Countdown to the Endgame – Christ and Pop Culture

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**This short article is a spoiler-no cost primer for Avengers: Endgame.**

Fans are counting down the hours till the blockbuster phenomenon Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. More than the final decade (2008–2019), Marvel Studios developed a vast network of films and characters inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, all of which culminate to this moment of the “Infinity Saga”—the release of Endgame.

To prepare for the finale, some fans, like myself, are watching all the films in chronological order (not order of release) to refresh our memories, relive the journey, and celebrate the finish of this epic adventure. It is like globe-renowned author and storyteller C. S. Lewis after place it: “We do not delight in a story totally at the initial reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been offered its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the true beauties. Till then, it is like wasting fantastic wine on a ravenous all-natural thirst which merely desires cold wetness.”

The most impressionable takeaway from the two,868-minute MCU film-watching marathon is the string tying the stories collectively: the infamous Infinity Stones. If you do not know by now, the Infinity Stones—six singularities that existed prior to the universe began—contain distinct powers that villains in the MCU films are desperate to get their hands on for varying, but largely destructive, purposes. In this ongoing “good versus evil” cosmic war, all the characters, even the heroes, are beautifully flawed (yes, even the noble Captain America himself) and are impacted by the villainous crusades for these stones.

Hidden in the shadows of these films are cosmic truths worth unearthing and revisiting as they support us realize our culture and what we can uniquely contribute to it.

We see the culmination of these stories tied collectively in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War, exactly where a single, practically unstoppable villain, Thanos, completes his universal quest for all 5 Infinity Stones. The almost 3-hour film ends differently from any other film in the MCU, mainly because for the initial time, the heroes—the Avengers—lose, with about half of them dying at the snap of Thanos’s fingers. For the previous year, fans have been left with only a sliver of hope imagining how the rest of the Avengers can defeat the seemingly unbeatable mad titan Thanos. But prior to the exclamatory mea culpa of a failed unified work by the Avengers is revealed in Infinity War, it is worth reflecting on the lessons their person stories can teach us major up to this moment.

The Iron Man trilogy, Extraordinary Hulk, and Physician Strange films show us that even the most competent, intelligent, powerful, and wealthiest males are devoid of understanding their correct worth apart from a properly-grounded, truth-telling neighborhood. Captain Marvel disseminates false suggestions and culturally damaging norms about girls that devalue their God-offered feelings, strengths, and talents. Black Panther assists us appear beneath the veneer of our cultural and ethnic biases of folks groups not our personal. Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Spider-Man show us that even the most derelict, despicable, juvenile, and ill-tempered misfits are not as well far from redemption. The Captain America and Thor trilogies show us how history informs and effects our present—and that virtues and idealistic visions for neighbor and nation are viable attributes to overcome hatred and division.

These revelations can have relevant applications in lots of distinctive avenues of our present reality. For instance, Captain America: Civil War can show us our possible fate in the arena of American cultural politics if we are consumed by hatred, division, and vengeance. In Civil War, the major target of the villain, Zemo, is to trigger division amongst the Avengers. It is now clear that was a equivalent target of Russian operatives in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as outlined in the Mueller Report. As seeds of division are planted on our social media and news feeds, we’d do properly to heed Zemo’s words for our subsequent round of elections: “An empire toppled by its enemies can rise once again. But a single which crumbles from inside? That is dead. Forever.”

Politics aside, the Infinity Saga is a attractive portrait of the multifaceted stories that thread humanity collectively. It is a story markedly flawed, even with the most effective intentions. Hidden in the shadows of these films are cosmic truths worth unearthing and revisiting as they support us realize our culture and what we can uniquely contribute to it.

Like just about every category and genre of our beloved arts, music, and films, the Marvel Cinematic stories unveil revelations about the culture and our location in it. We appear for ourselves in the approach of classifying the protagonist and antagonist characters—and locate it all the a lot more enthralling when they are betwixt, mainly because we are not a single factor at all occasions. In God’s story, we are each. From time to time we are the heroes proclaiming the gospel and assisting our neighbors, and other occasions we are villains sinning against an infinitely fantastic God for our personal glory.

The allegorical components of spirituality, faith, and human goal embedded inside the MCU films can give new life to our occasionally mundane and despondent globe. Even though every single tale is equivalent, the unfolding of every single special plot and subplot awakens our senses to a true globe our souls are desperately longing for.

And when it comes to the sequence of films in the Infinity Saga, every single scene acts like the flip of a web page in a novel, come alive in the theater of our imaginations, subsumed inside an orb of inescapable cosmic and spiritual realities. It is certainly enthralling, mainly because these are our stories. So cheers to the subsequent phase devoted to our beloved on-screen heroes and villains, as we await with fantastic expectations for the Endgame of each our fantasies and realities.


Beneath you will locate a roundup of Christ and Pop Culture articles and podcasts covering the MCU stories more than the years.

