Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three Rewatch. Avengers: Endgame

I started this re-watch a while back but stopped before Endgame came out. I had intended to keep going with them but kind of forgot. Anyway, almost two years later, here’s Endgame

Title: Avengers: Endgame

Director:  Anthony and Joe Russo

Writer(s):  Christopher Markus and Stephen McFee

Characters created by: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Joe Simon, David Michelinie, John Byrne, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Don Rico, Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch, Bob Layton, Gene Colan, John Jackson Miller, Jorge Lucas, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Jim Starlin, Dick Ayers, Steve Gerber, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, Arnold Drake, and Roger Stern

US Release Date: April 26, 2019

Budget: $356 million

Worldwide Box-office: $2.798 billion

Returning characters: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Nebula, Okoye, Wong, Happy Hogan, Rocket, Pepper Potts, Thanos, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Spider-Man,  Gamora,  Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Loki, Mantis, Drax the Destroyer, Shuri, Thaddeus Ross, Maria Hill, M’Baku, Ebony Maw, Ned, Groot, Star-Lord Nick Fury,  Red Skull, Corvus Glaive, Cull Obsidian, F.R.I.D.A.Y., Proxima Midnight, Wasp, Valkyrie, Frigga, Howard Stark, Ancient One, Peggy Carter, May Parker, Korg, Ramonda, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, Laura Barton, Jasper Sitwell, Brock Rumlow, Alexander Pierce, Jack Rollins, Harley Keener. Kraglin Obfonteri, Jane Foster, Edwin Jarvis, 1Cassie Lang, and Howard the Duck

Summary: Twenty-three days after Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to disintegrate half of all life in the universe, Carol Danvers rescues Tony Stark and Nebula from deep space and returns them to Earth, where they reunite with the remaining Avengers—Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Thor, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes—and Rocket. Locating Thanos on an uninhabited planet, they plan to use the Infinity Stones to reverse “the Snap”, but Thanos reveals he destroyed the Stones to prevent further use. Enraged, Thor decapitates Thanos.

Five years later, Scott Lang escapes from the quantum realm. At the Avengers compound, he explains to Romanoff and Rogers he experienced five hours, not years, while trapped. Theorizing the quantum realm could allow time travel, they ask Stark to help them obtain the Stones from the past to undo Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark refuses, thinking about his wife, Pepper Potts, and daughter, Morgan, but relents after musing on the death of Peter Parker.

Stark, Rocket and Banner, who has since merged his intelligence with the Hulk’s strength, build a time machine. Banner notes changing the past does not affect their present; any changes instead create branched alternate realities. He and Rocket visit the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway—New Asgard—to recruit Thor, now overweight and drinking heavily, despondent over his failure to stop Thanos. In Tokyo, Romanoff recruits Clint Barton, now a vigilante following Thanos’ disintegration of his family.

Banner, Lang, Rogers, and Stark travel to New York City in 2012. Banner visits the Sanctum Sanctorum and convinces the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone. At Stark Tower, Rogers retrieves the Mind Stone, but Stark and Lang’s attempt to steal the Space Stone fails, allowing 2012 Loki to escape with it. Rogers and Stark travel to S.H.I.E.L.D.headquarters in 1970, where Stark obtains an earlier version of the Space Stone and encounters his father, Howard. Rogers steals Pym Particles from Hank Pym to use in returning to the present, and spies lost love Peggy Carter. Meanwhile, Rocket and Thor travel to Asgard in 2013, extracting the Reality Stone from Jane Foster[N 4] and retrieving Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Nebula and Rhodes travel to Morag in 2014 and steal the Power Stone before Peter Quill can.

Rhodes returns to the present with the Power Stone, but Nebula becomes incapacitated when her cybernetic implants link with those of her past self, allowing 2014 Thanos to learn of his future success and the Avengers’ attempts to thwart it. Determined to rebuild the whole universe so no one will remember what he has done, Thanos replaces present-day Nebula with 2014 Nebula. Barton and Romanoff travel to Vormir in 2014, where the Soul Stone’s keeper, the Red Skull, reveals it can only be acquired by sacrificing someone they love. Romanoff sacrifices herself, allowing Barton to obtain the Soul Stone.

Reuniting in the present, the Avengers place the Stones into a technological gauntlet Stark, Banner and Rocket have created. Banner, the most resistant to the Stones’ gamma radiation, is chosen to wield the gauntlet and reverses the disintegrations. Meanwhile, 2014 Nebula uses the time machine to transport 2014 Thanos and his warship to the present, where he attacks the Avengers’ compound looking for the Stones.

