Please stop asking where the Avengers are

Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Secret Invasion Episode 5.

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  • The ongoing question of why the Avengers aren’t in every MCU movie and TV show is a losing battle.
  • It is unrealistic and impossible to have every hero in every series or movie, so we should accept that not every story needs to be a team.
  • The need to constantly address the Avengers’ habitat leads to unnecessary revelations and unsatisfying reasoning, detracting from the overall enjoyment of the franchise.

Currently, 32 movies have been released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as well as 9 Disney+ shows and a number of off-shoots and loose iterations that sit within the franchise. Meanwhile, most of Marvel’s iconic superheroes have spent years in live-action, and the comics’ more obscure characters have become household names.

As the MCU reaches the halfway point of its fifth phase, now more than fifteen years since its inception, instances of inter-hero team-ups have expanded beyond the four Avengers. The film we have seen so far. Naturally, the audience (and by extension, the characters) will begin to wonder why every threat going forward isn’t covered by an existing Avenger, but it’s a question we can’t keep asking. Sometimes hand waving at unanswerable is acceptable, and straightforward, if Brie LarsonCaptain Marvel’s Captain Marvel is not occupied elsewhere in the continuity, these films will be much shorter.

Related: Zawe Ashton’s vengeful villain takes center stage in new ‘The Marvels’ trailer

Everyone likes to ask where the Avengers are

Tom Holland in Spiderman Far From Home
Image via Marvel Studios

The most famous example (and most often made into memes) is this example from Spider-Man: Far From HomeIn which Peter Parker dominates (Tom Holland) was recruited by a secret Skrull version of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smoulders) to solve the problem of elemental beasts that were concocted by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Understandably, after recently teaming up with the universe’s most powerful hero, Peter isn’t sure why he’s singled out for this. After all, he just met Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Captain Marvel, all will make quick work of the worst enemies of the day.

“Mr. Fury, this all seems like a big time, you know, kind of a big superhero, and, I mean, I’m just Spider-Man’s neighbor,” Peter pleaded with Fury. He has a point. Then he ran through a list of suitable – adult – substitutes. “And Thor?” he asked, to which Fury replied, “Out of this world.” The sound is possible. “Okay, um, Doctor Strange.” Maria Hill gave him a simple, “Unavailable.” Then, with raised eyebrows, Peter introduced “Captain Marvel!” Fury retorted sternly, “Don’t call her names.”

Hulk, Thor, Valkyrie, and Loki stand together on the bridge
Image via Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War A clash of teams that lack two extraterrestrial athletes, Thor and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — a pair of “30 megaton nukes,” false as General Ross (William Hurt) on it. After those events, half of the Avengers were forced to run while the other few were confined to the house. This is the MCU’s best-described example of a disbanded team, with the unpreparedness of our Avengers manifesting naturally from the plot’s logic. We can’t always have our script as the basis, however, for our character list. Sometimes — almost all the time, even — it’s best to just eat your popcorn and accept that this is a Spider-Man movie, not an Avengers-level event.

in Avengers: Endgame, we get what may be the only acceptable presence of the query in question when it is not answered by the plot. The universe has lost only half of all living beings, and a devastated list of the remaining Avengers gather to put their heads together and plan revenge against Thanos (Josh Brolin). Naturally, Carol Danvers was asked where she was all the time, and she just told them that there were many other planets that needed her help. Well, now we can move on. She packs a crazy amount of energy, and if she stays forever, they’re going to have to make excuses after excuses, which will be annoying at worst and illogical at worst.

Where were the Avengers during ‘Secret Invasion’?

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion
Image via Disney+

While we can look back at these times in the past, A secret invasion This is the time to solve the problem in the end. Until now, the series has been led by Nick Fury in a performance otherwise nothing close to Avengers, save for some supporting performances from Maria Hill and Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle). In addition to the Skrulls, we’re working with a cast of non-super-powered players, and that makes for an at least slightly grounded approach to the MCU’s post-Blip universe conflict. That is until we are reminded that all of this can be quickly fixed by a superhero or two.

in A secret invasionIn the last episode that aired recently, one of the characters had to ask this question again. Faced with the threat of extinction at the hands of the Skulls, Olivia ColmanSonya Falsworth’s Sonya Falsworth asked, “Fury, why don’t you call your special friend down?” Fury then utters the worst attempt to explain the problem the MCU has ever dealt with: “This is personal.”

“We can’t keep up with these superheroes to swoop in and save our asses,” Fury explained. Can’t you do it? Who said? You are facing the potential extinction of the human race, you should really depend on superheroes. That’s what they do! Even if it is beyond the point, though. The real answer is that you can’t have everyone in every show or movie. It doesn’t work; We got it. Please tell stories without reminding us of their limitations.

Not every MCU movie or series should be a team

eternal (most of them)
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The problem with the consistent need to inquire about the whereabouts of the Avengers is twofold. It goes for the audience as much as it does for the writer. At this point, when realizing the unrealistic nature of accounting for each hero ad nauseam, it is a losing battle for everyone. When the characters do it themselves, we are immediately removed from the mystery of what might happen, and the semblance of our suspension of belief disappears. We have to pause, remember that we are looking at production, and consider the budgetary and logistical constraints that make a constant team impossible.

From the audience’s perspective, it’s a have our cake (and eat it too) situation. We want a believable connection across the whole franchise, there is a lot of fandom that shows constant displeasure when something like: Eternal‘ The Celestial giant stone is not accepted, but we intend to be disappointed when the only answer can be a temptation through unnecessary revelations and, in the end, unsatisfying reasons. Never mind the fact that concerns about the behemoth stone reference have, for some reason, outweighed the more pressing question of the whereabouts of the Eternals themselves, a recurring issue that the MCU writers ignored until the right time.

It’s not that complicated — not everything can be a team. If we want to give ourselves a chance to accept the stakes for what they are and enjoy some schlock, it’s time to put away our pins and threads of yarn and address the need to keep the Avengers band on all the time.

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