Avengers: Infinity War is so close, you can almost smell it. While 3 months is still a bit of a wait, it will be a breeze to get through, thanks to the trendy Marvel Cinematic Universe Marathon. Back in December, ComicBook.com posted a chart showing every mcu film in chronological order starting with 2008’s "Iron Man." The picture read, “Starting January 1, 2018, watch 1 movie per week to be ready for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.”

Having already watched them all, this marathon sounded like a good idea knowing how fun the movies are. After the first six weeks though, this marathon has proven to be more than just a good idea.

10 years of comic book based movies consumed in a matter of months highlights how similar to a trade paperback it is collectively and how the universally beloved series executes timeline storytelling far better than anyone could recall.

The early stages were fascinating in hindsight

MCU’s Phase One portion of the marathon ended last week with "The Avengers," the 5th highest grossing film of all time. It was the first big superhero team up on the big screen which was a really special moment for comic book lovers and casual moviegoers alike. More than 5 years after the monumental event, the movie still holds up really well despite the overwhelming saturation of superhero motion pictures since then. That’s the amazing thing about it. After 10 years, anyone would think that going back and revisiting the batch that started it all would be rough seeing how far Marvel Studios’ productions have come over time and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, watching them again knowing how much has changed since those beginning stages adds context to the characters, their identities, their motivations and their roles not only back then, but in the films that are still fresh in our memories as well.

"Iron Man" and "The Avengers," the beginning and end of Phase One, are considered groundbreaking cinematic experiences in that they were handled like no other comic book movie before them. Experiencing them again simply reminds how unlike any superhero flick before it "Iron Man" is and how exciting and perfect the culmination of 5 movies was executed in "The Avengers." However, it’s those middle movies that gain the most out of this marathon. 2008’s "The Incredible Hulk" is the only decent movie about the gamma ray exposed physicist turned annihilator. Before Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, these movies were distributed by different film studios. Iron Man was released through Paramount Pictures and "The Incredible Hulk" through Universal Pictures, which sort of explains why they feel different, tonally, from the other Marvel movies.

Major issues became minor over time

"The Incredible Hulk" is often forgotten because of this, not to mention Edward Norton never reprised his role as Bruce Banner, making the movie feel like a standalone story with little importance to the grand scheme of things. Its importance is still kind of debatable but its connection to the rest of the movies is pretty apparent through Easter eggs and one-liner references in the later movies. Details that could easily have been missed on the first watch due to their subtlety. It’s so much fun to look back and pick up on them.

Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark is so perfect, he’s able to carry the entire Iron Man trilogy. So when Don Cheadle appeared on the screen as the character that was previously played by Terrance Howard, it wasn’t a deal breaker, as weird as it was. Watching it back now, the change was handled unapologetically with one line of dialogue and at this point, Don Cheadle has been War Machine for the better part of 10 years. The change is easier to accept now and didn’t confuse me the second time to the point that I miss important dialogue like that one line. The Hulk was handled the same way in "The Avengers" when Mark Ruffalo took over the role and it worked there too. Basically, any of the weirdness that might have and did turn people off before barely matters now. It’s not enough to sour the overall enjoyment of the adventure.

Opinions change

The movies I personally thought were weak almost a decade ago were actually the opposite. "Iron Man 2" surprised me the most. Up until this marathon, a lot of people including myself swore by the notion that it was lackluster. Simply put, we were all so very wrong. Even "Captain America: The First Avenger" I was convinced was hot trash and that I’d never watch that movie again. Scrawny Steve Rogers made me cringe from how awkward it looked back then. I hated it! Once again, my second viewing experience was completely different, to the point that I questioned the reasoning behind my initial reaction and none of it was constructive. Watching every installment of the MCU over again can give some of these the second chance they rightfully deserve. Others will just serve as a reminder that your opinion about them being nothing more than fine was right, (Sorry, "Thor.") but even those have more to offer than once thought, especially storylines that set up or enhance later events.

Getting ready for "Avengers: Infinity War" by refreshing your memory on the journey it took to get there can help clarify seemingly arbitrary plot devices, especially to casual viewers, that are actually really important. For example, that blue, glowing power cube thingy. You know what I’m talking about. It’s called a “tesseract” in case you haven’t been clinging to every word of dialogue in the MCU. Pretty sure you’re going to need to know about that to follow the "Infinity War" storyline closely as it is essential to the reasoning behind everything that happens in the story. It’s what weaves every movie together and makes the continuity matter beyond the interesting character dynamics. It’s understandable to be unclear about it since it only mattered to fans of the comics when it first appeared in "Captain America: The First Avenger."

Go ahead and binge watch the first six movies to catch up if you have not yet boarded the MCU marathon train. By the time Thanos, the biggest, most menacing Marvel villain appears on the big screen, you’ll know why he’s there and what his motive is [VIDEO]. If that’s not enough reason to revisit all 17 films, do it for the thrill. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a blast! Oh, one more thing. Disney is showing no signs of slowing down and this ride may never end so binge now or forever hold your peace. Come on, there’s still time. All the kids are doing it.