Spoilers! Here’s what happened to Captain America and Iron Man.
Avengers: Endgame kicks off its fourth weekend in release and if you still haven’t seen it, well, not sure why you’re clicking on this SPOILER-FILLED article. But if you have seen it (once or multiple times) and still have questions about its ending, we’re about to break it down and explain how it impacts the characters.
For even more Endgame coverage, check out our review, our rundown of every (truly) dead MCU character, all the Easter eggs, callbacks and references we caught, our explainer on the film’s rules of time travel. the Marvel villains who could be the next big threat, how Endgame cements Iron Man’s legacy in the MCU, what the directors had to say about that Loki theory, and where Endgame ranks among the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Captain America is Worthy of Mjolnir
Let’s pick up from the moment where Hulk Snaps the Vanished back to life, which leads to past-Thanos attacking the Avengers. A lot goes down during this fight, but one of the most significant moments is Captain America finally lifting Thor’s hammer. He could barely make it budge in Age of Ultron, so what changed? The going theory is that Cap couldn’t lift the hammer then because he was still holding on to the secret that Bucky killed Tony’s parents, but with Cap confessing in Civil War, he’s now worthy to pick it up. However, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has now revealed that Cap was worthy all along, even in Age of Ultron.
Iron Man’s Sacrifice
The battle finally ends when Iron Man executes his own snap to dust Thanos and his forces. Unfortunately, using the stones takes a heavy toll, and Tony Stark dies from his wounds.
Later at Tony’s funeral, we see all of the super heroes and everyone important to Tony’s life is in attendance, including Harley Keener, the little boy from Iron Man 3, now a teenager.
Tony is survived by young Morgan Stark, who certainly has inherited her father’s penchant for snarky comebacks and bucking authority. There’s a Morgan Stark in the comics, but it’s an adult man, Tony’s jealous cousin hellbent on stealing the family company out from under him. Suffice to say, it looks like the MCU’s Morgan Stark will chart her own path, and who knows, maybe one day wear the armor like her dear old dad.
Thor’s New Friends
As for Thor, he names Valkyrie the ruler of New Asgard on Earth and joins the crew of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor jokingly calls the team the “Asgardians of the Galaxy,” but that’s actually the title of a real comic book! It has a completely different cast, but it also follows a group of space-faring Marvel characters. It wouldn’t surprise us to see Chris Hemsworth continue to play Thor as a main character in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.
The Search for Gamora?
We glimpse Peter Quill scanning for what appears to be the 2014 version of Gamora. It looks like the Gamora killed by Thanos in exchange for the Soul Stone is truly dead, just like Black Widow. As the Hulk explained, apparently not even the Infinity Gauntlet can bring back someone who died in that way. Perhaps Guardians 3 will feature a quest to track down this past version of Gamora. The directors recently played coy on whether Gamora survived Endgame. Looks like that’s up to James Gunn to figure out.
Steve Finally Gets That Dance
As we all remember, Captain America: The First Avenger ended with Steve telling Peggy Carter that he’s “going to need a raincheck on that dance.” Now, after all these years, Steve is finally able to make good on his promise by going back in time to live out his life naturally with Peggy. Yes, the previously established rules of time-travel in Endgame make this ending pretty confusing, but the end result is that Steve is alive in the present as a senior citizen, fully content with having lived a long life with Peggy, except probably for the two weeks he had to sleep on the couch after off-handedly mentioning he made out with her great-niece. (The screenwriters recently confirmed that Cap is the father of Peggy’s children.)
Steve will probably be out of the MCU picture for the foreseeable future, but it’s worth pointing out that in the comics he was once drained of the super soldier serum, became an old man, and still stuck around as the director of SHIELD. He even became Captain America once more when he was rejuvenated with the Cosmic Cube, so there’s a precedent for how Steve could return to youthful, active duty somewhere down the line. (Not that the filmmakers can even agree on whether Steve created a branch reality or went back in time and stayed in the main MCU timeline, mind you …)
A New Captain America
Steve’s final gesture is to hand over the shield to his winged, crime-fighting partner Sam Wilson, who has also taken up the mantle of Captain America in the comics. Bucky served as Captain America for a time in the comics, as well, but it’s clear he approves of the shield going to Falcon in the movie. The new Disney+ streaming service will feature a show called Falcon & Winter Soldier, so perhaps the story will see them both trying to continue the legacy of Captain America. That way, we could get a chance to see them both wield the shield over the course of the series. In the meantime, read up on how Anthony Mackie found out he was the next Cap.
Speaking of Disney+, Hawkeye’s adventures will also continue in a new show. Now that he’s got his family back, he’ll be passing on the ways of the bow to a new Hawkeye named Kate Bishop.
And even though we didn’t see Vision reappear in Endgame, he’ll be starring in yet another Disney+ show alongside Wanda Maximoff called WandaVision. As we saw in Infinity War, it looked as though Shuri all but completed the download of Vision’s mind, so it’s possible Vision will be rebuilt at the start of the new show.
But there’s more! Another Disney+ show will feature Loki. All signs point to Loki still being dead in the main timeline, but the botched Tesseract heist did allow that past version of Loki to escape. Could that mean Loki is still alive out there? (Here’s why we think so.) It’s possible his series could show where he made off to. The Russos recently said Loki created a branch timeline when he made off with the Space Stone.
The Young Avengers
There’s not a Disney+ show or movie announced for the Young Avengers, but we couldn’t help but notice the stage is set for them to make their MCU debut. With Cassie Lang now a teen, she can suit up as the size-changing hero Stature, and Kate Bishop has also been one of their number, so it wouldn’t be a hard to introduce the rest of the gang to get the full team up and running.
All-Female Marvel Movie
The sequence of all the lady heroes banding together might be setting up the all-female Avengers team from the comics called A-Force. Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson said in an interview that there have been talks with Kevin Fiege about it, so it looks like it just might become a reality.
The Sound at the End Instead of a Post-Credits Scene
While we didn’t get any traditional post-credits scenes, Marvel did include a distinct clanging sound at the very end of the credits along with the company logo. It’s most likely the hammering of Tony Stark building his very first Iron Man armor in the cave all those years ago. Instead of setting up what’s coming next, Marvel chose to pay tribute to the fallen Iron Man by reminding us that this all started with him and now his story is complete. Or perhaps it’s a hint that someone else will soon be picking up the mantle (and hammer) and following in Iron Man’s footsteps?
The film’s editors have since confirmed the sound is an audio callback to the first Iron Man movie, which was Kevin Feige’s suggestion.
For more on Avengers: Endgame, check out our review, all the Easter Eggs, callbacks and cameos we caught, find out what Kevin Feige had to say about Marvel’s future plans and Disney’s decision to rehire James Gunn for Guardians Vol. 3, and watch our chat with the Endgame directors.