January 26, 2023

In this episode, Kurt, Chris, and Corey Latta discuss Avengers: Endgame. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!

Listen to “Episode 148: Avengers: Endgame” on Spreaker.

Well, a good day to you. And thanks for joining us here on another episode of veracity hill where we are striving for truth on faith, politics and society. So nice to be back in the saddle this week. Last week, we were at the discovering truth conference at the village church of dire in dire Indiana, and we had about 200 people come to that conference. It was a wonderful event. I want to thank the village church of Dyer and for the village church of Oak Park for partnering and sponsoring with us for that event. And it’s just wonderful to see so many people interested in learning more about apologetics, getting an update on say archaeological discoveries and from Ted right and to hear sort of the case for the resurrection. from Dr. Michael Licona. was great to have Mike here. Also, we stuck around and recorded some episodes for the risen Jesus podcast this past weekend. So it was very fun to do that. But very nice to get things back to normal here. And today’s program. This is the first spoiler warning major spoiler warning. We’re going to be talking about Avengers endgame and what that means for the Christian to be thinking about art and the imagination. And honestly, we’ll probably just be nerding out a little bit on today’s show as well. Talking about art I see our guest is already smiling. Chris is smiling. Chris is going to be chatting with us for sure. Today, Chris is big film guy. And in fact, no Marvel movies have been in his top 100 films, except maybe this one. So we’ll we’ll talk about that as well. If if you are interested in chiming in, I will be keeping tabs on the comments online. You can also text in through our texting program, text the word veracity to phi phi 5888. And you’ll be subscribed to our free texting plan free for you. And it’s just a great way for folks to chime in ask questions. We do have a question later on. Towards the end of the program I’ll be answering someone submitted a question about about ethics and brute facts and those types of deep philosophical questions. So a little bit more of a fun episode today, but still thoughtful nonetheless. So without further ado, let me introduce to you our speaker. He’s been on our program a couple times before His name is Cory Latta. He is a writer, teacher, and public speaker. He holds a couple of MA’s. MA in religion and in English. And he earned his PhD in 20th century literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and yes, he has a southern accent. At least for us northerners he might say we have a northern accent. He is the author of several books. And one of the most recent ones is CS Lewis and the art of writing. He serves as a teaching pastor at Christ Church and director of spiritual formation at Sage Hill counseling in Memphis, Tennessee. Corey, very nice to see you. Thanks for coming on the program today.

Corey: Thanks, Kurt. Great to be here.

Kurt: Now, the last we spoke that last portion of your bio is sort of something new that you’ve been up to spiritual formation. Tell me a little bit about that.

Corey: Yeah, so long story short, is I’m now pursuing, a I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m pursuing another Master’s degree in counseling. And spiritual formation is obviously a long standing tradition in the Christian faith that really has to do with. So the way I see it is kind of the merging of theology, philosophy of Biblical studies with devotion, how those truths are lived out in a devout Christian life. So I’m … as I’m working on this counseling degree to be a LPC, a licensed professional accountant, professional counselor, I am incorporating and sort of molding a spiritual formation practice, which I think is a pretty essential part to what it means to be, you know, healthy, mentally and emotionally. So, yeah, I could say I could say more, but that’s the that’s the direction I’m kind of headed in now. And it’s been a really good kind of conduit for my background and literary studies and theological studies, to sort of understand the human condition from a neurological and relational perspective. I think it’s pretty important to how we’re formed and how we live our lives out spiritually.

Kurt: Yeah. And you are just the eternal student forever. So who knows, maybe in a couple of years, you’ll go on and get some PhD in something else, mathematics or some I don’t know, I don’t know about that. But…

Corey: I can assure you I am too like my mentor and heroes, CS Lewis to ever go that route, that will never happen.

Kurt: Great. Well, I know you are a big, … you’re a film critic of sorts. And you certainly are a Marvel fan. And so I wanted to invite you on as we break down the show today, again, another major spoiler warning, if you don’t want endgame spoiled for you, just stop listening, stop watching. If you have seen it, and you want to hear more about our thoughts, things that maybe we caught that you didn’t, or if maybe we missed something, and you want to tell us, please comment on the live stream. But…

Corey: We should say too that the Russo brothers themselves said that the expiration date for spoiler warnings has officially passed.

Kurt: Yes.

Corey: So we’re gonna sort of let fly. I feel like

Kurt: Yes, we can. But I want to still respect some people, you know. So I’m just saying that a couple times now, before we really get into it. So maybe before we start really spoiling stuff, all right, Chris, let me ask you this. So no Marvel movie has made it into your top 100?

Chris: Correct.

Kurt: I mean, maybe you’ve just seen loads of movies. Maybe we have different formulas? I mean, clearly, you know, for me, I certainly have at least a couple in my top 100. But you don’t. So why, at least up until this point. Hasn’t that been the case?

Chris: Well, even though the Marvel Cinematic Universe is very large and vast, and that’s actually contributing to why some of them aren’t, is you’ve had different directions and stories and direct doors take over different intellectual properties within the what 11 year span that this has been the MCU has kind of existed and formed itself. Yep. So a lot of those films are solid films. But a lot of them are not some of them are mediocre. And a couple of them are just bad.

Kurt: Yeah.

Chris: So the ones I have not seen all the films in the MCU. But the ones I’ve seen have had that mixture of I would go and spend the money and most of the time, I’d felt like I got my money’s worth for that film. So just because the film isn’t in my top 100

Kurt: Yeah,

Chris: …doesn’t mean it’s a bad film, it just means that there are at least 100 films that I think are better than that film. That’s that’s the preface and that what people need to remember you because you can’t fit all your films in a top 100 slot. You can only put 100.

Kurt: This is true.

Chris: Yeah. So there’s a lot of competition for…

Kurt: …and for you being, you know, a multimedia guy, you really you know, you look at like editing probably a lot more carefully than other people do.

Chris: Right, because editing and storytelling are very closely linked together. So a lot of good films, not all of them, but a lot of them the editing and the storytelling will be superb. So some of my top 10 films, the acting or even the budget or the set pieces, or graphical CGI effects will be pretty flawed. But the story will be phenomenal and audiences will forgive you a lot as a filmmaker if your story is superb.

