There’s a lot going on in Avengers: Endgame. A lot. It’s packed with whos and wheres and whens wrapping up a decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, so there’s no wonder we have a lot of opinions and more than a few questions.
But here are 22 things I definitely learned — one for each of the movies in the MCU up to this point.
Warning: Spoilers ahoy!
Did we mention spoilers? OK, you’ve been advised, here we go…
1. Captain Marvel is busy elsewhere. There’s a lot of planets out there, and they’re apparently more important than literally time traveling to save the universe. Look, she’s just busy, OK?
2. Ant-Man’s first word in Endgame is “Hope?”
3. As is traditional for the Russo brothers, the film has a number of cameos from the much-loved sitcom Community on which the directors cut their teeth. In Endgame, Ken Jeong plays a security guard, while Yvette Nicole Brown is a SHIELD employee.
4. We can learn a lot about you based on when you chose to go to the bathroom during Endgame. I went while Thor had a heart-to-heart with his mom. My wife went when the punching started.
5. Even Marvel doesn’t expect you to remember The Dark World. That rambling speech Thor made about how his ex Jane encountered an Infinity Stone was pretty funny, but let’s face it: you really needed the reminder.
7. There are no other scientists on earth. There’s just Tony Stark and Hulk Banner, even though it isn’t even their area of expertise and they’re only geniuses when there’s no space aliens around. There isn’t even anyone to stand and look at the dials while they jump through time.
8. Come on, you know you’re going to pause the Blu-ray to read the names on the memorial.
9. Cap shaving his beard signals a clean slate as he tries to move on with his life, while Hawkeye gets a mohawk and questionable tattoo to show he’s all edgy now. Captain Marvel’s haircut signifies that… er… she’s fierce?
10. Superheroes spend a lot of time fighting crime, but not in the MCU. We’ve seen them fight space aliens, international techno-terrorists, mythical frost elves and Nazis, but it’s rare we’ve seen anyone in the MCU actually go out and bust some honest-to-goodness criminals. Although Ronin — Hawkeye with hang-ups — takes vigilantism a bit far.
11. Tony Stark is a mass murderer. Yes, Thanos and Obsidian Maw and their chums weren’t very nice, but two wrong snaps don’t make a right.
12. Black Widow’s father’s name was Ivan. She learned that just before she died, sadly — but could this factoid be a setup for her forthcoming movie to be a prequel?
13. It seems Peggy Carter is always going to be given short shrift by the Russos. They had the chance to redress the balance after unforgivably killing her off in a text message in Civil War, but while it’s true Endgame gifts Agent Carter a happy ending with lost love Steve, she doesn’t do or say anything. Her TV sidekick Jarvis gets more actual lines.
14. Rich people have privilege. Pepper Potts’ survival means Tony Stark is insulated from the snap, so he retires to his country estate with his family to be complacent and selfish. Billionaires, eh? Fortunately, Tony recognizes that when you can do something, you have to do something. Great power equals great responsibility, right? Think on that, Jeff Bezos.
15. Stick around for the credits — despite the lack of a postcredits scene — and you’ll see “The Producers would like to thank Jim Starlin for his significant contribution to the film,” which is only fair seeing as he created Thanos. You’ll also see the comic book legend cameo in the film’s postsnap support group, along with co-director Joe Russo.
16. The credits also list personal trainers to the main cast, including a “trainer to Mr. Hemsworth.” Unless that was Korg with his local pizza delivery place on speed dial, someone didn’t do their job very well.
17. Everybody just wants to retire to a farmhouse and have a daughter — that’s the dream for Tony, Hawkeye and Thanos, anyway. Even Thor can’t be bothered anymore so he lumps Valkyrie with the job.
19. Back to the Future is bullshit. As Professor Hulk Banner says of time travel, “Either it’s all a joke or none of it is.”
20. Hulk is both Hulk and Banner now. Deal with it. It’s great that after two disappointing solo movies, Hulk saves the day with a snap, but his huge character change feels like cheating. The whole point of the character is his unpredictable duality — he’s a genial genius and a ticking time bomb. That led to one of the most interesting subplots of Infinity War, but then it was just written out offscreen. Which makes me angry. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…
22. Storage Locker Rat is the new Star Destroyer Gunner.