Will Marvel Ever Top Endgame?



Christopher Oliver, Staff Writer

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has graced us with its high-quality stories of iconic superheroes for decades now. the consistency of all these movies is really remarkable how all of the movies go from Not Really Good to Amazing. There has arguably never been an awful movie come out from this franchise except for probably Thor: The Dark World and The Eternals, which hold some of the lowest Rotten Tomato scores in the MCU. With all of this said, Avengers Endgame remains the magnum opus of this company’s projects, but will anything ever be able to top this masterpiece? 


It’s not like there are any contenders for the title of a magnum opus for the MCU. Plenty of people enjoy Infinity War even more than they do Endgame, even if Infinity War is not as tightly written. Infinity War does an excellent job handling the vast amount of superheroes and each of the settings that take place is hugely different from each other. However, all these different scenes revolve and link to one looming threat: Thanos. This makes it so every time Thanos appears in a certain area, a battle ensues and he gets the next Infinity Stone. There is more depth and emotion involved in these scenes but that is the basic gist of what happens. For the entirety of Infinity War, it is just Thanos progressing through the universe beating all the heroes we’ve known to love, and eventually winning, as that is how the movie is written to play. With Endgame, a much more unique concept is used, where the remaining superhero has to fix the damage Thanos caused, by going back to the original places the Infinity Stones were located, and eventually snap everyone back into existence. The main difference here that makes these scenes better than Infinity War’s is that the settings are all isolated from each other with no connection to what is happening over with the other superheroes. What this means is that something completely new is shown every time the scenes shift to a new setting. Black Widow and Hawkeye’s plight in getting the Soul Stone is a completely different story arc than when Thor and Rocket get the Power Stone. That is a tightly written story; When multiple independent events are able to be connected later in the story. This isn’t the case in Infinity War, as most of the same concept is used for the whole movie: Thanos meets some superheroes, emotion, and fighting ensue, Thanos wins and takes the stone those heroes were guarding.



Infinity War is still one of the most excellent movies to ever come out of the MCU, and even though it might not be better than Endgame from a critical standpoint, it can still be more enjoyable in some aspects (Such as the comedy). With this said, how have more recent and upcoming marvel movies fared against competing with Endgame. Well, the answer is a bit mixed.


First off are the recent movies that were excellent: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Two movies that surpassed expectations and delivered with the quality fans have come to expect from this studio.


Shang-Chi delivered the story of an unknown and not very popular Marvel superhero and turned it into something amazing. The story is semi-interesting, with Shang-Chi having to face his past and fight his father who is the boss of an evil organization. While not the most original storyline, the visuals, and comedy make up for its bland story and contribute a lot to why the movie is a success. The setting towards the ending is great, and definitely where the movie starts showing how innovative it can be with the magical landscape and mythical creatures. However, other than this, there is not much else to recognize this movie for. It is enjoyable for what it is and can definitely be rewatched, it just doesn’t hold up to Endgame.


Spider-Man: No Way Home however is a much better contender to fair against Endgame. It relies on the heavy premise that Peter’s life is now ruined because everyone knows he’s Spider-Man, and in return, he is hurting the people he cares about. In a desperate act, he makes the world forget who he is by asking Doctor Strange to perform a spell. When it backfires, Peter has to return different universe Spider-Man villains back to their original universes. One of the most common criticisms given to the MCU Spider-Man is that he relies too heavily on Iron-Man to succeed, something No Way Home changes. It is continuously shown throughout the movie that Peter is going to have to choose and make decisions that he will have to live with for the rest of his life, even if the outcomes are not preferable. In this movie, Peter loses his Aunt May and sacrifices his identity to save the world, which makes his girlfriend and best friend forget who he is, which are awful things to deal with. It is the most relatable and down-to-earth this Spider-Man has gotten, as it relates with the audience a whole lot more now that Spider-Man is being represented the way he was designed: A young man who has to live with his flaws and decisions, and be able to grow from them. Spider-Man in every universe, from Tobey to Andrew to Tom, all have suffered very painful losses and have had to live with them. There is no plot armor that saves their loved ones from death, and it’s what makes Spider-Man so relatable in the first place, something No Way Home portrays perfectly by allowing Tom’s Spider-Man to interact with more experienced Spider-Men, who have also dealt with identical losses to his own. This movie earns its place as a fantastic movie, and unlike Shang-Chi, it could definitely be considered more enjoyable than Endgame by some. 


So Spider-Man: No Way Home could definitely contend against Endgame, although most would agree Endgame is still a much better movie. For what No Way Home succeeds in, Endgame also does and outperforms No Way Home in almost every way. No Way Home succeeded in concluding Peter Parker’s character arc in the MCU, by letting him grow and be able to accept losing something important in order to save those he loves. Endgame concluded not just one character arc, but most of the original cast of the MCU has their own conclusion in Endgame. Steve Rogers gets to live in peace with Peggy in the timeline he first existed in. Tony saves the entire universe and ends his role as Iron-Man. Black-Widow dies in this movie sacrificing herself for Clint. Out of the original Avengers, only Thor’s story doesn’t conclude with Endgame, as Love and Thunder will proceed to examine what is next for the God of Thunder if he doesn’t need to fight.


Speaking of Love and Thunder, plenty of future marvel movies are on the horizon. By the time this article is published, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will be released, and just by the previews, it looks incredible. It links with Spider-Man: No Way Home’s story, and deals with the consequences of dealing with dangerous magic. This has been an insanely talked about movie because of all the possibilities this movie brings since its premise revolves around the multiverse. Basically, no fan theory or assumption can be 100% wrong, since literally, anything is possible for this movie. It was announced that this movie would lean more towards the horror genre, which by the previews it seems to be doing fine, as Sam Raimi (A director experienced with horror) is directing this film. Thor: Love and Thunder shall also be coming out relatively soon on July 8th, and there is plenty of excitement surrounding this film as well. It picks off continuing Thor’s journey of discovery, now that he no longer needs to be a hero; which is fine, but the scenes shown seem to indicate that this film will be copying what Ragnarok did with its much more lighthearted and goofy film. Ragnarok did this as it was a bold risk to take, and was completely new and different from the other Marvel movies, and the result paid off well!

Ragnarok was able to deliver a unique superhero film that turned out to be one of the best marvel movies to date. With this said, it feels cheap that Love and Thunder is taking a similar approach, which is a bit disappointing. However, the formula succeeded with Thor Ragnarok, so as the saying goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!



There is still a lot of potential and promise for the upcoming movies mentioned, and even more of them are on the horizon for Stages Four and Five of the MCU, but not enough information is known of them that it’s hard to say clearly if they have the ability to surpass Endgame.

Most likely, Endgame will never be topped. It’s the build-up of twenty-two movies that created one of the most charming and well-known stories to life, and if anything were to pass it, it would probably be another twenty-two years or longer until perhaps another crossover event occurs that will shake cinema to its core. Until then, audiences will have to keep on enjoying and supporting the MCU and all the movies it makes.