The spoiler ban for Avengers: Endgame has officially been lifted, and it’s time to dissect the end of an era for the MCU, and to discuss the character arcs for the original Avengers, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of course, how we feel after this 22 movie journey.
Warning: We feel a hell of a lot of things, and we don’t even all agree on what exactly we’re feeling. But then again, that’s the beauty of entertainment, isn’t it?
Joining me are Erin, Lyra, Lynnie, Mckenzie, Ashley, Gillian, Lacey, Jasmine and Grace, as we discuss the characters we fell in love with, the end of and era and what the hell is next.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Avengers: Endgame? What was your favorite moment? Your least favorite?
Lizzie: I have mixed feelings, because I appreciate some of what they tried to do, and I appreciate parts of the movie, but I hated Thor’s whole storyline and Tony’s ending with a passion, was confused and underwhelmed by Steve’s, and basically everything I liked about the movie could have been made to work in another way that was, you know, actually innovative, I felt. So, my heart gives it like a 3, my head like a 6, which still isn’t a passing grade.
My favorite moment was a tie between Morgan’s whole I love you 3000, Pepper fucking Potts showing up as Rescue, and Peter coming back and Tony giving him that overdue hug. Gah, I tear up just thinking about it.
My least favorite moment was that freaking death scene for Tony. I can’t even talk about it, it was absolutely triggering, and I guess you’re going to say that’s a win if it affected me so deeply, but I don’t go to the movies to be miserable, I go to be entertained, and to believe better things are possible.
Erin: Before you all come to burn me at the stake for my Endgame thoughts, let me say this. I am not the biggest Marvel person. That being said, I loved the movie. But I am able to take it for what it is: A MOVIE (Lizzie is gonna come for me over this). Now, my favorite moment was the ending with Cap, because that man deserved his happy ending. He got it. Doesn’t discount anything that he’s done. And it doesn’t change the good that he’s done. If we’re getting all complex and shit, I’d bet my life that we all don’t understand time travel on the level that it would take to understand all of what happened and really have a grasp on what could and will be. My least favorite part: Iron Man dying. I love RDJ, that man symbolizes what it’s like to be able to overcome anything and everything. His character of Iron Man was a first class smart ass, but that was part of the charm and I loved him. So, I was sorry to see him go.
Lyra: If I had to rate Avengers: Endgame it would be a solid 3. One point for Morgan and the happiness that brought Tony and Pepper. One point for the Peter and Tony scene at the end. And then one point for the line up of all those badass women of the MCU. That’s it. That’s what they deserve after making me feel like a fool for thinking I knew these characters and this world. As for favorite moment, might be the gif that is being used in this answer. Tony and Pepper, how it’s always meant to be. And for least favorite, it’ll be EVERYONE AND THEIR MAMA just side stepping Black Widow doing her damn job for 5 years like it’s nothing while Clint killed people of color and was somehow deserving of his family and survival. Fuck that noise.
Lynnie: I rate it somewhere between whoopsie daisies and uh-huh with a heaping platter of side eye. My favorite moment is when they spent all that time building up the first LGBT character in the MCU, yelling diversity! And representation! and then having it be the smallest blip in the history of the world. And by favorite, I mean what the fuck. My least favorite moment was the last twenty minutes of the movie because it was ridiculous.
McKenzie: I would rate it about an 7. Overall, they did a good job wrapping up over 21 movies worth of story-lines. That is almost an impossible feat. I wish we could have had more Captain Marvel in there. I feel like they just glossed over her character a bit. My least favorite moment was Tony’s death for obvious reasons. He shouldn’t have died but I loved him 3000.
Ashley: I’ve only watched it once so far, but asking anyone to wrap up 21 films in one 3 hour film is an arduous task no matter who you are. If you’d told me when I was 10 years old, while I was trying to hide my X-Men and Spider-man comics for fear of being mocked mercilessly by my peers, that they all would be lining up to see a blockbuster comic book movie in 23 years, I’d never have believed you. That perspective has made me grateful for every single film in the MCU because the heroes in Marvel comics ultimately influenced me as an adult. The fact these even exist, are overall well done, and are POPULAR with the mainstream audience is something that I am both confused by (considering how much I was ridiculed for my love of superheroes as a kid) and grateful for. I enjoyed the film overall, though I still have some questions about the plot that may be resolved on further viewings. I’ll give it 7.5/10.
Gillian: I absolutely loved this movie. It was everything I wanted and everything I didn’t even know I wanted. It gave me feelings of the first Avengers movie which was like lightning in a bottle at the time. It’s a 10 for me. My favorite moment was Cap wielding Mjolinir. My least favorite was probably Natasha’s death but I think it fit her character’s arc.
Lacey: I rate this amazing movie, a 10 out of 10. The Avengers have always been a part of my life. My dad has always been an avid comic book reader and collector. I remember hanging out at his barber shop and reading the comics he had there. Everything from Captain America and Hulk to X-Men and Superman. I grew up immersed in this amazing world that Stan Lee created and it has been even more amazing watching these 22 movies over the past 11 years. I think Endgame was utter perfection. I cried, laughed, smiled until my cheeks hurt then cried some more. That is what a work of art does. It makes you feel everything all at once and that’s what Endgame was; a work of friggin art! (And I have to agree with Gillian. When Cap picked up Mjolinir, I lost my shit! That’s my man!! YESSS!)
Jasmine: I give it a 9 out of 10. I loved the film. My favorite moment was when everyone we lost in Infinity war started re-materializing during the battle. My least favorite moment was the last part with Cap. That caught me off guard because it just got a little confusing.
Grace: 8/10. After seeing it twice, I have come to the conclusion that I loved this movie. As a huge Marvel fan, I had a lot of expectations going in, but I thought it wrapped up these past ten years of storytelling nicely. That being said, the conclusion of both Natasha and Tony’s story bothered me. Both of them deserved a happy ending and the fact that they were both robbed of it is something I will never get over. However, besides those two pain points I have with the film, overall I think it was excellent. The callbacks to all the other films, the humor, and the ultimate fight against Thanos at the end are what made this film stand out to me. Nothing of this magnitude will ever be done again.
