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The Most Paused Moments In Avengers: Endgame

In the spring of 2019, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans around the world packed into movie theaters for Avengers: Endgame, the biggest and wildest adventure in the history of Marvel Studios. Endgame — billed as the culmination to not just one story but every Marvel Studios story told up to that point — quickly became a box office juggernaut, and it eventually rose to become the highest-grossing movie of all time.

So it's safe to say that pretty much every one who wanted to see Endgame did eventually buy a ticket and take the ride in a theater, but that doesn't mean we're done with this massive, jam-packed film. As soon as the movie arrived on home video, fans everywhere began to revisit the massive cinematic epic, looking for things they missed the first time around, rewatching their favorite scenes, and sometimes even flat-out pausing the movie just to admire its various secrets. If you're a Marvel fan who likes to pore over every frame, looking for key details, this is for you. These are the most paused (and most pause-worthy) moments in Avengers: Endgame.

Hawkeye's house arrest in Avengers: Endgame

In the wake of Captain America: Civil War, the various heroes of the MCU (the ones still on Earth, anyway) were divided in a way we hadn't seen before, and the MCU films that followed directly commented on the fallout from those events. Spider-Man: Homecoming showed us how Tony Stark was carrying on and even looking for new members, while also implying that Captain America was on the run. Black Panther showed us the isolation of Wakanda in the aftermath of King T'Chaka's death. Then Avengers: Infinity War came along and delivered Cap's team of secret Avengers, traveling around the world in secret to help where they could. What the film didn't give us, though, was any real presence from Ant-Man and Hawkeye.

Turns out that after Civil War, both Scott Lang and Clint Barton were put under house arrest for their roles in helping Cap. Scott got a whole movie devoted to his predicament with Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Endgame was the first time we saw Clint dealing with his own confinement. If you look closely in Endgame's cold open, you can see the consequences, if only for a moment. Pause at just the right time, and you'll spot an ankle monitor around Barton's leg, similar to the one Scott Lang had to wear.

Hit pause and admire that Marvel logo

The Marvel Studios logo that pops up at the beginning of every MCU movie has been through several evolutions. Over the years, it's gone from a simpler version of the logo that incorporated comic book pages to a more elaborate, film-based representation of the MCU's iconic characters. And in the later films, script pages from Marvel's hits fill the screen, followed by artsy representations of heroes and live-action footage of them saving the world. It's a great studio logo, but there's still plenty of room to play around with it. When Captain Marvel was released, for example, the logo was changed to an all-Stan Lee edition to pay tribute to the legendary Marvel creator after his death in 2018 at the age of 95.

For Avengers: Endgame, the studio got playful with its logo yet again. The film picks up in a world where Thanos has already won, wiping out half of all life in the universe, including a large number of Marvel heroes. So to reflect that, the Marvel Studios logo is altered to feature only the heroes who survived the Snap, removing the heroes who turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. If you pause the movie a time or two during the logo reveal, you'll see what we mean.

A Marvel Easter egg with Unit 616

When it comes to the world of Marvel Comics and its translation to the big screen, there are some Easter eggs that will never get old. For example, we could never get enough Stan Lee cameos. And it was always fun to see a famous comic creator's name show up on a street sign or a storefront. And of course, die-hard Marvel fans are always happy to see a certain three-digit number, no matter how many times filmmakers incorporate it into the movies.

When Avengers: Endgame opens, Scott Lang is still trapped in the Quantum Realm, and he's freed only when a rat steps on the controls for the Quantum Tunnel in the back of his van, which has long since been moved into a storage unit. As the scene begins, the camera pushes in on the storage unit surrounded by chain link fencing, and we see the name "Lang" on the sign. And beneath the name is the unit's number: 616.

That number has long been associated with the "prime" Marvel Universe in the comics continuity, the reality where all of Marvel's main stories are set. (There are quite a few universes in the world of Marvel Comics.) The 616 gag has been used before in the films — Dr. Selvig wrote it on a chalkboard in Thor: The Dark World, for example — but it's always nice to pause for a moment and just smile at the reference.