In This Problem

Avengers: Infinity War: When Death Isn’t Final

Movies with such a dismal ending don’t usually inspire audiences to keep coming back for more—let alone smash box office records—so what’s really going on with Infinity War?

by K. B. Hoyle

Seeing and Believing 149: Infinity War Review and the Top 5 MCU Moments

A spoiler free review of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ from Wade and Kevin along with their Top 5 MCU moments from the previous 18 films.

by Jonathan Clauson

Oikos and Idolatry in Spider-Man: Homecoming

In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the villain Adrian Toomes represents a disturbingly plausible version of a very natural human tendency: the idolization of family.

by Geoffrey Reiter

Your Favorite Marvel Superhero Has an Off-Screen Life

Comic books have the ability to be informative portholes for everything ranging from pop culture, science, and history, to governmental, economic, and social structures.

by Timothy Thomas

Doctor Strange Helped Me Survive Election Night

The new movie Doctor Strange reminds us that there are forces at work that we cannot see.

by Jason Morehead

Seeing and Believing: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON + Summer Movie Preview

Puny humans Wade and Kevin are joined by Christianity Today‘s Jessica Gibson to review the new AVENGERS flick.

by Cray Allred

The Role of Black Women in the Church: A Wakandan View of Flourishing

The women in Black Panther are the best representation I’ve seen of God’s intention for His daughters.

by Kathryn Freeman

Thanos the Maniac

Thanos is a maniac in the sense used by G. K. Chesterton in his classic work Orthodoxy.

by Geoffrey Reiter

Captain Marvel and the Importance of Telling Female Hero Stories

Women and girls must know they can be agents of change—that their voices are as loud and as true, their strength and dedication just as valued and valuable, as their male counterparts.

by K. B. Hoyle

The Comic World as We Know It, Thanks to Stan Lee (1922–2018)

Perhaps his greatest legacy will be that he never treated comics and superheroes as mere disposable entertainment.

by Jason Morehead

Is Iron Man More Ethical Than Captain America?

“If one can disarm another of his powers if he misuses them, then that is better than detaining them and letting them keep their powers.”

by Christopher Hutton

‘It Matters Who You Are’: Character and Character Formation in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

“On a more substantive level, however, many of Whedon’s favorite themes are also present, and none more so than the juxtaposition of the extraordinary with the ordinary.”

by Geoffrey Reiter

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Is a Gourmet Cheeseburger for Christian Fans

The Avengers can’t be stopped, and their latest big-budget adventure shows the cinematic superhero genre at its zenith.

by E. Stephen Burnett

‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and the Subversion of Human Nature

We may cheer for real-life heroes as if they’re beyond evil. But we understand completely when poser heroes in our fiction reveal their evil nature—and we favor their punishment.

by E. Stephen Burnett

“Something Good, Something Bad, a Bit of Both”: Natural Law, Nihilism, and Guardians of the Galaxy

It is precisely the contrast between the damaged yet ultimately sympathetic heroes and their maniacal foes that make Guardians of the Galaxy tick.

by Geoffrey Reiter

Living within the Story: Marvel’s Scriptural Form

What Marvel has tapped into is the power of extended narrative meaning, of situating a life story within a universe governed by order.

by Corey Latta

“Is It Too Late to Change the Name?” Redemptive Identity in Ant-Man

Ant-Man takes on the identity of a hero first, and only starts to act like a hero afterwards.

by Geoffrey Reiter

Family Matters in Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp

In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel reveals the importance of intact families—wherever we might find them.

by K. B. Hoyle

Panel Discussion: ‘Captain America’ and Overcoming the Reality of Regret

Can we live a life for the sake of Christ and the kingdom of God without carrying any regrets about the consequences down the road?

by Jeremy Writebol

The Moviegoer: Exorcising Iron Man’s Demons

Iron Man’s Avengers PTSD isn’t the only history that’s creating turmoil in the hero’s life.

by Nick Olson

‘Captain America: Civil War’, A Prophetic Spectacle for Our Time

Perhaps the spectacle of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ can give us pause enough to consider our cultural situation and the precipice over which we stand.

by Jeremy Writebol

Black Panther or King T’Challa: The Search for Identity in Marvel’s Groundbreaking New Film

Black Panther offers a powerful lesson for us today: our fully realized identities are not found in responsibilities that can be relinquished, but in the sacrifices made when most seemingly unnecessary.

by Timothy Thomas

Seeing and Believing 191 | Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel and Our 2019 Summer-Movie Preview!

Captain Marvel from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck is up for review this week along with Wade and Kevin’s Summer Blockbuster Preview!

by Jonathan Clauson

Panel Discussion: Captain America and the Gospel’s Political Perils

So what is Captain America’s crime in the eyes of the political pundits? His sin seems to be caring about people.

by Jeremy Writebol

Spider-Man Comes Home to Marvel and His Fans

Spider-Man finally joins his superhero friends in the Marvel universe. Is he still the same Spidey?

by E. Stephen Burnett

It’s Not About You: Doctor Strange and the Dichotomy of Self

It’s not about us. And we think too little of ourselves.

by K. B. Hoyle

Seeing and Believing Episode 60: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ + An Interview with the Director of ‘Last Days In The Desert’

Christianity Today’s Jessica Gibson joins Wade and Kevin for a review of one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year.

by Jonathan Clauson

Panel Discussion: ‘Black Panther’ Reveals Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Multi-Medium Mastery

Ta-Nehisi Coates wants to see if comic books can handle the load that we often attribute to higher forms of intellectual activity.

by Jeremy Writebol

Seeing and Believing Episode 142: Marvel’s Black Panther and Our 2018 Oscar Preview!

Wade and Kevin journey to Wakanda this week as they review Ryan Coogler’s trailblazing contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther.

by Jonathan Clauson

Persuasion 130: The Flourishing of Black Women in Black Panther, with Kathryn Freeman

With an African-American cast and female-strong story line, the movie Black Panther has broken the Marvel mold. What will be the lasting impact of this film?

by Jonathan Clauson

In the Shade of Wakanda: The Resurrection of Broken White Boys

If we are ever to see difference as a gift, then we need a resurrection of sorts, but we would do well to remember that resurrection requires a death.

by Justin Phillips

Sin Demands a Reckoning in Thor: Ragnarok

On whose graves, and whose suffering, is our greatness built?

by K. B. Hoyle

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