Welcome back to my deep and arguably too passionate look at Marvel’s superhero movies and the lessons they have taught me about life during college. Just so you are aware, this post is part two of a two-part post, so if you haven’t read the first one yet, make sure to check it out.
Again, this is a huge spoiler warning for all Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase Three movies, “Captain America: Civil War” through the most recent film “Avengers: Endgame.”
With that in mind, let’s just jump right in.
This movie takes place after we have already been introduced to the character of T’Challa, or Black Panther, in “Civil War,” during which his father is killed in a terrorist attack. The film “Black Panther” picks up with T’Challa preparing to take the throne over his technologically advanced nation of Wakanda.
He learns of a banished Wakandan called Killmonger who now seeks to overthrow him because of the evil things T’Challa’s father did as king. When T’Challa gets the chance to speak to the spirit of his father and all the kings before him, he chides them for keeping their medicine and technological advances to themselves over the years as well as banishing Killmonger.
It took a lot of guts for T’Challa to stand up to his role models and tell them all that they were wrong and cruel leaders. But he knew that the secret of Wakanda’s advances had to be brought to the world for healing to happen.
During my time at Cornerstone University, I have seen several individuals take the idea of standing up for what you believe in to great lengths, and I have been thrilled by how the Cornerstone community has supported those efforts both theologically and financially.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
There are so many nuggets of philosophy and knowledge in this movie (many of them spoken, ironically, by the titular villain Thanos) that I was not quite sure of where to start. If I was to try to find the overall theme of this movie, it would be about losing.
In this case, I’m not talking about loss in terms of absence or grief (though that’s not say that the characters in this film didn’t deal with that kind of loss because dear goodness, they did), I’m talking about failure. Unable to stop Thanos from wiping out half of the universe, our heroes failed for the first time ever.
I went into this film fully expecting the Avengers to come out the winners, waving their victory flag high, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know that that is not what happens.
The whole time I watched I was thinking to myself, “Why don’t the Avengers just pick themselves up and move forward?” Then I realized what the movie was trying to tell me: sometimes, you lose and you have to be okay with that.
I have had several times in my professional and college career where I have failed horribly at what I was hoping and trying to accomplish. Watching this movie again and again always reminds me that it’s okay that I failed and allows me to relate more deeply to the characters.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
What a humorous film this was to follow up the devastation and sadness of “Infinity War.” The plot hinges greatly upon the possibility of scientific explorer Hank Pym’s (the original Ant-Man) wife (the original Wasp) being alive after shrinking so small that her equipment shorted out, leaving her stranded in another dimension called the Quantum Realm.
In the first “Ant-Man” movie, Scott Lang (the current Ant-Man) goes to the Quantum Realm and manages to return safely, giving Hank hope that he can rescue his wife. After a full movie of attempting to figure out interdimensional travel, Hank succeeds and manages to save his wife.
Hank’s dedication to the woman he only thought could possibly be alive touched me and reminded me that love isn’t something you give up on. I had long summers of being separated from my now future wife during my time at Cornerstone, and whenever I would watch this film, it would remind me of how much she means to me and how special she is.
“Captain Marvel” fell a little flat for me because I felt that, overall, not a lot happened. It mostly seemed to be talking and backstory that fans already knew, but it still had something significant to say.
This one is a bit shorter and funnier, but I think one of the messages of the film was that trust can hurt sometimes, but it is important. In this film, we see a superpowered Carol Danvers working with a group of aliens called the Kree to track down evil shape shifters named the Skrulls. She eventually teams up with military strategist Nick Fury to capture the Skrulls, only to find out that the Skrulls are actually the ones who are being oppressed by the Kree.
Carol finds out that she has been lied to and manipulated for years, diminishing her trust others. However, she still has to rely on Nick Fury and one of her old friends for help, so she eventually learns to trust again. This movie is a great reminder to be careful with trust, but also to let yourself heal instead of closing yourself off when situations become difficult.
Unless you’re Nick Fury trying to trust Goose the Cat. That trust will cost you an eye.
“Avengers: Endgame” was the culmination of over 10 years of cinematic history, and it delivered. It is my favorite movie of all time, and that is because the movie touches on so many issues that are surprisingly human-focused despite the film being about intergalactic superheroes and aliens.
For the first part of the film, we see the Avengers go through the grieving process and struggle to move on from the events of “Infinity War.” As the movie continues though, Ant-Man discovers that traveling through the Quantum Realm could give them the ability to time travel and fix the events of the past. Tony, however, is unwilling to do so because he has a daughter now and does not wish to lose her in this mission. He eventually realizes he can have both and they go back in time to collect the Infinity Stones and defeat Thanos.
This movie taught me a lot about hope. Though in the real world it is impossible to time travel and change the past, it shows that eventually things do get better. However, for progress to happen, people have to act. If I want my life to improve, I need to batten down the hatches and continue to push forward.
If there is anything that Marvel movies teach us, it is that anyone can become a hero. A hero isn’t made in a test tube or born with superpowers, though that helps. A hero is created by one’s ability to continue moving forward and facing bigger and greater obstacles.
I would like to end this blog post with a speech from Captain America, spoken by Agent 13 in the movie “Captain America: Civil War”:
Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—no, you move.