09th May2019

‘Avengers: Endgame – The Official Movie Special’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Various | Published by Titan Magazines | Format: Hardback, 96pp

AEG_HardCover

So, who’s been with the Marvel cinematic universe from the start? I certainly have. I still remember back in 2008 dragging my wife to see Iron Man. Although it was a character I had always liked, hundreds of issues of Avengers and Iron Man can confirm that, I remember thinking it was a curious character to focus on first. It was certainly a hard sell for my wife. However 2 hours later, after an incredible performance by Robert Downey, we were both converts. I had the same misgivings with the first Captain America film, the character seemingly regarded as old fashioned to the public at large and also set in World War 2. Going to bomb, right? Nope. Chris Evans was as perfect a Steve Rogers as we could have wished for. We have had 11 glorious years, and 22 films, and it has all led to this, Avengers: Endgame.

As I have stated elsewhere, these movie specials can be regarded by a publisher in one of two ways. Either as a genuine companion piece to the movie, a printed souvenir programme of sorts, or a cheap, hastily put together cash-in. Fortunately, once you see the words Titan Magazines, you know you are in safe hands. Always packed full of tons of photographs, with a good mix of interviews, background information, and a few trade secrets or behind the scenes information. In short, all the things a fan would buy the special for. So what do we get for our money this time round?

We start with a really interesting interview with Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President, the person more than anyone who has been the architect of the cinematic universe. He outlines what their intentions were all along, starting with that Thanos cameo in the very first Avengers movie, and the fact they always wanted to adapt The Infinity Gauntlet comic by Jim Starlin and George Perez, even though people told them it was too grand, too big to do. Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, while complete movies in their own right, are the pay off for ten years of loyalty from fans. If Feige is even half as nice as he comes over in interviews, he must be a great guy. I love that he still has such great enthusiasm for the characters and movies too.

Of course, with this film, the people the fans most want to hear from are the big stars themselves. The Special does this in sort of a descending order of characters importance to the franchise, and perhaps importance to Endgame itself. We start with the big man himself, Robert Downey, followed by nearly as big Chris Evans, then Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, down to Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula. All talk, in a very spoiler free way, about their character’s, the journey they have been on, and what it’s like working with each other and on such a huge project. Nothing ground breaking here, but still nice to hear the actor’s own words and feelings. Scatter in a nice mix of publicity photos and film stills, and you have a nice feature making up the majority of the special. The final bookend feature is an interview with two of the other major architects of the MCU, Louis D’Esposito and Trinh Tran, which is interesting but goes over much of what Kevin Feige said earlier.

Another polished, professional movie special that hits pretty much all the marks for the diehard fan. My one little nitpick is a little feature on the comic books that inspired it would have been nice, as would a little feature on the set design/ costumes, which are amazing, or perhaps the special effects, equally impressive. Space being what it is though I guess they focused purely on the movie and actors, and on those grounds a fine job is done. The special gives you a little reminder why we have been on this journey with these characters, and why we will continue on with the characters that stick around past Avengers: Endgame (hey I know which ones, but you know, no spoilers here).

If you loved the film, which should be pretty much everyone, you’ll enjoy this. Think of it like a souvenir programme you would buy at the theatre after a performance, a nice memento of something you really enjoyed, and you won’t go wrong.

**** 4/5

Avengers: Endgame – The Official Movie Special is available at comic shops and all good bookstores; or you can order online at Amazon.

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