Avengers: Endgame- A Worldwide Phenomenon and Gratifying Conclusion

by: lauren montoya

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The wait is over: fans are rushing to pre-purchase the tickets they’ve been dreaming of for months, predictions are released, and many more are emotionally preparing themselves for the dramatic finale of the century. As our beloved heroes return to the big screen for one last final production, expectations were high, for we knew that we had to say our goodbyes to the Avengers franchise we’ve come to love and adore since 2012, when the very first Avengers film was released. The seven year journey had consisted of action, excitement, and heartache that we’ve witnessed the fictional characters experience and because they have become so important in the eyes of many, it’s also clearly affected the audiences emotionally. How Marvel accomplishes this is quite amazing and impressive, in that they’ve perfectly captured the essence of superheroes that are relatable as they face similar challenges and hardships that are present in our own reality. More than just a fictional adaptation originating from comics, Avengers: Endgame delivers an impactful cinematic experience that shows off the embodiment of unity and justice within a society of alike beings from various backgrounds who all share a common goal of prosperity and peace within their world.

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Proceeding Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame is the conclusion to the infamous cliffhanger that depicts the victory of main antagonist, Thanos, who had wiped out half the entire universe, causing a specific selection of the heroes to disintegrate right before our very eyes. Now, the pressure is intensely amplified, as remaining characters: Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye (I was very excited to see him finally appear), Rocket Raccoon, War Machine, Nebula, Thor, and Captain Marvel, must seek out the Infinity Stones by jumping back in time to several areas of where they are located by utilizing the quantum realm. Although Tony Stark is very hesitant and physically weak at first, showing extreme disinterest for any plan because he now has a young daughter with wife Pepper Potts, he figures out the accuracy of using time travel and identifies as their best option. I was intrigued by this strategy, as various scenes of different past moments were shown, which brought back memories for me; I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw Starlord dancing and sinking with his walkman, the opening scene of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. This was a neat idea, because since this is the last film that puts the conclusion to basically everything that has led up to now, the thought of looking back onto past events gives the production more sentimental value, emotion, and the feeling of personal success. In other words, we’ve all come a long way beside one another as fans of the series, and with our heroes we admire, as if we’ve been traveling alongside together to the final destination hand-in-hand. When Natasha (Black Widow) appears “victorious” Clint (Hawkeye) refuses by holding onto her hand tightly as she is about to fall, but as the grasp between them becomes weaker, she lets go and collapses to her unfortunate, saddening, and surprising death. I had always viewed Black Widow as a caring and loyal protagonist, which shines in this particular scene, but I was still shocked to actually see her meet her fate. From then on, realization really strikes the team, as they acknowledge they cannot simply rewind time or try again to prevent of what just occurred, raising the stakes even higher and feeling more adrenaline, as they continue to prepare to fight for their lives and everything they know and love.

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When all the stones are successfully united to create a new gauntlet with the courtesy of Iron Man’s technology, Hulk volunteers to wear it in seeing how it works. On a side note, this scene made me appreciate Bruce Banner more as a character, as I felt that his film presented him in a more emphasized way that expressed his ability as a charismatic protagonist who shares his determination to help others. He does this in a more humorous way when he tries (and succeeds) in pulling a depressed and now overweight Thor out of the metaphorical pit he fell into, after failing to defeat Thanos. Thankfully, it worked. Everything seemed to go back to normal: the entire environment returned to a positive and bright one, family members that were once gone had returned, indicated by the ring on Hawkeye’s phone that read his wife’s name. However, a great explosion burst, signaling that Thanos had finally found the,. In my mind, I was worrying that this would be just another repeat of Infinity War, because not only did Thanos utilize time travel and quantum realm, but he has brought an enormous army with him as well, and so far, only a small group of heroes remain. Yet, I was still confident in that the others would return soon, they just had to—it’s the grand finale!

