Avengers: Endgame (a review)

Day 20. 64 pages, 30,109 words.

Well here it is. The ending to the grand and sweeping saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and specifically the closure to the Avengers: Infinity War half of the adventure. There will be other movies but this, as they say, looks like it for the Original Band.

Here’s a little music.

There’s so much to talk about here, it’s hard to say how much of it is about this movie and how much is about the two-movie set, and how much is about the entire extended mythos. Hard to know where to start.

So I shall just start by saying God damn what a fun movie this was.

Here’s a (SPOILER-FILLED) review that I largely agree with. If you’re pining for video content Emergency Awesome has all you could want. I disagree with him on the minutiae of the post-Infinity War stuff, but … well, more details below.

Since there was really nothing about this movie I didn’t like, and basically every scene and line warrants recitation and accolades, I guess I could do that.

I could also mention some of the little things in the movie that bugged me, even though at the same time some of those very things were still plusses.

endgame (1)

Like, Marvel definitely just straight-up lie in their trailers. Ryan George already told us this but now it’s confirmed.

The risk with the former approach is that it’s kind of mindless, and the risk with the latter is that the ‘bugged me’s will get blown up into perceived criticisms and in the absence of anything else it will look like I had a bunch of problems with the movie.

Well, I didn’t. I loved it. It’s going in my top five favourite movies of all time (actual list may not exist). So I’m going to walk a bit of a line here and just offer whatever review-adjacent excited babbling I can muster.

I will arrange it, I think, into a little series of vignettes entitled…


At First I… But Then I…:

An Avengers: Endgame review


At first I was concerned at how extended, depressing, and uneventful the first act was – although this was almost entirely because I thought Wump might not sit for it. But then I realised that this is perhaps the first, and absolutely the most faithful and comprehensive, look at what happens to a fictional world after The Bad Guy Wins. What the heroes do after they’ve failed. And it was incredible. Emergency Awesome remarked that some of this was a bit dragged out and he could have done without the Ant-Man extended wandering through the halved world? He could have popped out, gone straight to Cassie, then to the Avengers’ compound? Tish and pish I say! They played that exactly right. It was like a little snippet of The Stand right where it was needed, to show the human scale of this. Ant-Man has, at the character’s and movies’ core, been excellent at that.

Plus there was the false-start revenge arc in the middle of it to add a bit of action (and give us a satisfying-but-pointless insight into what simple blood vengeance would look like), and although Wump did fidget a little bit, she fidgets all the goddamn time so all in all this was fine.

Best of all, they stuck to it. We always knew the heroes were going to magically undo the finger-snap and save the characters that turned to ash. But my main concern was that it would just be (to borrow a phrase) super easy, barely an inconvenience, and the rest of the movie would be a bunch of ‘Avenging’ against Thanos somehow. Which would also have been fun to watch, but they did it better. It wasn’t easy. It was the main job of the movie, and they almost didn’t even start because they’d basically just plain gotten used to the idea that they’d lost.

And speaking of which, the sheer diversity in the ways each character reacted to the disaster … simply brilliant. Captain America reacted to it by Captain Americaing the shit out of it, support groups and all. Black Widow tried to wrap herself up in SHIELD, the only place that ever really treated her like a person. And there were more, of course. Which segues me nicely into the next vignettes.

At first I thought what the fuck have they done with Thor? But then I remembered that while yes, he was a lot of fun as a High Fantasy Straight Man in the Marvel Comedic Universe (the other MCU…), he was even more fun as the fish out of water Demigod we saw in Thor: Ragnarok. And it even held together in terms of character arc and motivation. Think about it: we first see Thor in Asgard, being a grand Norse badass. Then he arrives on Earth and is comically larger than life in almost every sense, due to his loss of powers. Then we see him back in his natural element(ish) in Avengers Assemble and Thor: The Dark World. Then he basically loses his powers and becomes the amusing trope out of water again in Thor: Ragnarok, paving the way for him to be the serious-yet-funny version of him we see in Infinity War. And finally, with his collapse into despair and drunkenness, we see him in this movie.

And if anyone is concerned at his (inevitable, by the direction of the other movies) ‘relegation’ to comic relief, or the cheapness of the fat jokes (oh no! Fat shaming in 2019!) that were aimed at him because doing nothing but sit around drinking beer will do that to your body and this is what giving up sometimes looks like … well, you can be concerned if you like. As a fat guy, I’m giving Marvel official permission to make fun. After all, it wasn’t out of character. Yes, if someone suffered a humiliating defeat, blamed themselves, lost almost everybody they loved and sank into depression, I would expect an awful lot of us to not make jokes about how said person also got a bit tubby. But Rhodey, Rocket, Stark … the people making the jokes were the sort of damaged people, heroic or not, who would make those jokes. And Thor took it, because he was in a bad place. It was actually pretty amazing.

And then there was Professor Hulk. At first I was worried that this was utterly unjustified and unsupported comic book readers’ fan service (to be clear I haven’t read any of this stuff but I have heard a lot about it from various sources and done a spot of research) that just sort of came out of nowhere, but then I remembered that this was coming full-force ever since Thor: Ragnarok – and even before that, with his glimmers of emergent … well, merging, in Age of Ultron. Yeah, it was a bit weird at first, and a bit jarring the way they told us what had happened rather than showing anything about the process … but no, the working was all there, and I’m willing to let them shortcut on this one a bit. I’m still not entirely clear on how this ties into Hulk’s refusal to emerge in Infinity War, but that’s okay. I can take it on faith.

So that was about it for Act 1. Act 2 takes us straight into the Time Heist. Best goddamn name for a plan ever, by the way. And the only thing it lacked was a big crayon-drawn plan sheet made by Deadpool. I mean, a man can dream, right?

At first I sighed and rolled my eyes a little bit when I heard Lang say “time travel”. I was dubious about how they were going to use the Quantum Realm anyway, and it seemed like ‘time travel’ and ‘travel inside the soul stone somehow’ were the only alternatives being thrown around and I didn’t know what that second one would look like. To be honest I wasn’t sure what the first one would look like either, but it wasn’t like this. And as soon as time travel becomes a thing in a movie franchise or fictional universe, things are about to get messy. But then I … just went with it, because fuck it, time travel, okay.

No, alright, I did sort of have some problems with the plan but I want to bookend them with the following disclaimer: I really, really liked the Time Heist despite all its issues, because it was fucking cool. I’m fine with it and totally satisfied.

So, what issues? Well, at first I thought okay, they’ve really clumsily lampshaded all the other time travel movies and explained how their time travel will be different, even though the characters have never done it before but okay, they’re smart so let’s just believe them, nothing they do will affect the past or any point between the past and the present, and so they will only be able to affect the present onwards, got it. But then I realised that they were going to use that premise to basically hand-wave every little away under the big rug o’ nonsense. But then I noticed that the sorcerers had made it clear that taking the Infinity Stones away from their times and carrying them to a locked present after their destruction would actually cause spin-off realities of horror to occur. But then I found out that apparently that would all be okay, as long as they put the old stones back exactly where they came from, negating the ‘it’s fine, we can take them and they’ll still be there in the past’ premise. But then I also found out that they could restore Gamora to the timeline by bringing a past version of her into the locked present, but apparently they’re not going to try to do that with any other character who died. But then I realised that okay, there are a few characters who could arguably be saved that way, but characters like Vision and Tony (just for example) sort of have a locked-down destiny that would severely mess things up if they were taken away and allowed to live on in the present-futureBUT THEN I realised that it shouldn’t matter because that’s not how time works and they could have been taken out of the past without affecting the past, and if they could do it then some Thanos loyalist could do it to Thanos.

And that was when I stopped thinking about it at all. It was time travel. We will never understand it and frankly we’re all lucky that time is not actually a thing that actually happens and the entire monstrously complicated simultaneous universe is filtered through our linear perception of duration and space anyway. So whatever. This is why Thor drinks.

Then again, at first I was disappointed in Thanos’s counterstrike. So, what, he finds out a) that he definitely gets all six Infinity Stones in the near future with all the certainty of predetermination; b) exactly how he dies after achieving his ultimate goal; c) that Gamora and Nebula will turn on him with all the certainty of the aforementioned predetermination; d) that he has eyes and ears inside the enemy camp and knows their plan; and e) how to do time travel … and this was what he came up with to do? Fly his spaceship into the middle of it all, blow it to fuck and then send extreme betrayal risk Nebula to get the fully-loaded Infinity Gauntlet and bring it to him?

Okay, but then I came to accept that most of the other stuff that he could potentially have done with the power of time travel would have been far less epically watchable and would probably have resulted in him winning again and hardly anyone in the audience would have tolerated that, but still.

Also, he’s super-powerful and retribution-oriented, and by the time Avengers start turning up from the future he’s taking their fuckery very personally, so his decision to smack them in the face and then destroy everything was fairly in-character. Especially given that he’s got a certain amount of tactical smarts but they mostly rely on massive firepower and bashing the fuck out of things, because he’s The Mad Titan. So yeah, it works. Just don’t think about time travel too much. This is another reason we needed Deadpool with his crayons.

Anyway, the Time Heist worked, and some of the references and nods and special effects and writing and cameo appearances in there were just … God, how amazing. The way they folded the old movie footage in, the way they bent the old storylines and plot points around the interfering Time Heistmeisters, the absolute stability and fully-realisedness of the Marvel mythologyperfect. No no no – perfect.

Anyone who wants to tell me it wasn’t perfect, just remember that Captain America whispered “hail Hydra” and walked the fuck away with Loki’s sceptre. Then hang your head in shame at how wrong you were. And no, don’t think about how flimsy and unbelievable that “hail Hydra” bluff is. Hang and walk, fucko. Hang and walk.

So then the final battle began, and lo, it was fucking incredible and epic on every level. And alright, at first I was concerned, very briefly, at the part where Spidey has to break through the lines and get the Infinity Gauntlet to Ant-Man’s Time Van. It seemed a little forced, in terms of who was where on the battlefield, to suddenly have a line-up of exclusively female characters to help. I worried, for a moment, that it was a bit on the nose. But then I saw it was such a great fucking line-up of characters, and Mrs. Hatboy and Wump were like “look! They’re all girls!”, and I decided it was great, and fuck you if you disagree, you’re wrong. So that was pretty much that.

At first I didn’t even realise who the additional woman in the Iron Man suit was, and when I realised it was Pepper Potts it was a little bit jarring because I kind of missed the part where she got the suit even though the helmet and “she never wears anything I get for her” was referenced earlier, it was just a bit abrupt. Also her face was difficult to recognise inside the helmet for some reason and I just didn’t make the connection. But then I figured that sure, fair enough, it was great that she stepped up. It would have been even cooler if she’d never had the Extremis virus deactivated at the end of Iron Man 3, or just reactivated it in order to be a somewhat different and more epic hero than just another butt-kicker in a metal suit. But it’s alright, it was cool.

Oh, and I’m upset that I missed Eitri and the other dwarves in the final battle scene if they were there. If they weren’t there, I’m upset about that. They should have been. But y’know, maybe Dinklage was busy.

At first I was baffled about how inconsistent the Infinity Gauntlet rules seemed to be. For a start, everyone seemed to uniformly end up with a charred arm and side of the face, regardless of what they were trying to do. But then I realised that it all checked out and was brilliant, because Thanos was a Titan, Hulk was a gamma-enhanced monstrosity, and Tony was just a dude. And, respectively, Thanos killed half of all life (and then destroyed the Infinity Stones which was what appeared to do him the most damage), Hulk brought half of all life back, and Tony was just wiping out Thanos and his army across a small segment of countryside.

It also makes perfect sense that Thanos and Hulk would blow out the Infinity Gauntlet doing their things, but Tony’s thing with the second Gauntlet (did they make too many Gauntlets too easily, after what we saw of Nidavellir in Infinity War? Maybe. Who cares? Not me, that’s who) perhaps wouldn’t. I kind of missed whether it did or not. Either way, I think it’s forgivable.

That’s it for the vignettes.

Captain Marvel was amazing, just over-powered enough and just utilised enough to make sense but not be an absolute floor-wiper.

The death of Tony Stark had Wump bawling in shock and sorrow, which covered my own manly sniffles quite nicely. And the showing at his funeral, Happy and the rest, the wreath … all of it. Just all of it. What an incredible scene. It’s really something when you can pan through a crowd of black-clad mourners at a funeral, and see Drax the Destroyer and Groot, and not miss a sad, sad beat.

Hats off, Marvel. You did it. You fucking nailed it.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark.

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132 Responses to Avengers: Endgame (a review)

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    So, I actually am truly torn on this movie. I can agree with your entire review, but for me the downsides are not only worth mentioning but they bring it down a few pegs for me. I saw a lot of gratuitous scenes, and many of them were worth it (like America’s butt, I can do this all day — yeah yeah, stuff like that) but many more of them fell flat for me. I expected this movie to be much better, TBH, and would place it below Infinity War, and probably below Captain Marvel as well. I know that will upset some who read this but I don’t care. Captain Marvel was better. Especially considering the baggage many brought with them into the theater, it still kicked ass. I expect Screen Rant to back me up with the review of Endgame.

    So, yes all the positives here worked for me. There was a LOT that really bothered me.

    Numero Uno is insane OP Thanos. I mean what the fuck even was that? He didn’t have any infinity stones and he easily handled many Avengers, some of the strongest ones, and took stunning blow after stunning blow only to just turn it around again and dominate. I understand that level of power was necessary for this plot to even work. That excuse doesn’t work on me. I was annoyed and frustrated by that. Now, if he’d fought with Black Maw and Proxima Midnight etc. from the start, once he came forward in time, then I could have accepted those defeats. But he didn’t even stinking need the Infinity stones, FFS.

    But, the bringing him forward in time, I loved. I wasn’t sure what her betrayal would be. That surprised me. And I wasn’t surprised by much in the movie, I have to say. I know there were smarter ways he could have stopped them, but like you I don’t care.

    I didn’t catch what happened with the second infinity gauntlet and the disappearing stones, BTW. Do you think Tony created some kind of affinity for them so that his gauntlet sucked them out of Thanos’s version? Something like that?

    The time travel was garbage. Sorry. I mean you allude to them stating all the issues to pretend they’re avoiding them, agreed. But what they did still has all the issues of time travel. They were doing a magician’s trick making us focus on the infinity stones, and as long as they were returned properly, all would be in the same timeline. That’s just not how it would most likely work. Taking the stone isn’t the only thing that would branch off a timeline, of course. Every thing would. The accepted science is that you can travel into your past but any change would basically put you in your own version of everything–you couldn’t get back. You’d change your timeline but not the one where everyone else you actually knew was. But you know, hey, you wouldn’t really know that.

    But that’s so boring, amirite?? Well, you might say “yes, professor, so do you have a better idea?” Well, yes I do, thanks for asking. There’s these things called the infinity stones. One is the time stone, and one is the space stone. Seems to me, based on what they can accomplish, if you used just those 2 in conjunction, you could precisely travel to the correct timeline. No? If they’d added that in, I’d be on board. As it was, Time Heist is just as silly as every other time travel scenario.

    And that’s what bothers me. why didn’t anyone think of that?

    I felt they sidelined Captain Marvel for 90% of the movie (by time) because of the hatred of Brie Larson. They also underpowered her, it seemed, against Thanos. There’s a lot of baggage there, thank you insecure white men, so it’s hard to separate it all. I feel they gave Cap’s shield to Falcon because of diversity reasons, when really it should have gone to Bucky. I feel that Lotus was silly in that charging fight scene because can she even fight? And her body language, hilariously, kind of seemed to show that. The actress seemed to be like “ok, what am I doing here?” So I forgave that one even though it was silly. Hulk’s line about Black Widow and using the gauntlet fell flat because he had 5 years to be with her and he didn’t, and then she’d been gone for like 2 days when he used the gauntlet. Really, you missed her so badly in those 2 days?

    Dad body Thor was awesome and definitely stole the scenes for me, just to throw some more positive in there. And I really liked Nebula’s conflict in this movie, that was really great. Seeing loyal Nebula was cool. Seeing the defeat set in on Thanos’s face at several moments was really good, too. When he sat down, damn, that was great. Right before the dusting?

    First scene with Hawkeye, amazing, really killed me. Brought the two movies together in a great way. And everyone online had it wrong, he wasn’t training the next Hawkeye. Well, at least not ostensibly. That was the connecting tissue to the Snap. Damn.

    I guess that’s enough for now, I had a lot more but want to see what others make of this stuff.

    • JonathanBloom says:

      Thanos already whooped everyone’s asses in Infinity War, he’s always been more powerful than singular Avengers by themselves.

      They also shot this before Captain Marvel, any incel-reactions to her didn’t make any difference with this film. Not even gonna touch the “diversity reasons” thing with a ten foot pole.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Meh there’s always editorial decisions to be made throughout the process. She was underpowered, and underutilized. That’s all I have to go by, aside from the fact of white men losing their shit over one sentence she said (Brie Larson, I mean).

        As for the shield, you can avoid the triggery “diversity” word by just discussing whether Falcon or the Winter Soldier is more appropriate for receiving the shield. If there’s a better case for Falcon, I’d love to hear it. As it was, it didn’t work for me. Especially with the Winter Solder standing right freaking there. LOL

      • stchucky says:

        I agree that Falcon is a way better choice for Captain America than the Winter Soldier. Bucky may be fully recovered from being an actual Soviet asset for decades, and murdering who-knows how many US and international citizens, and many other things, but even if anyone else wanted him to be Cap, he wouldn’t want to be Cap. He and Rogers have too much history, he couldn’t pick up that shield without weeping. Falcon is a US military man through and through, he seems the way clearer choice. Plus he and Cap have post-thawing history together. Cap saw it, and Bucky saw it.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        All right fair enough. I’m letting my unimpressed-ness with Falcon cloud my judgment on that one. I don’t like it, but I relent.

        Hey back to cool stuff, Cap with Mjollnir was fucking amazing. I think my favorite part was the shield-hammer shockwave move, although a shockwave is not as effective as a direct hit. Still though, that’s America’s ass, and it was definitely worthy of that hammer.

        And Scarlet Witch’s revenge, oh man, that is probably my favorite part. “You will” (know my name, can’t remember exactly what she said in the moment). She had him beat. She was taking him apart. And what a fucking shitty coward move to bombard his own troops just to stop her. That probably marked the beginning of the end for him. His fall was already written.

        Oh and Scarlet Witch, one avenger, DID beat him. She had him, it was over. So I still think the combined Avengers with Stormbreaker and Mjollnir should have been able to knock him down for the count, without help from Maw. It wasn’t a single avenger at a time, and again Scarlet Witch did it.

        I’ve been amusing myself thinking about what it was like for the people who were zapped back 5 years later. They sure got their wits about them quickly! And good think Hawkeye kept the same smartphone for 5 years, and his wife found hers damn fast, and it still worked. Wouldn’t, uhh, it be somewhere else. Gone, even? The mechanics of the return are really puzzling if you start thinking about it, that’s just scratching the surface!

        And while we’re talking science, I wish they had spent some time explaining how Tony could know enough to make his own Infinity gauntlet. Obviously he did, it’s done, he would have had to for the movie to even need to be made, I get it. But I wanted some “eigenvalues” around that, if you please. He’s studied some of the stones, but not all…not even sure what it does take to make that gauntlet but apparently it’s not easy. Would have appreciated a little sciencey chat around that aspect.

        “What would be super cool would be that Loki, who we already know is a bit of a superstar when it comes to skipping around the backwaters of different realms, figures out after Avengers Assemble that teaming up with Thanos is a dumb move and so he goes off with the Tesseract – only to find that all these other alternate realities are spawning due to the Avengers’ clumsy interference. So he spends the TV series having adventures in these different streams, trying to get back to the “real” one, and incidentally tying them all back into the main trunk by solving problems somehow. And then doesn’t even get a “thank you” when he reappears.”

        Hah I would love that. He’s great…totally underutilized in this movie but I get it, interference with the past and all that.

        Although…”I can do this all day”. “Yeah, yeah.” Hee!

        “Or Spider-Man’s new movie deals with this, and Mysterio is key to it all.”

        Pretty sure Mysterio is going to be a total faker just as in the comics.

        “Here’s another thing that a friend raised tonight while we were discussing it: all the half-a-universe of living things were brought back five years later, unchanged an unaged, right? So at least for Spider-Man we’re going to need to have it explained either that all of Parker’s classmates vanished (not impossible) or else why they are not all five years older now it’s 2023.

        Also, we’re going to have to see how three or four billion humans – just humans, and just on Earth – reappeared into a world with five years of infrastructure collapse, sociocultural readjustment, and just plain resource reallocation, without immediately causing massive famines and fights over stuff. Thanos should have turned up, destroyed the stones again, and said “LOL” and let the universe balance itself.

        All because Stark didn’t want to risk maybe not having the kid he finally got around to having.”

        Yup those are more of the issues for sure. World-wide issues instead of those just pertaining to the action within the movie, right. So many issues would arise, we could do this all day.

      • stchucky says:

        Alright, here’s a mass-comment response just to kick us off. I hear you on all of these issues (and then some), I guess I just feel pretty okay about them all ultimately. Bummer if they reduced your enjoyment and immersion in the movie.

        Still, a wise man once told me that money talks and bullshit walks, and it looks like this movie is going to make all the moneys.

        Mind you, an even wiser man told that man that some frightful bollocks makes tons of money sometimes, so there you go…

        So, I actually am truly torn on this movie. I can agree with your entire review, but for me the downsides are not only worth mentioning but they bring it down a few pegs for me.

        See, bummer. For real, not being glib.

        I mean, no more so than my normal background state. That thing about the super wise man I mentioned above, that was kinda glib.

        I saw a lot of gratuitous scenes, and many of them were worth it (like America’s butt, I can do this all day — yeah yeah, stuff like that)

        Oh fuck yes. All the little character bits, from the massively overblown father-son schmaltz with Tony Stark Sr. and Jr., to that quiet “hail Hydra” and everything it implies … so good. They were absolutely depending on us all knowing these characters well enough that all of their actions and dialogue made sense, and that was a 110% earned and justified dependence on Marvel’s part.

        I also liked the little … not exactly retcons, but for example the Hulk taking the stairs, and grumbling about it. Not only was it a fantastic cut-scene closure on the fight in Avengers tower, but it served the greater arc. I guess he was under-exposed in terms of dialogue but he really didn’t talk while Hulked out until Thor Ragnarok, so (to return to my theme briefly) at first I thought it was odd to hear him talking in (basically) Avengers Assemble, but then I figured that of course he could talk a little bit, and the increasing loquacity that came with an extended Hulk-stay in Thor Ragnarok was a sign of emergent Professor Hulk.

        The stairs joke was just a beat overdone for my taste, by the way, but it served the plot.

        I expected this movie to be much better, TBH, and would place it below Infinity War, and probably below Captain Marvel as well. I know that will upset some who read this but I don’t care. Captain Marvel was better.

        I really doubt it will upset anyone, subjective opinions are subjective opinions.

        Numero Uno is insane OP Thanos. I mean what the fuck even was that? He didn’t have any infinity stones and he easily handled many Avengers, some of the strongest ones, and took stunning blow after stunning blow only to just turn it around again and dominate. I understand that level of power was necessary for this plot to even work. That excuse doesn’t work on me.

        I never thought about it in terms of “as the plot demands” or “justified by the need for the story to happen”, except for that massive sword of his that we hadn’t seen before (uh, after, chronologically, but before in terms of movies, damn you time travel!) that could smash vibranium and deflect pretty much any energy thrown at it. That seemed a little plot-convenient (my prediction at this point, not having looked to see if it’s done yet, will be that the pitch meeting for this includes the question “will it be hard for Thanos to fight off that many superheroes without the stones?” and the traditional answer[1]), but while I do see that Thanos’s strength was sort of plot-necessary, that didn’t strike me as the only answer.

        [1] Turns out I was wrong, although I’m delighted the cosplay joke occurred to Mr. George as well … and most of the other objections are in there, plus a few extras. And the producer raised the logic / logistics question of the all-female superhero lineup, but I have to agree with the writer – get all the way off my back about it, it was a cool scene.

        Anyway, OP’d Thanos…

        I tried to think my way around it in terms of the character and the timeline, since it seems I’m looking at it more forgivingly than you in this case.

        When we’re introduced to Thanos in terms of movie-release chronology, he’s pretty (over)confident in his power. He’s done a lot of slaughtering of weak and feeble planets, and he never really encounters any threat he considers worthwhile. When the time comes for him to take the stones (I’ll do it myself”) he goes after them one at a time, taking on small groups of superheroes and getting progressively more effortless in dispatching them, yes, because he uses the stones. He doesn’t think much of the Avengers or the Guardians, because he’s never really had anything to do with them. He’s not really fighting them in Infinity War, is my point. He’s just brushing them aside, with occasional lapses like on Titan, and in Wakanda against Stormbreaker for the first unexpected time.

        So yes, when we see him in Wakanda with the completed Infinity Gauntlet, it’s true he still gets caught off-guard by their cohesion and fury, but he is still really only fighting behind the lines to get to Vision, and he’s still just sort of going through the motions. He doesn’t take it personally, he’s completely focussed on his goal. Thor and Stormbreaker almost get him (which I think is a bit of a letdown in the next movie, Stormbreaker seems to have lost most of its effectiveness but it might just be because Thanos is ready for it now[2]), but ultimately he gets the mind stone and does his stuff and limps away, mission accomplished.

        [2] Although this is past-Thanos, and all he’s seen is Stormbreaker beheading him. Still, he’s a bit more prepared.

        When we see past-Thanos in this movie, he’s seen the future through Nebula’s eyes, he knows how it turns out for his own timeline and he’s seen that the Avengers are a huge pain in his big purple arse[3]. He goes after them with nothing-to-lose fury, I think because while yes, he had that angry plan to use the Gauntlet again and destroy everything, all he really needed to do was end the Avengers’ time travelling capability and prevent them from undoing the finger-snap. Anything else he succeeded in doing would be gravy.

        [3] One of the most interesting parts, for me, was that he saw that he’d won, and he saw that he got killed after that, and he was like “oh well, I won, that’s all that matters, the end”. But when he found out they were going to undo it, that was when he got angry. Like Mad Titan angry. He’d never actually been mad before that. Mad, but not mad. You know what I mean, honestly, oi.

        So yeah, he went all-out and so did they. So what we saw was neither side holding back anymore. And he still took hits and he delivered harder ones, and ultimately I’m okay with all that. We saw him face off against superheroes he’d already beaten, or been nearly-beaten by, which was great. And we saw him face Scarlet Witch’s wrath, and her phenomenal power, which (as you say) was amazing.

        He was lucky to hold his owwn the way he did and maybe he shouldn’t have managed to do so against Captain Marvel … but he did yank out the power stone and punch her with it, which was a cool levelling move.

        I didn’t catch what happened with the second infinity gauntlet and the disappearing stones, BTW. Do you think Tony created some kind of affinity for them so that his gauntlet sucked them out of Thanos’s version? Something like that?

        Yeah, I don’t know. I think he just nanobotted them out of the hulk-resized Gauntlet (Gauntlet Mk. 2) and worked them into the other one, but a) there was none of the effort that seemed to have been required to make the original Infinity Gauntlet (aside from a little montage of Professor Hulk and Tony looking at screens and building the Gauntlet Mk. 2 with holdy-clamp things for the stones, which is apparently enough), and b) the Gauntlet Mk. 3 that Tony ends up with isn’t even alluded to anywhere, he just turned out to have made it sometime.

        Which is fine, it was a little plot twist, and we know Tony never makes just one thing when he can make thirty-seven of them. Precedent supports this surprise move. It is known, khaleesi.

        But that’s so boring, amirite?? Well, you might say “yes, professor, so do you have a better idea?” Well, yes I do, thanks for asking. There’s these things called the infinity stones. One is the time stone, and one is the space stone. Seems to me, based on what they can accomplish, if you used just those 2 in conjunction, you could precisely travel to the correct timeline. No? If they’d added that in, I’d be on board. As it was, Time Heist is just as silly as every other time travel scenario.

        It might have been cool if they’d put together a Time Heist to just get the time and space stones, in order to successfully pull off the rest of the heist without wrecking a bunch of timelines. Then they could have done one facet of the Time Heist to get the required stones, and another to get the rest, then it could have gone Loki-shaped and required a deeper dive to get more Pym particles and the Tesseract again … same basic beats, but with that one “damage control” step 1 necessary.

        The benefit of doing it the way they did was that they could do them all simultaneously and cut back and forth rather than doing mission after mission after mission. But they could have covered that by Tony just saying “it’s time travel, we can do them all at the same time, figure it out, this isn’t rocket science, rocket science is way easier – in fact this whole thing started with rocket science [reference to Jericho missile] [reference to Rocket being called Rocket] [reference to Rocket being a trash panda].”

        See?

        Still, I wasn’t ultimately bothered.

        I felt they sidelined Captain Marvel for 90% of the movie (by time) because of the hatred of Brie Larson. They also underpowered her, it seemed, against Thanos. There’s a lot of baggage there, thank you insecure white men, so it’s hard to separate it all.

        Don’t really agree with this so let’s leave it there. I said my bit in the original blog post. Shame it went this way for you.

        I feel they gave Cap’s shield to Falcon because of diversity reasons, when really it should have gone to Bucky.

        Viewpoint noted, I’m heartily glad they didn’t go with Bucky because at least in the movies (comics schmomics) it would make no sense to me, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I, too, am puzzled over just how much of Captain America’s specialness really did come out of a test tube. Maybe that will be the major point of angst for future Captain America stories – the old “the power was never in the feather, Dumbo” trope. And holy fuck Falcon can already fly, this all fits.

        I feel that Lotus was silly in that charging fight scene because can she even fight? And her body language, hilariously, kind of seemed to show that. The actress seemed to be like “ok, what am I doing here?” So I forgave that one even though it was silly.

        You mean Mantis? The chick with the antennas?

        I mean I’m flattered and all but if there’s actually a character called Lotus I absolutely need to work a reference to it into my latest story…

        Anyhoo, agreed on Mantis, her power was well used in Infinity War but not so much on an actual battlefield.

        Hulk’s line about Black Widow and using the gauntlet fell flat because he had 5 years to be with her and he didn’t, and then she’d been gone for like 2 days when he used the gauntlet. Really, you missed her so badly in those 2 days?

        Black Widow with a romantic subplot was always weird and irritating to me, can’t she just be a solitary fighter? And Banner / Hulk as the interest, no. I liked their interactions when she was the only one who could bring him down, but it would have worked better (in my opinion) if that was all part of her training, like she’s programming Hulk like a sleeper agent. It would have given us some nice precedent for Bucky’s situation too.

        Any glimmerings of a romantic subplot should have been destroyed the last time they spoke, either when she told him about her sterility[4] or when she kicked Banner off that ledge in order to get Hulk to come out. And you’re right, Professor Hulk obviously felt no need to look Nat up and rekindle the romance after the finger-snap. So that whole thing was dumb.

        [4] Not that the ability to bear children is in any way relevant to anything in her character or romantic prospects, why was there even a conversation about whether Black Widow and Hulk would have babies?

        Don’t know how they could have done Vormir differently, it was nice but maybe it would have been a good place to cut five minutes of runtime (to use elsewhere, of course!). One or the other of them should have betrayed their partner in the ship or otherwise ahead of time and gone on to sacrifice themselves (see later hypothesising and spitballing). Not sure how any of that works though. The sacrifice mechanics are a bit fuzzy.

        Dad body Thor was awesome and definitely stole the scenes for me, just to throw some more positive in there.

        Agreed, that was hilarious and it got more soulful and sad and impressive the more I thought about it, but also stayed funny as Hell, so that was a real win.

        I predicted there’d be backlash over the fat shaming, but for fuck’s sake, get over yourself. A feat which will require climbing equipment, fatty.

        And I really liked Nebula’s conflict in this movie, that was really great. Seeing loyal Nebula was cool.

        Agreed. Especially since we have her growth scene and all that raw hatred and bitterness in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, to see her back before that and see the contrast – really brilliant.

        First scene with Hawkeye, amazing, really killed me. Brought the two movies together in a great way. And everyone online had it wrong, he wasn’t training the next Hawkeye. Well, at least not ostensibly. That was the connecting tissue to the Snap. Damn.

        I agree on the brilliance and gut-punchness of this scene, not sure what you mean by the people online having it wrong about him training the next Hawkeye. I mean, he kind of was, right up until she vanished, if that’s what you mean, yeah. He even called her “Hawkeye”, which was a bit odd. But yeah, very “wow wow wow.”

        Of course that has huge timeline implications but maybe he ran off to some isolated place with his lady and didn’t alter anything having to do with the Avengers in any way. Not possible really but I like it. I don’t see how he used the machine without anyone knowing.

        If Steve Rogers really did live in the prime timeline the whole time with Peggy, only to reconnect with Falcon after Peggy died and he’d done his mourning – you know, instead of living in some harmless branch reality he created by turning back up after he crash-landed into the ice, then switching back over somehow to the prime timeline – then it really doesn’t bear much thinking about.

        I mean, maybe the reason he didn’t want to tell Falcon about the wedding ring was all the battles and butchery and treason he had to consciously ignore in order to have it. He was ashamed.

        “Yeah, actually we barricaded ourselves in a little suburban house and put on a gramophone and literally danced for seventy years. It was a living nightmare and I’m still too enhanced to take my own life to erase the horror of it, also I’m fiercely Christian, everyone keeps glossing over that part.”

        I appreciated the “fight” between Hawkeye and Widow, but of course if either of them had succeeded in suicide it would have been the other sacrificing them, so would it have worked? Even the way it happened, Widow had to let go so that one of them would live. It wasn’t Hawkeye sacrificing her but again kind of her suiciding to save him.

        Or maybe that turns the requirement on its head while still fulfilling it? But that would mean she had to love herself, LOL, not sure if that’s the case. Sacrificing one you love…yourself….

        I quite like the idea of them going in sort of knowing they need to sacrifice a life, and one or the other of them pre-emptively taking the other out of the equation in order to make themselves the sacrifice, only to find out the full extent of the rules as laid out by Red Skull. Like, something hideously brutal, like Black Widow having to sacrifice her neverborn child (thus rewriting destiny so she convinces herself that she was sterilised by the creepy ballet school, or somethng like that). Or Hawkeye having one family member or other rematerialise from ash right there, for him to sacrifice.

        May have been too dark though. I mean, no “may” about it, that was definitely too dark.

        All right fair enough. I’m letting my unimpressed-ness with Falcon cloud my judgment on that one. I don’t like it, but I relent.

        Pity it only lasted ten minutes, but oh well.

        Whoops!

        Whoopsie!

        And Scarlet Witch’s revenge, oh man, that is probably my favorite part. “You will” (know my name, can’t remember exactly what she said in the moment). She had him beat. She was taking him apart. And what a fucking shitty coward move to bombard his own troops just to stop her. That probably marked the beginning of the end for him. His fall was already written.

        Absolutely concur.

        Oh and Scarlet Witch, one avenger, DID beat him. She had him, it was over. So I still think the combined Avengers with Stormbreaker and Mjollnir should have been able to knock him down for the count, without help from Maw. It wasn’t a single avenger at a time, and again Scarlet Witch did it.

        I’m still not sold on that, I thought it was all fine. But I hear you.

        Mind you, Scarlet Witch was really powerful. Like Vision was meant to be an über-powerful vibranium literal deux ex machina in Age of Ultron, and Scarlet Witch demolished him in Civil War (albeit temporarily because she liked him). Plus I’d have to see the movie again and maybe, just maybe, consider that plain and simple fatigue might have been setting in with Thanos at a certain point in the fight, not to mention all the other Avengers basically coming straight out of an exhausting Time Heist and then having a building pulled down on top of them.

        I don’t know, I think this is one of those cases where if you want to forgive a movie for its flaws, there are plenty of in-universe ways to do so – and even if those don’t stand up, the final finger-snap of “meh, don’t care, still loved it” comes into play.

        Subjective opinion. Sorry it didn’t pan out for you that way.

        “Or Spider-Man’s new movie deals with this, and Mysterio is key to it all.”

        Pretty sure Mysterio is going to be a total faker just as in the comics.