Korg's wardrobe is a moment worth pausing for

Avengers: Infinity War had to pack a lot of plot into an already long movie, which means that there were a lot of questions from the film that Endgame needed to spend some time answering. One of those loose ends was a character from Thor: Ragnarok who became a fan favorite and then was conspicuously absent from the brutal opening of Infinity War. So, what happened to Thor's rocky pal, Korg?

Thankfully, Avengers: Endgame lets us know early on that Korg and his best friend Miek survived the slaughter of the Asgardians and are now living with Thor at New Asgard on Earth. Like the god of thunder, both former gladiators have become couch potatoes, hanging out in the house all day and playing video games. It's a funny reveal, but it includes more than just the news that Korg is alive.

If you freeze the scene on one of Korg's shots, you might notice that he's adopted some Earth clothes, namely a pineapple print shirt and shorts. It might seem like just a funny costume choice, but it's actually a nod to the actor who plays Korg, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, who's been known to walk a red carpet or two in a pineapple printed romper.

Endgame's nod to an iconic Stan Lee catchphrase

Stan Lee — the co-creator of many of the MCU's major heroes — was a constant presence in the world of Marvel-based films for decades thanks to his many, many cameo appearances. After popping up in the more separated universes of the Spider-Man and X-Men trilogies, Lee became a prominent fixture of the MCU, appearing in every Marvel Studios film in one form or another to the delight of fans. Sadly, Lee passed away in the fall of 2018 at the age of 95, having completed just a couple of additional cameos before his death. And Avengers: Endgame marked the last time we'd see Lee's instantly recognizable face in a new cameo.

Thankfully for all of us, it was a memorable appearance. Lee showed up at the beginning of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers' time heist to New Jersey in 1970, speeding past an army base in a muscle car. Lee's retro look for the cameo is reason enough to freeze the frame, but if you pause at the very beginning of the scene and look at this car, you'll notice a "nuff said" bumper sticker prominently displayed. Along with "excelsior," "nuff said" became one of Stan the Man's most popular catchphrases back in the days when he was still writing regular letter columns in the pages of Marvel Comics, and it's a nice nod to the Stan of the '70s.

Press pause to get a glimpse of classic Ant-Man

Though he might not have the same high profile as characters like Captain America, Thor, or Iron Man, the superhero known as Ant-Man is actually one of the oldest characters in the Marvel Universe. Hank Pym and his incredible shrinking powers debuted all the way back in 1962 in the pages of Tales to Astonish, and the character went on to become a founding member of the Avengers.

Pym's long journey to the big screen meant that, by the time we finally did see him in the MCU, the story focused more on the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, and it made Pym into a legacy hero whose adventures in his prime we see only in flashback. However, Avengers: Endgame offers an opportunity to pay homage to this legacy with a time travel trip back to 1970, when Pym was a young doctor working in a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab. Though Pym's Endgame time is little more than a cameo appearance, we get to see a brief glimpse of an early Ant-Man helmet on a table in his lab. If you pause to admire the headgear for a moment, you'll see that it's a design lifted from Pym's very earliest comic book appearances.

Assembling the Avengers

Avengers: Endgame is three hours of pure comic book-fueled adrenaline, so there are plenty of moments worth hitting the pause button on or even just full-on rewinding so you can experience them all over again. It's a movie made to be pored over for years to come, and that's why we've got this whole list of amazing moments worth focusing on. If we had to pick just one, though? If there was only one scene in the film worth freeze framing over and over again? It's the moment when the film's climax kicks into high gear.

Steve Rogers, battered and hobbled by his battle with Thanos, refuses to stop fighting. He stands up as Thanos' army gathers on the horizon, prepared to go down swinging in the battle to save the Earth. Then he hears his friend Sam Wilson's voice in his heads, portals open up all around him, and suddenly, Captain America is surrounded by an army of allies from Wakanda, the Sanctum Sanctorum, and beyond. The crowd that gathers so Cap can say "Avengers, assemble" at long last is truly an amazing sight, and it's worth freeze framing to highlight as many characters as possible. Bonus points if you can find Howard the Duck in the ranks.

