Avengers: Endgame – Closing The Circle

Talk about a cliffhanger. I posted a spoilers and speculation blog about Avengers: Infinity War way back in 2018, shortly before I took an unplanned three year break from blogging, and never followed it up. That’s like a Star Wars Original & Prequel Trilogy style gap.

But I still didn’t want to leave anyone, including myself, hanging. So, I’m writing this piece to close my own circle with some general thoughts about Avengers: Endgame, and what’s come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since then. I made some predictions in that blog, and I’m happy to say that I was more right than wrong in my predictions.

Loki and Heimdall definitely died “for real” even though Loki is getting his own time travel-ly series out of it. All victim of The Snap returned, though that wasn’t exactly a long shot. I was right to assume Hawkeye wasn’t snapped, and that the original Avengers squad all survived for a reason – I was also right about the reason being to give them a proper curtain call. Doctor Strange’s apology to Tony Stark did end up being because Tony had to sacrifice his life to save the universe.

Steve Rogers bowed out with a happier ending than I’d suspected. Bucky Barnes likely isn’t the one carrying the Captain America shield forward, so I was wrong about that part. But he, and Sam Wilson, are working together to fill the void, so I was right about the group effort part. Black Widow died, but still has a solo movie coming out (some day) so I was about 50/50 on that projection. Thor is getting a fourth movie, as expected, and they’re keeping Hulk in their back pocket, likely to drop by on the She Hulk series.

As for the movie itself: I loved Avengers: Endgame, and I think the last hour or so of it is the most rewatchable MCU movie out there. The time travel trip down memory lane worked way better than it had any right to. Just the fact that they introduced time travel out of nowhere, and made it work, is a small miracle. Though my faith never really waivered in Kevin Feige and the MCU brain trust.

The Star Wars crew couldn’t even properly wrap up a trilogy with the disastrous Rise Of Skywalker. Meanwhile, Marvel capped out a 20+ movie arc in the most entertaining and satisfying manner possible. Both of these are under Disney’s banner now, but you can see a stark difference in the way they’ve been handled.

I think Marvel has had a looser leash, which worked out for them Meanwhile, they course-corrected Star Wars on-the-fly, likely with a Bible full of studio notes, which ended up being a problem. But, if The Mandalorian is a sign of things to come, and it appears that it is, then Star Wars may soon be rising to Marvel’s standards. Imagine saying THAT twenty years ago.

Now, for how things are looking in a Post Infinity Saga universe.

Spider-Man: Far From Home was the only post-Endgame MCU release so far, even though Black Widow was scheduled to drop a year ago, before the pandemic effed up everyone’s lives for most of the past twelve months. Far From Home was a lot of fun, and a good demonstration of how well Marvel Studios can get themselves back into the flow of smaller, non-universe destroying crossover films. It was very encouraging.

No one has seen Black Widow yet, as I noted above. But I’ll definitely check it out when – and where – I can.

WandaVision is really interesting. I’ll probably post a review of it once the season concludes, since I don’t want to fully judge it without having seen the entire run. It’s pulled the rug out from under the viewers several times already, so I’ll gather up my thoughts about it when standing on more solid ground.

The Falcon & The Winter Solider is coming later this month, and I’m very much looking forward to more of the love-hate-buddy-cop action that those two characters have only been able to hint at up to this point. I’ll probably write that review up after the season (series?) concludes as well.

Loki is up after that in May. Lots of timey-wimey stuff going on there, starting with Loki being not-dead in the first place. But the character is always fun, and time travel worked out nicely in Endgame, so let it ride!

She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Ironheart, and Secret Invasion have all been announced as Disney+ series, and some interesting casting news has come out already. But, it’s also far too early for me to have any real insights.

I’ll judge The Eternals when I know more about it, but I’m not familiar with the title at all, so I won’t make any assumptions yet. But I did watch Nomadland, which was also directed by recent Golden Globe Winner Chloe Zhao. I didn’t exactly know how to feel about the point-of-view in Nomadland, which I think was the point. It was a beautiful-looking film though, that’s for certain, so that’s hooked my interest in Eternals.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is next up. It’s being directed by Sam Raimi, which sounds incredible. All we know so far is the title and director. But I’m loving the title and the director. It’s still in the early stages of shooting, but I’m fully on-board already. I can’t wait to further examine the mystical corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Or, Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, I suppose). I really enjoyed the back-half of Doctor Strange’s solo movie, and loved his few scenes in Thor: Ragnarok. Picking up where those left off seems pretty awesome to me.

Spider-Man: No Way Home appears set to tackle the multiverse as well, which should be fun. Into The Spider-Verse may have already done this about as well as you possibly can. But the MCU has the bonus draw of bringing in actors and characters from the previous iterations of the Spider-Man film franchise. If nothing else, that should be good to pop the crowd a few times.

Thor: Love & Thunder is deep into shooting, with Taika Waititi again at the helm. Much like Doctor Strange’s new movie, the title and director are more-than-enough to get me into a theater. Plus, Thor: Ragnarok was probably the most fun MCU movie to date, so I’m all-in for more of that vibe.

Captain Marvel 2 and Black Panther 2 are also on-deck. But the former has just started casting, and the latter is trying to figure out how best to address the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman. Either way, it’s far too early to make any assumptions about either.

I’m happy to finally put a bow on my Infinity War cliffhanger, and can’t wait to share my thoughts about all the interesting stuff that’s coming up in the future.

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