Eleven years. It’s a long time. It’s a lot of life. For Marvel fans, it’s the span of a franchise that’s lived alongside us, allowing us to check in regularly with characters we know and love.
To think only 48 hours and 27 minutes of screen time has spawned one of the most consistent relationships we’ve had over the decade, is frightening.
It’s not something to diminish, though. As ‘trivial’ as entertainment can be, there’s an undeniable strength in it to form community; cast aside your cynicism about merchandising and multi-million-dollar pay cheques for a moment, and remember who you saw the first Iron Man with.
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I was introduced into the Marvel world by a family friend who was raised on the comics. I’d dabbled in the world of superheroes (Lois and Clark for life y’all), but my understanding of the universes was weak. The battle between fans of Marvel and DC was foreign to me, but the intensity of it was fantastic.
Seeing Iron Man was a rite-of-passage. It marked the year I started university and my formal introduction into the contents of a geeky guy’s hidden shoebox. The movie started a conversation about Robert Downey Jr.’s comeback, and how some of our greatest success can happen later in life.
Little did we know, this was the beginning of a 22-movie commitment.
11 Years, All the Big Milestones
At the beginning, there were a handful of us who made the ‘Marvel movie catch-up’ our ‘thing’. A mix of family and friends, with the occasional new attendee, we had our own squad of avengers. There was the time when one of the guys regularly couldn’t make it, which we later found out was because he was in the ‘hush-hush’ phase of dating his future wife. There was also the day when one of us moved to England, and ticket sales dropped.
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Over these 11 years we’ve walked through job changes, graduations, crushes and a wedding, childbirth, death, divorce and more. And all the while, Thor’s been sitting there ripped-as, Captain America still blushes at cuss words, and Iron Man, is well, Iron Man.
“From the role of sacrifice in salvation, recovering from grief, leadership, teamwork and how to adapt within life-long friendships, these heroes are role models.”
Avengers: Endgame might be ‘just a movie’, but it’s also a chance to reflect on the last decade of your life. So much has happened for the characters, and so much has happened for you. Who are the people you need to check in with? Are there friends you’ve fallen out with since the first film you need to take a moment to forgive?
Sure it’s gushy, but the Avengers have taught us a lot. From the role of sacrifice in salvation, recovering from grief, leadership, teamwork and how to adapt within life-long friendships, these heroes are role models.
If you haven’t seen Endgame yet I won’t spoil it for you, but as the credits roll let it be time to think. It’s the end of a cinematic era, the cast are all due for long-service leave. After the wild ride we’ve had, what do you want out of the next ten years?
Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now.