        Oh yeah, definitely. But stepping into a power vacuum? Taking advantage of fractured reality? I certainly hope at least some of it is addressed. They did well referencing Civil War in Spider-Man: Homecoming so I have faith in them here. They’re going to provide a satisfying dénouement to this epic story.

        So basically they’re using the quantum realm to hold to the same specific reality when they jump back? I mean I guess, but “sucks for the other realities” ain’t the half of it. Jesus.

        Actually the more I think about it, the more I’m kind of impressed by this approach. The classic Star Trek and Stargate style time travel and alternate reality method is, they either salvage convenient characters from other timelines (a’la Gamora) or they find some way of saving both universes, or they sort of agonise about it a bit or encounter refugees from those victim-timelines and have to deal with it. Any and all of that could happen here, but they sort of chose to ignore it.

        Either it just plain didn’t happen that way despite what we’re talking about (like, once the stones were returned there literally were no other alternate timelines anywhere in the multiverse, as a matter of the laws of physics in the Marvel universe), or it did and they just didn’t care because they wanted to save this one timeline because it’s the one we care about. Either way, I’m kind of into it.

        Gamora’s “return” really did sort of shit all over the idea of Tony dying, of course. Especially since they can absolutely travel in time over and over again now, unless there’s some reason a resurrected Hank Pym wouldn’t make more particles (maybe he’d play the Temporal Prime Directive card). What would have been super brilliant would have been Gamora turning to ash at Tony’s finger-snap, because she was pretty much still on Thanos’s side there. Or was she already quietly working against him by then? Either way, the Futurama Doom Field should have come into effect, killing any time travel duplicate in order to preserve continuity.

        Enh. Time travel. Sucks. Can’t really dig in because it’s all BS anyway, and the more scientific grounding you try to give it the sillier you look. One looks. So I’ll just SMH and wander off.

        Right.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Alright, here’s a mass-comment response just to kick us off. I hear you on all of these issues (and then some), I guess I just feel pretty okay about them all ultimately. Bummer if they reduced your enjoyment and immersion in the movie.”

        I think it’s wearing off. Helps me to talk this stuff out, although I know that alternatively it can hurt you to do so, therefore I appreciate this. Sounds like I’m not affecting your appreciation appreciably yet, and hopefully this will die down fast enough that I won’t go further down that Gone-Away path. I don’t strongly disagree with much here anyway.

        “Still, a wise man once told me that money talks and bullshit walks, and it looks like this movie is going to make all the moneys.”

        Smart guy, although he didn’t get a chance to respond to your counter-arguments yet, so before you—oh, too late.

        “Mind you, an even wiser man told that man that some frightful bollocks makes tons of money sometimes, so there you go…”

        Maybe not the best idea to counter your own usage of that wise man’s point but ok. LOL

        Well yes, and I hardly think the vast gulf separating Shazam!’s 400+th worldwide box office performance and Captain Marvel’s 25th will be similar to what Endgame does to Captain Marvel. 25th to 400th is pretty fucking huge.

        AND that’s not accounting for Shazam! entering the scene with all the possible goodwill in the world and then some because, in part, of the badwill aimed at Captain Marvel just as it/she was entering the scene. Endgame not only had all the goodwill but also all the anticipation and cliffhanger resolution. Those of course have to be factored in. And it had all the Avengers. So.

        In the face of all that boycotting, or claimed boycotting, of Captain Marvel, and all of us (resenter of said boycotting myself included) being really, REALLY excited about Shazam!, for Shazam! to still be so pathetically far behind means something. All else aside about Avatar etc. Apologies for hand-waving your examples, they’re in my email not here and I’m not digging them up.

        These movies are all in the same genre with the same audience released in the same time period, so I think the money is as close as you’re going to get for an objective standard, while being that not-quite-objective thing we’ve acknowledged over and over.

        So yeah, Endgame will beat Captain Marvel, but how could it not? If it did not, it would be really fucking embarrassing. Right?

        The predictions for Shazam! vs. Captain Marvel, at least by boycotters and boycotter-adjacent people, were so far off those people should never be allowed to predict again.

        Yeah.

        ‘So, I actually am truly torn on this movie. I can agree with your entire review, but for me the downsides are not only worth mentioning but they bring it down a few pegs for me.’

        “See, bummer. For real, not being glib.”

        Ahh it’s ok. I’m realizing that “down a few pegs” is still pretty awesome. Seemingly I have a LOT of pegs. They’re very close together.

        “I mean, no more so than my normal background state. That thing about the super wise man I mentioned above, that was kinda glib.”

        Yeah I got that. He’d have been wiser not to keep going forward with his line of argument before I had shown him my butt. I mean, uhh, rebuttal. Often the same thing, if I’m keeping it 100.

        ‘I saw a lot of gratuitous scenes, and many of them were worth it (like America’s butt, I can do this all day — yeah yeah, stuff like that)’

        “Oh fuck yes. All the little character bits, from the massively overblown father-son schmaltz with Tony Stark Sr. and Jr., to that quiet “hail Hydra” and everything it implies … so good. They were absolutely depending on us all knowing these characters well enough that all of their actions and dialogue made sense, and that was a 110% earned and justified dependence on Marvel’s part.”

        110% agreed. The Tony-Daddy stuff almost had me in tears. It was so schmaltzy, and yet so great I couldn’t possibly complain.

        Schmaltzy…I think that’s an appropriate word there. Don’t get to use it often. Cheers.

        “I also liked the little … not exactly retcons, but for example the Hulk taking the stairs, and grumbling about it. Not only was it a fantastic cut-scene closure on the fight in Avengers tower, but it served the greater arc. I guess he was under-exposed in terms of dialogue but he really didn’t talk while Hulked out until Thor Ragnarok, so (to return to my theme briefly) at first I thought it was odd to hear him talking in (basically) Avengers Assemble, but then I figured that of course he could talk a little bit, and the increasing loquacity that came with an extended Hulk-stay in Thor Ragnarok was a sign of emergent Professor Hulk.”

        Yes and it also supported the discussions, which I agree with, that were part of the other theme that Hulk was getting his feelings hurt by the disrespect and getting-left-out handed to him by the other Avengers. This was a really quick but powerful pointing out of that problem. The cruelty again made me almost tear up.

        Although TBH he wouldn’t have fit. LOL.

        “The stairs joke was just a beat overdone for my taste, by the way, but it served the plot.”

        Hey! Now I get to say you’re going too far in my opinion, so thanks! As I mentioned above, I think it was pretty important to show. But fair play to either of us.

        ‘I expected this movie to be much better, TBH, and would place it below Infinity War, and probably below Captain Marvel as well. I know that will upset some who read this but I don’t care. Captain Marvel was better.’

        “I really doubt it will upset anyone, subjective opinions are subjective opinions.”

        Again I gotta disagree that claiming Captain Marvel is better than Endgame won’t upset “anyone”. Hee hee. But anyway.

        ‘Numero Uno is insane OP Thanos. I mean what the fuck even was that? He didn’t have any infinity stones and he easily handled many Avengers, some of the strongest ones, and took stunning blow after stunning blow only to just turn it around again and dominate. I understand that level of power was necessary for this plot to even work. That excuse doesn’t work on me.’

        “I never thought about it in terms of “as the plot demands” or “justified by the need for the story to happen”, except for that massive sword of his that we hadn’t seen before (uh, after, chronologically, but before in terms of movies, damn you time travel!) that could smash vibranium and deflect pretty much any energy thrown at it. That seemed a little plot-convenient (my prediction at this point, not having looked to see if it’s done yet, will be that the pitch meeting for this includes the question “will it be hard for Thanos to fight off that many superheroes without the stones?” and the traditional answer[1]), but while I do see that Thanos’s strength was sort of plot-necessary, that didn’t strike me as the only answer.”

        Right.

        “[1] Turns out I was wrong, although I’m delighted the cosplay joke occurred to Mr. George as well … and most of the other objections are in there, plus a few extras. And the producer raised the logic / logistics question of the all-female superhero lineup, but I have to agree with the writer – get all the way off my back about it, it was a cool scene.”

        Oh yeah for sure. Now that I’m expecting it, next weekend I’m sure I’ll enjoy it more. I was just…I dunno…disappointed he was so awesome with no assistance?

        “Anyway, OP’d Thanos…

        I tried to think my way around it in terms of the character and the timeline, since it seems I’m looking at it more forgivingly than you in this case.

        When we’re introduced to Thanos in terms of movie-release chronology, he’s pretty (over)confident in his power. He’s done a lot of slaughtering of weak and feeble planets, and he never really encounters any threat he considers worthwhile. When the time comes for him to take the stones (I’ll do it myself”) he goes after them one at a time, taking on small groups of superheroes and getting progressively more effortless in dispatching them, yes, because he uses the stones. He doesn’t think much of the Avengers or the Guardians, because he’s never really had anything to do with them. He’s not really fighting them in Infinity War, is my point. He’s just brushing them aside, with occasional lapses like on Titan, and in Wakanda against Stormbreaker for the first unexpected time.”

        He totally had to use the stones mightily on Titan, so I think that makes the case that several Avengers *should* be able to handle him. They did so despite the infinity stones, until Starlord fucked it up. So I think that strengthens my case that there are some inconsistencies here. I can live with them, but I’m just pointing them out saying I was a little disappointed.

        I’ll say again, why not just have Maw and the others tip the scales here and there? That’d be fun, anyway…just as Cap’s about to score a massive blow, a little hand-wave and whoops! Whoopsie! I think you slipped there, wasn’t me…. Hee hee…could have added comedy as well.

        “So yes, when we see him in Wakanda with the completed Infinity Gauntlet, it’s true he still gets caught off-guard by their cohesion and fury, but he is still really only fighting behind the lines to get to Vision, and he’s still just sort of going through the motions. He doesn’t take it personally, he’s completely focussed on his goal. Thor and Stormbreaker almost get him (which I think is a bit of a letdown in the next movie, Stormbreaker seems to have lost most of its effectiveness but it might just be because Thanos is ready for it now[2]), but ultimately he gets the mind stone and does his stuff and limps away, mission accomplished.”

        Right, I view the Wakanda fight exactly as you describe, but not the Titan one in the same light.

        “[2] Although this is past-Thanos, and all he’s seen is Stormbreaker beheading him. Still, he’s a bit more prepared.”

        Enh. Thor’s fat and sloppy now, so there’s that possibly as well. I kept thinking he would god-magic away his gut, but he never did! Not sure how to view Stormbreaker’s effectiveness, I think that’s a real issue again. Can’t explain it.

        “When we see past-Thanos in this movie, he’s seen the future through Nebula’s eyes, he knows how it turns out for his own timeline and he’s seen that the Avengers are a huge pain in his big purple arse[3]. He goes after them with nothing-to-lose fury, I think because while yes, he had that angry plan to use the Gauntlet again and destroy everything, all he really needed to do was end the Avengers’ time travelling capability and prevent them from undoing the finger-snap. Anything else he succeeded in doing would be gravy.”

        Sure. Indeed.

        “[3] One of the most interesting parts, for me, was that he saw that he’d won, and he saw that he got killed after that, and he was like “oh well, I won, that’s all that matters, the end”. But when he found out they were going to undo it, that was when he got angry. Like Mad Titan angry. He’d never actually been mad before that. Mad, but not mad. You know what I mean, honestly, oi.”

        Totally.

        “So yeah, he went all-out and so did they. So what we saw was neither side holding back anymore. And he still took hits and he delivered harder ones, and ultimately I’m okay with all that. We saw him face off against superheroes he’d already beaten, or been nearly-beaten by, which was great. And we saw him face Scarlet Witch’s wrath, and her phenomenal power, which (as you say) was amazing.”

        Right.

        “He was lucky to hold his owwn the way he did and maybe he shouldn’t have managed to do so against Captain Marvel … but he did yank out the power stone and punch her with it, which was a cool levelling move.”

        Yeah for sure. She disappointed me by just tugging on the gauntlet. That was super lame. Something else about an earlier bit struck me that way too but I’ve lost it for now. That hit was fair enough, but she could have fought better. Ahh it was that she didn’t use the gauntlet, as Screen Rant pointed out. Also that she wasn’t asked to help with the Heist. But I guess they were in a rush, despite it being time travel so what difference does time make? LOL

        The other thing to consider here is that Feige (sp?) already said Captain Marvel is the strongest Avenger, not Scarlet Witch. But then Endgame basically showed the opposite, at least when it comes to Thanos, right? And Captain Marvel’s experienced/trained now. So again as I said I’m sus about all of that. But it’s done, whatever. The game is ended.

        And don’t get me wrong, I’m super-glad Scarlet Witch got her revenge. That was awesome, she’s awesome, and let’s just say I enjoy the visuals.

        ‘I didn’t catch what happened with the second infinity gauntlet and the disappearing stones, BTW. Do you think Tony created some kind of affinity for them so that his gauntlet sucked them out of Thanos’s version? Something like that?’

        “Yeah, I don’t know. I think he just nanobotted them out of the hulk-resized Gauntlet (Gauntlet Mk. 2) and worked them into the other one, but a) there was none of the effort that seemed to have been required to make the original Infinity Gauntlet (aside from a little montage of Professor Hulk and Tony looking at screens and building the Gauntlet Mk. 2 with holdy-clamp things for the stones, which is apparently enough), and b) the Gauntlet Mk. 3 that Tony ends up with isn’t even alluded to anywhere, he just turned out to have made it sometime.”

        Yeah, a bit of a hand-wave but I’m not fashed over it.

        “Which is fine, it was a little plot twist, and we know Tony never makes just one thing when he can make thirty-seven of them. Precedent supports this surprise move. It is known, khaleesi.”

        For sure, all fair.

        ‘But that’s so boring, amirite?? Well, you might say “yes, professor, so do you have a better idea?” Well, yes I do, thanks for asking. There’s these things called the infinity stones. One is the time stone, and one is the space stone. Seems to me, based on what they can accomplish, if you used just those 2 in conjunction, you could precisely travel to the correct timeline. No? If they’d added that in, I’d be on board. As it was, Time Heist is just as silly as every other time travel scenario.’

        “It might have been cool if they’d put together a Time Heist to just get the time and space stones, in order to successfully pull off the rest of the heist without wrecking a bunch of timelines. Then they could have done one facet of the Time Heist to get the required stones, and another to get the rest, then it could have gone Loki-shaped and required a deeper dive to get more Pym particles and the Tesseract again … same basic beats, but with that one “damage control” step 1 necessary.

        The benefit of doing it the way they did was that they could do them all simultaneously and cut back and forth rather than doing mission after mission after mission. But they could have covered that by Tony just saying “it’s time travel, we can do them all at the same time, figure it out, this isn’t rocket science, rocket science is way easier – in fact this whole thing started with rocket science [reference to Jericho missile] [reference to Rocket being called Rocket] [reference to Rocket being a trash panda].”

        See?”

        Yes I see and I get it. I’m just saying all that pre-discussion of normal time travel issues was a bit of sleight-of-hand to make you think they avoided it all.

        “Still, I wasn’t ultimately bothered.”

        It kinda had to be that way, unless they wanted to use the stones.

        “Viewpoint noted, I’m heartily glad they didn’t go with Bucky because at least in the movies (comics schmomics) it would make no sense to me, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I, too, am puzzled over just how much of Captain America’s specialness really did come out of a test tube. Maybe that will be the major point of angst for future Captain America stories – the old “the power was never in the feather, Dumbo” trope. And holy fuck Falcon can already fly, this all fits.”

        Isn’t it a bit harsh to say “make no sense” whatsoever? Of course there is sense and logic in the choice of Bucky. Anyway, we can obviously have our differing opinions on this one. Totally surprised me it was Falcon, and I’m sticking to it.

        ‘I feel that Lotus was silly in that charging fight scene because can she even fight? And her body language, hilariously, kind of seemed to show that. The actress seemed to be like “ok, what am I doing here?” So I forgave that one even though it was silly.’

        “You mean Mantis? The chick with the antennas?”

        Yes, Mantis, crap…so many heroes…and thank you for making me feel better for forgetting her name with that flippant description. LOL

        “I mean I’m flattered and all but if there’s actually a character called Lotus I absolutely need to work a reference to it into my latest story…”

        Oh I’m sure there is, somewhere.

        “Anyhoo, agreed on Mantis, her power was well used in Infinity War but not so much on an actual battlefield.”

        Yeah.

        ‘Hulk’s line about Black Widow and using the gauntlet fell flat because he had 5 years to be with her and he didn’t, and then she’d been gone for like 2 days when he used the gauntlet. Really, you missed her so badly in those 2 days?’

        “Black Widow with a romantic subplot was always weird and irritating to me, can’t she just be a solitary fighter? And Banner / Hulk as the interest, no. I liked their interactions when she was the only one who could bring him down, but it would have worked better (in my opinion) if that was all part of her training, like she’s programming Hulk like a sleeper agent. It would have given us some nice precedent for Bucky’s situation too.”

        Agreed.

        “Any glimmerings of a romantic subplot should have been destroyed the last time they spoke, either when she told him about her sterility[4] or when she kicked Banner off that ledge in order to get Hulk to come out. And you’re right, Professor Hulk obviously felt no need to look Nat up and rekindle the romance after the finger-snap. So that whole thing was dumb.”

        Right.

        “[4] Not that the ability to bear children is in any way relevant to anything in her character or romantic prospects, why was there even a conversation about whether Black Widow and Hulk would have babies?”

        Just to creep us out.

        “Don’t know how they could have done Vormir differently, it was nice but maybe it would have been a good place to cut five minutes of runtime (to use elsewhere, of course!). One or the other of them should have betrayed their partner in the ship or otherwise ahead of time and gone on to sacrifice themselves (see later hypothesising and spitballing). Not sure how any of that works though. The sacrifice mechanics are a bit fuzzy.”

        Yeah not sure how it would have been different either. Just pointing out it wasn’t a sacrifice technically in the meaning I think is needed for the soulstone.

        ‘Dad body Thor was awesome and definitely stole the scenes for me, just to throw some more positive in there.’

        “Agreed, that was hilarious and it got more soulful and sad and impressive the more I thought about it, but also stayed funny as Hell, so that was a real win.

        I predicted there’d be backlash over the fat shaming, but for fuck’s sake, get over yourself. A feat which will require climbing equipment, fatty.”

        I wonder who’s lashing the back over it. As a beer-drinking, game-playing fatty myself, I absolve Marvel Studios and tell people to get a fucking sense of humor. It worked, was accurate, was fun, and therefore was awesome.

        Now excuse me while I try REALLY hard not to start a rant about the “extreme body positivity” I see going around these days. Being fat is not healthy, and your exact specific body shape and fat percentage is not a definitive part of you that you need to be proud of. Honestly. Everyone’s weight goes up and down, everyone has some control over it, and everyone should realize being really fat is not healthy. TYT videos have repeatedly enabled this crap, and IMO lessened their authority, so this is close to home for me, by the way.

        Damn, dangerously close to starting that rant. Possibly over the line. Moving on!

        ‘And I really liked Nebula’s conflict in this movie, that was really great. Seeing loyal Nebula was cool.’

        “Agreed. Especially since we have her growth scene and all that raw hatred and bitterness in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, to see her back before that and see the contrast – really brilliant.”

        Yup.

        ‘First scene with Hawkeye, amazing, really killed me. Brought the two movies together in a great way. And everyone online had it wrong, he wasn’t training the next Hawkeye. Well, at least not ostensibly. That was the connecting tissue to the Snap. Damn.’

        “I agree on the brilliance and gut-punchness of this scene, not sure what you mean by the people online having it wrong about him training the next Hawkeye. I mean, he kind of was, right up until she vanished, if that’s what you mean, yeah. He even called her “Hawkeye”, which was a bit odd. But yeah, very “wow wow wow.””

        I don’t think the speculation included that it was his daughter and/or that she’d (next Hawkeye) get snapped. It was more just focused on how this would be the next Hawkeye. So I think they got it wrong. You know, there are videos about the predictions we got wrong…. Not sure if this was in it but I saw major channels making this prediction and nary a mention that it was his daughter. IIRC.

        ‘Of course that has huge timeline implications but maybe he ran off to some isolated place with his lady and didn’t alter anything having to do with the Avengers in any way. Not possible really but I like it. I don’t see how he used the machine without anyone knowing.’

        “If Steve Rogers really did live in the prime timeline the whole time with Peggy, only to reconnect with Falcon after Peggy died and he’d done his mourning – you know, instead of living in some harmless branch reality he created by turning back up after he crash-landed into the ice, then switching back over somehow to the prime timeline – then it really doesn’t bear much thinking about.”

        Well, good thing we’ll probably never know for sure, not with a full explanation at least.

        “I mean, maybe the reason he didn’t want to tell Falcon about the wedding ring was all the battles and butchery and treason he had to consciously ignore in order to have it. He was ashamed.”

        LOL ok ok.

        “Yeah, actually we barricaded ourselves in a little suburban house and put on a gramophone and literally danced for seventy years. It was a living nightmare and I’m still too enhanced to take my own life to erase the horror of it, also I’m fiercely Christian, everyone keeps glossing over that part.”

        Hehe

        ‘I appreciated the “fight” between Hawkeye and Widow, but of course if either of them had succeeded in suicide it would have been the other sacrificing them, so would it have worked? Even the way it happened, Widow had to let go so that one of them would live. It wasn’t Hawkeye sacrificing her but again kind of her suiciding to save him.

        Or maybe that turns the requirement on its head while still fulfilling it? But that would mean she had to love herself, LOL, not sure if that’s the case. Sacrificing one you love…yourself….’

        “I quite like the idea of them going in sort of knowing they need to sacrifice a life, and one or the other of them pre-emptively taking the other out of the equation in order to make themselves the sacrifice, only to find out the full extent of the rules as laid out by Red Skull. Like, something hideously brutal, like Black Widow having to sacrifice her neverborn child (thus rewriting destiny so she convinces herself that she was sterilised by the creepy ballet school, or somethng like that). Or Hawkeye having one family member or other rematerialise from ash right there, for him to sacrifice.”

        Whoa.

        “May have been too dark though. I mean, no “may” about it, that was definitely too dark.”

        Yeah, definitely. LOL. *walks away backwards making calming hand-gestures*

        ‘All right fair enough. I’m letting my unimpressed-ness with Falcon cloud my judgment on that one. I don’t like it, but I relent.’

        “Pity it only lasted ten minutes, but oh well.”

        Predictable that you would ding me on that, but it was a full day (basically) between posts so come on, man. True I only had about 10 minutes of thought around it in that day, pretty busy here still. But that relenting initially was my fan-tapping (ooh, Falcon, see how that ties in to WoT?) to indicate I was considering your proposal. Take what you can get, it shows the power I put behind your opinions. I allow them to sway me, quite often, at least initially.

        “Whoops!

        Whoopsie!”

        All right, you made it fun, ding forgiven.

        ‘And Scarlet Witch’s revenge, oh man, that is probably my favorite part. “You will” (know my name, can’t remember exactly what she said in the moment). She had him beat. She was taking him apart. And what a fucking shitty coward move to bombard his own troops just to stop her. That probably marked the beginning of the end for him. His fall was already written.’

        “Absolutely concur.”

        ‘Oh and Scarlet Witch, one avenger, DID beat him. She had him, it was over. So I still think the combined Avengers with Stormbreaker and Mjollnir should have been able to knock him down for the count, without help from Maw. It wasn’t a single avenger at a time, and again Scarlet Witch did it.’

        “I’m still not sold on that, I thought it was all fine. But I hear you.”

        You’re sold that Scarlet Witch had him beat though, I think. So…. Anyway this is talked to death, I think my point is valid and made as fully as need be.

        “Mind you, Scarlet Witch was really powerful. Like Vision was meant to be an über-powerful vibranium literal deux ex machina in Age of Ultron, and Scarlet Witch demolished him in Civil War (albeit temporarily because she liked him). Plus I’d have to see the movie again and maybe, just maybe, consider that plain and simple fatigue might have been setting in with Thanos at a certain point in the fight, not to mention all the other Avengers basically coming straight out of an exhausting Time Heist and then having a building pulled down on top of them.”

        Well, sure. They didn’t seem weakened by that, though.

        “I don’t know, I think this is one of those cases where if you want to forgive a movie for its flaws, there are plenty of in-universe ways to do so – and even if those don’t stand up, the final finger-snap of “meh, don’t care, still loved it” comes into play.

        Subjective opinion. Sorry it didn’t pan out for you that way.”

        Getting there, thanks for the chat!

        ‘Pretty sure Mysterio is going to be a total faker just as in the comics.’

        “Oh yeah, definitely. But stepping into a power vacuum? Taking advantage of fractured reality? I certainly hope at least some of it is addressed. They did well referencing Civil War in Spider-Man: Homecoming so I have faith in them here. They’re going to provide a satisfying dénouement to this epic story.”

        OK, yeah, not sure. Could be.

        ‘So basically they’re using the quantum realm to hold to the same specific reality when they jump back? I mean I guess, but “sucks for the other realities” ain’t the half of it. Jesus.’

        “Actually the more I think about it, the more I’m kind of impressed by this approach. The classic Star Trek and Stargate style time travel and alternate reality method is, they either salvage convenient characters from other timelines (a’la Gamora) or they find some way of saving both universes, or they sort of agonise about it a bit or encounter refugees from those victim-timelines and have to deal with it. Any and all of that could happen here, but they sort of chose to ignore it.

        Either it just plain didn’t happen that way despite what we’re talking about (like, once the stones were returned there literally were no other alternate timelines anywhere in the multiverse, as a matter of the laws of physics in the Marvel universe), or it did and they just didn’t care because they wanted to save this one timeline because it’s the one we care about. Either way, I’m kind of into it.”

        OK. Well it doesn’t impress me more and more as time goes on, but I’m ok with it, ultimately.

        “Gamora’s “return” really did sort of shit all over the idea of Tony dying, of course. Especially since they can absolutely travel in time over and over again now, unless there’s some reason a resurrected Hank Pym wouldn’t make more particles (maybe he’d play the Temporal Prime Directive card). What would have been super brilliant would have been Gamora turning to ash at Tony’s finger-snap, because she was pretty much still on Thanos’s side there. Or was she already quietly working against him by then? Either way, the Futurama Doom Field should have come into effect, killing any time travel duplicate in order to preserve continuity.”

        I’m guessing in Tony’s mind Gamora is on their side, with Starlord, something like that. But all really good thoughts and I agree, Tony could be brought back as well. Time travel. Ugh.

        So, just watched the hilarious as always Screen Rant pitch meeting for it, and was very happy to hear him having the same Captain Marvel issues as I did. And then some, didn’t think about her wearing the gauntlet, which is weird because I thought she would and the comics had her doing it, and then I totally forgot about it. Really weird.

        Also he seems to reference the same issues with Cap living out his best life like that, hee hee. This guy nails it, seemingly every time. Love it.

      • stchucky says:

        I think it’s wearing off. Helps me to talk this stuff out, although I know that alternatively it can hurt you to do so, therefore I appreciate this. Sounds like I’m not affecting your appreciation appreciably yet

        Yeah, I wouldn’t worry.

        I’m broke so I won’t be seeing this movie again at the cinemas (Detective Pikachu and possibly Godzilla: King of the Monsters coming in May!), but I definitely would if I could.

        Maybe not the best idea to counter your own usage of that wise man’s point but ok. LOL

        Oh, I don’t know either of these wise, wise men. It’s just a figure of speech completely disconnected to other discussions.

        So if I’ve understood correctly, a big gap in box office results means the much more lucrative movie can be reasonably concluded to be a better movie (something I had assumed was a matter of subjective opinion, but okay – call it a factor), while a smaller gap doesn’t mean the more lucrative movie can be concluded to be better.

        Couldn’t it just be reasonably assumed to be a better movie by a smaller amount? Or perhaps with a narrower margin to account for subjective taste in the matter? That seems fair.

        Also, isn’t it a bit strange to make a big deal about the number of places between the two? Endgame can’t possibly knock Captain Marvel down 400 places, in fact it can only knock it down one place really. With any luck it will have knocked Avatar down by the end of the week, even though I didn’t hate Avatar. Endgame is just a better movie as far as I’m concerned. And the money agrees with me, so tish and pish to that even wiser man who mouthed off about profit bearing a correlative relationship to quality but not a causal one, I say!

        (Sorry if this is impacting your appreciation, but rest assured I’m only engaging as far as I thought was mutually entertaining, didn’t intend to make it into a real debate or piss you off.)

        Now by the same token, shouldn’t the sheer amount by which Endgame smashes the rest be taken into account? Once you get up in the one-to-two billion range, isn’t it … like, well just for example, the amount Endgame has made is close enough to Shazam!‘s box office plus Captain Marvel‘s already. And that gap, regardless of their placement on the ladder, will probably only increase in size. So I mean…

        Well yes, and I hardly think the vast gulf separating Shazam!’s 400+th worldwide box office performance and Captain Marvel’s 25th will be similar to what Endgame does to Captain Marvel. 25th to 400th is pretty fucking huge.

        I guess I’m just not sure if it’s the distance between second and last (or in this case 20-somethingth and 400th-plus) that’s important, or the distance between first and second. I’m not wise, like the two men I cited earlier.

        [/Bilbo]

        I think the money is as close as you’re going to get for an objective standard, while being that not-quite-objective thing we’ve acknowledged over and over.

        Sure! To drop my TL;DR conclusion way after it’s too late, I agree with you – the box office does definitely mark a more successful movie, and can definitely be considered a factor in whether or not it is a good movie, at least in various technical senses.

        However, as to whether a movie is really good or not, that’s for each viewer to decide on their own, based on their own enjoyment.

        The predictions for Shazam! vs. Captain Marvel, at least by boycotters and boycotter-adjacent people, were so far off those people should never be allowed to predict again.

        Yeah, now that is objectively hilarious. I think we can agree on that, at least between the two of us.

        ‘I expected this movie to be much better, TBH, and would place it below Infinity War, and probably below Captain Marvel as well. I know that will upset some who read this but I don’t care. Captain Marvel was better.’

        “I really doubt it will upset anyone, subjective opinions are subjective opinions.”

        Again I gotta disagree that claiming Captain Marvel is better than Endgame won’t upset “anyone”. Hee hee. But anyway.

        Well, since we were initially talking about a set limited to people who will read your comment (“I know that will upset some who read this”) … no, I don’t think anyone in that set will cry.

        But you could be right, it may well outrage some readers. I guess that remains to be seen. And if we can get this post to 100 comments before the real screaming matches start, that’s just a bonus.

        The number of comments one of my movie review blog posts (or indeed any blog posts) get is a sort of box office score for the Hatstand’s content. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good post, but it means it’s a post that got lots of attention.

        And 100 comments is the Star Wars gold standard. You know, back in the heady days when dreamelings walked the Earth and weren’t too busy to comment on posts or finish reading manuscripts…

        Of course, some of these comments of ours could easily be considered 5 or even 10 comments, by size and content. But oh well. Numbers are numbers.

        In this case, heh, bullshit talks?

        He totally had to use the stones mightily on Titan, so I think that makes the case that several Avengers *should* be able to handle him. They did so despite the infinity stones, until Starlord fucked it up. So I think that strengthens my case that there are some inconsistencies here. I can live with them, but I’m just pointing them out saying I was a little disappointed.

        And I’m trying not to be dismissive, I get that you were disappointed. That’s unfortunate.

        I felt that the engagement was different on Titan. Thanos was cocky because he had a few infinity stones and (unlike Endgame Thanos) hadn’t just seen his own head get cut off and his plan getting unravelled. He didn’t have that fuck-off brutal sword for some reason, and the fight was an ambush with the sole intention of getting the glove off him. He wasn’t tackled that way in the final battle, and he didn’t react that way – partly, yes, because he had some stones on Titan. On 2023 Earth he didn’t, so he fought differently. Should it have made him fight more feebly and get beaten? Maybe. I’m not disappointed by the discrepancy.

        Just … lots of reasons I’m okay with this, really. I understand you not being okay with it but I’m not following you any further. And I know you’re not expecting me to. So it’s all good – aside from your dissatisfaction, which is honestly a shame.

        Yeah for sure. She disappointed me by just tugging on the gauntlet. That was super lame. Something else about an earlier bit struck me that way too but I’ve lost it for now. That hit was fair enough, but she could have fought better. Ahh it was that she didn’t use the gauntlet, as Screen Rant pointed out. Also that she wasn’t asked to help with the Heist. But I guess they were in a rush, despite it being time travel so what difference does time make? LOL

        Wasn’t she already gone by then, to take care of the rest of the galaxy? It wasn’t a matter of not asking her.

        But then if it was, I’m still okay with it. The plan was solid from my point of view. Captain Marvel could very well have been part of it (for example, Goose and the Tesseract could have been handy), but there were logistical issues. The number of Pym particles (okay, that’s a dumb problem because as Ryan George points out to himself they could always get more from the ’70s), the optimum number of Infinity Stones in one place and time … she could have joined some mission or other and it would have been great, I concur. But given that she had other fights to fight, seeing as how they weren’t going to undo any damage aside from the destroyed biomass … yeah, it’s fine with me that she wasn’t there.

        On an outside-the-movie level, as Jonathan said it seems as though they filmed a lot of Endgame before Captain Marvel, so they might not have gotten all the details sorted out in time to effectively include her?

        And on another outside-the-movie level, I think you’re setting yourself up for exquisite rage-stress with the whole MRA angle. Maybe Marvel minimised Captain Marvel’s contribution to Endgame to appease the incels. That sounds like something Marvel would have absolutely no interest in doing three thousand, based on every other decision they’ve made pretty much ever, but sure. Could be. The thing is, the incels will still be pissed at her contribution.

        There’s no winning those dipshits back, and Marvel is smart enough not to try. They know which way the wind is blowing. Cutting Captain Marvel out to make the incels happy would result in the incels still being unhappy (because they’re incels) and the fuzzy wuzzies also being unhappy because they missed out on seeing an awesome character at work.

        So yes. To take it full circle and talk in-movie and out-of-movie, given that Captain Marvel is a very important and very powerful superhero, but has really only had one movie’s worth of story so far, I think Marvel included her in Endgame‘s final love story to the Avengers as much as they could have and should have. Much more involvement would have seemed like a shoving-aside of the old guard by a very much noob-ex-machina, especially since she did have a lot of other stuff to do.

        “Viewpoint noted, I’m heartily glad they didn’t go with Bucky because at least in the movies (comics schmomics) it would make no sense to me, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I, too, am puzzled over just how much of Captain America’s specialness really did come out of a test tube. Maybe that will be the major point of angst for future Captain America stories – the old “the power was never in the feather, Dumbo” trope. And holy fuck Falcon can already fly, this all fits.”

        Isn’t it a bit harsh to say “make no sense” whatsoever?

        Sure, except I said it would make no sense to me. Thanks for not putting the “whatsoever” inside the quotes either, though. Perfectly balanced, Thanos would approve.

        Basically I do not see Bucky as the next Captain America, and I guess this is one situation where I will be definitive and dismissive since you’ve brought your fan out and tapped it again to indicate that you’re … maybe, just maybe … convinced in this case? Convinced of my position that is, not necessarily enough to make it your own?

        I’m still fine with you preferring it to be Bucky, I’m just sorry only one of us seems to be getting what he wants on this one.

        “You mean Mantis? The chick with the antennas?”

        Yes, Mantis, crap…so many heroes…and thank you for making me feel better for forgetting her name with that flippant description. LOL

        Heh, can’t take credit, I’m pretty sure it was Rocket or Tony or one of the other jerky characters who went there.

        “Don’t know how they could have done Vormir differently, it was nice but maybe it would have been a good place to cut five minutes of runtime (to use elsewhere, of course!). One or the other of them should have betrayed their partner in the ship or otherwise ahead of time and gone on to sacrifice themselves (see later hypothesising and spitballing). Not sure how any of that works though. The sacrifice mechanics are a bit fuzzy.”

        Yeah not sure how it would have been different either. Just pointing out it wasn’t a sacrifice technically in the meaning I think is needed for the soulstone.

        Fair enough, if that was your interpretation of the rules. I don’t know anything about them definitively, obviously.