Kurt: For those wondering what type of magician Chris is with video editing… Even during this livestream, while he’s talking to me, he’s switching the camera angles. So he’s just really multi…

Chris: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Corey: Did any superhero movie from the DC Universe, maybe some sort of indie production company make it into your top 100?

Chris: Yes. The there’s at least two I think I know in my top 30 Is Man of Steel. is okay. And I guess, I guess Yeah, Batman is DC. So Dark Knight is number 10.

Corey: Okay,

Chris: and I think his … I think Dark Knight Rises is much lower down the scale, but it’s in there as well.

Kurt: And even then, that was before they created the universe.

Chris: Right.

Kurt: Christopher Nolan film, So yeah, I like Man of Steel too except for the ending just way too much CGI, the fighting. But otherwise, I liked the vast majority of it.

Corey: I thought it was very misunderstood and mis critiqued. But I loved it.

Kurt: At any rate. All right. That’s enough of DC. We’re gonna start talking about endgame now. Oh, gosh, where to start? Where to start? Okay, so All right. Well, we could start at the very beginning. Hawkeye, Clint Barton cold open, cold open. Yeah. Really. And it’s a different Marvel opening to you know, then what they’ve done before. Basically, what happens is, you know, his entire family is snapped up in Thanos snap again. If you haven’t seen endgame and you want to go see it, stop watching. All right. They were actually going to … from what I’ve read online, the Russo brothers, we’re going to put this at the end of Infinity War and have that scene be the ending.

Chris: Right.

Kurt: Um, but then …


Corey: I’m glad they didn’t.

Chris: Yeah, agreed,

Kurt: Right, because it’s a lot you don’t forget, you know, after a year why he would become a raging assassin,

Chris: Right, it gives him great motivation for the spot he’s in as a character.

Kurt: Yeah… he becomes. Ronin right as the comic equivalent.

Corey: Yes,

Kurt: Corey is gonna be my encyclopedia,

Corey: He becomes Ronin, you know, that didn’t give Ronin a whole lot of airtime. And in endgame, which, I mean, there’s only so much you could do. But the bits they gave him were effective. I mean, the kind of, you know, grief that war machine and Black Widow had over this dark turn that Clint took was really good. And that opening was so necessary, because it’s really difficult to keep a human element to a movie this big, where people are sort of fighting in space and outer space and all these different creatures, and man, that beginning just put you right back into the kind of the heart of the whole plot, really, which is, we owe it to those lost to do the right thing, you know?

Kurt: Yeah. Yeah. Also the, you know, and, Chris, you and I were chatting about this a little bit yesterday. Within endgame itself, the the three stages, the three stage acts, it was great. I mean, the first third of the movie is basically devoted toward dealing with Thanos’s snap,

Chris: Right,

Kurt: and all the repercussions of that. You know, what sort of misery people were in? And then the the second stage was sort of the, you know, Time Travel discovery,

Chris: right.

Kurt: Stage collecting the stones.

Corey: Time Heist

Kurt: Yeah.

Chris: Time Heist, yea.

Kurt: Thank you time heist. And then the third stage was basically the battle, right? I mean, for me, I can think of only one other epic battle like that, or maybe two, I mean, Lord of the Rings, you know, Helm’s Deep. You know, you think of a film, I’m sure you, you too, could think of a better film. But for me, that would be a comparison,

Chris: Right

Kurt: Just in terms of the magnitude of that battle sequence. Such such an awesome, I mean, it makes you that that scene, and that there, I know, I’m just jumping around here, but from that battle sequence, the emotion you feel the beauty of companionship, of of self sacrifice, of, you know, people coming to support, you know, your comrades, No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends. I mean, it just, it gets you. The beauty of it really gets you. And there was this…

Corey: Really carried by, really, by Captain America. I mean, that was the guy who I mean, Robert Downey Jr. and Ironman sort of bring that home. But Captain America has this iconic image of it, because there’s a great line from the Kashmir complex with which they put into civil war, where Captain America says something to the effect of you know, when the world tells you to move, you plant your self like a tree by the river of truth. And you say no, you move.

Kurt: Yeah.

Corey: And there was a lot of kind of easter eggs and recalling in this film, and that image of kept standing alone against the hordes of Thanos.

Kurt: Yes,

Corey: …Ready to die. Before he hears on your left on your left. That was that was a moment of like, okay, this is it was really kind of a pro. It was really kind of a pro military. Just War theme going on there. But it was certainly a theme of sacrifice and valor.

Kurt: Yes. Oh, yes. Good, good call with the just war theory. Some people might be wondering, Hey, why are we Christians talking about this? What’s there to be a value from this non Christian film? There’s actually no such thing in my mind as Christian and non Christian, sort of categories or genres of film, I’ll say, Now, there’s good art and there’s bad art. Let me talk about this. There was a story that came out this week of a boy, a young boy, who was sitting at Boston Symphony Hall, listening to Mozart, I think was Mozart concert. And at the end of the conference at the end of the symphony, when the orchestra is closing it out. Well, here I’ll play the audio. Let me let me fast forward to here. And there’s something the boy says, And he he gets it

(audio plays)

Kurt: Wow, he says he gets it. What does he get? He, what he just heard was beautiful. All right? It wasn’t. There wasn’t a Christian preaching out of the Bible, preaching Jesus’s teaching, wasn’t someone talking about, you know, God or anything like that. But he saw it. And this is part of God’s created order, that God has created humans to create art. And it’s beautiful, and it’s for our enjoyment. So, there are things which may not be explicitly or overtly in your face Christian, that doesn’t mean that they’re not objectively beautiful, because of what the Creator God has given us in the world that he has created. In that same way, we can learn and see beauty in films like Avengers endgame. And in fact, as Corey very well knows, with regard to cultural apologetics, how non Christians make art has its way of being peculiarly fitting with the Christian worldview, that we find these objective truths we find, we find that non Christians can come to the belief that no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends, one of Jesus’s teachings, we can see this. Now, of course, how does the non Christian make sense of that? That’s where there’s a good philosophical discussion to be had. But we can still observe these things. All right, so just war theory. That’s great. I’m not a pacifist. So I think it’s it’s a good testament to upholding and fighting for that which we love behind us. And so that’s why we are to fight sometimes. So good. Yes, they are about Captain America sort of … I mean, to me, he’s my he’s my favorite. You know.

