If the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taught comic fans anything, it’s that the name of a movie doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with any comic storylines that have the same name. For example, Avengers: Age Of Ultron’s only connection to the Age Of Ultron event was that Ultron was in both, Captain America: Civil War only has some memorable quotes and a fight between Cap and Iron Man in common with the Civil War comic, and Avengers: Infinity War was sort of a mash-up of the Infinity War event and the original Infinity Gauntlet story—but with the latter missing Adam Warlock, the Silver Surfer, and the cosmic-level players like Eternity and Galactus.
Now that we know that Avengers 4 is titled Endgame, The Hollywood Reporter decided to examine Marvel’s long history of putting “Endgame” in the name of things to see if it could pull out any clues for the movie—even though, as we’ve established, this sort of thing is typically a meaningless exercise. As it turns out, THR’s investigation has determined that this may have been even more meaningless than usual, because barely any of the 19 comics with “Endgame” in the title that THR pulled out are even remotely related to Thanos.
The closest one is a 2016 issue of The Ultimates about the eponymous team fighting off Thanos as he tries to take advantage of the global disarray stemming from the awful Civil War II storyline. There are a number of reasons why this most likely has nothing to do with Avengers: Endgame, including the fact that it’s about the Ultimates instead of the Avengers and an invading Thanos instead of triumphant farmer Thanos. There’s also an actual issue of a Thanos comic called “Endgame,” but it’s about him trying to be a good guy (or sorts) by hosting after-school specials for intergalactic civilizations about the importance of not eradicating all life—or at least that’s how THR makes it sound.
Really, none of the examples that THR looked up sound like they’d be relevant to Avengers: Endgame, so maybe we should take that as a sign that it’s not loosely connected to any previous Marvel story. If anything, it’s probably based on that Taylor Swift song “End Game,” since—without looking up a single lyric—we’re pretty sure it’s about Iron Man dying alone in space.