The last few weeks have been kind of hectic here at the World News Center. We moved into a new casa, had all of the problems that come with that (were the fuck did we pack the spatula!?!), plus had obligations to our church and the general responsibilities of day to day existence. Suffice it to say there wasn’t much free time. That lack trickled down, as all bad things do. In this case it led to me not having time to write fun stuff for you to read. All was not lost, however, as I was able to still perform my weekly duties on WBIG 1280 AM for The Big Wake Up Call. And, as a bonus, I managed to confuse some people.
Sorry about that fellow humans.
So I thought I’d return to the typewriter and see if I could clear up some things. Not all things, that is beyond me, but some.
First, some easy stuff; Captain Marvel has nothing to do with Wonder Woman and people should stop comparing the two. You can compare Batman and Iron Man, two billionaires with lots of issues. You can wonder why there are churches in a universe where gods, literally, walk among us. You can do lots of things. But comparing two superhero movies just because they happen to star women is silly. It’s like comparing “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with “Shaft” just because they both star black men who are trying to succeed in a white dominated world.
Captain Marvel was built around the premise of empowering young women, Wonder Woman was aimed at adults. Carol Danvers, a/k/a Captain Marvel, overcame all her obstacles, and the obstinate prejudices of men, before she gained her powers. Diana Prince, a/k/a Wonder Woman, is the daughter of a god.
Both are excellent movies. Go see them, enjoy them, and then wait for the sequels.
As for the whole sub-set of “Feminazi” rants, no one walked out of any of the Thor movies whining that there was too much testosterone and children needed to be shielded from his rampaging masculinity. The world doesn’t need to only represent white men with limited vocabularies. If you can’t handle cinematic depictions of strong women then you probably shouldn’t attempt to work at a real job or ever leave your parent’s basement. In fact, you might want to eschew the whole internet thing. You could be too sensitive to handle it.
Nah, forget “could,” I can guarantee you are.
Now, on to the fun stuff, the time travel points that make up Avengers: Endgame. The whole, go back and kill your grandpa to prevent you from happening myth doesn’t really work. Think of it this way, time is a river too wide to see across. You travel backwards on that river to make a change and it’s like dropping a pebble in the massive river. Yes, there will be ripples, but the main body of water (time) continues to flow unchanged.
Scott Collura, over at IGN, does a nice job of spelling it all out.
Time Travel Doesn’t Work That Way!
Eventually “Professor” Hulk comes in to help figure out how to use Scott’s discovery to send the Avengers back in time. And while everyone has their own idea of how to go about the mission, Banner reminds the group that time travel doesn’t really work the way it does in movies such as Back to the Future or The Terminator (or Time After Time or Somewhere in Time or Timecop…). War Machine suggests just going back in time and killing Baby Thanos, a twist on the old killing Baby Hitler concept, but again, that’s “movie time travel.” Or so we’re told.
According to Banner, you can’t just go back in time and change the past in order to alter the future. Because the future is already your past! You can’t change the future, because if you did, you wouldn’t be the same version of yourself who time-travelled in the first place to make that change. See, it’s confusing.
Instead, any change to history will create an alternate, or divergent, timeline. Say you did kill Baby Thanos. That wouldn’t affect the Thanos in the MCU timeline that already saw him cause the Decimation. Instead, it would just create a parallel reality where Thanos died as a baby. But the world of our heroes would remain unchanged. So what to do then?
Here’s where we get to the time heist, as Tony Stark can’t help himself and basically figures out how time travel works when he has a few hours of spare time one evening. He joins his old teammates, who have been kinda/sorta getting there, though Scott Lang narrowly avoids being permanently turned into a child/baby/old man in the process, and definitely wets himself along the way. The Hulk is smart, but Stark is needed for this one.
Soon enough, the plan is hatched to send three teams back to various points in time/space in order to retrieve each Infinity Stone from a time before Thanos had them. The Avengers will then take them back to their present time of 2023 (five years after the Snap) and use them to undo the Decimation with a new Snap. But as the Ancient One explains to Banner during the Battle of New York back in 2012, removing one of the Stones from their timeline will cause said timeline to splinter off into the divergent realities mentioned above. The Stones being together, presumably in the same time if not in the same specific place, keeps the timeline intact. That’s why, once the Avengers finish undoing the Decimation in 2023, they must return the Stones to the exact moments they took them from the past. That way the Stones will not truly leave their respective past points, and hence not alter the timeline.
And that’s what Captain America apparently does with each of the Stones at the end of the film, returning them to their rightful places in the past. Though he takes a 70-year break or so along the way.
Then we cry and go home.
To their credit, actually using real science in something as esoteric as a superhero movie was a bit of a gutsy move. It isn’t like fans of capes and cowls are exclusively quantum theory experts. Many are, but they aren’t the majority of fans. Most people just like watching things go boom and then making sure the heroes win.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed all of them and plan on seeing the millions more that will surely follow. I know I did and will.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.
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