Corey: There’s a kind of a on that same note, there’s a there’s a theme of what it means to have inherent worth and to in literally in Marvel to wield worth. So again, it kind of throwback to Avengers Age of Ultron. Only Thor can wield Mjolnir

Kurt: Not only

Corey: and you have to well, you have to be … in Age of Voltron, you have to be worthy of it.

Kurt: Okay.

Corey: America goes to lift it and they’ve since kind of led on that he could have wielded it

Kurt: then are you forgetting the vision scene in Age of Ultron?

Corey: No, no, no. So they they allude to Cap’s ability to probably wield it, then yes, vision comes along. And a really peculiar character don’t quite know what’s going on there. doesn’t really have the the soul of a human, you know, and yet, extremely anthropomorphize. He picks the hammer right up, which becomes kind of a non sequitur because of where visions, like the role of vision is going to come to play is, you know, if you remember Infinity War, he’s no more. We’ll see what the MCU does with that. But the real question that the fear Thor had was that in Ultron, that Captain America would be able to, maybe he’d be worthy, maybe be able to pick it up. He kind of budgets at the great payoff. So I’ve seen it twice in theaters save twice. And there are a couple of scenes where one one was opening night and the house is packed and energy is high. The other was a Monday at noon, okay.

Kurt:Yeah.

Corey: And so maybe I don’t know. 100 people in the theater. When Thanos is kicking the crap out, everybody, and Thor and Stormbreaker aren’t doing much and armbands don’t do much. When you see Mjolnir move, and it comes back to Cap, and Thor says I knew it. . What does he know? Well, that Steve Rogers is a man who carries worth he is sort of worthiness incarnate. All for the sacrificial good, right. But that moment where he grabs Mjolnir and he begins to just sort of let Thanos have it…that was one of the most eruptive moments I’ve ever seen in a theater.

Kurt: Yeah,

Corey: on a Monday at noon, or…people just sort of blew up at that. And then of course, he gets the hammer again when all of the Avengers Assemble. But it was the it was It wasn’t just like, oh, man, here’s this really epic thing that’s bad to happen. That’s a pretty intimate moment is one man with a hammer. But it was sort of the stage of his soul or the stage of his internal life that you receive this large spectacle on and we recognize that there’s value and affirmation and worth and purpose, all mixed into this one gesture. That’s just universally true. Getting away from it.

Kurt: Yep. I enjoyed how Steve Rogers story arc, you know, in the earlier movies, he is just this squeaky clean, you know, a 1940s, you know, 1930s 1940s person. And you know, in some of like I think Age of Ultron, you know, well and certainly the first Avengers and Age of Ultron he’s, you know, language if he hears someone swear. And then in this one, I mean, just through the course of his, you know, journey is just totally loosened up. I mean, he’s he’s dropping a few swear words himself in the film. So fascinating to see that story arc.

Corey: He’s become a little less Pharisee. He’s not, he’s not a, you know, swallowing camels and straining, and that’s anymore. Like in the grand scheme of loss, a cuss word here and there. It’s not so bad.

Kurt: Yep, yep. All right, um, maybe we should talk about time travel. That’s, obviously a big feature to the plot. So the film makes it clear. When they do time travel, it’s not Back to the Future style. Basically, if you go back to the past, you’re not changing your future in any sort of time travel least sense. I mean, you’re only changing your future in the sense that you’re changing your imminent future by what you’re doing, like collecting the stones, but you’re not changing. Like if you kill your grandfather, you don’t disappear out of existence, according to the film’s model of time travel. So their explanation, however, is that they’re basically and so I only know this because I watched the flash from time to time is basically you’re creating new timelines, right? Or new realities. You might even say new multiverses

Corey: Right.

Kurt: Which opens up the door to all sorts of things.

Corey: Yeah. Which Marvel’s been leaning this way for a minute now and in the comics, it’s been precedented for, you know, decades.

Kurt: Right. But now for the movies. I mean, what it opens up so for example, you got Disney plus, which is their streaming service, Disney streaming service coming out, and they’re going to be a couple a few …three TV shows. Based around the Marvel characters. One of them is gonna be Loki.

Corey: Yeah,

Kurt: Well, in Infinity War Loki dies. And in this case Thanos says no resurrections this time the directors make it clear that Loki is dead. Why do I say that? Loki? Well, low and behold with their time travel, you know multiverse views. Loki escapes with the Tesseract in 2012. … yeah, in New York, and he just disappears boom, well gee, I wonder which Loki is going to feature now in the TV show that’s going to be coming out it’s going to be that version of a Loki. Now unfortunately, that one doesn’t have the story arc that the other one does.

Corey: That’s right. Yeah. So he misses out on the events of, you know, a Ragnarok or something like that.

Kurt: Yeah, even, you know, dark world or Ragnarok. I mean, you know, so, and then Infinity War, so he just, it’s not gonna be the same Loki that fans have come to love because that was..

Corey: Same thing with Gamora and that was really explicit with Gamora, the Gamora that we’re going to have in Guardians of the Galaxy, because that was a huge question. Like, what are you gonna you’re gonna have guardians without Gamora and Quill there. So you’re gonna have Gamora, but it’s a Gamora, who has not fallen in love with Quill who’s still morally ambiguous, you know?

Kurt: Yeah. So there, there will be changes. Another one of the TV shows coming out is WandaVision All right. So Scarlet Witch and Vision, but wait, Vision is dead? Well, they’re gonna find a way to bring them back. I mean, that’s the thing, you know

Corey: … and Vision, I don’t know if they’ll, you know, nerdy speculation. He’s a bot. So they could Banner and Shuri could rebuild him.
Kurt: right? So that wouldn’t require a multiverse explanation.

