So here we are. There’s still one more Marvel Cinematic Universe movie between us and “Avengers: Infinity War” (the uber-anticipated “Black Panther”) but now that we’ve got a trailer we can watch over and over again — as opposed to the one Disney dropped at D23 and Comic-Con this summer that was only for those in the room — we can practically taste it. This is why we’ve watched all these movies over the past nine years. To see it all come together right here.
So we couldn’t help but pore over this thing to see what insights we could glean about where this thing is going. And we have about 2,000 words worth of thoughts that you can check out below.
But before we get to it, let’s remember what we already knew: “Infinity War” will be the culmination of Thanos’ quest to collect all the Infinity Stones that have been bouncing around the universe over the past decade. Thanos (Josh Brolin) has thus far remained in the shadows, dispatching agents like Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the first “Avengers” movie and Ronan in “Guardians of the Galaxy” to handle the search for him. But now, tired of failure, Thanos is taking matters into his own hands in a bid to use the stones to achieve true omnipotence.
OK, now we can dive in.
1. It’s very heavy on Wakanda
A few years ago, when Marvel was shuffling its schedule around, bumping “Black Panther” up from being the first movie after “Infinity War” to being the last movie before “Infinity War,” it didn’t feel like that big a deal.
But it’s clear now that the move was hugely meaningful, given how much of this trailer is set in Wakanda — it looks now like “Black Panther” will serve as the stage-setter for this main event, with at least one major battle taking place in T’Challa’s home country.
It’s not quite the whole Avengers crew participating in that fight, but we’ve got Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, the Winter Soldier, Hulk, Black Widow, Falcon and what looks like War Machine, not to mention the armed forces of Wakanda, fighting a pitched battle against Thanos’ alien army. Our guess is that the final Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, is in Wakanda, and that’s what Thanos is after.
2. What happened with Thor, Hulk and Loki after “Ragnarok”
At the very end of “Thor: Ragnarok” during the mid-credits scene we saw the ship carrying Thor, Loki, Hulk, Valkyrie and the remainder of the living Asgardians snatched up by Thanos’ flagship, the Sanctuary II. Based on a few shots from this trailer we can guess how that encounter worked out for at least Thor, Loki and Hulk.
At the start of the trailer, we see Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) looking down on Dr. Banner (Mark Ruffalo) after he seemingly crashed through the building they’re standing in — our guess is he fell to Earth from space after fighting back against Thanos’ forces.
That idea would seemingly be reinforced by the last shot in the trailer, in which Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy. In the “Infinity War” trailer we saw in Hall H at Comic-Con, we got an extended version of that scene in which the Guardians found Thor when he literally crashed into their windshield, having apparently just been floating through space after that encounter with Sanctuary II.
It looks like Loki, on the other hand, does not escape, as we see him in the trailer holding up the Tesseract (one of the Infinity Stones Thanos is after) to someone off screen.
He’s likely presenting it to Thanos — as you’ll recall, the events of the first “Avengers” movie were part of Thanos’ plan to use Loki to obtain the Tesseract. We’d bet Loki is going to try to spin a yarn about how he was totally on his way to bring the Tesseract to Thanos, for real this time.
3. Captain America sports a beard
I don’t even really have anything to say about this. Let’s just take a second to enjoy Cap’s new look.
4. Thanos has at least two Infinity Stones
It looks like, fairly early in the movie, Thanos will manage to snag at last two of the stone. The first is the blue Space Stone, which is also known as the Tesseract. That’s the object Loki stole in the first “Avengers” movie that gave him incredible power, and which it was implied he grabbed again from Asgard at the end of “Thor: Ragnarok.” Since the Tesseract is one of the two stones we see that Thanos has in the trailer, we feel pretty confident about our guess that Loki is presenting it to Thanos.
The second stone Thanos has in the trailer is the Power Stone, which first showed up in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” That stone was hidden in the Orb, the object the bad guy Ronan was trying to get during the course of the movie. The Guardians left the Orb in the hands of the good guy space military known as the Nova Corps. That suggests Thanos might have used some of his considerable power to get it away from them.
5. The third Infinity Stone: Vision
The trailer also shows what looks like Thanos’ goons trying to claim another Infinity Stone for him — the Mind Stone. This one was originally located in Loki’s scepter, allowing him to control people’s minds in “The Avengers.” In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the Mind Stone is what brings Ultron to life.
During the course of “Age of Ultron,” Ultron tries to use the Mind Stone to make an ultimate version of himself. Instead, the stone and Tony Stark’s Jasper artificial intelligence merge to become Vision.
The Mind Stone is part of Vision (Paul Bettany) and is parked inside his forehead right now. Obviously, though, Thanos is making a play for the stone and might even get it out of Vision’s robotic head. If that happens, it’s not clear what will become of Vision. That’s a bummer, because…
6. Clearly something sexy going on between Vision and Scarlet Witch
Wait a second, was that Vision as a human instead of some kind of purple robot person at the beginning of the trailer? Sure seemed that way, although the telltale yellow glow in Paul Bettany’s forehead suggests that he’s still an Infinity Stone robot man despite the more human appearance in the trailer. Regardless, that’s an interesting thing to add to the trailer.
