It’s been ten years in the making. 2007 saw the release of Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr. in the role that resurrected his career and helped him by at least twelve islands with the truckloads of cash he’s now made in this role. However, it’s the end credits scene of that movie that’s most important in this case. It’s infamous now, especially in the nerdy circles we all keep — Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) broke into Tony Stark’s house to tell him all about the “Avengers Initiative.”
From there, we got an end credits scene at the end of every Marvel movie, each one building excitement for the next film, how it would be connected, what other Avengers might we meet, all of it leading up to the 2012 Avengers film — and it did not disappoint. But none of us were prepared for the end of that film, seeing that there was this great puppet master behind Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) actions in that film – Thanos (Josh Brolin). As we learned at the end of that film, he was courting death.
Now, five years later, we have a trailer for the movie where he’s finally showing up. And, much like Iron Man and The Avengers did not disappoint, this trailer also does not disappoint.
So we thought we’d take a few moments here to parse out some of our thoughts on the trailer to see what all we might be able to uncover.
First of all, we found it interesting that there really only seemed to be three primary locations: New York, Wakanda and some yellow-y ruined city that could also be New York but could also be another planet.
We’re not 100% certain that it’s another planet; in fact it’s most likely not. It seems more likely that Stark and Spider-Man are fighting Thanos in their home turf. It does seem that there are decimated city ruins behind them at one point, but then there’s also debris flying up into the sky behind them also that seems to slightly resemble the trash of Sakaar. We’re not saying it IS Sakaar, it’s most assuredly not, but there are some similar space-y effects going on there.
To us, it seems more likely that whatever alien craft Thanos has brought with him to Earth is affecting our gravity. In fact, we can even see that in the part of the trailer after we see Peter Parker’s Spider-sense taking effect, when there is debris flying up into the sky. Perhaps this is how Thanos defeats planets or perhaps this is how he’s looking for one of the Infinity Stones, gathering up as much of our planet surface and then sifting through the debris. Or maybe he just really loves breaking stuff.
In Wakanda, we see a majority of our fighting which leads us to believe that this, perhaps, is a sort of last stand. Our guess is that we’ll discover the last remaining Infinity Stone — the Soul Stone — in Wakanda. It’s how they commune with the spirits of their past leaders, the spirits that endow their various leaders with powers, etc.
With the Mind Stone with Vision (Paul Bettany) in Germany and the Time Stone, more or less, in New York with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), it makes sense that we’d see such a massive fight in Wakanda, involving entire armies as well as some help from the Avengers to keep that Infinity Stone out of Thanos’s hands. If it is in Wakanda, it’s a huge part of their culture and they have much more invested in keeping that stone safe.
With New York, our primary locations are Peter Parker’s neighborhood and Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. We don’t see much of what’s actually going on here except an alien craft appears over the skyline and Spider-Man does a really cool flip on it. We also see that Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) has crashed through the roof of the Sanctum, that Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) are both there and that, at some point, Tony Stark shows up.
What’s fun about the Banner scene is that it is immediately reminiscent of the first Avengers film, when Hulk crashed into an empty warehouse.
Though, speaking of Bruce Banner —
How the hell is Hulk back on Earth and why is he breaking the Sanctum?
If you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok, then you know why we’re asking this. SPOILERS, by the way, for Thor: Ragnarok.
At the end of that film, Banner is on an alien spacecraft heading to earth with the remaining Asgardians, whom he helped Thor to save, along with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), Miek and Loki. We then see Thanos’s ship appear, looming over their Asgardian Ark — and that’s it.
We later see Loki stepping over the dead bodies of some of the fallen of Asgard to hand over the Tesseract to Thanos, which we know holds the Space Stone within it. So, putting our clues together, Thanos arrives, there’s an epic battle on board their ship, Thanos wins and Loki gives him his boon, albeit with seeming reluctance.
We also know from both this trailer and the SDCC one that the Guardians of the Galaxy happen upon Thor, who’s still in space. So, how did Banner get back to earth?
Our guess is that Banner “hulked” up for the fight with Thanos, but when it was evident that the battle was lost, he was thrust into an escape pod to get word back to earth of just what, and who, is coming for them. That explains how he gets to earth, but not how he gets into the Sanctum in a crater. Bruce Banner would not create a crater by himself, nor would he survive one, so he obviously crashed through the roof AS the Hulk, but it’s still uncertain what exactly led to that.
Just as big of a question of Banner ending up in the Sanctum is —
HOW DOES STARK FIND BANNER IN THE SANCTUM?
If Thor didn’t know about Doctor Strange, it’s likely that Stark definitely doesn’t know about him. It’s unlikely he was simply stopping by for a visit. What seems more likely to us is that he came over due to Banner breaking through the roof — but how did he know that? Did he witness the fight? Was he engaged in the fight alongside Hulk? Or does he have a sort of Hulk Detection Alarm?
