Have you ever dreamed of being a TVA officer? Thanks to Marvel Studios - The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline, now you can. The DK published book might not be a TVA manual, but it’s the most thorough look at the MCU’s timeline that Marvel has ever released. The massive chronicle was compiled by Anthony Breznican, Amy Ratcliffe, and Rebecca Theodore-Vachon.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – how does this book address Marvel’s ABC and Netflix shows? It’s no secret that Marvel Studios and Marvel Television had an odd relationship. While Marvel Television productions like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil would reference the events of the MCU films, the continuity appeared to be a one-way street.
MCU productions regularly ignored Marvel Television. For example, WandaVision introduced their own version of the Darkhold, despite the spell-book previously being introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4. In fact, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn once stated that no Marvel television shows produced before WandaVision were canon to the MCU. This contradicted various statements by Kevin Feige, who called the shows canon.
Daredevil’s appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hasn’t settled the argument either. While Charlie Cox’s appearance as Matt Murdock would presumably confirm the canon status of his Netflix, some viewers have theorized that the actor is playing a multiverse variant.
So, what does Marvel Studios’ official timeline book say?
It’s not what the book says, but what it doesn’t say.
Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Danny Rand are never mentioned. The events of the Marvel Studios produced Agent Carter short film are mentioned, but not the Marvel Television produced tv series. The book states that Phil Coulson died in 2012 during the events of the first Avengers film, making no mention of his subsequent television adventures. Daredevil is mentioned in the book, but the text only references his appearances in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk Attorney at Law.
These absences are pretty damning, and the introduction from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is the final nail in the coffin. While his introduction doesn’t mention any of the shows by name, it’s pretty clear what he’s talking about.
“On the Multiverse note, we recognize that there are stories-movies and series-that are canonical to Marvel but were created by different storytellers during different periods of Marvel’s history. The timeline presented in this book is specific to the MCU’s Sacred Timeline through Phase 4. But, as we move forward and dive deeper into the Multiverse Saga, you never know when timelines may just crash or converge (hint, hint/spoiler alert),” Feige writes.
This statement seems to confirm that Marvel’s Netflix and ABC shows don’t take place on the same timeline as the MCU. However, Feige did call them canon, which is in line with his earlier press statements. Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Luke Cage are canon to the MCU, they just take place on another branch of the timeline. In other words, the Daredevil variant theory was correct.
However, we should also pay attention to the final part of Feige’s statement. Crashing and converging? Perhaps the MCU’s Multiverse Saga will end with some of these timelines merging. Does that mean that we’ll see characters like Jessica Jones fight alongside the Avengers? The MCU is full of surprises, so I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Want to know what's coming up next in pop culture? Check out our guides to upcoming movies, upcoming TV shows, upcoming comics, and upcoming comic conventions. If you're looking for specific franchises or genres, we have all the upcoming MCU, upcoming Star Wars, upcoming Star Trek, and upcoming DC movies & TV for you. If you're a fan of superheroes and not specific to just Marvel or DC, we have overall guides to all the upcoming superhero movies and upcoming superhero TV shows (and new seasons) as well.