11 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom has culminated into this emotional rollercoaster known as the Endgame.

Two years ago, contemplating the future of the Avengers while sitting somewhere in Milwaukee

There are spoilers, and I warned you, so don’t @ me like that one jerk who tried to come for Kevin Smith.

Anyways, so this little box office smash called “Avengers: Endgame” came out about a week and a half ago, and nothing is the same. I could write a huge wall of text with all my thoughts on this one film alone, but let’s just get to the highlights.

Not Tony!!!

Okay, admittedly, I saw this coming, but Tony Stark’s death still hurt like hell. I was doing that thing in the theater where I was gasp-sobbing, trying so hard not to make any noise. Iron Man is my favorite Avenger, point blank. In 2008, when “Iron Man” came out, I instantly fell in love with Tony and all of his condescending bravado. He was flawed, sure, but that made every bit of his personal growth so rewarding.

Not to mention, he had a child 5 years post Infinity War, and I think it was very big of Tony to risk so much to save everyone else. The only other person who was putting as much at risk was Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. The two of them had children, families to consider. They were risking losing their kids to go on a dangerous mission through time and bring everyone back.

If you hated Tony after “Civil War,” I can’t possibly see how “Endgame” didn’t redeem him for you. If nothing else, Tony saying, “I am Iron Man,” right before snapping his fingers was some cold shit. He literally gave his life. Steve Rogers (Captain America) once told Tony, “You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.” But at the end of the day, Tony was that guy.

Not Natasha!!!

Speaking of someone who was “that guy,” Natasha’s (Black Widow) death had me doing the same gasp-sobbing. And unlike Tony, I did not see that coming until she and Clint (Hawkeye) landed on Vormir. Remembering what happened to Gamora, I knew either Natasha or Clint was not coming back. I didn’t want it to be Clint because I wanted him to see his wife and kids again. But I didn’t want it to be Natasha either because I pictured her and Bruce Banner (Hulk) living happily ever after. I half-hoped they would just curb stomp Red Skull until he gave them the damn Soul Stone.

But after it was all said and done, Natasha stopped Clint from sacrificing himself and she took the plunge. She gave her life for everyone else, and considering her dark beginning in life, it was the ultimate redemption. I guess the only person who could kill Black Widow is Black Widow herself.

Now that’s noble and everything, but Marvel did my girl dirty as hell. First of all, where was her funeral? No memorial service? No monument in honor of the woman responsible for saving half of the population of the universe? Second, I needed a Black Widow standalone movie yesterday. This is just wrong.

They once sold these at Dollar Tree; best buck I ever spent

Who Run the World?

Now for some not sad stuff, let’s talk about the women of Marvel for a second. During the major battle against Thanos, there is a point where every single woman in the Marvel Universe said, “We got this,” and advanced forward to whoop everyone’s ass. Natasha, Okoye, Shuri, Wanda (Scarlet Witch) — every woman, no Y chromosomes necessary. Y’all, I cried. I cried big, fat tears for the little girl within me who got to see that kind of representation. It was beautiful, and it was powerful.

Then when Thanos headbutted Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) and she didn’t even flinch, my entire theater gave a collective, “Woooo!” The women of Marvel were showing out, all the way down to Pepper Potts in her own Iron Man suit. It was pretty precious when they all jumped in to help kid-hero, Peter Parker (Spider-Man), too. The meme below sums it up.

None of the ladies were having ANY bullying of Peter

Okay, Cap, I See You

Confession: I have always hated Captain America. I couldn’t help it. His cheesy one liners about “Language” and “There’s only one God, ma’am,” made him seem like the personification of holy rolling, white, sexist America. He reminded me of that vine where that kid is arguing with another kid, and then his comeback is, “You’re disrespecting a future United States Army soldier.” He was just so cringey cop.

But the thing that really made me hate Steve was his attitude towards Tony. Steve had no humility, and yes, neither did Tony. But Tony didn’t mask his condescension behind pithy little inspirational quotes that your aunt shares on Facebook. Steve on the other hand was always touting this holier-than-thou attitude. It was annoying. I also didn’t appreciate Steve’s half-assed apology letter to Tony, even though he now knew that his friend Bucky murdered Tony’s parents.

But I have to admit that the Steve that I saw in “Endgame” is a Steve I like. He was humble. He didn’t give Tony some canned speech about patriotism and the greater good when Tony initially refused to help them. Instead, Steve recognized that not only was Tony scared but that he had a right to be. He respected his choice, and that says so much about a man who once possessed tunnel vision so bad that he only saw the mission at hand.

In addition to that, Steve cussed, a few times. I know this seems like such a minor thing, but I really hated that “Language” line in “Civil War.” I also hated the goody two-shoes school videos in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” It was nice to see Steve not only be human but to stop faulting others for every little misstep. And yes, Steve, that is America’s Ass.

Finally, I started clapping and cheering when I saw Steve wield Mjolnir. I often criticized Steve as just another scientific creation, but his ability to pick up Thor’s hammer shows that he truly is worthy. It was a great moment, and while Cap is still not my favorite Avenger by any means, I have a newfound respect for him that wasn’t there before.

Despite my hatred of Captain America, I once had to dress up as the character for work

I’ll Do You One Better: When Is Gamora?

This part is a major point of contention between me and my husband, Billy.

Past Gamora fought Thanos alongside the Avengers. She came with Thanos’ people through time, but she turned on them. Tony snapped his fingers, and then we didn’t see Gamora anymore. We didn’t see her disappear, we didn’t see her run away, nothing. Then at the end of the film, Starlord is searching space for Gamora’s location with nothing coming up. So my question is:

Did past Gamora disappear when Tony snapped his fingers?

Billy says no, that she just fled, but that doesn’t make any sense to me. She now has a newfound sister relationship with Nebula, and she would have been alone after Thanos et al. disappeared. Why would she flee?

I think that she did disappear, and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will be a journey to bring present-day Gamora back to life, the one who died in “Infinity War.” I think that now that Starlord knows that she exists in some way, he will find a way to get her back. Billy, on the other hand, thinks he will just go searching for the Gamora who was brought from the past. I guess we will have to wait and see!

Well, that sums up my initial thoughts before this thing gets too long and too weird. If I have any other Marvel-related musings (and you know I will), I will be sure to share them. In the meantime, I love you 3,000!

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