Most of the people around here love Avengers: Endgame. It currently has an eighty-eight-percent positive rating with fans. It’s the culmination of twenty-one films over eleven years, and has, for the most part, been seen as a good film and a solid ending to the Infinity Saga.
The aftermath of the ending of Endgame is essentially a catastrophic natural disaster on a global scale, and also an emotional crisis for nearly every human on Earth. Why exactly?
1) The Earth Is Currently Wildly Unequipped To Deal With A Population Of Eight Billion People
I don’t mean our current planet, which is not-so-slowly burning beneath our feet. No, I mean the planet of Endgame where half of all beings were wiped out of existence five years earlier. Remember how in the days after Pearl Harbor nearly every person in the country had to mobilize because men were going off to war, and others needed to step in to fill their jobs? OK, now imagine that happening with half the people you know, overnight, and everywhere. Every single person who lived through the snap would go into work or a
shop store or a hospital, and only half the number of people who were supposed to be there would be. Think about going into your job tomorrow, and half of your coworkers aren’t there to do what they’re supposed to. For those of you not working at a non-profit, this is a brand new concept, and terrifying.
Of course, that was the horror that was wrought by Thanos, and not really the aftermath of Endgame. Only Endgame has been dealing with that fallout for five years. And judging by the still stranded cars littering the parking lots over in Scott’s daughter’s neighborhood, it’s still an ongoing process. That ongoing process would mean scaling back almost all infrastructure in order to accommodate the new population. Take something as simple as bus routes. While acknowledging that the economics behind his plan are suspect at best, let’s imagine that Thanos killed off half the bus drivers and mechanics in your city, meaning that we’re only able to operate half as many buses. Do you cut each bus route’s trips by half thereby increasing commuter times by one-hundred-percent? Or do you eliminate certain bus routes altogether, and forcibly move the people living in those areas? Now make that same decision for literally every commodity that a functioning civilization needs. Water, power, food. How do you address the fact that we now live in a world that is half as densely populated as it was designed for?
Now add back the full population.
Yeah. That’s a f*cking thing. After spending five years of actively shrinking infrastructures, the global economy, cities themselves, the world literally overnight has to accommodate a one-hundred-percent increase in population. To be fair, over the long term, this could lead to the fastest-growing economy the world has ever seen. But in the immediate aftermath, the weeks and months immediately after everyone “comes home,” things are going to be very, very bad. Oh, and about that “coming home” thing?
2) The Legal Ramifications Are A Nightmare
I’m guessing there might be a few of you readers who are thinking, “Well, sure, it might be difficult, but it’s not a disaster. People come home, they stay with family, they rebuild, we’re good.” Which is true, except for the fact that you’re legally dead now. And you’ve been legally dead for five years. And half the people in your city are going to be at the DMV tomorrow trying to get undead just like you.
So bring a book, I guess.
And it’s not just that you need to get undead. You also need to get back all of the stuff you had before you were dead. Wills have been executed, insurance policies have been paid out, bank accounts have been closed. If your city/state/federal government decided to forcibly resettle survivors into areas in order to deal with the decimated population, they might have given your home away (if not, probably no one has been doing basic upkeep on your house for five years so I hope you like yard work). And outside of legal questions, there are still a lot of basic bureaucratic questions that need to be answered. Do you still have your job? Is your company even still in business? If you were in school, are you still entitled to enroll in classes? And what about your spouse? You were legally dead. Is your marriage still valid? Speaking of:
3) Everyone Now Knows Exactly How Long It Would Take Their Loved Ones To Recover From Their Deaths
So Hawkeye lost his entire family, and that loss was devastating enough that he had to get some really terrible tattoos and start killing actors who should have had larger parts. But not everyone is going to go that path, right? There are going to be literally millions of people who lose friends, family or partners who pick themselves up and move on. And by “move on” I mean “move under … the new person they’re boning.” It’s been five years since half the world disappeared. That’s a more than fair amount of time for most people to mourn their lost loved ones, recover from the shock of everything, and move on to another person. There are undoubtedly marriages that have taken place since the Snap where one or both people lost spouses.
What the hell do you do with that?
Does this mean that all new marriages are annulled? Or that all of the previous marriages are considered as divorced? Do the individuals in each marriage get to decide on a case by case basis? In which case, Jesus Christ that’s rough. I mean, really try imagining what that would be like. For any of the people involved. How do you justify to either of the people to whom you were theoretically happily married why you’re now divorcing them. Worst. Break up. Ever.
And that’s just the practical side of the situation. Having to choose the person with whom you’re planning to stay married is one whole mindf*ck. The other is that you now know, with absolutely no uncertainty, exactly how long it would take you to recover from your partner’s death. Or for them to recover from yours. You ever wonder how people will respond to your death? Stop wondering that because now we all have concrete evidence of what really happens. And I’ve been mostly focusing on marriages, but this would apply to just about every relationship you have in your life. Like your parents might tell you that they’ll always love you, but does anyone really want to come face-to-face with the evidence (or lack thereof) of that? There’s also the existential hazard of how long you’d want your family members to grieve your loss. Ideally, most people would say that they want their friends and family to move on with their lives, but coming back to find your spouse has a four-year-old child would suck right? Like that’d just be a real kick to the nuts regardless of your nut-having status?
So basically what we have is a plan that overwhelms the entire planet with immediate and nearly incalculable need, a complete break down of most legal, governmental and bureaucratic systems upon which we’ve built all of society, and more personal crises of faith and divorces than your average Kardashian show. But on the plus side, I guess Tony Stark’s kid is kind of cute? So worth it? All of society might have been pushed to the brink of collapse twice within a five year period, but at least Tony’s daughter will grow up without her dad. Way to go, Avengers. You totally killed it.