WHO’S MISSING FROM THE AVENGERS TEAM?
In this trailer, we see a few select Marvel characters — but not all of them: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). So, the question becomes, why exactly are they not in these scenes?
First things first, Ant-Man and The Wasp. It’s unclear how much they’ll even be included in this film. We know from plot outlines that Ant-Man Scott Lang has decided to retire from being a superhero and that The Wasp is far more interested in saving her mother from the Quantum Realm. Despite their powerful super suits, it seems entirely likely that these two are not 100% pulled into the fray. More likely is that the two heroes defend their home city of San Francisco, but not so much that they jump over to New York to keep the Time Stone safe.
As for Hawkeye — he’s a trickier one. We learned in Captain America: Civil War that he had retired and was pulled into the fight as a special favor to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). So, presumably, he’s still at home taking care of his family. But, as we all know, from the comics — at least the ultimate line — Hawkeye loses his family. We also know that in the behind the scenes pics from the current filming for Avengers 4 that Hawkeye Clint Barton has a mohawk and may or may not be going through some tough times. So yeah — our guess — the world-ending armies make it to Middle America to decimate the Barton homestead.
And then, obviously, there’s Captain Marvel, but she hasn’t even had her own movie yet, so that doesn’t really count. Right?
THE CHILDREN OF THANOS
We don’t see too much of these two. In fact, of all the characters that form the “Black Order,” in the comics, the only one we see is Proxima Midnight. If you’re questioning who she is, it’s the villain that throws the spear at the bearded Steve Rogers.
However, we do see a spear pulling at the Mind Stone embedded in Vision’s head, so the question to us is — which member of the Black Order is trying to get the Mind Stone from Vision? Our answer is Corvus Glaive. Looking at the pictures from San Diego Comic Con, we an see that only two characters have spears and only one of them has a curve to it like the one we see in the trailer, and it belongs to Corvus Glaive.
As we’ve discussed here before, Glaive’s power is, ultimately, one of immortality whenever he is holding his glaive. He is one of the strongest, most proficient and ruthless fighters in Thanos’s charge. And, coincidentally, at least in the comics, he is married to Proxima Midnight. She, by the way, is the fighter Thanos is most proud of and most afraid of because she is the one that reminds him the most of himself.
We can assume that the alien craft over New York is a vessel bearing one of the Children of Thanos. Though we see no evidence of this, we are crossing our fingers that it is the Ebony Maw, as he is the one in the comics who is sent to subdue Doctor Strange. We know from the behind-the-scenes images that Doctor Strange gets into a bit of a tussle with Ebony Maw, though in these images we see Strange is still wearing the Eye of Agamatto, so it’s a safe assumption that Ebony Maw has yet to acquire it.
You can see those BTS pics HERE.
Finally, in talking about the Children of Thanos, we need to mention the Outriders. Those are the mindless foot-soldiers we see attacking the armies and heroes of Wakanda. Though, to be fair, the only real thing we have to say about them is that they look exactly like they do in the comics and that puts a big geeky smile on our nerdy faces.
THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
We get our first big, awesome, huge look at the Infinity Gauntlet on Thanos’s hands. Up to this point, we’ve seen it in a vault and seen it slipped onto his hand, but here, we finally see it with a couple of the Infinity Stones as he slips the Space Stone into place.
Examining this scene by freeze framing every possible frame of HD footage available, we can in fact confirm that he only has the Power Stone and the Space Stone. The Space Stone we know is in the Tesseract, which we see — in the trailer — that he gets from Loki. We also see that he has the Power Stone, which was kept safe on Xandar by the Nova Corps. Well, apparently, it wasn’t all that safe because it was the first Infinity Stone that Thanos procured for himself.
So what does this mean? By our account, it means he still needs to get the Soul Stone out of Wakanda — hence the massive assault on it — still needs to get the Time Stone from Doctor Strange, and the Mind Stone from Vision in Germany. The confusing one to us is the Reality Stone, which is held by The Collector. Yes. The character played by Benicio del Toro in the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Remember, at the end of Thor: The Dark World when Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) paid him a visit and gave him the Stone for safekeeping? Yeah, he’s still presumably got it.
We say this is confusing because it seems, to us, that Thanos would swing by the Collector’s place in space before making landfall on Earth to collect the other three Infinity Stones.
But then — that’s what brings us to —
WHAT ARE THOR AND THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY DOING?
