Here’s your obligatory Avengers: Endgame spoiler warning. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and are still worried about spoilers, this is your one and only chance to dip out.
And now a buffer paragraph. Remember how Marvel recently dangled the news that a gay MCU character would soon be revealed? It was a weird thing to hype. The Marvel movies are good fun, but they haven’t exactly tackled queerness in a way that feels authentic to life in the 21st century.
That’s relevant, because here we have Marvel celebrating something it hasn’t really earned: the “girl power” scene from Endgame. You know the one I mean. It’s the final showdown with Thanos, all the dusted heroes are back, and hey, look at that: all the women are teamed up! (Except Black Widow.)
It’s fine. Nevermind the fact that, in 22 movies total so far, only one has focused entirely on a female lead: Captain Marvel. And that one? It was movie #21 out of 22. Plenty of others featured female leads or incorporated women into key ensemble roles. But Captain Marvel delivered the first leading lady.
That fact turned the Endgame moment into a giant eyeroll. A forced-feeling action sequence that, fun or not, felt out of place because the connection between all those powerful women has been so underdeveloped across 22 movies so far.
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We got a great photo out of it though. On Saturday evening, Marvel tweeted a black and white behind the scene picture from that day. It features every superhero from the scene in costume and standing side by side, along with executive producer Trinh Tran (the two directors are also there).
Talk about girl power.
Here’s hoping that by movie #44, Marvel will have delivered unto us a much more diverse lineup of galaxy-saving superhumans. By the time it’s over, Endgame suggests a few possibilities on that front.
Avengers: Endgame is still in theaters now, and Marvel has one more 2019 adventure — in Spider-Man: Far From Home, a joint production with Sony — before it closes the book for good on the first fully completed story arc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.