‘Avengers: Endgame’: Why Saying Goodbye to Our Superheros Will Be So Hard

We all know how emotional things can become when an iconic film franchise comes to a powerful conclusion. Of course, it all depends on what era you grew up in and whether you started watching those movies in your childhood.

With the Marvel movies, we see 11 years of massive success and major pop culture influence. For those older, maybe they don’t resonate as emotionally as the Star Wars saga has. Even though the latter has been around longer, Marvel has done a good job of making their superheroes easy to become emotionally attached to since 2008.

How hard will it be for fans when Avengers: Endgame releases later this year? We’ll likely learn a lot on how audiences process the deaths of some Marvel heroes.

Robert Downey Jr. was the true anchor of the franchise

In the late 2000s, nobody thought Robert Downey, Jr. would join a massive superhero movie franchise and make a massive fortune from it over a period of 11 years. By the time he acted in 2008’s Iron Man, he was out of prison and on a long streak of rebuilding his career by making effort to act in smaller, independent fare.

While Downey was doing okay financially, the idea of making untold millions of dollars was likely far too tempting not to join the Marvel universe.

Had it not been for the success of Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe never would have blossomed into what it’s become. Everyone considers him the paternal part of the whole franchise in making it work.

Of course, many give thanks to Marvel Entertainment CCO Avi Arad and director Kevin Feige for initially putting it all together. It’s also ironic that some of the other actors picked for the first two MCU phases were doing indie fare before striking it rich with the Marvel films.

Each MCU phase became increasingly better

Outside the first Iron Man films, we all know some fans were mixed with the first Incredible Hulk film. Switching from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo in playing Bruce Banner/Hulk was one of the best casting changes the franchise could make.

While some of the actors in the MCU franchise had already done mainstream and superhero movies, Ruffalo was like Downey in stepping out of an indie film universe.

Phase Two of the MCU is when we really started to see the emotional connections begin to bind with the Marvel characters. When they started acting together in the Avengers movies, we also saw close ties develop among each one and breeding outstanding A-list acting chemistry without egos getting in the way.

Even better, we started to see the potential for tongue-in-cheek comedy, something superhero movies don’t always delve into enough. Guardians of the Galaxy helped pave the way for this genre and films like Deadpool.

By Phase Three, we arguably saw the best MCU films yet. It almost seems right Endgame will be a finale…of sorts.

There will be a Phase Four, but with some Marvel characters gone

Nobody really knows what’s going to happen in Avengers: Endgame, other than knowing Captain America will likely die. There’s also the possibility Tony Stark/Iron Man will die, plus others.

According to director Kevin Feige, there will definitely be a Phase Four, but not involving the X-Men immediately. Everyone is prepared for the reality more Marvel characters will die than we’re prepared for, with the always reassured feeling they’ll also be resurrected.

If you know the MCU well enough, the hope of resurrection is always on the radar. In this case, it might make the emotions a little easier to take when some favorite Marvel superheroes bite the dust in perhaps an overly dramatic way.

Just like in real life, all the people in our life we’ve loved who’ve passed are probably on a similar, temporary trip.