As far as generally used fiction tropes go, “found family” is definitely close to the highest of the hierarchy. An almost universally beloved trope, discovered household includes a bunch of characters who aren’t associated by blood come collectively due to adversity or another attention-grabbing circumstance and discover a household with one another that they maybe don’t have with any form of organic household. It’s an incredible trope as a result of nothing is extra endearing than a bunch of characters who’re ride-or-dies for one another and who’ve a deep bond. Found household is concerning the household you select somewhat than the one you’re born with, which makes the dynamic all of the extra attention-grabbing and emotional.
This is one thing that the MCU tried to attain with the Avengers. There’s numerous discuss in Avengers: Endgame (notably from Natasha Romanoff) about how the Avengers are like a household, and the occasions of Endgame are speculated to be a form of farewell to this household being collectively. It’s the tip of an epic saga about this chosen household and their deep love for and connection to one another…apart from when it isn’t. In truth, this a part of Endgame’s thematics by no means really hits dwelling, as a result of the MCU by no means succeeded in making the Avengers really feel like a household.
“He’s a friend from work!” is, funnily sufficient, most likely the road that greatest describes the dynamic of the Avengers all through the Infinity Saga. They’re coworkers for essentially the most half, and it actually doesn’t seem to be they hang around a lot in between the few Avengers team-up films that the MCU has put out. They barely tolerate one another in The Avengers, and in Age of Ultron, they nonetheless have the sensation of a relationship that’s solely occurring in a selected circumstance, the way in which that work friendships are cultivated. In many workplaces, folks come collectively as a result of they have been put into the identical area and so they don’t solely hate one another. This is what numerous the interactions between the Avengers really feel like. The afterparty scene in Age of Ultron, whereas enjoyable, is among the solely moments the viewers sees them hanging out as pals, and even then it has comparable vibes to a piece social gathering.
There are shut friendships throughout the staff, in fact, similar to Sam and Steve, Tony and Rhodey, Natasha and Clint, and Natasha and Steve. But it principally appears to be in pairings, and the entire group is rarely as collectively developed of their relationship as these pairs are. In some situations, with a personality like Thor, it’s nearly laborious to consider that he nonetheless considers the Avengers his pals. He meets them in The Avengers, spends most of his time after that (presumably) touring the Nine Realms till Age of Ultron, the place he afterward disappears from Earth once more till coming again in Infinity War. On a better inspection, it appears that evidently he’s barely spent any time with the Avengers in any respect. In Endgame, Bruce Banner appears shocked to see the state that Thor is in when he visits New Asgard, implying that nobody has actually visited him over that 5-year hole after Thanos’s snap.
It’s simply actually laborious to purchase into the concept this group of characters is a household after they don’t give off any form of feeling that they deeply love one another, and as an alternative spend half of their time preventing. It’s regular for households to have arguments and battle, positive, however it looks like all of the Avengers do is argue, beginning in The Avengers, carrying over to Age of Ultron and, in the end, Civil War. It would have made numerous the MCU extra compelling if Marvel had managed to really have their important group of heroes really feel like they’ve a better relationship. It’s a lot simpler to get invested in a bunch in case you can really feel the household dynamic, and it lends itself to each emotional moments and comedic beats.
Take, for example, Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a discovered household story that the MCU truly managed to do proper. The group as an entire feels cohesive, somewhat than simply an assortment of pairings throughout the bigger group. The Guardians have their conflicts and battle with one another (particularly to start with), however they finally study to belief one another deeply and numerous the storylines of their films revolve round their connection (the ending of the primary Guardians film, for instance). They really feel far more like a household than the Avengers ever have, as a result of they really spend time collectively and construct connections.
Of course, as a result of these are film characters, we don’t see what they do in between the films or reveals that Marvel releases. Theoretically, the Avengers might be spending numerous time collectively that the viewers merely would not see, however it’s laborious to consider that when it simply seems like they solely come collectively for his or her team-up films due to the type of rapport they’ve. It seems like the way in which that work pals work together with one another, not a bunch of people who find themselves supposedly a household.
It would have made numerous the films, notably Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame hit more durable if the Avengers felt extra like a household and if the viewer might actually see that connection between them. It’s nearly insulting that in Endgame, Natasha claims that the Avengers are her household and so they don’t even give her a funeral like they offer Tony when she offers her life for the trigger. Big motion scenes and set items are enjoyable, however what actually attracts folks in is character relationships, and the MCU merely didn’t spend sufficient time creating that between the Avengers.
It will likely be attention-grabbing to see if the MCU focuses extra on this going ahead, particularly now that lots of the main gamers from the primary three Phases are now not current. If they’ll deliver the remaining heroes collectively into an Avengers staff the place the members actually care about one another and see one another in a familial mild (and these relationships are literally seen somewhat than simply informed to the viewers), it might be a extremely attention-grabbing dynamic, and would make it simpler to get invested in all of those new characters. If something, Phase 4 and onward is an ideal alternative for Marvel to right the errors they made the primary time round, and prioritize character connections and character progress.