Warning! This entire discussion contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.



Scott Hardie | April 21, 2019
One of the advantages of being in a board game Meetup group is that I can find people who are just as nerdy as me to indulge our mutual interests.

I've been playing a lot of the game Marvel Legendary lately (technically "Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game"), which I have observed does a great job of simulating different Marvel scenarios and story lines. I mused aloud to friends that I could probably recreate the Avengers movies with it, and they were so enthusiastic about this idea that it actually became a thing.

Yesterday, with my Meetup group, we played a day-long Avengers marathon. We were scheduled to play five games in a row, but the other attendees had to depart after the fourth game. It took about seven hours, with short breaks.

It was so much fun! The games really felt like the movies, if you ignore absent heroes (you only get 5 at a time, not 87 like Infinity War had), especially the villains and scenarios. And they ramped upwards in difficulty as well, making the game progressively harder, which felt appropriate too.

If you want to recreate what we did, here's the recipe, though you'll need some of the game's many expansions:

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE
basic idea: Loki invades New York and the Avengers must fight back.
mastermind: Loki
scheme: Unleash the Power of the Cosmic Cube
villains: Enemies of Asgard (Loki brought his allies), Radiation (Hulk's enemies chose now to attack him), Spider-Foes (New York street criminals are taking advantage of the incident to go on a crime spree)
henchmen: Savage Land Mutants (standing in for pack of Chitauri troopers), Sentinel (standing in for flying Chitauri dragons)
heroes: Nick Fury, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, classic Captain America (he just woke up and still fights WWII-style)

AGE OF ULTRON
basic idea: Ultron has raised Sokovia (the city of Novi Grad) and the Avengers must prevent him from upgrading.
mastermind: Ultron
scheme: Age of Ultron
villains: Ultron's Legacy (many Ultron bots), Subterranea (they awakened when the ground opened), Hydra (seeking revenge after Baron Strucker's castle was attacked)
henchmen: Mandroids and Doom-Bots (both standing in for Ultrons)
heroes: modern-day Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Vision, and Falcon

CIVIL WAR
basic idea: Iron Man and government goons are trying to arrest our heroes, manipulated by Zemo.
masterminds: Iron Man and Baron Zemo (both must be defeated)
scheme: Superhero Civil War
villains: from the Civil War expansion, I chose a medley of 24 heroes-as-villains, rather than specific sets
henchmen: Hand Ninjas (representing secret agents), Cape-Killers
heroes: "Secret Avenger" variant Captain America, Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther

INFINITY WAR
basic idea: Stop Thanos from collecting all infinity stones.
mastermind: Thanos
scheme: Unite the Shards
villains: Infinity Gems, Heralds of Galactus (Marvel's cosmic villain set), 8 Proxima Midnight cards from the Secret Wars expansion (defeat her and add her to your deck as another hero to simulate so many Marvel heroes coming together)
minions: Thor Corps (again, this represents defeating Thanos's forces to gain help from more heroes), Ghost Racers (standing in for "space dogs")
heroes: Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Drax the Destroyer

ENDGAME
basic idea: Stop Thanos from becoming invincible.
mastermind: Thanos
scheme: Invincible Force Field
villains: Infinity Gems, Kree StarForce, Skrulls (our heroes are caught in the Kree-Skrull crossfire)
minions: MODOKs and Deaths Heads (both standing in for Thanos's army)
heroes: Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, Superior Iron Man (nano tech!), Bruce Banner, Valkyrie (represented by Lady Thor)

Despite (or perhaps because of) not being able to play the final round, our group had such a great time that we're talking about doing this again. Maybe we can have other themed scenarios. How about the Netflix Defenders and Punisher fighting against Kingpin and the Hand?

Evie Totty | April 21, 2019
I was so sad that I wasn't in town to play that with you guys! I srsly need to start going to the board game meetups here. They are just during my delivery prime times :'(

Scott Hardie | April 21, 2019
Any time you're back here for a visit, I'd be happy to play this. :-)

Evie Totty | April 21, 2019
Sweet!

