Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of a 22 film story that began back in 2008—so, obviously, it provides a lot of answers. And yet, much of it left us still scratching our heads in ways both good and bad. Yes, dear readers, we still have questions and, below, we’ll try to figure out the answers.
Everything below here should be considered a major spoiler, of course. Beware.
One of the biggest questions comes right at the beginning of the film. Mere hours before certain death, and seemingly out of nowhere, Captain Marvel shows up to save Tony and Nebula, who have been floating in space for three weeks. How she found them exactly isn’t answered, unless you assume the “Where’s Fury?” scene at the end of Captain Marvel has already happened before the start of Endgame. If that’s the case, it also explains why the Avengers aren’t amazed to find a flying, glowing, human returning their beloved Iron Man from space. Hypothetically, Captain Marvel answered Fury’s page, came to Earth, talked to the Avengers and explained herself (which, unimportant as it may be, we would’ve loved to see) and then they asked her to go looking for Tony.
Yes. Director Joe Russo plays a man at Captain America’s support group who happens to be gay. Much, much more on that here:
Yes. Think about it. After killing Thanos (which was quite the surprise, huh?), the Avengers have no options or hope for five years. Then, one day, a rat in a storage facility accidentally touches a button, Scott Lang is released from the Quantum Realm, and the ball gets rolling. We wonder if that rat will have any significance moving ahead. Probably not.
In the film, Tony Stark figured out time travel seemingly overnight. However, there’s no real indication of how much time has passed since he turned down Captain America, Black Widow, and Ant-Man. Days? Weeks? Something like that, most likely. Plus, we can tell he had been working on it for at least a little bit, as per his dialogue of giving it one last try before bed. Odds are he’d been noodling around with the idea for at least a few days before cracking it.
One of the fun early reveals in Endgame is that Asgard, which was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok, has established new residency somewhere along a body of water. To get there, Rocket and Hulk take a spaceship from New York, but there’s no clear indication if they leave Earth or not. If it is Earth, the village looks like it could be in northern Europe, especially per some of the language on its sign. Would a country really just let a whole other alien population establish residency on its shores, though? We think so, simply because that’s what happened in the comics in the mid-’00s.
In Infinity War, we learn that half of the Asgardians who left Asgard escaped before Thanos attacked their ship. Among them were Valkyrie and Korg. We don’t know how or when that group met back up with Thor, or where they were in the meantime, but maybe we’ll find out one day.
Endgame tries to put a new twist on time travel, as per Hulk and Nebula explaining to Scott and Rhody that time travel movies like Back to the Future are bullshit. Their theory is if you travel to the past and change something, the future you return to would be a different future, not the one you returned from. Which makes sense. But then in Endgame, they do exactly that. Multiple times. So we don’t really have an answer to this except to say time travel is impossible and if the story makes sense for the most part, don’t overthink it. We might have to discuss this one more though.
When looking for the Time Stone back in 2012, Hulk is disappointed to find that Stephen Strange has yet to become the Sorcerer Supreme and instead, it’s the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton. Thankfully though, she knows who Strange is and what he’ll become, which seems odd since it hasn’t happened yet. Remember though, she’s the fucking Sorcerer Supreme and previous MCU movies, like Infinity War, clearly established that Sorcerers can see the future.
Yes, next question.
After capturing Loki and saving New York, the Avengers make Hulk take the stairs back to the bottom of Stark Tower. It’s a funny gag that has insane consequences. Hulk knocks future Tony out, revealing the Tesseract and letting Loki escape, hypothetically creating some kind of alternate timeline (more on that in a second). If that hadn’t happened though, Tony and Steve would have just gone home with their mission a success and not visited the ‘70s. Tony wouldn’t have seen and reassured his dad, Steve wouldn’t have known Peggy was thinking about him and, well, maybe each would have suffered a different fate because of it. Lots of fallout from one small decision.
In the main timeline of the MCU, after the Battle of New York, Thor takes Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard, where it safely stays until Loki steals it back in Ragnarok. But, because of time travel, there’s now an alternate timeline where Loki escaped the Avengers with the Tesseract before going back to Asgard, meaning Thor: The Dark World probably didn’t happen at the very least (which some fans may be happy about). Sure, it was corrected when Tony and Steve went even further back in time in the film’s timeline, but there is almost certainly now another one where Loki is off doing god knows what. So, we don’t know, but maybe Loki’s Disney+ show will answer the question.
When Tony and Steve are running around at the SHIELD base in 1970, a character played by Yvette Nicole Brown tries to apprehend them and describes Tony’s beard as more Mungo Jerry than Bee Gees. What’s Mungo Jerry, you ask? Well, here you go. And we must say, she nailed it.