Avengers: Endgame ends with Tony Stark sacrificing himself to save everyone. Did you like this ending? Do you think it was fitting? Is it what you would have chosen for the character?
Lizzie: No. I liked it so littler I wrote a whole ass thing about it. It was complete an utter BS, the result of a lack of imagination by the same type of writers we’ve always, always had, that seem to believe heroism is about dying, and not about getting up every day, about living, about making mistakes and learning and going on with your life. And I know why they did it, I understand that in their little minds this was the only way to prove Tony’s worth, but Tony was worthy even without sacrificing himself. A person’s worth isn’t determined by their end.
So, no, I don’t think it was fitting, and no, I wouldn’t have chosen it, especially not after they gave him a family, and then so callously said, WELL, you got 5 years, why would we give you more? The ironic thing is that the inverse thinking was used to keep Clint alive, he had a family, so of course he had to live and Natasha die. Which just proves how random and BS it all was. You wanted RDJ to murder us with feels? Have him almost die and them, bam, he survives. That would have done it, and it would have been surprising.
Erin: It was my least favorite part of the movie, but it was fitting for the hero that Tony Stark was. Look, if you went into this movie not expecting to lose someone that you love, then that’s on you. Because I think we all knew to expect pain. Hell, I pretty much think that they went kinda soft on us in some parts and that the pain that we were meant to experience was cut in half. Tony was always trying to be this hard ass, but over the years he learned that sometimes you have to sacrifice for the greater good and he was always willing to do just that. But I think that he made this sacrifice because he knew that Morgan needed a life that was free from Thanos and he was willing to do whatever it took. I think that meeting his father in the past and then knowing he had Morgan, he was willing to do whatever it took. I admire the sacrifices that he made and I think Tony proved what he’s always been… a hero. He just now felt it deeper for himself.
Lyra: In the words of Bishop Bullwinkel: HELL TO THE NAW NAW. Don’t know who Bullwinkel is? Google him. It’s wonderful. But yeah, Bishop Bullwinkel said it best. Hell to the naw naw did I like this bullshit ending for Tony Stark. You telling me after all that build up, all that promise, you gonna do Tony Stark like this and not give the gauntlet to someone who would not fucking die if they used the gauntlet. Get out of my face with that nonsense. Tony knew the power and he would’ve planned. But Strange gave him that little nod, you say. Well, fuck that too. If Tony did it, snapped his damn fingers, you telling me that the greatest minds of the universe couldn’t get together to save Tony? For real? Shuri would’ve been like, “You (points at Pepper) bring the colonizer (points at Tony) and you (Strange) open a portal so we can put this white boy in some cryochamber brilliance because you know we got the technology to do this kind of thing ever day of the week and twice on Sunday.” Pepper telling him to go and rest is beautiful and gave all the feels. But that was bullshit too. TONY IS A FIGHTER AND SO IS PEPPER! Instead Pep should’ve and would’ve been like, “Strange, get your ass over here and open a portal! I gotta save my man!” And then at the end of the Spider-man movie Peter could get a call from Pepper that Tony is awake. BOOM. DROP THE MIC. I’m done!
Lynnie: Is hell no too delicate? What’s stronger? I need a thesaurus.
In fairness, his death was paid more respect than the other people who sacrificed themselves throughout, (cough Natasha cough), but you know what is not edgy in Beyonce’s year of 2019? Killing the hero. It’s boring, trite, and shows a disregard to the idea that the hero, typically men in this world of the MCU, get to be happy after the battle is won. They should be allowed happiness and joy! They should get to live without all the torture porn and anguish. That’s a story worth telling, too.
And honestly, the idea that the story is done because the fighting is over disrespects a whole lot of people who come back from war or traumatic situations with PTSD, anxiety, brain injuries and more. The aftermath is harder, and living through it is pain, but it’s also reality and the people who deal with it are still heroes. It’s something that too many writers brush over or straight up ignore in order to glorify death and the sacrifice play as they self-insert themselves into the heroism. Heroes should get to live happily ever after, should get to heal after the war is done, should get to improve themselves after the weapons have been laid down. A hero’s growth isn’t done in war. It’s done in the quiet moments of reflection. It’s done in peace.
Tony should have gotten that chance, particularly since there were plenty of people on the battlefield who could have wielded the stones without consequence. The writers were trying so hard to do something unexpected, something to make us FEEL, because he had a child, a wife, and gee wiliker isn’t is just sad that HE HAS TO DIE. But inevitably it just felt like they told us about the pain instead of showed. Like, no, bitch, he doesn’t have to die. You’re just not clever enough to find an alternative.
McKenzie: I would never have guessed that Tony was going to be the one to sacrifice himself for everyone else. I was actually convinced it would be Cap because he would do that. However, I think that vision he had of all the Avengers deaths affected him a lot more than we knew.
Ashley: I was completely shocked at Tony’s sacrifice. I’m not surprised by him being willing, but the fact that it was necessary for them to defeat Thanos. This may not have been news to anyone else, as I have not read the comic book storyline, but I was surprised by the way that went down. I’d not done a ton of research into the film and wasn’t following production details closely, but I did know that RDJ hadn’t renewed his contract, so I figured he would be making some sort of exit. I know that if I were in Tony’s iron boots and I felt like there was no other way to beat Thanos, I would try the same thing because I believe there are some things in this world worth protecting with my life. I admire that kind of courage and if it were asked of me, I would hope that I would be brave enough to do the same thing. I do wish they had thought of another way to do that without his death.
Gillian: I did like this ending as it had been in the works for his character for a while. Think about it. He tries to sacrifice himself an awful lot. But usually he’s sacrificing himself and having to say goodbye to Pepper without her realizing what he’s doing. This time, she was finally there and understood why it had to happen. And also, he knew it would likely end this way. It’s in his message to Morgan. He tries to be optimistic but that’s not Tony. Would I have loved for him to live? Of course, Iron Man and Tony Stark were my favorites in this universe for a while. But it fit his arc perfectly.
