Now that half the universe has seen Avengers: Endgame, I feel comfortable in talking about it without fear of spoiling it. Still, if you haven't yet seen the film, and you still intend to, then leave this page immediately. In any event, while one must suspend tons of disbelief when watching a superhero movie, Endgame did leave me with some burning questions. I am hardly the only person on the Internet to raise them, but this is my site, so here goes.
- Did Marvel forget about time zones? This question goes back to Avengers: Infinity War. When Thanos snaps his fingers and wipes out half of everybody, it's daytime in the fictitious African nation of Wakanda. Yet at the end of that same movie – and at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and at the beginning of Endgame – we see that the "snap" occurs during broad daylight in the US – no earlier than 12pm Central Time, since Endgame opens with Hawkeye and family preparing lunch in (presumably) Iowa. As Wakanda's time zone is either 7 or 8 hours ahead of that, that big battle should be taking place at 7 or 8pm, at twilight or even in darkness (since the sun sets no later than 6:45pm in Central Africa). What gives?
- Snapping? Really? I'm fine with the gimmick of bringing six cosmic gems together to control the universe, but where is it written that you must snap your fingers like a 1950s teenager in order to make the Infinity Stones do your bidding? The universe has an endless variety of life forms – so only those with opposable thumbs can use the stones?
- Why the hand? Another Infinity Stones question. Since they exist to fulfill the wishes of whoever possesses them, wouldn't it make more sense to wear them around your brain, like a crown, than on a gauntlet around your hand? Why should a hand – and again, this whole thing is obviously biased toward humanoid creatures – wield more power than the brain? I mean, if you have the Infinity Stones on your hand, and I rest my head on your hand, shouldn't I take control of the stones?
- Does Black Widow just stand back and let Hawkeye kill that Japanese guy? This is a small but niggling matter: Clint Barton/Hawkeye goes nuts after his family gets "dusted" by Thanos's snap, and spends the next five years going around the world murdering criminals. In Endgame, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow discovers Clint wasting a whole crew of Japanese gangsters, then walks up to him and he's like, "Oh, hey." You don't just randomly find your best friend seconds after he does something like that. She obviously located him and then, what, hid behind a wall until he was done slaughtering everybody? Then casually walked up behind him, as though he wasn't armed and his nerves weren't completely on edge?
- Wouldn't resurrecting all the "dusted" life forms after five years have tons of horrible repercussions? Deep into the movie, the Avengers travel back in time, rescue all the Infinity Stones, then Bruce Banner/Hulk puts on the gauntlet and, with a snap, brings back every single living thing that got "dusted" by Thanos five years earlier. But five years is a pretty long time. Of the universe's surviving half, the vast majority of us would have moved on – remarrying, dying, etc. – yet the un-dusted half return with the sense that only a second has passed. Awkward, to say the least! And I'm not even getting into complicated matters like farmers suddenly having twice the livestock to feed, or zoos finding the un-dusted lions back in the habitats that they had since swapped out for pandas, or what's supposed to happen to the un-dusted pilots and drivers whose vehicles crashed when they got dusted, killing thousands of innocents in the process. And that's just on Earth! Imagine the chaos of reviving trillions of life forms after five years of oblivion. What a mess.
- How does Captain America live out his life? The film's epilogue reveals that, after going back in time to return the Infinity Stones to their original hiding places, Steve Rogers/Captain America decides to stay put in 1945, growing old with the love of his life, Peggy Carter. It's a sweet coda. But although Endgame's filmmakers mostly avoid the issue of "two Captain Americas" as the original Cap – let's call him "Cap prime" – was frozen in ice from 1945 until 2011, it still opens up a big question as to just what happens after he goes back. Surely he doesn't spend the rest of his life in hiding, until Peggy dies and he's an old man. He's Captain America! The nation needs him! The film is cagey about the idea of alternate timelines, but surely Cap would get bored sitting around the house for 66 years, so he probably got involved in Korea and Vietnam and who knows what else. And maybe he'd use his knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrated by HYDRA to thwart the evil organization's plans. All that gives us countless changes to Avengers history – and indeed, to world history.
- How did Cap put the Soul Stone back? The one rule about retrieving the Soul Stone is that you have to trade someone you love for it. It's the whole crux of the two big tragic scenes in Infinity War and Endgame, when beloved (female) characters were sacrificed. So when Cap went to the desolate planet Vormir to return the Soul Stone... what's the rule for that? Does he have to sacrifice someone he loved? That could only be Peggy Carter, and we all know that's not happening. Clint Barton probably should have explained the rules to him before he left.
- Did Cap and Red Skull fight again? Clint should have also warned Cap that Red Skull, Cap's old archenemy, is guarding the Soul Stone on Vormir. Did Cap wind up fighting Red Skull? Did he force himself to love Red Skull, so he could trade his old foe for the stone? Or if Red Skull's not even a tangible entity anymore, did the two just talk about old times? I do not think Marvel is going to make a sequel about this.
- How does Clint's wife call him after five years? This goes back to question #5. When Hulk's second snap happens, and all the dusted become un-dusted, Clint gets a phone call from his wife, who has just been resurrected. So... he was paying her cell phone bill for five years, even though he believed she was dead? And since Clint had spent five years traipsing around the world, killing people, what state was their house in at this point? Inarguably dilapidated and possibly even abandoned. Quite a shock for the Bartons.