When Marvel Comics began developing and expanding their shared universe of superheroes decades ago, they wanted it to look like the world outside their readers’ windows. Hence, they set most of their stories in New York City, their old publishing address, rather than DC’s made-up locales like Metropolis or Gotham.
That dedication to grounding in some level of real life was maintained when Marvel Studios created the MCU, so they tried to keep the feel of the actual NYC (primarily Manhattan) even as superhero battles rage through it. Vanity Fair thought it might be cool to map MCU settings and events to the locations, hence their incredibly informative little video.
With the use of Google Earth and some sweet minimalistic graphics work plus lots of film footage, the six-minute video takes viewers on a digital tour of the MCU New York City. Here’s a list of the highlights they showed:
- Times Square (Captain America: The First Avenger; when Steve escapes from his “hospital bed”)
- Chrysler Building (Avengers; where Thor uses lighting to attack the Chitauri fleet)
- Grand Central Terminal (Avengers; central location of Battle of New York; a Chitauri ship crashes here)
- 101 Park Avenue (Avengers; SHIELD Quinjet crash site)
- Queensboro Bridge (Avengers: Infinity War; Peter’s school bus was here when Thanos’ Black Order ship appears)
- FDR Drive (Doctor Strange; where Strange and the dying Ancient One discuss death while astral projecting)
- Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village (Avengers: Infinity War; battle against Black Order)
- Staten Island Ferry (Spider-Man: Homecoming; Peter investigates the Vulture’s arms shipments, resulting in a battle that slices the ferry in two)
- Brooklyn Bridge (Captain America: The First Avenger; in the background during one of pre-super soldier Steve’s enlistment attempts)
- Verrazano Narrows Bridge (Avengers; where Tony intercepts a nuclear missile)
- Coney Island (Spider-Man: Homecoming; final battle between Peter and the Vulture)
- Sunnyside, Queens (Spider-Man: Homecoming; Peter’s daily patrol route)
- Bethesda Terrace, Central Park (Avengers; where Thor and Loki return to Asgard)
- George Washington Bridge (Doctor Strange; he was driving here on the trip where he had his accident)
- SHIELD NY Office – real-life Morgan Stanley HQ (Captain America: The First Avenger; when Steve wakes up in the present)
- Stark Tower/Avengers Tower – replaces MetLife Building (Avengers and Age of Ultron)
- 177A Bleecker Street – actual location with shops and tattoo parlors replaced with townhouse unit that is secretly the magical Sanctum Sanctorum (Doctor Strange; the doctor’s residence and sanctuary)
- Stark Expo – located at Flushing Meadows Park (Iron Man 2)
- New York Expo – also Flushing Meadows, but during World War II (Captain America: The First Avenger; where Steve first sees Howard Stark and meets Dr. Erskine); the historical New York World’s Fair was at the same site from 1939-1940; the MCU version featured a Unisphere before the real-life one was created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair
It’s all quite extensive, and it’s not even complete. Not covered are the locations for the MCU-related Netflix “street” Marvel shows. No mention was also made of Harlem where the final battle for The Incredible Hulk happened either. Still, this does make for a good sightseeing tour guide.