Present Nebula convinces 2014 Gamora to betray Thanos but is unable to convince 2014 Nebula and is forced to kill her. Confronted by Stark, Thor, and a Mjolnir-wielding Rogers, Thanos outmatches them and summons his army from his warship. Stephen Strange arrives with other sorcerers, the restored Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, and the armies of Wakanda and Asgard to fight Thanos and his army. Danvers arrives and destroys Thanos’ warship, but Thanos overpowers her and seizes the gauntlet. Stark steals the Stones and uses them to disintegrate Thanos and his army, at the cost of his own life.

Following Stark’s funeral, Thor appoints Valkyrie as the new ruler of New Asgard and joins the Guardians. Rogers returns the Infinity Stones and Mjolnir to their original timelines and remains in the past to live with Carter. In the present, an elderly Rogers passes his shield and mantle to Sam Wilson.

MCU Continuity Nods: Just about each film is referenced.

  • Iron Man Tony’s love of cheeseburgers in this movie is called back to in Endgame when Morgan informs Happy that she also loves cheeseburgers. Tony’s final pre-credits line in this movie are also his last words before snapping his fingers in Endgame: “I am Iron Man.” Tony’s funeral wreath includes his original ARC reactor from this film, complete with the inscription Pepper put on its case: “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.”
  • Thor At the top of the movie, Odin is telling Thor and Loki about the time the Asgardians defended the people of Earth who worshiped them from the Frost Giants. Those people were in the town of Tønsburg, Norway, where Thor and Valkyrie set up New Asgard.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger Cap’s locket with Peggy’s picture plays a major role in the Cap-on-Cap fight. Cap says, “I can do this all day. ” When Cap and Bucky say goodbye before Cap goes into the time machine to return the infinity stones and Mjolnir, their exchange matches the one from this movie when Bucky goes off to join the Army. (“Don’t do anything stupid.” “You’re taking the stupid with you.”) Red Skull appears again, confronting Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff. Howard Stark is seen asking after Zola at Camp Lehigh.
  • The Avengers Part of the Time Heist takes place during this movie. Several Chitauri vessels are among Thanos’s forces in the climactic fight in Endgame, which are of the same type and design as the ones in this film. As Black Widow and Hawkeye fly through space, Clint jokes that they’re “a long way from Budapest,” a reference to the mission that brought them so close together,
  • Iron Man 3 Introduced Harley Keener who shows up at Tony’s funeral.
  • Thor: The Dark World Part of the Time Heist takes place during this film. Loki changes shape to that of Captain America in this movie to mock Thor, and he does so again in Endgame as Loki’s being taken into custody
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier The song that Nick plays in Steve’s apartment “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” is the same song he dances to with Peggy. Cap uses his knowledge of Rumlow and Sitwell’s secret allegiance to get the scepter from them. That scene where Cap takes the scepter from Rumlow and Sitwell also is blocked and shot similarly to the elevator fight in this movie. Several of the same S.H.I.E.L.D. agents/Hydra loyalists from this movie are used again in the elevator in Endgame. Just before Dr. Strange brings all the heroes to the fight in Endgame, Sam calls out, “On your left!” just before the portal opens on Cap’s left, a callback to how Sam and Cap met in this movie, and also what Cap said when he woke up from his coma at the end of this movie.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Part of the Time Heist takes place during this film. Rhodey and Nebula observe Quill approaching the power stone while dancing to “Come and Get Your Love,” as we saw over the opening credits in this movie. However, since Rhodey and Nebula can’t hear the music, they just see him dancing.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron When Tony returns to Earth at the beginning of Endgame, he rants to the other Avengers in general and Cap in particular that he wanted to put a suit of armor around the Earth, a notion he first expressed in this movie. We get the first hint in this movie that Cap might be worthy to wield Mjolnir, as he budges it slightly when everyone else can’t move it at all, and Thor looks concerned. The fearful vision Tony gets from Wanda in this film includes some things that happen in Endgame: the Chitauri attacking, Cap’s shield shattered, and Natasha dead.
  • Captain America: Civil War Tony throws Cap’s refusing to sign the Sokovia Accords in his face during his epic rant. Tony returns the shield to Cap that Steve had relinquished at the end of the film. When T’Challa and Clint Barton face off in Civil War, Clint tries to introduce himself, but Black Panther responds with an unabashed “I don’t care.” Yet, in Endgame, while they’re playing keep-away with the gauntlet, T’Challa calls Clint by name.
  • Ant-Man The Quantum Realm is introduced in this movie as well as the X-Con Security van with its distinctive horn.
  • Doctor Strange It’s established that the Ancient One knows full well in 2012 that Strange will soon become her disciple and successor as Sorcerer Supreme. In Endgame, the Ancient One pulls the same shove-the-astral-form-out-of-the-body trick on the Hulk that she did on Strange in this movie.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Nebula’s conversion from villain to sorta-kinda hero starts in this film, as she turns away from Thanos and toward Gamora. In Endgame, she tries to convince 2014 Gamora and her own 2014 counterpart that this conversion is real, but only the former believes her.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming Introduced Ned Leeds. At one point in this movie, Peter tries to hug Tony, and Tony brushes him off, saying he doesn’t hug people. In Endgame, Tony hugs Peter when he gets him back. Peter did not want to turn on his Spidey suit’s “instant-kill mode” but it came in handy in the final fight as he risked being overrun. “Instant-kill mode” turned his eyes red and the extra limbs on his suit into deadly spears
  • Thor: Ragnarok Introduced Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek. Banner tries to get Thor out of his funk in Endgame by reminding him how Thor helped Banner when he was at his low ebb on the Grandmaster’s arena world in this movie.
  • Black Panther Okoye is one of the people holding the post-snap world together, functioning as an Avenger.
  • Avengers: Infinity War This movie established that Lang and Barton both took house arrest to be with their families after Civil War. We see Lang serving that out in Ant-Man & The Wasp, and the top of Endgame is Barton at his home with his wife and kids, wearing an ankle bracelet
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp This movie established that Pym and the van Dynes were dusted by Thanos’s snap while Lang was in the Quantum Realm. Lang returns from the Quantum Realm in Endgame five years later, with only five subjective hours having passed for him, which gives him the idea for the Time Heists.
  • Agent Carter Introduced Edwin Jarvis as Howard Stark’s valet/chauffeur.
  • Captain Marvel The mid-credits scene of this movie shows Danvers’s arrival on Earth after being summoned by the pager she gave Fury earlier in the movie, and her first meeting with the Avengers, who apparently immediately send her to find Tony and Nebula and bring them home

