Avengers: Endgame was three hours of wonderful fanservice in what was ultimately the first TV series finale we’ve seen in a movie theatre. This week on Kotaku Splitscreen, we discuss.
First, Kirk, Maddy, and I talk about the games we’ve been playing, like Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Danganronpa.
Then we bring on former Kotaku writer and current comics writer Evan Narcisse (30:49) for a big spoilery chat about Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the future of Marvel movies might go, comic references you might have missed, and much more. Get the MP3 here, or read a spoilery excerpt below:
Jason: Evan, as our resident comics expert, is there stuff in the movie that maybe someone who doesn’t read comic books like myself might have missed? Are there references or big huge moments from the comics that people might be interested in knowing about?
Evan: The big one at the end with Cap and Steve and Bucky is that the shield gets passed on, which is something there had been speculation about for years. Obviously these people have contracts that they don’t choose to re-up, or they choose to bow out of. Chris Evans had been talking for years like he was done, so the question was how he was going to get walked off, and was the shield gonna get passed on?
So I loved the way that scene with the three of them was blocked, because it’s him sitting down and Bucky and Sam Wilson standing behind him, so you’re like, ‘Oh, which one’s gonna get to step up?’ Because they’ve both held the shield before, they’ve both been Captain America before.
Kirk: I can think of a very good one, and I think it was one of my favourite scenes in the whole movie, maybe one of two. It was the recreation of the elevator scene from Winter Soldier. He gets on the elevator and that’s like the best scene in Winter Soldier, or at least my favourite scene, the scene where he lays waste to all those Hydra dudes in the elevator and it’s super bad arse.
Also, I’m just gonna throw this out now, before I forget it: The Russo brothers are really good. They’re good directors. I was impressed by the overall direction and the action scenes. They made Winter Soldier, so it was a cool callback to one of their earlier movies.
Anyways, he gets in the elevator, and it looks like it’s going to be the same fight, and instead he whispers in the guy’s ear, ‘Hail Hydra.’ I didn’t actually realise this at the time but of course should’ve known because I remember the whole controversy, is there was a Captain America comic where it was revealed that Captain America was a member of Hydra, and there was this iconic shot where it’s him saying, ‘Hail Hydra.’
And it’s such a classic, oh your hero’s a bad guy now, comics have gotten edgy. And it feels like they were giving a nod to that, making fun of it.
Jason: Did the comic turn out to be him just fooling them or was he actually a member of Hydra?
Evan: Oh no. It’s what we call ‘Stevil’ Rogers. And that kicked off Marvel’s big Secret Empire crossover event from two or three years ago. Cap was evil for a year and change.
Jason: Something that’s interesting, and I was thinking about this Evan when you were talking earlier about how in comic books, characters can keep getting revived and coming back ad infinitum. What’s interesting about the MCU is that they can’t do that, because the actors will always be different. So they could bring back Steve Rogers in the future, maybe as a cameo from Chris Evans, and that’ll be cool.
Kirk: They can’t because Chris Evans is super old now! He can’t be in the movies anymore!
Jason: They can’t actually bring Steve Rogers back and stay with the consistency of it because you can’t just draw a new Chris Evans - he’s gonna age, he’s gonna lose interest, won’t want to be in it anymore.
I think that’s something interesting that the movies can explore—there might be new Captain America movies with Sam, but it’ll always have to be a different Captain America. It can’t be, ‘Look, Steve Rogers is back now and now he’s evil,’ or ‘Now he’s Iron Man’ or anything like that.
Evan: Jason, to follow up on the question you asked before about comics references, the big one (pun intended) is Professor Hulk... The minute they cut to that, I lost my shit. So hilarious. It’s so great because it feels like, ‘Oh we’re going full Ruffalo here.’ All the goofiness of his voice, and his approach to playing Bruce Banner, magnified through CGI was just amazing.
Maddy: When I saw it I was just thinking about old She-Hulk comics I liked, because She-Hulk’s whole deal is that she figures out how to do that early on, combine her Hulk self and her smart lawyer human self. And so since we’re probably never going to get a She-Hulk movie I feel like seeing—
Evan: Please don’t say that.
Maddy: Look, I’ve been hoping for it for years, man.
Jason: Bruce Banner needs a new lover now that Natasha’s gone.
Maddy: They’re cousins, man! That’s disgusting.