Lacey: I say this with tears in my eyes, but a part of me thinks that this was a fitting end for Tony. I don’t say that in a malicious way at all because I loved Tony Stark. When the MCU movies first started, Tony and Steve were the leaders of the team. They took charge and they had each other’s backs. They balanced each other out with their vastly different personalities and I loved that. Then Civil War happened and we saw that bond shatter and I won’t lie and say that a part of me didn’t blame Tony for it. I was mad at him for a while. Throughout the previous films, when he felt strongly about something, no matter the consequences, he acted and did what he believed and no one said anything. But during CW, we saw Cap do the same thing and he was met with push back from none other than Tony. It hurt me to see him not stand behind Steve. Yes, he came around in the end and yes, the unimaginable truth was revealed about his father, but I was still hurt.
During Endgame, it was apparent that that same distrust had followed Tony from Civil War and my heart broke even more. All of the pain and hurt he felt, he directed it at Steve. We tend to hurt or hold things against the ones we’re closest to and that goes for these two heroes. But after the 5 year jump, we saw Tony let go of that hurt and resentment and it was beautiful to see. I think he knew from the start that in order to save the past, there would be losses that they could never come back from and I think that’s what makes it believable. If Endgame had ended with everyone living and being wrapped in a pretty little package, it would have seemed too good to be true. There are casualties in war and it hurts, man does it hurt, but Tony did what he had to do, whatever it took. He is the ultimate hero and he will never be forgotten.
Jasmine: No. No. And No. Tony sacrificing himself was completely unexpected. He talked so much about being around for his family so it really hurt when he died. He was literally the brains of the operation. He knew what would happen if he put that glove on but he did it anyway. I wouldn’t have chosen that for him at all. I know there are casualties of war but, Tony didn’t have to die man!
Grace: This was the biggest BS to come out of any Marvel movie. I went into this film assuming that both Captain America and Iron Man were not going to come out of it alive. The fact that Steve got his happy ending, but Tony didn’t leaves me so bitter. On top of that, they decided to introduce us to Tony’s daughter. So not only do I lose my favorite Marvel character, but Morgan loses her father. Tony has sacrificed so much to be the hero already. It would have been nice to see that, hey, heros can have a happy ending. That you can turn your life around from being the billionaire who used to sell warheads, to a man who would risk it all for the greater good and still have a good life after the war is over. It’s honestly such a shame Tony didn’t get to have the life with Pepper and Morgan he so well deserved.
Avengers: Endgame ends with Steve Rogers going back to grow old with Peggy Carter. Did you like this ending? Do you think it was fitting? Is it what you would have chosen for the character?
Lizzie: It’s total and complete BS. Like, Steve was never my favorite, but even I can sit back here and recognize that this decision just completely contradicts everything Steve Rogers ever was. So, no, it wasn’t fitting, I wouldn’t have chosen it, and it was just disappointing that they thought Steve Rogers, our Steve Rogers, needed a woman as a prize to, and that once he got one, he’d forget to be himself.
Erin: Maybe I should read the answers that are above, but I don’t want them to taint mine. Look, Captain America has been my favorite Marvel character forever. My heart has always broken for him because he has watched every single person from his past, every single person that he’s truly loved be ripped from him. He’s sacrificed everything for everyone, never really putting himself first. He saw an opportunity for his happy ending and he took it. I applaud him. It’s about fucking time and I stand behind him. I don’t care about the physics and shit , I care that he got his happy ending and I will stand behind that forever.
Lyra: Who is this man? He looks like Steve Rogers. He walks and talks like Steve Rogers and he has the same America’s Ass that we’ve come to appreciate as Steve Rogers. But where is our hero? Cuz I don’t see him. Did he get lost between Infinity War and Endgame? I think that’s got to be it. Because the Steve Rogers that I’ve known for years wouldn’t go to the past, leave his brother in arms to suffer for decades, to just let everything play out the same because Sam needed the shield. Which, woooo. Go Sam! Be that hero. But seriously, Cap just left his best friend and brother from another mother to go and have a happy ending with Peggy? Which Peggy, my dear child, you think Peggy would sit idly by as Hydra took over Shield? Or would Cap never tell Peggy and she would never suspect that there was something funny happening with Steve because he wouldn’t leave the house at all and everyone thinks she’s making up a husband BECAUSE NO ONE HAS SEEN HIM?! It’s all bullshit and an insult to the man that Steve Rogers was, the bond he had with his brother Bucky, and who Peggy Carter was as a hero of her own. So fuck this ending. Fuck this noise. Fuck all of it.
Lynnie: Listen. Just listen. No. And by no, I mean WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?
The soul-crushing, mind-numbing ridiculousness of time travel will never be my favorite, but what the actual frickity frak was that nonsense with Steve? I’m sure there was a faster way to disregard a character’s growth and arc, but I’m at a loss for how right now. An ending should not create more questions than it answers and it shouldn’t sabotage the character. But by golly they managed it.
Here are my lingering questions: Did Steve create another universe by going back? If he did, is he now a dimension hopping hippy who just fucks around on the sweet waves of interdimensional matter? He just shows up as an old man at the right time and is like, sup dudes, wanna watch these sweet waves? Or did he watch all these invasions, people being brutalized and victimized and was like, “LOL sucks to b you! Look at this sweet backflip I can do with my serum-enhanced bod. Cool, right? Its only use is for backflips tho. Need saving? Talk to the backflip. Ha, just kidding, don’t talk to me. I’m not the man Abraham said I was cause I don’t care about people. Holla.” Did he go back to Peggy when she was 50, if he went back in the 70s? Did he hang out on a farm and raise goats that he milked every morning to make artisanal cheese he sold at the farmer’s market? Was the business called Nacho Fondue-due? Did no one recognize the guy that was the first superhero because he grew a beard?
In all seriousness, the ending makes Steve selfish by ignoring the world around him to give him this “happy” ending. He doesn’t save Bucky from decades of torture. He ignores HYDRA destroying lives, he ignores literal Nazis and bullies, he allows Tony to die by saying nothing, and he allows everyone else to die just so he can have a few happy years with Peggy. He deserves happiness, but happiness gained this way is not the man that was introduced to me and who I watched grow. He wouldn’t want happiness at the expense of others’ lives. That isn’t who he is. And while I appreciate that Peggy Carter is the original badass, the OG hero, part of Steve’s journey has been mourning her, letting her go, and then they…retconned that entire thing so he could go back, have babies, and ultimately make her complicit in the Nazis hanging out in her organization. She would have hated that, and he gave her no choice in the matter.