Matthew Preston | April 26, 2019
Saw it last night and here are some random (very SPOILER rich) thoughts:

- I went dark on any information on the film a few weeks ago to avoid spoilers, but now having seen it, it would take several paragraphs to truly spoil everything. Sure there are subplot moments I didn't see coming that could be blurted out, but they were all merely a blip on the grandeur radar.

- All main protagonists had closure to their character arcs, which is what made this film so satisfying.

- Gut wrenchingly emotional throughout (in a good way). Being a father elevated those feelings that will resonate for a long time.

- When exactly did Hawkeye become so awesome?! Similar feelings with Thor throughout his character arc in Ragnarok and Infinity War.

- Ant-Man gets out by a rat randomly pushing a button? Really, that's the best you could do? I guess that shuts down all of the online theories, but come on. I also think they missed a golden opportunity by not including a Luis (Michael Pena) recap scene. Luis bringing Scott Lang up to speed would take less than 2 minutes of screen time and would've been epic.

- Valkyerie's alive, YAY! And then she didn't do anything... yay?

- It felt like they had no idea how/what to do with Captain Marvel. Makes sense to send an overpowered character away I guess. Glad she got a few licks in at the end.

- A new(er) way to deal with time travel consequences! I like it! Years ago, Scott Hardie pointed out to me that there are other theories than Back to the Future on time travel. Here's such an example (you were right Scott, even if I was closed minded at the time).

- Captain ThorMerica was so invigorating. Steve and Thor fighting with both Nidavellir weapons closed the gap on being outmatched by Thanos. Two things confused me here though:
1) Is lightning control an effect of wielding Mjolnir, or reserved for the God of Thunder?
2) Stormbreaker felt severely underpowered all of sudden. Didn't it resist Thanos when he was invincible and easily mop the floor with him? Seemed like a plot convenience to have it not as effective.

- Excited to see what they can do with Falcon as Captain America. There's a character that desperately needs an uplifting arc.

- Holy crap, those that died for real (as in: not a result of the Thanos snap) are actually still dead! Loki, Gamora (current timeline), Vision, and Black Widow are actually gone. Bold move and I like it.

There are so many more nuances that I'm sure I'll pick up on when I see this a second, third, fourth, and fifth time. :-)

One final note: I would like to personally thank everyone at Marvel who have now made Thor cosplay significantly more achievable!

Scott Hardie | April 26, 2019
I too avoided every spoiler that I could. Valkyrie's return was the only detail I got that I didn't want to know in advance, but it's fine; her presence is minor, because of course she has to share screen time with 87 other heroes. Honestly, the character whose lack of screen time surprised me most was Captain Marvel. There was so much buildup to her arrival across multiple films that I expected her to be a dominant presence here, but she was pretty much just a special guest star at the beginning and end. If they're keeping her off-screen because she's too powerful, maybe that's a lesson not to make such cosmically powerful characters in the first place. (I have a chip on my shoulder about her because the unstoppable Superman is the least interesting DC character to me. Show me a hero like Spider-Man who keeps fighting despite his obstacles, not because obstacles are meaningless to him.)

Right after Infinity War came out, people took notice of how the original six Avengers were all survivors of The Snapture, and how this might connect them somehow back to the events of the first Avengers film. Leaked set photos showing their original costumes fueled the fire. The truth should have been more obvious: After Age of Ultron and especially Infinity War drew in second-wave heroes with the growing MCU, this final adventure just wanted to get back to basics to focus on the core six one last time. And it was, of course, very right to do so. The way that the core six actors got their names displayed in the credits at the end was perfect.

Matthew, thanks for giving me credit about alternative storytelling approaches to time travel. (I never understood Back to the Future's idea that people erased from the past will fade away one limb at a time. Why start with this limb and not that one? Do individual digits fade first? Are amputees erased from history faster?) Personally, I'm partial to the Terminator series's attitude towards time travel paradoxes: Who gives a shit? Let's just have an awesome adventure.

