As the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has unfolded leading up to Avengers: Endgame, we've been treated to countless iconic moments. Some of the scenes fans have gravitated to are entirely original, solely the works of script-writers, directors and the actors. However, some of the MCU's biggest scenes are lifted from the source material, the Marvel Comics Universe.
Endgame is no different to its predecessors in this respect, not only crafting its own, unique moments, but also calling back and referencing some of the most important panels, set ups and set pieces from historic Marvel Comics arcs. Here, we break down the best homages from the MCU's biggest movie to date.
Possibly the most blatant pull from recent the comics came as part of Captain America's role in Scott Lang's aptly named Time Heist. In order to deceive the corrupt contingent of S.H.I.E.L.D. into handing over Loki's scepter, he uses his knowledge of Hydra's infiltration to make them believe he is also a sleeper agent. He leans in close to Jasper Sitwell, whispering "Hail Hydra" in a nod to the infamous panel in the lead up to Secret Empire, and his polarizing stint as Hydra Cap.
Another scene that seemed to take inspiration from the Avengers' comic history, was Scott Lang taking in his surrounding following the correction of The Snap. He walks out into a quiet place of the compound and is hit by a missile from Thanos' ship.
This calm belief that his friends had returned being undercut by a violent explosion echoes his end in Avengers: Disassembled. In the story, he sees his long-believed perished best friend Jack of Hearts outside the Avengers mansion. When he goes out with the intention of welcoming his friend back, Jack explodes, ending both their lives. Luckily, in Endgame, Scott managed to avoid shaking off his mortal coil in the missile explosion!
The next sequence that appeared to pull from a crossover arc from the comics was Captain America standing alone against Thanos' army. Outnumbered with his friends either incapacitated or trying to escape the rubble of the compound, Steve's shield is broken but he stands in defiance.
This is immediately shown to be a scene just like the final battle in Fear Itself, where Steve sends the other heroes away and stands against Cul Borson's armies alone. This event shows him to be a man of great courage, affording him the ability to wield Mjolnir, a feat he accomplishes in Endgame under near-identical circumstances.
When Steve receives his reinforcements, it's T'Challa, the Black Panther, who emerges first to signal the coming of the allies. This is reflective of his role in Secret Wars, where he emerged from the portal-like mirror artifact known as the Siege Perilous to reinforce the heroes against the tyrannical God-Emperor Doom. It's also important to note he arrives via one of Dr. Strange's portals, since Strange was also responsible for leaving the Siege Perilous to T'Challa in the comic storyline.
In Secret Wars, T'Challa actually wields the Infinity Gauntlet in the battle, which was given a slight nod when he took it from Hawkeye to run his portion of the relay in the final battle of Endgame.
TIME RUNS OUT
During the portion of the final battle where Thanos calls down an orbital bombardment, many of the heroes are forced to find cover. Out in the open, Rocket uses his body as best he can to shield Groot. Though nothing befalls the two Guardians of the Galaxy in Endgame, a similar scene in the comics was far more tragic.
In a story called Time Runs Out, the Ultimate Marvel Universe and the main 616 Universe face off in the final desperate conflict of a collapsing multiverse. Led by The Maker, the Ultimate forces assault the heroes in a similar fashion to Thanos' orbital bombardment. Rocket is seen making a final stand with Groot and the other Guardians, he is destroyed when a hole is punched through his chest by an energy blast.
HOUSE OF M
In Steve's ending, he is shown to be an old man who has finally lived the life he missed out on. While he visually looks like his old self from the period in the comics where he had his serum taken from his body by the villain known as The Iron Nail, his Endgame ending is actually more reminiscent of his House of M incarnation.
Trapped in an alternate reality, the heroes seek out Steve Rogers for leadership. What they discover is, in this universe, he never went into the ice, so all they find is an old man living a regular life in New York, collecting his morning paper.
COMIC CROSSOVER BATTLES
Finally, while not too specific, the entire final battle in Endgame was a striking reenactment of the biggest, grandest battles in Marvel Comics. While the airport scene in Captain America: Civil War and the battle of Wakanda in Infinity War came close to recreating that magic on the big screen, Endgame finally delivered on a battle visually comparable to the likes of Secret Invasion or Fear Itself. Giant characters stomping around, pockets of conflict telling smaller stories, and fighting that fully took to the skies as well as the ground, it looked like a living comic battle.
It's always great to see recognizable scenes from the comics in the MCU, and it's even more rewarding to see them used in different contexts, new angles and to subvert expectations. Endgame tastefully plucked aspects from the source material to portray its drama throughout.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.