The Infinity Saga is over. Thanos has boiled his last prickly pear and fingered his last Gauntlet. Veterans have retired or died, long-running stories are over and we're looking out towards a brave new world of mutants, Fantastic Foursomes and a whole new raft of characters. This was not a full-stop, but it is a pause point and the fact that the film wrapped up the first real Age Of The MCU offers an important point of reflection.
Most importantly, this is the end for some characters who have shaped the very fabric of the biggest franchise in the history of films. The benchmark for all expanded universes. The model that every studio will hope they can emulate even partly in their own futures. And those heroes deserve further celebration even beyond their impact on the box office.
The pain of Avengers: Endgame is still very real and there are still some very strong other feelings too (hello chonk Thor, call me.) So, before Marvel closes the book on Phase 3 with Spider-Man Far From Home, let's look back and work out exactly which one is best...
22. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Back when Kenneth Branagh revealed he wasn't going to return for the first Thor sequel, it genuinely looked like great news when Marvel pulled Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor out of the bag to replace him. That's not quite the whole story, of course, because they initially replaced him with Patty Jenkins, but she left acrimoniously (and took Natalie Portman's MCU positivity with her) and apparently used some of her ideas for Wonder Woman. See what we could have had, Marvel?
Instead what we got was the product of way too many cooks as Taylor was - by his own reckoning - not given enough creative freedom and the studio refused to loosen their hold on the film. So, in the end, The Dark World is painfully dull with a Doctor Who monster-of-the-week baddie and none of the welcome theatricality of Branagh's original. Despite good points - Loki, mostly - it's just a slog.