Does Endgame Hold Up?
*Warning: The following post contains all the spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, which, if you haven’t seen by now, you should probably stop what you’re doing and go take care of that. I’ll wait.
Thanks to my new allegiance to Disney+ I had a chance recently to sit down and really watch Avengers: Endgame, the juggernaut cap to ten years of Marvel Studios storytelling.
Here’s a hot take: It’s awesome.
When I saw it in the theaters, I was kind of swept up in the awe of it all. It’s a massive movie, with incredible set pieces, great character moments and while it’s not without it’s problems, they are few and far between enough to be able to get lost in the flick, which is where I found myself.
On my second watch though, I was able to do it in chunks of about an hour-45 minutes at a time. This gave me a chance to really digest what I was seeing, what the story really means, and most importantly think about the journey of the characters, some of which famously ended in Endgame.
It’s easy to think of the Iron Man-Endgame saga as Tony Stark’s journey. Much of the MCU is based around Stark, or his tech, or his connections in some tangential way. But for me, when the tears start flowing, it’s not for Stark. It’s for Steve Rogers, Captain America.
MCU Steve Rogers is supposed to represent the best of all of us. A scrappy underdog, punching above his weight class for no other reason than he wants to do what’s right. As a result, he has EVERYTHING taken from him. Think about waking up one day to discover that not only has the world moved decades ahead without you, but that almost everyone you ever knew or loved is gone. Take that and then imagine having the strength of character to STILL want to do what’s right. Cap’s story is about losing everything and finding yourself in the wreckage.
Which is why the most wonderful moment of Endgame for me is when Sam and Bucky see Old Steve sitting peacefully by the lake in the woods. The look of happiness and contentment on his face says it all. The only thing I could think between the tears was “he got a happy ending. They gave him a happy ending.”
Since we’ve spent so much time with the MCU “Original Six” Avengers, we have attachments to them, almost like friends. So, the death of Tony Stark is devastating. The loss of Natasha is crushing. Seeing Thor rebuilding himself and Hawkeye reunited with his family and the Hulk in control is inspiring. But seeing Cap happy, content and satisfied was nothing but joyful for me.
It’s great to have a hero go out in a blaze of glory, defending the innocent and defeating evil. But it’s another thing entirely to give them the one thing that we all hope for: A happy ending.
For The Comic Fan
The Gutters, a satirical take on the comic industry, was hard to merchandise since it was all about characters we, y’know, didn’t own. Still, it featured high profile industry artists producing gorgeous pieces with a great sense of humour. Many of those pages are collected in Omnibus’ that are going for $5 each right now. Also $5? My favourite t-shirt we ever produced, I Like My Books With Pictures. It’s made from a super comfortable muted red heathered material that we weren’t able to use for any other shirts, and features a straight forward, dynamic logo that speaks for itself.