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Iron Man (in a rare moment of emotional affection)

Seldom I have been fascinated by movies like with the Marvel productions of the last couple years. No matter what they created within the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I loved it endlessly. And I am not alone: Black Panther has been an incredible success, even the first movie being shown in one of the newest cinemas in Saudi Arabia (after 35 years without a running cinema in the country); Infinity War must have caused thousands of fans breathless heart attacks; and right now Endgame is the second most successful movie ever, directly behind Avatar. And let’s face it: Avatar was nothing against Infinity War and Endgame.

The following article obviously contains spoilers. So if, by any chance, you haven’t seen the movie yet: stop reading this article and buy yourself a ticket! You have been warned!

In this first article, I will try to sum up the story of Endgame, while in several subsequent articles I want to drop some of my personal thoughts about specific characters.

Avengers Endgame One-Sheet ©Marvel Studios 2019

The Story

All Is Lost…

Now, what is the movie all about? We all duly remember the situation at the end of Infinity War: Thanos had entered planet Earth, managed to gather all six infinity stones and eventually succeeded in his holy plan – eradicating 50% of the universe’s population. Many beloved characters, gone forever – Spiderman, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Bucky… what now?

Five years later, in 2023, the Avengers are devastated. Some of the heroes try to start a new life, moving on. Tony Stark has a little daughter with Pepper Potts, and seemingly the most exciting question for him now is whom she loves more, Mummy or Daddy? Bruce Banner managed to balance his two personalities and has turned into a green hulky scientist who loves doing selfies with kids. Clint “Hawkeye” Barton has lost his whole family and starts a new career as virtuous katana ninja. Others like Falcon or even Captain Marvel stay in contact with the headquarter but continue their original task to kick evil ass.

Tough times for Captain America aka Steve Rogers ©Marvel Studios 2019

Some of our heroic friends, however, fail to move on. While Steve “The Cap” Rogers gives hold to regular people by starting a support group, he once again doesn’t feel home in this time, this situation, a situation where he has actually lost. Not just a fight, but everything. Even worse is Black Widow: she simply denies to move on, keeps looking for Thanos, his whereabouts, any chance to turn back the happenings. And there is Thor who… well… how to put it… well, he turns into a nerd.

Even with a regained strength and will to turn the tide, after having discovered Thanos’ new homestead, their little visit there together with Captain Marvel doesn’t help at all. Thanos has already destroyed the stones, happy with what he has achieved. Thor decapitates Thanos and their last chance seems gone.

Hope Lies in the Past

In the end, a rat keeps them going, by sending Ant-Man back from quantum realm into our universe of normal sized people. His new insight: there might be a chance to go back through time if only someone could control the quantum flow. We’ll skip a little bit here: Tony Stark succeeds. So the team is back together, trying to revert what seems unalterable.

Tony Stark/Iron Man and Steve Rogers/Captain America ©Marvel Studios 2019

The idea: The Avengers jump back in time and gather the infinity stones from their original places, create their own glove of almighty power, snap their fingers and undo everything. Three of the stones can be found in New York, two more somewhere on planets in space, and one in Thor’s ex-girlfriend back at Asgard. Let the recap begin!

Dedicated man in new armor ©Marvel Studios 2019

In general, the following sequence is a nice recap of many previous movies – Avengers 1, Winter Soldier, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, there are so many settings, characters, events which are now shown from a new perspective. Some of the most intriguing steps in regaining the stones:

  • Captain America entering an elevator with a lot of H.Y.D.R.A. guys, just like in Winter Soldier. But instead of another marvellous fight, he simply whispers “Hail Hydra!” and receives the Tesseract from them.
  • Tony Stark meeting his own Dad and showing some more heart – does he eventually turn into a human being?
  • Bruce Banner meeting magic – represented by the Ancient One, who doesn’t have much trouble with the green one.
  • Nebula meeting Nebula – unfortunately with a direct brain link between the two versions, which gives Thanos a perfect insight into what the heroes are planning to do.
  • Black Widow and Hawkeye battling for death – in the end, Natasha wins and jumps down the cliff to earn the yellow infinity stone for her team, her family.
  • Thor and Rocket meeting Jane – and Thor’s Mum. The teenage moments of the movie.

There are, of course, a couple more setbacks: the team is running out of Pym particles, needed for reducing their size and thus for time jumps, so they need to find a replenishment. Captain America watches his true love Peggy Carter in 1970 and once more feels lost in time. Did I mention Black Widow’s jump into death? But in the end, the majority of the team is back in 2023, holding all six infinity stones in their shaking hands. Success!

Now They Got the Stones!

In literally no time they create an iron glove and insert the gems. Hulk seemingly has the best chances to survive the stones’ energy, so he tries to revert the death of so many people, friends and family. One snap – and they are all back.

But so is Thanos. Lead by a double version of Nebula who had infiltrated the Avengers’ team in the past he managed to travel to the future and bombs the Avengers into the ground – literally. Little now stands between him and the iron glove. And thus his new plan of eradicating the whole universe, replacing it by a new version which won’t be able to remember what he had done. Well, a raging Thor and an outstanding Captain Thormerica (who is finally worthy of holding Mjöllnir!) are quite a lot for him to deal with, anyway.

Eventually, though, Thanos overcomes his glorious enemies. But before he can finish his plan, the battle is massively enlarged: Thanos sends in his full contingent of troops, while magical doors open and bring back all Marvel heroes and so many more defenders: Doctor Strange flies in, Black Panther and the army of Wakanda, Scarlett Witch, Bucky, Groot and Starlord – what a magic moment! The following battle is a weird mixture of fighting scenes and dialogues, featuring several heroes. Iconic the hug between Iron Man and his little kiddo Peter “Spiderman” Parker (“Oh… this… feels actually nice!”) and the special group of female Avengers assisting Captain Marvel on her way to rescue the infinity glove.

Overcoming an Archenemy

But nothing seems to be enough – Thanos grabs the glove and the energy starts running through his veins. Once again, he has overpowered not just the Avengers, but all heroes of planet Earth. Or has he? Without words, Doctor Strange tells Iron Man: this is the moment. The moment he had foreseen. Do it. Now. And Tony Stark, finally a real hero, wrestles Thanos for the glove, stealing the gems and inserting them into one of his own iron man suit gloves. Thanos snaps – nothing happens. Iron Man snaps – and Thanos and all his creatures are gone forever. Together with Iron Man, who dies in a very sad and very worthy scene, dies a hero.

Stronger Together ©Marvel Studios 2019

Eventually, someone has to bring back all the infinity stones to their original places in time and space to not destroy the timeline (not speaking of badly managed Twitter profiles here). Steve Rogers takes the job, but as the others wait for his return from the past, nothing happens. Instead, they meet a grey-haired Mister Rogers behind their backs, who has returned the long road – eventually trying the life he never had, having lived a peaceful and happy life with his wife Peggy. Time for him to move on. Time to pass on the shield to Falcon, the new Captain America.

And that’s it. That was Endgame. The story arc has finally come to an end, the Earth is rescued, several character plots have been finished. But fortunately, the MCU is moving on – and we can wait excitedly for what’s coming next!