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Endgame is actually a new beginning

Will the stories continue to on rely on tried and tested tropes or will this popularity encourage them to take more risks?

editorials Updated: Apr 30, 2019 09:28 IST
Hindustan Times
Avengers: Endgame,Infinity Saga,Marvel Comics
A scene from Avengers: Endgame. The film has finally wrapped up the (AP)

It’s been a bittersweet but excellent weekend for the Starks of the fantasy and sci-fi world — those in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and in Westeros. The MCU yet again made history when Avengers: Endgame became the largest ever film of the already massive franchise, making upwards of Rs 150 crore in India alone on its opening weekend. The film has finally wrapped up the Infinity Saga story that has spanned 11 years, 22 movies, and more superheroes than one can realistically keep count of. As Disney gets set to launch Phase 4 of this extremely lucrative franchise, Avengers: Endgame was as much a reset film as a goodbye film.

But like all franchises that do well, it is unlikely that anything is really and truly gone; and with Disney having acquired 20th Century Fox, it brings within its ambit other massively successful franchises such as the X-Men, opening the door to the possibility of more, and more interesting, crossover films in the same genre. In spite of erratic timelines across movies, sometimes inconsistent character arcs, and confusing storylines across films and phases, the characters and stories of MCU’s Infinity Saga will always be the thing that made such massive possibilities come true.

The saga began in 2008 with Iron Man, which turned the then prevalent idea of the secret identity superhero on its head; paving the way for superheroes such as Thor and Starlord — snarky, know-all, adventurer/scientist/rich guy unafraid of embracing his identity. After having floundered a bit with race and gender politics, the MCU appears to now have made room in the franchise for superheroes of literally every hue and shape. And even after more than a decade, interest in this brand of storytelling continues to remain massive — across television, cinemas, and comic books. If Avengers: Endgame is any indication, public interest in the genre has never been greater.

Even as the market is saturated with superhero, CGI action films with all their attending marketing and merchandising, this is an interesting moment in the history of the genre. Has interest peaked or is there still more popularity to come? Will the stories continue to rely on tried and tested tropes or will this popularity encourage them to take more risks with storytelling and formats? Phase 4 of the MCU will tell.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 20:18 IST

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