        Wouldn’t the self-sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want them to do it, count as much as the forced sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want it and Person A wants it even less?

        Seems to be how the rules demonstrably work. In either case, Person B gets the soul stone and is sad.

        Looking at mythological and other fictional precedent, I’ve got to say that I don’t think what the sacrificee thinks about the matter is ever that important, and the less the sacrificer wants to perform the sacrifice, the more powerful the sacrifice is considered. The former might be important to the soul stone, but again the evidence of the movies doesn’t seem to back that up. So I’m left with the conclusion that I accept your feeling on this, but … it doesn’t seem to reflect my experience of the story.

        ‘All right fair enough. I’m letting my unimpressed-ness with Falcon cloud my judgment on that one. I don’t like it, but I relent.’

        “Pity it only lasted ten minutes, but oh well.”

        Predictable that you would ding me on that, but

        Hey, I’m a predictable guy.

        it was a full day (basically) between posts so come on, man. True I only had about 10 minutes of thought around it in that day, pretty busy here still. But that relenting initially was my fan-tapping (ooh, Falcon, see how that ties in to WoT?) to indicate I was considering your proposal. Take what you can get, it shows the power I put behind your opinions. I allow them to sway me, quite often, at least initially.

        This is highly amusing but I’m glad to hear you listen to my points when you straight-up ask for them. And in this case I think we reached a satisfying accord.

        I mean, I get that you’d have preferred Bucky, and Marvel and I have decided Falcon is the new Captain America, so everyone’s happy.

        *smarmy smile*

        Especially me.

        ‘Oh and Scarlet Witch, one avenger, DID beat him. She had him, it was over. So I still think the combined Avengers with Stormbreaker and Mjollnir should have been able to knock him down for the count, without help from Maw. It wasn’t a single avenger at a time, and again Scarlet Witch did it.’

        “I’m still not sold on that, I thought it was all fine. But I hear you.”

        You’re sold that Scarlet Witch had him beat though, I think. So….

        Not really sold on that (although I am sold on her being among the most powerful of the Avengers). I think these Marvel fights often have shifting scales of balance where one opponent is winning, then the other gets the upper hand or tries a new tactic, which is great.

        She took Thanos on, and had him on the ropes enough to make him do something horrific and desperate, but it may not have lasted long anyway. A lot of Scarlet Witch’s assaults really just incapacitate the enemy temporarily.

        It may have been enough to allow someone else to take him out though. Guess we’ll never know.

      • I can do this all day.

        “I’m broke so I won’t be seeing this movie again at the cinemas (Detective Pikachu and possibly Godzilla: King of the Monsters coming in May!), but I definitely would if I could.”

        Whereas I, on the other hand, have to fulfill my promise so I have the three best tickets for a showing this Saturday, so my girls get to see it in theater. Interesting things I’m noticing about the theater seats being sold this weekend, but moron that later. I asked them and they really, really, really want to see it in theater so there you go. And it’s great, because now that I won’t be surprised at any of the “negatives”, maybe my experience will be vastly different?

        “So if I’ve understood correctly, a big gap in box office results means the much more lucrative movie can be reasonably concluded to be a better movie (something I had assumed was a matter of subjective opinion, but okay – call it a factor), while a smaller gap doesn’t mean the more lucrative movie can be concluded to be better.”

        Generally speaking, of course. And what is “big”, I guess, is also important. Not only is Cap Marvel over 350 positions higher than Shazam, but also it grossed almost 4x as much so far. To even double Captain Marvel, Endgame would have to be #2 just behind Avatar. And sad to say, that is a high bar (for some reason). I’m going with “first of a kind” for Avatar, because man…well, Screen Rant said it funnier and better than I could, just take his whole Avatar review as stated here. Yeeesh. *shudders*

        “Couldn’t it just be reasonably assumed to be a better movie by a smaller amount? Or perhaps with a narrower margin to account for subjective taste in the matter? That seems fair.”

        Well, it does seem fair. However, when you’re dealing with subjectivity, or to put it another way uncertainty (a mathematical term expressing that a precise value of an input variable isn’t known), a small difference can be within the margin of error and mean little, or nothing.

        Again if you factor in how MANY freaking Avengers are in this one, and the anticipation, it really needs to blow other movies out of the water. Other similar movies, that is.

        “Also, isn’t it a bit strange to make a big deal about the number of places between the two? Endgame can’t possibly knock Captain Marvel down 400 places, in fact it can only knock it down one place really. With any luck it will have knocked Avatar down by the end of the week, even though I didn’t hateAvatar. Endgame is just a better movie as far as I’m concerned. And the money agrees with me, so tissh and pish to that even wiser man who mouthed off about profit bearing a correlative relationship to quality but not a causal one, I say!”

        Well yes it can only knock it down one place, but it could end up 20 places higher. Bad news about the Avatar thing, it’s still less than half of Avatar’s gross, so don’t expect it even by the end of next weekend. Maybe not even after week 3, because when I booked my seats, on a Saturday, I was surprised at how open the theaters are. I’m going to track that and the box office. I have a theory that, more than most movies, Endgame had as many people as possible seeing it the first week because we couldn’t wait. Myself, anecdotally, as you know. Perhaps it will have a massive first week and lesser following weeks, relatively speaking to other movies. Cap Marvel steadily climbed each week, with (spitballing) something like an 80% next-week gross compared to the previous week. This will be interesting because I fucking love numbers.

        Agreed, Endgame is better than Avatar, but I have a sinking feeling it won’t unseat Avatar. Look at the gross $s, it’s a daunting task. Being #2 is way easier than #1. But my heart and hopes are with you.

        “(Sorry if this is impacting your appreciation, but rest assured I’m only engaging as far as I thought was mutually entertaining, didn’t intend to make it into a real debate or piss you off.)”

        Not at all.

        “Now by the same token, shouldn’t the sheer amount by which Endgame smashes the rest be taken into account? Once you get up in the one-to-two billion range, isn’t it … like, well just for example, the amount Endgame has made is close enough to Shazam!‘s box office plus Captain Marvel‘s already. And that gap, regardless of their placement on the ladder, will probably only increase in size. So I mean…”

        Umm, what?

        https://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/?pagenum=1&p=.htm

        Endgame is just above Cap Marvel, by about $100 mil. If you added Shazam to it, (about $350 mil now), it would be #8 above Age of Ultron. Are you looking at a different site?

        Now I predict Endgame, even if it’s petering out, will probably get to $2 bil, so at least #5 above Jurassic World (thank fuck), but I don’t know about further. There are a lot of factors going on, but that further supports the idea you need a massive blowout to use these numbers as meaningful.

        “I guess I’m just not sure if it’s the distance between second and last (or in this case 20-somethingth and 400th-plus) that’s important, or the distance between first and second. I’m not wise, like the two men I cited earlier.”

        Oh I’m not sure either. I just like numbers.

        “Sure! To drop my TL;DR conclusion way after it’s too late, I agree with you – the box office does definitely mark a more successful movie, and can definitely be considered a factor in whether or not it is a good movie, at least in various technical senses.

        However, as to whether a movie is really good or not, that’s for each viewer to decide on their own, based on their own enjoyment.”

        And Endgame is REALLY good. Never doubt I think that.

        “Well, since we were initially talking about a set limited to people who will read your comment (“I know that will upset some who read this”) … no, I don’t think anyone in that set will cry.”

        Oh I wasn’t sure if certain people who read this might…and also I’m not sure exactly who does read this, after all. You know the people in my mind right now. But fair enough. And not *actually* cry of course, I just said “upset”, since we’re talking about what I actually said initially….

        “But you could be right, it may well outrage some readers. I guess that remains to be seen. And if we can get this post to 100 comments before the real screaming matches start, that’s just a bonus.

        The number of comments one of my movie review blog posts (or indeed any blog posts) get is a sort of box office score for the Hatstand’s content. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good post, but it means it’s a post that got lots of attention.

        And 100 comments is the Star Wars gold standard. You know, back in the heady days when dreamelings walked the Earth and weren’t too busy to comment on posts or finish reading manuscripts…

        Of course, some of these comments of ours could easily be considered 5 or even 10 comments, by size and content. But oh well. Numbers are numbers.”

        LOL

        “In this case, heh, bullshit talks?”

        Well I’m not getting paid so yeah, I’d say so. A lot of bullshit going on here as usual!

        “I felt that the engagement was different on Titan. Thanos was cocky because he had a few infinity stones and (unlike Endgame Thanos) hadn’t just seen his own head get cut off and his plan getting unravelled. He didn’t have that fuck-off brutal sword for some reason, and the fight was an ambush with the sole intention of getting the glove off him. He wasn’t tackled that way in the final battle, and he didn’t react that way – partly, yes, because he had some stones on Titan. On 2023 Earth he didn’t, so he fought differently. Should it have made him fight more feebly and get beaten? Maybe. I’m not disappointed by the discrepancy.”

        Fair enough, we see each other’s perspectives. I think this is one thing I’ll be more prepared for this Saturday, and will truly enjoy the whupping he hands out.

        “Wasn’t she already gone by then, to take care of the rest of the galaxy? It wasn’t a matter of not asking her.”

        Oh for sure. I was turned off by that scene too. The basically, “I’m just going to fuck off now, ok?” of it really slapped me. Again just my perception, probably fed by external factors that have been discussed to death.

        “But then if it was, I’m still okay with it. The plan was solid from my point of view. Captain Marvel could very well have been part of it (for example, Goose and the Tesseract could have been handy), but there were logistical issues. The number of Pym particles (okay, that’s a dumb problem because as Ryan George points out to himself they could always get more from the ’70s), the optimum number of Infinity Stones in one place and time … she could have joined some mission or other and it would have been great, I concur. But given that she had other fights to fight, seeing as how they weren’t going to undo any damage aside from the destroyed biomass … yeah, it’s fine with me that she wasn’t there.”

        Worked out ok in the end.

        “On an outside-the-movie level, as Jonathan said it seems as though they filmed a lot of Endgame before Captain Marvel, so they might not have gotten all the details sorted out in time to effectively include her?”

        Possibly. They seem to be making her powers up as they go along anyway, LOL.

        “And on another outside-the-movie level, I think you’re setting yourself up for exquisite rage-stress with the whole MRA angle. Maybe Marvel minimised Captain Marvel’s contribution to Endgame to appease the incels. That sounds like something Marvel would have absolutely no interest in doing three thousand, based on every other decision they’ve made pretty much ever, but sure. Could be. The thing is, the incels will still be pissed at her contribution.”

        I’m actually seeing a lot of calm. In fact, based on the Endgame videos I did watch before seeing the movie, I think I was already kind of thinking she must have had a minor role and not saved the day, as some expected she would have to do. I didn’t see any top comments whinging about her at all. So I was prepared for her to be sidelined and THAT probably added to my triggering over it.

        Which, as you say, is probably not a result of any such nefarious purposes being fulfilled.

        “There’s no winning those dipshits back, and Marvel is smart enough not to try. They know which way the wind is blowing. Cutting Captain Marvel out to make the incels happy would result in the incels still being unhappy (because they’re incels) and the fuzzy wuzzies also being unhappy because they missed out on seeing an awesome character at work.”

        Right. *looks in mirror*

        “So yes. To take it full circle and talk in-movie and out-of-movie, given that Captain Marvel is a very important and very powerful superhero, but has really only had one movie’s worth of story so far, I think Marvel included her in Endgame‘s final love story to the Avengers as much as they could have and should have. Much more involvement would have seemed like a shoving-aside of the old guard by a very much noob-ex-machina, especially since she did have a lot of other stuff to do.”

        Well, then I fucking want to SEE THAT STUFF. And I will, I’m sure. Can’t wait!

        “Sure, except I said it would make no sense to me. Thanks for not putting the “whatsoever” inside the quotes either, though. Perfectly balanced, Thanos would approve.”

        Sorry about that, but I mean really? You can’t see any logic in it at all? You don’t have to answer, I’m going to assume you were being hyperbolic because damn if I haven’t pointed out quite a lot of ways the Bucky choice does make sense. But that topic is closed, really, I think we both made our points and someone was going to be unhappy with the movie decision, either way.

        “Basically I do not see Bucky as the next Captain America, and I guess this is one case where I will be definitive and dismissive since you’ve brought your fan out and tapped it again to indicate that you’re … maybe, just maybe … convinced on this one?”

        Well, I don’t see it either because that’s not what happened. I am convinced Falcon is an equally good choice, and add that to what I said in the other comment, I think we’re good.

        “I’m still fine with you preferring it to be Bucky, I’m just sorry only one of us seems to be getting what he wants on this one.”

        I’ll get over it.

        “Fair enough, if that was your interpretation of the rules. I don’t know anything about them definitively, obviously.”

        For sure, neither do I. Just trying to piece it together from the words of Red Skull and actions the first time around.

        “Wouldn’t the self-sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want them to do it, count as much as the forced sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want it and Person A wants it even less?

        Seems to be how the rules demonstrably work. In either case, Person B gets the soul stone and is sad.”

        Fair enough. But can we agree that just knocking Hawkeye down and flinging herself off the cliff wouldn’t have worked? XD

        “Looking at mythological and other fictional precedent, I’ve got to say that I don’t think what the sacrificee thinks about the matter is ever that important, and the less the sacrificer wants to perform the sacrifice, the more powerful the sacrifice is considered. The former might be important to the soul stone, but again the evidence of the movies doesn’t seem to back that up. So I’m left with the conclusion that I accept your feeling on this, but … it doesn’t seem to reflect my experience of the story.”

        Yeah, this is good stuff. I like it.

        “I mean, I get that you’d have preferred Bucky, and Marvel and I have decided Falcon is the new Captain America, so everyone’s happy.”

        I’m always happy!

        “*smarmy smile*

        Especially me.”

        *side eye*
        “Not really sold on that (although I am sold on her being among the most powerful of the Avengers). I think these Marvel fights often have shifting scales of balance where one opponent is winning, then the other gets the upper hand or tries a new tactic, which is great.

        She took Thanos on, and had him on the ropes enough to make him do something horrific and desperate, but it may not have lasted long anyway. A lot of Scarlet Witch’s assaults really just incapacitate the enemy temporarily.

        It may have been enough to allow someone else to take him out though. Guess we’ll never know.”
        Fair enough. And again, someone else could have interfered, like Maw. I think by having Thanos do the bombardment option, it was an admission she beat him.

        They must have some sort of non-interference order from Thanos. Because…didn’t he order Maw to start the bombardment? Couldn’t Maw have just…waved his hand at ScarWitch?

        LOL anyway we will never know. In my mind, she beat Thanos single-handedly and looked beautiful and glorious doing it.

        By the way, if you want to see another REALLY good movie with Olsen AND Jeremy Renner in it, “Wind River” is a powerful, moving, and well done movie.

        “It was definitely strange that Steve and Bucky didn’t get their final bro-hug, although I suppose that all got closed in Civil War and Black Panther, albeit between the lines and behind the scenes.

        I’ll grant you that their final scene, either before Cap left for the past or before he dropped dead of massive heart failure on that park bench[1], was missing something. But naming Bucky as America’s Ass may not have been it.”

        Hey there you go, I think you might have found another source of my discontent. Missing something, and not Rocket jumping past Bucky and disconnecting the arm while he was distracted, either. He felt excluded to me. Dunno. Well put, there.

        “[1] Yeah he did. Fight me.”

        Director’s cut!

      • stchucky says:

        I can do this all day.

        Yeah yeah I know.

        Again if you factor in how MANY freaking Avengers are in this one, and the anticipation, it really needs to blow other movies out of the water. Other similar movies, that is.

        So in order for you to really accept the “money talks” argument as a valid one in deciding whether or not Endgame specifically is a better movie than the movies beneath it in the box office rankings … it needs to make how much? I mean to the nearest fifty cents?

        Nah for reals, I don’t mind either way, I still think it’s a good movie and I liked it more than I liked Captain Marvel, and I really liked Captain Marvel. But this is absolutely down to subjective opinion, which is what my initial joking “money talks” reference was really about.

        Agreed, Endgame is better than Avatar, but I have a sinking feeling it won’t unseat Avatar. Look at the gross $s, it’s a daunting task. Being #2 is way easier than #1. But my heart and hopes are with you.

        Yeah, it’s also interesting because Avatar took advantage of the latest big 3D and IMAX boom that later movies are riding, which makes it harder and harder for movies made since to catch up, like for example Endgame has been expressly made for IMAX and they’re pushing extra showings and bumping prices, every little trick in the book that makes the whole ranking system really complex.

        Not to mention selling screenings and not turning off the lights or turning up the sound, so people have to go again (re: Colbert video)! Bwaahahahaha, okay but seriously, I’m sure they got refunds.

        Then there’s rescreenings (hasn’t Avatar had at least one?), assorted other sales events, and simple inflation. I think E.T. is still way up there by most measures, but I don’t see it on Box Office Mojo (didn’t look closely though … no wait there it is, #83).

        So yeah, it’s all pretty much just an interesting jumble of numbers that has no definitive impact on whether or not a movie is actually good. That is entirely up to the viewer.

        Now, I would be happy to get more than a little conspiracy-theory-y and say that I do think a lot of the outrage and debate over Captain Marvel was the goal, if not the work of Disney marketing. They helped stoke the conflation between Larson’s Stitch In Time comments, which themselves were taken out of context and downright falsified in many quotes, and her appearance as Captain Marvel. Incels, themselves a vocal and violent but very small fringe of the cinemagoing public, fanned the flames with this “she doesn’t want white dudes seeing her movies” bullshit.

        What we ended up with was a lot of snowflakes going to the movie just so they could decide whether they wanted to be at an 8 or an 11 out of 10 on the triggered-whiny-outrage-o-meter, and a lot of fuzzy-wuzzies determined to see the movie and love it, and both groups pushing all their what-the-fuck-are-you-even-talking-about-you-nerd friends and relatives into the theatres.

        It was a huge win. They couldn’t have crafted better publicity (I’m not saying, really, whether they intentionally masterminded it, but they took full advantage and it paid off big time). There was no boycott here – no boycott that achieved a damn thing. It was so ludicrously overbalanced by the people going to see the movie that … well, it’s as funny as what you were saying about the knob-ends who wanted to push Shazam! to a higher spot in the box office. That was never going to happen. Just the number of people who would go because they’d heard about the attempted boycott would outnumber the potential boycotters. That makes viral news of attempted boycotts into a legitimate marketing strategy – if you can pull it off with a legit-sounding villain. Like incels.

        Would it have worked so well if Brie Larson wasn’t also conveniently (seemingly) kind of a jerk in real life? Probably not. There was a bit of a similar effort with wonder Woman but it only lasted as long as some dipshit saying “this slender little thing as Wonder Woman?” and then Gal Gadot sharing a single workout pic. Then it was fucking over. The same shit happened with Brie Larson’s butt (or lack thereof) in the Captain Marvel outfit but it barely made a splash (it fell … flat? *pinky*) next to the MRA tsumanis.

        And yes. Yes I did spell tsumanis incorrectly on purpose.

        And Endgame is REALLY good. Never doubt I think that.

        They would have had to really fuck it up for it to have been actually bad, right? And none of us are even close to saying they did that.

        “Wasn’t she already gone by then, to take care of the rest of the galaxy? It wasn’t a matter of not asking her.”

        Oh for sure. I was turned off by that scene too. The basically, “I’m just going to fuck off now, ok?” of it really slapped me. Again just my perception, probably fed by external factors that have been discussed to death.

        Sure, agree to disagree, for real. I can see how it would be disappointing, especially if you had been really looking forward to Captain Marvel being one of the team after her solo movie and all the shit that’s riding on her appearance. I get it. I would have loved to see more of her in this one too, because I thought she was great. I would have watched a four-hour movie if they’d just added an extra hour of Captain Marvel on Earth and beyond.

        I guess one of the main reasons I’m okay with the approach they took is that I like the idea of Earth not really being that important. Okay, as soon as it became a focus of Thanos’s counterstrike and attempt to destroy the entire universe, they should all have paid more attention to it but that still only would have been that final battle. However, up to that point it really wasn’t that big a deal. He’d pondered about it a few times during his campaigns, he was aware that the Avengers were a nuisance shading to legit threat, but otherwise he (along with several other alien characters throughout the continuity) just thought of Terra as a backwater shithole.

        Which, obviously, I really like as a concept.

        Danvers’s failure to care about Earth is a bit harder to brush off because of the massive emotional connection she has with it, but I do understand her duty to the thousands of other planets. Now if we could have seen her fighting on those, like you say … it’s like Green Lantern would have been infinitely improved with a twenty-minute training / ramp-up montage where Hal Jordan goes to a bunch of other planets in his sector and tries (often failing hilariously) to save them from various threats.

        Instead, he does what some of you seem to be saying Captain Marvel should have done in Endgame: concentrated solely on Earth like it was the most precious little gemstone in the universe. I mean, there has to be a happy medium between the two approaches. I just happen to think they walked that line as best they could.

        Another interesting angle to the Importance Of Earth question is the sorcerers. Earth is basically the permanent residence of the time stone, isn’t it? Bleeker Street is still only a chapterhouse but they’re not spread all over the universe and move the stone between them … right? I mean I don’t know, maybe they are. I haven’t paid enough attention to the Doctor Strange story arc to know. I know they do prrotect “the universe”, but what exactly that means when Earth seems to be the focus of it all … don’t know. Hazard of an anthrocentric storytelling culture, I guess. Have to make it on Earth to make it relatable. Pish.

        “So yes. To take it full circle and talk in-movie and out-of-movie, given that Captain Marvel is a very important and very powerful superhero, but has really only had one movie’s worth of story so far, I think Marvel included her in Endgame‘s final love story to the Avengers as much as they could have and should have. Much more involvement would have seemed like a shoving-aside of the old guard by a very much noob-ex-machina, especially since she did have a lot of other stuff to do.”

        Well, then I fucking want to SEE THAT STUFF. And I will, I’m sure. Can’t wait!

        Exactly. Agreed. But adding it to this movie really would have made the plot all whatever-it-was-that-dreameling-doesn’t-like.

        Not that it wasn’t already – but it would have made it even more so, probably. Unless he forgave it because it settled his not-enough-Captain-Marvel issue.

        “Sure, except I said it would make no sense to me. Thanks for not putting the “whatsoever” inside the quotes either, though. Perfectly balanced, Thanos would approve.”

        Sorry about that, but I mean really? You can’t see any logic in it at all?

        *sigh*

        Of course, there’s facets of the idea that you can tease out and say they’re logical. Any crazy plan will have some smidgen of a logical point in it at some stage. That doesn’t change the fact that the figure of speech “makes no sense to me” is still a thing, and it applies to my opinion of making Bucky Barnes into the next Captain America.

        Basically, if it’s all or nothing, then I’ll go with nothing. I see no logic in it. But if you want to be, you know, kind of a bit more normal-human about it, I see that there are arguments for Bucky-as-Cap that – taken entirely separately from everything else – I would agree are logical, but when you put them with all the rest I still have to conclude that it makes no sense to me that Bucky become the next Captain America.

        See, I could say that I plan on getting rid of modern-day Nazis by editing pictures of cats on the Internet to have little Hitler moustaches until all the modern-day Nazis turn into jello and then explode because jello does that in direct sunlight because of all the gluons in the sunlight. And then we could tease out that it’s logical for me to want to get rid of modern-day Nazis. And it’s logical to do something with cat pictures on the Internet because there’s a lot of them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t say that plan makes no goddamn sense, just because it’s got a bit in it that makes sense.

        You don’t have to answer, I’m going to assume you were being hyperbolic because damn if I haven’t pointed out quite a lot of ways the Bucky choice does make sense.

        You have, and I accept them. Your feeling on this one is far more rational than my Nazi plan, I don’t know what I was thinking there, that was nuts.

        Some of your points I accept only that they make sense to you, but yes, there are other “ways” (ie. separate non-load-bearing-yet-supporting arguments in favour of Captain Barnes) that make logical sense to me as well. Just not, in my opinion, enough of them to sway me from my “makes no sense to me” conclusion as relates to the whole Captain Barnes concept.

        But that topic is closed, really, I think we both made our points and someone was going to be unhappy with the movie decision, either way.

        The topic is closèd when I decree it closèd, ye brief mortal.

        “Wouldn’t the self-sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want them to do it, count as much as the forced sacrifice of Person A, when Person B doesn’t want it and Person A wants it even less?

        Seems to be how the rules demonstrably work. In either case, Person B gets the soul stone and is sad.”

        Fair enough. But can we agree that just knocking Hawkeye down and flinging herself off the cliff wouldn’t have worked? XD

        Why? Seems like it would have worked from where I’m sitting. Of course we’ll never know because we won’t see it.

        The whole Vormir playbook seems pretty wishy-washy, for sure. Pity the only conveniently nearby character likely to make a comment about it was Hawkeye, and he was being grimdark at the time so he didn’t get a chance. I want a character to yell “whoever wrote this episode should die!” at Red Skull, Sigourney-Weaver-in-Galaxy-Quest-style.

        “Looking at mythological and other fictional precedent, I’ve got to say that I don’t think what the sacrificee thinks about the matter is ever that important, and the less the sacrificer wants to perform the sacrifice, the more powerful the sacrifice is considered. The former might be important to the soul stone, but again the evidence of the movies doesn’t seem to back that up. So I’m left with the conclusion that I accept your feeling on this, but … it doesn’t seem to reflect my experience of the story.”

        Yeah, this is good stuff. I like it.

        I think we can all agree that Thor: Ragnarok-era Thor should have gone there, and sacrificed his hair.

        Fair enough. And again, someone else could have interfered, like Maw. I think by having Thanos do the bombardment option, it was an admission she beat him.

        I concur.

        I’ll grant you that their final scene, either before Cap left for the past or before he dropped dead of massive heart failure on that park bench[1], was missing something. But naming Bucky as America’s Ass may not have been it.

        Hey there you go, I think you might have found another source of my discontent. Missing something, and not Rocket jumping past Bucky and disconnecting the arm while he was distracted, either. He felt excluded to me. Dunno. Well put, there.

        I think he got enough closure in other movies, but I admit to my own bias: I give very, very few fucks about Bucky Barnes. I didn’t even like Winter Soldier that much, although it seems pretty universally a fan favourite, and he was my least favourite part about Civil War, and by the time he appeared at the end of Black Panther I was like OH COME ON WHY DOES ANYONE GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THIS DORK.

        I don’t know, I think from the moment Bucky showed back up as a “you didn’t lose all of the things from your own time – your best friend happened to come too and he’s evil now AND ALSO HE HAS … AMNESIA!” thing, it really diluted (read “pissed and shat in”) Cap’s story arc and I never warmed to Bucky after that. I get that I’m supposed to care, and this is on me.

        So take my opinion of the Falcon ending with that in mind – like I said, we’re none of us talking about anything remotely objective here. Get used to it.

        Although I now think what was missing was Rocket stealing Bucky’s arm, or at least Ant-Man stealing it and saying “but the raccoon said he needed it for the Time Heist…”

        “That would be super cool. I’m not sure what that scene was about, but certainly Thanos and young Gamora meeting in that place seems to suggest that they have both ended up in the same sphere. Although he was not a “victim” of the soul stone – he was just dusted along with everyone else, so are they all in there somewhere too? Or do they get symbolic little separate spheres? Where’s Black Widow?”

        Yes, everyone who is dusted should be in the soul stone.

        Huh. That’s weird. But okay. Obviously some parts of the soul stone will be more crowded than others though. All in all, this is a pretty Doctor Who part of the mythology … not that I’m complaining of course!

        Not sure about the sacrificee but apparently so. That’s canon. An entire “universe” (or half of one, LOL) is in there in the comics, after the Snap.

        Ohh, okay, you mean it’s comics canon. Comics schmomics.

        But sure, I don’t see any reason to think it’s different in the movies. Except Gamora wasn’t dusted, let alone child-Gamora, so she would have to be there because she was sacrificed on Vormir (like you said), and Thanos because he was dusted (assuming that was a flash-forward to the end of Endgame). Which is also fair. And the flash-forward makes as much sense as Thanos simply communing with her inside the soul stone because he had it on his gauntlet at the time, which is kind of what I assumed at the end of Infinity War.

        Being dusted is specifically what put them in there, so now Thanos is in there and, I suppose via sacrifice, so is Gamora from 2017.

        Right. And she appears to him as a kid because he’s always seen her that way. And maybe she has always seen herself that way. Interesting!

        Also Black Widow of 2023, but that may not be pursued because they may just yank her out of another timeline to get her back. Fan theories….

        Yeah, gonna be interesting to see what happens there.

        And yes, in the comics there is a way to restore everyone in the soul stone to the “main” universe. In Endgame, too…Hulk did it. Barring a movie explanation of how all that worked, gotta go with the comics and that’s what happened.

        Well, that was how it happened in the movie so yeah. I guess the soul stone was responsible for dusting everyone but the rest of the stones were needed to make it universal. And then the soul stone was key to reversing it, and of course it couldn’t reverse the sacrifices because that would defeat the purpose of the sacrifices.

        As I said elsewhere though, the architects of Vormir probably didn’t take time travel into account.

        “No, just make it a really high drop onto stone. That will kill or destroy literally anything in the universe.”

        “But what if someone throws a superhero off here and they do a superhero landing?”

        “For the last time, Wade, you weren’t invited to this design meeting.”

        “But I brought tacos.”

      • “So in order for you to really accept the “money talks” argument as a valid one in deciding whether or not Endgame specifically is a better movie than the movies beneath it in the box office rankings … it needs to make how much? I mean to the nearest fifty cents?”

        Like porn, I’ll know it when I see it. ;P

        “Now, I would be happy to get more than a little conspiracy-theory-y and say that I do think a lot of the outrage and debate over Captain Marvel was the goal, if not the work of Disney marketing.”

        Wow, that’s super dark and conspiratorial and, if true, I believe foolish of them. I really can’t say further. It had all the hallmarks of the typical knee-jerk outrage the alt-right always does, so I didn’t have any spidey senses going off.

        “It was a huge win. They couldn’t have crafted better publicity (I’m not saying, really, whether they intentionally masterminded it, but they took full advantage and it paid off big time). There was no boycott here – no boycott that achieved a damn thing. It was so ludicrously overbalanced by the people going to see the movie that … well, it’s as funny as what you were saying about the knob-ends who wanted to push Shazam! to a higher spot in the box office. That was never going to happen. Just the number of people who would go because they’d heard about the attempted boycott would outnumber the potential boycotters. That makes viral news of attempted boycotts into a legitimate marketing strategy – if you can pull it off with a legit-sounding villain. Like incels.”

        Have to agree on this part though of course. We have the evidence. And as you know I repeatedly responded to the pouting with “you’ll watch it anyways, and I love that you will” or some variants of that.

        “Sure, agree to disagree, for real. I can see how it would be disappointing, especially if you had been really looking forward to Captain Marvel being one of the team after her solo movie and all the shit that’s riding on her appearance. I get it. I would have loved to see more of her in this one too, because I thought she was great. I would have watched a four-hour movie if they’d just added an extra hour of Captain Marvel on Earth and beyond.

        I guess one of the main reasons I’m okay with the approach they took is that I like the idea of Earth not really being that important. Okay, as soon as it became a focus of Thanos’s counterstrike and attempt to destroy the entire universe, they should all have paid more attention to it but that still only would have been that final battle. However, up to that point it really wasn’t that big a deal. He’d pondered about it a few times during his campaigns, he was aware that the Avengers were a nuisance shading to legit threat, but otherwise he (along with several other alien characters throughout the continuity) just thought of Terra as a backwater shithole.

        Which, obviously, I really like as a concept.”

        Yeah, understood and I like that concept as well. Except, you know, we had half of the infinity stones here at one time, and eventually all of them, and the major action both times over all 6 stones happened on Earth, and the fate of half the universe and then the entire universe was decided here, on separate occasions/timelines.

        I think that cuts pretty hard against your assertion that they’re using the “Earth is unimportant” concept.

        “Danvers’s failure to care about Earth is a bit harder to brush off because of the massive emotional connection she has with it, but I do understand her duty to the thousands of other planets. Now if we could have seen her fighting on those, like you say … it’s like Green Lantern would have been infinitely improved with a twenty-minute training / ramp-up montage where Hal Jordan goes to a bunch of other planets in his sector and tries (often failing hilariously) to save them from various threats.”

        Right, and I’m telling myself we’ll see all that and it’ll be glorious and THEN I’ll be satisfied with her role in Endgame. But I won’t credit them with something they haven’t done.

        “Instead, he does what some of you seem to be saying Captain Marvel should have done in Endgame: concentrated solely on Earth like it was the most precious little gemstone in the universe. I mean, there has to be a happy medium between the two approaches. I just happen to think they walked that line as best they could.”

        Fair enough. But, you know, given the facts I mention above…isn’t it? Kind of? Might be important.

        “Another interesting angle to the Importance Of Earth question is the sorcerers. Earth is basically the permanent residence of the time stone, isn’t it? Bleeker Street is still only a chapterhouse but they’re not spread all over the universe and move the stone between them … right? I mean I don’t know, maybe they are. I haven’t paid enough attention to the Doctor Strange story arc to know. I know they do prrotect “the universe”, but what exactly that means when Earth seems to be the focus of it all … don’t know. Hazard of an anthrocentric storytelling culture, I guess. Have to make it on Earth to make it relatable. Pish.”

        Right there you go. I should have known you’d see how they had undermined the concept even as they were depicting it. But it goes beyond the Time Stone to everything else I mentioned above. And more, to address what you said about me and my Bucky reasons. I’m not writing EVERYTHING I think of, just what I think is enough.

        “Basically, if it’s all or nothing, then I’ll go with nothing. I see no logic in it. But if you want to be, you know, kind of a bit more normal-human about it, I see that there are arguments for Bucky-as-Cap that – taken entirely separately from everything else – I would agree are logical, but when you put them with all the rest I still have to conclude that it makes no sense to me that Bucky become the next Captain America.”

        Not sure why it has to be black-and-white in the end, and why you’re so insistent on the black-or-whiteness of your conclusion, but happy to move on.

        “See, I could say that I plan on getting rid of modern-day Nazis by editing pictures of cats on the Internet to have little Hitler moustaches until all the modern-day Nazis turn into jello and then explode because jello does that in direct sunlight because of all the gluons in the sunlight. And then we could tease out that it’s logical for me to want to get rid of modern-day Nazis. And it’s logical to do something with cat pictures on the Internet because there’s a lot of them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t say that plan makes no goddamn sense, just because it’s got a bit in it that makes sense.”

        Since I’m trying again to move on all I will say about this is that it was an absurd, unfair, and inappropriate analogy.

        “You have, and I accept them. Your feeling on this one is far more rational than my Nazi plan, I don’t know what I was thinking there, that was nuts.”

        Right, or it was nuts.

        “Some of your points I accept only that they make sense to you, but yes, there are other “ways” (ie. separate non-load-bearing-yet-supporting arguments in favour of Captain Barnes) that make logical sense to me as well. Just not, in my opinion, enough of them to sway me from my “makes no sense to me” conclusion as relates to the whole Captain Barnes concept.”

        Yes, I didn’t lay out ALL my reasons for Bucky. I saw it was a losing battle and you were being so definitive, I decided not to focus my efforts on that part of the discussion.

        Look dude, Bucky became Captain America in the comics, just as Falcon did. If I get to acquiesce on Falcon for that, then I also get to point to Bucky’s role as Captain America in that, gee, the people who actually created and wrote about these characters thought it made sense.

        Damnit, you got me debating it again. Can we just stop?

        *reads further*

        “The topic is closèd when I decree it closèd, ye brief mortal.”

        OH. Crap.

        ‘Fair enough. But can we agree that just knocking Hawkeye down and flinging herself off the cliff wouldn’t have worked? XD’

        “Why? Seems like it would have worked from where I’m sitting. Of course we’ll never know because we won’t see it.”

        Uhh, because then Hawkeye didn’t sacrifice anything, clearly, and so wouldn’t get the stone.

        Geez whatever. I’m realizing more and more when you said “I hear you” on a lot of my issues, you meant you literally observe them. I thought you meant the colloquial, “those are good, I kind of agree”.

