In the summer of 2008, I went to the drive-in with my parents. We saw a double feature, and, although I can’t remember what the second movie was, I know for a fact the first was Marvel Studios Iron Man. Tony Stark, in his suit of armour, fighting evil. So, so cool. I was seven- and for the past eleven years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown up with me (as well as my generation), and with Avengers: Endgame, the latest chapter, it seems that the end of an era is upon us.
If you happen to know me, you probably know I love comic books. While Iron Man in 2008 got me interested in superheroes and their stories, my love for the comics only picked up four years later. Comics coincide with some of my favourite memories, one of them being the purchasing of my first comic.
In the heat of an August summer, the smell of the cars moving along Yonge street rising off the hot black pavement, I entered the Beguiling with my Mother. Located right behind what was then Honest Ed’s, I jumped headfirst down the rabbit hole of comic book collecting, and purchased my first book. It called was Avengers vs X-Men, Issue #0. When reading this 24 page, staple-bound picture book, I had some clue as to who certain Avengers and X-Men were- Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Cyclops- but more or less, I knew them from the movies. I remember explicitly reading the comic, and reaching a panel where the Scarlet Witch magically destroys a floating head, named M.O.D.O.K. Right here, I was hooked on this new way of hearing about the adventures of characters I had already started to love.
Since then, the collection of comics under my bed tell the history of how my comics addiction has only grown. But the comics provided more than just a hobby for me. They provided me with a sense of creativity, of myth, and of identity.
As an only child, I often found myself alone. And, living in North York, an hour’s commute from my school, I often found that there wasn’t actually much to do around where I was. Nothing exciting happens in a neighbourhood full of old people. So instead, I found adrenaline with the adventures of Spider-Man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. A particularly memorable comic of mine is “the Amazing Spider-Man” issue #700. In it, Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, gets mind-swapped with Doctor Octopus, who turns into the Superior Spider-Man. I remember theorizing about what could happen. They couldn’t have really killed off Spidey, right? I spent my days in class creating stories about potential outcomes for the dilemma, and on the subway home, I would think of even more outlandish ways for my heroes to win. And, if you know me, you’ll know it’s something I continue to do with the movies. At some point, I tried my hand at making my own comics. Little did I know it then, but I had become a geek. Screw Greek mythology- Captain America, Hawkeye, and Jean Grey were my myths.
Around this time, I think Marvel Studios “The Avengers” came out. The characters I had been following in the comics and in the movies had come together, and it was the coolest thing that happened in 2012. It was also the year I started here at UCC. Fresh starts and new friends met me, and my superheroes, at the same time. Looking back, it couldn’t have been more fitting.
Later on, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would explode. Throughout my time at UCC, it would see the addition of both exotic heroes such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, and well known heroes like Spider-Man. I remember it with incredible clarity- when the words “Queens” flashed on the screen during Captain America: Civil War, I was smiling like an idiot. One of my favourites had made it to the big screen.
As I got older, my priorities changed. School became harder and more demanding. I tried different sports, traveled to new places and, as all teenagers do, had a overall recombobulation of who I was. But, throughout all of this, I remained a comic book fan. I’m not afraid to call myself a geek. It’s a title I’ve earned through flipping through countless pages of the comics I store right under my bed.
I’m not afraid to call myself a geek. It’s a title I’ve earned through flipping through countless pages of the comics I store right under my bed. So to me, Endgame is more than just a film. It feels like the closing of a significant portion of my life- and I guess that’s true, seeing as how I’m off to university next year. When the final credits rolled to this era ending movie, it truly felt like the end. Honestly, I don’t feel the need to see anymore Marvel films. That being said though, I would stress the importance of watching past Marvel films in order to maximize enjoyment during this one.
When it comes down to it, Endgame provides exactly what it advertises. It’s a fast paced superhero flick- but it uniquely ties together the past eleven years of storytelling. I won’t give Endgame a “out of five” review- that would be unfair, since I’m incredibly biased. This article is more of a reflection of what Endgame means to me, and what it means to the thousands of kids who share my story.