2012 may not seem like that long ago, but a whooole lot has happened to the original six Avengers team members – Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor and Hulk – since they assembled for the first time in The Avengers seven years ago. Here are the big changes that have occurred between then and Avengers: Endgame…
Then: Tony Stark leaves his rep as a egomaniac playboy in the dust when he demonstrates he’s willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good in the Battle of New York by redirecting a missile aimed at NYC into a space portal where it will destroy an alien ship instead.
Now: Besides demonstrating he’s never short on ideas for new suits – The Avengers featured the Iron Man Mark VII armour; in Avengers: Endgame it’s Mark LXXXV (that’s 85, for those who need help with Roman numerals) – Tony has finally proven he’s capable of (mostly) playing well with others.
Then: A deadly S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who knows how to rock a black bodysuit while also trying to make amends for her dodgy past as a Russian spy, Natasha Romanoff proves her strength and loyalty by saving close friend Clint Barton / Hawkeye from Loki’s mind control spell. Would you do that for your BFF?
Now: Her hair colour may have changed from red to blonde to red with blonde tips, but one thing has remained constant: Natasha’s ability to hold the Avengers together while everything else falls apart, and also her amazing ability to kick all kinds of butt despite having no actual superpowers. Respect.
Then: A World War II super-soldier who awakes after spending 70 years as a frozen “capsicle”, Steve Rogers does a pretty amazing job at adapting to modern life in the 2000s, especially since that also involves having to stop an invading race of aliens from completely wiping out New York City.
Now: Cap has both fought alongside and battled teammate / frienemy Tony Stark, given the whole beard thing a go (we prefer the clean-shaven look, Steve) and, most importantly, has saved the world a few times by putting others ahead of himself time and time again. Yep, he can do this all day.
Then: Although we do get to see just how handy Hawkeye is with a bow and arrow in The Avengers, he does spend the majority of the movie as a bad guy when Loki uses his scepter to put him in a state of mind control that makes him do battle with his avenging compadres.
Now: As demonstrated in Avengers: Endgame, Clint Barton is just as handy with a samurai sword as he is with an archery set, giving bad guys one more reason to cross the street when they see him coming. He’s also taken a leaf out of Thor’s book by grabbing the clippers to try out a hot new hairstyle.
Then: Once upon a time the Asgardian God of Thunder had long blond locks and maybe took himself a little too seriously, although to be fair you’d probably also have little time for cracking jokes if your somewhat evil half-brother was trying to take over Earth and enslave humanity.
Now: These days Thor gives Tony Stark a run for his money as the funniest Avenger, even though he’s been through his share of things that are no laughing matter (losing an eye, losing his hammer and losing Asgard). He’s also learned to put a plait in his beard, which is a pretty hipster move for a god.
Then: Bruce Banner was on the run from the authorities, trying to avoid things like slow walkers, people who spoil movies and anything else that would make him angry so he wouldn’t turn into a giant green rage monster. But when Hulk did come out to play? It was a total smash-a-thon.
Now: Bruce and the Hulk have always had a touchy relationship: the Big Guy suppressed Banner while living on the planet Sakaar, but then didn’t want to come out and help when it was time to fight Thanos in Infinity War. But after years of battling each other, could it be the two have finally learned to get on?