Avengers: Endgame Captivates Audiences Globally

Alissa Dannehl, Staff Writer

On April 26, the most anticipated movie of 2019 opened in theatres shattering box office records. Avengers: Endgame is the solution to the insufficient ending of Avengers: Infinity War. The new film is the twenty-second movie to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since the universe began with the release of Iron Man almost exactly eleven years ago.

Before 2008, movies based on Marvel comics existed like X-Men and Fantastic Four. However, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man was the start of an interconnected storyline occurring through separate movies. This movie was the start of phase one of the MCU which included the origin stories for the heroes. The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger followed shortly after Iron Man, and they were completely separate storylines apart from the end credit scenes.

Marvel has become notorious for including end credit scenes that link their movies, tease new characters, or promote upcoming movies. For example, after the credits of The Incredible Hulk, the audience sees Tony Stark speaking to General Ross about the Avengers Initiative which Nick Fury told Stark about at the end of Iron Man. Phase one featured Nick Fury recruiting people for his new initiative leading up the to movie The Avengers which showcased the new heroes working together to defend the Earth from the Chitauri, an alien race apart of Thanos’ army.

Phase two of the MCU includes the aftermath of the Chitauri invasion and the introduction and collection of infinity stones. The stones were created by cosmic entities and are tied to different aspects of the universe like space, time, reality, soul, mind, and power. Separately, the stones are powerful in means of their own aspects of the universe. For example, in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos finds the soul stone on the planet of Vormir, but to get the stone, he must trade it for the soul of something he loves. Together, the six infinity stones can make anyone the most powerful being in the universe.

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos is on a quest to find all six infinity stones, so he can balance the universe in terms of inhabitants and resources. He uses the infinity gauntlet to hold the stones, and throughout the movie, he claims that all he must do is snap his fingers once he gathers all of the stones and half of the universe will be gone. He finds his first stone on the planet of Xander where the power stone was being kept after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy. Next, he finds the space stone inside of the tesseract with Loki on what is left of Asgard after the events of          Thor: Ragnarok.  The guardians then find Thor in Thanos’ wake and head to the planet of Vormir where they find Thanos has already acquired the reality stone. On Morag, Thanos learns of the location of the soul stone by Gamora, so they head Vormir to get the soul stone, and Gamora never left with Thanos. Next, Thanos was supposed to meet one of his minions on his home planet, but Iron Man, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Dr. Strange met him instead. They fight on Titan until Dr. Strange gives Thanos the time stone to save Iron Man’s life. Thanos leaves everyone on Titan and head to Earth where the last stone is being used to give life to Vision. The remaining Avengers are in Wakanda fighting off Thanos’ other minions and army while Shuri tries to safely remove the mind stone from Vision’s head. In the end, Thanos ends up with all six stones, and the Avengers are unable to stop him from snapping half of the world’s population out of existence.

So far, Avengers: Endgame is second in overall box office earnings after racking in 2.2 billion dollars nine days after its initial release. James Cameron’s Avatar currently holds the number one spot with 2.8 billion dollars globally despite the new movie breaking the record for opening weekend earnings.

Endgame is the finale Marvel fans needed without realizing they needed it. While watching, I went through an entire stack of napkins to wipe my tears as I was not prepared for the emotions the last hour and a half the movie would evoke. In 2015, I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron in the theatre with my dad, and it started a tradition of going to see every Marvel movie with him. The MCU has been a huge part of my life and watching a chapter close not only hurts but gives me hope for a brighter future.