The analysis of death in the MCU has been well-noted through various sources since Avengers: Endgame released last year. Since then, a growing consensus thinks the Marvel Cinematic Universe kind of dug a deep hole when it comes to bringing any finality to death.
This is not the only hole Marvel created, with each plot hole being obsessed over on social media by fans. As much as the MCU does right, fans now list at least half-a-dozen things they arguably screwed up.
In the realm of death, the MCU still found some creative ways to work around no one officially being dead. Plus, with the nostalgia for the original Avengers lineup likely to grow over time, fans may evolve to appreciate the idea of death only being relative there.
Do the sacrifices still matter with MCU heroes if they never really died?
Reddit users recently delved into this subject head-first as part of a thread asking: “What are some things you absolutely cannot stand about Marvel movies?”
Many jumped in with detailed answers, ranging from Marvel killing off their best villains too soon to complaints about the fan base itself. While all of those have their own separate arguments in favor or opposed, one user scoped out “heroes never being dead.”
They rambled off a list of characters that were supposed to die, yet became stuck somewhere in the in-between. Some characters at play here include Phil Coulson, Nick Fury, Gamora, Loki, and Vision as just starters.
In the case of Coulson, he may be the worst example of death after being revived once by Nick Fury through the controversial T.A.H.I.T.I project. Later, after retiring from SHIELD, a Life Model Decoy of Coulson was created, basically an extension of AI making characters live on with memories intact.
What about other characters who never died traditionally?
All other characters mentioned above had further odd ways to depart. No one other than Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff died normally in the throes of battle. As for Nick Fury, he happened to fake his death to test the loyalty of his team.
Gamora had her past self visit the present to replace her present self that did die, creating another head-busting demise to figure out. Loki took the Tesseract and disappeared into the multiverse, allowing him to apparently live after thought dead.
Vision then rounds out a Coulson-like death where he sacrificed his mind stone to kill Thanos, yet revived in upcoming WandaVision. The new Vision will reportedly be a digital creation via Wanda Maximoff, blurring the lines further between reality and death.
If this might portend how the real world might be able to deal with death (as in using AI technology), will MCU fans be annoyed at death not being taken seriously?
Those Avengers’ superhero sacrifices still matter, no matter what
Even if the MCU decides to keep playing around with death being relative, the sacrifices everyone saw are still important. Everyone knows Tony Stark’s was the most meaningful because everyone knew he was a real human being who would soon face real death.
All possibility exists he might return someday in AI form, if going by past comic book tales. Regardless, everyone will know it would never be the real Stark since it was probably too late to revive his own physical self.
Some fans think with time-travel now broached (plus the multiverse and Pym Particles), virtually anything is possible in reviving the dead. Only something happening to these technologies would prevent more characters from being revived. Psychologically, fans may always want chances of resurrections being possible out of hope they can see the classic Avenger team reassemble someday.
If nothing else, good old-fashioned flashback films may be the only way if resurrection technology is snatched away by an omniscient villain.