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A decade of movies has brought us to the end of a long road in the form of Avengers Infinity War, an epic undertaking we finally got our first, glorious look at today. The trailer draws on a dark future for our heroes as Thanos finally makes his long-awaited move, but it’s also filled with hints at the war to come.
Avengers Infinity War’s trailer opens with a nostalgic, yet ominous recollection of how the Avengers Initiative first began. “There was an idea,” Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) says, as we approach from an alien world—it’s for certain not Earth, provided the binary star system—to a distraught Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) Given the background, it’s reasonable to assume that Tony is on this alien world, and it’s this planet we see the Avengers fighting on later in the trailer.
“To bring together a group of remarkable folks…” continues Tony, as Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his pal mystic Wong (Benedict Wong) discover an interloper in the Sanctum Sanctorum: Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), who’s come in through the roof.
“To see if we could become something more” arrives with the first true surprise of the trailer, in the shape of android Avenger the Vision (Paul Bettany). Except, we don’t just see any other synthezoid superhero here: We see Vision in human form, embracing the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). In the comics, Vision has disguised in a human form, with the alias Victor Shade, to blend in best with humanity, but perhaps the real reason here is an attempt to hide the Mind Stone implanted in his head from detection by Thanos.
“So when they needed us, we could fight the fights…” is given to the God of Thunder – Thor (Chris Hemsworth), emerging from the portholes of a spaceship. This doesn’t appear to the ship we last left the Odinson on at the end of Ragnarok with his fellow Asgardian refugees. The decor indicates it’s the Guardians’ ship, which we find him on at the end of the trailer.
The statement ends with a “…that they never could” from the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). This shot is huge for a number of reasons. Not only do we get to witness Natasha’s platinum blonde hairdo, first seen in Infinity War’s stunning Comic-Con poster earlier this year, but this seems to be the first time Bruce and Natasha have met each other since he ran off in a quinjet during the climax of Avengers Age of Ultron. The background sees Wakandan, where Bruce is standing next to the wounded arm of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor.
Back in Bleeker Street, where Bruce, Strange, and Wong are all joined by Tony Stark. The damage in the stairs implies this is after Bruce’s arrival, but provided we know he heads to Wakanda at certain point, it’s likely this is prior to that. All four are pretty perturbed by the sounds of chaos outside the Sanctum Sanctorum’s doorstep…
As is Peter Parker, a.k.a. the spectacular Spider-Man (Tom Holland). He didn’t have a chance to show it off in Spider Man Homecoming, but Peter’s spider-sense is on full display in this trailer, as Peter turns around to discover a giant ring-structure in the skies above New York City. Now it’s Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) turn to talk: “In time, you will know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail, all the same.” Fine, Mad Titan, no need to rub it in.
The ring structure is probably some kind of portal for Thanos and his cronies to show up in and out of, but its technology is quite reminiscent of the silver sheen and neon red lights of Ultron, even if it likely has nothing to do with.
But the giant space-ring floating above New York isn’t the most interesting scene here—it’s our heroes looking up at it, as we clearly see Tony’s got an arc reactor implanted in his chest again, something first spotted in set pictures not long ago. Removing the reactor and the shrapnel around his heart it was protecting was a big part of Iron Man 3, and he continued to not have a reactor in his Homecoming appearance. So what’s caused Tony to re-install it?
Loki (the brilliant Tom Hiddleston) walks over the dead bodies of what seem to be Asgardians to offer the Tesseract to someone off-screen. This is presumably a continuation of Thor Ragnarok’s post-credits scene, and it looks like things don’t go too well for the ship holding what remains of Asgard. This is cut with a shot of Thanos arriving through a portal, making it appear like Loki’s offering it directly to him, but it’s clearly not the same location—the blue sky in the background makes it hard to tell where exactly, but it’s definitely not the Asgardian ship. It’s perhaps that alien planet we witness so much of in this trailer.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man dons his shiny new tech-suit from the end of Homecoming to swing up to the giant ring-ship above New York. We clearly knew a Strange/Spidey pairing was on the cards, but this is probably when and where, considering we found Strange and Wong battling below the structure earlier.