        LOL

        Anyway, to make an analogy, if Gamora had run off the cliff and jumped when Thanos was talking to Red Skull, that would have worked for Thanos’s sacrificing one he loved?

        Come on.

        “I think he got enough closure in other movies, but I admit to my own bias: I give very, very few fucks about Bucky Barnes. I didn’t even like Winter Soldier that much, although it seems pretty universally a fan favourite, and he was my least favourite part about Civil War, and when he appeared at the end of Black Panther I was like OH COME ON WHY DOES ANYONE GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THIS DORK.

        I don’t know, I think from the moment Bucky showed back up as a “you didn’t lose all of the things from your own time – your best friend happened to come too and he’s evil now AND ALSO HE HAS … AMNESIA!” thing, it really diluted (read “pissed and shat in”) Cap’s story arc and I never warmed to Bucky after that. I get that I’m supposed to care, and this is on me.”

        Ah-hah! So you’re basically biased against Bucky just as I am with Falcon. Now this makes a lot of sense. Except my bias is more my whole “you’re not a superhero if you just have a bunch of cool gadgets made for you” thing. Tony makes his own gadgets, just to be clear.

        You are persisting to take down my preference whereas I am trying to move on, but whatever. To each his own. I think I understand where you’re coming from on this one.

        TBH I didn’t like Winter Soldier that much, but I hear the fans did, that many people did. I agree with all that you said, though. I still feel the emotional pull of Bucky’s tragic life and how magnificent, for his development, it would have been to make him the new Cap.

        “So take my opinion of the Falcon ending with that in mind – like I said, we’re none of us talking about anything remotely objective here. Get used to it.”

        I have been objectively listing the reasons Bucky could have become the next Cap, and objectively thinking about the other reasons. And the downsides, of course. I think our rejections, of Falcon and Bucky, are where we’re being subjective and horribly biased. LOL

        “Ohh, okay, you mean it’s comics canon. Comics schmomics.”

        *sigh* Well, you followed up with what I would have said in retort. But still, *sigh*

        “Well, that was how it happened in the movie so yeah. I guess the soul stone was responsible for dusting everyone but the rest of the stones were needed to make it universal. And then the soul stone was key to reversing it, and of course it couldn’t reverse the sacrifices because that would defeat the purpose of the sacrifices.

        As I said elsewhere though, the architects of Vormir probably didn’t take time travel into account.”

        Yeah not sure about that but it makes sense to me. I only know what’s in the comics from videos about what’s in the comics, after all XD

        You know, one day they might make a movie, or movies, about some of your books. Are you going to insist on 100% plot control, or are they going to get to change things if they think they can improve them?

        And will you accept the movie(s) as canon at that point? Books, schmooks?

        That’d be interesting.

      • stchucky says:

        “Now, I would be happy to get more than a little conspiracy-theory-y and say that I do think a lot of the outrage and debate over Captain Marvel was the goal, if not the work of Disney marketing.”

        Wow, that’s super dark and conspiratorial and, if true, I believe foolish of them. I really can’t say further. It had all the hallmarks of the typical knee-jerk outrage the alt-right always does, so I didn’t have any spidey senses going off.

        Oh yeah no, I didn’t really mean it in the full-blown conspiracy sense like they set out to do it, that could so easily have backfired. They’re a bit smarter than that.

        I think, however, that in not “getting out in front of it” with the whole incel outcry against Brie Larson, and basically just going “LOL” and carrying on with the movie as planned, they very cleverly reaped a snowflake windfall which is reflected in Captain Marvel‘s box office as opposed to Shazam!‘s. It doesn’t account for all of it but it accounts for a non-zero amount of it. And that’s awesome.

        Have to agree on this part though of course. We have the evidence. And as you know I repeatedly responded to the pouting with “you’ll watch it anyways, and I love that you will” or some variants of that.

        Exactly.

        Yeah, understood and I like that concept as well. Except, you know, we had half of the infinity stones here at one time, and eventually all of them, and the major action both times over all 6 stones happened on Earth, and the fate of half the universe and then the entire universe was decided here, on separate occasions/timelines.

        Yep, as I acknowledged.

        I think that cuts pretty hard against your assertion that they’re using the “Earth is unimportant” concept.

        Agreed. Now, as to whether that means the rest of the galaxy’s civilisations should get no superheroes[1] looking after them after losing half their living things … no, I’m happy accepting, in-story, that this was Captain Marvel’s obligation.

        [1] Of course it’s not that absolute, I’m sure there are plenty of non-Avenger-connected, non-Guardian C-list superheroes still floating around to help fix things. But Captain Marvel – that’s kind of set up as being her thing here. If not her, then who? Earth, after all, was pretty well taken care of, provided she could turn up and help a bit. And she didn’t know the huge fight was happening there until she did. So all she was skipping out on was the five years of dreary mop-up, seems to me.

        “Basically, if it’s all or nothing, then I’ll go with nothing. I see no logic in it. But if you want to be, you know, kind of a bit more normal-human about it, I see that there are arguments for Bucky-as-Cap that – taken entirely separately from everything else – I would agree are logical, but when you put them with all the rest I still have to conclude that it makes no sense to me that Bucky become the next Captain America.”

        Not sure why it has to be black-and-white in the end, and why you’re so insistent on the black-or-whiteness of your conclusion, but happy to move on.

        You’re not sure why it has to be black-and-white?

        It doesn’t!

        Me: I’m heartily glad they didn’t go with Bucky because at least in the movies (comics schmomics) it would make no sense to me.

        You: Isn’t it a bit harsh to say “make no sense” whatsoever?

        Me: Sure, except I said it would make no sense to me. (and not “whatsoever”, it’s a figure of speech)

        You: Sorry about that, but I mean really? You can’t see any logic in it at all?

        Me: Of course, there’s facets of the idea that you can tease out and say they’re logical. Any crazy plan will have some smidgen of a logical point in it at some stage. That doesn’t change the fact that the figure of speech “makes no sense to me” is still a thing and it applies to my opinion of making Bucky Barnes into the next Captain America.

        But since you seemed to keep insisting that I answer an absolute – an absolute that you seemed to keep creating by adding “whatsoever” and “at all” into the mix – then I answered it. A couple of times, because you really looked like you were insisting on it from my point of view. That’s why I said “if it has to be all or nothing”, because that was what it felt to me like you were demanding.

        But it doesn’t have to be! You’re right!

        Either one could have worked, and not only because both explanations have their trace elements of logic in them. You said it yourself, both happened in the comics so I would expect both narratives to make a certain amount of storytelling sense. It’s fine.

        Movie Bucky as movie Captain America makes no sense to me. And that is also fine.

        Look dude, Bucky became Captain America in the comics, just as Falcon did. If I get to acquiesce on Falcon for that, then I also get to point to Bucky’s role as Captain America in that, gee, the people who actually created and wrote about these characters thought it made sense.

        But how many more times do I have to say “comics schmomics”? Honestly, the phrase is beginning to lose all meaning!

        No, I do have a reason for still responding to this, I think it’s ultimately going to help (and more than just my blog comments-count). So please bear with me.

        I genuinely hear you on Falcon. He’s one of the pointless Avengers, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a normal guy, a soldier, and all he has is the gadgets, right? Iron Man can do all his shit, without the fragile and cumbersome wings. Plus Stark made them all himself.

        Take the flying suit away, and Falcon’s as pointless as Hawkeye and Black Widow, and I maybe shouldn’t even include Black Widow because she’s some form of enhanced, even if just with lifelong training and other fuckery. Same with Hawkeye really, he’s got some kind of superhuman skill, right?

        So yeah, he’s a WTF sort of choice for Captain America too. I didn’t see the decision coming and when it did I was puzzled, but it wasn’t Shia-LeBouf-is-about-to-put-on-Indy’s-hat levels of horror that I was feeling. I mean thank fuck they averted that disaster, right?

        But, he had a great movie arc with Steve. And the more I reflected on it, the more sold I was. Same as you were, except I started out that way and got more solid. And if we want to speculate about the transference of the serum, it takes away a big distinction between Bucky and Falcon. Comics schmomics schmomics, indeed.

        And in movie terms, yes I personally think Steve and Bucky had their arc and it was done. But if Bucky had gone over to say goodbye to Steve, and Steve had given him the shield, I probably would have justified all of my reservations about Bucky’s unsuitability. It would have meant some explaining of Bucky’s acceptance into the main Avengers team, but with Tony dead that would probably be fine.

        So yeah. It could have gone either way. This way makes more sense to me, but who knows how much of that is just because this was the way it happened?

        Damnit, you got me debating it again. Can we just stop?

        I mean if you really want to. But don’t be saying provocative stuff and then adding “you don’t have to answer” and pretending that shit’s gonna work, ever.

        “Why? Seems like it would have worked from where I’m sitting. Of course we’ll never know because we won’t see it.”

        Uhh, because then Hawkeye didn’t sacrifice anything, clearly, and so wouldn’t get the stone.

        I get it. I’m trying to think around corners here, you haven’t left me a great map. The Gamora example below helped.

        Geez whatever. I’m realizing more and more when you said “I hear you” on a lot of my issues, you meant you literally observe them. I thought you meant the colloquial, “those are good, I kind of agree”.

        LOL

        Yeah yeah, don’t get cross. Now you want to use figures of speech…

        Anyway, to make an analogy, if Gamora had run off the cliff and jumped when Thanos was talking to Red Skull, that would have worked for Thanos’s sacrificing one he loved?

        That’s a good one! What if Gamora had remained loyal? Wouldn’t she always have been his intended sacrifice, assuming he knew it would be necessary? Certainly Nebula was never going to be it.

        So she would have sacrificed herself willingly. It still would have hurt him, wouldn’t it? So it still would have counted?

        Come on.

        I … don’t think this analogy worked the way you expected it to. I’m playing the scene in my head and no matter how Gamora goes into that chasm, Thanos loses her and is sad and gets the soul stone.

        Ah-hah! So you’re basically biased against Bucky just as I am with Falcon.

        Well, I wouldn’t want to put my bias against Bucky into the same category that initially contained an accusation of “diversity hire”. But okay. You walked back from that one so I can cop to a distinct bias here.

        It was much easier for me to accept Falcon, I think, than it would have been for me to accept Bucky – on the other hand, I’ve accepted all the Bucky-Bucky-Bucky bullshit for the past ten years, I probably would have bent with this one too. Who knows?

        For the record, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned how uninspiring I find the Bucky character, in every other review of movies including him. But it’s a low-key sort of thing and I doubt it would have come out in that alternate timeline where Bucky became Captain America. I would have just sighed and gone with it. All Bucky, all the time, world without end, glory amen.

        I still feel the emotional pull of Bucky’s tragic life and how magnificent, for his development, it would have been to make him the new Cap.

        Yeah, you know what? That would / could have been a real back-into-the-fold final-redemption moment that was still kind of missing from Civil War and I was a little unsatisfied by (now I’m being forced to give a fuck about it, thank you very much). It might have even made him more interesting in my eyes.

        So hopefully you can accept when I say “I hear you” on this one, but I’m still going to conclude that Bucky as Captain America makes no sense to me. Sorry.

        You know, one day they might make a movie, or movies, about some of your books. Are you going to insist on 100% plot control, or are they going to get to change things if they think they can improve them?

        And will you accept the movie(s) as canon at that point? Books, schmooks?

        That’d be interesting.

        But you know how this goes. Both are canon, and both are separate canon. Yes, books schmooks – when people are discussing the movies.

        Also hopefully it would mean that I’m not checking my bank balance daily when I need to buy food in the last week of each month before pay day, so I think I could live with any hypocrisy I wind up displaying.

      • “[1] Of course it’s not that absolute, I’m sure there are plenty of non-Avenger-connected, non-Guardian C-list superheroes still floating around to help fix things. But Captain Marvel – that’s kind of set up as being her thing here. If not her, then who? Earth, after all, was pretty well taken care of, provided she could turn up and help a bit. And she didn’t know the huge fight was happening there until she did. So all she was skipping out on was the five years of dreary mop-up, seems to me.”

        Certainly. And since next-to-none of those dreary 5 years were on-screen, none of that was in the runtime of the movie that we’re criticizing for its lack of Captain Marvel presence. We’re put off by the lack of presence once they start working on the Time Heist! We’re not calling for more Captain Marvel scenes in the interim period!

        “But since you seemed to keep insisting that I answer an absolute – an absolute that you seemed to keep creating by adding “whatsoever” and “at all” into the mix – then I answered it. A couple of times, because you really looked like you were insisting on it from my point of view. That’s why I said “if it has to be all or nothing”, because that was what it felt to me like you were demanding.”

        Oh come on, man! You’re pretending that “makes no sense” isn’t an absolute? “To me” doesn’t change that. You were being absolute. That means there’s nothing in it that makes sense. I wasn’t demanding you answer an absolute, I was asking you to BACK OFF from an absolute!

        “I genuinely hear you on Falcon. He’s one of the pointless Avengers, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a normal guy, a soldier, and all he has is the gadgets, right? Iron Man can do all his shit, without the fragile and cumbersome wings. Plus Stark made them all himself.”

        Oh thank fuck, you agree with me about Falcon! Well, aside from the shield bit, LOL

        You’re right, that does help!

        “Take the flying suit away, and Falcon’s as pointless as Hawkeye and Black Widow, and I maybe shouldn’t even include Black Widow because she’s some form of enhanced, even if just with lifelong training and other fuckery. Same with Hawkeye really, he’s got some kind of superhuman skill, right?”

        Right. Although now you’ve got me thinking about it, some of what Falcon does with his flight, like that double-kick while landing and curling in his wings that videos like to feature so much, is pretty superhuman. He’s probably Hawkeye class, TBH.

        “So yeah, he’s a WTF sort of choice for Captain America too. I didn’t see the decision coming and when it did I was puzzled, but it wasn’t Shia-LeBouf-is-about-to-put-on-Indy’s-hat levels of horror that I was feeling. I mean thank fuck they averted that disaster, right?”

        Right…ok you’re correct this is extremely helpful. Thank you. Reminder we usually only actually disagree about 2% of an issue or of issues.

        “But, he had a great movie arc with Steve. And the more I reflected on it, the more sold I was. Same as you were, except I started out that way and got more solid. And if we want to speculate about the transference of the serum, it takes away a big distinction between Bucky and Falcon. Comics schmomics schmomics, indeed.”

        I noticed you getting more sold. You were kind of like Edward Norton’s Hulk but with acceptance and getting sold instead of rage and getting swole.

        “And in movie terms, yes I personally think Steve and Bucky had their arc and it was done. But if Bucky had gone over to say goodbye to Steve, and Steve had given him the shield, I probably would have justified all of my reservations about Bucky’s unsuitability. It would have meant some explaining of Bucky’s acceptance into the main Avengers team, but with Tony dead that would probably be fine.

        So yeah. It could have gone either way. This way makes more sense to me, but who knows how much of that is just because this was the way it happened?”

        OK fair enough. Note how you’re now saying it just “makes more sense” for Falcon than Bucky? That’s pretty much all I’ve been asking for. I was ready to grant you that from like post #3, but not “makes NO sense” (“to me” or not).

        “I mean if you really want to. But don’t be saying provocative stuff and then adding “you don’t have to answer” and pretending that shit’s gonna work, ever.”

        Sometimes I wonder what my right hand would taste like if I bit into it.

        You don’t have to answer!

        “I get it. I’m trying to think around corners here, you haven’t left me a great map. The Gamora example below helped.”

        Apologies that the map already worked for me, so I didn’t improve it. I guess I kind of assumed you were watching the Looper videos. Bad assumption, I learned in this exchange!

        “Yeah yeah, don’t get cross. Now you want to use figures of speech…”

        Figures of speech are tight.

        “That’s a good one! What if Gamora had remained loyal? Wouldn’t she always have been his intended sacrifice, assuming he knew it would be necessary? Certainly Nebula was never going to be it.

        So she would have sacrificed herself willingly. It still would have hurt him, wouldn’t it? So it still would have counted?”

        If he knew and got a chance to stop it, yes. My scenario happened beyond his control, and you didn’t answer that one. The original situation with Hawkeye an Black Widow would have been beyond the other’s control if incapacitated, too.

        Red Skull says “YOU” have to sacrifice. I’m not seeing a lot of wishy-washy in that.

        “I … don’t think this analogy worked the way you expected it to. I’m playing the scene in my head and no matter how Gamora goes into that chasm, Thanos loses her and is sad and gets the soul stone.”

        Why? Red Skull doesn’t say “something something has to hurt your fee fees. He says YOU have to SACRIFICE one you love.”

        Here, this oughta work:

        Thanos says ‘fuck it, I can’t sacrifice you, I’ll go get your sister or something, let’s head home for now.’ He begins to walk away. Gamora stops apparently to tie her shoe, he checks and then turns back around to his ship. Gamora leaps off the cliff without him even seeing her do it.

        He’s not sacrificing anything if he didn’t have a choice! Same with Hawkeye if he had just been overpowered in the first moments of the fight. To make a sacrifice, you have to MAKE a choice. Take an action.

        I mean, right? Really scratching my head here. Not sure why we can’t just agree on this tiny thing.

        “Well, I wouldn’t want to put my bias against Bucky into the same category that initially contained an accusation of “diversity hire”. But okay. You walked back from that one so I can cop to a distinct bias here.”

        Yes fair enough although I already guilt myself for that one daily, ok? It’s just…well what you said about Falcon, and I know Marvel (and other studios) ARE trying to be more diverse. So I mean come on. It was certainly possible, barring other better explanations.

        You know I don’t actually MIND diversity hiring. It’s just…if there’s a better candidate standing right there….

        “It was much easier for me to accept Falcon, I think, than it would have been for me to accept Bucky – on the other hand, I’ve accepted all the Bucky-Bucky-Bucky bullshit for the past ten years, I probably would have bent with this one too. Who knows?”

        You are very bendy. Well, usually at least *looks up at soulstone debate*

        Well…mind-bendy….

        “Yeah, you know what? That would / could have been a real back-into-the-fold final-redemption moment that was still kind of missing from Civil War and I was a little unsatisfied by (now I’m being forced to give a fuck about it, thank you very much). It might have even made him more interesting in my eyes.

        So hopefully you can accept when I say “I hear you” on this one, but I’m still going to conclude that Bucky as Captain America makes no sense to me. Sorry.”

        OK man at this point I’m just going to ignore the actual words you write and PRETEND you are saying “makes less sense to me than Falcon.” As you did earlier in this same post.

        SMH

        “But you know how this goes. Both are canon, and both are separate canon. Yes, books schmooks – when people are discussing the movies.”

        I find it incredibly hard to believe that you REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario. If you did, great, but I’m shocked that your babies wouldn’t be the true original source no matter what.

        I know mine would be. At least to the point where if someone pointed out how something different could have happened if they did the movies “right”, and pointed to the books, I would agree. Since that was the actual, original idea. Of course I didn’t need to confirm this because I do it with the works of others, too.

        I mean, liken it to anything else, e.g. a historical record of Lincoln (which still may have errors! This is not a fiction-nonfiction debate, despite the example I use.) and then the MOVIE Lincoln. If the historical record differs from the movie, do you say “record, schmecord”?

        I get it, if you talk about the movies as if they’re just totally separate, you can say that. But they’re not separate. They’re derived from source material. I enjoy noting differences with the source material and at times concluding that the source material did it better!

        “Also hopefully it would mean that I’m not checking my bank balance daily when I need to buy food in the last week of each month before pay day, so I think I could live with any hypocrisy I wind up displaying.”

        Well yeah there is that. Hypocrisy is easier to take when you’re well-off, or so I’ve noticed.

      • stchucky says:

        “But since you seemed to keep insisting that I answer an absolute – an absolute that you seemed to keep creating by adding “whatsoever” and “at all” into the mix – then I answered it. A couple of times, because you really looked like you were insisting on it from my point of view. That’s why I said “if it has to be all or nothing”, because that was what it felt to me like you were demanding.”

        Oh come on, man! You’re pretending that “makes no sense” isn’t an absolute? “To me” doesn’t change that. You were being absolute. That means there’s nothing in it that makes sense. I wasn’t demanding you answer an absolute, I was asking you to BACK OFF from an absolute!

        Ahh well, life is full of these little disappointments, sent to try us. And as many intriguing and fun elements it has, as much comic book backing it has, and as much as I’m sure I’d be trying to justify and rationalise a nonsensical plot point if it had happened, the fact remains that the Bucky Barnes of the movies, becoming the new Captain America, makes no sense to me.

        Right. Although now you’ve got me thinking about it, some of what Falcon does with his flight, like that double-kick while landing and curling in his wings that videos like to feature so much, is pretty superhuman. He’s probably Hawkeye class, TBH.

        Sure. I mean, he wasn’t given all that gear and made into a superhero just because he hung out with Steve Rogers a bit.

        That was Bucky.

        OK fair enough. Note how you’re now saying it just “makes more sense” for Falcon than Bucky? That’s pretty much all I’ve been asking for. I was ready to grant you that from like post #3, but not “makes NO sense” (“to me” or not).

        Oh dear me, I don’t care if you grant me shit.

        Making any amount of sense is more than no sense.

        If he knew and got a chance to stop it, yes. My scenario happened beyond his control, and you didn’t answer that one. The original situation with Hawkeye an Black Widow would have been beyond the other’s control if incapacitated, too.

        I didn’t intentionally not answer it, I thought I was answering the willing sacrifice scenario.

        So you’re wondering, if they’d gone to Vormir both knowing he’d have to sacrifice Gamora, he decided not to but she did it without his consent.
        So sort of like Abraham deciding not to sacrifice his son, but then the son killing himself. Ehh, not my best comparison but I get you I think.

        Yeah, that’d have to be more tricky, because what if someone went there alone and said “I’m sacrificing myself for my [insert relation here], they’re on their way here and they have no idea of this arrangement, just give them the soul stone when they get here.” …yeah, I think Red Skull would be like “I sink zat’s enough of ze funny piznez, ja?”

        Kind of a moot point since none of this happened. Where does this leave us? Hawkeye and Widow was a bit of a shambles and could have been done differently. Agreed on that.

        Shit, Star Lord could’ve been there with past-Gamora and sacrificed her again according to her wishes. That would have been – what, too dark again?

        Thanos says ‘fuck it, I can’t sacrifice you, I’ll go get your sister or something, let’s head home for now.’ He begins to walk away. Gamora stops apparently to tie her shoe, he checks and then turns back around to his ship. Gamora leaps off the cliff without him even seeing her do it.

        Right, so you think it requires the sacrificer to actively sacrifice the sacrificee, rather than simply watch them sacrifice themselves?

        He’s not sacrificing anything if he didn’t have a choice! Same with Hawkeye if he had just been overpowered in the first moments of the fight. To make a sacrifice, you have to MAKE a choice. Take an action.

        Could be.

        I mean, right? Really scratching my head here. Not sure why we can’t just agree on this tiny thing.

        I’ll go you one better, why is Gamora?

        No, I don’t even know what we’re supposed to be disagreeing about. You’re asking me what I think of certain scenarios and I’m telling you what I think of them. Yeah, there are different ways the sacrifice can be successful, this we’ve seen. We haven’t seen it fail. I agree that Thanos’s sacrifice was a more solid sacrifice as far as my understanding of sacrifice goes. But Hawkeye’s sacrifice worked.

        Don’t know what to tell you.

        “Well, I wouldn’t want to put my bias against Bucky into the same category that initially contained an accusation of “diversity hire”. But okay. You walked back from that one so I can cop to a distinct bias here.”

        Yes fair enough although I already guilt myself for that one daily, ok? It’s just…well what you said about Falcon, and I know Marvel (and other studios) ARE trying to be more diverse. So I mean come on. It was certainly possible, barring other better explanations.

        You know I don’t actually MIND diversity hiring. It’s just…if there’s a better candidate standing right there….

        Shh, stop. Just stop.

        Shhhhh.

        “It was much easier for me to accept Falcon, I think, than it would have been for me to accept Bucky – on the other hand, I’ve accepted all the Bucky-Bucky-Bucky bullshit for the past ten years, I probably would have bent with this one too. Who knows?”

        You are very bendy. Well, usually at least *looks up at soulstone debate*

        Well I think you’re being unreasonable! I’m trying to answer your questions there, and figure out what your issue is with that scene that I’m not seeing. If any. I can see it was different, but I didn’t really get the issue.

        I find it incredibly hard to believe that you REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario. If you did, great, but I’m shocked that your babies wouldn’t be the true original source no matter what.

        You find it hard to believe that I’ve thought about my books being made into movies, and how I’d feel about it? Huh.

        I know mine would be. At least to the point where if someone pointed out how something different could have happened if they did the movies “right”, and pointed to the books, I would agree. Since that was the actual, original idea. Of course I didn’t need to confirm this because I do it with the works of others, too.

        But not with A Song of Ice and Fire?

        No. The book is one thing, the movie of the book (unless explicitly stated to be the same canon) is its own thing.

        Like the Rowling Potter stuff, it seems really closely linked and there aren’t major discrepancies that I can see. And she is now straight-up making the movies.

        But then you have the Steven Kings and the George RR Martins, who are clearly just enjoying the fame and fortune and (King more than Martin, it seems) don’t really care how messed up their adaptations are.

        So I guess ultimately it would depend on the level of control I had. But no, they have to be separate things. Gut reaction, obviously I’m not in a position to know for sure.

        I mean, liken it to anything else, e.g. a historical record of Lincoln (which still may have errors! This is not a fiction-nonfiction debate, despite the example I use.) and then the MOVIE Lincoln. If the historical record differs from the movie, do you say “record, schmecord”?

        Yeah, pretty much. Again, I’m not going to apply the same approach to every case, because that’s nuts. It’s not always going to be the same.

        But they’re two different things. The movie has to be made to movie specs. You can do things differently (as long as we’re talking fiction and fiction, like you say), but that’s just a matter of opinion. I’m not saying the record is wrong or inferior, just that it’s not ultimately important to the movie once the movie plot points and themes and dialogue is created and done. The choice is made.

        I get it, if you talk about the movies as if they’re just totally separate, you can say that. But they’re not separate. They’re derived from source material. I enjoy noting differences with the source material and at times concluding that the source material did it better!

        Sure, you can do that. I’m not doing it. Not here. The movies are enough. If you want to sit down and pick apart the Deadpool movies according to the comics, that’s a whole new fun set of blog posts but it’d have to be something I consciously set out to do. The movies are enough.

      • ‘OK fair enough. Note how you’re now saying it just “makes more sense” for Falcon than Bucky? That’s pretty much all I’ve been asking for. I was ready to grant you that from like post #3, but not “makes NO sense” (“to me” or not).’

        “Oh dear me, I don’t care if you grant me shit.”

        Huh. Just as well I was only ready to, and haven’t actually done it.

        *Time Heists just in case*

        “I didn’t intentionally not answer it, I thought I was answering the willing sacrifice scenario.”

        Ahh, fair enough. Emph-ass-is on the wrong syll-ab-le

        “So you’re wondering, if they’d gone to Vormir both knowing he’d have to sacrifice Gamora, he decided not to but she did it without his consent.”

        No, he didn’t know about the sacrifice until he got there!

        “So sort of like Abraham deciding not to sacrifice his son, but then the son killing himself. Ehh, not my best comparison but I get you I think.”

        Nah but you know, we got there in the end (below).

        “Yeah, that’d have to be more tricky, because what if someone went there alone and said “I’m sacrificing myself for my [insert relation here], they’re on their way here and they have no idea of this arrangement, just give them the soul stone when they get here.” …yeah, I think Red Skull would be like “I sink zat’s enough of ze funny piznez, ja?””

        Agreed!

        “Kind of a moot point since none of this happened. Where does this leave us? Hawkeye and Widow was a bit of a shambles and could have been done differently. Agreed on that.”

        We got there!

        “Shit, Star Lord could’ve been there with past-Gamora and sacrificed her again according to her wishes. That would have been – what, too dark again?”

        Superdark times but I like where your mind goes.

        “Right, so you think it requires the sacrificer to actively sacrifice the sacrificee, rather than simply watch them sacrifice themselves?”

        To participate in some way, or I don’t see how the words “you must sacrifice” have any meaning.

        “But Hawkeye’s sacrifice worked.”

        I think this and a few other sentences fundamentally demonstrate why we have such trouble with these discussions. They work because they worked in the movie, but I’m more like Screen Rant (except better with voices and handsomer) and if it doesn’t work *for me* then it’s a problem. Large or small, depending. I already admitted, I don’t know how else they do this one. Those two aren’t suited to sacrificing others, at least not EACH other.

        Thanos…it was his DESTINY to sacrifice others.

        “Well I think you’re being unreasonable! I’m trying to answer your questions there, and figure out what your issue is with that scene that I’m not seeing. If any. I can see it was different, but I didn’t really get the issue.”

        Shambles was good enough for me. I think that’s pretty reasonable. I just suck, I suppose, at indicating exactly what I’m looking for. I guess.

        ‘I find it incredibly hard to believe that you REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario. If you did, great, but I’m shocked that your babies wouldn’t be the true original source no matter what.’

        ‘You find it hard to believe that I’ve thought about my books being made into movies, and how I’d feel about it? Huh.’

        From that reaction, yeah. And I chose those words very carefully. I specifically didn’t say “thought about”. and “how you might feel”. I meant something far stronger, like putting yourself in the moment in a storytelling sense (I’m making shit up because I’m not a writer but I understand you can do stuff like this) when I wrote “REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario.”

        So I apologize for any offense. I’m basically shocked you wouldn’t truly feel more hurt by deviations. But you doubled down on your answer so ok!

        “But not with A Song of Ice and Fire?”

        Maybe if I was checking as closely as I am here. They’re doing an awesome job with the movie and he’s not going to finish the books, so that’s a poor example.

        Yes I said it. HE is not going to finish the books. HBO writers will finish the show, and he will “plagiarize”. You know, write or have ghost-written whatever the show does.

        “Like the Rowling Potter stuff, it seems really closely linked and there aren’t major discrepancies that I can see. And she is now straight-up making the movies.”

        Yeah I saw many but can’t be bothered to try and remember now. Mostly useless side events though, not major decisions like who gets Cap’s shield!

        “But then you have the Steven Kings and the George RR Martins, who are clearly just enjoying the fame and fortune and (King more than Martin, it seems) don’t really care how messed up their adaptations are.”

        Yeah for sure.

        “So I guess ultimately it would depend on the level of control I had. But no, they have to be separate things. Gut reaction, obviously I’m not in a position to know for sure.”

        Well fair enough!

        “But they’re two different things. The movie has to be made to movie specs. You can do things differently (as long as we’re talking fiction and fiction, like you say), but that’s just a matter of opinion. I’m not saying the record is wrong or inferior, just that it’s not ultimately important to the movie once the movie plot points and themes and dialogue is created and done. The choice is made.”

        Well ok then. This is another indication of that difference I mentioned above which causes these troubles. Not a problem just a difference in how we see things about movies from a book source.

        “Sure, you can do that. I’m not doing it. Not here. The movies are enough. If you want to sit down and pick apart the Deadpool movies according to the comics, that’s a whole new fun set of blog posts but it’d have to be something I consciously set out to do. The movies are enough.”

        Right. I feel that I keep this BS to a minimum but YMMV.

      • stchucky says:

        “Oh dear me, I don’t care if you grant me shit.”

        Huh. Just as well I was only ready to, and haven’t actually done it.

        Bwaahahahaha, golden. Sorry, I had a fan-tapping comment to add here but it scanned as far more amused-and-amusing in my head than when I wrote it out, so I’ll leave it for now.

        *puts fan back between boobs*

        “So you’re wondering, if they’d gone to Vormir both knowing he’d have to sacrifice Gamora, he decided not to but she did it without his consent.”

        No, he didn’t know about the sacrifice until he got there!

        If, Aaron, if. But never mind, doesn’t matter.

        This actually is what bothers me most about the whole thing, even back in Endgame. So Vormir is this secret world in the centre of the universe, and the soul stone is somewhere (in a nearby layer of reality?), and the only way to get to it is to climb the mountain, make a sacrifice and then you go to the soul stone world and sit in a puddle and then you get the soul stone. Or whatever, that’s fine.

        Nobody knows about this whole thing, basically Gamora found out the world was where the soul stone was but she didn’t find out anything else? There’s nothing there aside from the mountain?

        You go there, and Red Skull (at least as of the 1940s when the Tesseract exiled him there … but maybe longer, because timey-wimey) tells you about the sacrifice required.

        So I assume, if you go there alone, he’d tell you to go away and come back with a sacrifice?

        See, my assumption was that Gamora hadn’t known about the sacrifice, because from her reaction you can tell she didn’t know. But for some reason I didn’t think Thanos was that surprised. Like, he may have hoped it wasn’t going to go that way but he was resigned to it. I figured he’d just known about the sacrifice required to get the stone, due to some other learning he’d done at another time. All he didn’t know was the location of the soul stone’s access point.

        But sure, apparently he went in knowing nothing, and then when he found out about the requirement he was like “*sigh* a’ight,” and in went Gamora. Fine.

        It’s still an awfully wishy-washy arrangement and there’s a ton of what-ifs. I agree on that even if I’m more okay with it than you are in the end. This sort of thing is inevitable once you slip into science-fantasy wishes and riddles and rules. Maybe if we’d seen a couple of failed attempts, we’d have a better idea of what was needed. But is it really so important?

        It seems like Person A and Person B at least are necessary, and Person B needs to die in order for Person A to get the soul stone. Person A needs to not want Person B to die, but it doesn’t seem like Person A needs to actually actively make Person B die. Person B can be willing or unwilling.

        That was the big emotional take-away from Infinity War, after all. That Thanos, who you would expect to just sacrifice anything in pursuit of his goal, and care about nothing, actually does have something / someone that he truly loves. And doesn’t want to give up. I thought that was amazing, and then I added still more levels by wondering if he knew about the sacrifice he’d one day be required to make even back then, and so he adopted Gamora and Nebula in order to start making those sacrifices happen. And it worked better than he ever could have hoped. Because in a way, adopting daughters (even to torture them) seems out of character. Were his other cronies like Maw and Proxima his children? I think the Black Order and Thanos’s daughters are two different things.

        So it turns out the Vormir thing is like a basic sacrifice, except apparently a bit more lax when it comes to letting the sacrificer out of any of the hard work, as long as they … feel bad about it?

        The rules could be clearer. But I’m okay with the fact that both Thanos and Hawkeye got the soul stone. I feel like Thanos earned it a bit more, but only because of my (narrow) understanding of sacrifice, and my admitted investment in Thanos’s backstory.

        Might have been cool if Black Widow had done that whole scene, fallen to her death, and then no soul stone. And Hawkeye had yelled at Red Skull and Red Skull could have said “oh I’m sorry, am I sayink zat ze soul stone reqvires you to sacrifice sumpzink or zat it reqvires ein dumkopf in ze tight jodhpurs to flink herself off ze blasted cliff?”

        …and a sacrifice is still called for. Of course, then Black Widow would be dead for absolutely no reason and the movie didn’t have time for that bullshit,and basically only I would be happy (as usual). Still, maybe they could have done something.

        “Shit, Star Lord could’ve been there with past-Gamora and sacrificed her again according to her wishes. That would have been – what, too dark again?”

        Superdark times but I like where your mind goes.

        “Don’t screw it up like you apparently did last time, Peter Quill.”

        “Right, so you think it requires the sacrificer to actively sacrifice the sacrificee, rather than simply watch them sacrifice themselves?”

        To participate in some way, or I don’t see how the words “you must sacrifice” have any meaning.

        That’s true, it does sort of require at the very least an acquiescence for the thing to be sacrificed. I was thinking that linguistically there is a provision for a sacrifice to be a passive thing, or even something you actively struggle against (and again, the events of the movie sort of bear this out), but it’s confusing.

        I think this and a few other sentences fundamentally demonstrate why we have such trouble with these discussions. They work because they worked in the movie, but I’m more like Screen Rant (except better with voices and handsomer) and if it doesn’t work *for me* then it’s a problem. Large or small, depending. I already admitted, I don’t know how else they do this one. Those two aren’t suited to sacrificing others, at least not EACH other.

