Property Review: Avengers Endgame

Photo courtesy of IMDB.com

Assembled greatness completed

Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios, 2019

“We’re in the endgame now.” Dr. Strange was and always has been prescient about the situation at hand. Whether it’s his own battles with the likes of Dormammu or Shuma Gorath or facing off against Thanos, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth is always planning and stark about the reality of whatever happens to be going on. In this instance, in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Strange was the most grounded and gave the most sobering assessment of all: The Avengers were going to lose before they won.

Based on Strange’s assessment in Infinity War, you’d think Endgame would be some bleak tale of revenge and that’s it. Technically, Endgame does begin as that, but it morphs into something more. It’s a tale of loss, hard choices, joy and survival. And, yes, revenge. It’s a do-over on some levels also. See, here, the Avengers who survived “the snappening” in Infinity War have to go on. They’re living day to day without their comrades, friends, loved ones and mentors/mentees. Life is bleak, with monuments to those lost when Thanos took out half of the universe’s population with a flick of his wrist and a twitch in his gauntlet. Time has, at once, stood still and moved on for those still around. They’re finding ways to cope and that’s the meat of the first third. It’s a brilliantly deconstructed look at the world in which the Avengers did not win. The visceral raw emotion of Avengers coping, and the world at large is beautiful and simultaneously heartbreaking. Of all the Avengers, Thor and Hawkeye are depicted as having the most pain with Black Widow a close second. It’s the train wreck that you can’t look away from and feel in your soul.

From that wreck, however, in the second act rises the phoenix of the Avengers and their allies. The most genius among them — Scott Lang, Hulk and Tony Stark — figure out a way to effect time travel. They engineer a way to travel to different points on their established timeline to retrieve the Infinity stones and bring everyone back. This makes for great comedy and revisits of some of the cinematic universe’s most memorable moments. Pop culture bits (such as America’s Ass for Captain America/America’s sweetheart Chris Evans and “Hail Hydra,” also for Cap) even make their way in, lightening the mood a bit. But alas, as you make one stride forward, there will always be another that takes you back. Hard choices must be made in order to see some gain, or so Marvel would have you believe. So, yes, you’re going to say goodbye to some fan favorites and yes, this is signifying that their time with the franchise is coming to an end. However, it’s handled well, and it invokes emotion so much so that young children will cry at the thought of losing their favorite superhero.

And, for a minute, let the editor just step back and reminisce about the experience of seeing the current crop of Avengers gathered together for likely the last time. When there was a pivotal death, at the most pivotal moment — yes, THAT death — there was not a dry eye in the house. A young child, no older than 6 probably, cried her eyes out. Adults around us, including the editor, sniffled and cried as though we had lost a beloved family member. THAT is how you do a proper sendoff to a beloved character and that is how you wrap up a story, one of redemption and selflessness for the character and the actor in real life.

Every beat hit and every note cleanly marked is the hallmark of these Avengers movies and Endgame was no exception. Threads from the early days were neatly wrapped and character investment paid off for nearly everyone. It was enough that when the lights came back up, the movie received a standing ovation and nearly everyone waited for a mid-credits scene that would never come. THAT is how you wrap 11 years and 22 movies into a neat package and remind everyone that you’re the master of the genre. That is how you thank your fans for taking the time to care and get to know your ensemble cast through individual movies and properties.

That’s Marvel, baby.

Like the comics?: 6
Casting: 10
Writing: 10

Overall score: 26 out of 30 or 8.6

HOW WE GRADE
We score the properties in three categories: Casting (or voice acting in cases of animated), plot and similarities to its source material. Each category receives points out of the maximum of 10 per category and 30 overall. The percentage is the final score.

Marvel character highlight #20: Hawkeye

Name: Clint Bartonhawkeye
Aliases: Captain America, Golden Archer, Goliath, Ronin
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Defenders, Great Lakes Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts, West Coast Avengers, Wild Pack, World Counter-terrorism Agency
Special abilities: Despite having no super powers, Hawkeye is at the peak of human conditioning. He has a vast amount of strength, is a grandmaster archer and is extremely efficient in acrobatics, hand-to-hand combat and weaponry.
Background: After losing his parents in a car accident at an early age, Hawkeye joined the circus with his brother, Barney. During his time living with the circus, he was trained as a master-level archer by Swordsman and Trick Shot. After leaving that particular circus, he joined other traveling carnival outfits until he saw Iron Man/Tony Stark in action. He wanted to become a costumed superhero but was accused of theft in his first try at adventuring. He soon met the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova version) and fell in love with her. Things did not end well between the two and he later saves Edwin Jarvis, Iron Man/Tony Stark’s assistant, from a mugging. Through this relationship, Clint joined the Avengers in its second incarnation after being sponsored by Stark.
Clint left and rejoined the Avengers several times and was reunited with his wife Mockingbird several times. He was also wiped from existence and killed at least twice, thanks to his former lover Scarlet Witch.
Relationships: Barney Barton (Trick Shot), brother; Barbara “Bobbi” Morse (Mockingbird), wife; Janet Pym (Wasp), lover; Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), mentoree; Natalia Romanova (Black Widow), lover; Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), lover; Buck Chisholm (Trick Shot), mentor; Jacques Duquesne (Swordsman), mentor
First Versus game appearance: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Appearances in other media: The Marvel super Heroes (television), Iron Man (television), Fantastic Four (television), The Avengers: United They Stand (television), The Super Hero Squad Show (television), The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (television), Iron Man: Armored Adventures (television), Ultimate Spider-Man (television), Avengers Assemble (television), Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers (television), Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (animated film), Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (animated film), Thor (film), The Avengers (film), Avengers: Age of Ultron (film, not yet released), Spider-Man: The Video Game (video game); Captain America and the Avengers (video game), Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel: Avengers Alliance (video game), Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics (video game), Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel Universe: LIVE! (theater)