Whales on the Hudson

I needed a bit of perking up the other night so I rewatched Ant-Man & The Wasp, one of the Marvel movies that is funny, fun and above all really well done. I liked it then and I like it now. Job done.

The next night I thought I’d continue this with Avenges Endgame, remembering that the middle section, the “Time Heist”, was a lot of fun and the whole thing very well made. Somehow I forgot that the first half hour or so consists of the world dealing with the fallout from the previous Avengers movie where [spoiler] the big bad guy vanished half the population of the universe with the snap of his finger. We join our heroes five years later in a world which is still mourning this sudden decimation while dealing with the new reality. Steve Rogers (Captain America) is leading therapy groups to help people adjust. Nat (Black Widow) is co-ordinating what’s left of the Avengers and trying not to break down. In a pivotal scene, Steve tries to lighten the mood and mentions he saw whales in the Hudson river. There’s less shipping and pollution now so animals are coming back. Nat shuts him down. Don’t try and make me feel good about this genocide.

Yesterday Fiona wrote about how the birds in our street are getting bolder now people aren’t outside as much.

A year ago the idea of millions of people suddenly vanishing was pure sci-fi, whether it was in fluffy nonsense like Marvel’s Avengers franchise, or chin-strokey prestige-TV nonsense like HBO’s Leftovers. Plus any number of zombie and zombie-adjacent efforts.

It’s a great thought experiment that lets you see how characters and their societies might react to sudden and irreparable change. It’s a bit odd, to say the least, when you find yourself reacting to something hopefully not too similar, and certainly not so sudden, but certainly analogous.

Of course the Avengers saved the day, and all was OK, but… sheesh.