Easter Eggs: 

  • Tony and Pepper Potts’s adorable daughter takes her name from the obscure comics character Morgan Stark, who was Tony’s disreputable cousin. That Morgan first made his debut in a 1965 issue of Tales of Suspense, though he isn’t nearly as important or precious as Tony’s daughter.
  • Professor Hulk, who made his debut in 1991’s The Incredible Hulk No. 377. In the comics, however, this idealized version of Banner-cum-Hulk is only a temporary.
  • In the comics in the late aughts, Thor has to rebuild Asgard on Earth, but this version of New Asgard floated above Broxton, Oklahoma.
  • In the comics, Hawkeye becomes Ronin after a personal tragedy, which tracks with the fact that he lost his entire family in the Infinity Warsnap.
  • While undercover at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with Tony Stark in the year 1970, Steve wears a maintenance uniform with the name “Roscoe” on it, which is possibly a reference to Roscoe Simons, a minor character who briefly adopted the Captain America mantle back in a ’70s comic story line.
  • Pepper Potts first adopted the superhero identity Rescue in the comics back in 2009, but the blue-colored armor she wears in Endgame seems to be modeled after the character’s appearance in the Iron Man: Animated Adventures cartoon.
  • Thanos broke the nigh unbreakable shield in the Infinity Gauntlet comics, just as he broke it in Endgame.
  • In Secret Wars No. 4, the Hulk holds up a 150-billion-ton mountain in order to prevent his fellow Avengers from being crushed.
  • Cap first lifted the Mjolner in 1988’s The Mighty Thor No. 390, and then again in the 2011 event series Fear Itself.
  • When Tony and Cap travel back to 1970, we catch a glimpse of what looks like a prototype Ant-Man helmet on Hank Pym’s desk.

Stan Lee Cameo: As a hippie driving past the Army base

Infinity Stone: All six

Post/mid Credits Scenes: Instead of a post-credit scene, the six original Avengers get a sign off

Next: Spider-Man: Far From Home

My Take: I have to say it was one of the more rousing experiences I have have been a part of. I saw it opening weekend at Disney Springs in a packed theater. The crowd ate it up. The biggest reaction of course being when Cap finally said “Avengers Assemble.”

It honestly felt like the finale of a long-running television show. Everything is based on what came before, and if you weren’t caught up, too bad, they have too much story to tell. It’s a credit to their world building that you could have Norse mythological characters, sorcerers, space pirates, Afro-future warriors, size-changing characters, armored fighters, and a talking raccoon all in one scene and it makes sense.

The MCU is going to move on, adding new characters and expanding the universe, but I am going to miss this line up. These are the comics I grew up with, and they were shown as faithfully as a movie series could. Flaws? Sure, nothing switches mediums perfectly, but I loved these movies and this one felt satisfying.