Corey: Right. So we’ll see, you know, we’ll see what happens there. But there’s no so well, there’s gonna be a Black Widow movie within the next two years and Black Widow. Again, spoilers. She’s dead dead. She’s not snapped dead, she’s gone. So what they’re gonna have to do is they’re gonna go back and make a kind of origin story for Black Widow, because we never got that she was introduced in Iron Man 2 … Probably her journey from HYRDA to S.H.I.E.L.D.and all that. So they’re doing a lot with … kind of like what they did with Captain Marvel. They’re playing with time quite a bit, both chronologically and multiverse.

Kurt: But even with that origin story, like for a black widow solo film, you don’t have to do an origin story. Now, because of the multiverse. There could be a multiverse in which Clint Barton is the one who jumps off at Vormir instead. And so now we’re so that’s I think some of the concern I have with moving forward is how do we know which timeline or reality we’re in.

Corey: I think Spider Man far from home is going to. So you know, phase four of Marvel hasn’t actually ended. It ends with Spider Man. So now we’ve got this, you know, this new character played by Jake Gyllenhaal who’s been in the comics for a long time. Mysterio. And ..

Kurt: I don’t think Chris has seen the trailer yet…but the second trailer that’s come out. I mean, I’m sure he can watch it. But But yeah, so it’s

Corey: basically its about multiverse. Yeah.

Kurt: Nick Fury says, well, here’s another major massive spoiler. Nick Fury says in the trailer, when Iron Man went, that opened up created a ripple effect. So…

Corey: there’s speculation that the X Men now that Marvel has the rights to the X Men and Fox no longer does their speculation … perhaps created the X Men.

Kurt: Excuse me.

Corey: So we’ll see

Kurt: And also, here’s what’s interesting. All right, I’m gonna throw this out. And if I’m right, people are going to come back to this show and say, Man, this guy’s a prophet. No, just so in the in the trailer for Spider Man. Mysterio says something like, I’m not from this earth, earth or something. And by that, I’m pretty sure he’s, he’s gonna be so Mysterio is classically a villain in the Spider Man. realm. Here’s my theory. I get me totally out of here. I think Mysterio and this one is going to be a good guy. Because you see, sorry, I’ve got something caught my throat. You see him fighting in the trailer, one of the creatures?

Corey: Yeah, can the I think probably they’re gonna introduce the elementals was like, like these elemental beings that Marvel’s featured here and there. And it looks like you know, here’s the thing to the Marvel has gotten really good at this. I mean, one of my all time disappointing moments in the history of the MCU was in Infinity War. There’s this great shot of the Hulk charging with Black Panther and Captain America in Wakanda. And that’s not in the film. Just that for the trailer. So Marvel is kind of become the studio of red herrings. And I, there’s been a lot of speculation as to just what we’re seeing in this trailer. And how much of it’s just complete? smokescreen? Um, so I don’t know, I suspect he’ll be I suspect to be kind of like the, you know, the join together for a common good kind of thing. And then maybe Mysterio reveal some sort of sinister plan. But I’m not quite sure. I don’t know what to trust. Yeah. But definitely, I don’t think they’re bluffing with the side. I mean, there was a marvel line called Earth 616 Kind of an alternative world and I think we’re gonna get a lot of kind of counterfactual realities. Moving forward. Yep.

Kurt: Yep, the multiverse just opens it up to to all that stuff.

Corey: If you’re a molinist, this is your this is like gonna be your heyday.

Kurt: Yeah, that’s right. They’re close. I mean, I understand for the moment is so that there’s only one timeline that God has actualized, whereas this is like saying there are actualized multiverses out there. Sure. All right, Cory, we’ve got to take a short break. When we come back, though, we’ll continue talking about Avengers endgame. We’ll talk more about time travel. I want to talk more about that. And also, Disney CEO Bob Iger, I think it is says Avengers endgame has clues to the future of the MCU. And I’ve got another theory out there as well. So stick with us through the short break from our sponsors.

*clip plays*


Kurt: Thanks for sticking with us through that short break from our sponsor. If you want to learn how you can become a sponsor, you can go to our website veracity hill.com.com and click on that patron or sponsor tab there to learn more. We are talking about Avengers endgame today. And we’re joined by Corey Latta and Chris, we’re, we’re spoiling the end game. You know, they say don’t spoil anything but the spoiler ban has been lifted. So here we are. We’re talking about it. And what a great film it is. Gentlemen, I don’t want to leave time travel yet. Chris. You wanted to say something? And then I had some thoughts too.

Chris: Yeah. So this was actually one of the points I had against the film was that they solved their problem with time travel. Going into my predictions and hoping for the endgame. I was really hoping they wouldn’t. Because there’s a … in storytelling in general, there’s a device called the deus ex machina, which translates to god of the machine. And the story. It’s this thing that comes along that fixes everyone’s problems and doesn’t have a precedent necessarily, or a large setup, it just appears all of a sudden. And it’s like, well, well, and time travel is a very commonly used deus ex machina. All right, well, we’ll solve it with time travel. So I was a little, I was very impressed with how they use the time travel to like, do fan service, like let’s go back to the first Avengers and meet everyone and kind of like, stir up some nostalgia, get those things going, yep, go back to 70s serve some nostalgia for the characters. So that they used it in a way that kind of redeemed it a little bit. But I was disappointed that they because they create I don’t have a problem necessarily, with time travel being used in general, or even multiverses existing. Because those sometimes the film will be based around that idea. But when it isn’t there, and then all of a sudden, it’s there. Like we could do this with time travel. And we’re not going to explain super well how it works. But we can now have just opened the door to multiverses. And because because that’s the way to solve it. So yeah, so that was something that they feel like, there are probably other solutions that they could have come up with besides the time travel bit. But maybe they want to do their multiverse thing. I’m not sure because sometimes time travel removes it didn’t always here but removes the idea of consequences. And the the power of the past or the foundation and story arcs of people. Because if you have multiverses are like, Well, how do I know if this is the Steve Rogers I know, right? And maybe a later film, or the Black Widow I know, or the spider man I know, that I’ve had these experiences with it could be a completely different guy. Right? So they did, they did redeem a little bit of it, but I it felt like a little bit of a Deus Ex here and that there could have been some other options. So that’s something I see in films a lot.

