What to Watch Before You See ‘The Marvels’

These MCU installments will set you up with what you need to know

the-marvels-brie-larson
Marvel Studios/Disney

This far into the MCU, it can be hard to know and remember which projects connect to each other and how. Well, the good news about “The Marvels” is, you don’t need to know as much going in as you might for other projects.

In fact, at a base level, you only need to have seen three other MCU installments. And that’s because, though the movie is only a sequel, it brings together three characters. “The Marvels” unites Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) when their powers become entangled.

All three women have light-based powers, but don’t worry, Captain Rambeau will succinctly explain how their powers differ in the movie. We’re just here to get you prepped. So, here’s what you need to watch to understand what’s happening in “The Marvels.”

Captain Marvel (2019)

Marvel Studios

Technically, “The Marvels” is a sequel to “Captain Marvel.” Released in 2019, the film introduces fans to Carol Danvers. She’s an Air Force pilot from Earth who finds herself on an alien planet called Hala, with no memories of her past life.

This movie is also where you’ll meet Monica Rambeau for the first. Of course, in this, she’s not played by Teyonah Parris, because the character is a child at this point in the timeline. You’ll also meet her mother, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), who does have some impact in “The Marvels.”

WandaVision (2021)

“WandaVision” was the first of the Marvel TV shows to hit Disney+, and arguably one of the best. But don’t worry, you don’t have to watch all of it if you don’t want to.

wandavision-monica-rambeau-photon
Marvel Studios

This series brings back Monica Rambeau in her adult form, and is when Parris takes over the role. At this point, she’s working for an organization called S.W.O.R.D. and investigating an anomaly in Westview, brought on by Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). But, when Wanda realizes who Monica works for, things go a bit off the rails.

We’d definitely recommend the whole series, but if you only want the essentials, episodes 5, 7 and 9 will be your best bet. Between those three, you’ll learn that Monica is a bit estranged with her Aunt Carol, how she got her powers, and exactly what she can do with them.

Ms. Marvel (2022)

You’ll also want to check out “Ms. Marvel,” to get a sense of exactly who Kamala Khan is and how she gets her powers.

In short, she’s a Captain Marvel superfan, and when she gets ahold of an old family heirloom, Kamala develops her own powers. That family heirloom is a key piece of the plot of “The Marvels” as well. But, as we find out in the finale, there’s a very specific reason her powers manifest the way they do.

Ms. Marvel
“Ms. Marvel” (Credit: Disney+)

We won’t spoil it here, but just know she shares a connection to people in the post-credits scene of “The Marvels.”

NOTE: MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUND FROM HERE ON OUT. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SEVERELY SPOILED ON “THE MARVELS,” TURN BACK NOW

Okay, we put a note above, but we’re going to go ahead and give you even more time to exit out of here if you don’t want heavy spoilers. Seriously, if you intend to go in as pure as possible, trust that the three projects above are all you really need.

However, if you want to do some extra homework, just to fully appreciate some of what you’ll see at the end of the film, read on. These are decidedly not essential, but add some fun to the context of everyone.

Last chance. You’re still here? Then whatever you read next is on you. We warned you. Profusely.

Iron Man (2008)

The MCU itself began with “Iron Man” back in 2008. And, though none of the plot of the movie is relevant to “The Marvels,” a certain speech in its post-credits stinger is.

At the end of the film, we meet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) for the first time. He promptly informs Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that Iron Man is not the first or only hero the world has ever known, and recruits him to join the Avengers initiative.

You can watch that moment below.

That same speech is given almost word-for-word by Kamala Khan in the final minutes of “The Marvels,” as she starts to try and put together her own team. Who does she give it to?

Hawkeye (2021)

Well, Kamala Khan gives her best Nick Fury impression to none other than Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

We first meet Kate Bishop in “Hawkeye,” which premiered in 2021 on Disney+. Similar to Kamala, Kate is a huge fan of one of the Avengers. In Kate’s case though, her idol doesn’t have superpowers — just a bow and arrow.

In “Hawkeye,” Kate is taken under the wing of (an (initially begrudging) Clint Barton. Together, they work to take down Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio, set to return in “Echo” next year) in New York.

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios 2021

So, if you want to get a sense of who Kate is and how she might fit in with Kamala, check out Hawkeye.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

In the speech she gives Kate, Kamala mentions that they aren’t the only kid superheroes, asking “Did you know Ant-Man had a daughter?” That daughter is Cassie Lang.

We first meet in “Ant-Man,” but we don’t see a grown-up superhero Cassie until Kathryn Newton plays her in “Quantumania.” Once again, this is just a project you watch if you want to get an idea of who will be the future of the MCU.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

This is perhaps the biggest spoiler we have, so one true last chance to turn around!

In the post-credits scene of “The Marvels,” we find Monica Rambeau in an alternate reality, waking up in what appears to be a hospital bed. But, as it turns out, she’s in the X-Men mansion, being attended to by Beast, once again played by Kelsey Grammer.

He played the character in Fox’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and thus becomes the bridge for the X-Men into the MCU.

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