The A-Force moment is one of the best in Avengers: Endgame

The buildup to the climactic battle in Avengers: Endgame is an amazing moment, full of appearances from resurrected heroes and plenty of freeze frame-worthy shots. Even after all that build-up has landed, though, the showdown itself offers plenty of individual spotlight sequences that are worth focusing in on. As the camera zooms through the massive battlefield, virtually every major Marvel character gets at least one moment to shine. It's a glorious series of moments, but one in particular seems to stand out above the rest.

At one point in the battle, our heroes decide they need to get the Infinity Gauntlet over to the Quantum Tunnel to keep it away from Thanos. As Peter Parker tries to hand the Gauntlet over to Carol Danvers, every major female hero in the fight surrounds her, and they prepare for an all-out assault on Thanos' forces. Is it a movie that feels like pure fan service to some? Maybe, but creating a team of all-female Avengers — known in the comics as "A-Force" — if even for a few seconds, is still cheer worthy, as is their charge into battle seconds later.

We gotta hit pause to figure out who that kid is

The arc of the overall MCU sometimes builds slowly in the background, but it's there, and Avengers: Endgame made that especially clear by serving as both a loving guide to the MCU's past and a conclusion to the story of Tony Stark. The film is an emotional, devastating ending to Tony's journey from selfish tech genius to savior of the universe, and the payoff of that journey feels like a satisfying conclusion to not just this film but over a decade of movies that came before.

This all culminates in the Avengers holding a memorial service for Tony outside his family home, and the camera lovingly pans across what's essentially the universe he created as the first MCU hero. We see each franchise represented in turn, all given suitable reverence, but then the camera briefly hovers across a sad young man standing basically by himself, as moviegoers scratch their heads and go, "Huh?"

If you or someone in your home is still confused about that kid at the funeral, hit pause on the movie again and study his features. He's grown up a lot, so it's understandable if you didn't recognize him at first, but that's actually Harley Keener, the budding child inventor from Iron Man 3 who helped a stranded Tony Stark when he needed a friend the most. In other words, Harley more than earned his spot at that funeral.

Something familiar in Thanos' garden

Back in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos promises that if he gets what he wants he'll finally go someplace to "rest," proud of the years of labor it took to finally make his dream a reality. In Avengers: Endgame, we get to see what that rest looks like, and for Thanos at least, it seems rather nice. Wounded and weak in the wake of his battle with the Avengers and his effort to destroy the Infinity Stones once and for all, the film finds Thanos at home on an isolated garden planet, harvesting crops and relaxing in what looks like a simple hut. He's also found a new use for the armor he wore through all his years of fighting: It's now a scarecrow watching over his fields. 

On the surface, this is a nice symbol, an indication that Thanos has indeed committed to no longer fighting anything or anyone. Before the Avengers show up, he seems truly relaxed and content in his new surroundings, and the scarecrow is a good indication of that. But Marvel Comics fans know that the imagery carries a deeper meaning. If you pause the movie at this point and then go look at the final pages of the classic 1991 story The Infinity Gauntlet, you'll see a direct parallel to the end of that story, in which Thanos is exiled to live out his days as a simple farmer after his defeat. 

A nod to Natasha's past

In the wake of the Snap, each of the surviving Avengers learn to cope in their own way. Steve starts support groups, Bruce learns how to deal with both halves of himself, Thor descends into a life of booze and video games, Tony starts a family, and Clint goes on the warpath after losing his wife and kids. Then there's Natasha, who decides her place is in the Avengers Compound in upstate New York, where she coordinates superhero operations on Earth and beyond, because it's the only thing she knows how to do. She also, apparently, takes some solace in certain aspects of her past. 

Early in the film when Steve visits Natasha at the compound, one wide shot reveals an interesting nod to Natasha's unconventional upbringing. If you pause at the right moment during a wide shot, you'll see a pair of ballet shoes on a chair. This is a nod to Natasha's past as a young girl trained throughout her childhood to be a Russian assassin. The ballet was part of the physical training along her journey to becoming a cold-blooded killer, and perhaps as she grew older it was one of the few things she still enjoyed about that period in her life. We'll learn more about Natasha's past in the Black Widow solo film, and this little Easter egg is a nice nod in that direction.