Especially jarring was that he didn’t seem interested in mourning Bucky, who had been whammed bammed dusted ma’am, or even talking to him in the end scene to say bye. You don’t have to ship them to understand that they were important to each other; family who loved each other. And there was the little thing that Steve spent three movies being guided by the dude, rescuing him, and doing his best to do the right thing, which was always helping him and meant going against the entire world at one point. Sure, he did it because he’s a good dude who always does the right thing, but they’re also bound together by their shared past, their love, and their journey together. Ignoring that was disappointing.
The whole ending was just weird, confusing, and a disservice to fans. It wasn’t fan service, as the writers have stated. It was an insult to all of the characters involved. It was tepid storytelling package as though it was about us.
McKenzie: I have two very conflicting sides. One for hell no. It essentially went against everything that we have seen Steve become and who he is. He usually isn’t one to be selfish, but what he did was selfish. He left everyone and time traveled potentially unraveling everything they have ever done and worked towards. Does he just ignore the fact that Shield becomes Hydra know? That alone changes so many story arcs.
The only thing I liked about this was that he finally got to be with Peggy. He lost the love of his life in a cruel way that was really fucked up. I always wanted him to have a chance to be with her again and have their happy ending. However, the way the went about it was wrong.
Ashley: I totally ship Cap and Peggy, so I was happy for him, but I think from a storytelling perspective, there are too many plot holes to consider. Do we now have multiple timelines? Because Steve chose to grow old with Peggy, does that negate the thawed out Cap that we’ve now had for multiple films? While on one hand I was happy that they got to spend their lives together, I’m still confused about how it works out functionally.
Gillian: I also liked this ending. I love Steve and Peggy. And based on everything we’ve seen of his character throughout these movies, yes, it also fit. During my rewatch, I happened to notice when Tony and Pepper are reunited after Tony was lost in space, that Steve’s face falls. Like if he had been in space and returned, he wouldn’t have his love waiting for him. I think that’s the start of when he realizes that that’s what he wants. I think if he had sacrificed himself instead of Tony, it wouldn’t have had the same emotional impact. As for returning to the past, I’m loving the different theories. I personally think he created a branch reality (as explained by the Ancient One) and that it doesn’t take away from any of his actions that we all witnessed. Just because we don’t see something doesn’t mean the negative had to take place. We can imagine he still fought for justice in that reality.
Lacey: How can I put this? Fuck yes, it was fitting! Steve has always been a man out of time; a man ripped from the life he knew and the women he loved. He has never given up hope or stopped fighting. Even when met with the impossible, he kept moving and fighting. Steve deserved his happy ending. He deserved to live the life he missed out on. I was sobbing tears of joy when he and Peggy FINALLY got that dance they promised each other so long ago. Like Tony, he was finally able to rest. He was finally able to be Steve Rogers, the kid from Brooklyn. You could tell that Bucky knew what he was doing when he left and he was at peace with it. He knew his friend longed for a piece of normal and happiness. He knew it was what he deserved and to me, it was clear that he was happy for him. Captain America has always and will forever be my all time favorite comic book character and that was even before the sensational Chris Evans portrayed him. My sweet Captain was given the fondest farewell and I couldn’t be happier!
Jasmine: It was strange. I have nothing against Cap and him wanting to be with Peggy but that him growing old thing confused the hell out of me. I mean, everyone went on and on about the time jumps and changing things and consequences etc. So I was like: how the hell is Cap the exception to this rule?? It didn’t make sense to me and it was a head-scratcher.
Grace: I thought it was cute. I’m not the biggest Peggy and Steve shipper (to me, it feels like he new her for like .5 seconds), but it was a nice ending for Steve. Whether or not it makes logical sense is another story. I’m already confused with the whole time travel rules they set up in this film, so to even try to write it all down, would make it even worse.
Natasha Romanov sacrificed herself for Clint, and for the good of the world. Did you like this ending? Do you think it was fitting? Is it what you would have chosen for the character?
Lizzie: I feel like there are only so many times I can say hell no before I start to reconsider even the 3 I gave this movie. Can I give it a 2? A 0.5? IF FAMILY WAS SO IMPORTANT TO THE EQUATION WHY THE FUCK IS TONY DEAD, AVENGERS? EXPLAIN THAT.
So no, it wasn’t fitting for the one female superhero we had for so long to end like this. It absolutely wasn’t fitting for the one person who kept everything running for five fucking years to end up the sacrificial lamb for a dude that, let’s not forget, responded to his family’s death BY GOING OFF ON A MURDER RAMPAGE. But even murdering men are worth more than women, apparently.
Erin: I don’t think that Nat really sacrificed herself because Clint had family,I think she sacrificed herself because he is her family and he’s the one person that she loved more than herself since she could remember. I think that what Nat did was honorable and to be honest, courageous. I can’t be mad about her choices, because I wish I could be that courageous.
Lyra: I’M GONNA SAY IT. HAWKEYE SHOULD’VE DIED. That’s it. That’s the ending. Cuz Natasha, who I haven’t cared a lot about because the actress is problematic, kept shit running for five years. She was the stronghold, the point person, and the one who stayed to save the world while the men ran, rested, hid, or straight up started acting like judge, jury, and executioner. Natasha was the one who should’ve survived. Because right now it feels like people with family and kids, no matter what bad you have done in your life, get first dibs at surviving in a story like this. And again, fuck that noise and fuck this bullshit. Natasha put in the time, she did the work, and she should not be sidelined for Hawkeye and his man pain.
Lynnie: Lordy, lord, lawd. The writers clearly have a fascination with the idea that reproducing makes a person worthwhile, and it’s honestly gross. Why is Clint’s dusty ass more important than Nat’s admittedly nicer one? His family? Nat has a family. One she held together over the past five years. Family doesn’t have to be blood, and the idea that he deserved to survive more because his was made me sick to ma misogyny-allergic stomach. Sacrifice can be beautiful when done right. This was not it.