Kurt: And it doesn’t seem like it’s entirely consistent. I had a question about Steve Rogers at the end, right? So like 186 year old Steve Rogers, however old he was. So he goes back he stays back in time. And then he reappears in the same reality my understanding was that you know, because to me, that’s the Back to the Future Type of travel.

Corey: Go back in an age in your own timeline

Kurt: Because if we’re in … alright, I’m gonna try to use I don’t have the Ancient Ones little magic timeline thing. Oh, yeah. If you have your timeline year then you You’d have a diversion off of that. So like, let’s say you’re and Steve Rogers, the one we’ve known. Here’s his timeline, then he decides to go back. This timeline keeps going or will keep going. But now he’s in a different timeline. He’s created a different multiverse by staying back with the love of his life, which was a nice little ending.

Chris: Well, not necessarily, like this one almost does, in my opinion, work with the Back to the Future. Logic because if he if let’s say, you have Steve Rogers, let’s call him Steve Rogers one. So the one that we’ve had since 2011. He does his thing and then he’s on ice for a long time. Right? But during that time, like Steve Rogers two shows up, which is him in the future, and they never interact with each other.

Corey: That’s the idea.

Chris: Yeah, so that he can still so during the time that we’re watching all the Avengers games, Avengers games I did endgame Avengers movies. Old Steve Rogers is still he’s around but he’s choosing not to interact with anybody until that day so he can stay off the grid and not he doesn’t change his past because this past is the foundation for all of his heart for him being able to be there in the first place. So he as long as he doesn’t touch that stuff. He can stay in the timeline just unnoticed

Corey: It’s a way of giving you know it’s a way of giving Steve the same kind of farewell they wanted to give Tony where he we could have a bit of the life he truly desired you know home love things like that. And also him you know make this great sacrifice on the on that point that Chris made there’s definitely it’s almost like you remember the show Lost? As a as a writer and a creator myself, Chris is absolutely right, it can become a bit of a cop out. And at times I don’t think that’s what’s going on I would disagree and say I don’t think that’s what’s going on with Marvel because they’ve done such a good job of building in the possibility over this kind of composite narratives you know, this composite storytelling they’ve been doing with the quantum realm and Dr. Strange they’ve we’ve known time travel is going to be a thing for probably five years. So it didn’t wasn’t like they just like Oh, right.

Chris: I agree with that. It’s not a straight up deus ex like it didn’t come from nowhere there was precedent for it. But I always feel like like what you said generally it’s a story cop out but yet correct.

Corey: And as a writer, here’s why. It’s a cop out that you kind of have to make at times so, you know, people really get upset with Lost…uh. Here’s a, like…surely

Kurt: Last season was awful.

Corey: See, I think the ending of lost was the only way the thing could win. Like it had to be the case. Because I think as a writer, I know I’ve experienced this. I’m working on a screenplay right now. Let me tell you, I feel it. Once you get so far along, you’re stuck, man. Like there is nothing else you can do. Now you could go back and rewrite the whole thing. Or maybe there’s a turn you could have taken way, way back. But once you commit to a certain course of actions, you’re going to have to introduce that deus ex machina at some point or or the ending that you think your fans deserve or want or you’re just not going to get there. So it’s unfortunate and at times only at times I don’t know how you avoid it like I don’t know how you end lost in any kind of rational way at all. Apart from where they ended same thing like my favorite shows, of all time sopranos a lot of people were torn on the ending of The Sopranos. I don’t know what else you could do. I mean, truly, to kind of split the the middle there. And I think within game, given the course of actions, the Russos set us up for an Infinity War, man it’s going to be it’s going to be really, really tough to write yourself out of that and give because ultimately this movie was about this movie is about the fans, and coming to a satisfactory conclusion after 11 years on the journey. That’s what this really about. It was less about the story and more about the fan experience. Given that had been open really hard to do something different. I’m sure there might have been another way to go but and I do think too going forward. I think we are going to feel the loss. Obviously, the new Spider Man trailer the whole thing is about the death of Tony. I do think like the absence of Black Widow and I think be really interesting. The devil sort of plague a character like his and other So I don’t think everything’s gonna kind of clean up nicely. I’m hoping depending on what director and writer they get with these next few projects, I’m hoping the universe gets pretty dark. And then also to Chris’s point, I think Chris is absolutely right about this. When you want to introduce the multiverse, it’s kind of like, well, who are we dealing with here? I think Exactly. That’s exactly what Kevin Feige knows will think. And that’s where he wants to take us. Because one of the most famous storylines in the history of Marvel comics is Secret Wars. And Secret Wars is exactly how it sounds you don’t know who you’re dealing with. It’s kind of this invasion, this infiltration, where people are disguise a mask. And I think they’re going to use this kind of multiverse door to get us the secret wars. I think the next 10 years, will be building towards Secret Wars,

Chris: The trick of time travel, because it’s a very powerful storytelling techniques is you have to there’s a lot of rules, and some of them are not spoken rule. So it’s really hard to figure it out. And a lot of storytellers in general, or filmmakers can be very sloppy with the idea of time travel or multiverses. So it can be pulled off well, but it’s really, really hard to do.

Corey: Yeah, and I admit watching the thing, the first thing through and I’m you know, I’ve written on the philosophy of time by Henri Bergson, I’m fascinated by time to theology time, so I feel like, I’m fairly knowledgeable. And I admit, man,

Kurt: I’ve written a book, an academic book…I like to think I’m not.

Corey: But listen, I was I was halfway through that movie going. Ah, it was it was pretty confounding at times i, and they’ve kind of acknowledged like, there’s some pretty big plot holes. For example, it seems like spider man is brought back five years after right? Yeah. Now he himself has an age. That makes sense. He’s sort of been in kind of this Abraham’s bosom if you will. You know what I mean? He just sort of, but it seems like all his classmates and everyone around him. They’re all the same.

Kurt: Well, at least his buddy. Yeah, his good buddy is the same age.

