From Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has maintained a stellar level of quality, at least according to star Chris Evans. The key to the series’ success is its attention to detail. A small moment in one movie is often paid off years later in another. But once in a while, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has opted to bend, if not outright break, its own logic. Avengers: Endgame features one of the best examples.
Captain America stole several moments in ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Speaking of Evans, his Captain America gets many of the most fan-favorite moments in Avengers: Endgame. Along with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Cap has been the co-headliner of the whole franchise. Since Avengers: Endgame wraps up both their stories, it makes sense why Cap would come to the forefront.
Evans’ hero has evolved “the Star-Spangled Man” to a much more complex character. And in Avengers: Endgame, he comes face-to-face with his younger self. In this and many other ways, the movie highlights how far Cap has come. Fans even see him get his long-awaited dance with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell).
But one of fans’ favorite moments contradicts an earlier MCU movie
By far, there’s one Cap moment that rises to the top. We’re, of course, referring to Cap’s surprise use of Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) signature weapon, the hammer Mjölnir. To wield it, a person needs to be worthy. The moment pays off a tease in Avengers: Age of Ultron that Cap is indeed worthy. But that’s not the part that opens up a potential plot hole.
During his battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin), Cap doesn’t only throw and swing the hammer. He uses it to summon lightning. Given what was established in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, that shouldn’t be possible. Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus admitted as much to Slashfilm.
There was certainly a debate at one point because particularly in Ragnarok, it establishes that Thor can summon the lightning without the hammer. I think Odin even says, “It was never the hammer.” And yet Cap summons the lightning with the hammer. You get to those things and you’re like, “It’s too awesome not to do it! We’ll talk about it later.”
Most fans would certainly agree that seeing Cap blast lightning at Thanos was worth possibly violating Asgardian mythology just this once. Yet, there’s actually a solid explanation of why Cap might have been able to conjure lightning, Thor’s own ability as the God of Thunder.
Is it really a plot hole? There is an easy explanation for Cap’s actions
In Thor: Ragnarok, Anthony Hopkins’ Odin does indeed tell Thor his hammer was meant to help him harness his power. It’s not the source of his ability to summon lightning blasts. But Odin himself also gives the MCU’s creative team the perfect explanation, Screen Rant said.
In 2011’s Thor, Odin himself places an enchantment on Mjölnir that whoever wields it will “possess the power of Thor.” The movies have established Thor’s signature power is the manipulation of lightning. So when Cap catches the hammer, he is, in essence, assuming Thor’s power.
In any case, it doesn’t seem most fans need or even asked for an explanation. Cap’s hammer time is one of the most thrilling moments in a third act packed with them. It’s a shame Cap wound up returning Mjölnir back to 2013 Asgard. He and the weapon had clearly become fast friends.