With the recent announcement of Marvel Studio’s Phase 4 slate, I figured it was finally time to impart some opinions I have concerning Endgame (I appreciate how long it’s been and how redundant anything I have to say is but still, I need a little bit of closure on it all), Far From Home and a brief unload of initial thoughts on what Phase 4 offers up for the future of the MCU.
SPOILER WARNING: This definitely concerns Endgame but I will endeavour to keep my commentary on Far From Home as spoiler free as possible. Proceed with caution nonetheless.
Endgame, as a whole, was an enjoyable experience. Whilst repeat viewings did indicate a strong personal preference for the final act, the time travel aspect surprised me in its fleshing out of Avengers Assemble and, even more so, Thor: The Dark World which was a wholly forgettable experience. Thor’s interactions with his mother were honestly so wonderful that it did help the two hour wait for the final battle feel worth it. In a similar vein, Tony’s conversation with his father reflected just how much Tony’s grown as a person since his first appearance in 2008.
The final act, as I’m sure many will agree, was a spectacle of cosmic proportions. It stood as a testament to just how huge the universe has grown with a plethora of characters joining the fight against Thanos and his forces. From Capt. America wielding Mjolnir to Capt. Marvel’s rather spectacular takedown of Thanos’ ship (I was admittedly really confused as to why they were firing at the sky. My first thought that Thanos was launching a barrage against New York, forcing the allied heroic forces to split up and go and sort out the chaos whilst keeping up the fight. Captain Marvel punching through the ship made more sense in retrospect), it was just so overwhelmingly fantastic.
However, it was in the aftermath of the battle that film truly shone in my opinion. I will confess to welling up over the passing of Tony Stark but I rapidly made peace with the fact, primarily due to what Pepper (Who rocked in the Rescue armour) said. Whilst he was the cornerstone of this universe, it will be okay without him (Though I entirely anticipate his return as an AI system for either the Avengers or Morgan later down the line).
The MCU has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a cave and no where does it feel more apparent than at Stark’s Funeral. As the camera panned back at all the characters in attendance, it showed just how many fantastical beings have been introduced and, furthermore, thrived in the MCU. This offered the closure I needed that, whilst Robert Downey Jr’s active presence in the MCU will be sorely missed, there are plenty of characters left with whom we can enjoy countless more adventures, thanks, in no small way, to him.
However, there was an element of bittersweetness to Endgame’s finale that I initially argued against being the case in one of several wonderful discussions with one of my flatmates. Upon further thought however, I couldn’t help but appreciate the position.
Tony’s final monologue played over a series of shots that evoked similar feelings as those experienced at the end of Return of the Jedi. Whilst I have enjoyed the sequel trilogy thus far, there was a fantastic sense of completeness in the closing moments of RotJ which I couldn’t help but draw comparison to with Endgame. Part of me was content with the idea of Marvel Studios turning round and saying they were done. The future beyond Far From Home (I accepted that it was happening, that and I love Spider-man so I was more than happy for another solo feature) was full of uncertainty. Those anxieties have been somewhat quelled with recent news but at the time I was left rather nervous to see just where they were going to take the MCU next. It’s a rather difficult feeling to express in written form but if Endgame had been the last MCU film ever, I would have been able to appreciate the decision and enjoy the Infinity Saga in all its self-contained glory.
However, we didn’t have to wait long for the next instalment, coming in the form of Spider-man: Far From Home. As mentioned above, I’m rather biased when it concerns Spidey but I did recognise just how quickly it appeared after Endgame, the dust only just beginning to settle emotionally. That being said, as the plot unfolded I can understand why it fell to Spider-man’s second solo feature for the fallout of Endgame to be addressed. Peter and Tony’s relationship has cropped up in all their co-features and seeing Peter come to terms with the loss his mentor was difficultly beautiful.
I don’t want to touch on it too much but Peter’s relationship with Mysterio demonstrates just how powerful their connection was, leading to a particularly extreme visual that I won’t discuss any further because it was so unsettling. Aside from that, it was also great to see Peter work out who he wanted to be in the aftermath of Endgame, addressing my primary concern with Homecoming being that he felt more like Iron Man Jr than Spider-man (The comparison was still there but it certainly felt more like it stemmed from Peter’s own talent). Apologies for being somewhat vague but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to see it. If you haven’t already, I would recommend watching it, not only for its handling of Endgame but also because the entire cast is simply fantastic and deliver brilliant performances across the board.
To conclude, San Diego Comic Con delivered huge news concerning Phase 4. Admittedly, I haven’t watched any of the actual footage so I’ll hold off making any kind of lengthy discussion on what’s been announced but I do just want to off-load a couple of burning thoughts that have come to mind with the announcements. First, concerning the new TV shows I’m am incredibly excited for Hawkeye. I’m hoping it draws a least a little bit from Matt Fraction’s run on the character (Hands down one of my favourite comic book series ever), especially with the introduction of Kate Bishop. The other shows lined up also look fantastic but more on those in a future post. On the movie side of things, my previous anxieties have been calmed. Again, I’ll discuss in more detail in a future post just what I’m excited about but the slate, including the likes of Black Widow, Shang Chi and Blade, offers real potential for some wildly different kinds of stories compared to what we’ve seen before. Blade has me particularly excited, both in his official introduction into the MCU and in its implications concerning Spider-man. More on that soon.
Hello all, apologies for the incredibly long hiatus. I honestly haven’t had the motivation to write anything over the past couple of months, what with exams and then just unwinding from finishing first year. It was a widely fantastic year but I’ve been taking a rather extended break since starting my summer holiday. I won’t make any concrete promises concerning future posts but I definitely want to unpack the majority of what was announced at SDCC amongst other things. At the very least I can say stay tuned and thanks for sticking around!