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Fans Are Really Upset Over Okoye In Endgame

One of Marvel's heroes seems to keep getting the short end of the stick — and some fans aren't too happy about it.

Avengers: Endgame has blown away audiences worldwide, but the Twitterverse quickly noticed that Okoye (Danai Gurira), despite being a key player in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, got stuck with all of about a minute of screen time in the epic. Please note that spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

Now, it should be noted that by design, Endgame focuses heavily on the six original Avengers (and Ant-Man, whose supply of Pym Particles is key to their strategy to swipe the Infinity Stones from various points in time before Thanos can acquire them). But this isn't the first time that Marvel Studios has seemingly overlooked the character in regards to Endgame: when the first poster for the flick was released back in March, Gurira's name was conspicuously absent from it, despite Okoye's depiction alongside the ensemble of un-snapped heroes. It took only a day for the studio to correct the mistake, but its comment on its official Twitter — "She should have been up there all this time" — was seen as a major "well, duh" moment by many fans.

These same fans were nevertheless incredibly psyched to see how Okoye would be handling her new, de facto status as ruler of Wakanda in T'Challa's absence, but when Endgame finally hit theaters, they were — in a word — disappointed. Okoye only shows up briefly, a handful of times: once during Black Widow's holographic consultation with a number of surviving heroes (including Captain Marvel, whom it could be argued also could have handled a bit more screen time) near the film's beginning, and a couple of times during the movie's climactic battle with Thanos and his invading minions. Sure, those moments are pretty badass, as she's seen at the side of the revived Black Panther, and assembling alongside virtually all of the MCU's other female heroes to help ferry Tony Stark's Infinity Gauntlet 2.0 across the battlefield and out of Thanos' reach. But fans of the character wanted more — much more — and many felt that Marvel had pulled a bait-and-switch of sorts by sending Gurira out to make the promotional rounds along with her co-stars leading up to its release.

Of course, we're talking about a movie that is just over three hours long, one which had its work cut out for it in assembling all of the many moving parts of the Avengers' time travel plot and constructing emotionally satisfying story arcs for the original team of Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Hulk, and Captain America. But it's fair to say that certain aspects of Endgame's marketing could be seen as attempting to make the film appear to be slightly more Okoye-centric than it actually was — which, also in the interest of fairness, was not very.

The news, however, isn't all bad for Gurira's Dora Milaje General. She's expected to have a much more substantial role in the forthcoming Black Panther 2 (for which no official title or release date has yet been set), and there's also been speculation — driven by that brief all-female team up during Endgame's big battle — that a film showcasing the women of the MCU could possibly be in the works. Thor: Ragnarok's Tessa Thompson, along with a phalanx of other female Marvel stars, pitched the idea to an enthusiastic Kevin Feige back in 2017 — and it's safe to say that if the MCU were to field a version of the comics' all-female A-Force, Okoye would have to be a key member.

Those potential future highlights, though, don't entirely make up for the character's thin presence in one of the biggest movies of all time (if not the biggest). Perhaps when Endgame gets a digital release, we'll get a four-hour director's cut, showing us how Okoye goes about tending to the day-to-day business of running Wakanda — and, for that matter, maybe getting a little more specific about all of those intergalactic emergencies Captain Marvel was supposedly attending to during the five years the Avengers were just kind of sitting around moping over their fallen comrades.