In an earlier post about my anticipation for Avengers: Endgame, I mentioned that I’d been “waiting for this moment my whole life”. At the time, I felt that that statement could be overblown. But after giving some thought to my history with all things geeky, and having seen Endgame, I recognize that it wasn’t. The last 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are exactly what I’ve always wanted.
While I’ve read enough comic books and lore to be considered a proper fan of Marvel (and DC), it was never enough to satisfy me. I specifically remember reading comic books and wishing that the universe could be properly represented in live action format. This was undoubtedly fueled by 1978s Superman: The Movie.
It’s hard to overstate how much that movie impacted me. (There is photo evidence of it’s impact that I’m in the process of tracking down). Yet, while Superman was a great movie, that I still enjoy today, it didn’t represent the entire DC Universe I was learning more about in comics over the years. The lore, character relationships, dialogue, and epic battles “to save the universe” enchanted me…. but I just wanted all of those things “in a MOVIE”. Wonder Woman, Batman,…the entire Justice League!
Being that this was during the late 80s and early 90s, I quickly realized that a well executed “cinematic universe” was a pipe dream. Primarily because I felt the special effects of the time didn’t do the comics justice. In hind sight, it’s probably one of the things that kept me from being a pure comic book reader/collector. I was becoming more of a cinephile. The Star Wars trilogy had won me over, and the comic book format, while enjoyable, just didn’t quite cut it for me.
Batman Begins was a turning point in the genre. Like many, it became the gold standard for the execution I expected from every comic book based movie afterwards. There were some disappointments, but Iron Man was not one of them. It was a well done movie, and I was more than happy with that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the after credits scene:
You can understand how cautiously excited I was after this. They’d just hinted at executing the thing I’d been dreaming of since I was a kid. Were they really going to pull this off? I was a full-on adult at this point, with enough understanding of how Hollywood operates (sprinkled with plenty of good ol’ grown-up cynicism) to side eye the potential outcome.
I could not have been more wrong.
I know there are lots more movies to come. And I’ll be watching all of them. Good, bad, and ugly. Because this place that the MCU and Avengers: Endgame has brought us to is what I’ve wanted. Always.