        Sure. If it worked, it’s because there are provisions in the Vormir Operating Instructions for it to work. And in the absence of those provisions being spelled out, you have a problem with the scene whereas I am fine just assuming that the provisions exist.

        But in other scenes, in other movies and stories, I may want to see those provisions – or I will have a problem. I just didn’t happen to have a problem with this one. Other times, I will. It’s not the same every time (that sort of consistency is … unreasonable in my view). If a story depends too much on the audience assuming there are rules they don’t know, for example, then it’s a lazy story. If the plot pivots too completely on that one convenience, I’ll need it to be justified (or justified more). But in this specific movie, I don’t think they did it too many times or that this one Infinity Stone quest-segment was sufficiently pivotal. I know, they would have failed without all six stones, but it still wasn’t a deal breaker.

        If you want to generalise, I guess it would be accurate (and probably obvious) to say my standard for granting benefit of the doubt in these cases is a bit lower than yours.

        I find it incredibly hard to believe that you REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario. If you did, great, but I’m shocked that your babies wouldn’t be the true original source no matter what.

        ‘You find it hard to believe that I’ve thought about my books being made into movies, and how I’d feel about it? Huh.’

        From that reaction, yeah. And I chose those words very carefully. I specifically didn’t say “thought about”. and “how you might feel”. I meant something far stronger, like putting yourself in the moment in a storytelling sense (I’m making shit up because I’m not a writer but I understand you can do stuff like this) when I wrote “REALLY emotionally invested yourself in this scenario.”

        Kinda feels more like you’re having a hard time accepting that I reached a conclusion that differed from the one you reached.

        I mean, there are three options here, right?

        1) I didn’t really put myself into the hypothetical situation.

        2) I did, and am lying about my conclusion in order to keep on disagreeing with you.

        3) I am a different person from you.

        Now #3 is obviously crazy because everybody in the world is literally Aaron in a series of clever disguises and suffering from various degrees of psychosis … so I guess I’m flattered, given the other two alternatives, you went with #1.

        So I apologize for any offense. I’m basically shocked you wouldn’t truly feel more hurt by deviations. But you doubled down on your answer so ok!

        Yeah, that’s how I feel. It would be nice to have freedom to create an adaptation of my work that was so flawlessly done that it really was just an audiovisual variant of the original, like paperback to e-book … but that’s pretty much impossible. For one thing, there would probably have to be music in places other than Cratch’s med bay. Movies and TV shows need scores.

        The characters will never look exactly the way I imagined, mostly because the main characters of The Final Fall of Man look like amalgamations of the real-world people they started out based on, and an assortment of other actors. Short of next-generation CGI animation, that’s not possible. Not to be ruled out of course, but even so. And at that point do we go with what my imagination has decided, regardless of what everyone else thinks? Whole different question.

        The pacing and events would have to be changed around, to make (for example) Eejit more interesting as a psychological thriller story since it has so much internal reflection and technical conversations taking place around what is really only two or three major action set pieces. It would need something. The stories with deep flashbacks would need more connective tissue to replace the info dumps I can do in text. In fact I’d probably recommend having more history, of the crew and the galaxy, interspersed throughout rather than waiting until the latter half of the series.

        I still don’t know for certain how I would react to discrepancies, but I think the main point is that the books would have to be complete, that was the main issue Martin has run into. That way it is far easier to separate them out as two complete stand-alone entities. Is it inconceivable that I might say (or agree with) “it happened this way in the books, it might have been better that way”? No, not inconceivable. Is it more likely that I might say “it happened this way in the books, but the movies are their own thing”? I think so. As long as each story is internally consistent, it doesn’t matter.

        I hope this satisfies you that I have in fact put as much thought (and fantasising) into this as basically three seconds of logical scrutiny would make really, really obvious that I would have, given that I am an author-

        *mask slips, momentarily revealing Aaron underneath*

        *hastily adjusts*

        -and an author’s main daydream of choice is international recognition and high-budget movie / TV adaptations.

        Well ok then. This is another indication of that difference I mentioned above which causes these troubles. Not a problem just a difference in how we see things about movies from a book source.

        I keep telling you, we’re totally two different people and I’m not just you wearing an unconvincing ponytail and colostomy bag.

        *presses edge of mask compulsively*

        “Sure, you can do that. I’m not doing it. Not here. The movies are enough. If you want to sit down and pick apart the Deadpool movies according to the comics, that’s a whole new fun set of blog posts but it’d have to be something I consciously set out to do. The movies are enough.”

        Right. I feel that I keep this BS to a minimum but YMMV.

        Oh no, absolutely. I don’t think we’ve ever had a “but it was this way in the booooooooksss” debate, because we’re all very aware that film adaptations will differ. And like the benefit of doubt re: the Vormir Operating Instructions, I think it’s going to be different, for me at least, every time. Sometimes I’ll be more forgiving of deviations, as long as they work. Sometimes I’ll be critical of them because I feel they don’t. This is what I mean when I say I hear you on the Captain Barnes thing. You feel this deviation (or variant, since you can’t call an adherence to a comic story “a deviation” I suppose) isn’t as good as adherence to a different aspect of the source could have been. I’m just more willing to go with it.

        Most of the time, if my reviews of films and TV shows are anything to go by, I’ll forgive and rationalise divergences from the source material. Because the movies are their own thing and they have to diverge.

        You know, except when they don’t.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “This actually is what bothers me most about the whole thing, even back in Endgame.”

        Infinity War.

        “So Vormir is this secret world in the centre of the universe, and the soul stone is somewhere (in a nearby layer of reality?), and the only way to get to it is to climb the mountain, make a sacrifice and then you go to the soul stone world and sit in a puddle and then you get the soul stone. Or whatever, that’s fine.”

        Yeah pretty legit, no?

        “Nobody knows about this whole thing, basically Gamora found out the world was where the soul stone was but she didn’t find out anything else? There’s nothing there aside from the mountain?”

        Yeah that’s kinda stupid.

        “You go there, and Red Skull (at least as of the 1940s when the Tesseract exiled him there … but maybe longer, because timey-wimey) tells you about the sacrifice required.

        So I assume, if you go there alone, he’d tell you to go away and come back with a sacrifice?”

        I don’t know I guess….

        See, my assumption was that Gamora hadn’t known about the sacrifice, because from her reaction you can tell she didn’t know. But for some reason I didn’t think Thanos was that surprised. Like, he may have hoped it wasn’t going to go that way but he was resigned to it. I figured he’d just known about the sacrifice required to get the stone, due to some other learning he’d done at another time. All he didn’t know was the location of the soul stone’s access point.

        But sure, apparently he went in knowing nothing, and then when he found out about the requirement he was like “*sigh* a’ight,” and in went Gamora. Fine.

        “It’s still an awfully wishy-washy arrangement and there’s a ton of what-ifs. I agree on that even if I’m more okay with it than you are in the end. This sort of thing is inevitable once you slip into science-fantasy wishes and riddles and rules. Maybe if we’d seen a couple of failed attempts, we’d have a better idea of what was needed. But is it really so important?”

        It’s only important that we discuss it. Yeah, agreed, failed attempts would be useful. Maybe there are in the–say it with me! Source material! XD

        “It seems like Person A and Person B at least are necessary, and Person B needs to die in order for Person A to get the soul stone. Person A needs to not want Person B to die, but it doesn’t seem like Person A needs to actually actively make Person B die. Person B can be willing or unwilling.”

        Now it seems like that, sure. Although Hawkeye did actively make Widow die. I’m saying the actual event was a sacrifice, at least loosely. All I’ve been saying is the original duel-to-be-the-jumper would not have been, IMNSHO.

        “That was the big emotional take-away from Infinity War, after all. That Thanos, who you would expect to just sacrifice anything in pursuit of his goal, and care about nothing, actually does have something / someone that he truly loves. And doesn’t want to give up. I thought that was amazing, and then I added still more levels by wondering if he knew about the sacrifice he’d one day be required to make even back then, and so he adopted Gamora and Nebula in order to start making those sacrifices happen. And it worked better than he ever could have hoped. Because in a way, adopting daughters (even to torture them) seems out of character. Were his other cronies like Maw and Proxima his children? I think the Black Order and Thanos’s daughters are two different things.”

        Agreed and that’s a cool thought. Maybe he DID know all along. Or maybe he needed progeny somehow but only has eyes and genitalia for Death herself, so has to adopt. Dunno. Wish there was something that had covered this but I’m afraid to look and mention, at this point.

        “So it turns out the Vormir thing is like a basic sacrifice, except apparently a bit more lax when it comes to letting the sacrificer out of any of the hard work, as long as they … feel bad about it?”

        Right, looks like that.

        “The rules could be clearer. But I’m okay with the fact that both Thanos and Hawkeye got the soul stone. I feel like Thanos earned it a bit more, but only because of my (narrow) understanding of sacrifice, and my admitted investment in Thanos’s backstory.”

        Right.

        “Might have been cool if Black Widow had done that whole scene, fallen to her death, and then no soul stone. And Hawkeye had yelled at Red Skull and Red Skull could have said “oh I’m sorry, did I sayink zat ze soul stone requires you to sacrifice sumpzink or zat it requires ein dumkopf in ze tight jodhpurs to flink herself off ze blasted cliff?””

        Hey! Careful with the German-shaming! Oh now wait–are you calling Red Skull a Nazi? Is that what’s going on here? Well, now you’ve done it. He’s got no choice but to go full Fascist now.

        “…and a sacrifice is still called for. Of course, then Black Widow would be dead for absolutely no reason and the movie didn’t have time for that bullshit,and basically only i would be happy (as usual). Still, maybe they could have done something.”

        Maybe. I’m not going to write it for them. My job here is to pick things apart, to destroy, not create. Who do you think I am?

        “Kinda feels more like you’re having a hard time accepting that I reached a conclusion that differed from the one you reached.

        I mean, there are three options here, right?

        1) I didn’t really put myself into the hypothetical situation.

        2) I did, and am lying about my conclusion in order to keep on disagreeing with you.

        3) I am a different person from you.

        Now #3 is obviously crazy because everybody in the world is literally Aaron in a series of clever disguises and suffering from various degrees of psychosis … so I guess I’m flattered, given the other two alternatives, you went with #1.”

        Of course 1. has a lot of branches that are less insulting to you, but basically I guess. *grins through giant teeth*

        “I still don’t know for certain how I would react to discrepancies, but I think the main point is that the books would have to be complete, that was the main issue Martin has run into. That way it is far easier to separate them out as two complete stand-alone entities. Is it inconceivable that I might say (or agree with) “it happened this way in the books, it might have been better that way”? No, not inconceivable. Is it more likely that I might say “it happened this way in the books, but the movies are their own thing”? I think so. As long as each story is internally consistent, it doesn’t matter.”

        Hey look at that, kind of agreement, possibly. I wasn’t trying to say you’d lose your shit over EVERY difference. Just that sometimes you might be, like me, going “here’s the source material if you want a better explanation and option”.

        *rephrases own bombastic statements into something far more palatable*

        “I keep telling you, we’re totally two different people and I’m not just you wearing an unconvincing ponytail and colostomy bag.

        *presses edge of mask compulsively*”

        Lol but in all seriousness I wasn’t saying I expected more investment in the source material because I expected you to be like me. I’m saying it because I imagined most authors are like that with their creations. Most humans are like that with their creations. I don’t like people digging around in the toilet and changing what my shit looks like.

        OK bad example.

        “Oh no, absolutely. I don’t think we’ve ever had a “but it was this way in the booooooooksss” debate, because we’re all very aware that film adaptations will differ. And like the benefit of doubt re: the Vormir Operating Instructions, I think it’s going to be different, for me at least, every time. Sometimes I’ll be more forgiving of deviations, as long as they work. Sometimes I’ll be critical of them because I feel they don’t. This is what I mean when I say I hear you on the Captain Barnes thing. You feel this deviation (or variant, since you can’t call an adherence to a comic story “a deviation” I suppose) isn’t as good as adherence to a different aspect of the source could have been. I’m just more willing to go with it.

        Most of the time, if my reviews of films and TV shows are anything to go by, I’ll forgive and rationalise divergences from the source material. Because the movies are their own thing and they have to diverge.”

        Yeah we both handle divergences or whatever with differing degrees of concern, and probably for different divergences. So you don’t feel me on some of mine, that’s totally fair. I’d just prefer to talk it out instead of settling on “IDGAF what the source says”.

        It seems like a blanket statement, but I think you’re using it case-by-case. Right? So it’s actually fine. On the specific things I’ve referenced the comics you don’t care, or on most of them (the soulstone scene with Gamora has no movie explanation so presumably you’re cool with the comics theory for now?). Got it.

        But not on EVERYTHING that’s changed from the comics. I might, if I were a fanboy enough, be able to show you things you’d say “wow, yeah, wish the movies had done it THAT way instead.”

        And that’s cool. Of course you would, because you are a liker of cool things.

        Barnes and Falcon have had the shield, so I wasn’t using the comics one way or the other on that one, BTW. Just to clarify since you brought Bucky back in to this part of the discussion.

        With Bucky, to be 100% clear for the somethingth-time, I am calling it a deviation from the movies’ plots. Not from the comics.

        Comics schmomics.

        No, just kidding, Falcon got the shield in the comics so I accept the choice, it being my second choice after Bucky anyway.

      • stchucky says:

        “This actually is what bothers me most about the whole thing, even back in Endgame.”

        Infinity War.

        Right, that one. The one before Endgame.

        “It’s still an awfully wishy-washy arrangement and there’s a ton of what-ifs. I agree on that even if I’m more okay with it than you are in the end. This sort of thing is inevitable once you slip into science-fantasy wishes and riddles and rules. Maybe if we’d seen a couple of failed attempts, we’d have a better idea of what was needed. But is it really so important?”

        It’s only important that we discuss it. Yeah, agreed, failed attempts would be useful. Maybe there are in the–say it with me! Source material! XD

        But hold on, isn’t the source material the thing I’ve been saying, and then repeating but with the first letter replaced with “schm” to imply my intellectual disregard for it?

        Now it seems like that, sure. Although Hawkeye did actively make Widow die. I’m saying the actual event was a sacrifice, at least loosely.

        Oh now that’s interesting. It all just happened in a mess for me, I saw that it wasn’t quite a Cliffhanger-style accidental-drop but alright, this does make it seem more active. Have to re-watch it myself but I’ll take your word for it. So it kind of conveniently fits the bill but it really easily might not have, is what you’re saying? Yes, I concur.

        All I’ve been saying is the original duel-to-be-the-jumper would not have been, IMNSHO.

        In the absence of any evidence for or against that, I guess I’ll just concur again. I mean, I still sort of instinctively feel that if Black Widow had kicked Hawkeye in the face and dived off the cliff while he was going “ow my face,” we still would have had a scene where Person B was dead and Person A was sad, but you’re right – it’s not exactly a sacrifice on his part, unless we get really quibbly on the specific terminology and nuances. And I can’t be bothered. I bet Red Skull couldn’t either.

        I mean he couldn’t even be bothered to be Hugo Weaving anymore, that’s how little he can be bothered.

        Hey! Careful with the German-shaming! Oh now wait–are you calling Red Skull a Nazi? Is that what’s going on here? Well, now you’ve done it. He’s got no choice but to go full Fascist now.

        *snicker*

        Hey look at that, kind of agreement, possibly.

        nObTony: It happens, no need to be a pussy about it.

        I wasn’t trying to say you’d lose your shit over EVERY difference. Just that sometimes you might be, like me, going “here’s the source material if you want a better explanation and option”.

        *rephrases own bombastic statements into something far more palatable*

        You want some Pym particles to go with this wholesale retconning?

        It seems like a blanket statement, but I think you’re using it case-by-case. Right?

        That is what I’ve said several times, yeah.

        With Bucky, to be 100% clear for the somethingth-time, I am calling it a deviation from the movies’ plots. Not from the comics.

        You mean that in-movie it makes more plot sense (to you) for Bucky to have the shield than Falcon?

        Then sure, I accept that you have that opinion but I obviously disagree with it because it makes no sense to me.

        If that’s not what you meant, then hilariously it seems like it wasn’t 100% clear to me, so you’d better take a something-and-oneth swing at it.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        All right! Fresh off watching it again, and man it was better the second time…I cried several times, if only by a welling up of tears in my eyes that didn’t fall. I think I was having too much of a divergence between my expectations and the plot events for me to come to terms with some of the events, the first time around. Most of my remaining issues still remain, but as anyone with enough time to read hundreds of pages of comments can see, that’s only a few. Of those:

        I take it back about Black Widow and the Soulstone. I’m chalking this up to the dangers of paying too much attention to the source material and not fucking listening to the established rule in the movie. Meaning, I wasn’t even TRYING to hear the movie correctly.

        Red Skull says “You must lose that which you love. An everlasting bargain. A soul for a soul.”

        So, any of the scenarios would have worked. Even the ridiculous ones I concocted. I’m thinking…we didn’t even come up with a scenario that wouldn’t work, under those rules. Right?

        Falcon’s an interesting one. It came down to who approached Cap on the bench, pretty much. I mean, that’s how a straight watching of the scene unfolds. And Bucky urged Falcon to “go ahead” and approach him, and the rest is history. LOL

        Hulk thing bothered me less this time. I think they were just making sure we really understood the soul stone sacrifice can’t be reversed. It was clunky, but I get it. I thought the scene on the dock was enough though. Fly your ass out there to Vormir, Thor, and ask him yourself!

        They really did a good job with most of the emotional impact on characters for major events. Really good props on that, taking the time to invest in these major events. And even the “little” things, like noting (as I did the first time, too) the difference between Hawkeye after getting the soulstone, and Thanos. Thanos was like “well, all right then, destiny marches on.” Hawkeye was like “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!!!!”

        Says a lot.

        OP Thanos was more awesome since I was expecting it, but it’s still crazy. That sword. Where the fuck was it before? LOL great battles, I was able to just sit back and enjoy without disappointment this time.

        Maybe that’s a sign I was actually worried the first time?

        Scarlet Witch. On review, she TOTALLY had Thanos beat. Even how he ordered the bombardment was strangled and pathetic. No two ways about it. She was taking him apart and I fully believe she could have finished the job.

        Now! Gamora! I couldn’t remember, the scene when she meets Quill again, when was it in the battle? I thought it was at the end, but it was not! So here’s the thing: we didn’t see her after the Iron Man snap. 2014 Gamora had just switched sides. Is it possible she was dusted (by mistake)? I’d say for sure it’s possible.

        So. She’s in the soul stone. Not sure how I know that. *girn*

        Oooooooooooooh but we already KNOW she’s in the soul stone! Oh man, it’s all coming together!

        Maybe. OK I think that’s it for now.

        So what tore me up the most? You can rest now.

      • stchucky says:

        Most of my remaining issues still remain, but as anyone with enough time to read hundreds of pages of comments can see, that’s only a few.

        And entirely understandable and reasonable, in my view. There were definitely some issues.

        I take it back about Black Widow and the Soulstone. I’m chalking this up to the dangers of paying too much attention to the source material and not fucking listening to the established rule in the movie. Meaning, I wasn’t even TRYING to hear the movie correctly.

        Red Skull says “You must lose that which you love. An everlasting bargain. A soul for a soul.”

        “Huh.”

        Well, in that case –

        So, any of the scenarios would have worked. Even the ridiculous ones I concocted. I’m thinking…we didn’t even come up with a scenario that wouldn’t work, under those rules. Right?

        – Pretty much, yeah. Very much an open contract and very poorly written Operator’s Manual.

        Although I need to add, my idea of Thor going there and sacrificing his hair wouldn’t work, unless Asgardian hair has a soul. Which I’m not ruling out, because what is a soul exactly? But I’m willing to concede (since I wasn’t really serious) that it needs to be a sentient being of some sort. An actual “soul”.

        So we did some up with a scenario that wouldn’t work, but it was just me being silly.

        Falcon’s an interesting one. It came down to who approached Cap on the bench, pretty much. I mean, that’s how a straight watching of the scene unfolds. And Bucky urged Falcon to “go ahead” and approach him, and the rest is history. LOL

        Good point! That sort of conveniently plays into my version of the narrative, too – Cap and Bucky may not have had complete closure and all the scenes I might have thought they might have had, but they had enough of an arc in other movies. It was all said and done between them and Bucky knew it. He may even have intuited that Cap was going to hand over the shield (although it was in a bag so it would be a bit of a guess) and knew Falcon was the guy.

        Still, whatever. Works for me.

        Hulk thing bothered me less this time. I think they were just making sure we really understood the soul stone sacrifice can’t be reversed. It was clunky, but I get it. I thought the scene on the dock was enough though. Fly your ass out there to Vormir, Thor, and ask him yourself!

        Little confusing but yeah.

        OP Thanos was more awesome since I was expecting it, but it’s still crazy. That sword. Where the fuck was it before?

        That was one of the first things I asked when I came out of the cinema. Maybe it was a 2014 Thanos thing that he lost between then and 2018. Or, again, he just didn’t feel he needed to go that hard in the Infinity War engagements because he was going bit by bit and gathering Infinity Stones (this was the “I’ll do it myself” phase), and not facing off against an enemy he felt he had to hammer (or more specifically sword) the shit out of.

        Plus, by the time he time-travelled, he knew he might be facing an enemy with a full and working Gauntlet of sorts. Full battle readiness.

        Scarlet Witch. On review, she TOTALLY had Thanos beat. Even how he ordered the bombardment was strangled and pathetic. No two ways about it. She was taking him apart and I fully believe she could have finished the job.

        I withdraw my last reservations on this one. After all, how permanently does she need to operate in order to kill someone? Her other attacks, on Avengers, were not long-lasting specifically because she didn’t want to kill them. So yes, I concur.

        Now! Gamora! I couldn’t remember, the scene when she meets Quill again, when was it in the battle? I thought it was at the end, but it was not! So here’s the thing: we didn’t see her after the Iron Man snap. 2014 Gamora had just switched sides. Is it possible she was dusted (by mistake)? I’d say for sure it’s possible.

        Wasn’t she in the “Asgardianss of the Galaxy” who’s-in-charge scene? If not, yeah, that’s a strong indication that she was dusted. Or otherwise lit out to angst for a half a movie or so. Hmm.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “– Pretty much, yeah. Very much an open contract and very poorly written Operator’s Manual.

        Although I need to add, my idea of Thor going there and sacrificing his hair wouldn’t work, unless Asgardian hair has a soul. Which I’m not ruling out, because what is a soul exactly? But I’m willing to concede (since I wasn’t really serious) that it needs to be a sentient being of some sort. An actual “soul”.

        So we did some up with a scenario that wouldn’t work, but it was just me being silly.”

        Oh right, forgot about the Thor hair idea.

        Whoops!

        “Good point! That sort of conveniently plays into my version of the narrative, too – Cap and Bucky may not have had complete closure and all the scenes I might have thought they might have had, but they had enough of an arc in other movies. It was all said and done between them and Bucky knew it. He may even have intuited that Cap was going to hand over the shield (although it was in a bag so it would be a bit of a guess) and knew Falcon was the guy.

        Still, whatever. Works for me.”

        To alter a coined phrase, “whatever happened, happened.” But I didn’t see the bag before Falcon rounded the bench, and it wasn’t 100% clear just exactly what Cap’s sitch was gonna be from that “go ahead” distance, either. Arguably they intuited it was Cap, but little else. Sure his hair was a little less godly, but only just. The face was the major change in appearance.

        Anywho.

        “Wasn’t she in the “Asgardianss of the Galaxy” who’s-in-charge scene? If not, yeah, that’s a strong indication that she was dusted. Or otherwise lit out to angst for a half a movie or so. Hmm.”

        Oh no, Gamora was definitely not in it. Except on the screen “Quayle” (“Quill!” “That’s what I said…” LOL) was operating (“the map”) with a big “Searching” printed underneath her picture.

        Wasn’t he searching for Gamora in the same way in, what, Infinity War? GotG2? Seemed so familiar.

      • stchucky says:

        HOLY ACTUAL SHIT BY THE WAY:

        What if Tony had bequeathed the shield, in the event of Steve’s passing, to Bucky?

        Then I would take it all back. That would have ruled so fucking hard right there.

      • “HOLY ACTUAL SHIT BY THE WAY:

        What if Tony had bequeathed the shield, in the event of Steve’s passing, to Bucky?

        Then I would take it all back. That would have ruled so fucking hard right there.”

        Tony doing that would make no sense. *”fight me” stare*

        To me. Or pretty much anyone.

        Bucky killed his dad, remember? Just think of what Dubya did just because Saddam *tried* to kill his daddy!

        Oh and his mom too. Shouldn’t forget that!

        Meetings, will get to the rest later.

        But I realized something. I’m never happier than when we’re being bitchy to each other in online debates.

        Ok rarely happier. I can think of a few times.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh no, it would need serious growth and explanation and closure to get Tony to that point. But that development would have been awesome to see. And would have ended Civil War properly. And only then would Captain Barnes make sense to me.

        I admit it would take almost as much narrative legwork as Cap and Bucky having a romantic relationship. But a man can dream. Like, Tony had a lot of time to record indulgent messages when he was dying.

        Still, glad you’re having fun because I’m just getting warmed up!

      • Bias admission: you know what, though, I realized just now that part of why I was disappointed about Cap Marvel’s small part in the movie is I was enjoying incels losing their shit over her. As I mentioned before, I noticed none of that in the Endgame comments I saw, a sign it would seem of her smaller role. I really wanted more snowflakey angst!

      • stchucky says:

        Oooh, this is a good point. It might have been worth even a 3h 15m movie if it had an extra fifteen minutes of Danvers just so we could see how much wailing there was about it.

      • “Oooh, this is a good point. It might have been worth even a 3h 15m movie if it had an extra fifteen minutes of Danvers just so we could see how much wailing there was about it.”

        Definitely! I estimate that each minute of Brie-Larson-as-Captain-Marvel screentime results in 95 to 2,537,287 hours of incel whinging, based on empirical evidence. So it’s practically infinite value.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Also, shit, can we talk about “What did it cost you?” “Everything.”

        ??

        I think it’s AFTER Endgame, not after Infinity War. Because it fits, and because only then would Thanos be in the Soulstone. Right?

        That’s a holy shit moment for me. Cost him his entire army and life, is what it cost him.

      • stchucky says:

        Also, shit, can we talk about “What did it cost you?” “Everything.”

        ??

        I think it’s AFTER Endgame, not after Infinity War. Because it fits, and because only then would Thanos be in the Soulstone. Right?

        That’s a holy shit moment for me. Cost him his entire army and life, is what it cost him.

        That would be super cool. I’m not sure what that scene was about, but certainly Thanos and young Gamora meeting in that place seems to suggest that they have both ended up in the same sphere. Although he was not a “victim” of the soul stone – he was just dusted along with everyone else, so are they all in there somewhere too? Or do they get symbolic little separate spheres? Where’s Black Widow?

        All very interesting for its implications.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        By the way:
        “Cap and Falcon are such close allies that Wilson was Rogers’s hand-picked choice to replace him as Captain America when the super-soldier serum was sucked from his body, leaving him an old man. Wilson, as Captain America, even served alongside the Avengers, and continued to operate as Captain America through Steve Rogers’ Hydra corruption in Secret Empire.”

        Found looking for who has wielded Cap’s shield in the comics. So there’s the answer, and it even ties in to Endgame’s version of Old Cap.

        So now I truly do relent. LOL. I think they might have actually consulted the canon…seems that way at least, otherwise there are coincidences and I don’t like those!

      • stchucky says:

        I tip my hat to your intellectual honesty and fairness. As always.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Well, thanks. I regret my outburst-y initial reaction, however I still feel that if I was watching the movie and thinking it was the wrong choice, perhaps they didn’t do enough work on-screen to build up the Captain America – Falcon relationship. I mean, think of how much screen time the Cap-Bucky relationship got…that’s a hard bar to top.

        Obviously you were able to rationalize the decision while watching, but I was not.

      • stchucky says:

        Of course if we’re all being intellectually honest, I have to stick to my “comics schmomics” brief and say I don’t care what stories Cap and Falcon have together in the comic books. However, as you say, I was well satisfied with the rapport they built up ever since Cap woke up from his long sleep (“on your left”), and through the various movies they’ve been together.

        EDIT: If they go ahead with more Captain America movies using Falcon, they may have to do the serum-extraction and make Falcon super. It seems to be required for the job, and it would satisfy the comic book adherents and provide a nice mirrror to the Wakandan monarchy. It would also allow Cap to age and die gracefully. Indeed, he may already have voluntarily handed the serum back and gone normal with Peggy at some point, leaving the serum somewhere safe (probably not with Stark Sr. or SHIELD, though). However, the whole question of whether or not he returned to normal with Peggy raises a whole new set of questions about their relationship prospects. Also he still seemed reasonably big when he showed up as an old man, I guess the muscle and bone mass doesn’t go away when the serum does, even if it showed up when the serum did…

        End edit.

        Yes, we’re talking about an unprecedented movie phenomenon where it’s not out of the ordinary for two characters to be in half a dozen movies together over the course of a decade … but even so, Cap and Falcon have been a good pair. Plus, Cap was never really of “our time”, and neither is Bucky. They’re both dinosaurs at best, relics of the 1940s. And that’s kind of the least of Bucky’s issues.

        In order for Captain America to be America’s Ass, he needs to stay pert and supple. Sorry, but that’s Falcon.

      • To wrap this Bucky/Falcon one up quickly, I’ll just conclude that it must have been Bucky’s redemption arc that was pulling on me, and I really wanted that end-Cap for it. The funny thing is, I didn’t think about it before the scene began. Until Old Cap was on the bench, I had no thoughts or formed opinions about it. Actually not even until he took out the shield. And then in the moment, the choice of Falcon over Bucky was a visceral WTF for me.

        That’s all I can really say to best explain it. I hear you on your points. In some way I think the similarities you list between Bucky and Cap fed into my desire for that choice. But mostly it was the enormous redemption Bucky’s been going down. He was even a farmer in Wakanda!!! He’s paid his dues!

        XD

      • stchucky says:

        It was definitely strange that Steve and Bucky didn’t get their final bro-hug, although I suppose that all got closed in Civil War and Black Panther, albeit between the lines and behind the scenes.

        I’ll grant you that their final scene, either before Cap left for the past or before he dropped dead of massive heart failure on that park bench[1], was missing something. But naming Bucky as America’s Ass may not have been it.

        [1] Yeah he did. Fight me.

      • stchucky says:

        Also, “now Tony Stark is dead, there might not be so much complaining about you being Captain America who was Howard Stark’s hero before you murdered him” is a conversation I’m kind of glad we didn’t have to hear.

      • stchucky says:

        Also also, well played on that “end-Cap” thing. Nicely done.

        EDIT: And no I’m not just trying to flesh out the comment-count. This was an important comment that needed to be made, and made separately. See, if I was fleshing out the comment-count I would have made this a separate comment instead of an edit.

      • Thanks I worked hard thinking of that end-Cap thing, set it up by using “Cap” a lot. You’ll notice that on the re-watch XD

        Hey looks like Colbert had more to complain about in HIS viewing, oh my. LOL

      • stchucky says:

        I’m also seeing a really fascinating similarity between the passing of the Captain America serum from one to the next, and the powers of the Black Panther being removable and transferrable(ish).

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Well sure. And it’s a thing the Black Panther drinks too, right? I was drunk and on vacation when I saw that movie but I’m pretty sure I remember some sort of drinky-drink going on, on-screen as well.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, it’s like vibranium flower juice because vibranium is the ultimate plot device.

        Cap’s serum was injected into him through a big ol’ iron maiden injection machine though.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Babies sip their serums, real men mainline them with giant needles.

      • stchucky says:

        That’s how they rolled in the 40s. Fuckin’ Greatest Generation my friend.

      • stchucky says:

        Also point of order, “vibranium flower juice” is the wimpiest possible way of describing the Black Panther’s sacred elixir.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Ugh sorry to spam, but Captain Marvel is supposed to be able to absorb energy and send it back out, so the power stone energy being used on her should have resulted in that counter. Instead, she was out of the picture. Meh.

      • stchucky says:

        Whoa, I don’t know about that (in the movies at least). I know she got her powers from absorbing energy from the lightspeed engine, but I didn’t think that became her superpower.

        That’s what Black Panther’s suit does anyway so it’d be a bit derivative.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Yeah the power absorption and redirection has been with her for a long time in the comic books. Just ask V. Not sure if she predated Black Panther but that’s just the vibranium talking there.

      • stchucky says:

        Yep, but comics shmomics. They’re not the movies. Get over it, Captain Marvel complainers and other malcontents!

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        It’s not so simple as saying comics-vs movies, Feige saying she’s the strongest avenger and associated discussions hint at this, as do some of the events of Captain Marvel. Obviously they made the character their own, but there are inconsistencies and it could have gone either way.

        But you know, if I can’t get you to agree/care that she was sidelined in Endgame who can I get to agree?

        Not really trying to be argumentative, just reacting to your definitive and dismissive types of responses.

      • stchucky says:

        Okay, there’s a few issues here. First, your entire opening paragraph here about what Feige says and the associated discussions – I don’t really care about that, sorry. Good for them, all respect to Feige and his great work, but I will make up my own mind about who is the most powerful Avenger in the movies. At the moment I’m undecided because a lot of them seem to alternate in top spot depending on a lot of different things.

        Second, I said from the start that she was, if not sidelined, then at least not frontlined in this movie, and that was for reasons of plot. She could have done a lot more to help, but she had other planets to take care of. She could have been in the fight more and it would have been a bit uneventful, although I think the destruction she wrought was plenty. Lacking a specific kryptonite to gimp this particular Superman, we basically have to accept that her role was changed to make it a better story.

        If you want to say it was because of MRAs, that’s fine. If I want to say it was because of in-universe reasons that I happily accept without having to worry about outside-the-plot reasons, I hope that is fine. But don’t care if it’s not.

        Not sure what I can do about you getting me to agree or care about her sidelining, but I will do my best not to be too definitive or dismissive. I went to a ton of effort not to be.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Yup, it’s fine. I understand your perspective on discussions of powers and comics and even statements by Marvel Studios directors, and I’m cool. Just wanted clarification.

      • stchucky says:

        Sure. It’s just that Game of Thrones has shown me that there is Game of Thrones, and then there is A Song of Ice and Fire, the first book of which is A Game of Thrones. If you dig. They have a lot of outward similarities but they’re not part of the same continuity or story.

        If you want to put it on a spectrum, at this point I care more about what the various filmmakers say about these characters (the movie characters) than what is in the comics-canon.

        Now, speaking of continuity, where the fuck were the Defenders in all this? We all know Iron Fist should have become the next Captain America. Fight me.

      • stchucky says:

        If you want to put it on a spectrum, at this point I care more about what the various filmmakers say about these characters (the movie characters) than what is in the comics-canon.

        *But I still care more about what I actually see and take away from the movies myself. And I would hope the filmmakers feel the same way.

        I also wanted to add that the subjective and emotional nature of these characters is one of the things I love most about all of them. Who ever would have thought we’d have such a rich tapestry of cinematic heroes out of a pile of comic books? Wonderful.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Game of Thrones? Oh you…why you…dirty little…not fair!

        You got me. Not only do I take the show independent of the books, I actually ONLY care about the show ending and don’t give a single solitary fuck what Martin writes next.

        LOL now I don’t know a thing about the Defenders so…gonna punt.

      • stchucky says:

        Heh, wasn’t trying to catch you, but glad we agree on this one. I feel the same way, although I suppose I have a certain amount of sympathy for the mega-successful, super-famous, wealthy-arse author and his plight. The poor man. His magnum opus overtaken by a world-renowned television series that has made him even more popular and beloved, before he could even bother finishing writing the last (and most difficult) part of the project. Where’s my violin?

        It’s easy to lose, because it’s fucking tiny.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Sorry, I smashed your violin, after I stuck it somewhere. He’s so fat he didn’t notice XD

      • stchucky says:

        Now we just need Ant-Man to enlarge it to viola size, and we’re done.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        You really are too kind, ser. I was thinking, rather, Contrabass-sized. But I’m biased, that’s one of my instruments.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Oh right and Thanos. No, he used the stones in several instances to tip the balance in Infinity War. Had none here. I know he’s powerful but he’s not invincible or he wouldn’t need the freaking stones.

