For those of you who may not know a lot about me, I would like to let you in on a secret: I love Marvel more than I love most things.
I grew up reading comic books and learning fact after fact about all things Marvel related. To this day, I can probably tell you exactly how characters reacted in situations in the comics as compared to the movies. That brings me to the thing I hold most dear about Marvel: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The movies have meant an incredible amount to me as I’ve grown older, both because of their dedication to accurate character representation and because of the moving and inspiring lessons present in these works of art. Since I have arrived at Cornerstone University, I have been present for every Marvel movie released for Phase Three, which consists of “Captain America: Civil War” all the way to “Avengers: Endgame.”
Each of those movies taught me a lesson that I have been able to take to heart in my personal life while at college, so allow me to show you what the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has taught me during my time at Cornerstone.
Spoiler Warning for what lies ahead, as I will be openly discussing all of the Phase Three movies in the MCU. We’re in the “Endgame” now.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
“Captain America: Civil War” was an emotional time for fans that had followed the movies up until that point. Our two favorite heroes, Captain America and Iron Man, were at opposing ends of a new government policy that would lead superheroes to be bound under governmental approval to act, with Iron Man taking the side of the government.
By the end of the movie, the Avengers are left to choose sides, Cap and Iron Man’s friendship lays as shattered as Cap’s shield and half of the characters we know and love go into hiding. This movie came at a defining point in my life when I was struggling with the fact that I didn’t feel as close to some of my friends as I used to.
College made me busier than I had ever been in my life, and because of that I never found time to hang out with some of my old friends. They started to find friends of their own and I was left in the dust. There was a time when that made me really upset, but the movie helped remind me that sometimes when friends drift apart, it isn’t because they stopped caring about each other.
Now we’re on to one of my favorites. Doctor Strange has been one of my favorite superheroes for a long time. Maybe I just like the idea of a superhero that can perform magic and see the future, but his character as a whole is something I relate to a great deal.
Strange goes from being a competent—though extremely cocky and arrogant—surgeon to a man lost in a really dark place when his reckless driving damages his hands and effectively destroys his career. He throws away his fortune trying expensive new procedures and ends up broke and alone.
After spending his last dollar on a one-way plane ticket to some experimental treatment, he meets sorcerers who teach him the art of magic, and so he gains enlightenment on his past. He no longer needs money or fame to be fulfilled, and that’s a lesson I hope to take with me as I graduate and head into my career.
Money is important because it allows you to take care of your family, but if there’s anything that Doctor Strange has taught me, it’s that money isn’t everything and I should still pursue what I love to do, even if it doesn’t always make the biggest paycheck.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is the follow-up to the first “Guardians” movie in which a ragtag gang of intergalactic thieves and mercenaries join forces to become a team worthy of defending the galaxy.
You would think with their big personalities and the troubled pasts between them that the team would find each other impossible to work with, but they all have something in common: none of them have a family. Throughout the course of the movie, the leader of the group named Peter meets his true father, Ego, who he begins to reconnect with after finding that a criminal named Yondu, who raised Peter, stole Peter away after Ego hired him to retrieve Peter from Earth.
However, once Peter and his friends find out that his father is a power-hungry alien bent on expanding his control over every galaxy and that he has killed all his other children in this quest, the Guardians have to destroy Ego to save the world. During this fight, Yondu is killed just as Peter realizes that Yondu was his true father all along because he is the one who raised him.
Through this loss, the Guardians grow closer together as a family even though, just like the relationship between Yondu and Peter, they are not related by blood.
I have met so many friends here at Cornerstone that, over the years, have turned into family for me. These are people I couldn’t imagine my life without and who I never would have met if I had not come to Cornerstone. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” taught me to love these friends like the family they have become.
Almost everyone and their grandmother knows the story of Spiderman, which is why this movie focuses more on the villain.
Throughout “Spiderman: Homecoming,” we see a villain named the Vulture steal equipment and weapons to sell on the black market after his business is unintentionally put under by the efforts of Tony Stark (Iron Man). We eventually come to understand this villain as a sympathetic man stealing to provide for his family so they won’t suffer from his bankruptcy.
Believe it or not, this taught me a bit about how to minister to people in my time here at Cornerstone. It showed me that whatever people look like on the outside, they are all struggling with feelings on the inside and may need someone to walk alongside them to help resolve those feelings. Spiderman tries to help the Vulture, but the Vulture ultimately rejects it and Spiderman is forced to stop him.
“Spiderman: Homecoming” reminds me that people may be fighting battles I know nothing about and has helped me make many friends during college by not judging a book by its cover.
In the third film in the “Thor” trilogy, we see our titular hero Thor left to deal with what remains of Asgard as his father Odin dies and a new threat (his recently discovered sister, Hela) comes to challenge Thor for the throne.
Thor had always found his purpose in the commands and approval of his father and must decide what his destiny will be from this point on. It always manages to remind me of when I made the decision to switch majors.
I felt called at an early point in my life to be a youth pastor and it was one of the reasons I chose to attend Cornerstone in the first place. But when I got to college, I found myself drawn towards a different major altogether: communications.
I discovered then that nobody else could make the choice to change majors for me and that, with the guidance of God, it was up to me to choose my own destiny. “Thor: Ragnarok” is a constant reminder of that.
If I were to write about every Marvel movie in Phase Three in one post, you would be here reading for an hour. So, I’m going to pull an “Infinity War” and snap 50% of this post to next week! See you then!