As of writing this column, I still haven’t seen “Avengers: Endgame.” Even amid a busy weekend full of things like Spring Jam, looming deadlines and family visits, it’s all I can think about. I need to avoid spoilers. What are my theories about the conclusion? Am I prepared to be blessed with even more Brie Larson as Carol Danvers so quickly on the heels of “Captain Marvel?” Even two days from the premiere, I feel like everyone and their cousin has seen “Endgame” and that spoilers are right around the corner.
Despite my fixation on the film, the truth is that I don’t care that much about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sure, I’ve seen every Marvel film of the past decade (many more than once) and have a good grasp on the characters and assorted plot threads, but I’m not invested enough to call myself anything more than a casual fan. Despite the fact that Marvel is far from my primary fandom, the relentless hype for “Endgame” both online and with my friends was impossible to avoid — not that I was particularly trying to do so.
The MCU (along with other contemporary media like “Game of Thrones”) is a prime example of fandom in the mainstream. No longer confined to niche corners of the internet or fanfiction hosting sites (don’t worry, the MCU fandom is still thriving there too), it seems like everyone is an Avengers fan during releases. Aside from not being able to avoid talk about the film even after muting almost every possible related word to avoid spoilers, the numbers speak for themselves. “Avengers: Infinity War” opened to approximately $630 million its first weekend, and “Endgame” has already broken that record, taking in approximately $350 million in the United States and Canada and $1.2 billion worldwide.
Aside from social media buzz (and the fact that none of us can shut up about this movie in real life), digital news outlets are all-in on covering “Endgame.” It’s arguably the biggest pop culture event of 2019, and one that fans are loathing to see come to end. This massive amount of media buzz means that having a take on “Endgame” feels necessary. While it’s perhaps not the same kind of coping mechanism as everyone cracking jokes after the release of the Mueller report, it means that “Endgame” is inescapable in the same way that news about presidential campaigns or major political events is inescapable.
It’s hellish and a little bit cursed. Can I go one day on Twitter without seeing some new take on Ant-Man crawling up Thanos’ anus? Despite its overwhelming nature, it’s still a bit refreshing. Throwing myself into the “Endgame” hype and news cycle is cathartic because it has little bearing on things like the future of our nation or our planet. This time, I won’t complain as much about everyone being incapable of shutting their trap — just as long as they don’t spoil me before I see the movie.