I would have chosen that if Nat had to die in this movie, she died stabbing Thanos in the nuts. At least she would have gone out with dignity.
McKenzie: I’m not happy that any of them had to die. Wasn’t that the whole point of undoing the snap? To bring everyone they lost back. They gave us a shit choice vs. a shit choice. Like Lynnie states above what makes Nat have to be the one to sacrifice herself over Clint? She is just as important.
Ashley: Ugh, the soul stone is so gut-wrenching for me. It was gut-wrenching in Infinity War and it was just as bad or worse for me here. I kept hoping that there would be some way for them to bring Natasha back. However, I think the way she and Clint responded, trying to be the one to give themselves up for the other was completely par for the course for their friendship. I think one of the things I’ve loved the most about the MCU films is how refreshing their friendship is. Men and women can be truly platonic friends and I especially loved how much Laura saw Natasha as a friend, not a threat. I am hopeful that there is some way for them to bring her back for the next one. If nothing else, the Black Widow film still seems to be in the works. We’ll see what becomes of that.
Gillian: As stated above, this is probably my least favorite moment of the film but I understand what they did and why. I understand the optics and everything and that I wish the lone female Avenger had survived. But much like Steve’s face falling while witnessing Tony and Pepper’s reunion, I noticed Natasha’s face after Thor beheads Thanos during my rewatch and that’s when it hit me. She felt very lost after that moment and never fully recovered. She was given an opportunity to save everyone and like Tony, took it. Sending her and Clint to Vormir was extremely cruel and I would have been sad if Clint was the one to die but again, it definitely means more that Natasha did. She finally gets her redemption and was given more agency over the decision than say, Gamora in Infinity War.
Lacey: Let me preface this by saying Natasha has been one of my least favorite characters in the MCU. Now I know a lot of you are thinking “how dare you?!?!?!” But I will say I genuinely felt sad when she died and it actually hurt and left me feeling a little broken. I can’t believe I just said that but it’s true. While I consider all of the Avengers to be a family, especially the original six, Clint was the last piece of the family Nat had before the others. A part of me thinks that maybe her mindset was if Clint sacrificed himself and they failed, she would have truly lost everything. I can’t say that she should have lived because then that would say that Clint should have died. We (the audience) all knew going into it that the soul stone required a sacrifice and I can’t think of anyone that I would have been okay with sacrificing, not even Natasha. Like Tony, Nat was willing to do whatever it took to make things right and without her sacrifice, everyone would be lost. I can’t take that away from her and Clint eventually saw that too. At the end of the day, she died doing what was most important to her: taking care of her family. She ensured their future and happiness and I can’t be mad about that.
Jasmine: I HATE THAT DAMN SOUL STONE! I knew the second Nat and Clint were up there, one of them had to die. It really pissed me off because I didn’t want either of them to go. I love Nat and what she did was so selfless and brave. It definitely was not the ending I wanted for her though.
Grace: This was so dumb. I’m happy that Clint gets to be with his family and I would have been sad if he didn’t. But for Natasha to spend the past five years getting her family back together and not see it through was annoying. Also, this sacrifice meant she wasn’t in the final battle and that made me even angier. How can we have a whole scene with all the women of Marvel and not have one of the original ones? Whatever.
What did you think about Professor Hulk’s storyline in this movie? Were you okay with the change happening off-screen? What would you have done differently?
Lizzie: Look, I have never cared about Bruce, except briefly during Thor: Ragnarok, and I didn’t care about him one iota here, probably because HEY ALL HIS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT HAPPENED IN THE 5 YEAR JUMP, and also because we barely got to see him displaying actual human emotions. What about his supposed feelings for Nat? His friendship with Tony? With Thor? Was he ever supposed to be more than a blunt force object? It doesn’t feel like it.
Erin: I think that they – as usual – under utilized The Hulk. I just feel like they have never truly explained his story lines the best way. I just don’t feel like they’ve ever given us that connection to The Hulk that we deserve. I only cared because it’s Mark Ruffalo.
Lyra: Professor Hulk felt like a cop out. He figured out all his problems and everything that held him back in the previous movies during the five year jump forward? It’s lazy storytelling for something that was crucial and a major crutch for him. Also, he was stuck in the Hulk body for YEARSSSSS when he appeared in Thor: Ragnarok. Bruce wasn’t in there. He just got over that and fixed it like magic? Oh fuck that lazy storytelling.
Lynnie: I know that the Hulk has always been the most self-effacing of the avengers, preferring to stay in the background and avoid the pokey things that Tony uses on him, and I understand that there was a lot of ground to cover in this movie, but it was very strange to have everything about his story done off screen. He wasn’t my favorite character because I got less of Ruffalo’s version of him throughout the years, but I did enjoy him, loved his transformation, and adored him in Ragnarok, so it felt a little jarring not to see any of him do this profound shift. Maybe they could have taken out the jokes about Thor and given the screentime to the Hulk instead. At least it wouldn’t have sucked the life out of me.
McKenzie: I don’t feel like they really explained how he came back to be the Hulk. They should have explained more on this. I miss that we didn’t have that relationship we had between Thor and Banner in Ragnarok. It feels like this was a missed opportunity and that we didn’t have any closure with his character. He just presents himself and we were supposed to be like “ok, cool”.
Jasmine: I’m with McKenzie. It was weird they didn’t give us that explanation of how he came to be The Hulk again. In the last film, he was literally fighting him to appear and he wouldn’t. I guess they felt the audience would be happy with a brief little “oh yeah, The Hulks back, we worked through our issues and he’s here to stay”
Ashley: I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hulk. I used to sport an Incredible Hulk baseball cap in my middle school days, so I would have liked a little more background info on how he was able to hit the halfway mark and overcome the challenges he was facing in Infinity War. I had my own personal theory that the Hulk portion of him was having some kind of fear or maybe even PTSD after getting walloped by Thanos. If you think about it, Hulk had never truly been hurt like that before. I can imagine that would really make you second guess yourself. One thing I did like about this in-between version of Hulk was that he reminded me of his cousin, She-Hulk, my all time favorite Marvel heroine. She’s the one I’d really love to see them add to the MCU line-up.