  2. stchucky says:

    I’ll get to this stuff later, but there are some good explanations for the time travel issues, or at least some of them (assuming the Rule of Cool isn’t enough to get you through):

    So basically yeah – they are definitely splintering off all sorts of alternate timelines with every action they take in the past, including the super dark ones that the Ancient One warns of with the stones being taken. However, when they return, it’s through the Quantum Realm and the same passage they took before, landing them back in their untouched reality. Sucks to be all the others, but there it is. Go back and replace the stones to prevent the worst fractures and keep the sorcerers happy.

    Then, we have Captain America going back and living a separate new timeline with Peggy Carter. When she dies, he uses the time suit and Pym particles to jump back across to the prime universe for whatever reason. Presumably because it’s where he feels he belongs after having his little alternate life with Carter.

    I still agree that it could have been explained better or even that yes, it could only be sewn together properly with the time and space stones.

    However, they weren’t using any stones for this – just the Quantum Realm. So. It’s fine by me.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      So basically they’re using the quantum realm to hold to the same specific reality when they jump back? I mean I guess, but “sucks for the other realities” ain’t the half of it. Jesus. I’d be happier with them pretending they’re doing all of this in their own timestream somehow, but again every change counts not just taking an infinity stone, so that’s not really possible with “just” time travel. Basically they’ve taken those stones from whatever reality and timestream the sum total of all their shenanigans turns it into, and returning the stone…well, it doesn’t really do much IMO. All conjecture as is any explanation that supports the movie, anyway.

      Enh. Time travel. Sucks. Can’t really dig in because it’s all BS anyway, and the more scientific grounding you try to give it the sillier you look. One looks. So I’ll just SMH and wander off.

      • stchucky says:

        Yup.

        Here’s another thing that a friend raised tonight while we were discussing it: all the half-a-universe of living things were brought back five years later, unchanged an unaged, right? So at least for Spider-Man we’re going to need to have it explained either that all of Parker’s classmates vanished (not impossible) or else why they are not all five years older now it’s 2023.

        Also, we’re going to have to see how three or four billion humans – just humans, and just on Earth – reappeared into a world with five years of infrastructure collapse, sociocultural readjustment, and just plain resource reallocation, without immediately causing massive famines and fights over stuff. Thanos should have turned up, destroyed the stones again, and said “LOL” and let the universe balance itself.

        All because Stark didn’t want to risk maybe not having the kid he finally got around to having.

      • stchucky says:

        Just a “oh, and also bring back enough stuff for everyone to eat while we retransition back to a population of seven billion when you finger-snap, Professor Hulk” would have done it.

    • JonathanBloom says:

      If I remember correctly, they mentioned something about how changing the past doesn’t alter any of the current realities, so Steve returning back just meant that he went and lived a life there, and returned back only to set the timeline straight again. For me, that’s completely acceptable, it allowed Cap to close out his involvement for good, even with the reality now being what it is, his tour of duty is done.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “If I remember correctly, they mentioned something about how changing the past doesn’t alter any of the current realities, so Steve returning back just meant that he went and lived a life there, and returned back only to set the timeline straight again. For me, that’s completely acceptable, it allowed Cap to close out his involvement for good, even with the reality now being what it is, his tour of duty is done.”

        Yes I like this part, it gives closure to his long service, rewards him for it, and as we knew the actor’s contract was up now. But he didn’t return via the device they created, so I rather thought it was the case that he lived his life there up until that point, and came and sat on that bench while they were dicking around with the machine just to be cheeky. America’s ass is definitely cheeky.

        Of course that has huge timeline implications but maybe he ran off to some isolated place with his lady and didn’t alter anything having to do with the Avengers in any way. Not possible really but I like it. I don’t see how he used the machine without anyone knowing.

        Can we talk about the sacrifice [1] for the Soulstone that wasn’t a sacrifice?

        [1] Of another being whom you love

        I appreciated the “fight” between Hawkeye and Widow, but of course if either of them had succeeded in suicide it would have been the other sacrificing them, so would it have worked? Even the way it happened, Widow had to let go so that one of them would live. It wasn’t Hawkeye sacrificing her but again kind of her suiciding to save him.

        Or maybe that turns the requirement on its head while still fulfilling it? But that would mean she had to love herself, LOL, not sure if that’s the case. Sacrificing one you love…yourself….

        And after having a bit more of a think on the shield situation, I still say damn the torpedoes (damn Bucky crying or maybe going bad again), to my mind it should go to him. He’s the most like Captain America, is skilled at using the shield already, and it provides a neat possibility of him using the shield as a Hydra agent as I believe Cap did in the comics.

        Surely Cap retired in the comics at some point, too. Anyone know who got the shield, if anyone? If it was Falcon then cool, and I realize the movies diverge many times from anything in the comics. But I also realize this is one of the major complaints people have about the movies. Maybe for something so huge it should be canonical.

        Again I realize so many things happened in the comics, maybe *both* happened.

        And I also need to realize Falcon is cool and even though he really doesn’t have superpowers, he can wreck some shit pretty well.

  3. stchucky says:

    Plus, of course, this version of time travel now leaves us with a Loki who got the Tesseract and escaped after Avengers Assemble, which is probably the Loki who is going to get the Disney+ TV series. After finding his way back into the prime reality – or not. Who knows?

    This is where, potentially, the films and TV shows become way more like the comics, with the different Earths. I think they’ll probably harmonise them though. Audiences may not be ready to go full printard on this material.

  4. stchucky says:

    I mean I guess, but “sucks for the other realities” ain’t the half of it. Jesus. I’d be happier with them pretending they’re doing all of this in their own timestream somehow, but again every change counts not just taking an infinity stone, so that’s not really possible with “just” time travel.

    What would be super cool would be that Loki, who we already know is a bit of a superstar when it comes to skipping around the backwaters of different realms, figures out after Avengers Assemble that teaming up with Thanos is a dumb move and so he goes off with the Tesseract – only to find that all these other alternate realities are spawning due to the Avengers’ clumsy interference. So he spends the TV series having adventures in these different streams, trying to get back to the “real” one, and incidentally tying them all back into the main trunk by solving problems somehow. And then doesn’t even get a “thank you” when he reappears.

    Or Spider-Man’s new movie deals with this, and Mysterio is key to it all.

  5. aaronthepatriot says:

    Agreed. It is awesome how mainstreamed these comic book characters have become. Now if more video game origins could be so cinematically successful I’d be truly happy.

  6. Read this again and realized there were questions I can answer in it, so here goes:

    “That would be super cool. I’m not sure what that scene was about, but certainly Thanos and young Gamora meeting in that place seems to suggest that they have both ended up in the same sphere. Although he was not a “victim” of the soul stone – he was just dusted along with everyone else, so are they all in there somewhere too? Or do they get symbolic little separate spheres? Where’s Black Widow?”

    Yes, everyone who is dusted should be in the soul stone. Not sure about the sacrificee but apparently so. That’s canon. An entire “universe” (or half of one, LOL) is in there in the comics, after the Snap. Being dusted is specifically what put them in there, so now Thanos is in there and, I suppose via sacrifice, so is Gamora from 2017.

    Also Black Widow of 2023, but that may not be pursued because they may just yank her out of another timeline to get her back. Fan theories….

    And yes, in the comics there is a way to restore everyone in the soul stone to the “main” universe. In Endgame, too…Hulk did it. Barring a movie explanation of how all that worked, gotta go with the comics and that’s what happened.

  7. dreameling says:

    That was a great review (with a really nice two-part vignette scheme).

    Not surprisingly, I’m not quite with you on all the fuck-it-and-just-go-with-its, but overall, I don’t have much to disagree about the overall feels. And somewhat surprisingly, I didn’t get all of your At Firsts. But, then again, I was left with a few But stills (namely, and not at all surprisingly, with the time travel stuff).

    For the record, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record from at least three other discussion channels: I really liked this movie.

    On an emotional and character level, this was a successful and satisfying conclusion to the first MCU arc. I cried at the end. Stark and Rogers got wonderful, emotionally appropriate send-offs, and Thor got to stick around, which was what I was really hoping for. The aftermath of the Snap, especially its human cost, was also really well covered. Perhaps my only gripe here is Black Widow (see “Addendum I”).

    On a narrative and plot level, though, I was less sold. First, this one lacked the clean, lean structure, balance, and pacing that Infinity War had. Second, while the Time Heist kicked off great, and while it gave us some of the best and most satisfying character moments and payoffs in the MCU so far, it ultimately didn’t seem to follow through on its own premise and rules, and devolved into a plot-logical, history-rewriting mess that was essentially just hand-waved away. [1] And, man, I just could not go with it.

    [1] I have it on some Marvel authority that the time travel stuff with the multiple timelines, where changing the past actually just creates a divergent timeline, actually mostly makes perfect sense in the end. I’ll defer judgement to later viewings. I would be happy to see it all fit, though.

    Also, while the final battle had some really great goose-bumps moments, namely with the Originals, some of it felt like a rushed series of tacked-on fanservice inserts. The CGI also failed occasionally, making it seem like they had just quickly shot Actor X in front of a green screen and then comped that into a frame with a dozen other similar shots.

    But, overall, I really liked this movie. And I suspect I will like it even more on repeat viewings.

    8 / 10

    Addendum I

    Black Widow. I did not like her getting offed. While watching that whole scene unfold, a tiny part of me was expecting that Natasha’s and Clint’s self-sacrificing love for one another would somehow actually circumvent the sacrifice requirement. This would’ve also contrasted them nicely with Thanos, who actually sacrificed a loved one, as another reviewer pointed out, expanding on this same idea. But no, they had to fucking kill her for reals.

    Captain Marvel. Meh. She was really poorly used in this movie. They should have either brought her in at the very end with the rest, or used her properly throughout the movie. As it is, she pretty much amounts to just a two-part cameo.

    Thanos. Easily one of the best — if not the best — antagonists in the MCU so far. But, man, those power levels. How could a Vanilla Thanos, without any Infinity Stones, stand up so well against Iron Man, Captain American, and especially Thor, when a Stoned Thanos actually had to put some effort into fighting Iron Man one-on-one on Titan? Thor alone, dual-wielding Mjölnir and Stormbreaker, should’ve been able to wipe the floor with Vanilla Thanos.

    Fat Thor. Loved him. Hemsworth is comedy gold. As an overweight and (at least formerly) fat person, I also completely approve. And remember: He was fat throughout. He didn’t get lean. It was Fat Thor who kicked ass in the final battle and helped win the day, blubber and all. How is that not empowering?

    Addendum II

    No, I didn’t read any of the other comments yet. I selfishly skipped them and just jumped straight into my own review reply.

    • Damn, dreameling! I know you didn’t read any comments beforehand, but it’s like you read my issues, and rewrote them to express them far better than I managed to do. Aside from a dissatisfaction or two that led to an unfortunate conspiracy theory or two, which I no longer hold. Your main issues were my main issues, and are the ones that re-main.

      I won’t respond point by point on account of this but, yeah, +1 is what I say. Well said, man. Maybe check out the longer posts between Hatboy and myself and interject yourself, if you like. Would be interesting.

      Actually I will respond to one thing, one retort I didn’t realize. You’re right, Fat Thor staying Fat Thor COULD be viewed as empowering, and that the complainers, the objectors, did not says a lot about them. I didn’t see it either as insulting OR empowering, but now I do see it a bit.

      He can magic that fat away any time he wants, right? By Guardians 3, do we think he will? Or will it be Fat Thor? I’d be happy either way!

      • dreameling says:

        I actually found Fat Thor neither empowering nor shaming. But I can see how sticking with the fat throughout, rather than “redeeming” him back to model shape, could easily be taken as a positive. (I can also see why people would take offense, although I don’t agree with that take.) Bottom line, I found him funny and relatable.

        And I will try to read through all the comments. But holy crap you guys have written a ton.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s all quality stuff. Basically as Aaron said, he has similar sticking points to yours, although he also enjoyed the movie.

        I really enjoyed it, to the point where I’m giving passes to most of the sticking points (as per my original post), but Aaron has pointed out several details and interpretations of the sticking points that definitely change my perspective on them. Without quite taking off my rose-coloured glasses.

        I don’t know how much we should therefore frame this as a disagreement or a debate on pros and cons, but it’s certainly an excellent and worthwhile discussion on different experiences of the same story.

      • “I don’t know how much we should therefore frame this as a disagreement or a debate on pros and cons,”

        All I heard was “fuck you forever”….

        …probably should work on my reading comprehension XD

      • stchucky says:

        I won’t respond point by point on account of this but, yeah, +1 is what I say. Well said, man. Maybe check out the longer posts between Hatboy and myself and interject yourself, if you like. Would be interesting.

        I concur on all points. I will go point by point, however, because what sort of a God of the Blog would I be if your prayers went unheeded?

        Actually I will respond to one thing, one retort I didn’t realize. You’re right, Fat Thor staying Fat Thor COULD be viewed as empowering, and that the complainers, the objectors, did not says a lot about them. I didn’t see it either as insulting OR empowering, but now I do see it a bit.

        I wasn’t really paying attention, and as we all well know (because we, perfect-bodied Greek Gods that we are, have some tubby friends), it’s easy to hide a gut when you’re in clothes, and the more formal or massive the clothes, the easier it is. You still can’t hide it entirely though.

        The thing is, I’m pretty sure Chris Hemsworth is still ripped so he’ll be going back to that body type sooner or later as it shows him getting back on top of his depression and taking care of himself (clearly already started, by braiding his beard, in this movie). That’s what getting better looks like for him, and that’s just fine – in fact, it’s wonderful.

        Expanding it into sensitive “fat shaming” vs. “body positive” places is a bit pointless but I could definitely see it happening. That was why I decided to get out in front of it by saying that of course, if basically any of us had a friend who experienced a terrible loss and fell into a deep self-destructive slump, we’d probably try to get them out of it but ultimately all we’d be able to do would be lend support wherever we could.

        We would be unlikely to make fat jokes, but let’s not totally rule it out.

        Stark and Rocket, however, definitely would.

        He can magic that fat away any time he wants, right? By Guardians 3, do we think he will? Or will it be Fat Thor? I’d be happy either way!

        I’m pretty certain he will have returned to Chris Hemsworth form, if only to save on prosthetics and padding. I doubt they’ll even magic it, he’ll just get fit again by swinging Stormbreaker between movies. It’s the Gods’ own shake-weight.

        Mind you, if any movie was going to have a scene where Chris Pratt is being teased for getting chubby (already happened, with Rocket and Drax), but then says “well look at that lardo” and points at Thor, only for Thor to rip off his shirt and the prosthetic gut to shrink away into chiselled abs in a $500,000 CGI split-second … it would be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Asgardians of the Galaxy. Let’s be real clear on that.

      • “I wasn’t really paying attention, and as we all well know (because we, perfect-bodied Greek Gods that we are, have some tubby friends), it’s easy to hide a gut when you’re in clothes, and the more formal or massive the clothes, the easier it is. You still can’t hide it entirely though.”

        He was still chubby. Trust. I’ll confirm on Saturday.

        “The thing is, I’m pretty sure Chris Hemsworth is still ripped so he’ll be going back to that body type sooner or later as it shows him getting back on top of his depression and taking care of himself (clearly already started, by braiding his beard, in this movie). That’s what getting better looks like for him, and that’s just fine – in fact, it’s wonderful.”

        Agreed!

        “Expanding it into sensitive “fat shaming” vs. “body positive” places is a bit pointless but I could definitely see it happening. That was why I decided to get out in front of it by saying that of course, if basically any of us had a friend who experienced a terrible loss and fell into a deep self-destructive slump, we’d probably try to get them out of it but ultimately all we’d be able to do would be lend support wherever we could.”

        Yup. And maybe a little–

        “We would be unlikely to make fat jokes, but let’s not totally rule it out.

        Stark and Rocket, however, definitely would.”

        Oh I would too. Self-deprecatingly, of course.

        “I’m pretty certain he will have returned to Chris Hemsworth form, if only to save on prosthetics and padding. I doubt they’ll even magic it, he’ll just get fit again by swinging Stormbreaker between movies. It’s the Gods’ own shake-weight.”

        That would make me sad. I’d like to see a bit more Fat Thor. Oh wait, Saturday cometh!

        “Mind you, if any movie was going to have a scene where Chris Pratt is being teased for getting chubby (already happened, with Rocket and Drax), but then says “well look at that lardo” and points at Thor, only for Thor to rip off his shirt and the prosthetic gut to shrink away into chiselled abs in a $500,000 CGI split-second … it would be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Asgardians of the Galaxy. Let’s be real clear on that.”

        YES!!!!!! They have to title it that, by the way. Go Asgardian or go home.

    • stchucky says:

      That was a great review (with a really nice two-part vignette scheme).

      Too kind, sir.

      Not surprisingly, I’m not quite with you on all the fuck-it-and-just-go-with-its, but overall, I don’t have much to disagree about the overall feels. And somewhat surprisingly, I didn’t get all of your At Firsts. But, then again, I was left with a few But stills (namely, and not at all surprisingly, with the time travel stuff).

      For the record, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record from at least three other discussion channels: I really liked this movie.

      Nice! 8/10 is pretty high for you.

      On an emotional and character level, this was a successful and satisfying conclusion to the first MCU arc. I cried at the end. Stark and Rogers got wonderful, emotionally appropriate send-offs, and Thor got to stick around, which was what I was really hoping for. The aftermath of the Snap, especially its human cost, was also really well covered.

      Agreed.

      On a narrative and plot level, though, I was less sold. First, this one lacked the clean, lean structure, balance, and pacing that Infinity War had.

      I don’t know exactly what “clean, lean structure, balance, and pacing” means, it all hung together fine as far as I could see and the only slow parts at the start and finish were absolutely intentional and integral. But sure, I hear that you didn’t consider it as well-put-together as Infinity War.

      Second, while the Time Heist kicked off great, and while it gave us some of the best and most satisfying character moments and payoffs in the MCU so far, it ultimately didn’t seem to follow through on its own premise and rules, and devolved into a plot-logical, history-rewriting mess that was essentially just hand-waved away. [1] And, man, I just could not go with it.

      [1] I have it on some Marvel authority that the time travel stuff with the multiple timelines, where changing the past actually just creates a divergent timeline, actually mostly makes perfect sense in the end. I’ll defer judgement to later viewings. I would be happy to see it all fit, though.

      I agree that there were probably better ways for them to do the Time Heist, although it definitely still needed to be called a Time Heist, that’s my only actual requirement. And I think you’re being a tad harsh with “plot-logical, history-rewriting mess that was essentially just hand-waved away”. But I suppose we all know where we stand on this issue and I understand it was a pretty preposterous solution.

      Mind you, we were looking for a way to undo an insta-mass-murder that had required all six Infinity Stones working in unison, after the Infinity Stones were destroyed. The solution was always going to be preposterous because we knew all those characters were coming back in an un-puff of smoke. And after Thanos revealed the Infinity Stones were destroyed, well, it basically had to be time travel then, didn’t it? Or some new Infinity Stone surrogate with absolutely no build-up or justification at all.

      I’m mildly curious why they didn’t go back to the very start of the universe and just take the Infinity Stones when they were “fashioned into ingots”. Surely that’d be the place there were the optimum number of Infinity Stones in any one place[1]? Or would they then have run into the fashioners of said ingots (passive voice was unhelpful in that exposition, Collector)?

      [1] On this subject … I kind of missed how they all got to their places, like Vormir and Morag. I know that they all ended up in a ship and then separated, but where did that ship come from? Or when? I’m pretty sure this was just something I didn’t catch rather than a plot hole though. Anyway, the time machine didn’t move them in space (very much)? So going to the start of the universe might have been unfeasible for that reason too.

      Still, it might have made it a more boring movie.

      Now, because I couldn’t help myself and because I’d been thinking about it, I drew a picture of the timelines and Time Heist as I understand them.

      A is, of course, the original timeline. We’ve got the finger-snap in 2018, we’ve got 2014 before it and 2023 after it.

      B is the Time Heist timeline in its simplest sense. The Avengers go back from 2023 to 2014 (actually several places and then 1970 as well, but whatever), and every tiny change they make to the timeline spins off billions of different variants. Presumably there’s billions of 2018s in there, and the finger-snap happens in some and not in others. OR, lacking the Infinity Stones (see C), it doesn’t happen at all, but 2018 still does. Either way, it’s best to consider the time between 2014 and 2023 a nonexistent unwitnessed event that could look like pretty much anything. Then they return to 2023 and everything collapses back to the exact timeline they already had. Thanos did the finger-snap in 2018 and then destroyed the Infinity Stones that existed in that timeline even though they were removed / duplicated / remouplicated at an earlier point to create unwitnessed messes.

      C is basically the same thing, except they take away Infinity Stones (or I got the impression from the Ancient One that it was just the Time Stone the Sorcerers were worried about, weren’t most of the other Infinity Stones just sort of hanging around? Well anyway, let’s assume taking them out of subjective existence would still be Bad, on a giant-twinkie scale of Badness). This spins off dark timelines that would presumably endure even after the Avengers all go back to 2023, and it’s these they’re snipping off when Cap goes back and returns all the Infinity Stones to their rightful space-time coordinates[2]. This is where, basically, you end up with no finger-snap because there is no stone to do it with, maybe … plus an assortment of Dormammus and Surturs coming through from other dimensions and wrecking shit.

      [2] It’s also worth pointing out that Cap could only return one Tesseract[3], to the 1970s. He couldn’t return the one Loki took in 2014, so what exactly the fuck happened then is probably the premise of the Loki TV show.

      [3] Also, after taking the Tesseract apart and getting the space stone out of it, how did they put it back inside the Tesseract and return it? I assume Rocket and Professor Hulk did some sort of science magic.

      Also, while the final battle had some really great goose-bumps moments, namely with the Originals, some of it felt like a rushed series of tacked-on fanservice inserts. The CGI also failed occasionally, making it seem like they had just quickly shot Actor X in front of a green screen and then comped that into a frame with a dozen other similar shots.

      Yeah, but you say this with basically every comic book movie so let’s just call it a lingering hazard of the genre / technology.

      I will concur that there might have been more clangy moments of this in Endgame than there were in Infinity War, because Infinity War had a different setting (daylight, Wakanda) and different characters in different battle situations. Endgame was bigger and more complex.

      Black Widow. I did not like her getting offed. While watching that whole scene unfold, a tiny part of me was expecting that Natasha’s and Clint’s self-sacrificing love for one another would somehow actually circumvent the sacrifice requirement. This would’ve also contrasted them nicely with Thanos, who actually sacrificed a loved one, as another reviewer pointed out, expanding on this same idea. But no, they had to fucking kill her for reals.

      Not sure how they could have circumvented it, but Aaron and I have been discussing it and yeah, there were definite discrepancies with how it played out that just rung a bit odd. Like, Black Widow and Hawkeye are both pretty pragmatic so I’m pretty sure they could have figured it out without fighting each other anyway.

      Also we know it’s not for real because Black Widow is getting a movie. But sure, it could be a prequel or an alternate version or whatever else, rather than them getting her back and letting her carry on as usual.

      It’s also just possible that the Vormir storage facility didn’t take time travel into account when it set up its whole “sacrifice” sign-in system. Same as the facility on Morag didn’t take Star Lord’s glowy zappy grabber thing or Nebula’s robot arm into account.

      Captain Marvel. Meh. She was really poorly used in this movie. They should have either brought her in at the very end with the rest, or used her properly throughout the movie. As it is, she pretty much amounts to just a two-part cameo.

      I didn’t see it that way, I think her use was absolutely optimised. Using her less would have resulted in way more “where the fuck was the OP’d superchick?” and using her more would have felt un-earned in this farewell to the First Three Phase Avengers. Both are sort of outside-the-plot issues that could still have been solved in-plot, but it would have taken some work.

      But obviously if you’re not satisfied with it, that’s unfortunate.

      Thanos. Easily one of the best — if not the best — antagonists in the MCU so far. But, man, those power levels. How could a Vanilla Thanos, without any Infinity Stones, stand up so well against Iron Man, Captain American, and especially Thor, when a Stoned Thanos actually had to put some effort into fighting Iron Man one-on-one on Titan? Thor alone, dual-wielding Mjölnir and Stormbreaker, should’ve been able to wipe the floor with Vanilla Thanos.

      Also saw this a different way, I had numerous rationalisations and in-story explanations (posted here elsewhere), so ultimately it didn’t bother me in the slightest. Again, if it bothered you or pulled you out of the story, that’s a bummer – and entirely understandable.

      Fat Thor. Loved him. Hemsworth is comedy gold. As an overweight and (at least formerly) fat person, I also completely approve. And remember: He was fat throughout. He didn’t get lean. It was Fat Thor who kicked ass in the final battle and helped win the day, blubber and all. How is that not empowering?

      Hear hear!

      • dreameling says:

        I don’t know exactly what “clean, lean structure, balance, and pacing” means, it all hung together fine as far as I could see and the only slow parts at the start and finish were absolutely intentional and integral. But sure, I hear that you didn’t consider it as well-put-together as Infinity War.

        Basically. I meant that Endgame lacked the same (mostly) unbroken forward momentum and single building tension/movement that Infinity War had. The latter was almost purely about Thanos, and the movie’s entire narrative arc started and ended with him. Clean, direct, coherent. Endgame went back and forth more, and just did more stuff, which in itself is not a bad thing. Red Letter Media made this comment about how Endgame is basically three separate movies rolled into one, and I agree with that. Again, not a bad thing in itself, but the Snaptermath [1], the Time Heist, and the Finale do not quite hang together as a single fluid whole.

        [1] I’m so coining this.

        And I think you’re being a tad harsh with “plot-logical, history-rewriting mess that was essentially just hand-waved away”. But I suppose we all know where we stand on this issue and I understand it was a pretty preposterous solution.

        Actually, I was too harsh. The time travel bothered me much, much less on second viewing (only a few hours in the past as of writing this). Mainly because (a) I knew what to expect and (b) others had commented on (comics-derived) logic that I missed the first time. In short, if you just go with the “you can’t change the past, but you can branch off into new parallel timelines” multiverse model, it kind of all hangs together pretty well. Of course, it didn’t help, especially the first time, that the terminology and explanations are all over the place and confusing to the point of easily seeming self-contradictory. Nonetheless, the time travel gets a pass from me now (and at least for now, as I’m actively sticking to not thinking about it too much, since it kinda fuzzily fits fine at the moment).

        Even the Old Steve ending kinda makes sense if you allow that Steve went back in time to the 1940s, rewrote history into a new timeline (let’s not think about what he did with that timeline’s native Ice Steve), and then came to visit his home timeline (with reverse-engineered time travel tech) as an old man and hand off the Shield.

        And after Thanos revealed the Infinity Stones were destroyed, well, it basically had to be time travel then, didn’t it?

        Sure. That was a foregone conclusion. I just expected it to somehow revolve around the Time Stone, rather than a whole new time travel technology thing. But I gotta say I prefer what they did. While the movie ended up almost exactly where you expected it to, the route it took there constantly surprised me. Kudos, Marvel.

        FYI. Until better pop-culture blockbuster examples come along, I’m going to use Endgame as a prototypical example of narrative surprises done right, while The Last Jedi gets to remain narrative surprises done oh come the fuck on!.

        I’m mildly curious why they didn’t go back to the very start of the universe and just take the Infinity Stones when they were “fashioned into ingots”. Surely that’d be the place there were the optimum number of Infinity Stones in any one place[1]? Or would they then have run into the fashioners of said ingots (passive voice was unhelpful in that exposition, Collector)?

        Or, for example, why they didn’t all just jump to the 1970s and pick up as many vials of Pym Particles as they could carry and then go to town with time-travel trial-and-error?

        Btw., the beautiful thing about the “single immutable timeline that loops forever” model is that it nips all these “what ifs” in the temporal-causal bud. You can’t do weird crazy shit if said shit ostensibly never already happened. I wish they’d gone that route, but only more cerebral, small-budget movies seem to ever get to take that pill and fly with it.

        [1] On this subject … I kind of missed how they all got to their places, like Vormir and Morag. I know that they all ended up in a ship and then separated, but where did that ship come from? Or when? I’m pretty sure this was just something I didn’t catch rather than a plot hole though. Anyway, the time machine didn’t move them in space (very much)? So going to the start of the universe might have been unfeasible for that reason too.

        They first separated in the time machine, with Bruce, Scott, Steve, and Tony landing in New York in 2012, Rocket and Thor on Asgard in 2013, and the rest on Morag in 2014. (So the time machine did move them also in space quite a bit.) And then Clint and Natasha flew off to Vormir with the Guardians ship, which they had Pym-miniaturized for time transit, while Nebula and Rhodey stayed behind on Morag to wait for Peter. Now, why didn’t they just fully separate already in the time machine? Dunno.

        [2] It’s also worth pointing out that Cap could only return one Tesseract[3], to the 1970s. He couldn’t return the one Loki took in 2014, so what exactly the fuck happened then is probably the premise of the Loki TV show.

        Yeah. Loki, like Natasha, Gamora, Heimdal, and whoever else are all absolutely dead in the Prime Timeline. But the Prime Timeline now has a Gamora from the alternate 2014 branch, and Loki is surely alive in the alternate 2012 branch.

        [3] Also, after taking the Tesseract apart and getting the space stone out of it, how did they put it back inside the Tesseract and return it? I assume Rocket and Professor Hulk did some sort of science magic.

        Ditto with the Reality Stone.

        Also, how did regular mortals, like Clint, touch a Stone and survive?

        Also we know it’s not for real because Black Widow is getting a movie. But sure, it could be a prequel or an alternate version or whatever else, rather than them getting her back and letting her carry on as usual.

        Pretty sure it’s going to be a prequel or an alternate version. Both of which are sucky options for me.

        I didn’t see it that way, I think her use was absolutely optimised. Using her less would have resulted in way more “where the fuck was the OP’d superchick?” and using her more would have felt un-earned in this farewell to the First Three Phase Avengers. Both are sort of outside-the-plot issues that could still have been solved in-plot, but it would have taken some work.

        Which just means she was a problematic character to tie into the whole thing either way. I’m starting to think they should’ve postponed her to MCU Phase 4. Or just made her less powerful at this point in time.

        But obviously if you’re not satisfied with it, that’s unfortunate.

        She didn’t kill or fail the movie for me. Like I said, meh.

        Hear hear!

        Fat Thor was still hilarious!

      • stchucky says:

        I don’t know exactly what “clean, lean structure, balance, and pacing” means, it all hung together fine as far as I could see and the only slow parts at the start and finish were absolutely intentional and integral. But sure, I hear that you didn’t consider it as well-put-together as Infinity War.

        Basically. I meant that Endgame lacked the same (mostly) unbroken forward momentum and single building tension/movement that Infinity War had. The latter was almost purely about Thanos, and the movie’s entire narrative arc started and ended with him. Clean, direct, coherent. Endgame went back and forth more, and just did more stuff, which in itself is not a bad thing. Red Letter Media made this comment about how Endgame is basically three separate movies rolled into one, and I agree with that. Again, not a bad thing in itself, but the Snaptermath [1], the Time Heist, and the Finale do not quite hang together as a single fluid whole.

        Okay, so what I’m seeing here is that Infinity War was a single lead-in and cliffhanger storyline with a linear plot, and Endgame was a several-thread interwoven resolution storyline. Considering the number of characters and motivations in play, I think they did an incredible job. And considering the plot necessary to reach resolution, they couldn’t have done it without multi-thread storytelling – and again they did it incredibly well.

        I guess I was seeing your comment as a criticism rather than just a difference between the two movies. If anything, I personally see it as praise.

        [1] I’m so coining this.

        Snaptermath is pure gold.

        Actually, I was too harsh. The time travel bothered me much, much less on second viewing (only a few hours in the past as of writing this).

        Nice!

        (and at least for now, as I’m actively sticking to not thinking about it too much, since it kinda fuzzily fits fine at the moment).

        Yeah, works for me.

        Even the Old Steve ending kinda makes sense if you allow that Steve went back in time to the 1940s, rewrote history into a new timeline (let’s not think about what he did with that timeline’s native Ice Steve), and then came to visit his home timeline (with reverse-engineered time travel tech) as an old man and hand off the Shield.

        *squints*

        Ehhhhhh… alright.

        Sure. That was a foregone conclusion. I just expected it to somehow revolve around the Time Stone, rather than a whole new time travel technology thing.

        That would’ve made more sense, of course. Having seen the time stone in action we know it can achieve some kinds of time travel. Then, of course, the movie would have had to follow a very different path – hunting Thanos down before he destroyed the Infinity Stones, fighting him again, and getting the time stone off him so they could use it. Which would mean they had the whole Gauntlet. Which would mean they could just fix everything anyway. Which is absolutely why Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones.

        And if he destroyed them, they still would have needed to time travel to get the time stone back. Which, hmm.

        But I gotta say I prefer what they did. While the movie ended up almost exactly where you expected it to, the route it took there constantly surprised me. Kudos, Marvel.

        Agreed.

        Or, for example, why they didn’t all just jump to the 1970s and pick up as many vials of Pym Particles as they could carry and then go to town with time-travel trial-and-error?

        Yes.

        Btw., the beautiful thing about the “single immutable timeline that loops forever” model is that it nips all these “what ifs” in the temporal-causal bud. You can’t do weird crazy shit if said shit ostensibly never already happened. I wish they’d gone that route, but only more cerebral, small-budget movies seem to ever get to take that pill and fly with it.

        Sure, and I like some of the theories about how Carter and Rogers came out of this, by the “SHIELD soldier” she married actually being Steve all along but it was all hushed up. And some of the rest of it might hang together as a predestiny loop. But then there’s Doctor Strange ruining it all with his fourteen million alternate future FUBARs. And especially once they go back to multiple points in the timeline, it becomes incredibly complicated to tie it all back into a seamless loop and a “that’s not how any of this works” hand-wave saves a lot of effort.

        I’m sure there are ways to envision this as a self-fulfilling always-would-have-happening causality loop, but it takes some work.

        They first separated in the time machine, with Bruce, Scott, Steve, and Tony landing in New York in 2012, Rocket and Thor on Asgard in 2013, and the rest on Morag in 2014. (So the time machine did move them also in space quite a bit.) And then Clint and Natasha flew off to Vormir with the Guardians ship, which they had Pym-miniaturized for time transit, while Nebula and Rhodey stayed behind on Morag to wait for Peter.

        Ahh, yeah I missed most of that. Need a second viewing.

        Now, why didn’t they just fully separate already in the time machine? Dunno.

        More interesting this way?

        Yeah. Loki, like Natasha, Gamora, Heimdal, and whoever else are all absolutely dead in the Prime Timeline. But the Prime Timeline now has a Gamora from the alternate 2014 branch, and Loki is surely alive in the alternate 2012 branch.

        So I assume at this point when the new Spider-Man talks about the multiverse, we’re going to see these branched-off timelines as “different universes” – as well as worlds like Asgard and Svartalvheim, accessible through the Bifrost portals (or whatever), which are a slightly different type of separate universe.

        It’s all a bit unclear to me, since Thor and the Assgardians fled on a spaceship at the end of Ragnarok, how much those places are just different planets in the universe or actually different worlds. Certainly Asgard seemed more like a classical flat world so would need to be a different universe? And that doesn’t even start to cover the question of the Devil’s Anus.

        But then, they fly through those hexagonal jump-portal things a bunch, which may cover spatial distance within one universe or assorted travel across the multiverse. At least one variant of the multiverse. The one with alternate timelines, maybe, not so much.

        It’s going to be very fun to see how they explain all this. Is the MCU finally going full comicbook with its alternate universes, and just expecting the audience to go with it? Lord knows they’ve trained us well, this past decade and more.

        Also, how did regular mortals, like Clint, touch a Stone and survive?

        Aaron and I were wondering that but it seems like some of the stones don’t do the disintegration of mere mortals? the soul stone and the time stone seem to be fairly passive, while the power stone is volatile. Which sort of checks out, because power.