Guardians of the Galaxy clearly establishes that normal beings can’t simply just hold Infinity Stones in their hands. Even Thanos needs a gauntlet to wield them. But, in Endgame, Hulk just holds the Time Stone like it’s nothing, everyone is running around with the Gauntlet like it’s nothing, then Tony Stark, a mortal, uses the stones. It kills him, yes, and before that he used almost a surgical tool to handle them, but it seems like the rules of the stones got a little thrown out of the window here. Maybe it’s a stone by stone thing since Hawkeye holds the Soul Stone and the Red Skull holds the Tesseract, with and without gloves, at certain points in the series.
There’s a touching moment in Endgame when Steve hides from guards in the ‘70s SHIELD facility only to realize he’s in Peggy Carter’s office. Then he sees Peggy through a window in her office and proceeds to stare at her through the window even as she’s like inches from him, but she never sees him. There’s no real explanation here except, maybe she just didn’t look up or see him out of the corner of her eye, or her office has a view into a one-sided mirror. That would seem odd but it’s possible, we guess.
Yes. James D’Arcy, who played Jarvis in the Agent Carter TV show, became, we think, the first TV created Marvel character to appear in a film. That’s probably because the film’s writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, created that show—and maybe because it was a shorter series with less complicated mythology than other shows, in their minds they consider it canon.
So Black Widow 100 percent dies in Endgame. The film hammers that home on multiple occasions by saying “it can’t be reversed” and that even with the Infinity Stones, she can’t be brought back. So, we assume, she joined Vision and Gamora as people who weren’t snapped from existence and have to stay dead. However, if she really is dead, what’s going to happen with her solo movie that’s coming out, which is part of Phase Four? It would almost certainly have to be a prequel and not about bringing her back. And if it’s a prequel, how would that inform future movies, or will it simply not have to? Time will tell on this one.
When searching for the Soul Stone, Red Skull calls Widow the “daughter of Ivan” which, we find out, is information she was unaware of. They could be referring to Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov, a character from the comics who was Widow’s guardian, but not technically her father, who maybe is being changed slightly for the movies. I’m guessing we’ll get more on that moment in the Black Widow movie.
The whole third act of Endgame is possible because 2014 Nebula poses as 2023 Nebula to return to 2023, and allows 2014 Thanos to come into the future. Between those two moments, we see the Avengers mourning Widow on a dock as well as Hulk’s snap, and Nebula is never there. Why she wouldn’t want to partake in those events after all her hard work is beyond us, as is why the Avengers didn’t look for her. Maybe they are just used to her being a loner. Or maybe the movie just had to get on with it.
One of the best moments in Endgame is when Captain America pulls a Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and wields Thor’s former hammer, Mjölnir. In that moment, Thor exclaims “I knew it!” Which, if you’ve been paying attention, is a subtle nod back to Avengers: Age of Ultron when everyone tried to lift Thor’s hammer and only one person even budged it: Cap. So finally, we see that payoff.
In order to help the Avengers, Gamora and 2023 Nebula try to convince 2014 Nebula to get on board with betraying Thanos. She struggles but ultimately refuses, so 2023 Nebula kills her. Now, you may think that should have killed 2023 Nebula too. And, in other time travel movies, maybe it would have. Endgame makes it very clear though that traditional time travel rules aren’t being followed here. The 2014 Nebula going back to 2023 doesn’t replace herself, she becomes a second whole person whose present is now 2023. The good 2023 Nebula never had that experience. They’re different people with different pasts so, killing her other is like killing another person.
There’s no surprise when 2014 Gamora turns on Thanos and helps the Avengers defeat him. She was about to do the same in her timeline anyway (as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy). Next, we see her meet Peter Quill, who she was completely unaware of, and then teams up with all the other women of the MCU in another standout moment. After that though, we don’t see her again. We see Peter searching for her on his ship but that search is never completed. We are left to assume that either she disappeared with Tony’s snap (unlikely) or she ran off somewhere with 2023 Nebula, which could be possibly be resolved in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That seems the most likely, simply because it would bring all the stars of that franchise together while not ruining the impact of her death in Infinity War.
Two of the only unsnapped heroes who don’t fight in the big final battle are Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, though their daughter Hope Van Dyne does. It’s a little disappointing, but we’d say chalk it up to them just being older and Michael Douglass and Michelle Pfeiffer not having time for that shit.
Even at three hours, showing where every single character in the MCU was would have been a challenge. So, it makes sense for some characters, like Luis and the X-Con guys, not to be in Endgame. However, Cassie (Scott Lang’s now older daughter) did seem oddly home alone when they reunited, and Agent Coulson, fresh off a Captain Marvel appearance, probably would have been back for Tony’s funeral. However, his omission feels like it could be a subtle wink from the filmmakers that Agents of SHIELD is still happening.
Seeing Pepper Potts rock an Iron Man suit is one of the big, fun surprises of that final battle. And, with Tony now dead, doesn’t the world seen need an Iron Man? Or, better yet, an Iron Woman? Maybe, but we’d imagine Pepper Potts will likely concentrate on raising her daughter with Tony, Morgan. Though, what Morgan plans on doing in the future is anyone’s guess. But if you’d like to factor in real-world hints, Gwyneth Paltrow seems pretty done with superheroics.
