By the time this article goes up, Avengers Endgame may well be in theaters. Since pretty much every one of my favorite characters died almost exactly one year ago, I have been desperately waiting to know their fates and the fates of the living.
And I've just realized that I am not ready to watch this movie.
I'm not ready for any more deaths. I'm not ready for Chris Evans' last movie. I'm not ready to watch Hawkeye, my favorite Avenger, lose his family. There is so much that I am not ready for, and yet it is here anyway. There is no more waiting, and this is perhaps the most emotional I have ever felt about any movie franchise ever. (I say movie and not cinematic because there are shows that I am just as emotionally invested in.)
A lot of people think that it is stupid, to become invested in and identify with fictional characters. But the thing is, people have been immersing themselves into stories and characters for hundreds of years. Sometimes, imagination is the best place to go when things in life are not going the way we want.
For some of us, it is comforting to see that, in a fantasy world, even the protagonist's life and adventures do not always go right. Sometimes, things for them go terribly wrong, just as things do for us. At least for me, watching a tragedy unfold on television is comforting even as I wish that everything would end happily.
It's comforting because real life does not always have a happy ending. So it's nice when an alternate universe in which superheroes exist has that happy ending, but the tragedy along the way is not something I'm opposed to. And if the ending is not necessarily happy, but bittersweet, then I accept that as well.
I am not prepared for Endgame, but as much as I know I'm going to cry while I watch it, it will still be good to lose myself in another world for a little while. Life is stressful, and sometimes it's nice to just forget about my own troubles and watch someone else's, fictional as they are.