Okay, so we all care about what’s happening to our super friends in Avengers: Endgame, but you know who else we care about? All the normal people who were hanging around doing normal stuff when Thanos’s Snappening happened—you know, like the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene barely scratched the surface of showing. This wouldn’t be the first story that saw a world forced to reckon with a sudden and massive population culling, but you wouldn’t know it from the first trailer. Considering how brilliantly series like The Leftovers and Y: The Last Man addressed these kinds of worldbuilding details, we can’t help but we curious about what happens in this universe.
What is the actual death and damage cost?
If 50-percent of the population died/disintegrated just as a result of the Snap, that doesn’t take into account the people in the cars and buses that suddenly lost their drivers, or the planes without pilots. Surgeons going poof while patients are still under anesthesia. Dogs without their human walkers. The frothing pitchers of milk dropping to the floor, never to become lattes. Amusement park operators leaving people at the top of the ferris wheel. The rock-climbers who plummet to their deaths when there’s no one to belay them. And think about the detritus left behind: kites floating away, surfboards drifting off to sea, scuba tanks sinking to the bottom of the ocean, smartphones cracked on the pavement where they fell. There’d be no way to avoid the evidence—and countless left-behind things would become monuments and memorials, all over the world.
The collateral damage, whether loss of life or injury and destruction through the sudden absence of half the world, is nothing to sniff at.
Where are the Avengers?
The trailer makes it seem very likely that the remaining Avengers immediately retreat to the compound to assess the situation and form a plan to handle it. Which means that they are totally MIA to the rest of the world. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes abandoned their posts, as far as the planet knows, with the small exception of the people who tuned into the news and heard world about Tony Stark taking on a big spaceship in New York City. In all likelihood, the population doesn’t care much about the superteam, as far more immediate issues will take precedence. But that’s still a scary footnote alongside the omnipresent death and suffering. At the very least, there are probably a bunch of kids out there asking parents (or whoever is available to take care of them), “Where did Iron Man go?”
And no one has an answer.
Who assumes control?
Even among smaller groups, people are going to have to step forward to organize whatever relief efforts crop up in the wake of the snap. This is likely fall to whoever is present and has some form of relevant experience, but the whole situation gets wonkier as you move further up the food chain. Do nations even matter anymore? (Not likely.) Does whatever is left of the UN try to form some vague umbrella of governance and aid? (Probably?) Are there crime syndicates trying to make power grabs, or are they just as devastated? (Depends on the group, we guess. That’d be a job for the Defenders—oh wait.) There’s probably an immediate push toward cooperation that will last for a while, but there’s really no telling what springs up in the days and months that follow if things aren’t put to rights quickly.
How does this change faith?
Chances are, the Snapture didn’t match religious groups’ expectation for the Rapture, apocalypse, or whatever their respective doomsday event was called. Part of picking up the pieces for those left behind is restructuring their views on death, the afterlife, and life going forward. New religious cults always rise up in these stories, and if there is a Korean Church of Asgard then you know there’s at least one Snap Cult out there.
What is the psychological toll?
Most of the people on Earth watched friends, loved ones, coworkers, store clerks, and terrified strangers just vanish before their eyes. Even without the religious questions that would entail, very few people on the planet would fail to find that utterly traumatic. Survival mode is certainly a thing, but that won’t prevent shock and night terrors and depression and sudden panic attacks. Every single person everywhere is now the survivor of a war that they had no idea they were participating in. That’s going to leave serious scars that no one is prepared to handle on a massive scale.
What about all the Good Boys?
Listen, we didn’t want to go to this place, but now we can’t stop wondering about all the dogs who think their owners just abandoned them. DAMMIT THANOS.
…and all that cold pizza?
In New York alone, the number of snaptured delivery folks means there are a lot of take-out bags just sitting on the sidewalk next to a small pile of dust.
But the biggest questions we need answered are:
- Who Captain America shaved (himself);
- What Cap shaved (face);
- When Cap shaved (before Endgame?);
- Where Cap shaved (Wakanda?);
- Why Cap shaved (because Endgame?);
- and How Cap shaved (Peggy Carter memorial razor?).