I too was confused by Steve Rogers wielding lightning, but it was such a great moment that I could forgive it. (And it was a fantastic retcon of the party scene in Age of Ultron when Steve budged the hammer. Whoever thought to revisit that moment with a fresh perspective through Thor's "I knew it!" is a genius.) As for Stormbreaker being weaker, I just took it as Thor being weaker after five years of falling out of shape.

I'm deeply confused about Gamora. I couldn't really see the final battle too well, so after she kicked Star-Lord in the groin, I lost track of her. Why couldn't 2014 Gamora stick around to replace the murdered 2018 Gamora? She was not with the "Asgardians of the Galaxy" at the funeral or at their epilogue as a team. And about that latter scene, I'm thrilled to see Thor going off with them. I was worried that in all of this expansion of the MCU, we would lose the entire first wave of Avengers. I was hopeful that at least one would stick around, and I'm glad that it's Thor, who at this point in his life certainly belongs with the Guardians in personality, if not in power scale.

Loki is very much not dead. I appreciate how subtly the movie set up his already-announced TV series on Disney+ by showing the 2010 Loki escape with the Tesseract and then not mentioning him again. He's still out there in the cosmos, no doubt causing trouble. As for Black Widow and Vision, they too have upcoming projects already announced, so I'm surprised that they're still portrayed as dead, but who knows, maybe Marvel announced those projects only as deflection so that nobody would see these moments coming. For me, it robbed them of their power. I didn't mourn Black Widow until the movie was over because I figured she was due for resurrection before it ended.

The movie really overdid the "five years later" text, dramatically over-pausing between each word's reveal, as if we're all on the edge of our seats about exactly how long has passed. Five MINUTES? Five HOURS? TELL US, MARVEL!

I was shocked at some of the callbacks. They got Tilda Swinton back? Robert Redford? Frank Grillo? Rene Russo? John Slattery? The kid from Iron Man 3?! They even got Natalie Portman, who famously refused to be in another Marvel movie?! I did not expect to see any of these faces ever again. It got so ridiculous that I halfway expected to see Edward Norton and Terrence Howard show up.

The resurrected heroes didn't get much to do, but each one had great little moments, from T'Challa charging up his suit, to Peter Parker nerding out, to Dr. Strange slyly keeping the future from Tony Stark except in one important gesture. With the table cleared of the Avengers, I look forward to seeing where the MCU goes next. I don't expect to see more Avengers movies with new characters, nor do I want to see that; I've had my fill of MCU-spanning crossovers. After a third Guardians film and the inevitable X-Men and Fantastic Four films to come, I think Marvel is all set on team-based movies. I'd rather see them get into two-member team-ups of the solo heroes, something that the comics have done over the years with great success. How about retconning out the Netflix shows (since the rest of the MCU never acknowledged them anyway), starting over with a new young Daredevil, and putting him and Spider-Man into a movie together? How about a hard-R team-up between Wolverine and the Punisher? Hell, let's put the two biggest talking goofballs together and make a Spider-Man and Deadpool movie. Whatever it is that Marvel chooses to do in the future, I have total confidence in their quality control, so I'm sure it will turn out well. (And if I may put one more idea out there into the universe: Disney/Marvel could do a lot for on-screen representation by announcing a solo Storm movie.)

Matthew Preston | April 26, 2019
I interpreted Captain America returning the stones as it meaning the past continued the same as it did before (to prevent terrible alternate universes). Which in turn means Loki was killed just as he was before. You're right though, he nabbed the space stone and got the eff out. So, there is in fact another alternate in which he is still alive... Whatever, I'm not going to spend too much time with this. Comic book universes can be retconned at any point. Nobody ever really stays dead.

I fully expect 2014 Gamora to be a part of the next GOTG film. I also don't recall seeing her after the groin kick.

Another thought came to mind on a few of the dialogue scenes. At some points it felt like the characters weren't really in the room talking to each other when it was filmed. Especially for a good chunk of the scenes with Paul Rudd. I understand stand-ins can be used and edited in later, but I hope IF this was the case that it was because of scheduling conflicts and NOT to limit spoilers. Or maybe I was just imagining it.