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In the meantime however, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor make their way to an awaiting Thanos, who is simply sitting by himself alongside his sword, equipped in armor. My eyes widened both in excitement and shock simultaneously, as Steve Rogers was never able to pick up Mjolnir, and now he finally did it. Although Cap’s iconic shield practically got sliced in half, and hope was beginning to disappear from the sight of Thanos’s incoming army, a small familiar sound of sparks could be heard in the background and as Stave turned around, there was one of Dr. Strange’s portals. As anticipation filled the entire theater of who or what was going to emerge from wherever, the dearly missed characters Black Panther and his younger sister, Shuri, proudly made their way back into action, which earned satisfied and pleased reactions (including myself of course) from the audience. More and more portals followed afterwards, allowing the heroes who were once gone to make their stance back onto the battlefield— everyone was here now, and what I mean by everyone, I really intend to emphasize that statement. Alongside the main heroes, there were large massive armies that hailed from their own worlds, determined to fight as well for the cause and sake of humanity. From flying pegasuses and spaceships, to Pepper Potts in her own unique Iron Man suit, to a gigantic Ant Man, there was no dull moment during this absolutely intense battle. In the mist of it all, the gauntlet made from Tony Stark’s technology, is also being fought over, creating an even more anticipated and elevated feet. Unfortunately, it eventually falls into the hands of Thanos, and he places the final stone into it to activate its power. But Tony shows up and while the two were both struggling against each other over it, Tony was able to retrieve the stones rather quickly and effectively. This had allowed Tony to gain them into his own suit armor, which is shown after Thanos attempts to end everything by snapping his fingers, which only makes a small ‘clank’ sound. The specific powerful shot of Tony with the lightened stones on his own arm expresses an immense amount of power and sacrifice, as this was risky to do, for when he would snap his fingers, he would likely be unable to survive afterwards. At that very moment, the villainous forces began to disintegrate right before the eyes of the watchful audience, a moment of deja vu, but now on Thanos’s end instead, with himself being the last to disappear soon enough.

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The aftermath of the snap didn’t look so good on Tony’s behalf, however. It was strange and very unfortunate to see one of the main faces of the entire Marvel franchise to pass away and permanently leave behind everything he was apart of. As I watched a funeral of heroes gathered together in respect for the loss of a great friend and savior through a blurry vision due to tears, the soft sound of sniffles could be heard throughout the theater. The very final scene of the film greatened my sadness furthermore, as Captain America goes back in time to return all the stones back to their initial origins and own initial timelines. Proceeding after that, we witness a heartwarming scene shared between Falcon, aslo known as Sam Wilson, and now older Captain America, who happens to be a different one from the Stece Rogers we just watched. The sentimental exchange between the two heroes is especially present when Cap unzips a bag beside him, containing a perfectly clean and brand new shield, of which he hands down to Sam, continuing the tradition of a beloved American soldier, and the Avengers as a whole.

Seeing the Avengers series finally conclude is rather unfortunate to see, as I’ve followed it since the beginning, but every story must have an end, and Endgame certainly delivered it in an incredibly satisfying way. Of course, the consistent theme of death and suffering within the film was upsetting to witness, but the relief we feel after out heroes have conquered Thanos and regained victory once again leaves us with an optimistic and hopeful feel for their future. Even if there aren’t any more films continuing this story, they will proceed to live within our hearts, along with the heroes who had sacrificed their own lives to defend the lives of their friends, who have become family to them, like how Hawkeye and Natasha are basically long lost siblings, and how tony and Peter Parker are practically father and son. Though they may not physically roam no more as “earth’s mightiest heroes,” their tradition will live on, as will the films that Marvel has brought, and will continue to bring, along with the happiness and joy they offer to us. As co-creator of Marvel himself, Stan Lee once said: “The pleasure of reading a story and wondering what will come next for the hero is a pleasure that has lasted for centuries and. i think, will always be with us.”

Abby Lisk