Corey: Did he die in the snap? Was he brought back we don’t know. But there’s some there’s potholes. You know, Chris to Chris’s point in time. Travel is messy. And I don’t entirely understand the physics of what they try to pull off. I do, generally speaking, but…

Kurt: So here’s one thing I know that the Marvel is now basically said there are clues to the future of the MCU in endgame. And you think Well, how could that be? You know, it’s could come from ambiguous phrases. So here’s here’s one of them. All right. Another one of my theories, when Cap gives … the shield to Sam.

Corey: Yep.

Kurt: In the end, he says it’s yours. Now wait a second. I thought Thanos had destroyed the shield. Where’s this shield coming from? So I think when Steve Rogers says it’s yours, I think that’s because it’s from a different multiverse. And now it was taken out of that multiverse or that universe outruns Yeah, it’s it’s it’s been Falcons. Gotcha. Yeah, so like in whatever universe, Rogers was in somehow he gets back or I don’t know exactly how it all works. But like I think the shield has always been Sam’s that’s my theory. All right, maybe in the comic. Maybe I’m not

Corey: We’ll see … and the comic if you are if this pans out to be true. I want you to start selling prayer rags in the comics, both Falcon and at times Winter Soldier take up the mantle of the shield, so I don’t know what they’re gonna do that. I do think there were lots of little clues, you know, modules to the past and kind of pointers to the future. Yep. Um, I don’t know that we’re going to have an Avengers movie again. I kind of think Avengers is done I think we may have like an a force movie which is they had a little moment a force has all the all the girls

Kurt: Yep.

Chris: That’s right. Yeah.

Corey: They may have we may have an A force movie we may have something like West Coast Avengers or savage Avengers. They’re all these different kinds. There’s new Avengers. I don’t know that we’re gonna have my hope is that they keep going. And we have a Doctor Strange lead. Probably Captain Marvel be there too because they seem really insistent on pushing Captain Marvel Yeah. I could see them leading my my hope has always been since Dr. Strange was introduced because one of my favorites, that he would be sort of the new Tony. Thor is gonna stick around so we may have, you know, we do know this, they’re gonna go to space, like the next 10 years of Marvel is gonna be largely taken up by space travel and space narratives and we’re gonna get like Adam Warlock of the celestials and probably Galactus and crazy stuff. So I just don’t know that we’re gonna I think the age of this more kind of quaint building toward the Avengers and have I think that’s done. I don’t know where we’re going exactly, but I think that’s kind of over.

Kurt: Yep. And of course you no longer have the Guardians of the Galaxy

Corey: Well, so we’re gonna have we’re gonna have the Asguardians of the galaxy. They just confirmed that Beta Ray Bill is going to be introduced in the next Guardians movie and he is sort of a Thor counterpart. He also wields a magic hammer and he’s also immensely powerful and all that.

Kurt: Yeah, it’s interesting to see, you know, Thor’s character arc as well, going through this Shakespearean. You know, you know, Greek or sorry, Norse god, Shakespearean Norse god to this. You know, this…

Corey: Lebowski. The Big Lebowski?

Kurt: Yeah,


Corey: Tony actually calls him Lebowski at one time.

Kurt: Man. Maybe I missed that reference.

Chris: He did. He did look exactly like Lebowski. Yeah.

Kurt: Yep. So seeing that’s interesting. And then that he recognized he’s not a king. He’s not a leader. He’s a warrior. That’s who he is. I’d like to see him get back in shape, though. I mean, it was. It was really weird. When, when Cap Iron Man and then fat Thor are approaching Thanos. Just like something’s not right here.

Corey: He was no less savage. But he was a little out of shape. I think though, I think though, I think he’ll hit some CrossFit gyms and get on keto or something in the meantime.

Kurt: I mean, that was more serious, like Hemsworth was in a fat suit, right?

Corey: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Kurt: I was gonna say there’s no way

Corey: He would he would not…he’s not gonna fail, you know, I’m saying like, he’s not actually putting on the 70 pounds to play Dick Cheney, or…

Kurt: Sometimes there are actors that do that, you know, they get really fit.

Corey: Yeah, it’s …absolutely

Kurt: Crazy. All right. So let’s see my I have the I’ve got the Falcon prediction. I’ve got the Mysterio prediction. What else did I want to touch on? Peggy Carter, Agent Carter. I don’t know. Cory. If you watch the TV series, the two season thing.

Corey: I didn’t watch the second season. I watched the first season and I love Haley Attwell plays Peggy Carter and I love the character Peggy Carter. The Marvel shows even like the ones on Netflix, they didn’t always do it for me, so I didn’t stick I didn’t stick with them to faithfully not all of them anyway. Daredevil and Punisher. I did but that was about it.

Kurt: All right, I’ve got another picture. I sent you, Cory couple couple weeks ago now. Let me load it up here. For those watching, so Alright, so in season two of Agent Carter, she she gets this new love interest. And they sort of leave it off like they’re not engaged in pharma. But like there’s there’s discussion of it or something like that. That’s in the TV show. And that’s where they leave that. This picture here comes from Civil War. Captain America Civil I believe it’s Civil War. Maybe I might be forgetting I can’t I said Ultron

Chris: I don’t remember when that flashbacks happened with Carter.

Corey: It’s Ultron, with the flashbacks.

Chris: Ultron. Okay.

Kurt: Well, this isn’t a flashback. This is Steve Rogers visiting Peggy Carter. While she’s in bed.

Corey: Civil War

Kurt: Civil War. Thank you. All right. And here she is with her two children. No, hubby. No hubby. So now, all right, I read an article which said, which, you know, this was a fan theory, and the guys confirmed it. That those are Steve Rogers kids. I think they’d have to be alright, so well, because some people like well, who does she married? Is she married? Because also in the film? And I think the first Avenger maybe? Or not The First Avenger and another Winter Soldier. Rogers goes to the museum and says that she married someone Steve Rogers saved.

Corey: Yeah, that’s right.

Kurt: So that it was just a cover. It’s just a cover.