Scott Hardie | April 26, 2019
It's funny that you mention the disconnect between characters not filmed together. Brie Larson said that she was frustrated filming her very first scene as Captain Marvel, which was the mid-credits scene in Captain Marvel where she asks, "Where is Fury?" Not only was she alone on set, but there wasn't even really a set, it was all just green-screen. They spliced her into footage of the room with the other characters later. And the reason they did this was so that she couldn't spoil anything, like her loose-lipped co-stars like Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo have done. She didn't know which characters she was talking to, she didn't know what movie she was filming a scene for, or even what kind of space her character was standing in. It must be incredibly frustrating for a serious actor to have to work that way. (Here's documentation.)

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Wow! You two have been busy.

I saw it twice in less than 12 hours so I noticed some things the second time.

What pees me o the most is when Nebula realizes that Thanos knows... AND DOESN'T HIT THE BUTTON TO COME BACK?

This dumbass move is the cause of the entire what? Second half of the movie? Last third?

I'm on my phone and am out working so I'll have to follow-up later.

I will say I'm seeing it again tomorrow so after a third viewing I should have even more observations

But let's ask this: if Steve stayed in '45 - didn't that cause a butterfly effect of some sort due to her children never being born?

Scott Hardie | April 27, 2019
I'm not terribly interested in debating the mechanics of time-travel in fiction, because there's no such thing and each work is free to make up its own rules. It's like arguing that a particular horror movie broke the "rules" of how vampires must be portrayed. (I know a guy who is furious about Star Trek: Discovery breaking the real physical rules of warp travel, when there is no such thing as warp travel.) So I'm not insistent that what I'm about to say is right or valid. But my impression from seeing the movie once is that it doesn't consider time travel to be about altering the past, which is how most fiction treats time travel, but rather to be about borrowing elements of the past or using the past in some way to the benefit of the present. I could swear that Banner said that the past already happened and cannot be changed. The writers taking that approach is kind of refreshing, actually, and avoids the usual Pandora's box that comes with introducing time travel to fiction, because the heroes should always use it forevermore after gaining it. (Thanos conveniently destroyed the time machine, and the only guy who knows how to build it is dead by the end, so I guess that settles the matter further.) Anyway, what I mean to say is, I don't think Steve staying in 1945 changed the past, because the past is immutable. He got to make new memories of visiting the past and spending time there, and his present changed, but the events of the past were never undone. If that's true, it's consistent with all of the other time traveling in the movie, even 2010 Loki escaping, even 2014 Thanos coming to the future, with one exception: Steve's stated reason for going back in the first place, to "put the stones back where they belong." He didn't need to do that. I think the filmmakers just wanted to get him back to where he belonged and to get rid of the stones so they weren't still hanging around the MCU, and killed two birds with one stone. But all of the above is just based on one viewing, and it happened kind of fast (Banner speeds through the time travel exposition for some reason), so I could be way off.

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Well, when Banner gets to the Sorcerer Supreme - she explains that if the stone is taken from her time, it creates a new timeline (a la Deja Vu with Denzel Washington) where it's just a dumpster fire.

Once seeing Deja Vu, I've always 'went along' with that version of time travel. So he has to take the stones back. Along with Mjolnir because that Thor needs it.

So Cap makes a new timeline when he decides to stay. Given that, it would seem logical that he wouldn't even be sitting there since he changed not his past, but Peggy's future along with the future of her family and everything they touched.

Thanos and Gamora's presence in 2023 and Loki's escape all created new timelines.

And as far as 'not debating the mechanics of time travel' - I agree that people can write what they want (that is often my answer to people) but when you create rules for it, we want you to follow them.

Here is a blurb I skimmed over about the Deja Vu flavor of time travel

Scott Hardie | April 27, 2019
Great point. I completely forgot about the Ancient One's visual aid, and how the necessity of putting back the stones was illustrated. So then yes, two different timelines, one with Peggy's original offspring and one with Steve's reunion. It's not terribly neat but it's sufficient.

