How that "not really a post-credits scene" at the end of Endgame is actually perfect
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The best send off ever.
As we heard in the trailers in the run-up to the release of Avengers: Endgame, we knew that the heroes would do "Whatever it takes" to defeat Thanos and push the giant UNDO button that would set everything right again.
However, for some of the Avengers, it meant the ultimate sacrifice, whether it was Black Widow exchanging her life for the Soul Stone (or did she?), or Tony Stark using the Infinity Gauntlet even though he knew it was going to kill him.
After over a decade of spending time with these characters, there is a sense of poetry in seeing war-hero Captain America get to live long enough to become an old man, whereas selfish jerk Tony Stark dies on the battlefield while saving the galaxy.
It is an incredible arc, one that is emotionally, beautifully orchestrated.
However, while it perfectly stuck one ending, fans were a little shocked to discover that Endgame features no mid- or post-credits scene.
You'd expect something to lead us directly into this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, or maybe even setting up something else altogether, now that the Infinity Stones saga is done and dusted.
But nope, all we get, at the very end of the final credits, is the sound of metal on metal.
Yep, it is a throwback to the very first Iron Man, to that sound of Stark held captive in the Afghanistan cave, using his ingenuity to create the very first Iron Man suit. It is a very subtle reminder of just how far we have come with the MCU, as well as being the final send off to Stark himself.
If you think back to 2008, the first Iron Man movie was a huge risk for fledgling movie company Marvel, with a risky leading man prospect, and the director of Elf behind the camera.
Clip via Marvel Entertainment
In that movie, Stark and Pepper Potts still weren't together. Terrence Howard was playing War Machine. Bad guy Jeff Bridges openly admitted that they were making up the script on the day, unsure at the beginning of each scene how it would end.
The movie, like that first Iron Man suit, was cobbled together with little more than talent, luck, and perseverance, and jump forward to a decade later, Stark's most recent suits are cutting edge, top-of-the-line, well-oiled machines, just like the MCU itself has become.
And in Endgame, we get to say goodbye to Captain America properly, but not so much to Stark.
Steve Rogers could've righted the timelines and come straight back, but decided to stay in the past and attempt a life with the love of his life Peggy Carter. When he reappears in the present (well, in 2024), he is an old man, having lived a full, happy life.
(Quick Note: Thinking too much about this causes the mind to crack in two, because if Steve Rogers stayed in the past, does that mean he doesn't save the world from the Hydra-infiltrated SHIELD in 2014? Because he would've been a bit too old to fight The Winter Soldier by then, no? We have to swallow a big pill marked "Suspension Of Disbelief" for anything time-travel related, so you're better off not poking too many plot holes out, because no matter what you say, the response will always be a shrug and the words "Because time travel". Note over.)
But Tony doesn't get that.
In fact, Tony gives up his new happy life, complete with settled home life featuring Pepper and their daughter Morgan, who loves Tony "three thousand". Sad face emoji.
Tony is angry because he warned the rest of the Avengers that this threat was inbound - something he's been aware of since he passed through the portal above Manhattan - but he is also angry because Tony feels responsible for the threat arriving on Earth in the first place.
As Vision put it in Civil War, the ever-rising tide of threats seems to be matching the increasing number of "heroes" popping up on Earth, and while others have been around longer, Tony was the first to "come out" of the hero closet. He led the charge, and Thanos proved to be the eventual reaction to his initial action.
So for it all to begin with Stark, it makes perfect, parallel sense for it to end with him, too. Both on screen, as he saves half of all life from annihilation, but also in that distant, clanking rhythm of him creating that first suit.
The lack of mid- and post-credits is the ultimate act of solemnity in his passing, and that sound effect is his wave goodbye.
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