Avengers Endgame's Top 5 Missed Opportunities

A big event like Avengers: Endgame has so much going on already, it would be crazy to add to it, but as fans, we do sometimes have ideas that evaded the writers or directors, which we call Missed Opportunities. It takes nothing away from the film as presented, and it's no real criticism to point these out. For every moment that ISN'T in the movie and wish it WERE, there's a dozen moments I love and wouldn't have thought of. We touched on a couple in yesterday's FW Presents podcast, but here are my top 5 picks for moments I wish could have been in Endgame. Warning: Even if they didn't happen, their context represents significant spoilers.
5. Further exploration of the Hulk. I loved Professor Hulk and didn't miss the Savage Hulk that we got in other movies (and we get enough of him here for my tastes), but I was surprised, after making much ado about Banner and the Hulk integrating into one consciousness, that Banner's soul-self, expelled from the Hulk by the Ancient One, was, simply, flannel Banner. If they were truly integrated, he should have still been green. If separate, then either have two souls come out (it would have been funny to see ghost Hulk trying to smash things, maybe punching souls out of alien invaders, etc.) or the Savage Hulk released to do damage while Banner was having his astral conversation. Maybe the separation could have caused problems for Banner down the line, screwing with is integration. In any case, I felt like that moment wasn't really true to the concept and though perhaps a complication too many, I would have appreciated the insight into the nature of the Hulk persona.
4. Television heroes. At the big battle, when Dr. Strange asks if that's everyone, it actually isn't, despite Wong's shocked expression. What about all the TV stars (Netflix and elsewhere) that have confirmed continuity with the MCU? The Netflix heroes collectively known as the Defenders. The Agents of SHIELD (Fury only appears at the funeral, but imagine a refurbished Helicarrier fighting the space whales - are SHIELD agents any less able than Wakandan warriors?). No one watched the Inhumans, but imagine if they'd shown up. Are Cloak and Dagger in the MCU proper? Now OF COURSE, there's already too many people to keep track of in the big battle, and I don't know what kind of contractual shenanigans including them might entail, but Nick Fury at least deserved a combat moment, surely, or a shared smile between him and Captain Marvel. What if he still has Goose and releases him on the Horde? But yeah, I get it. It's not like the sequence didn't give me a lot of smiles already. And I didn't even catch Howard the Duck on either of the two showings I went to!
3. Rocket and Groot. It's great that Rocket plays such a big role as a 5YL Avenger, but as with Infinity War, I wish his relationship to Groot specifically had been more evident. There's a nice but all-too-fleeting moment when he covers Groot with his body during the big fight, but that's not quite the same as an emotional reunion. I'm sure the pacing didn't really allow it. We could say the same of Cap and Bucky. Or Ant-Man and the Wasp. But Rocket and Groot are special.
2. Who brings back Ant-Man? Alternate takes. So my friends at Fire and Water thought Stan Lee's final MCU cameo maybe should have been accidentally pushing the button that brings Scott Lang back from the quantum realm, and thus indirectly saves the universe. I like it, but have a different idea that doesn't change the nature or staging of the scene. Instead of a rat, make it a squirrel. That would have been a very cool deep cut referencing how Squirrel Girl once defeated Thanos (without actually going that silly).
1. Bruce Banner and Black Widow. Imagined by Xum Yukinori, who did the art above, and made us all cry when he discussed it, I admit this is a scene I also thought we'd see in some form. Just as Thanos saw Gamora in the Soul Stone dimension when he snapped his fingers, I thought the Black Widow would get an extra goodbye in the same way, either with Clint after he got the stone, or - and Xum's idea is so much better, dialog that pulls at the heart strings and all - when Banner snaps his fingers to bring everyone back (especially since he later says he tried to bring her back too). That would have been a beautiful moment, but it would also have meant a down beat moment when we're supposed to think the Avengers have won. And perhaps it's more than that. When Tony eventually snaps his fingers as well, by the rules of the film, he should have had a vision then too, which would have undercut the power of that moment. In every case, I can tell you why the missed opportunity would have been a bad idea. They might even have been considered and rejected. Some things don't work out. But in my head canon, this scene happened. Thanks Xum, for visualizing it for us.

What do you think? You may have other ideas. An appearance by the Celestials, or by Death (not that Thanos is her lover in the MCU continuity) might be something you wanted to see. A proper look at Howard the Duck? An interaction between Cap and the Red Skull? Thor burning the calories away in a lightning strike? You tell me. This channel will stay open.


Martin Léger said...

Same issues with yours really. Shame that everyone has big emotional shifts in personality that we get to see, but Banner/Hulk's big character development taking part off screen is kind of a bummer. Meanwhile the Cap/Bucky relationship is barely mentioned, Rocket and Groot's reunion is only used for a reaction shot of Captain Marvel flying in. And her whole participation in this battle feels odd because she has no emotional weight to this story. Meanwhile people who do, like Drax, are sidelined. All understandable tho, it's hard fitting everyone and everything in.

googum said...

I was expecting Vision to return, but as the emotionless white version from Avengers West Coast. Maybe they're saving that for their show.


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