Now, of course, that shared universe, dubbed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is crowded. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk kicked off the idea that the members of the Avengers were being assembled over a run of introductory movies referred to as "Phase One," which continued with 2010's Iron Man 2 and 2011's Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, and culminated with the 2012 team-up blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers. The phenomenal success of those first six movies gave Marvel the credibility to continue turning out more movies. Phase Two gave us Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, and Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man in 2015.
When Marvel Studios unveiled "Phase Three" on October 28, 2014, the scope of the movies involved (and the forethought required) was massive. On that day, they released their schedule through May 2019, and even though some details have changed -- in part due to Marvel's deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU and the scuttling of Inhumans in favor of 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp -- their announcement proved to be scarily accurate: Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange in 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, and Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and the Ant-Man sequel in 2018. The phase wraps up with Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. And the big question is: What's next?