Apart from Vision looking human in the shot, we also see that it’s a shared, romantic-looking moment with Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). She and Vision has a pretty close relationship despite being at odds in “Captain America: Civil War.”
It looks like they might get closer still. Wanda has the ability to alter people’s perceptions with her powers, which might explain how Vision looks human during this moment — it might be an illusion, or a dream, as part of the two of them getting close.
7. Thanos’ superweapons
We aren’t sure what these machines are that Thanos has sent down to wreck New York and other parts of the world — in comic book lore Thanos is usually in possession of a massive armada of space ships of unspecified power, but his real strength typically comes from his personal abilities and the Infinity Guantlet. Safe to say that the movie version of that armada will be able to flex its muscles a bit more than its comics counterpart did.
8. Spider-Man’s got a cool new suit
A new spider suit was teased at the end of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” but it’s in full effect in “Avengers: Infinity War.” The suit looks distinctly upgraded from Peter Parker’s former Tony Stark-made suit, too — it’s shinier, which suggests more metals involved, and seems to make more mechanical noises as Spidey moves around in it.
Fans speculated when “Homecoming” came out that the suit was one of Spider-Man’s spiffy variants, specifically the Iron Spider armor. In the comics, Tony Stark makes an Iron Man-like suit for Spider-Man, which Peter Parker wears during part of the comic version of the “Civil War” story. That version has Iron Man’s colors, though, as well as four sharp spider leg-like appendages coming out of the suit’s back.
Clearly, if this new suit is the Iron Spider armor, it’s quite a bit different from what was seen in the comics. But it does look tougher and more special than Peter’s last spider suit. And given that the trailer shows Spider-Man and Iron Man getting pretty soundly pummeled by Thanos, putting Peter in a tougher, better-armored suit would at least help him survive the battle.
9. Is War Machine back?
James “Rhody” Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Tony Stark’s pal who pilots the Iron Man-like War Machine suit (also known as Iron Patriot), suffered a serious injury during “Captain America: Civil War.” A stray blast during the superhero battle knocked Rhody out of the sky and crashing into the ground, damaging his spinal cord. Rhody isn’t paralyzed, but at the end of “Civil War,” we see him doing physical therapy as he struggles to regain the ability to walk.
A big hero shot (the one directly above this section) toward the end of the “Infinity War” trailer clearly shows the War Machine suit flying into action, though (upper left corner). That suggests Rhody could be back on the team, in enough of a capacity to help in the fight. Then again, we’ve seen other people wear Iron Man suits, including Pepper Potts. Could someone new be in the suit this time?
10. Looks like bad things happen to Tony Stark
In addition to shots of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) getting walloped by Thanos, the “Infinity War” trailer also has quite a few shots of a sad, brooding-looking Tony Stark outside of his armor. Things don’t seem to go well in the shots that include that weird orange background. Tony seems like he has it hard and might be suffering some major losses, which is fitting since Tony has a lot to answer for.
Up to now, the real villain of much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been Tony. It’s his irresponsibility that helped kick off the need for the Avengers in the first place dating way back to the first “Iron Man.” Since then, he’s been unable to follow orders on numerous occasions. His refusal to work with the team and trust other people led to the creation of Ultron and the destruction in Sokovia in “Age of Ultron.”
Feeling bad about what he did, Tony then led the charge to force the Avengers to agree to the Sokovia Accords, even though the only one really responsible was Tony, thanks to his arrogance. And his refusal to see Captain America’s side of things or to put aside his ego long enough to consider that he might be wrong, led to the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Then he almost got Peter Parker killed on numerous occasions, first by recruiting him at an extremely young age, and then by neglecting him throughout “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Tony has a lot to answer for, part of which makes him one of the more interesting Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. It looks like that might all be finally catching up to him in “Infinity War.”
11. Not all the major players showed up for the trailer
Though we see almost every major character we’re expecting to see, two current members of the Avengers are conspicuously absent: Hawkeye and Ant-Man. They’re probably together somewhere having their own adventure — they are, after all, the two most “normal” members of the team since they have kinda normal domestic existences with families and stuff outside of work.
There are two other missing non-Avengers notables: Nebula and Valkyrie. We last saw Nebula strike out on her own at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2” on a quest to kill Thanos, so it would be extremely surprising if she doesn’t turn up (we do get a glimpse at a character who looks very similar to Nebula, but the color scheme of her skin is different). And since Valkyrie was with Loki, Thor and Banner at the end of “Thor: Ragnarok” you gotta figure she’s gonna have something to do here.
And, of course, we fully expect Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel to maker her debut in “Infinity War,” but of course there’s no way they’re going to spoil that in a trailer so it’s no surprise that we don’t see her anywhere.