As Endgame comes to a close, we see a lot of dusted characters reunite with their friends and family. One of particular interest is Peter Parker and his friend Ned, who see each other in school. Peter was “dead,” so it makes sense that he didn’t age. But Ned is also the same age and still in school, which he wouldn’t have been since he was a sophomore in Homecoming. Far from Home will certainly answer this, but it seems likely Ned and Peter’s other friends were all snapped away by Thanos so they could conveniently pick up where they left off.
Almost everyone at Tony’s funeral is recognizable, even some more tertiary characters like William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross. But one person certainly stands out. It’s that teenage kid standing alone that we see before Ross and Agent Hill. Well, if you aren’t sure who that is, rewatch Iron Man 3. It’s actor Ty Simpkins, who played young Iron Man fan Harley Keener in that film and has now grown up. It’s one of many surprising nods to the older MCU in Endgame.
After Thor leaves New Asgard in the capable hands of Valkyrie, he takes a ride into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who he lovingly jokes are now the “Asgardians of the Galaxy.” And while we have no way of knowing if Thor will remain part of the team in the third Guardians film, once again being directed by James Gunn, you’d have to think he’ll at least appear, if not be a full-fledged member. His banter with Star-Lord is too good to just give up on. And maybe we’ll get that knife fight after all.
After Captain America returns all the Infinity Stones (more on that in a second), he chose to stay in the past and finally be with his true love, Peggy. Which is sweet but kind of problematic, right? Did he really just stop using his powers of good in this timeline? Did the Avengers assemble without him at the helm? It’s hard to understand but we’re guessing the answer is somewhere in Hulk’s speech about time travel. Maybe once he returned the stones in a world where Thanos’ snap had been reversed, he went to the past of that time, an unknown past. A time where, one can assume, he either wasn’t needed as Captain America. Or, more likely, he was Captain America, just without the ice nap. So, by the time Tony Stark came around, Cap was just too old to join up. Maybe he even helped for another iteration of the Avengers. It’s confusing for sure.
As established in Infinity War, the Soul Stone is unique among the Infinity Stones, as its the only one which requires you to sacrifice someone for it, leaving it out in the open for you to pick up afterward. You’d think giving it back wouldn’t be an easy task but that, maybe, it could bring Black Widow back. We don’t know exactly how it went down but, more than likely, Red Skull simply accepted it and will keep it for the next person. The price was paid. The stone was used.
Marvel has yet to 100 percent confirm the movies coming in the next few years, but we do know four streaming shows are on the way. There’s WandaVision, The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Loki, and What if? Just by its very nature, What If? is kind of a canon throwaway, but Endgame does give us some ideas of what the other shows may be. Vision does not come back (or even appear) in Endgame, so one has to assume it will be a show set before, or during, Infinity War. Loki could have been a similar show, showing his exploits between previous movies, but now with him escaping with the Tesseract in a new timeline, maybe the show is about that? Finally, it seems very likely now with Falcon becoming the new Captain America (which, yes, happened), that his show could be about him learning how to step into that role, with the help of his buddy the Winter Soldier.
For the first time in 11 years, Marvel chose not to give one of its movies an end credit scene. Clearly, that was done for a reason and we’d imagine it was so fans would leave the theater thinking about the movie itself and not a tease of what’s next, and to truly give this chapter real closure. Plus, if you consider we see Sam becoming Captain America, Thor leaving with the Guardians, Peter seeing Ned, it really has a bunch of similar scenes, they’re just in the movie as opposed to after the credits.
Actually, at the end of the credits, there is something. It’s a sound of a hammer hitting metal and, if it sounded familiar, 10 points to Gryffindor. That was Tony Stark building the Mark 1 in the cave in the first Iron Man, which you can see here. It’s the sound of Tony Stark building the MCU in a way, which is a nice note to go out on. The sound that started it all.
With no end credits scene, Marvel is still keeping fans in the dark about where the films will go from here. Especially since Endgame killed off Black Widow, making it all but certain that her solo film is a prequel. So who are the new Avengers? Are there new Avengers? What’s the next big task? Well, the sky is the limit. The Eternals are going to be introduced, giving the cosmic side of things a new layer. There’s more Spider-Man, more Black Panther, more Doctor Strange, and more Guardians of the Galaxy, maybe even with Thor. The Skrulls are still out there—good Skrulls but Skrulls nonetheless. We’re going to see Captain Marvel again, for sure. And Endgame set up the possibility for not one, but many spin-off timelines from the main one where Tony Stark is now dead and Captain America is an old man. Who’s to say Marvel doesn’t Secret Wars everything and scramble those timelines, giving us new characters and new versions of old characters, all in the same movie? It’s possible. Anything is at this point.
Correction: I’m dumb. The “present” in Endgame isn’t 2019, it’s 2023. All references to 2019 characters have been updated as such. Thanks to Yolanda for the heads up. Go read her Captain Marvel review.
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