Our thought here is that they are finding a way to vouchsafe The Collector and the Reality Stone. If Thanos has all these armies and generals and spies working for him, then his onslaught on Earth is just one front of that quest. So while he and his Black Order take on the heroes of our planet, he sends a smaller unit to take on The Collector and get the Reality Stone.
Also, of note, is our theory that it’s Black Dwarf Cull Obsidian that is the Thanos General assigned to secure this Stone. This is mostly a process of elimination for us as we have already seen three of Thanos’s Children on earth.
This could, in part, explain what we’re seeing Thor do in that strange cosmic looking machine. It would also make sense given that we’ve already seen Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy together. Our guess here is that they go to help defend The Collector, wherever he is, and once that battle is over, better or worse (our guess is worse), the Guardians take off to Earth to help defend this last stand.
TRAILER HINTS AT THE MAJOR BATTLES AND THE HEROES IN THOSE FIGHTS
“There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if we could become something more, so when they needed us, we could fight the battles that they never could.”
This line starts off the entire trailer, spoken by multiple heroes: Nick Fury, Tony Stark, Vision, Thor and finally Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson). However, though the montage of images overlaying this speech could be seen as simply highlighting the heroes we’re going to see, there’s more to this sequence. That is, this sequence is telling us which heroes are fighting and where, and if we know that, we can take guesses as to which stones will be where as well.
It starts off with Nick Fury saying, “There was an idea …” We believe that this is simply to contextualize the line as the one being from that first Avengers film, which is where we first heard it. However, he is followed by Tony Stark saying the line, over which we see an image of him, Bruce Banner and Doctor Strange. To us, this indicates that these three heroes are fighting together to vouchsafe the Time Stone.
We next hear Vision saying “… to see if we could become something more…” Over this, we see only two heroes — Vision and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). We believe that this is because these two are the only ones fighting to keep the Mind Stone safe. Later in the trailer, we see that Corvus Glaive puts his spear to Vision’s forehead to wrest the Mind Stone from his cybernetic skull. So according to our theory here, it’s Corvus Glaive sent to get the Mind Stone from these two while the rest of the Black Order invades elsewhere. Such as …
We next hear Thor saying, “… so when they needed us, we could fight the battles…” This is where our theory starts to become important because there are some things that are less evident from the trailer, such as our thought that Thor and the Guardians are fighting for the Reality Stone. This, again, as we’ve already mentioned, would delay their coming to Earth so they could help defend The Collector and his possession of the Reality Stone. However, the only thing we see of Thor or the Guardians here is Thor struggling against a giant machine and the Guardians waving at Thor in their ship, the Milano.
Finally, and most importantly, we hear Natasha Romanov saying “…that they never could.” And she’s in Wakanda. With Bruce Banner, standing next to Hulkbuster Armor. Her voice is added into this choir because Thanos sends an army to the country to fight for the Soul Stone. We have to assume that this stone is in Wakanda since Black Panther is the last remaining movie before we see Avengers: Infinity War in May. But here, if this pattern seems true, this seems like confirmation of that fact.
WAR MACHINE AND HULK BUSTER AND BLACK PANTHER
At the end of the trailer, as the pitched battle in Wakanda is heating up, we see Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armor flying onto the field. This is followed a bit later by two fronts running directly at each other, lead by Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Then, in the end, we see a small team of Avengers and Wakandans running straight to camera in slow motion, with War Machine (Don Cheadle) among their ranks.
Every frame more bad ass than the last.
However, our question here is — are these suits all actually inhabited by these heroes? For instance, the Iron Man armor can be run remotely, so it’s entirely possible that Stark upgraded his Hulkbuster to run independently of him. Or, that Banner is using it. After all, we see him standing next to the arm in Wakanda, so maybe he’s afraid to Hulk out and we decides that this armor is his next best way to run into the fray. Or, perhaps it’s another Avenger, or it’s actually Stark’s BFF, Col. Jim Rhodes, out of the War Machine armor and into the Hulkbuster.
Or, of course, it’s actually just Tony Stark — which seems more likely — we’re just pointing out it could be someone else.
This same theory goes for War Machine at the end. It’s likely that it’s actually Rhodey piloting this particular suit — after all, why shouldn’t it be, except for that whole really bad spinal injury thing. But the suit would allow him to walk and fly, so he’d be fine there. Again, we’re just pointing out it COULD be someone else.
Finally, in regards to Black Panther, in that super wide shot of the Wakandan armies running into battle, it seems that the Black Panther in that shot is a bit smaller and has a tiny cape, similar to that of the Black Panther suit worn by T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). Our guess here is that we are reading far too much into this and that it is, actually, none other than Black Panther, but still — it’s cool to think about, right?
If you still haven’t seen the trailer, or you’ve only seen it 22 times and need to see it for a 23rd, 24th and 25th time, we have it embedded below.