Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline Creates a Doctor Strange Plot Hole?

Until 2 Phases of the MCU, people were pretty much sure about how, when & in what order the various events of the MCU take place, but with the Phase 3 coming to an end now having a significant increase in the number of movies, people actually became pretty confused about the events. Kevin Feige mentioned that the MCU movies don’t necessarily take place in the years compared to real-time, and Marvel will soon bring out an official timeline to clear the confusions that Spider-Man: Homecoming created.

Here’s what he told Cinema Blend:

“All of that debate has made us go, ‘Okay, at some point, I’m not sure exactly when, we’re going to publish a timeline and see what it all is. It wasn’t meant to flummox anybody exactly, and I’m not sure I’d do it again the same way, but it does all connect to where we placed it.”

“Other than very particular instances where there’s a newspaper, or verbal reference to years, we never date the films. And I think there’s a presumption, ‘Well if the movie came out in November 2017, it must take place in November 2017’ — which is not the case.”

Now that Marvel has given us an official timeline, the confusion has been cleared as Spider-Man: Homecoming has been proven wrong. Right in the beginning of Homecoming, it was revealed that the events of the film take place 8 years after The Avengers and that is what created the gigantic plot hole. Now, Marvel’s official timeline has denied that:

  • 1943-1945: Captain America: The First Avengers
  • 2010: Iron Man
  • 2011: Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor
  • 2012: The Avengers: Iron Man 3
  • 2013: Thor: The Dark World
  • 2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • 2015: Avengers: Age of UltronAnt-Man
  • 2016: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • 2016-2017: Doctor Strange
  • 2017: Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War

While Homecoming has been accepted as a mistake, there’s another potential Plot Hole according to some people, and it comes with the timing and placement of Doctor Strange in the timeline. Here’s what a Redditor points out:

“So marvel just released its official MCU timeline. And according to that Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes place in 2014.

Whereas Doctor Strange in 2016-2017

But isn’t HYDRA monitoring the movements of Steven Strange in winter Soldier.

Is it a plot hole? Or does it indicate that Doctor Strange time travels in the next Avengers or could it be in Doctor Strange 2?”

Now this fanboy tries to make the right point but what he is suggesting is completely incorrect. The scene that the Redditor is stating here is the one where Cap, Nat, and Sam interrogate Agent Sitwell on the roof of a building, and here’s what Sitwell reveals about Zola’s Algorithm:

“Zola’s algorithm is a program for choosing Insight’s targets. You! A TV anchor in Cairo, the other Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who’s a threat to Hyrda.”

Hearing this dialogue, most people usually end up confusing themselves believing that Doctor Strange takes place somewhere around 2014. But you have to consider that right at this moment, Stephen Strange has not become the Sorcerer Supreme yet.


He is a target for HYDRA due to his insane skills as a Surgeon and nothing more. So there is no point of time travel here, and neither is it a plot hole. It was just a mere Easter Egg and a set up for Doctor Strange to come in the future.

reason why I am so sure of this is that even though the names that Sitwell mentions include people with abilities like Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner, but he also mentions normal people like “A TV anchor in Cairo, the other Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City,” so Stephen is one of those common people for now!

But a potential plot hole that this list might actually include comes with Infinity War. According to the MCU, it has been stated that it has been 2 years since the Sokovia Accords came into the picture and there has been a 2-year gap between the Infinity War and Civil War. But according to this timeline, the gap only stands around 1-1.5 years and not exactly 2. So it would be okay if we are to assume that it was almost a two-year gap, and not the complete 24 months. Then everything would fall right in the place as it should have.

Whatever the case may be, we can just be satisfied with the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming did not take place 8 years after The Avengers!

Vansh Mehra

Content creator. Just wanna share my passion for cinema with everyone.
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