Avengers 4 Title: What Does 'Endgame' Really Mean?

We're in the Endgame now.

Avengers Endgame
Marvel Studios

After months of speculation - and a lot of teasing from the Russo Bros - the title of Avengers 4 has officially been revealed as Avengers: Endgame.

The title reveal comes as part of the awesome first trailer for Avengers 4, and after so much wondering it still manages to live-up to expectations and work as a genuinely great title. But what does it actually mean?

The Comics

Unlike with Captain America: Civil War or Avengers: Infinity War, there's not an obvious basis for this title within the world of Marvel Comics. Or at least, not quite as overtly as they were.

There was, however, an issue of The Avengers from 1969 called Endgame. For the most part it's very different, with key characters including Black Knight, Kang, Yellowjacket, and Grandmaster alongside some of the Avengers we're used to.

The key similarity, though, is that it involves some of the Avengers being sent through time in order to combat a major threat. Since Avengers: Endgame is expected to include time travel, there is at least a very loose connection to the comics.

Doctor Strange's Tease

The obvious is that it relates directly to what Doctor Strange said in Avengers: Infinity War. He looked into the future and saw 14,000,650 possible outcomes of the battle against Thanos, only one of which the heroes win. By giving Thanos the Time Stone he sets that into motion, declaring "we're in the endgame now."

And so, too, are we. This is where Strange's plan is going to be fully revealed; where the Avengers initiate the plan to undo the snap and stop Thanos.

The End Of The MCU As We Know It

Endgame also refers to an ending for the Marvel Cinematic Universe too. Obviously, the MCU will continue - the Phase 4 slate is already taking shape, including Spider-Man: Far From Home (a trailer for which is also coming soon), Black Widow, The Eternals, Doctor Strange 2, and Black Panther 2. However, it's going to be markedly different from the one we've known the past 10 years.

It'll be different in terms of the stories it tells and how it tells them, with the line-up - and the rumoured movies - looking more cosmic and more diverse. But it's also going to be lacking at least a couple of big players, with Avengers 4 likely to be the final outing for both Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark and Chris Evans' Steve Rogers. It's the end of the Avengers as we know them, and the team - and the MCU - can't be the same afterwards.

At the very least, it's the Endgame for Phase 3, since this will close it out, and the end of the entire Infinity saga, which goes beyond Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, and right back to Phase 1 and that first Thanos tease.

The Tony Stark Reference

The word Endgame has also been used in the MCU before now too (as Simon pointed out here back in July, the clever clogs), with Tony Stark saying in Age of Ultron: "We're standing three hundred feet below it. We're the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the live long day but that, up there, that's the endgame."

What follows is an exchange between Tony and Steve, where the latter insists that, win or lose, they'll do it together. And that is the crux of Avengers: Endgame - it's about the original heroes coming together, one last time, to take on seemingly insurmountable odds and save the universe. That's the endgame.

What do you think of the title Avengers: Endgame? Let us know down in the comments.

Read Next: Avengers 4: Endgame Trailer Reactions - 8 Ups & 1 Downs

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TV Editor
TV Editor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.