remind ourselves how we arrived at this auspicious moment. Afterall, we're about to see the greatest collection of superheroes on the big screen in...EVER and we don't want to miss Whedon's penchant for throwing in unique side stories into the mix. It would be like being caught with our Superman underwear around our knees. So, how can we prepare for The Avengers without using mathematical equations to do so? Before we take on this mighty task, let's assume that we'll be adding Hulk to the lineup, as it does have some connection to The Incredible Hulk and wasn't totally awful.
Recognizing this singular addition, OnePerCase humbly offers both sides for your consideration:
View the films as they were released in theatres.
- Best choice for: lazy people and those who cheat on tests.
- Suggested viewing: Hulk, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America
- Reasoning: Sure, there are elements in the later films which connect themselves to other releases (Hulk's clash with General Ross' men at Culver University in IM2), but for the most part, those flashes don't interfere with the overall experience. The end of Captain America suggests that SHIELD is close to assembling its heroes, which takes us directly into Avengers, so it makes the most sense to view them in the order released. Besides, if you're lazy then you're probably used to doing less physical and mental activity, so why change now?
View the films according to the timeline established by Marvel.
- Best choice for: people who enjoy intricate puzzles, studying stellar matter, have an IQ above 100, or who have tried Vulcan Neck Pinches on Everyone from their first dog to Grandmother.
- Suggested viewing: Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor
- Reasoning: No offense to my dudes who write here, but each of us enjoys a fair case of OCD. It gives us the mental edge in providing you with the best toy and movie reviews anywhere, and you've probably already figured that out, which is why you visit us so often. Cap is hardest to figure out, as it contains the most references to the previous films but takes place during WWII. Throw it at the beginning and think little of it. BTW, did you know that in the months before Leonardo da Vinci died, he suffered a stroke and decided to work on intricate math puzzles just to keep his mind focused? You're the kind of person who enjoys such tasks, so take life by the horns and watch the films according to their timeline.
To see a remarkable breakdown of the movies by timeline, check out this site.