Gillian: I am not the biggest Hulk fan. The only reason I care about the character is because of Mark Ruffalo. Been a fan for years and he is very good in the role. I was actually spoiled for this plotpoint but didn’t understand as I don’t know much about the Hulk and his storylines. I didn’t mind it happening offscreen as it probably would have dragged the movie down a bit and for a three-hour movie, it’s surprisingly doesn’t feel that way. Mostly, I’m just in awe that Ruffalo did mo-cap for mostly the entire movie.
Lacey: Look, my answer for everything is pretty much going to be “I loved it!” or “It hurt but I get it” because I truly loved this movie! Especially the Hulk and all of his amazing-ness. Ruffalo killed it and I wouldn’t change a thing. Now, if you ask my husband, he’d say he wanted more “smash” moments. He wanted to see Banner go off on Thanos and I’ll give him that. But I’ll also say that he literally just brought back 50% of the population and was hurting so, I think some down time during the final battle was warranted.
Grace: It was the strangest thing in the entire movie. Funny, but so strange and took awhile to get used to. I’m still not even entirely sure how Bruce and The Hulk became one. They spent every other movie with Bruce explaining how The Hulk is the angry monster and then out of nowhere, this happens. They could’ve done better at explaining this.
Thor was basically the punchline in a joke for the entirety of this movie. How did you feel about his storyline, and the way it was treated? What would you have done differently?
Lizzie: I’m plenty mad about Tony, so for me to tell you I’m almost as mad about this says a lot about how mad I am. This dude already went through a growth arc, he already went from hothead leader to someone who understood what ruling was, and I get he was depressed, but he just left New Asgard to fend for itself while he played Fortnite and drank beer because, what, things were hard? Maybe if they’d taken the time to explore his depression instead of making the butt of the joke I could have appreciated this, but as it stands it felt like they were poking fun at mental health issues, or, at the very least, not treating them with the respect they deserve to be treated.
Erin: I don’t care that Thor was fat. In all honesty, I think they handled this storyline really well. Thor was depressed. Thor was trying his best to overcome the fact that he had lost everyone and that he had feelings. He was not a God at these moments, he was more relatable then any of the characters. He was trying to overcome. He let down walls. He made it so we could relate to him. I appreciated that they explored the character this way and made us feel more for him.
Lyra: Thor felt like the writers loved the work that Taika did on Ragnarok that they wanted to bring that funny and goofy side of the Norse God to Endgame. But they failed big time because his grief, depression, and pain of five years was treated as the butt of the joke. We weren’t laughing with Thor like we did in Ragnarok. We were laughing AT HIM in Endgame. And that’s just poor form that makes the Endgame writers look like ignorant pricks who treat grief as lazy time for people instead of ACTUAL trauma and hurt.
Lynnie: To start with the last question first, I wouldn’t have turned a man’s depression and mental health issues into a joke that the characters I respected perpetuated cruelly. It was mean, heartbreaking, and I don’t understand why his weight gain had to be treated as a joke. He was suffering. He was in pain. As someone who gets the fun side effect of depression with her anxiety (and gained twenty pounds last year because of it, yay!), it broke my heart to see this. It might seem trite, but the adage of, “If you can’t say something kind, say nothing at all,” is an adage for a reason. Silence is the better part of valor when you’re about the make fun of someone’s body. Seriously, shut up and mind your business.
The only thing the writers did here was perpetuate the idea that depressed people are lazy, gross, videogamers, and overweight people aren’t really people worthy of respect. How fun to have your humanity stripped away by a pair of fifty year old white men for a few chuckles.
If I had given Thor these issues to deal with, everyone in his circle would have treated him with kindness, love, respect, and reached out their hands in family instead of treating him like they were the abusers depressed and fat people have to face every day. I would have given him a support system that told him, “you don’t have to be okay, but you’re sure as hell not alone.”
McKenzie: Another missed storyline opportunity. Thor lost everyone and then we just see him five years later in New Asgard? No. Explain his road and how he got there. He is a main character and this felt like a plot hole to me. I feel like they are just presenting things and don’t explain anything. I wish they would have delved deeper on his depression and have the team be more sympathetic to that.
Ashley: Honestly, I felt like the way Thor was dealing with everything was the most realistic of any of the characters. In some ways, Thor was the ‘everyman” in this film, reacting to trauma the way us “normal” folk would have done, especially if we felt like the deaths of half the people on the planet were on our conscious, all because we didn’t go for the head. While I do agree that the team could have been more sympathetic to Thor’s problems, I also found Thor’s moment where he regained his confidence to be especially poignant. Frigga’s words to him were very moving to me: “Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are.”
Gillian: There were definitely some off-color jokes (but most of them were by Rocket and that’s his personality to be an asshole so…) but I thought the storyline was handled well. It definitely could have been handled better but it felt like an interesting path for him. He has never really dealt with loss or failure to this extent. I thought one of the most moving scenes in the movie was with Frigga (the writers finally learned how to utilize Rene Russo properly!) and I loved that he didn’t automatically become ripped at the end. It didn’t matter how he looked, it was all his mindset.
Lacey: I couldn’t agree more with Ashley. Everything she said was spot on. Thor was broken and it was completely normal and rational for him to feel that way. I think he puts the most pressure on himself out of any of the other characters because he is a Norse God and is supposed to be all powerful and unstoppable. But deep down, he is an man with a huge heart that just wants to do his best. The scene with his mother was so beautiful and was exactly what he needed. I think the humor that Hemsworth has brought to Thor has made him more human and even more relatable. To me, he’s grown the most throughout the 22 films and I love it so much!
Jasmine: Thor had PTSD. He lost his brother and his friends. He went through a lot of shit. It was a fitting storyline for him. He had reached his breaking point and so it was natural he would fall apart like anyone else. I agree with Lacey, him getting to see and talk to his mom again, was just the push he needed to get back to himself. I don’t think I would have done anything differently.
