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The Marvel movies have grown so popular for a reason.

People of all ages, races and ethnicities waited on the edge of their seats for the premiere of the blockbuster movie “Avengers: Endgame” on April 26. The film has surpassed “Titanic” in box office sales, making it the second-highest-grossing film of all time, only behind the infamous “Avatar.” Needless to say, this movie is a global phenomenon, and it seems as though Marvel Studios has become one in and of itself. Not only are comic book nerds going out to see these movies, but younger generations who don’t even know what a comic book is and parents who usually couldn’t care less are all coming out to see what happens next.

As the longest Marvel film ever made, it was rumored to be the end-all-be-all of Avengers movies. The title “Endgame” was no mistake. With plans to wrap up many Avengers character arcs and the practical fact that many of the actor’s contracts were up, this may have been the last Marvel movie of its kind. Of course, the franchise will live on, creating sequels based around individual character’s actors who stick around. But as far as the “original” Avengers, this may be their last hoorah.

In order to understand the impact that Marvel and the Marvel universe has made on the world, the original comic book fans must be recognized. What are new characters, plotlines, villains and twists to most viewers, these superfans have known for ages. They catch the smallest connections and easter eggs in the movies, and they’re the first people to give in-depth reviews of how well the Marvel Studio films stack up against the genius of the Stan Lee originals.

Whether it was through huge Hollywood stars taking the form of classic superhero characters or just quality filmmaking and movie magic that skyrocketed Marvel to the top, what used to be for geeks is now for mass consumer audiences. Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow and the rest of the gang are all part of today’s pop culture, in which cultural knowledge is the currency. Whoever hasn’t seen the latest movie has to stop the rest of their friends from spilling the details. Spoiler alerts are rampant all over social media, making it difficult for those who haven’t seen the movie yet to read anything about it.

What was once a nerdy fandom is now the coolest — and most attractive — movie franchise in the world. With young stars like Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Chris Evans and many more, Marvel is targeting younger audiences who are being introduced to the Marvel universe through these films. Despite the massive amounts of hardship and loss these heroes face, they have some awesome moves and a sense of family that many people envy.

Everyone’s looking for a solution and a superhero. Humanity wants the good guys to win, and the United States in particular loves to see leaders like Captain America and capitalist billionaires like Tony Stark bring about that happy ending. Just like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” or “The Bachelor/Bachelorette,” Marvel films have brought the world together in divisive and uncertain times. Even though the endgame is upon us, there’s no doubt that Marvel Studios will continue to bring in big audiences and big bucks for years to come.

Ryann Sheehy is a sophomore theater and media arts and design double major. Contact Ryann at sheehyrl@dukes.jmu.edu.