People have pointed out how much chaos it creates to keep the five-year span intact while also restoring the "Vanished" to life as they were. What about widows and widowers who remarried and started new families? What about people whose homes and businesses were sold or destroyed? If the world went through tumult after the Snapture (my preferred term for it), surely restoring people like this means creating a whole second round of global tumult.

I agree about creative works following their own rules, except that latter creators in a series ought to have some artistic license to retcon what earlier creators established if it makes for a better story. If a single book or movie broke its own stated rules, that's truly bad. :-) To be clear, the guy who I mentioned above being mad about warp travel was not upset that Discovery had broken the rules about warp travel established in previous Star Trek shows; he was upset because he insisted that there are real-universe physical laws about how faster-than-light travel must work and Discovery was somehow breaking them, which is absolute nonsense.

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Yeah - Tony wanted Morgan to keep living and didn't consider anything else it would seem. But with those things you mention... what about the births of new people? All would have been erased had they returned to five years ago. And then there is the whole 'those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it' thing. If they went back - how would their memories be affected? I do prefer 'bring them here' as opposed to 'make it not happen'

Also - not sure if you have heard of Manifest? It actually deals with 200+ folks showing up 5.5 years later and dealing with what has happened in the interim. Pretty good show.

And oh regarding the warp drive lol. Yes I agree with you.

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Just realized that Loki's escape will hopefully affect the MClittleU the way that Days of Future Past affected the X-Men!

Scott Hardie | April 27, 2019
Definitely agreed that bringing the people back after five years is preferable to undoing the five years entirely. The movie just doesn't seem concerned with the fact that the Avengers are actively messing up the world even more in order to save it. It's like the question at the heart of the Trolley problem: Is it ethical to cause suffering in order to prevent it? After all, the Vanished are already long dead by this point. They're not in peril any more. Ethically, they're not owed anything. How does the Trolley problem change if the trolley has already killed five people and you can resurrect them by causing other people to suffer? I'm sure there are Philosophy students having heated arguments about this somewhere this weekend. :-)

Manifest is among the shows languishing in my Hulu queue, to be watched when I get around to them. It seems like one of many shows trying to replicate Lost's success. I don't know much about it, except that the lead actress seems way, way too young to be a New York detective.

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Yeah - that was one of my first thoughts when I found out she was a detective. But hey - fiction.

Back to Nebula. After the 3rd viewing and SPECIFICALLY looking to see if she'd try the GPS once she came to.

No. They were showing her running to the pod.

And if you say it was before - the 'stroke' she had stopped her short then she passed out.

Matthew Preston | April 27, 2019
Either of you know why the Ancient One handed over the time stone when she heard of Dr. Strange doing so? We know now that Tony Stark had to be alive for the 1 in 14,000,605 scenario to work, so it makes sense for Dr. Strange in Infinity War.

I want to say it was the Ancient One feeling guilty about her hypocrisy of the dark arts, but it happened so quickly I can't put it together.

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
She figures he knew what he was doing if he gave it up

Evie Totty | April 27, 2019
Tony had to be alive in order to bring them back and he would have died had Strange not given it up

Matthew Preston | April 28, 2019
Also just realized that Heimdall is another perma-dead.

Scott Hardie | April 29, 2019
The New York Times just ran a long interview with the screenwriters, if you're interested in why they made the choices that they did.

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2019
This excited review by a fan sums up a lot of how I feel about Endgame. Its primary achievement is how smoothly and effectively it blends together so many different pop-culture influences and Marvel elements, never buckling under the load or getting lost in the weeds. It's the Ready Player One of Marvel movies.

Evie Totty | May 3, 2019
Well don't get me wrong - I adored the movie after the first viewing. And I did see it 3 times in 48 hours (yay AMC A-List!) and I do plan to see it again in IMAX (yay AMC A-List!) .

It was just the second and third viewings that made me go 'hey - wait a minute...'

I feel like they did Cap the way they did (I don't care what their explanations are) is because of Evans' contract being up (despite him previously saying that they had him as long as they wanted him - I guess they didn't want to pay him) and that vexes me.