Corey: Yeah. And so you know, there’s I remember what spoilers for this movie started coming out. And then and then early reviews. Were talking about Peggy and I guess they didn’t it wasn’t all that explicit in the film. But the idea I mean, her being just a covert agent, is she’s had like insider knowledge of everything going on. Which would mean that she’s been with Steve and has consumed it for seven years.

Kurt: Time. What or has it been this whole time because this is where the time travel thing gets in?

Corey: What’s the what what happened to your point earlier? It would have to be that when he visits hertz, it gets pretty trippy. Right when he visits her and civil war. As we No him, Erica. Peggy, who has lived with Captain America this entire time?

Kurt: Yeah.

Corey: Because she would have experienced the Captain America that’s already gone back in time and knows what’s coming.


Kurt: But that’s that’s only if you’re thinking according to the Back to the Future stuff, right?

Corey: Well, I mean, I don’t know how else it no matter if it’s a multiverse Steve, or it’s, you know, present timeline. Steve going back in time that more it’s called kind of the traditional, you know, time travel theory.

Kurt: Yeah.

Corey: It would still require her to know a lot that she’s not letting anyone in on.

Kurt:Yeah. Right. In order

Corey: to having kids and the whole thing

Chris: Regularly, a show that deals with time travel quite frequently is Doctor Who, and they have this concept of points that are in flux and points that are fixed. So maybe that photo, because although those photos, and this is a while this is strictly speculative. The photos that are there, because whether or not Steve Rogers, like the events of Infinity War, and endgame are in flux. So like, he hasn’t technically survived those yet to come there. So maybe, maybe he’s not even in those pictures, because his presence in those pictures isn’t known yet. I don’t know. So that that’s very speculative. Because I don’t I don’t remember these, this this scene from Civil War. So I can’t say much more beyond that. But that’s, that show, usually does time travel in a pretty consistent way.

Kurt: It gets into that tricky subject about the past and whether the past is entirely fixed and just that’s where this all becomes very sci fi-y.

Corey: Yeah, and the relationship. Yeah, I’m almost almost really does the past exist, it becomes a great kind of a question is the past. Not just like, when you say fix, we mean, kind of like real, like brutally real? You know?

Kurt: Yeah, it’s for me, with sci fi, you have, you know, you have to go in suspending judgment. After all, we’re talking about, you know, human beings with superpowers and those sorts of things. So we can’t get too hung up on time.

Corey: The part that’s most interesting to me, and the part that I sort of scratch my head, at when it comes to time travel is how Tony comes to it. You remember?

Kurt: Yes,

Chris: Yeah, it’s pretty quick.

Corey: It’s pretty quick, right? I mean, goes back in time it took him It took him a good hour, maybe. But the way they visually depict the model, I can’t remember the name of the geometric so of shape that is

Chris: Oh, yeah, it begins with an M doesn’t it like an inverted something?

Corey: I cannot remember what that is. But the way they sort of visually depict it, the physics of it, and he’s completely lost on me, man, I’m sure there are actual theoretical models that have sort of hypothesize this. But the most, that was the most unrealistic part for me, is how he came to it. And the way it’s implemented, once it actually began, began to be dramatized. I was in but it was this theory behind it. I’m like, Ah, you move kind of quick, you know, but like you say, we have to suspend a certain amount of belief or we’re just going to sort of lose the illusion. Well, honestly, here’s the you know, throwback to beauty, like, we will lose the experience of beauty or majesty, if we when it comes to a work of art, if we begin to scrutinize the, whether you want to call it the veracity of it, or the logical merits of it, there’s a kind of a champion of wonder we have to give ourselves to

Kurt: Yep, yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s certainly a good point. Like I said, you have to suspend some judgment in order to enjoy it for what it is. All right. Let’s see here. There was another thing I wanted to touch on. Oh, I’m forgetting. Oh, the economics of it. You know, I think about economics from time to time. All right, you know, losing half the world’s population half the universe’s excuse me, half the university’s population would be devastating. More than people realize, and they show some of that city field being I mean, things just left. You know,

Corey: what, like, ships all in the harbor, just sort of unmanned.

Kurt: Yeah, things would be chaos. People don’t realize. I mean, they say that they say governments are in shambles, but currencies would be in shambles. You’d go back to a bartering system. Yeah, basically, is what would happen and they don’t show that at all. They don’t show the currency aspect. And then also bringing half of the universe’s population back like that. Oh, would also lead to an economic disaster.

Corey: Yeah, … you’ve been accustomed to five years, five years now, right,

Kurt: five years now they’ve gotten used to hey, how many people do I need to feed you know, how many crops do I need to plant. markets don’t have the time to adapt. So it’s sort of under this I mean, to basically do what you just what we just agreed not to do. Don’t over analyze. But from an economic perspective, it would just be a fiscal disaster to bring half the universe’s population back instantly.

Corey: But it’s a really interesting point you bring up in a friend of mine who co wrote a little book on superheroes with Armond Boudreaux. He wrote a great blog about this, you know, the economics Thanos really couldn’t give a crap about when when press they were all a guy’s right. When pressed, he reveals his true motives in in game. When he says, No, I’m grateful that you basically undid the snap, because now I see that the measure I have to take is truly the tyrannical measure. Bless you. Yeah, it’s I need to reduce this entire cosmos down to an atom and rebuild it in my image, essentially. Yep. Like, that was always the motive. It’s really kind of an insightful look at politics, like there’s a kind of platform and agenda. So, you know, he sees himself as an equitable person, he wants what’s best for the universe, and great, you know, sacrifices required for that. But that’s all kind of a campaign talking point for what he really wants to do. I mean, he is the Mad Titan, he really wants to tyrannically have utter dominion over the entire cosmos. So the economics of it are really the reason they’re so sloppily thought through is because there never is real motive.

Kurt: Yep, it’s a facade. I’ve also said, with infinity war, to get a little political here. Thanos argues that the world’s resources are unable to contain and therefore we need to snap out of existence. People think about this issue from the pro life perspective. And those that are pro choice and say, Well, an individual doesn’t have the resources, so they should be able to kill another human being. It’s the same principle in effect. So something to think about the Mad Titan in his views.

Corey: So you end up sacrificing something for the very thing you’re trying to you say you’re trying to save?

