If I could tell my 19-year-old self discovering superhero comics in college exactly how good their big screen adaptations would become, I wouldn’t believe me.
I saw “Avengers: Endgame” (2019) tonight with expectations that were very high. It was still better than I thought it would be. It was easily better than last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” (although I think of them as two halves of the same epic movie). I don’t pretend to be a film expert, so take this as speculation — I personally think the pair of “Infinity” films have made comic-book movie history in the same manner as the original “Superman” (1978), Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1989) and Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy (2005-2012).
I don’t really want to make any more observations, because I’m too afraid of inadvertently posting spoilers. But I will say that there is a massive tonal change between “Infinity War” and “Endgame.” The banter and humor of the former is largely left aside, and this concluding story is darker and far more emotionally sophisticated. It’s moving. It feels strange to write here, but I kept thinking during the movie that this was a more “grown up” Marvel film.
And it is EPIC. I honestly can’t imagine how Marvel can top it with future films. There is an action set piece that made my jaw drop. I can’t say more.
This is an obvious 10 out of 10 from me.
My buddies and I have “Avengers” fever. We can barely wait to see “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opens tonight, and answer some burning questions. I myself want to know how the relatively humble Captain America can deflect a blow from Thanos’ omnipotence-granting Infinity Gauntlet (as depicted in the trailer). Meanwhile, a pal of mine insists it’s possible that some iteration of the Venom alien symbiote will make an appearance — even though that character is owned separately by Sony Pictures. (I’m inclined to think that this is wishful thinking.)
I was actually around for the 1991 debut of “The Infinity Gauntlet” — the six-issue 1991 crossover series upon which this movie is based. (“The Infinity War” was actually a sequel comic crossover that Marvel released a year later.) An upperclassman upstairs in my sophomore dorm lent it to me, and it pretty much blew my mind. I had only recently discovered that the characters owned by the “big two” comic book companies inhabited shared universes. (DC Comics has released its own universe-wide crossover series at about the same time — “Armageddon 2001,” a series I still love, despite other fans’ contempt for it.) I had read a lot of comic books growing up, but they were usually war comics or horror comics; superheroes had always seemed lame to me when I was a kid.
“The Infinity Gauntlet” was thick stuff, as comics went. The sheer number of characters involved (and an abundance of cosmic characters) made it a little hard to follow for a reader new to Marvel. (DC’s major characters were fewer, more familiar and easier to understand.)
But it was still a load of fun. I still think it’s messed up what Thanos did to poor goddam Wolverine, who’d skillfully gotten the drop on him at first.