Today, we’re talking about Starks. (Not those Starks, which contrast with these Starks so starkly.) Today is about Howard and Tony, and several other fraught fatherhood stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Today is the opening of an ending, as Avengers: Endgame—the 22nd film in a collection of stories about so much more than heroes—has finally hit theaters. And if you’ve been following along with this amazing multi-faceted project since Iron Man in 2008, our Whit Honea, who sees every Disney thing first, says it will hit you, too. Right in the gut.
It’s not a spoiler to say this movieful of masked vigilantes, aliens, gods, and sorcerers will probably jerk more than a few tears. Part of that is due to the nostalgia we feel for the characters we’re saying goodbye to after 11 years. And beyond that is the impact of what their respective story lines mean, and how heavily they’ve been affected by the fathers in their lives.
Fatherhood, from devotion to implosion, has been a constant in the MCU. When it’s notably lacking, father figures and mentors take its place. The culmination of the franchise is no different. If anything, in Avengers Endgame, the MCU has embraced fatherhood on a whole new level. It could be argued that fatherhood is the most powerful weapon and the greatest defense.
Like real life, how we chose to view fatherhood forms how we in turn are viewed. Are we heroes or villains? Are we emotionally available? Do we own a cape? What lengths would we go to for our children?
Unfortunately, the answers to those questions, at least with regard to Endgame, are spoiler-heavy, and even Thanos wouldn’t dare ruin an Avengers film. All the more reason to head to a theater this weekend and check it out with your kids. You’d be stark raving mad not to.
WORLD MENINGITIS DAY
This week we observed World Meningitis Day by teaming with two-time Dad 2.0 Summit sponsor GSK in sharing the story of Nico Williams, as told by his father Greg (pictured above with his daughter Tiffany at Dad 2.019 in San Antonio). We hope you’ll take a minute to read the Williams family story and learn about the two vaccines available to help prevent against the five vaccine-preventable serogroups of meningitis.
IRIS AWARDS ARE TONIGHT!
If you’re in Austin tonight for the conclusion of the 2019 Mom 2.0 Summit, have a great time at this year’s Iris Awards! If you’re nominated, good luck! And if you’d like to be, make a plan now to do your best work this year, so that you could be on the program in Los Angeles on May 8, 2020!
IN THE NEWS
Trying to always protect children from disappointment can have concerning consequences.
As parents, we often hear the negatives about kids and video games, but it turns out there are plenty of good things, too!
There are several behavioral changes men can make that may possibly help increase their sperm count. We’re fans of the kilt.
“A recent study from the National Health Service has found that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren live longer than those who don’t.”
“Kids and nature: Two things that not so long ago went together, well, naturally.”
“The ability of gay men to have children has the real possibility of accelerating acceptance across China.“
Parents, tired of yelling? There are options.
Camping with the family can be the best of times and the worst of times.
Between spring break and the promise of summer vacation upon the horizon, families are talking travel. At least one family member is probably screaming it.
- “The short of my message is this: I’m not sure if I’ve got the balance thing figured out, but I’m trying like hell—just like everyone else there.” – Riley Evan Ross; Fathers—Two Ways
- “Our middle child had recently come out as transgender. I wasn’t supposed to feel the way I was feeling. I was woke. I mean, I was ‘hella woke.'” – Roberto Santiago; Parenting Transgender Child More than ‘Just a Phase’
- “I am slightly more alone in the world now, despite an innumerable number of connections.” – James Webster; The Places Your Body Is Not
- “About 15 years ago, I got myself into some trouble. And the worst consequence of that, by far, was the look in my grandfather’s eyes.” – Jeremy D. Haston; The Long Goodbye
- “There are people of every descent: women wearing burqas; Orthodox Jews; Christians. The only place maybe on the planet where everyone comes together and pulls for the same thing is apparently a children’s hospital.” – Brett Grayson; The Procedure
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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Photo: Film Frame, ©Marvel Studios