        It may be a bit inconsistent because the Collector’s exposition (to my recollection) made it sound like all of the Infinity Stones were so powerful only groups or superbeings could handle them. And yet, his exposition video only seemed to show the purple power stone. He may have been assuming about the others based on that, same as we have.

        Also, it would have been a bit tricky to handle if all the Infinity Stones caused disintegration and massive explosions when incorrectly handled.

        Also also, to be completely accurate the soul stone did kill someone before Hawkeye could handle it. So that’s fairly lethal, in a sense.

        Pretty sure it’s going to be a prequel or an alternate version. Both of which are sucky options for me.

        Agreed, and it absolutely breaks Cap’s “we don’t trade lives” philosophy from the previous movies. Which is why I kind of like the idea of him somehow undoing it and saving her. Provided we can do it without it being a male character saving a female one, because that would not play well.

        I just don’t think, on a meta level, that audiences will go for an alternate-universe Black Widow. But then, Marvel likes taking risks. A prequel, at this point, would be a different kind of risk – of the boring and overdone variety.

        Now, a movie that incorporates prequel and return of Black Widow to some variant of the timeline … I could get on board with that.

        I didn’t see it that way, I think her use was absolutely optimised. Using her less would have resulted in way more “where the fuck was the OP’d superchick?” and using her more would have felt un-earned in this farewell to the First Three Phase Avengers. Both are sort of outside-the-plot issues that could still have been solved in-plot, but it would have taken some work.

        Which just means she was a problematic character to tie into the whole thing either way. I’m starting to think they should’ve postponed her to MCU Phase 4. Or just made her less powerful at this point in time.

        Ugh, no I’m very glad they didn’t do that. Like I say, I think they optimised it. Bringing her in for Phase 4 might have seemed like “oh, right, escalation of bad guys (somehow, after Thanos) means escalation of good guys” and her origin movie would definitely have seemed too-convenient. And the exact same issues for why she didn’t appear for Endgame at all, that would need to be explained.

        Ehh, it could have worked but I just don’t see it. Would her solo movie have come in Phase 4 too? It changes a lot of stuff.

      • Mostly I agree with you, dreameling, so have little to say. Don’t let that make you think I’m not reading and enjoying!

        “Even the Old Steve ending kinda makes sense if you allow that Steve went back in time to the 1940s, rewrote history into a new timeline (let’s not think about what he did with that timeline’s native Ice Steve),”

        Why not? I’m going with “leaving him there with a note to find him after Old Steve time travels back to his timeline.” Hey, it’s kind of him…can he have almost-bodily autonomy? XD

        He’ll be all right on the ice a bit longer. No worries!

        “and then came to visit his home timeline (with reverse-engineered time travel tech) as an old man and hand off the Shield.”

        I’m worried, because did Old Steve just let all the horrible shit happen in the world that he knew was happening while he was happy with Peggy? Or did Captain America throw his mighty shield? I’m torn what I want.

        For me, I’d rather he lived in the normal timeline, rescued his other self early to do all the tough work, and enjoyed life with Peggy. But that’s silly too. I don’t see a non-problematic option, TBH, but I’ve been, as you say, not thinking about it too much.

        “Sure. That was a foregone conclusion. I just expected it to somehow revolve around the Time Stone, rather than a whole new time travel technology thing. But I gotta say I prefer what they did. While the movie ended up almost exactly where you expected it to, the route it took there constantly surprised me. Kudos, Marvel.”

        Hatboy pointed out the problem, that you need time travel or something to get the time stone since it was destroyed. But otherwise as I wrote this is what I wanted, too. The time and space stones, together, might have been able to do all of this with *truly* no problematic problems. Since, you know, they can control time and space.

        “Or, for example, why they didn’t all just jump to the 1970s and pick up as many vials of Pym Particles as they could carry and then go to town with time-travel trial-and-error?”

        Because!

        OK no more Screen Rant references. But I will give the Screen Rant answer. The stakes are higher the way they did it. Not really any other reason, which sucks.

        Definitely with you on this.

        “Also, how did regular mortals, like Clint, touch a Stone and survive?”

        This bothered me too. But I think it’s just some of the stones that can’t be touched. I guess? Who knows! We don’t have full explanations of all of this. I’m going with “once you meet the requirement to get the Soulstone” you can safely touch it. As Hatboy also replied, I think.

        “Which just means she was a problematic character to tie into the whole thing either way. I’m starting to think they should’ve postponed her to MCU Phase 4. Or just made her less powerful at this point in time.”

        This whole BS with Captain Marvel has upset me so much I can’t even talk about it anymore.

        Will watch her movie again though. Fo sho.

        Hatboy, I like your Black Widow solution, by the way. A little of this, a little of that…actually could be cool. If I understood you correctly.

      • stchucky says:

        Mostly I agree with you, dreameling, so have little to say. Don’t let that make you think I’m not reading and enjoying!

        Agreed with both of you.

        “Even the Old Steve ending kinda makes sense if you allow that Steve went back in time to the 1940s, rewrote history into a new timeline (let’s not think about what he did with that timeline’s native Ice Steve),”

        Why not? I’m going with “leaving him there with a note to find him after Old Steve time travels back to his timeline.” Hey, it’s kind of him…can he have almost-bodily autonomy? XD

        Heh, the more people try to explain it, the less sense it makes! ScreenRant did a whole video on explaining the “plot hole” as not really being a hole, and I was almost on board with their explanation that he followed the entire alternate “dance” timeline through to a conclusion (ie. Peggy’s death) before time travelling back to where he meets Bucky and Falcon and hands over the shield, essentially returning to the original timeline and closing off the (basically a closure fantasy) loop he made with Peggy.

        But then they tried to tell me that in order to not mess with the life Peggy had, the marriage and children she had, he’d actually caught up with her sometime in the 1970s when she’d had her kids and her husband was either dead or divorced from her. Which makes no damn sense because they were clearly dancing in the 1940s sometime and he saw her in 1970 and she was older and greyer (as she would be), as opposed to how she looked in that final dance scene. So no, he went back and rewrote her entire life after “losing” Cap in the ice.

        I’m worried, because did Old Steve just let all the horrible shit happen in the world that he knew was happening while he was happy with Peggy? Or did Captain America throw his mighty shield? I’m torn what I want.

        If you view that lifetime as a wish-fulfilment dream life that didn’t really happen in the real MCU prime universe, it sort of might be cool to also pretend that he took every single little bit of future knowledge and just demolished every enemy and threat that ever happened, from Hydra on down. Didn’t quite manage to cure Alzheimers with his Microsoft billions, but still.

        Maybe the less said about any of it the better.

        For me, I’d rather he lived in the normal timeline, rescued his other self early to do all the tough work, and enjoyed life with Peggy. But that’s silly too. I don’t see a non-problematic option, TBH, but I’ve been, as you say, not thinking about it too much.

        Agreed, it’s also a viable, but silly option. He was always the other man Peggy married, but he left himself in the ice and took care of a few things to keep himself sleeping at night[1] from 1940-something to 2011 when Fury and Stark thawed him out.

        [1] You know, those nights he wasn’t sleeping peacefully after a good healthy dose of solid 1940s style female-orgasm-is-a-myth missionary wedlock sex. Sorry Peggy, he did not tell you about the sexual revolution because nobody told him.

        Hatboy pointed out the problem, that you need time travel or something to get the time stone since it was destroyed. But otherwise as I wrote this is what I wanted, too. The time and space stones, together, might have been able to do all of this with *truly* no problematic problems. Since, you know, they can control time and space.

        Sure, and I’m also sure in that alternate universe where this “find Thanos, take the gauntlet back, use time and space stones to fix things, fight Thanos again maybe” movie was made, Marvel did a good job of making it interesting and unexpected. They’ve earned a multiverse of benefit of doubt here.

        I do think that the five-year gap would have to not be a thing in that version of the movie. They would have grabbed a quick schwarma, and gone after Thanos as soon as Captain Marvel came back with Tony and the location of Thanos’s retirement planet. I mean, like they did, but without the twist of the Infinity Stones being gone and Thor killing Thanos.

        Unless Thor did kill Thanos, and the big bad of Endgame was … something else. The friends we made along the way. Whatever.

        “Or, for example, why they didn’t all just jump to the 1970s and pick up as many vials of Pym Particles as they could carry and then go to town with time-travel trial-and-error?”

        The stakes are higher the way they did it. Not really any other reason, which sucks.

        Definitely with you on this.

        I tend to agree. I can’t imagine it would have been difficult for them to bullshit their way to an answer on this. Like, they only work in a certain direction or they’re quantum-locked so there is only one set of particles no matter whereabouts in time they are so there’s only the number Pym made, no more and no less … and that’s just off the top of my head.

        Or, Phase One of the plan is to go and get all the particles they need, so they can do the rest of the Time Heist.

        Or, shit, just lampshade it by Rocket saying “none of you idiots thought of going back further in time and taking more particles?” and Tony saying “I’m so sorry I literally invented time travel this afternoon and haven’t quite trained myself to think in four dimensions, maybe if I had a toilet brush sticking out the back of my pants it would help.”

        Hatboy, I like your Black Widow solution, by the way. A little of this, a little of that…actually could be cool. If I understood you correctly.

        Sounds good to me!

      • stchucky says:

        How’s this for a slice of fried gold if we’re making up explanations?

        Cap goes back and returns all the Infinity Stones. Last, he returns the time stone. The Ancient One, full of respect and gratitude, explains that there is a way for him to (like Peggy alludes on her deathbed) start over. She uses the time stone to open a branch for him that, unlike the Pym tech time travel, is more mystical and can affect the future.

        Cap goes to the 1940s. He reunites with Peggy, and helps her in secret while she works with SHIELD, basically keeping the timeline intact but also helping him to do the right thing.

        He is the SHIELD soldier she marries and has kids with, but never mentions to anyone, in order to preserve the timeline.

        He tells them where to find the frozen Captain America, so they can thaw him out circa 2011.

        Peggy eventually dies, and Cap takes a final trip with his shield, to hand it over and say a final farewell. And what does he say when Falcon asks him if he wants to talk about the life he had? “No.”

        Because the Ancient One made him promise not to risk dark tendril realities by letting the word get out.

        And when Peggy sees thawed Steve at her bedside, she tells him the only way she can.

        That fits, as far as I’m concerned, just about perfectly.

      • stchucky says:

        Additional bonus point:

        This also explains how the time magic Doctor Strange does is so completely at odds with the Stark-Pym time travel model. There’s no way “Dormammu, I have come to bargain” and the fourteen million alternate futures would have worked if time travel with the time stone was in any way the same as what the Avengers did.

      • Yup, I love this version. You should write ALL the movies, dude. Good point about Dormammu as well. That’s why I preferred the time heist with the time stone, too.

      • stchucky says:

        Let’s just hope this is what they have in mind, and we’ll get to see some of it sometime. It seems unlikely though, since Evans is now pretty much out.

        But we can pretend.

      • dreameling says:

        PS. Forgot to share what I thought was a good take on Fat Thor:

        https://www.slashfilm.com/avengers-endgame-fat-shaming-thor-is-not-a-thing/

        Here’s hoping you guys haven’t already linked that somewhere in the mass of replies.

      • stchucky says:

        Not that I’ve seen. I’ll check it out but just from the title of the article I can guess I’ll probably agree with it.

      • tl;dr (I did r it) the article is spot on (except one small irritation I have) and focuses on how in-character these jokes were, and how it was about more than him just being fat. It even explains Frigga’s comment, “eat a salad”, as what many moms would say and (as did the author) I can confirm that. You know I can, Hatboy XD

        Very, very good article, well thought out, and it goes into far more than I did here. I liked how no one complained Rocket Racoon was unkind to the partially blind (stole that eye) or the handicapped (steals prosthetic limbs or jokes about it).

        My one irritation is all this “should have gone for the head” shit. And I know, Thanos said it, it’s canon from Infinity War. But come the fuck on! He threw Stormbreaker from so far away and into an energy blast! There’s no guarantee it would have hit him in WHATEVER part was the target, head or otherwise. I know, they basically have told us Thor was NOT going for the head, but you know, he never actually confirmed that himself nor would it really matter.

        Anyone skilled in ranged weaponry would tell you going for the head is a bad idea, center of mass is the target. And in this case, the energy bolt might have been angled so that Stormbreaker went off target, if it was flying at his head. It needed to fly directly into the bolt, which was chest level.

        So enough with the “should have gone for the head” shit! Tired of it!

        Yes, I know this is way too in the weeds. If that surprises anyone, I’m surprised!

      • stchucky says:

        tl;dr (I did r it)

        Yep, read it too, now.

        the article is spot on (except one small irritation I have) and focuses on how in-character these jokes were, and how it was about more than him just being fat.

        Yes, exactly, agreed. As I said from the start, it’s a great way to show how different characters react to tragedy, and how other different characters react to their friends being in pain. And I didn’t even focus that much on how they really did care about Thor’s obvious anguish. It was just sort of intuitively obvious from the way it was written and acted. It was fucking great.

        It even explains Frigga’s comment, “eat a salad”, as what many moms would say and (as did the author) I can confirm that. You know I can, Hatboy XD

        Bwahahahaha, yes sir. I don’t think that line even registered with me, it was such a parents thing to say.

        Very, very good article, well thought out, and it goes into far more than I did here. I liked how no one complained Rocket Racoon was unkind to the partially blind (stole that eye) or the handicapped (steals prosthetic limbs or jokes about it).

        Right? That right there was a very good point, I agree. I think it’s because, unlike people with prosthetic limbs or eyes, there’s a lot of fat people in the world, they’re not any kind of minority (especially not by weight! *rimshot*), and yet they still cry for punching-down credit when there’s any hint of negativity about them. And by “them”, I mean “us”. So we were teased for being fatties, and Thor gets teased a bit here. Suck it up. You don’t need a thicker skin, you’re well taken care of in that department.

        I have more fat jokes.

        *rummages in heavage*

        *it’s like a cleavage for man boobs*

        My one irritation is all this “should have gone for the head” shit. And I know, Thanos said it, it’s canon from Infinity War. But come the fuck on! He threw Stormbreaker from so far away and into an energy blast! There’s no guarantee it would have hit him in WHATEVER part was the target, head or otherwise. I know, they basically have told us Thor was NOT going for the head, but you know, he never actually confirmed that himself nor would it really matter.

        I don’t get why it’s a thing in terms of people calling it out as viewers, like it’s a plot flaw of any kind. I absolutely get why it’s a self-criticism Thor levels at himself, because he’s literally a God and he can’t handle failure. Even if everyone else failed, he’s going to take it harder and that “mistake” he made will haunt him.

        Even though, as you say, it wasn’t a mistake at all. He did absolutely the best he could, and it wasn’t enough. And when he looks back and flagellates himself drunkenly over it for half a decade, of course he’s going to focus on the sneering last words Thanos said to him before winning right in front of his helpless face.

        So, I don’t know, I think we’re on the same page here? I, like you, don’t get how it’s still a thing that reviewers and commentators level at the plot and characters. But I definitely get why it’s such a big deal to Thor, so it’s still mentioned in the movie. And his friends try to talk him down from it, because they realise the same thing we have – that there was nothing he could have done.

        So enough with the “should have gone for the head” shit! Tired of it!

        Yes, I know this is way too in the weeds. If that surprises anyone, I’m surprised!

        Not at all! It’s another facet of at first I… / but then I… as far as I’m concerned.

      • stchucky says:

        Additional bonus point to this too:

        The whole idea of Thor being unstoppable in battle, and never failing and being unable to handle failure, has been just about the most consistent character-arc theme in the MCU. All of his movies are about him being OP’d and super-confident, then fucking something up due to cockiness, and just losing his shit because he can’t handle losing.

        The rest of the time, he finally managed to pull a victory out of his glorious suntanned arse, but with the fall of Asgard things started getting more complicated for him and his real growing began. And I don’t mean his belly, but I also mean his belly.

        Seriously though, by the time we get to Infinity War we finally see him – after facing down the power of a star – wade into a fight with his usual arrogance, and get absolutely pasted and there’s nothing he can do. So yeah, the collapse we see is beyond justified. It’s a decade-long buildup finally getting paid off.

  8. Well, you know us. Agreed on Thor completely.

  9. “Movie” / show, obviously GoT is a show. Also I used single quote marks once around your text starting “Huh”, but I’m sure you can see it in context.

    OH boy, looks like it’s going to storm like a mofo, and I have 35 miles in heavy traffic to go. Think I’m leaving early. Have a good weekend if I don’t come back!

  10. stchucky says:

    Here’s another Australian who pretty much wound up where I did on the movie.

    Good point about the liabilities in the plan too, but obviously I forgave it.

  11. stchucky says:

    Holy crap, this sums up the issues with the unSnap better than any, but this does cover what I mentioned in the original post:

    • Well, yeah, although I found the issues with the snap more interesting to talk about than the unsnap. If you think about it, we don’t know exactly what the unsnap did, only generally “bring everyone back to now”. Kind of like the soul stone discussion. Marvel can choose to have Professor Hulk consider a lot of this in his processing of what needs to be done, or they can have the infinity stones work around a lot of these issues through infinity stone magic, or they can have things roughly as messed up as described and let future movies deal with that. Or, ignore it all, obviously…hopefully not.

      I knew there were massive issues from the unsnap so I just avoided them all. But I’ll bring up one that’s more basic and clear that somehow the video didn’t go into. How did we know it worked? Well, I guess the new/old trees and birds, but what about Hawkeye’s cell phone call from his wife?

      But wait! This is 5 years later, it still works? Where was her phone? How did she find it so quickly? THAT still works? If Hawkeye got a new phone, which is likely, he kept the same number? I guess…but it’s just as likely he’d give up on that like he gave up on everything else, and start a new life as Ronin fully. Of all those, the wife’s cell phone still working and being near her are the biggest issues, right? Especially considering what’s in this video!

      And furthermore, I didn’t realize half of all living things, including all plants and animals, were gone too…that is a huge issue. How is the snap fixing resource scarcity if everything we use for food and most of everything we use for other resources are ALSO halved? How does that make any fucking sense, Thanos? You giant purple idiot!

      If half of all HUMANS on Earth were erased, but everything else remained, THAT would help with resource scarcity. But not what actually happened! Arguably it wouldn’t be ANY better for resource scarcity.

      Good points about the unsnap, though. But we don’t know exactly how it was executed so it really is all just speculation.

      Hey there was a really bothersome Looper video I need you to talk me down, about. I’ll post it in a separate comment.

      • stchucky says:

        Quick answer, will get to the rest tomorrow … yeah, I didn’t address your point about Hawkeye’s phone but fair play, you did make it right at the start.

        The snap turned people to ash but also all the shit they had with them, clothes and stuff. Okay, Fury dropped his pager but I imagine if Mrs. Hawkeye had her phone in her pocket, it would have gone with her and come back with her.

        So all that was needed would be for Hawkeye to keep the same number / SIM card. And since there was probably a big stall in phone tech advancement between 2018 and 2023, that’s probably a safe bet.

      • I guess…we really don’t have all the snap details, but why would phones be snapped? Doesn’t really make sense to me but ok. This files under the “don’t know all the mechanics for certain” thing I said about the unsnap, I guess.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, I’m just thinking about the scenes of the dustings. Lots of stuff went with. Spider-Man’s whole suit went, that’s a bit more extensive than a phone.

      • And spears from Wakandans went, sure sure. But what if only things touching your skin go? I mean really, we don’t know the rules. The cell phone call was smart and efficient to make the point, but could be problematic. All I was saying, really. This one wasn’t a big deal for me at all. Sometimes you gotta do something like that to cut to the chase and deliver the message.

      • stchucky says:

        My main problem with that is, Fury was holding the pager and it fell to the ground. In the pocket makes more sense because she was in the middle of making a picnic dinner so she wouldn’t have had it in her hand. Then she reappears and as far as she knows Clint was the one who vanished, so she pulls out the phone. Makes perfect sense to me, as well as being a tidy way of showing the unSnap worked. Like you said.

      • Hmm. Yeah and I can’t remember if he held it until that hand was dusted or not. And the pager wasn’t dusted so that counters the cell phone dusting idea a bit, right?

        And women often don’t have deep pockets. On their pants…I’m not talking about money, LOL

        I think her phone would more likely have been on the (picnic) table or in her purse than in her pocket. Even with jeans or the like, my wife doesn’t put her phone in her pocket. Carries and sets it down.

        So… I mean we can keep going on but I’m still in the “possibly problematic, can never really know, doesn’t matter that much to me” camp as I’ve been saying.

      • stchucky says:

        No but I’m done explaining it for now.

      • Fair enough, and I went back and reviewed and saw you already talked about some of this, for example the dropping of the pager. I’ll go with your recollection there since I don’t have one. Seems right to me, anyway.

        I think it’s best to take time off on this, at least so that I can formulate a GUT[1] of the snap-dusting interactions. Can’t do that so well in the middle of a back-and-forth debate on individual aspects.

        [1] Grand Unified Theorem

      • stchucky says:

        Well, yeah, although I found the issues with the snap more interesting to talk about than the unsnap. If you think about it, we don’t know exactly what the unsnap did, only generally “bring everyone back to now”. Kind of like the soul stone discussion. Marvel can choose to have Professor Hulk consider a lot of this in his processing of what needs to be done, or they can have the infinity stones work around a lot of these issues through infinity stone magic, or they can have things roughly as messed up as described and let future movies deal with that. Or, ignore it all, obviously…hopefully not.

        No you’re right, they can basically explain it in a bunch of different ways.

        And it probably doesn’t really bear too much examination, because it seems like Thanos really did remove half the biomass from the universe, rather than just killing half the sentients? That would have pretty much guaranteed the destruction of the remaining half (like you say below), if he hadn’t also included some fine print in the Snap. Plus, a lot of the shit he erased was “resources” of the kind he was complaining there weren’t enough of, right (like you also say)? I mean, people don’t eat rocks. And he even took away some rocks, if you count all the bits and pieces the dusted took with them…

        But if you want to give the suspension of disbelief a workout, we can pretend that the Snap wiped out half of all life and left half of it in a better position to more healthily adjust … and then the unSnap brought the other half back, along with enough Snapped-away additional biomass to support them through another transition.

        Or Professor Hulk just did what the Mad Titan was too mad to do in the first place, and created more resources for the immediate future. Some of that stuff, yeah, I would hope they at least mention in up-coming movies. My expectations aren’t high, though.

        But wait! This is 5 years later, it still works? Where was her phone? How did she find it so quickly? THAT still works? If Hawkeye got a new phone, which is likely, he kept the same number? I guess…but it’s just as likely he’d give up on that like he gave up on everything else, and start a new life as Ronin fully. Of all those, the wife’s cell phone still working and being near her are the biggest issues, right? Especially considering what’s in this video!

        Alright, so as discussed, I don’t think this is much of an issue except of course that it speaks to a lot of inconsistency in how the Snap worked:

        1) Spider-Man’s Iron Spider suit, with far more integrated technology than a pair of pants with a phone in it, vanishes.

        2) Ditto Black Panther’s vibranium suit, and all the vibranium weapons the Wakandans were carrying … it’s not just biological matter Thanos was destroying.

        3) On that point, spears in the Wakandans’ hands went in the Snap.

        4) Nick Fury’s pager, which he had in his hand, fell to the ground and didn’t get dusted.

        There’s heaps more, but I think the simplest explanation is:

        The Snap took living things and the stuff immediately connected to them, like fur or feathers or clothes (just don’t think about it too much). Anything inside the clothes, in pockets, on necklaces, it all went. Because otherwise a lot of people just got resurrected with a bunch of five-year-busted surgical gear in their bodies. So Mrs. Hawkeye unSnapped with her phone still in 2018 condition, and she immediately pulled it out and called Hawkeye to find out where he (to her eyes) vanished to. Hawkeye still had the same phone and SIM / number because as I said, I doubt mobile phone tech would have changed between 2018 and 2023, or not much. And Hawkeye was unlikely to have bothered to upgrade anyway. Stuff in people’s hands also went, provided (like the Wakandans) they went down clutching it. Fury dropped the pager at the last second (possibly even on purpose), giving it a chance to survive and send out its message.

        I mean, I’m just putting together the stuff we actually see in the movies and formulating an explanation around it. It’s still inconsistent as fuck but I doubt we’re going to get more specifics or explanations or closure on this one.

        And furthermore, I didn’t realize half of all living things, including all plants and animals, were gone too…that is a huge issue. How is the snap fixing resource scarcity if everything we use for food and most of everything we use for other resources are ALSO halved? How does that make any fucking sense, Thanos? You giant purple idiot!

        Yeah, exactly, what you said. That’s why I thought it would have to have been limited to sentients, or complex organisms at the very most. Because where’s the line? Everything consumes (and is) resources, that’s how the universe’s matter and energy works. I might just have to institute a PIE[1] and pretend the bullshit with birds and trees didn’t happen.

        [1] Executive Imagination Policy. The first part of the policy is, you can put the letters backwards in the acronym to make it into PIE.

        Or, how about this? What we see of the unSnap, bringing back stuff – we’re assuming it was just undoing Thanos’s Snap but what if it was also bringing in a bunch of extra oxygen-producers and food, as per Professor Hulk’s clever implementation? Thanos did only kill half the sentients, but Hulk brought back more than just the lost sentients – he also brought back enough stuff to keep the resultant population viable.

        I may just choose to believe that. PIE.

        Good points about the unsnap, though. But we don’t know exactly how it was executed so it really is all just speculation.

        Yeah, I felt like we were talking a bit at cross-purposes yesterday so I had a think about it. There are inconsistencies that basically require us to just choose to believe some solution or other (PIE!), and just let it go. Maybe we’ll see more information. We probably won’t.

        Headcanon, I believe it is called. PIE is better though.

        I guess…we really don’t have all the snap details, but why would phones be snapped? Doesn’t really make sense to me but ok. This files under the “don’t know all the mechanics for certain” thing I said about the unsnap, I guess.

        And let’s keep it real, if we were going to preserve the resources to keep the biological universe alive longer, we wouldn’t need to destroy even half of the sentients. Just the massive overconsumers … like … uh, Tony Stark and his endless stream of Iron Man suits and holographic displays. Big corporations and their boards of directors. And so on.

        There are tons of better ways to do it. None of them make for particularly punchy plot points in a movie franchise already groaning under the weight of plot arcs and characters.

        I think it’s best to take time off on this, at least so that I can formulate a GUT[1] of the snap-dusting interactions. Can’t do that so well in the middle of a back-and-forth debate on individual aspects.

        [1] Grand Unified Theorem

        Damn right, and nothing fits in the GUT like – oh fuck yeah, PIE baby!

        Agreed anyway, and I didn’t mean to get too tense over it anyway, it wasn’t really a point of disagreement. I think my list and breakdown of inconsistencies and solutions above is everything I was really thinking about – a GUT it ain’t, though. But a PIE? Just maybe.

        Hmm. Yeah and I can’t remember if he held it until that hand was dusted or not. And the pager wasn’t dusted so that counters the cell phone dusting idea a bit, right?

        Not if it’s in a pocket, according to my take on it. The Wakandan spears do counter it, but that’s answered by the case of Holding On vs. Letting Go (c. 2018).

        I think her phone would more likely have been on the (picnic) table or in her purse than in her pocket. Even with jeans or the like, my wife doesn’t put her phone in her pocket. Carries and sets it down.

        Supposition.

        So is my take, of course … but my supposition is supported by events in the movie. Which makes sense, obviously, because my take is attempting to explain those events while your take is attempting to point out how they’re a problem in terms of plot. I don’t see why we can’t both be right, here.

        So… I mean we can keep going on but I’m still in the “possibly problematic, can never really know, doesn’t matter that much to me” camp as I’ve been saying.

        Entirely agreed, basically.

      • So first of all:

        “I don’t see why we can’t both be right, here.”

        …”Because”

        So I was reminded of something by watching the Pitch Meeting with both girls, and it goes back to Captain Marvel’s “underutilization”. I totally forgot to complain, but he makes a GREAT point about why CM doesn’t use the gauntlet HERSELF. I mean, she’s told the plan is to get it to the van, so she’s following orders like a good soldier (which is actually totally out of character by the way), but the best choice would have been to just fucking put it on, fly up above the field, and dust the army.

        They didn’t DO that, I think, not because of incels but because they wanted Iron Man to have that moment and that sacrifice. And it’s not just a stupid plan because it’s better for her to use it. Getting to the van in the middle of the battlefield when one stray blast could blow it up is ridiculous. And of course, it did not work. I could go on, I’m sure you can see other ways it was dumb around these main ones. So that’s annoying. Sorry.

        Also, let’s talk about Thanos’s sword. Didn’t get into that yet, but as awesome as it was wielded, it was actually a pretty poor design. I found this fat Australian (I think) who seems to have a bit of a weapon fetish/know-how to explain it, thought you might enjoy this. Wasn’t looking, just came across it. And before you point out that if the sword were double-edged it would pose a bodily risk with every swing, note that it ALREADY does because of the reversed-sides of the single blade edges. Oof. A mess. I declare it is not a fuck-off sword as you said, but instead a “please leave”[1] sword.

        [1] Making fun of the goofy phrase sometimes repeatedly shouted at protests to get someone to shut up or fuck off.

        So, yeah. Be best, Marvel. Please!

        “No you’re right, they can basically explain it in a bunch of different ways.

        And it probably doesn’t really bear too much examination, because it seems like Thanos really did remove half the biomass from the universe, rather than just killing half the sentients? That would have pretty much guaranteed the destruction of the remaining half (like you say below), if he hadn’t also included some fine print in the Snap. Plus, a lot of the shit he erased was “resources” of the kind he was complaining there weren’t enough of, right (like you also say)? I mean, people don’t eat rocks. And he even took away some rocks, if you count all the bits and pieces the dusted took with them…

        But if you want to give the suspension of disbelief a workout, we can pretend that the Snap wiped out half of all life and left half of it in a better position to more healthily adjust … and then the unSnap brought the other half back, along with enough Snapped-away additional biomass to support them through another transition.

        Or Professor Hulk just did what the Mad Titan was too mad to do in the first place, and created more resources for the immediate future. Some of that stuff, yeah, I would hope they at least mention in up-coming movies. My expectations aren’t high, though.”

        Yeah, we just have to do that I guess. I’m not going to debate much of what you wrote because you did a great job with the PIE and I like PIE, and I really don’t think there’s a way to dig in on this one. I have a little more expectation than you, because Marvel DOES seem to be trying to explain things to avoid issues, like with the time travel and with the snapping back soulstone sacrifices. But they’re hit or miss on that, so I feel you.

        Most likely I agree, they won’t really come back to these issues. Movie’s over, money gotten, moving on!

        “The Snap took living things and the stuff immediately connected to them, like fur or feathers or clothes (just don’t think about it too much). Anything inside the clothes, in pockets, on necklaces, it all went. Because otherwise a lot of people just got resurrected with a bunch of five-year-busted surgical gear in their bodies. So Mrs. Hawkeye unSnapped with her phone still in 2018 condition, and she immediately pulled it out and called Hawkeye to find out where he (to her eyes) vanished to. Hawkeye still had the same phone and SIM / number because as I said, I doubt mobile phone tech would have changed between 2018 and 2023, or not much. And Hawkeye was unlikely to have bothered to upgrade anyway. Stuff in people’s hands also went, provided (like the Wakandans) they went down clutching it. Fury dropped the pager at the last second (possibly even on purpose), giving it a chance to survive and send out its message.

        I mean, I’m just putting together the stuff we actually see in the movies and formulating an explanation around it. It’s still inconsistent as fuck but I doubt we’re going to get more specifics or explanations or closure on this one.”

        Fair enough and it’s fine. This may surprise you, but actually I don’t just argue for the sake of it. You’ve shown a way it could work, and once I do have that as a possibility I prefer it to continuing to focus on how it *might* not have worked. Almost every time, when I bring up an issue I’m looking for someone to tell me how it actually is ok. I’m not that person who likes to destroy things.

        “And let’s keep it real, if we were going to preserve the resources to keep the biological universe alive longer, we wouldn’t need to destroy even half of the sentients. Just the massive overconsumers … like … uh, Tony Stark and his endless stream of Iron Man suits and holographic displays. Big corporations and their boards of directors. And so on.

        There are tons of better ways to do it. None of them make for particularly punchy plot points in a movie franchise already groaning under the weight of plot arcs and characters.”

        Oh hell yes (snipped most of your PIE because I just agree), a snap that just took down the egregious consumers and left the 99% would actually be effective, if still morally gross. I feel like some movies and books have done this, but can’t recall at the time. But it makes for less drama, for sure, I get why Thanos’s goal has always been the Infinity War one.

        “Damn right, and nothing fits in the GUT like – oh fuck yeah, PIE baby!”

        Definitely saw what you were doing there. And sadly, PIE seems to also fit into my butt. Or maybe that’s fortunate, so I’m more…well rounded?

        “Supposition.

        So is my take, of course … but my supposition is supported by events in the movie. Which makes sense, obviously, because my take is attempting to explain those events while your take is attempting to point out how they’re a problem in terms of plot. I don’t see why we can’t both be right, here.”

        Well, we can’t both be right because it either works or it doesn’t! But! As I wrote above, I prefer a good explanation that works to sticking to my issue since it *might* not work.

        The only issue that remains for me is things not being thought-out beforetime (like the sword). But that’s a minor issue if it all still kinda works. And it does.

        In other words, so THAT particular sword was effed up? It was still cool, and it COULD have been done right with a small adjustment, so I can just envision the correct sword design in its place and move forward from there. All I’m left with is a minor disappointment they didn’t realize the design was flawed.

        Same with the snap/unsnap issues. It could work, with enough thought.

        But instead it’s kind of like a birthday wish.

      • stchucky says:

        “I don’t see why we can’t both be right, here.”

        …”Because”

        “Huh!”

        So I was reminded of something by watching the Pitch Meeting with both girls, and it goes back to Captain Marvel’s “underutilization”. I totally forgot to complain, but he makes a GREAT point about why CM doesn’t use the gauntlet HERSELF. I mean, she’s told the plan is to get it to the van, so she’s following orders like a good soldier (which is actually totally out of character by the way), but the best choice would have been to just fucking put it on, fly up above the field, and dust the army.

        Okay. Well, I guess the easy explanation is that her power isn’t Hulk / Thanos type power, so the Gauntlet would have destroyed her the way it did Tony, and while yes, she still could have done it … I like to think she has more movies in her and Downey Jr. is done. So it might have been epic, but I’m glad they didn’t do it on both in-story and meta levels.

        Also, not sure how out of character it is for her to follow orders, especially in a battle situation. Seems it’d be pretty vital and perfectly in keeping with her training on Earth and among the Kree. Now, as to whether she’d follow orders that made no sense or just do her own thing, given her level of autonomy now … you certainly have a point there.

        They didn’t DO that, I think, not because of incels but because they wanted Iron Man to have that moment and that sacrifice.

        Clearly.

        And it’s not just a stupid plan because it’s better for her to use it. Getting to the van in the middle of the battlefield when one stray blast could blow it up is ridiculous. And of course, it did not work. I could go on, I’m sure you can see other ways it was dumb around these main ones. So that’s annoying. Sorry.

        A lot of stuff about that fight didn’t make sense. Seems to me that time travel, as represented by that van, would immediately become the focus of the battle. Thanos’s half-arsed (and then, when he got angry, whole-arsed) plan to preserve the universe’s resources suddenly seems absolutely pointless (assuming it didn’t before) (which it definitely did).

        So yeah, ultimately I have to wonder why that van wasn’t more important to everyone, but whatever.

        Also, let’s talk about Thanos’s sword.

        Go for it, but I’m out.

        Hopefully I’ve helped with explanations and viewpoints on some of these issues, but this just seems too nitpicky to me. Yeah, the sword was a big dumb OP’d bit of nonsense. I’m fine with it.

        Might watch some other time, I appreciate that you were sharing in the hopes I’d be entertained. But for now I’m done.

        This may surprise you, but actually I don’t just argue for the sake of it.

        That does surprise me! I mean, I often do, and you were just saying you’re rarely as happy as when we’re bitching at each other online. And a lot of this was starting to look like jumping from one complaint to the next as I offered my views on them, taking the complaint-load off each one and resting it on the next.