Back in space for a bit as Thor struggles at the heart of a different giant ring machine (they’re big on rings in this trailer). It’s hard to tell what’s happening here. Is this in the Asgardian refugee spaceship, and something’s gone horribly wrong? Or is it something else? We’ve known for a while that Thanos wouldn’t be alone in Infinity War, but bring with him his team of arch-henchmen from the comics, the Black Order. They’re hardly seen in this trailer, but we do get a blink-and-you’ll-miss it glimpse of the female member of the Order, Proxima Midnight, hurling the spear we found her with at D23 at a shadowed figure that is quite clearly Captain America (Chris Evans). Over this, we hear the sound of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) battling the defense of Wakanda, before asking that someone “get that man a shield.”
Back to the Proxima fight, we finally get to see that man, Captain America, step out of the shadows, and his beard is still as glorious as the day we first saw it. The reaction shot of Scarlet Witch seems to imply she’s also in this fight, and the location definitely matches. This probably isn’t Wakanda, though, despite Black Panther’s dialogue. It appears to be wherever Team Cap (or is it Team Nomad, now?) is keeping Vision secreted away.
After the tease we saw earlier, the incredible Hulk lands in all its glory in Wakanda. Intriguingly, recent information about tie-in Lego sets for Infinity War that hit the web indicated that Bruce Banner is inside the giant suit here. That’d make sense, as we saw him doing things with the arm earlier. But why Hulkbuster instead of, well… Hulk?
In quick succession, we get Black Widow lunging with a spear at an unseen foe (maybe Proxima), Doctor Strange battling in New York, and huge alien spires crashing into Wakanda, all as Captain America and the Black Panther go into battle with an army of four-armed aliens. We don’t get an explanation as to why Wakanda is under attack, but it’s long been assumed that the isolationist utopia is home to the final Infinity Stone we’ve yet to see in the films, the orange-hued Soul stone.
Spider Man, meanwhile, gets slammed by Thanos. The red-orange lighting seems to indicate once again that this is the alien world from the opening of the trailer, which means SPIDER-MAN IN SPAAAACE is a thing that will happen at some point in this movie.
“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe,” Thanos purrs. You know what really doesn’t look fun? Vision, back in his syntehzoid form, getting the Mind Stone pried out of his head by an unknown assailant. The weapon resembles somewhat to Loki’s old staff from Avengers, still, is more likely the glaive of, well, Corvus Glaive (Terry Notary), the main warrior of Thanos’ Black Order. We saw the weapon back at D23.
“But this… this does put a smile on my face,” Thanos continues, as he attaches a second Infinity Stone to his gauntlet and proceeds to smack the shit out of Iron Man. The stones, glowing in purple and blue, are respectively the Power and Space Stones. We saw Loki offering the Tesseract/Space Stone willingly earlier, but the Power Stone was being safely stored on Xandar by the Nova Corps the last time we saw it, at the final scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy.
So perhaps the Corps will continue its long comic book tradition of having its ass handed to itself in the film universe also. But it raises yet another intriguing question: What if this ravaged alien world we’re seeing Thanos battle the Avengers on is really Xandar? I mean, Thanos has got to achieve that stone eventually. And Guardians of the Galaxy suggested that Xandar is in a trinary Star system, so it’s a possibility.
Back on Earth, the army of Wakanda is preparing to hold off a massive invasion. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is dethawed and ready to give a hand, but if you look to the left in T’Challa’s line up, you can also briefly spot M’Baku (Winston Duke), who’ll be featured in Black Panther this February.
Falcon (Anthony Mackie) swoops over the battlefield as we see the Hulkbuster tanking waves of aliens below. This battle looks simply ginormous.
Squad goals? Squad goals. A must to notice here is the arrival of War Machine (Don Cheadle) in Wakanda, and the fact that Bruce is all Hulked out. If those rumors about Bruce being in the Hulkbuster turn out to be true, perhaps he starts out in it, the suit gets damaged/destroyed, and that’s when he rages out?
The final scene of the trailer—after one last victorious blare of the Avengers theme—is one we’d previously read about as being screened at the D23 Expo earlier this year, which finds Thor’s body violently bump into a passing space ship. A battered and bruised Thor (now free to show the eyepatch he earned during the climax of Thor Ragnarok) wakes up inside, finding himself surrounded by some strange new allies…
Our first look at Avengers Infinity War is filled with a marvelous spectacle that’s a decade in the making, but it’s unexpectedly light on giving us any pertinent information beyond what we already know: Thanos is on his way, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes are not prepared to stop him. While we know there’ll be teams of heroes across the word—and in the stars—spread across the movie, it’s going to take all of them coming together to pose a real threat to the Mad Titan. We’ll see more of that, hopefully, before Avengers Infinity War is released in May 2018.