Regardless - I am of the opinion that these two movies are the boilerplate for movies like this. I'm looking forward to seeing how they top this.

Evie Totty | May 3, 2019
Side note: Re Natalie Portman. I'd have to rewatch Thor: The Dark World to be sure, but I'm fairly certain they used previous footage of her and a body double for when Rocket came in the room. She was in the credits because her image was in the film.

I haven't researched it, but that's what I'm guessing.

Evie Totty | May 3, 2019
And just a thought process here:

Because there are 22 films and 60+ hours of viewing - they were able to make us care about the characters so much more than a single 90 -120 minute film could.

An acquaintance of mine mentioned that he had seen none of the films and planned on binge-ing them prior to seeing Endgame. I gave him a list of the order he should watch them in and a few summary videos.

He told me later how he was talking to someone about it and even though they knew he had seen none of the films - they proceeded to spoil the end of Endgame.

He said he was ok witih it and I argued that now the end will not affect him as emotionally as the rest of us because he will not be able to attach himself to the characters who are no longer with us prior to their demise...

What a fantastic ride we've all been on these past 11 years. They had me at Jericho...

Evie Totty | May 3, 2019
Hah! A blurb about Natalie Portman’s role

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2019
I've heard differing statements from Chris Evans about how long he was willing to play the character, the same as I've heard from Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo. Evans has been clear about his desire to direct instead of act (maybe they could have lured him back to play Cap again by letting him direct something too?), so I always figured he wasn't going to play the part for much longer. I don't think they could have found a better way to send him out. Plus, in Cap's return as an elderly man lies possible seeds for future storylines. Old Cap should exist in a different branching timeline from the one where they expected him, so only by traversing through the Quantum Realm or other means could he have come back to that park bench. The Russos and screenwriters have come out and said this in interviews; it's definitely on their minds. I don't expect to see Chris Evans again, but there might be a revisit to that concept of dimensional travel.

Speaking of MCU actors who want to direct, I read an article about Karen Gillan expressing a desire to direct an MCU film, and there were some angry commenters underneath the article ranting about how she had zero experience and was just a pretty face (yep, a real looker) and how she had no right to demand her first directing gig like this. I don't know who would possibly want to be angry about such a thing, but whatever, the part that bothers me is that she has directed before, several times. She is not a novice. She doesn't have experience directing a giant blockbuster with a $300 million budget, but almost no one does.

Re Natalie Portman: The shot of her getting out of bed was unused footage from Thor: The Dark World. She didn't film anything new for Endgame, but she did go into a sound booth to record new audio for the shot of her walking with Frigga, so she did technically work on this film and earn her credit, even if it's the smallest of cameos.

What kind of monster would spoil the ending of Endgame to someone who said he was going to watch the MCU movies? I would spoil it to someone who said they would never watch, but that's about it. I don't know if this story about a deliberate spoiler is true, but it's a good story. Anyway, I agree with you, Evie; the weight of time makes the stories so much stronger.

Scott Hardie | May 3, 2019
Ha! Apparently you found the answer regarding Natalie Portman while I was typing. :-)

Evie Totty | May 4, 2019
Ok SO! As far as Evans is concerned- he corrected the directing vs acting thing. He doesn’t want to stop acting. He wants to direct too.

And he did say this spring in an interview that ‘it was time to get off the train/bus before they push you off’

I will take your word for it regarding the writers agreeing that he would have to have jumped dimensions to get to the bench.

So this is what I choose to believe:

He didn’t abandon his timeline. He indeed did not age because of the super serum.

But because of the alternate timeline being formed - other baddies came to be or other bad possibilities came to be and he had his serum sucked out of him - which is exactly is what happened in the comics when Falcon became Cap

Scott Hardie | May 5, 2019
I like it! I have my own headcanon around stuff like this too.

Matthew Preston | May 7, 2019
A thought occurred to me recently: Did Tony Stark know who Gamora is? Or, did they ever meet in a previous film? If not, wouldn’t 2014 Gamora have been snapped away with the rest of Thanos’ army? Maybe not, because of all the time Tony spent with Nebula?