Grace: Okay, if you can’t already tell, I basically only care about Tony and Natasha’s storylines in Endgame. Thor has had his moments in the other films, but I’m definitely not his number one fan. With that, I don’t have much of an opinion on his storyline other than I thought it was really funny.
Hawkeye went from hero to villain to hero in this movie, in a way. What did you think of his storyline? What would you have done differently?
Lizzie: Clint probably had the best storyline out of the main 6, and that’s saying something as his storyline was about killing POC while on a revenge rampage that left him the white jury and executioner. So, basically I would have changed everything in this movie, including his storyline, in case you’re wondering.
Erin: He was a broken man and to be honest, I think everything that they did for him was spot on. I respected their choices for Hawkeye.
Lyra: (Yes, I copied and pasted my answer from the Natasha question cuz Hawkeye should’ve died.)
I’M GONNA SAY IT. HAWKEYE SHOULD’VE DIED. That’s it. That’s the ending. Cuz Natasha, who I haven’t cared a lot about because the actress is problematic, kept shit running for five years. She was the stronghold, the point person, and the one who stayed to save the world while the men ran, rested, hid, or straight up started acting like judge, jury, and executioner. Natasha was the one who should’ve survived. Because right now it feels like people with family and kids, no matter what bad you have done in your life, get first dibs at surviving in a story like this. And again, fuck that noise and fuck this bullshit. Natasha put in the time, she did the work, and she should not be sidelined for Hawkeye and his man pain.
Lynnie: Dude was out there deciding that all the people of color who did the crime had to the dying while wielding a sword outside of his culture in the name of being edgy and different. Which was just racist and annoying. The writers keep coming across as the edgelord at the party who asks to be devil’s advocate, tipping his fedora hat and smirking when you get annoyed. We don’t need it. I’ll stick to the disaster that is Clint Barton from the comics, thanks.
McKenzie: I would have preferred he didn’t go down this road. I know he was a spy but I never got that vibe from him that he would become some mindless assassin. Again, we need more back story because I feel like we are just missing a huge chunk of what drove him to kill random people.
Jasmine: Once again I’m with you McKenzie. That just made no sense! I mean I know he was angry over the loss of his family but, WTH???
Ashley: I’m going to need more backstory on this one. I can understand the anger and rage he felt at losing his family in a blink of an eye. I can’t understand him going down this extremely dark path without a little more context.
Gillian: Definitely agreed that we need more backstory. I did read a tweet saying that he likely went after American dirtbags first but the optics of only talking about the Mexican cartels and showing the bloodbath in Tokyo was not good.
Lacey: From the little information we got, I saw Clint as a man that was so broken, so shattered that the only thing he could think to do was resort back to old ways. Half of the population had been wiped away, his family included. I think that he couldn’t fathom that pain so he focused on the criminals that were still around. The two groups we heard/saw him kill were members of the cartel and the Yakuza and to him, if the good people of the world couldn’t have their futures, they couldn’t either. Of course it wasn’t right and it was misguided and it was done from a place of anger and pain. But nothing was right in the new world and Clint knew that. That was why he was determined to sacrifice himself for the soul stone. He wanted to make up for all the “red on his ledger”. In a way, Natasha saved him twice in this movie alone. She sacrificed herself and made it possible for him to get his family back and she gave him hope again. She gave him peace.
Grace: I feel like with every movie Hawkeye makes an appearance in, he’s just kind of there. Other than his friendship with Natasha, there’s not really much going on with him. Don’t get me wrong, I totally teared up in the opening scene when he lost his family. He does get mad points for attempting to sacrifice himself so Natasha could live. If he ever does show up in the MCU again, I know it’ll never be the same without Natasha standing right beside him.
During the final battle there’s a beautiful moment with all the women in the MCU backing up Captain Marvel. Do you feel like the time is right for the MCU to become a more diverse space? Which hero would you like to see next?
Lizzie: I think we’re probably all in agreement that it’s way past time, and I think the fact that, for me, this movie feels so much like the type of superhero movie that I might have enjoyed 20 years ago but now just cannot plays a big part in that. That moment with all the women in the MCU might be the one moment I would absolutely not change about this movie, the one moment where my eyes teared up for a good reason, the one moment where I felt hope. Too bad it was just one moment.
As for who I want next, I’ll give my right arm to see America Ferrara.
Erin: Way past time. I am glad Marvel is finally stepping up to that plate.
Lyra: Seeing all those women together moved me. It’s long past due and Marvel needs a fire lit under their asses to make more movies written, directed, and starring women. We’re here, we got the money, and you’ve got the characters. Give me my movies and give them to me now! But in all seriousness, this team up of all the women reminded me of the first time I saw Wonder Woman cross No Man’s Land. It was iconic AF and still gives me goosebumps. This scene with the women of Marvel gave me chills and reminded me that the pressure needs to put on the powers that be at Marvel. We’re women and we’re way past due content that is written for us. So, come on! WE’RE READY!
Lynnie: It’s wayyyyyyyy past time. The time was a decade ago (decades ago, if I’m being real, but we’re talking MCU, so….) They’re so late, they had to invent time travel. Every space should be a diverse space because the world is diverse. This is the reality of our lives. It has WOC, disabled people, LGBQTIA people, fat people, ad nauseum. To sell the narrative that only white men are heroes is ridiculous. I’m glad they’re making strides, but I’m ready for diversity to be the majority, not the scraps.
As for who I want to see, I’d love to Kamala Khan.
McKenzie: Pretty much what what Lynnie stated. I don’t know who I want to see next, definitely a woman since we don’t have enough of them.
Ashley: I think that particular moment might have been my favorite of the whole film. I also enjoyed the call back to that same scene in Infinity War. I’ll agree with the other gals that it’s long past time that the MCU became more diverse. While I have enjoyed all the previous films, I definitely think it’s time to see different kinds of people in the MCU. As I mentioned above, I would LOVE a She-Hulk film. Smart, funny, sassy, kicks butt. What’s not to like?
