These Behind the Scenes Photographs from The Avengers Are Making Me Feel All The Feels and Jesus Christ, I Am Just Barely Hanging On

We’re all getting emotional about the close of Marvel’s epic superhero epic Avengers: Endgame, which is currently hulk-smashing its way to history as the top-grossing blockbuster of all time. Now that pretty much everyone and their mama has seen the most amazing superhero team ever assembled kick Thanos’ purple butt Marvel no longer has to worry about spoilers.

So the money-making Disney division is releasing a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photos that underline what a huge pop culture phenomenon the record-breaking series has been and also how I’m so desperately lonely, miserable and unsuccessful that it takes every last bit of willpower and strength not to end it all. 

7. The Avengers unassembled! Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Downey Jr., Evans and Renner grinning big on the set of Endgame

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The Avengers movies offer two very different kinds of fantasies. First and foremost there is the giddy fantasy of being able to fly, wield a magical, all-powerful Hammer from Asgard, Hulk out when angry or defeat evildoers with an amazing super-suit of your own design. Those potent fantasies have made this one of the most successful franchises in film history.

For me, Avengers: Endgame offers a fantasy every bit as irresistible and appealing as well as fantastical: the blockbuster takes place in a world full of friendship and camaraderie, where people smile easily and no one ever weeps openly in public because they’re so overwhelmed with despair. At this point having a loving, supportive friend group who hold me in high esteem and want to spend time with me is as far-fetched and otherworldly as having the powers of a man-sized spider or being able to shrink to the size of an ant.

I’m so lonely!

6. Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. hug it out!

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In case the group photo above didn’t make it perfectly clear, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr., AKA The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, are clearly enjoying a bromance for the ages. These tough yet tender hulks and iconic iron men aren’t afraid to show their soft and sensitive side. Man, they look so happy here. And fulfilled. Like they’re doing what they want in life and aren’t perpetually burdened with an overwhelming, all-encompassing sadness as heavy as an elephant and as black as midnight.

Do you know how long it’s been since I was touched by someone other than a doctor? Christ, I can’t even remember. It’s been that long. The human body and the human soul both cry out for contact, for the human touch, not just the Human Torch. It doesn’t even have to be sexual in nature: I just want another human being to hold me in their arms while I weep softly and tell me that everything will be okay. They don’t even have to mean it or be sincere. I just crave the human touch so desperately it’s a little pathetic.

5. Captain America, the Golden Years

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Seeing Chris Evans, a talented, handsome, politically engaged, charismatic, extremely likable actor beloved by the American people smiling in old man make-up on the set of Avengers: Endgame makes me reflect on how good old Cap has thoroughly won our hearts and minds as well as a permanent place of honor in the annals of pop culture history. His trusty costume and shield belong in the Smithsonian.

But this bittersweet image also drives home how I am doomed to die alone and unloved, the kind of tragic sad sack whose rotting corpse gets discovered by the neighbors only because his mail is piling up and there’s a terrible stench coming from their squalid efficiency.

Unlike many of his fans, Evans is destined to die many decades from now, surrounded by family and loved ones, justifiably proud of a life of well lived. As for the rest of us, we have our cats and our imaginations and our ways to escape, or at least we did until Mister Fuzzy Mittens ran away last week, seemingly for good. Why wouldn’t he? Everyone else has left me. Why should my cat be any different?

4. Chris Evans and Paul Rudd enjoy a chuckle on the set of Endgame

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Looking at this photo of Chris Evans’ Captain America and Paul Rudd’s lovable, diminutive Ant-Man with enormous, infectious grins makes it apparent that, despite its epic length and sometimes tragic nature, Endgame was an absolute blast to make and that the cast truly dug each other’s company.

Alas, it just makes me think about how long it’s been since I’ve smiled. I mean, genuinely smiled instead of lurching around with a dead-eyed look of complete detachment and alienation. I’d need to force myself to smile the way Evans and Rudd effortlessly do in this photo. What the hell would I even bother doing that for? Christ, most days I don’t even leave my efficiency except to throw out my cat litter. Now that Mister Fuzzy Mittens is gone, I don’t even do that.

3. Stan the Man with Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans

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These awesome, super-emotional behind the scenes photos make me powerfully ponder two important questions: 

  1. How was it possible for Marvel to fit so much awesomeness and excitement into one franchise? 

  2. How do adults make friends? Christ, for that matter, how does anybody make friends? This is not a rhetorical question. I legitimately have no idea how to make friends and it’s killing me inside. It’s gotten almost to the point where I would pay people to be nice to me the way people pay for sex, but that would mean that I had money. I don’t.

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2. Attack of the super-hunks! Chris Hemsworth checks out Chris Pratt’s rippling physique

The Avengers aren’t just the earth’s mightiest heroes: they could very well be its sexiest as well! From sex bomb Black Widow to that Asgardian beefcake Thor, the world of the Avengers is overflowing with heroes, heroines and secret agents so explosively, devastatingly sensual you can get pregnant just by looking at red-hot photos like this candid shot of an absolutely ripped Chris Pratt alongside an even more muscle-bound Chris Hemsworth.

It seems safe to assume that neither of these massive box office stars, with their similarly massive biceps, ever have to worry about female companionship. They certainly wouldn’t go entire DECADES without so much as making out with another human being. You can bet that, unlike the author of this article, Hemsworth has never cried himself to sleep knowing that he will never be able to satisfy a woman sexually.


1. Stan Lee in one of his final cameos

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For Marvel maniacs who’ve been following these heroes since 2008’s Iron Man , The Avengers: Endgame is full of moments that yank sadistically at the heartstrings. The high-profile deaths of some of our greatest heroes produced waterworks all over the world but the single most emotionally affecting moment in the film could very well have been the poignant appearance of beloved Marvel creator Stan Lee, in a final cameo saying goodbye to the wonderful world he played such a central role in creating.

I teared up during Lee’s cameo for a much different reason: he reminded me so much of my own late father, who was colorful and larger than life if much less successful than the Spider-Man co-creator. My father was like Stan Lee if Stan Lee were an alcoholic who flitted from job to job and go-nowhere relationship to go-nowhere relationship and died of a heart attack at 47, having never accomplished much of anything.

Why did you have to die, Papa? Why did you have to leave me all alone in this infernal hellscape? You were never very nice to me, but you were all I ever had. Now I have nothing and no one, just my imaginary friends the Avengers and the escape from the inexorable horrors of everyday life they represent. Some days, most days, that is just not enough.

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