        But that’s a hazard of this kind of debate, I get you.

        You’ve shown a way it could work, and once I do have that as a possibility I prefer it to continuing to focus on how it *might* not have worked. Almost every time, when I bring up an issue I’m looking for someone to tell me how it actually is ok. I’m not that person who likes to destroy things.

        That’s fair. Sorry I can’t offer anything on the matter of Thanos’s sword. If anyone else was still reading this novel we’ve co-authored, they might offer some insight as to where the thing came from and what its powers are. But I personally don’t care.

        Oh hell yes (snipped most of your PIE because I just agree), a snap that just took down the egregious consumers and left the 99% would actually be effective, if still morally gross.

        Well, it’s “eat the rich” basically.

        “Damn right, and nothing fits in the GUT like – oh fuck yeah, PIE baby!”

        Definitely saw what you were doing there.

        Amusingly, I didn’t. I’d forgotten exactly what your acronym had been until I got down to it. Worked out nicely though.

        The only issue that remains for me is things not being thought-out beforetime (like the sword). But that’s a minor issue if it all still kinda works. And it does.

        I’d hazard a guess that the sword was thought out in advance. But if it doesn’t make sense with the information we have in the movie (and it really doesn’t), then it’s a bit lazy and silly.

        In other words, so THAT particular sword was effed up? It was still cool, and it COULD have been done right with a small adjustment, so I can just envision the correct sword design in its place and move forward from there. All I’m left with is a minor disappointment they didn’t realize the design was flawed.

        Wait, so it’s actually the shape of the sword you don’t like? Yeah, absolutely do not care about that. You’re free to do so, of course. Sorry it bugged you.

      • “Okay. Well, I guess the easy explanation is that her power isn’t Hulk / Thanos type power, so the Gauntlet would have destroyed her the way it did Tony, and while yes, she still could have done it … I like to think she has more movies in her and Downey Jr. is done. So it might have been epic, but I’m glad they didn’t do it on both in-story and meta levels.”

        She can definitely wield the gauntlet without harm. At least, until the movies say otherwise. You know how I know that.

        “Also, not sure how out of character it is for her to follow orders, especially in a battle situation. Seems it’d be pretty vital and perfectly in keeping with her training on Earth and among the Kree. Now, as to whether she’d follow orders that made no sense or just do her own thing, given her level of autonomy now … you certainly have a point there.”

        Yeah that’s what I was saying. But you know, she stuck with the plan “Because”.

        ‘Also, let’s talk about Thanos’s sword.’

        “Go for it, but I’m out.”

        Well, you did allow me….

        “Hopefully I’ve helped with explanations and viewpoints on some of these issues, but this just seems too nitpicky to me. Yeah, the sword was a big dumb OP’d bit of nonsense. I’m fine with it.”

        Could have been an OP bit of sense, man. That’s the point here.

        Might watch some other time, I appreciate that you were sharing in the hopes I’d be entertained. But for now I’m done.”

        Mr. Grumpy!

        Yeah I could have, possibly should have TL;DR’ed it for you, and I still will to respond to your other reply, but I didn’t want to ruin it in case you did enjoy the video and the theorizing. And I was hoping on some fat Australian solidarity!

        “That does surprise me! I mean, I often do, and you were just saying you’re rarely as happy as when we’re bitching at each other online. And a lot of this was starting to look like jumping from one complaint to the next as I offered my views on them, taking the complaint-load off each one and resting it on the next.”

        I get that…was worried the sword video might come off that way but I thought it was so cool, I needed to do it.

        “But that’s a hazard of this kind of debate, I get you.”

        Bitching at each other yes, just to bitch no. I definitely want a conclusion. That shouldn’t surprise you.

        “That’s fair. Sorry I can’t offer anything on the matter of Thanos’s sword. If anyone else was still reading this novel we’ve co-authored, they might offer some insight as to where the thing came from and what its powers are. But I personally don’t care.”

        That’s just the thing! It doesn’t have a comic book origin! We’re in MCU territory alone here! That’s why I think the discussion is useful and interesting.

        “Wait, so it’s actually the shape of the sword you don’t like? Yeah, absolutely do not care about that. You’re free to do so, of course. Sorry it bugged you.”

        Uhh, ok. With a universe of technology out there, I’m not sure what else could be a problem with the sword other than it being designed poorly. And there being a clear, no-need-to-understand-advanced-technologies-or-alien-physiologies way to improve it.

        MCU invented the sword, and they should have done better. It was KIND of incredibly important, if you think about it.

      • stchucky says:

        Did watch the video this afternoon. Fun and well-done video! Still don’t care about the sword. It was fine, and clearly made for a Titan to use, not an Australian.

        I suppose they could have given it blades on the backside, or made the backsides clearly heavier so it was like a hammersword, that’s what I thought those spikes were for, I’m sure they could have done it differently but it was fine. And that’s 100% of the fucks I have about this one.

      • “Did watch the video this afternoon. Fun and well-done video! Still don’t care about the sword. It was fine, and clearly made for a Titan to use, not an Australian.”

        OK man there’s really no need to bring alien physiology into this, he handled his complaints quite fairly and logically based on how it was actually used. And from what we’ve seen of Thanos, his physiology seems to work damn similar to ours. We never saw double-jointedness or any additional flexibility or whatnot that could enable some of this stuff. And we saw him in a lot of tangles with the Avengers, we have enough movie evidence to assume his wrists work like ours do.

        And if he were double-jointed or had a swivel-wrist, well that’s less stable so that would be a bad explanation anyway.

        I think it’s pretty clear that double-edging both sides of the double-bladed sword and making the center hilt two-handed would add a lot of benefits to the function with no new downsides.

        That’s really all the video is saying. Everything else is fine, the OP sword is fine, let’s just design it well! The double-edging takes care of any striking issues as every strike is edge-on no matter what your physiology is (and you can still have it be shaped to be a boomerang, the spike side can stay curved in like that just fine). The double-hand hilt allows for the spinning to be completely logical and far, FAR easier to accomplish without any weird explanations that probably still don’t quite work. And he could still hold it one-handed in those awesome poses he does. You don’t need the sword to be bigger, just the hilt that little bit longer.

        That’s where I disagree with the guy. He shouldn’t have shifted the design to a hilt with two “normal” sword looking ends, that was a bad move. Do a slight tweak and it better shows just how little extra work it would have taken to get this “right”.

        “I suppose they could have given it blades on the backside, or made the backsides clearly heavier so it was like a hammersword, that’s what I thought those spikes were for, I’m sure they could have done it differently but it was fine. And that’s 100% of the fucks I have about this one.”

        Well, I appreciate your fucks. I’m sorry this seemed like the next takedown attempt from me. This seems to be just us talking now, for a long time, so I’m not sure what benefit we’re getting from all this being on the blog anyway. Scared away everyone else.

        And I’ll take the blame for that.

      • stchucky says:

        No no, it’s definitely interesting, especially that it’s not from the comics actually. Just let me gather up a few spare fucks and let’s see where we can go with this. It’s definitely more use on the blog than in an email chain, since this post is about the movie. Tish and pish to the scared-aways. They’re cowards.

        *rummages behind couch cushions for fucks*

      • *offers back previously taken pen caps*

        I can’t remember if these were fucks or something else. Sorry, a lot going on here. But my pens have been un-capped for ages, and they usually do all right.

      • stchucky says:

        LOL I’m pretty sure that was blame, and … *sniffs pen caps* yep, that was in an e-mail, not the blog.

        Damn it man, now anyone still reading all these comments will have no idea what’s going on!

      • I know it was in email, but the pen caps are real! I can’t talk about real things in 2 places?

        And yeah, totally this is the point where we’re confusing people. Agreed. XD

      • stchucky says:

        And this video covers most of the questions, so obviously we’re not alone in wondering about this stuff. Maybe it means some of it is big enough to warrant an answer in movie form!

        #TeamSam

  12. So, I don’t know if Looper is fishing around for material, sometimes it seems that way, but if the Endgame directors had to respond to this RIDICULOUS complaint about Black Widow’s death, then it has to be A Thing. Right? So here is the video:

    TL;DR Black Widow dying was apparently a trope, something about refrigerator women, I can’t be arsed to look it up again, where a dead (probably attractive) woman provides the motivation for the main characters to advance the plot and beat the bad guys.

    This is worse than complaining about Fat Thor. FAR worse. I mean, let me just list as many issues with this bullshit I can come up with.

    1. The main characters were ALREADY fully committed to the path, so no.
    2. Black Widow was arguably more important in the scene because of her sacrifice.
    3. Her winning the fight was totally logical because she has the greater physical prowess
    4. Hawkeye had a whole family, wife and 3 kids (ooh 2 more dead females as motivation, bad movie! Bad!) as additional reasons why it would be less brutal for Black Widow to make the sacrifice
    5. She’s not gone, she’s got a solo movie forthcoming so calm down. And because of some of 1-5
    6. Hawkeye dying instead would take away Black Widow’s agency, go against her higher skill, make him the most important part of that scene, and therefore
    7. Hawkeye dying would simply fill ANOTHER trope where the man is the most important and best fighter blah blah blah that these same idiots could then complain about instead!

    So, I guess there’s no way to win here, if people are going to be so stupid and narrow-minded in their viewing and thought processes. I suppose it’s also problematic she loves him in the first place? Because can’t she be motivated by something other than love for a man? Isn’t that ANOTHER trope?

    JFC!

    Maybe before you complain about an either-or choice, you should consider whether you’d have an equal complaint about the other option? Ya think?

    I mean, I really hate “this is why Trump got elected” arguments, so I’ll let this be my last sentence in this comment.

    • stchucky says:

      So, I don’t know if Looper is fishing around for material, sometimes it seems that way, but if the Endgame directors had to respond to this RIDICULOUS complaint about Black Widow’s death, then it has to be A Thing. Right?

      Alright, I’ll watch it because clearly this has got you riled, but I think this only needs to be as much of a thing as we allow it to be a thing. Remember, most of these Internet shitstorms are tiny little bullshit non-events propagated by a handful of imbeciles, and given legitimacy by responses from the official source (which in this case, and most cases, is served by legitimising and spreading the reach of said storm), and lent further volume by exactly this sort of reaction.

      So – for you. But not for any other reason. Just to be clear.

      TL;DR Black Widow dying was apparently a trope, something about refrigerator women, I can’t be arsed to look it up again, where a dead (probably attractive) woman provides the motivation for the main characters to advance the plot and beat the bad guys.

      There are some pretty key giveaway phrases there. Most especially the weasel-words “some fans thought”. That means there was a Twitter debate about it, or some bitchy YouTube comments.

      That video was pointless clickbait, even calling it a “controversial” scene was misleading. It wasn’t controversial.

      Looper, like most click-driven content, wins some and loses some. In the end, though, it got you to watch it and you got me to watch it and here we are talking about it sooo

      Anyway. Yes. Black Widow as a character is definitely a number of tropes, and her story arc is composed of tropes, and which ones leap out to you most will depend on your own context as a reader / viewer. Same with all the other characters. Obviously I agree with you on this one. I don’t see how she fills this specific trope, since none of the succeeding character arcs were doing anything for her.

      It doesn’t even make logical sense. Black Widow’s death was only indirectly Thanos’s fault anyway. It was Vormir’s fault and the Soul Stone’s fault she had to die, and Hawkeye and Hulk did nothing about that. And like you say, they did nothing to Thanos that they weren’t all going to do anyway. There are plenty of other tropes that fit the bill better – including tropes you could bring up if you’re invested in getting your panties in a bunch about misogyny, like these “some fans” apparently are.

      Fuck ’em. A good fuck’ll do them some good.

      This is worse than complaining about Fat Thor. FAR worse.

      I think giving it that sort of significance is giving it far more attention than it’s worth. It’s dumb and I disagree with it, it’s not really a matter of bad or worse. But okay, I know what you mean.

      1. The main characters were ALREADY fully committed to the path, so no.

      Yep.

      2. Black Widow was arguably more important in the scene because of her sacrifice.

      Yep.

      Barely even arguably, because what did Hawkeye do after that anyway? Tearful reunion with his family.

      3. Her winning the fight was totally logical because she has the greater physical prowess

      Yep.

      4. Hawkeye had a whole family, wife and 3 kids (ooh 2 more dead females as motivation, bad movie! Bad!) as additional reasons why it would be less brutal for Black Widow to make the sacrifice

      Yep. If you want to say they’re an example of fridging, that’s considerably more accurate although I think anything happening to the nearest and dearest of the protagonist in order to make him or her do the story’s plot is … well, it’s such a huge and ancient trope it’s not even a trope. It’s just how a narrative functions.

      5. She’s not gone, she’s got a solo movie forthcoming so calm down.

      Yep.

      6. Hawkeye dying instead would take away Black Widow’s agency, go against her higher skill, make him the most important part of that scene

      Yep.

      I’m not arguing that would have been a poorer storytelling choice, mind you. I mean, there are two central tragedies for the Avengers (okay, they all have them but these ones mirror each other so I’m calling them central for this point): Tony Stark and his kid, and Hawkeye and his family.

      Tony does the Time Heist because he doesn’t want to undo 2018-2023 and risk his daughter’s existence (which conveniently seems to not be possible to do with Marvel time travel anyway?). Hawkeye lost his family and became a muderous vigilante with a lot of skeletons in his closet (like, even more than before), and there was no real solution to that regardless. Undoing back to 2018 might have worked for him.

      But he said it himself, he’s not the same father and husband anymore, so even when he gets them back there’s going to be darkness (although I’m not convinced he’d have that much adjustment to do, he clearly locks down the separation of work and home pretty well right up to the point where he lets the Avengers hide out on his farm in Age of Ultron). So what if, instead, he sacrifices his broken 2018-2023 life to bring them back, but they have to go on without him?

      This is, after all, exactly what Tony did for Pepper and 3000.

      So I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been a better scene, but sure, it would also have robbed Black Widow of martyrdom. I guess the issue I’m trying to work out for myself here is, I never really found Hawkeye and Black Widow all that exciting as characters. I like their banter and their acceptance of how out of their depth they are, and there’s a complex humanity to them that is fun to watch (actually my favourite movie for Black Widow was Winter Soldier, even though I’m not a huge fan of that movie in general, because it was finally a great display of her character), but their characters have taken a lot of building up. So robbing either one of them of martyrdom is tantamount to bumping them back down a character-arc peg. Hawkeye still having that Ronin darkness is actually pretty neat (although again I don’t see it really impacting his home life no matter what silly argument he was trying to make on Vormir), I don’t see that Black Widow would have come away with the same – she just would have had more angst that she didn’t need.

      So yeah, okay, I guess I’ll conclude it was better the way they did it. So all of this could have just been a “yep” to your point. But with a bit of extra working for the Hell of it.

      7. Hawkeye dying would simply fill ANOTHER trope where the man is the most important and best fighter blah blah blah that these same idiots could then complain about instead!

      Yep.

      So, I guess there’s no way to win here, if people are going to be so stupid and narrow-minded in their viewing and thought processes. I suppose it’s also problematic she loves him in the first place? Because can’t she be motivated by something other than love for a man? Isn’t that ANOTHER trope?

      Yep, there’s a trope for every character and plot point and permutation in basically any Marvel movie. Sometimes more than one.

      Maybe before you complain about an either-or choice, you should consider whether you’d have an equal complaint about the other option? Ya think?

      Right. And that’s not even considering the fact that it could have been Scarlet Witch and someone else – anyone else – to go. In fact Scarlet Witch could have gone, and just bashed them both against the ship’s wall and taken a swan dive. Not sure what Hawkeye and Black Widow would be sacrificing then, but it would probably have worked because Vormir is sketchy as fuck.

      Wouldn’t have wanted to rob us of Scarlet Witch’s epic battle scene though. That was just an example. It didn’t need to just be either-or, is what I mean, at the narrative-construction point. Which these idiots could take into account if they’re going to start second-guessing. It’s way more open than that.

      I mean, I really hate “this is why Trump got elected” arguments, so I’ll let this be my last sentence in this comment.

      Yeah, not following you into the political angle. You take this shit too personally and too seriously sometimes, man. Find your centre.

      I mean…

      Just as well you didn’t write that conclusion. Heh.

      • “Alright, I’ll watch it because clearly this has got you riled, but I think this only needs to be as much of a thing as we allow it to be a thing. Remember, most of these Internet shitstorms are tiny little bullshit non-events propagated by a handful of imbeciles, and given legitimacy by responses from the official source (which in this case, and most cases, is served by legitimising and spreading the reach of said storm), and lent further volume by exactly this sort of reaction.

        So – for you. But not for any other reason. Just to be clear.”

        Right but to be clear, I had issues with the Vormir scene so was definitely not aware of what this video would say/show until I watched it. I thought of many possible issues, including a trope or two that are more of concern than the fridge one that was apparently so serious. Therefore I was genuinely interested in the potential discussion, and only became riled when I heard what it really was.

        “There are some pretty key giveaway phrases there. Most especially the weasel-words “some fans thought”. That means there was a Twitter debate about it, or some bitchy YouTube comments.

        That video was pointless clickbait, even calling it a “controversial” scene was misleading. It wasn’t controversial.

        Looper, like most click-driven content, wins some and loses some. In the end, though, it got you to watch it and you got me to watch it and here we are talking about it sooo…”

        All fair and sure enough many comments on many videos are complaining about how Looper is going all in on the Endgame video cash grab. All I can say is I genuinely thought this one could be interesting.

        Now, to further your point, there’s a “Fat Thor issues” video up now and I did watch some of it, but you’ll note me not ranting about it to you. Actually they had some good points that it was mocking PTSD and depression a bit. It wasn’t just about fat shaming. Fair enough on that, but you know, you have to joke about SOMETHING. I’m not a joke cop.

        “Anyway. Yes. Black Widow as a character is definitely a number of tropes, and her story arc is composed of tropes, and which ones leap out to you most will depend on your own context as a reader / viewer. Same with all the other characters. Obviously I agree with you on this one. I don’t see how she fills this specific trope, since none of the succeeding character arcs were doing anything for her.

        It doesn’t even make logical sense. Black Widow’s death was only indirectly Thanos’s fault anyway. It was Vormir’s fault and the Soul Stone’s fault she had to die, and Hawkeye and Hulk did nothing about that. And like you say, they did nothing to Thanos that they weren’t all going to do anyway. There are plenty of other tropes that fit the bill better – including tropes you could bring up if you’re invested in getting your panties in a bunch about misogyny, like these “some fans” apparently are.

        Fuck ’em. A good fuck’ll do them some good.”

        Yup, good points and a good idea.

        “Yep. If you want to say they’re an example of fridging, that’s considerably more accurate although I think anything happening to the nearest and dearest of the protagonist in order to make him or her do the story’s plot is … well, it’s such a huge and ancient trope it’s not even a trope. It’s just how a narrative functions.”

        Agreed. This stretching of an event to make it an issue in just this way, when it’s common in every area of the genre (assuming it is your genre), is problematic and common, the way I see it.

        “I’m not arguing that would have been a poorer storytelling choice, mind you. I mean, there are two central tragedies for the Avengers (okay, they all have them but these ones mirror each other so I’m calling them central for this point): Tony Stark and his kid, and Hawkeye and his family.”

        Right. Hulk and Widow’s troubled relationship a close second. *girn*

        “Tony does the Time Heist because he doesn’t want to undo 2018-2023 and risk his daughter’s existence (which conveniently seems to not be possible to do with Marvel time travel anyway?). ”

        Indeed and that’s kind of another big issue. Tony’s current situation can’t be changed by any time travel so why is he so worried about it? They sort of gave that issue and then proceeded to talk themselves out of it being an issue, and took a while to notice it, at least in my case. Our case?

        But you know, this can be easily explained by other issues. I mean, traveling through time brought Thanos to Earth so there is that, even though they didn’t seem to foresee that possibility. And there are potentially other ways doing the time heist incorrectly might have endangered the current timeline, I suppose. There are still reasons, but not as clear as the one Tony began with.

        “Hawkeye lost his family and became a muderous vigilante with a lot of skeletons in his closet (like, even more than before), and there was no real solution to that regardless. Undoing back to 2018 might have worked for him.

        But he said it himself, he’s not the same father and husband anymore, so even when he gets them back there’s going to be darkness (although I’m not convinced he’d have that much adjustment to do, he clearly locks down the separation of work and home pretty well right up to the point where he lets the Avengers hide out on his farm in Age of Ultron). So what if, instead, he sacrifices his broken 2018-2023 life to bring them back, but they have to go on without him?

        This is, after all, exactly what Tony did for Pepper and 3000.”

        Right! And then Tony’s sacrifice would have been duplicative and they could have instead gone with the better option of CM using the gauntlet! WHEE!

        Ok NOW I have a problem with BW’s sacrifice! Thanks, bro!

        “So I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been a better scene, but sure, it would also have robbed Black Widow of martyrdom. I guess the issue I’m trying to work out for myself here is, I never really found Hawkeye and Black Widow all that exciting as characters. I like their banter and their acceptance of how out of their depth they are, and there’s a complex humanity to them that is fun to watch (actually my favourite movie for Black Widow was Winter Soldier, even though I’m not a huge fan of that movie in general, because it was finally a great display of her character), but their characters have taken a lot of building up. So robbing either one of them of martyrdom is tantamount to bumping them back down a character-arc peg. Hawkeye still having that Ronin darkness is actually pretty neat (although again I don’t see it really impacting his home life no matter what silly argument he was trying to make on Vormir), I don’t see that Black Widow would have come away with the same – she just would have had more angst that she didn’t need.

        So yeah, okay, I guess I’ll conclude it was better the way they did it. So all of this could have just been a “yep” to your point. But with a bit of extra working for the Hell of it.”

        Yep. I’ll be faster since you did all that finger-work.

        “Right. And that’s not even considering the fact that it could have been Scarlet Witch and someone else – anyone else – to go. In fact Scarlet Witch could have gone, and just bashed them both against the ship’s wall and taken a swan dive. Not sure what Hawkeye and Black Widow would be sacrificing then, but it would probably have worked because Vormir is sketchy as fuck.

        Wouldn’t have wanted to rob us of Scarlet Witch’s epic battle scene though. That was just an example. It didn’t need to just be either-or, is what I mean, at the narrative-construction point. Which these idiots could take into account if they’re going to start second-guessing. It’s way more open than that.”

        All good points. Sketchy AF indeed.

        “Oh, a couple of other random thoughts about this issue, not sure if they’ll help talk you down or not…

        First, Gamora was sacrificed for the Soul Stone in 2018 and Black Widow for the Soul Stone in 2023 / 2014 / whenever it was. That’s a solid loss of female superheroes (it leaves, what, Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel, and Mantis and Valkyrie? Maybe Nebula? Okay and some Wakandans who kick arse, and the Wasp, and apparently Pepper Potts … basically the lineup we see getting Spider-Man to the Time Van in the final battle … alright there’s plenty of them but Black Widow and Gamora account for a large proportion of the long-term female superheroes), and a 100% female sacrifice rate for Vormir (as far as we’ve seen). Which isn’t great, although again I’m not sure how else they could have done it. And when it comes to fridged female characters, Gamora is a much closer example because her death absolutely spurs Star Lord into doing some really dumb plot shit. But again, I don’t give much credence to this “trope”, it’s basically “storytelling”. Tropes aren’t storytelling.”

        Yes indeed, really good points. To unpack Gamora a bit more, I think it’s almost why Thanos even bothered HAVING a couple of children. So they could serve him and sacrifice if need be. I don’t think inheritance is anything he ever considered. As a Celestial…or his he an Eternal, I forget…I think he’s immortal. Barring physical damage death which is really hard considering how tough he is, or something like dusting. He would last almost forever and doesn’t need to think about after his death.

        Now, why did they have to be daughters? Why didn’t he adopt sons? That might have avoided sacrificing a female to further the plot, I guess. I just can’t get too worked up about it either way. Because if he had sons, that’s 2 less female main characters.

        You really can’t win in these situations with these people, unless you have all women, no men, the women can do anything, they don’t do or say ANYTHING stereotypical, none of them die to further the plot but yet are given agency to live and die in honorable ways, etc. etc. etc. Basically an impossible standard that doesn’t apply to any movie character ever.

        “Second, Tony gets a well-deserved send-off and an emotional funeral and associated scenes. Black Widow didn’t really get much of fuck all. And again, I can see how that fits in a meta sense, because they could only do one big-deal funeral like that in a movie of 3+ hours, and in an in-universe sense because she was a secretive character who wouldn’t have wanted a big send-off and tears, and her body was never recovered in any case. Even so, it’s a bit on the nose. Isn’t it?

        Here’s to hoping they “fix” this in the Black Widow movie. Hard to see how they wouldn’t.”

        Yes. Quite so.

        As for the movie I have no idea what to expect, but I guess we’ll start finding out later this year!

      • stchucky says:

        Right but to be clear, I had issues with the Vormir scene so was definitely not aware of what this video would say/show until I watched it. I thought of many possible issues, including a trope or two that are more of concern than the fridge one that was apparently so serious. Therefore I was genuinely interested in the potential discussion, and only became riled when I heard what it really was.

        Yeah, I got that. That’s exactly the “riled” I was referring to.

        Basically nobody else is talking about this (a lazy Google search for “Black Widow fridge trope” is all I have to go on here) except Vox, and that article is even sillier so I suggest you steer clear.

        Now, to further your point, there’s a “Fat Thor issues” video up now and I did watch some of it, but you’ll note me not ranting about it to you. Actually they had some good points that it was mocking PTSD and depression a bit. It wasn’t just about fat shaming. Fair enough on that, but you know, you have to joke about SOMETHING. I’m not a joke cop.

        Right, which is exactly what I’ve said from the original blog post on down. We might not make cruel jokes about a person with depression and trauma putting on weight. Stark and Rocket definitely would. So it was in character, so it’s fine. I mean, are these people delusional? Do they think Tony Stark was a nice guy? He was a fucking enormous douchebag 99.9% of the time. And Rocket too.

        Actually now I think about it, basically every Avenger except Scarlet Witch, Vision and Banner were kind of dickheads. Okay, Spidey and Mantis too.

        “I’m not arguing that would have been a poorer storytelling choice, mind you. I mean, there are two central tragedies for the Avengers (okay, they all have them but these ones mirror each other so I’m calling them central for this point): Tony Stark and his kid, and Hawkeye and his family.”

        Right. Hulk and Widow’s troubled relationship a close second. *girn*

        I was thinking Ant-Man and his daughter and his missing “family”, Hulk didn’t even get on the list.

        Indeed and that’s kind of another big issue. Tony’s current situation can’t be changed by any time travel so why is he so worried about it? They sort of gave that issue and then proceeded to talk themselves out of it being an issue, and took a while to notice it, at least in my case. Our case?

        I was puzzled by it when Professor Hulk first started in with the “that’s not how time travel works”. Like, then why was Tony so against it? But I thought it might have been that he figured it out, and realised it didn’t work that way, and that was why he turned up and helped. So that sort of checks out.

        It also might have been cool if he found there were two ways of doing it – one that rewrites timelines, and one that locks down timelines – and he went with the second out of selfishness. And it ultimately cost him his life.

        But you know, this can be easily explained by other issues. I mean, traveling through time brought Thanos to Earth so there is that, even though they didn’t seem to foresee that possibility.

        Yeah, I definitely didn’t see that coming.

        Now, why did they have to be daughters? Why didn’t he adopt sons? That might have avoided sacrificing a female to further the plot, I guess. I just can’t get too worked up about it either way. Because if he had sons, that’s 2 less female main characters.

        Exactly. Can’t win.

      • “Right, which is exactly what I’ve said from the original blog post on down. We might not make cruel jokes about a person with depression and trauma putting on weight. Stark and Rocket definitely would. So it was in character, so it’s fine. I mean, are these people delusional? Do they think Tony Stark was a nice guy? He was a fucking enormous douchebag 99.9% of the time. And Rocket too.

        Actually now I think about it, basically every Avenger except Scarlet Witch, Vision and Banner were kindd of dickheads. Okay, Spidey and Mantis too.”

        For sure. I mean are characters not even allowed to be shits because it might make the audience laugh and that’s disempowering?

        Also not mentioned in this film. EVERYONE in the film is suffering from PTSD. Surely one PTSD survivor can rib another?

        And come on Captain America’s a dickhead? Gives a whole new meaning to “I can do this all day”. But just the tip, I guess.

        “I was thinking Ant-Man and his daughter and his missing “family”, Hulk didn’t even get on the list.”

        Yeah I was just being a dickhead. See. I don’t argue just to argue, but I am a dickhead just because.

        “I was puzzled by it when Professor Hulk first started in with the “that’s not how time travel works”. Like, then why was Tony so against it? But I thought it might have been that he figured it out, and realised it didn’t work that way, and that was why he turned up and helped. So that sort of checks out.

        It also might have been cool if he found there were two ways of doing it – one that rewrites timelines, and one that locks down timelines – and he went with the second out of selfishness. And it ultimately cost him his life.”

        Agreed…this is where I was going, too. Poignant!

      • stchucky says:

        For sure. I mean are characters not even allowed to be shits because it might make the audience laugh and that’s disempowering?

        Characters cannot have characteristics.

        Also not mentioned in this film. EVERYONE in the film is suffering from PTSD. Surely one PTSD survivor can rib another?

        Yeah! And above all, everyone reacts in their own way. Why focus on one? Why shouldn’t he react like that? He’s been an unstoppable arrogant destroying machine forever. Now Asgard is destroyed, the people decimated, and he failed to use the weapon he suffered for, when it was basically their last shot. He missed, and he took it hard. Of course he did. Holy shit.

        And come on Captain America’s a dickhead? Gives a whole new meaning to “I can do this all day”. But just the tip, I guess.

        Hee, yeah alright, a lot of them aren’t dickheads.

        OK man there’s really no need to bring alien physiology into this, he handled his complaints quite fairly and logically based on how it was actually used. And from what we’ve seen of Thanos, his physiology seems to work damn similar to ours. We never saw double-jointedness or any additional flexibility or whatnot that could enable some of this stuff. And we saw him in a lot of tangles with the Avengers, we have enough movie evidence to assume his wrists work like ours do.

        I agree, and it’d be kind of dumb to make him swivel-jointed just to make the silly sword work.

        I was mainly dubious about how one of his main objections was how difficult it was to wield to do damage, when he acknowledged Thanos was super-strong and that would make it far easier, but then he brushed on by that and went “but even so, for a normal person…”

        Yeah, well Thanos isn’t a normal person.

        I think it’s pretty clear that double-edging both sides of the double-bladed sword and making the center hilt two-handed would add a lot of benefits to the function with no new downsides.

        *shrug* I suppose. It seemed plenty effective from where I was sitting.

        Yes, I know I’m missing the point. Don’t worry, it’s not that I don’t see the point.

        Scared away everyone else.

        And I’ll take the blame for that.

        *offers pen lids*

        Wait … did you take these pen lids and then time-travel back to give me pen-lids so it wasn’t in the e-mail at all, but here? Mind blown.

        Yeah I could have, possibly should have TL;DR’ed it for you, and I still will to respond to your other reply, but I didn’t want to ruin it in case you did enjoy the video and the theorizing. And I was hoping on some fat Australian solidarity!

        Actually that was amusing. Weird how a fat USian jabbering about swords would have seemed like an unbearable wannabe Jedi neckbeard, but exactly the same with an Australian accent just seems goofy and endearing. Even to me, and I have an Australian accent.

        This is a superpower we don’t take proper advantage of.

        That’s just the thing! It doesn’t have a comic book origin! We’re in MCU territory alone here! That’s why I think the discussion is useful and interesting.

        Yeah you know what, that is really weird. They could have done pretty much anything. That sword was a big deal. Shit, he had time travel at this point so he could have gotten it from anywhere at any time.

        Here’s a great video of Easter Eggs and open questions and possible answers, well worth a listen. There was a lot of stuff I missed here, and I can’t wait to watch all of these movies again. Just … maybe not in a marathon.

    • stchucky says:

      Oh, a couple of other random thoughts about this issue, not sure if they’ll help talk you down or not…

      First, Gamora was sacrificed for the Soul Stone in 2018 and Black Widow for the Soul Stone in 2023 / 2014 / whenever it was. That’s a solid loss of female superheroes (it leaves, what, Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel, and Mantis and Valkyrie? Maybe Nebula? Okay and some Wakandans who kick arse, and the Wasp, and apparently Pepper Potts … basically the lineup we see getting Spider-Man to the Time Van in the final battle … alright there’s plenty of them but Black Widow and Gamora account for a large proportion of the long-term female superheroes), and a 100% female sacrifice rate for Vormir (as far as we’ve seen). Which isn’t great, although again I’m not sure how else they could have done it. And when it comes to fridged female characters, Gamora is a much closer example because her death absolutely spurs Star Lord into doing some really dumb plot shit. But again, I don’t give much credence to this “trope”, it’s basically “storytelling”. Tropes aren’t storytelling.

      Second, Tony gets a well-deserved send-off and an emotional funeral and associated scenes. Black Widow didn’t really get much of fuck all. And again, I can see how that fits in a meta sense, because they could only do one big-deal funeral like that in a movie of 3+ hours, and in an in-universe sense because she was a secretive character who wouldn’t have wanted a big send-off and tears, and her body was never recovered in any case. Even so, it’s a bit on the nose. Isn’t it?

      Here’s to hoping they “fix” this in the Black Widow movie. Hard to see how they wouldn’t.

  13. stchucky says:

    CRAZY BLACK WIDOW MOVIE THEORY:

    At the start of her movie, she’s in the Soul Stone and Captain America turns up to replace the Soul Stone as per his final mission. He says “we don’t trade lives”, and undoes the sacrifice.

    Now obviously he needs to do this in some way that makes it not a male character coming to the rescue of a female character, but I think there are a few ways of doing that. Perhaps it’s possible for him to incorporate giving up his serum and powers (sacrificing the “soul” of Captain America) to get her out somehow.

    Allowing him to go on and live a normal life with Peggy, and Black Widow to carry on.

    Work in progress, any hints from the source material will not be met with “comics schmomics” at this point since we’re completely in the realm of conjecture right now.

    • stchucky says:

      Or, of course, it’s possible that time travelling and replacing the soul stone at the moment it was taken means the sacrifice wasn’t needed, leaving her free to float off in some disconnected timeline. I don’t know. But we already established that Vormir definitely wasn’t designed in anticipation of time travellers.

      • Both of these Black Widow thoughts are REALLY good. I like it. I would argue that the moment the soulstone was taken right after the sacrifice, so probably no, but I like the idea of Captain America using that willpower to overcome the shady Vormir rules and get Black Widow back!

        However, I think the actual movie will be separate from these events and not require their reversal.

        “Please don’t do that.”

      • stchucky says:

        True. I doubt we’re going to get to see a montage of Cap taking all the Infinity Stones back to their rightful place and time, but who knows? Phase 4’s a-comin’. And Chris Evans may eventually need a new pair of Ferraris.

      • Also, one more cool thing and one more LOL for now, both about Scarlet Witch. I mention the cool thing because I think we both missed some details (like Gamora ones for example) the first time through. Thanos’s “please leave” sword was epic, but it did break. Remember what broke it? A bolt from Scarlet Witch. That was badass.

        And then the LOL, even the first time watching the “girl power” moment, when they start moving toward the van, Scarlet Witch veers off to the left while flying and, even though I understand she was “flanking” basically, it was still hilarious because it was filmed badly. The first and second times, both, it looked more like she was flying away, fucking off, not flanking. Hee!

      • stchucky says:

        Thanos’s “please leave” sword was epic, but it did break. Remember what broke it? A bolt from Scarlet Witch. That was badass.

        I didn’t remember that but yeah, that is badass.

  14. dreameling says:

    Jesus Christ, you guys have just gone on and on and on. I’ll never catch up.

    Is this what it feels like for everyone else all the time?

    • stchucky says:

      Hee hee, I’m also quite pleased with the way Aaron and I managed to breeze this post past 100 comments without even really noticing, much like the movie breezed past 1 and then 2 billion dollars at the box office. Looks like we’re on track to bump off Avatar, which hardly deserved the position anyway.

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