Avengers: Endgame Helps Us Behold an Epically Joyous Fantasy Apocalypse

Christ and Pop Culture | 5/1/2019 | E. Stephen Burnett
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In the last episode of the Avengers film series, Avengers: Infinity War, the enemy has won.

But in Avengers: Endgame, the saga ends with a joyous finale, sharing images of final victory and resurrection that can’t help reflecting their biblical, real-life equivalents to come.

Year - Avengers - Infinity - War - Marvel

Previously in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios took its greatest risk and denied its heroes a final victory. This startling choice had effects that rippled across all the real-life popular culture universe. After all, in many fantasy movies, even the ones that end on cliffhangers, our heroes achieve at least some kind of closure before the credits roll. Not so in Avengers: Infinity War. Here, intergalactic sociopath Thanos (Josh Brolin and skilled animators) was not beaten by Captain America or beheaded by god of thunder Thor. Instead the mad Titan made good on his self-righteous vow to “balance” the universe, and, armed with the multi-McGuffin power of the Infinity Gauntlet, snapped his fingers. Half the universe and most of our favorite heroes all went ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Then the infuriatingly self-satisfied Thanos vanished to rest on a paradise planet. Roll credits and somber funereal soundtrack. The fiend left fans to share in fantasy-grief for one whole year.

Endgame doesn’t let up the grief. In this “comic book” movie, we really feel the groaning of an Earth that waits with eager longing for its missing souls to return.But when Marvel’s core group of heroes finally returned for this year’s Avengers: Endgame, the resuming story again denied heroes and fans a sudden happy reversal. The team finds Thanos’s garden planet, only to learn their enemy had already destroyed the all-powerful Infinity Stones. Yes, Thor gets his revenge, and Thanos’s head rolls. But it benefits nothing.

Directors - Anthony - Joe - Russo - Writers

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely,...
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