Evie Totty | May 7, 2019
He knew of her. I think it depends on what the wording of his 'wish' was.

Thanos and his army or those loyal to Thanos? Everyone except his daughters?

Scott Hardie | May 8, 2019
That's a really good thought, Matthew. That could explain her disappearance. But I still expect the third Guardians movie to be The Search for Gamora (to borrow from a different space-set franchise), and it would be a little anticlimactic for them to discover that she was dusted. :-)

Did Tony know Gamora? This trailer implies that they had a conversation, even though she was on a spaceship and he was in Dr. Strange's living room. It's not quite a brick thrown in daylight hitting someone after dark, but it's still amusing.

Endgame was probably wise not to have a scene after the credits (clanging excepted), but if they did want to have a scene, what about child-Gamora and child-Natasha playing together in the Soul Realm? Neither one got to have a proper childhood, so it might have been nice to see them get some version of that at last.

Speaking of the Soul Realm, after Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War, he had a brief scene there talking to child-Gamora. After Tony snapped his fingers, should he have had a brief scene talking to Natasha there, as a way to send them both off and mutually acknowledge their sacrifices? Probably not, as the writers acknowledged that Tony shouldn't say anything post-snap (Downey's idea), which seems like the way to go.

Scott Hardie | May 21, 2019
The first time you see Thor's subplot, it plays as comedy. The second time, it plays as tragedy.

One of the reasons why Ragnarok was so refreshing was that it stopped taking Thor and his world seriously. It found the humor in the fairly ridiculous character. But I wonder if that turn didn't do a disservice to him in Endgame. So many people laugh at "Fat Thor" in Endgame but he's clearly suffering.

Evie Totty | May 21, 2019
Yup. Not sure how to say more. I did laugh when seeing that 'this is what we got for the shirtless Thor this time' - but yes, clearly suffering. Taking on the weight of the snap on his shoulders. Imagine what that does to a person? I cannot. I'm sure he likely tried to end his life in the five interim years but failed.

Matthew Preston | June 13, 2019
RE: Steve Rogers wielding lightning:

I've been watching through all of the MCU (in release order) and I've answered my own question on why Steve was able to use lightning against Thanos. Odin imbues Mjolnir with the following phrase after casting Thor out of Asgard in the first Thor movie: "So whoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall posses the power of Thor."

Scott Hardie | June 29, 2019
I thought I said this already, but I can't find it, so I'm putting this out there. Possible spoilers for Spider-Man: Far from Home.

I didn't watch the trailers because I don't want spoilers myself, but I heard all over the place that the trailers mentioned Marvel's multi-verse. It occurred to me that if Far from Home is introducing the multi-verse to the MCU, then perhaps... just maybe... Into the Spider-Verse was a stealth MCU film. Sony churns out Spider-Man spin-off films like Venom that Marvel officially disavows, but Into the Spider-Verse was well-received and there's not the same need to disavow it as off-brand. Wouldn't it be wild if Far from Home has the live-action Peter Parker cross paths somehow with the animated Miles Morales, even if only briefly, and we discover that Into the Spider-Verse was secretly the 21st MCU film all along? I don't mean that Far from Home retroactively canonizes it; I mean if Sony and Marvel planned it that way from the beginning. I doubt it will happen, but I think it would be neat.

But for all I know, the trailers already show this happening and I'm way behind on this. I guess I'll find out next weekend.

Evie Totty | June 29, 2019
I have been unsuccessfully trying to avoid trailers... but yes a multiverse is mentioned.

Scott Hardie | July 5, 2019
So that "multi-verse" reveal was a big nothing. I was way off in my prediction, but so was every headline I saw about how Far from Home's introduction of the multi-verse would change everything about the MCU. :-D

Evie Totty | July 5, 2019
Haha right? I got so excited when I heard him say 'Earth 616' and everything. And when it was revealed he was a disgruntled employee (lol) I had to wrestle with coming back and letting you know.

But still. As far as I know, Loki will be in a different timeline aka different universe...

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