The Avengers | A Seven Year Comparison
In the aftermath of The Avengers: Endgame trailer Annlyel explores the evolution of earth’s mightiest heroes…
With the arrival of Avengers: Endgame‘s trailer (yay, we know the name) we can rest soundly knowing that we have finally seen footage of the film, no matter how slight that may be. The teaser did a great job displaying the six original Avengers, showcasing their sorrowful emotions and really nailing the idea that the Infinity Snap was a heartbreaking development. In fact, to see The Avengers in such a depressing fashion is rather jarring from their original heroic statuses. So, to give you an even greater insight into how these characters have changed let’s look at their storylines in The Avengers and where they are now.
Bruce Banner a.k.a The Hulk
In The Avengers Bruce Banner wasn’t ready to be a hero. He had hidden away in Calcutta, acting as a simple doctor to help the poor. It wasn’t until Natasha Romanoff recruited him that he returned to the world to help aid Nick Fury in the fight against Loki (yeah, remember when the greatest threat to Earth was Loki?)
In The Avengers he tried to suppress his inner monster and ended up failing miserably, nearly killing Black Widow in the process. Feeling ashamed of the destructive alter-ego he wanted to escape The Hulk’s influence in his life but when the need arose when The Avengers needed him to become The Hulk he was willing to become the beast to save the world. He was viewed as a hero rather than a villain and he became a little less ashamed of the beast within.
Fast forward to the present and Bruce Banner is having quite the conundrum. When at one time he would’ve loved nothing more than to not be able to turn into The Hulk his current situation calls for him to become the gigantic-green-rage-monster, but he can’t! The Hulk has retreated into a tiny cubbyhole within Bruce Banner and he won’t come out after that beatdown he endured from Thanos.
Hopefully, when his friends need him the most, The Hulk will reemerge to save the day.
By the time of The Avengers Iron Man had already had two standalone films highlighting his bombastic nature. That aspect of his personality was still on full display in The Avengers as he refused to follow the rules and didn’t get along splendidly with his fellow Avengers. But his unwavering heroism was also front and center as he saved New York by taking the nuclear missile into space, destroying the Chitauri army in the process.
Throughout the years that selfless side of him that comes to life in only the direst of moments has been seen time and time again but as is clear from the trailer his luck is running out fast. He will undoubtedly team up with The Avengers again to face Thanos but it very well may be the last time he ever suits up for battle again. If so, well, make sure to bring plenty of tissues to the movie theater because there will be plenty of waterworks.
When Thor joined The Avengers he was still discovering himself as a warrior of Asgard. At the time his biggest concern was bringing Loki (who he thought was dead) home for trial.
Now his concerns are much greater. He’s lost his hammer but thankfully it was replaced in Avengers: Infinity War. His golden mane is no more. He lost an eye but, thanks to his friend, Rocket, he was given another one of a different color. He lost his best friend in his mischievous brother Loki due to Thanos. And, when he had the chance to kill Thanos, he didn’t, leading to the snap that would change the galaxy.
His dejection is seen plainly in the trailer and one can only feel sorry for the guilt that he has to endure.
Black Widow, in the days of The Avengers, was still very much a mysterious character. At the time she was the only female superhero in the MCU and she definitely wasn’t given an extensive storyline to catch a grip on. Hints of her darker past were revealed in the film but beyond that, she was just one of the Avengers set to protect the world from Loki and his tyrannic ambitions.
Now she is a completely different person. She isn’t treated as just a pretty face. She has become a leader whose level of importance is equal to that of Captain America’s. Her hair has changed from the classic red to a blunter blond and her attitude is sterner than it once was.
At one time Black Widow was the flirtatious spy whose participation in the films was to be mere eye candy. Now she is a character who isn’t used for an excuse for romance or anything of that nature. She is a veteran Avenger who will stop at nothing to save the galaxy and defeat Thanos.
Hawkeye (Now Ronin)
Clint Barton in The Avengers was having a rough time. For half of the movie, he was under Loki’s influence, causing havoc for those at S.H.I.E.L.D and blindly fighting his friends. After he was cured he helped The Avengers in the Battle of New York. While he wasn’t given much of a storyline until Avengers: Age of Ultron it was clear that he would turn out be a vital member of The Avengers.
He was MIA in Avengers: Infinity War but thanks to the Avengers: Endgame trailer that dropped today it’s clear that Mr Barton has been busy while we’ve been away. He is now under a new alter-ego, Ronin, and judging from the pained expression on his face he’s probably lost his beloved family due to Thanos’s Infinity Snap. Clint Barton has never been one to ever be consumed by hatred or anger but it seems that isn’t the case anymore. The rules have changed and when Ronin gets his crack at Thanos it isn’t going to be pretty for the maniacal Titan.
By the time of The Avengers, Steve Rogers had already been through a lot. He had been frozen in ice for over half a century and brought back to life in a world he didn’t know. When the threat of Loki arrived imagine how he felt having to fight a threat as different and, well, alien as the Asgardian and his army. But he took the transition very well and while he didn’t exactly get along with his fellow Avengers that well at first it wasn’t long before he was able to appreciate the heroes that stood alongside him.
Fast forward to now and Steve Rogers has faced so many more trials since then. He has singlehandedly dismantled S.H.I.E.L.D after realizing it had been infiltrated by his worst enemy, HYDRA. He lost Peggy after she died from old age. He lost his friendship with Tony Stark after a terrible truth that he had decided to keep secret. He became a fugitive, forced to live in hiding and save lives, illegally. And then, once he finally came back to the fray of being an Avenger, the battle against Thanos was lost and his best friend, a newly cured Bucky, paid the price.
Not often do we see Steve Rogers shed a tear but to see the patriotic hero with tear streaks on his face shows the extreme sorrow left behind after Thanos’s destructive snap.
These six characters whose problems were one-time menial compared to now are facing the greatest challenge in their lives. Will they prevail? Who knows. Will there be losses? Most definitely. Not much can be determined from the trailer but one thing the teaser did highlight heavily is that this movie is going to be 20x direr (and depressing) as Infinity War simply by the expressions on their face.
So like I said before, make sure to bring to plenty of tissues to the premiere because this film is going to be quite the doozy.
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Annlyel James is a Senior Correspondent of The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter where she channels the Force frequently!