Avengers: Endgame — What Do the Heroes Do After They Retire?
This movie is shown in China two days before the United States.
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos sat on a lonely planet, with the cosmic sunset casting shadows upon his face of vicissitudes, half of it has been eroded by the power of the stones. However, he felt utterly relieved and at peace, like an old man who has gone away decades from an everlasting battle, who has completed his life’s work, a wild project misunderstood by most people on earth. He is an idealist, burdened with a broken dream he designed for mankind.
At the Avengers: Endgame, it is surprising to see after completing his plan, Thanos went to retreat in solitude, in a remote planet of his own, and began to explore his fun in farming and watering the gardens. Having abandoned everything for his dream, he is alone, as always, with no one left to care about. With his task completed, he will retire and go on contemplating the balance of the universe, if not waiting for his head to be chopped off.
It echoes a Chinese philosophical idea of taking off one’s armor and going back to the farmland, often used to describe retired soldiers. In the 14,000,605 of different scenarios and end results, we see a Buddhist perspective of endless reincarnations and karma, through which there is constant rivalries of the past and present, the just and evil. But when we see Thanos sitting there watering his flowers and cooking his own meal, there is hardly any recollection of his previous brutality. He truly believes what he does is for the greater good.
It then changes the fate of the Avengers’ heroes. Five years after Thanos’ death and half of the population erased for eternity, we came to see a different facade of those heroes, which reflect their true selves, other than the iron helmet and outstanding superpowers.
Steve is always Steve. It is no surprise that he would show up to some support group meetings, still doing his best to convince people that moving on is the best solution after a disaster. He would sit there, and listen to gay couples talking about changes in their lives, filled with a sense of despair, which is a hidden implication of his inclusive mindset. In fact, he believes people will move on, and the idea of getting together and sharing sad feelings is necessary. It makes people feel they are not so alone, all the tears shed from losing a loved one remind us of the 9/11 attack. Throughout the entire generation, Steve has served as the flagship of the American spirit, which makes him less personal of a character. Even after retirement, he would not give up on his mission of salvation just yet.
If there is one sentence I would like to spoil, that is “I love you 3000 times”. Sweet, Innit? Iron man has a daughter now, a little angel and she would keep her eyes wide open with curiosity, while her father dwells in the mysteries of quantum physics that might actually have a chance of saving the world. Every hero deserves a guiding light, an angel.
Tony Stark is most devastated by the failure more than anyone else, with his determination and maybe egoistic but yet selfless view of the world. Five years later, he chose to move on, with a family, wife and kids.
Unlike the other heroes, Natasha Romanoff doesn’t really have a personal family to come back to. In the previous series, she has either a past or flirt with several male characters, Steve, winter soldier, Hulk and Hawkeye. She is the old flame of the winter soldier, best friend of Hawkeye and the one who guides Steve into the beauty of the modern world. In the comic, she even has a daughter who was taken away from her when she was in the red room. Family, love and relations, none of those things really belong with her, or rather she wouldn’t sacrifice her career for any of them.
In the new film, she kept on striving to get the heroes together to guard the earth through video calls. She is built for this job, a Russian spy. She will keep doing what she does best.
“Couldn’t care less,” Thor said while giving the others’ evasive looks through his charming blue eyes when they mention the name Thanos. Years of binge drinking destroys his Greek god body. But his golden locks are still cute as ever. “You think I need salvation, but I’m happy here.” Rather than a god of Asgard, Thor now looks like a deserted child, who is more happy spending his time playing video games and hanging out with friends, than moaning over his deceased little brother and mother. You know, just hanging, telling exciting tales of chopping Thanos’ head off. Relieved of his burden to save the world, he sort of deserves this happily-ever-after, so carefree.
All the legends will retire one day. In the 14,000,605 of different ending scenarios, only one leads to hope and light, and that one is the living reality. Everyone, in the end, has to face this reality, whether you are a hero, a soldier or a god.
Featured photo credit to CNN.com