More than once I've lost myself in the world of fiction, devouring long series that I keep coming back to over and over again because they just felt like home. I never thought that any franchise of films could make me feel the same way books have. But when I first saw "Avengers" in 2012, everything changed. The combination of so many of my favorite personalities clashing, the love-hate sibling relationship between Thor and Loki, the incredible almost sacrifice of Iron Man, all of it was something no one had ever seen on the screen before. It almost felt impossible at the time, and I'll never forget the excitement that the movie gave me, how deeply I cared about those characters.
Now, almost 7 years later, I walked out of "Avengers: Endgame" with tears streaming down my face, a massive headache and heartache beyond belief. "Avengers: Endgame" was a "thank you" to the fans who have seen every movie, invested hours and years of their time with these superheroes. It was exactly what it needed to be, the culmination of 22 films of storytelling and the closure of beloved characters I've been in love with since I was a teenager.
As someone interested in the logistics of storytelling, it was fascinating to see how the Russo brothers decided to give closure to such iconic characters. Marvel has outdone themselves in terms of the sheer scope of storytelling. The genius lies in the simplicity, the fact that they were able to set up something in 2008 and pay it off in 2019, 22 movies later, is absolutely insane. Each of the original Avengers' story arcs was closed in some way, endings that were fulfilling and true to the characters. This alone is an incredible feat, but the Russo brothers did something I didn't think was possible: made me fall more in love with these heroes. Each beat of the narrative reminded me that these characters are human first, heroes second. They are flawed, complex, ridiculous, and make mistakes. But at the end of the day, they're still willing to sacrifice themselves for humanity: "Whatever it takes."
The power that this movie had over me is a testament to the work Marvel has put into these movies over the last 11 years. To feel so connected to a soldier from WWII, a "genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist", a giant angry green monster, a father with a crossbow, and a badass secret agent feels unreal. In years to come, I will remember where I was when I saw this movie. I will remember the way this film made me feel because to be moved by any piece of art is truly an honor.
Thank you, Avengers, for reminding me why we even bother telling these stories in the first place.