A year of endings Jonee Bilasano May 22, 2019 IMO The Philippine Star, a newspaper in the Philippines, reported that moviegoers scampered towards the cinema in Butuan right after the doors of the mall opened to watch the first screening of Avengers: Endgame. Here in the U.S., the film elicited similar reactions. While it seems unlikely that any viewer will pull a Usain Bolt towards the theater, the American moviegoer has exhibited the same zeal. Tickets are sold out one or two days the tickets prior to the movie’s opening. Not to be left out, the last season of Game of Thrones (GoT) drew out comparable reactions. Fans created memes on social media and exhibited their excitement almost on a daily basis. Various brands rode the GoT bandwagon and used HBO’s juggernaut in their marketing campaigns. The anticipation, bordering on delirium, reached a crescendo on April 14, 2019: 17.4-million viewers tuned in to watch the inaugural episode of GoT season eight. The entertainment fiesta, however, does not end with Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. In December 2019, The Force comes back. Disney will release Star Wars: Episode Nine — Rise of The Skywalker. Whether this film will shatter box office records remains a mystery given Avengers: Endgame looms in the background. At the very least, we can expect that it will make a killing in the box office. Avengers: Endgame, GoT, and Star Wars: Episode Nine have arguably given both hardcore fans and the general moviegoing public a bonanza of sorts. The only year that I can think of that can come close to this was in 2002—a year when Lord of The Rings: Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were released in the same period. Reality sets in But every high has its descent, every beginning has an end. All the franchises above or their storylines to be more specific, are about to meet their respective conclusions. They all end this year. Avengers: Endgame acts as the culminating tale for an intertwined narrative that has spanned for 10 to 11 years. GoT’s season eight puts a period to the television adaption of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Star Wars: Episode Nine concludes the Skywalker saga. 2019, therefore, will make tears drop for the hardcore fan/comic book movie aficionado. The endings, however, are not limited to the three above. Fanboys and fangirls/comic book geeks/sci-fi nuts/high fantasy followers will most likely sob with the sunset ride of other notable TV series. The Big Bang Theory ends its run this year. Mr. Robot will not operate beyond this season. Elementary, a postmodern interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, concludes its sleuthing, too. Gotham, a different take on the Batman universe, gets a curtain call as well. Vikings, that GoT-looking show, will not go beyond 2019. And while sci-fi and comic book fans will miss the shows above, another established comic strip has said goodbye. Syfy Wire, in its March 19, 2019 post, reports that the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip, syndicated by King Features Syndicate, will cease publication this year, too. The strip, launched in 1977, came into existence with Stan Lee’s involvement. But, due to Mr. Lee’s recent passing, the strip’s future turned into a question mark. The loss of this one stings a bit. Putting things in perspective So, when you think about it, this year is bittersweet for the comic book movie and sci-fi/high fantasy aficionado. They get to watch three of the biggest pop culture icons in one year, but at the same time witness their denouement. In the same vein, TV fans will witness shows like Gotham, Elementary, and the like go out with a bang and finish their respective tours of duty. Fans will be treated to a spectacle like no other. It’s like seeing the final minutes of a supernova. And we all know what happens next. Now, for the comic book enthusiasts, especially Spider-Man followers, they should cherish the Spider-Man comic strip’s final run. Because aside from losing a 40-year-old comic strip, there is no telling if what will happen next in the comic book industry as a whole. How so? You have Marvel Studios making possibly billions of dollars out of its movies and yet its comic book counterpart isn’t exactly raking in the cash. Intriguing isn’t it? Suffice it to say, that merits a discussion on its own. But, for now, enjoy this year, savor your favorite movie, TV series, or even comic book. Treasure the moments when they give you a viable escape from your respective realities. Embrace the joy, though both fleeting and manufactured, that they provide to you. We may after all be witnessing the zenith of comic book/high fantasy/sci-fi entertainment. Because after this, after seeing the pinnacle, everything may go downhill.