End Game Means The End Of The MCU As We Know It
Avengers 4 is set to serve as the swansong for the first iteration of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, bringing an end to a story that's been told over the course of a decade. It's no coincidence that the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War stripped the Avengers down to their original members, with just a couple of adds-ons in the form of Nebula and Rocket Raccoon. With a number of key contracts coming to an end, this films is intended to be the last, greatest act of heroism from those original Avengers. If they can triumph against Thanos, they will successfully save half the life in the universe. But there'll be a significant cost to this victory.
That gives a double meaning to the potential title Avengers: End Game. This is the "endgame" for the original Avengers, their last and greatest act of heroism. After this, Kevin Feige has teased that we'll be getting "the next incarnation of the MCU," whatever that may mean. Avengers: End Game becomes almost poetically appropriate as a title.
End Game Suggests The MCU Will Be Moving Away from the Comics
The Russo brothers have already indicated that the title of Avengers 4 probably isn't going to be lifted from the comics. They've insisted that it's actually an original story, one with no basis in the source material, and as such we're in uncharted territory. A title like Avengers: End Game would help signify that as there's never been a comic book story bearing that title.
Until now, comic book readers have become accustomed to the MCU will adapt stories from the original comics. While it's been true the movies have tended to take inspiration from the comics, it's always been a little looser than most fans seem to have realized. Even when the movies have actually lifted a title straight from the comics, the themes have been rendered in a very different way. Compare Avengers: Age of Ultron with the "Age of Ultron" event from the comics, for example; that actually saw Ultron triumph in battle against the Avengers, who then used time-travel in order to defeat him. Captain America: Civil War used the Super Human Registration Act as the backdrop to the next Winter Soldier story, in marked contrast to the original "Civil War" comic. And the most egregious example is undoubtedly last year's Thor: Ragnarok, which essentially ditched all semblance of the "Ragnarok" plot from the comics.
The end of Phase 3 will see the MCU come to a place where it can never again be "like the comics". Let's say Iron Man and Captain America both depart after Avengers 4; that means countless comic book plots and team-ups can never happen on the big screen. The comics tend to involve a constant reset to the status quo, but Avengers 4 will mark the point where the movies go beyond that, becoming something new, fresh and original. It would be so appropriate for Marvel to mark that moment by giving Avengers 4 a title that has absolutely no comic book history at all.
It's too soon to say for certain whether or not the title of Avengers 4 really is Avengers: End Game. But one thing's for sure; this title would make a lot of sense.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019