Avengers: Endgame — In defense of Steve Rogers

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Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine/James Rhodey (Don Cheadle), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Spoiler Alert: This piece will definitively spoil Avengers: Endgame and the fate of Steve Rogers. It’s mainly focused on the literal end of Endgame, but will involve plot details from throughout the movie.

There are so many things to talk about regarding Avengers: Endgame —the hilarious moments, the one-liners, the sight gags, the battle scenes, the moments that continue to make me cry through repeat viewings, the heartbreaking losses, the mind-blowing visual effects, and the inexplicable way they organically fit so many characters in the story. So much to gush about. So much to excitedly rehash. So much to debate. However, it won’t be a discussion on any of those things, but Steve’s decision.

Steve Rogers made a decision at the end of Endgame that has proved controversial and divisive. Fans either love his ending or vehemently hate his ending. I avoided social media for a week prior to Endgame to avoid spoilers. The vitriol that is currently on Twitter about Steve’s decision has me considering logging back out again.

I’m going to breakdown the main concerns that I have heard expressed (forgive me if I haven’t heard yours yet, there are just so many) and explain why I loved the ending. It should be noted that going into Endgame, I fell firmly on the side of not wanting him to stay with Peggy in the past. The movie swayed me to the other side.

To Those That Feel They’ve Lost Their Hero…

Your feelings are valid. Your opinions are worthy of debate. You might be right and I might be wrong. What I’ll be offering is a way to look at Steve’s decision and find a way to recognize that things may not be as bleak and definitive as you think. Your hero made a choice that you don’t agree with. Understood. That doesn’t have to be a reason to write him off. Try to see the possibility of different meanings and interpretations of Steve’s decision. Fill in the missing scenes. Find a way to see him as the hero you wish him to be, despite your disagreements.

I Will Always Love Steve Rogers

I have a deep and abiding love for Steve Rogers. Specifically, the cinematic version brought to life by Chris Evans (who I also kinda love). I have never read a comic book, so my entire view of Steve Rogers is shaped by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Steve’s loyalty to his friends, his devotion to doing the right thing, his unwavering support of those who need him, his strong moral compass, his refusal to back down from a fight, and his passionate dislike of bullies are all factors in my love for Steve. He’s selfless and stubborn. Righteous and just. Break it all down, and my favorite thing about him is his desire and drive to be a good man. Steve Rogers came into my life when I needed something to believe in and he fulfilled that need. Steve Rogers will always be my hero. Endgame only reinforced that for me.

There are two things that I did not want to happen in Endgame.: Steve Rogers to die and for Steve Rogers to go back and stay with Peggy in the past. Only one wish came true. Steve was still standing after the final battle. What came after that is what sent a large portion of internet fandom bursting into flames of rage.

There seem to be three main complaints about Steve’s Decision:

1. Steve would not have abandoned Bucky.
2. Steve would not have altered Peggy’s life while allowing Bucky to be tortured by Hydra.
3. Steve truly belongs with “insert other characters here”.