Kurt: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, Cory, this has been enlightening. Let me see if there’s, is there anything we’ve left? Not to discuss yet?

Corey: I mean, we could talk about this for hours. Um, I think we’re probably at a good spot to…

Kurt: We’ve given folks enough to think about for the forthcoming cinematic universe I’m looking forward to I might be subscriber Disney plus, just so I can watch the three shows. And I really am interested how they’re gonna play Loki. See how this one’s gonna work?

Corey: Yeah, I like Loki.

Kurt: So and seeing how the multiverse works out in the future here.

Chris: I’d like to sum up from a story standpoint, as I’ve been because it’s been about maybe 24 hours since I saw the film. Kind of thinking through…

Kurt: I made sure Chris saw the movie before today.

Chris: Yeah. So the, I was thinking about because we started this discussion, one of the questions was, will this end up on my top 100? It might. If it does, it will be the low end of the one hundreds, so that I wanted to wait just real quickly, because I know we’re near the end of the show. Yeah. Here’s some of the positive points from the film, broadly speaking from a story perspective. They haven’t they actually fill out a traditional three act structure incredibly well, which anyone who studied story structure will know that that’s very, very hard for finale films to do.

Kurt: Yeah, and you don’t just mean the film itself, which I thought was good. But you mean there overall, the past 22 films.

Chris: Well, that I’m getting to that, and I just I mean, the film itself, okay. Because normally, that’s the issue is that act one is completely destroyed, because it’s just well to be here, and now the continuation of whatever films came before. And so there’s really no act structure. It’s just we need to finish this. This one did it very well. They had Stark go on the hero’s journey and act one. And it really just became his film, even though it’s about the MCU, and all the Avengers and their friends and all the heroes, it’s Starks film, and it’s his finale. And that’s made very clear in Act One. So that that story structure they hit their points, right, exactly on the money, which is really hard to do. They had a great deal. Cory, you mentioned that this this film is about fanservice. Their payoffs were incredible for both inside the film, and some payoffs that fans either wanted or didn’t know they want. wanted that had been in the works and coming for all 11 years. Right. This is we have 2008 as the beginning of Starbucks journey today was his the end of Starbucks journey. Right? And that payoff has been coming for a long time. Captain America’s payoff has been coming for a long time. Yes. So was payoffs that fan service is solid, the story structure is solid and with mild accepts sincere and they’re very, very well written for a finale film for a superhero film. And there’s no denying that just from watching the culture. This is probably we’ve had a very large saturation of superhero films. This has been one of the largest superhero events in culture cinema, since probably The Dark Knight in 2008.

Corey: Yeah. Economically bigger, but far, far bigger.

Chris: Right. So those are the positive points, the negative points, I had the only two big qualms I had, which keeps it from if it gets on the top 100 from going any higher. Are I still was a little miffed about time travel being the solution, even though they handled it halfway eloquently. Yeah, from a story perspective, and to finale films gained their strength from the films that came before it. So you see that in trilogies, if it’s a good ending, it’s only a good ending, if you watch the other two films, the buy in cost for this to be meaningful to the viewer is 21 films. That’s a very large buy in costs. Yes, for this to have significance. So I gained some significance from this film, but I could tell that there was lot I was still missing from not having seen maybe about half the films I could have seen. So those two things are what keep it from becoming such like going up even higher, because it’s it’s got a lot working for it. If you’ve seen the other 21 films, go and see this movie, please. It’s very, very good, and I highly recommend it.

Kurt: That’s why for me, you know, you say it’s on your lower hundreds. For me, it’s a lot, you know, lower in number but higher on the chart, because I am so invested in the characters in the storylines. So that’s why for me, it’s, you know, even more impactful. Yeah, some of the I mean, you to be probably Chris, because you are a sort of a film critic, you were able to piece things together that no other folks would have trouble doing. So like, if you don’t see Dr. Strange, who is the woman standing on the rooftop in New York that Hulk is talking with me, you just have no idea who she is. But you you pretty much pieced it together,

Chris: Right, because Strange was one of the ones I hadn’t seen. He was a brand new character when I saw Infinity War. So I heard about him, obviously, because you can’t not spoil those things. But…

Kurt: Yep. All right. Well, we are already running over our normal schedule. Here. Cory, let me thank you for joining us on our program for being the nerd encyclopedia on Marvel Comics. You made a number of references I don’t even know about I know Adam Warlock. I mean, he was teased in one of the ends of the Guardians seven guardians to Yeah, you’ll see him soon. Yeah. So thank you. I appreciate you and for your, your your work, your knowledge, and your friendship. So thanks so much. Thanks for having me. All right, take care. Before signing off. I have this one sort of announcements to do for the classic Christian thinkers book by reasons to believe published by them authored by Kenneth samples. You know, many of us pick up Christian theology and history in a piecemeal way, making it difficult to understand its significance. But in his new book, classic Christian thinkers, philosopher and theologian, Ken samples offers a masterful summary of the lives of Christianity’s greatest defenders. The history of these nine timeless truth seekers overflows from the pages of the Bible into history itself. Take a step toward a richer faith by visiting reasons.org/veracity and order your copy of classic Christian thinkers today. All right, well, I’m Hope you’ve enjoyed this episode today where we have spoiled the end game. And we’ve talked about, you know, the Christian art, we’ve talked about the future of the MCU. We’ve discussed time, the time heist, and all sorts of fun things. It’s, you know, it’s fun to use the imagination. God created us to be creators. And so this is how we’ve, you know, created these mini worlds, these thought experiments, and that we get to bear the image of God when we do that, when we act in accordance to how God created us. So that does it for the show. Today. I’m grateful for the continued support of our patrons and the partnerships that we have with our sponsors. And they our defenders medium consult Kevin, the sky floor rethinking Hill, the Illinois Family Institute, Fox restoration, and now a reasons to believe we’ll be sure to update that image as well. I want to thank Chris, our wonderful technical producer, and to our guest, Corey Lata for coming in and chatting with me about the movie, the movie of the year most certainly. But Last and certainly not least, I want to thank you for listening in and for striving for truth on faith, politics, and society.

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