Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years collector’s book unofficially peels back the MCU curtain


Some MCU fans might want to add Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years to add to their collection. But the overall takeaways and reveals in this collector’s book are slim.

While the hiatus between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 is slowly tearing Marvel fans apart, only the best fans know that brushing up on their MCU knowledge is the smartest use of their time while we wait. (The second smartest use of time is just hibernating the whole year until Avengers 4 is out… with a brief awakening for Captain Marvel.)

Thankfully, there are lots of resources out there for you to brush up on your knowledge of the MCU (if you choose not to hibernate), including Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years — a collector’s edition magazine/book (depending on which print edition you get) from Titan Comics.

As a disclaimer to the hardcore MCU fans, you might not learn a ton from this book. It follows a pretty rigid structure you’ll quickly notice as you turn the pages: a synopsis of the MCU movie they’re profiling, a brief interview with an actor or director from that movie, and then a few pages worth of Easter eggs for said movie.


At the beginning, there’s an MCU timeline that drummed up a bit of controversy in the past days. Its order of events is giving pause to some readers, with others claiming that it’s technically not an official MCU timeline. Here are a few things I picked out from the timeline that may or may not make sense (I was sent a PDF version to review, so perhaps some changes have been made for official printing):

  • Iron-Man actually takes place in 2010 for some reason.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 takes place in the same year that the first Guardians happens (2014), which is before Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • Infinity War supposedly was in 2017 and not 2018.
  • Malekith and the Dark Elves attempted to destroy the Nine Realms in 2,988 BC. (I don’t even want to think about doing the math to see if that checks out.)
  • Doctor Strange takes place in 2016… even though they mention an Easter egg where former Agent Sitwell mention’s Doctor Strange is on their watch list in 2014’s Captain America: Winter Solider
  • No mention of Spider-Man: Homecoming, but it’s technically Sony so that’s okay.
  • No mention of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Maybe not so much okay to leave out.

That aside, yes, the MCU timeline is confusing. Some things line up, and other things get plain suspicious. Unfortunately, with this publication, you have to take those with a grain of salt.

Easter eggs

The Easter eggs had the most interesting bits of information in the book. The only problem being, since this isn’t necessarily an official book, there’s no authoritative tone on some of the Easter eggs. While we’d love to know definitively if some of those quirky choices were deliberate, the book is sometimes none the wiser than we are. The following are a few Easter eggs that piqued my interest either because I learned something… or because the book didn’t know for sure if it was an Easter egg at all.

Phase One

  • Iron Man 2: “Confirms” retroactive Easter egg that Peter Parker is the boy behind the Iron Man mask.
  • Thor: Odin’s hall has the Orb of Agamotto from Doctor Strange comics. And apparently, the Infinity Gauntlet appears (you have to have a keen eye to catch it in the film).
  • Captain America: The original Human Torch is seen at the Stark Expo. It is “an android in a red jumpsuit.”
  • Captain America: Bucky briefly picking up Captain America’s shield is a reference to comics when he becomes Captain America.

Phase Two

  • Winter Soldier: They acknowledge that Sitwell says he’s keeping an eye on Dr. Strange. But, again, the timeline doesn’t necessarily line up for him to make this comment.
  • Winter Soldier: Black Widow wears an arrow necklace to symbolize her connection to Hawkeye… and yet in Age of Ultron, she and Bruce are the ones who become a couple.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The cocoon of Adam Warlock is just chilling with the Collector. So was he already born, or is he still in there?
  • Age of Ultron: Clint’s kid’s middle name is Pietro.

Phase Three

  • Doctor Strange: They mention the patient with the crushed spine throwaway line. They say it isn’t Rhodey because director Scott Derrickson says so. They also mention the speculation that it could be Justin Hammer. But who knows for sure?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: They bring up Adam Warlock again. The wording on the paragraph is a bit muddled, but it seems like they’re pointing out Adam will be significant.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: They think the post-credit scene confirms the theory that Stan Lee plays the same person in all the movies.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Apparently Thor’s been searching for the Infinity Stones through space after his Age of Ultron vision at the Water of Sights. And that’s when he gets captured by Surtur.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: They speculate the foreshadowing of the Young Avengers with Cassie Lang

Ultimately, if you spend a lot of time browsing Reddit, Twitter and the likes for bits of information about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you might not take away a lot from this book. And, like me, you might be feeling disappointed that the book is not very authoritative when it comes to revealing all of Marvel’s secrets.

But, for the casual fan, this is something nice to have in your collection. And the glossy pictures alone (in all their tangible glory) might make you want to nab this book and give it read.

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Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years is available now on newsstands and wherever books are sold.