Avengers: Endgame is a lot more than the second half of the team’s showdown with Thanos (Josh Brolin). The movie also builds a bridge between one era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and another. Along the way, directors Joe and Anthony Russo test the Avengers like never before. And though another epic team-up is inevitable, some new fan art underscores how much Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have endured.
The Avengers suffered great losses in their two-part clash with Thanos
Audiences gearing up to see Avengers: Infinity War back in 2018 knew they would finally see heroes from throughout the MCU finally cross paths. After all, Thanos had been periodically teased in the movies since his purple grin first appeared in the mid-credits scene of The Avengers. And his quest for the Infinity Stones promised to pose a formidable threat.
Of course, fans had no clue how much of a gut-punch they were in for. Even though most of Infinity War’s heroic deaths are reversed in the sequel, this two-part Avengers adventure had higher stakes than any other MCU movie. Even in Endgame, some of the most beloved characters — including a pair of original team members — met their demise in service of the mission.
New fan art contrasts the current team with their first battle together
In keeping with this sense of loss permeating the MCU, a digital artist with the Instagram username Abhinav recently posted some poignant Avengers artwork. Mirroring the exhausted team’s shawarma meal after the Battle of New York, the art sees the surviving original Avengers returning for another meal. Naturally, a lot has changed since the team first assembled.
Looking very different than they did in 2012, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) all carry the weight of their fallen heroes. Both Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are conspicuously absent, having sacrificed themselves to defeat Thanos.
Which heroes will return when the Avengers reassemble?
However, just because the Avengers in their original form are no form, fans shouldn’t necessarily think they’ve seen the last of every member of the original line-up. Thor: Love and Thunder is currently lined up to be a pivotal entry in Phase 4, marking the return of Hemsworth in the title role.
Plus, on the Disney+ side of things, Renner will headline the Hawkeye series. And Ruffalo’s “Smart Hulk” will likely play at least some role on the She-Hulk show. The biggest question is whether Evans would return as Captain America for either another movie or another MCU project. Never say never.