From Black Panther's anger after his father's murder to Iron Man's post-Avengers panic attacks to Valkyrie abandoning Asgard and drowning her sorrows, the Marvel movies have often dealt with the psychological trauma that comes with the life of a superhero. This time, though, it's on a completely different scale. In the MCU, the ending of Infinity War is unquestionably the biggest tragedy in the history of the planet. It's not just the billions of people turned to dust, but as we see in Endgame, it's all life, meaning that Thanos took out animals, too. It's devastating for the entire universe, and the heroes who were at the center of it are no exception.
When the film shifts its focus to five years after the snap, we see that each of the Avengers has been dealing with the trauma in a different way. Even before we get to Thor, it's not always healthy.
In what's probably the most productive response, we see Captain America leading a support group for survivors, which works on a lot of levels. It highlights the empathy and moral center that makes Steve Rogers such an appealing character, and works as a tribute to his fallen friend, Sam Wilson. Before he was an Avenger, Sam was leading a support group for veterans, and with him gone, Cap is doing his best to carry on that legacy.
The others, however, aren't doing so well in the way they deal with tragedy. Hawkeye goes to an incredibly violent extreme, trying to personally enforce a fairness that's absent in the loss of innocent life. Black Widow loses herself in obsessing over her work, trying to fix everything she can. While Tony Stark's life post-snap is far more idyllic than the other heroes', he's still completely given up making the world a better, safer place, which defined his life as Iron Man. He's refusing to use his genius to help others because, well, what's the point? He tried, it didn't work, time to move on. These are all very different and very relatable ways of dealing with a traumatic experience.
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Traumavengers | 0:14
The contextual Hulk | 2:00
Twilight of the gods | 4:22
Depression and substance abuse | 5:35
Voluminous and alone | 6:31
Relatable or insulting? | 7:50
The reaction | 8:47
The defense of Thicc Thor | 9:36