All The Things Avengers: Endgame Changes In The MCU
Avengers Endgame spoilers ahead!
As the title suggests, Avengers: Endgame is the end for many elements of the decade-old Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's the completion of various narrative threads that we've spent tens of movies following, and the last outing for several much-loved, long-running characters. The movie acts as a greatest hits package, as the events of earlier movies are revisited, and it's notable that this is the first MCU film not to have any mid-or-post-credit sequences teasing the next movie in the franchise.
But of course, this is not the final Marvel movie. Even before Endgame's absolutely insane opening weekend gross, we knew there were plenty of other movies in the works. Spider-Man: Far From home hits theaters in July, and while no other films have been officially announced yet, Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and the Black Widow movie are among the Marvel movies on the way--not to mention the various shows heading to the Disney+ streaming service.
Nevertheless, things have changed. The Marvel Cinematic Universe might be more popular than ever, but the dramatic events of Endgame have altered the characters and the way we look back on certain things we took for granted over the past 11 years. The movie gave some characters closure on past relationships, and gave others a second chance on Earth. So here's our look at everything Avengers: Endgame changes in the Marvel Universe. And once you've read this, check out:
- Avengers: Endgame Easter Eggs, References, And Callbacks You Probably Missed
- Avengers: Endgame--Every MCU Character Who Appears In The Movie
- Avengers Endgame Review: A Messy, Satisfying Conclusion
- Avengers: Endgame--When Is It Safe To Go Pee?
- Avengers: Endgame: The Endings Explained
- Avengers Endgame: All The Trailer Scenes That Weren't In The Movie
1. Loki escapes with the Tesseract
Loki is one of the two characters who died in a seemingly conclusive, non-Snap way in Infinity War, but he now lives on the MCU. While the version killed by Thanos at the start of Infinity War remains very dead, Loki of 2014 is still around somewhere. In the sequence set during Captain America: Civil War, Loki escapes with the Tesseract, literally disappearing while everyone is distracted by angry Hulk's stairs-induced rampage. We know that a Loki TV show is on the way--could this be the event that leads to that series?
2. Gamora Is Back
The other character who was killed in a permanent way by Thanos in Infinity War was his adopted daughter Gamora, who he murdered to claim the Soul Stone. However, when Nebula and War Machine head to Morag to get the Power Stone, they alert Thanos, who at that time is still searching for the stones with Nebula and Gamora. While past Nebula is killed, past Gamora turns against her father and helps the Avengers defeat him in 2023. And this is where she remains, but without any real knowledge of who Star-Lord or any of the other Guardians are. The end of Endgame suggests that the next Guardians movie might involve Quill's search for her (or maybe it'll just be him and Thor snarking at each other).
3. The Snapped Are Back
As for everyone else who died in Infinity War--they're back too. The Snap was undone by a second one, and thanks to the Hulk, the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Scarlet Witch, and most of the Guardians are returned to the current timeline.
4. Five Years Have Passed
Five years have passed between the devastating end of Infinity War and the moment during the climax of Endgame, where Banner snaps his fingers and reverses Thanos's initial snap. All those who turned to dust are returned, and as Peter explains to Tony, it seems that for them no time has passed at all. This means that those who remained are now five years older than their friends who did not--many will have moved on with their lives. The following movies probably won't spend a whole lot of time exploring this, but it's worth remembering that it's now 2023 in the world of the MCU.
(There's some extra confusion, because it seems from trailers for the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home that Peter's friends are all still the same age as him, as opposed to the young adults they would be if they had survived the first Snap. Did they all vanish? Is Far From Home set before Infinity War? We'll find out in July!)
5. Thanos Is Dead
This is an obvious one, but Thanos has cast such a shadow over the events of the past 22 movies that it's worth noting. Even in films that were seemingly self-contained, the stories were moving toward Endgame, with the location and search for the Infinity Stones a through-line across the whole series. With the Stones back in the places that our heroes took them from and Thanos no longer alive in either the past or the present to search for them, new threats and intergalactic menaces will come to the forefront.
6. Tony Is Dead
Robert Downey Jr has been with the MCU since the very start, and has been hinting about his retirement for a while now. So it wasn't really a question of whether he would ultimately exit the MCU, but how, and the movie delivered on the most deserved, affecting death possible--literally saving the entire world. But it doesn't change the fact that the hole left in the MCU following Tony's demise will be massive.
7. Natasha Is Dead
Tony's death at the end of Endgame was deeply moving, but not necessarily a huge surprise for many fans. Natasha's sacrifice to secure the Soul Stone is a different matter. Of course, it probably won't be the last we see of Scarlett Johansson in the MCU, as production is rumored to be starting this year on the Black Widow movie. But this is to be a prequel--in the current ongoing timeline, this key, much-loved Avenger is no longer with us.
8. Tony Gets Closure With Howard
Tony's relationship with his father affected his entire character arc. Howard's focus on work and the lack of attention he gave his son resulted in an adult who, at the start of the MCU, looked to fill his life with everything except an emotional center--work, money, women, power, acclaim. As the series continued, Tony found the love and true friendship he was lacking, and in Endgame finally gets to hear from Howard how much he was loved, and gets to say a proper farewell to his dad.
9. Hulk And Banner Are One
One of the best surprises in Endgame is the appearance of Hulk after the five-year jump. Banner has become what is known as Professor Hulk to comic book fans--retaining the vast intelligence of Bruce Banner while keeping the Hulk's incredible physique. In the movie, Banner explains that this merging of these two sides came about after "eighteen months in the gamma lab." So we might not get the see the Bruce Banner we remember, but this new Hulk makes for a great addition to the team.
10. The Shield Is Back
Captain America's shield is much more than just a lump of (very strong) metal. It's a symbol and a physical embodiment of the character's strength, dedication, and patriotism. When it breaks in Endgame during Cap's battle with Thanos, it's a powerful moment. But the movie ends with a shield intact and in the hands of Sam, the new Captain America. It's not entirely clear at which point in the past Steve got this shield, but fact that it exists once more is important.
11. Steve's Ending
This is a controversial one. The final scenes of Endgame give Steve Rogers a chance at the life he never had--a simple life, living happily with Peggy. But unlike Tony's resolution with his father, Steve's ending throws up a variety of issues with both the story and the character--for more, check out this analysis of the ending from GameSpot's Meg Downey. But like it or not, this end does change the way we view Steve and his story over the decades.