Longtime fans of Marvel’s Avengers comics couldn’t believe their eyes when they sat down to watch the conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - it looked like a comic come to life. The comic book inspirations for Avengers: Endgame didn’t come from a single storyline or event; they were culled from decades of source material and masterfully adapted. In many ways, Endgame is a celebration of both the MCU and the lengthy history of Marvel Comics before it.
The rabid MCU fanbase is already on the hunt for the multitude of Easter eggs strewn about Avengers: Endgame and they’ve already identified dozens. Only dedicated readers, however, will recognize and appreciate just how many scenes in Endgame got ripped directly from the pages of Marvel Comics, including a few of the most thrilling, Infinity Gauntlet-wielding moments.
Captain America Lifts Mjolnir
In a film filled with epic moments, nothing is as awe-inspiring as Steve Rogers lifting Mjolnir - and proceeding to use it to combo the heck out of Thanos. Fans had predicted and hoped for this ever since Captain America entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe because it’s happened frequently in the pages of Marvel Comics.
Cap has lifted Thor’s hammer on multiple occasions, both in and out of continuity, including in Fear Itself #7, in which he also uses Mjolnir to take on an invading army. In this case, Rogers is making his stand against Thor’s evil uncle and his army instead of the hordes of Thanos.
Iron Man Wields The Infinity Stones
There likely isn’t a dry eye in the house when Tony Stark makes his sacrifice play in Avengers: Endgame, using all six Infinity Stones to snap Thanos and his army out of existence and giving up his life in the process. The Stones - or Infinity Gems as they were originally known - have a much lengthier history in the annals of Marvel Comics than they do in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they’ve been wielded by a large number of individuals, including Iron Man himself.
In Avengers Vol. 4 #12, Stark uses a custom Infinity Gauntlet to end the overambitious schemes of C-lister the Hood. Unlike MCU Tony, this Stark suffers no ill effects from his use of the cosmic objects, as the comic book Infinity Stones don’t come with the same dire consequences as their cinematic counterparts.
Cap’s Shield Gets Shattered By Thanos
A few seemingly momentous events in Marvel Comics happen so often that they’ve become tropes. The breaking of Captain America’s shield is one such occurrence. Steve Rogers’s supposedly indestructible shield has been shattered numerous times in the comics at the hands of various villains, including the same individual who busts it in Avengers: Endgame.
Thanos’s storyline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heavily informed by the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, and that includes his final confrontation with the heroes of Earth. In Infinity Gauntlet #4, Captain America makes a brave solo stand against the Mad Titan amid an epic conflict, and this time, Thanos doesn’t need a sword to smash the iconic object.
Black Widow Sacrifices Herself For Another
One of the most devastating moments in a film full of tragedy is Natasha Romanoff’s self-sacrifice to allow Clint Barton to retrieve the Soul Stone. The Black Widow ends up slain on the surface of Vormir, just as Gamora does in Infinity War, and just as Natasha herself does in Secret Empire #7.
In the course of the crossover, Black Widow finds herself leading an insurgency against a HYDRA-fied version of Captain America and ends up laying her life down to save a teammate. This time around, it's Miles Morales - not Hawkeye - Widow sacrifices herself for, getting in the way of a terminal blow from Evil Cap’s shield and having her neck broken.