Gillian: I think they’ve been slowly moving to this point and I can’t wait to see what’s next. With the first Asian-led superhero movie coming in Phase 4, the Black Widow movie (years too late), Sam getting the mantle of Captain America, and just more in Wakanda and such, I think the next few phases sound be a blast. I really really really want to see Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan next! She is so awesome, she’s Muslim American, this is exactly the type of superhero movie society needs. Also, I would not say no to A-Force as they beautifully set up that moment.
Jasmine: I absolutely do think it’s time for more diversity. As for which Hero I’d like to see next, I’m not sure.
Grace: It’s about damn time. I personally think they have so much potential in Evangeline Lilly’s The Wasp. I also would be totally here for Chloe Bennett bringing Quake/Daisy Johnson to the big screen.
This movie was a tearjerker. Did you cry? What moment made you most emotional?
Lizzie: When Pepper told Tony he could go, because they were gonna be fine. I told my dad something similar just seconds before he died, and I’m going to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, it’s a big fat lie that we tell the people we love to make it easier, because the truth is we’re never gonna be fine again. Ever.
So, as you can surmise by that answer, I cried a hell of a lot. Tom Holland also got me good. Kid’s gonna win an Oscar sometime soon, I’m telling you.
Erin: I love you 3000.
Lyra: Peter and Tony made me cry those ugly tears. After all this time, all this build up, they were reunited but for a moment before Tony passed. And I call bullshit again. Peter didn’t deserve to have another father figure pass away and leave him. This young man deserved better, deserved some hope, deserved some light in his life to keep him going. That’s what we wanted for Peter and Tony; some god damn HOPE, LOVE, AND NOT BEING TOLD/SHOWN THAT THE ONLY ENDING A HERO CAN HAVE IS A PAINFUL ONE!
Lynnie: I cried when I realized that they were going to disrespect the journey of all my characters for cheap endings and backwards jokes, yes.
McKenzie: I love you 3000. It’s hard to cover sobs in a very quiet theater.
Ashley: I have this joke with one of my besties that #AshleyDoesntCry because I used to never cry at movies, even sad, romantic tearjerkers. In the past year, practically every single superhero film I’ve seen has had me ugly crying for various reasons. Endgame is no exception. I cried the most at Natasha’s and Tony’s deaths. They were unexpected. I think what was even more unexpected was how much I cried over Tony. I’ve never been a huge Iron Man fan (can’t get over his ego), but he really got me this film. The moment that gave me happy tears is what another friend described as Tolkienian “eucatastrophe,” when we hear, “Cap, on your left,” and all the other heroes that had been previously snapped returned. It may have been cheesy, but man I love it when the heroes win.
Gillian: I didn’t cry during the movie the first time. I teared up quite a bit but it didn’t hit me until I reached my car and wanted to sob. I felt like I lost so many friends. The second time I cried when Pepper put Tony’s first arc reactor in the lake. That part of the first Iron Man was one of my absolute favorite moments and seeing it bookended got to me. Also, his final speech to Morgan illustrating that hurt too.
Lacey: Did I cry?! Does a bear shit in the woods?? LOL I think I cried off and on throughout the entire movie. Hell, I’m crying right now thinking about all the moments as I’ve gone through this roundtable. This movie was so emotional and my eyes physically hurt from the tears I’ve shed today. And the tears weren’t just ones of sadness, they were tears of joy and of hope. This movie made me feel so much in those 3 hours. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the moment that made me the most emotional. If I had to pick though, I think it would be a 3-way tie between Clint losing his family in the beginning (especially his kids), Tony’s death or Cap and Peggy dancing. All three touched my heart in different and unique ways.
Jasmine: Yes it was a tearjerker for sure. Yes, I cried. The most emotional moment for me was when EVERYONE we thought we’d lost started re-materializing.
Grace: Morgan and Tony Stark KILLED me. Tony’s death (specically Peter and Pepper’s reaction to it) and the entire funeral scene had me wrecked the second time around.
Pick a movie MVP. Why?
Lizzie: Is there any other answer than Tony fucking Stark? No one would be around without him, after all.
Erin: Captain America. I don’t care what you say Lizzie. 🙂
Lyra: First I was going to pick Cap but fuck Captain America. I didn’t see him in this movie. Who dat? Tony Stark was my MVP. That damn man busted his ass and deserved better!
Lynnie: Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. That headbutt was a thing of beauty.
McKenzie: Carol Danvers. Everytime she is on screen she just kicks ass and it’s wonderful. Wish we would have had more of her though.
Ashley: Carol Danvers, for sure. A friend of mine said of her after he saw Captain Marvel for the first time, “If Thanos had known that Captain Marvel was from here, he’d have picked another planet!” I think he’s right. I was sad that we didn’t get more of her in this film, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in the future.
Gillian: I have really been leaning hard on Nebula as the MVP. She was part of some things that led to setbacks to our heroes but for the most part, she was with a group of people she didn’t know very well and still managed to help as much as she could. I adored the fact that she was able to join the team and get her own arc. I would have loved to see her actually kill Thanos but her actions in this film led to some real character growth. I can’t wait to see her in the next Guardians movie.
Lacey: For me, it’s been the same person from day 1. From the moment I picked up my first comic in my dad’s shop as a kid; since I first heard they were moving forward with the MCU movies: Captain America. There will never be another superhero that comes close to him in my book. He stands for freedom and justice and all the good in the world. The good that we want to find within ourselves and the good that we seek for in others. He is the person you look for when you look for hope and a shoulder to lean on. Even when met with hate or doubt, Steve never faltered. He has stayed true to who he is and to me, that’s everything a hero is supposed to be. It’s not about strength or speed or magic, it’s about heart and hope and integrity. Cap is someone I have always looked up to, even more so since I joined the service all those years ago. And you add in Chris Evans, who embodies everything Cap does, and it’s the most exquisite matchup that could ever have existed. Captain America is and always will be my Avenger and this movie (like the others) proved why. He is everything!
Jasmine: Carol Captain Marvel Danvers! She kicked some serious ass and saved the day several times!
Grace: I obviously chose Tony Stark. He found his second chance in Morgan and Pepper. But because he is a hero, he knew he couldn’t sit back and not try to help other people get the happy life he was living. Of course, his decision to help bring everyone back ended with his death. Tony is the true MVP and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.