From the release of Iron Man in 2008, up through the Black Panther last month, the MCU has been through a lot. An alien invasion, visits from gods, the appearance of magic. A planet blew up. A hidden nation just popped up on the map. Secret Nazis were infiltrating the government. Iron Man and Cap beat the living daylights out of each other. Even those of us who have been there for just about every movie still have a lot to wade through to make sense of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, and this new trailer is a reminder of how much is going on, and just how unprecedented a task Marvel Studios and Infinity War's directors have undertaken.
Let's go through the trailer and look at what it hints at.
There are two main storylines in this trailer. The first has a ship descending over New York City – let's call it the Space Donut. Peter sees the Space Donut descending and his great power means he has the great responsibility of stopping whatever's happening and dives headfirst into the action, which we saw in the first trailer:
Tony suits up and goes after him, showing off a super-powered thruster in his latest Iron Man revision. Doctor Strange, another firmly New York-based hero, takes off after them, and they end up running into the human-sized members of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Peter (C'mon, it's Starlord), Gamora, and Drax. Here, the earthlings start to get a better handle on what's happening. Gamora informs them of her adopted father's plans.
It seems like Gamora is going to be a major key to the story in one way or another, as we get a shot of her as a child, holding Thanos' gigantic purple hand.
Meanwhile, the earth-bound contingent of the Avengers heads to Wakanda. The Vision is in grave danger, as Thaos' goal is to collect the Infinity stones, one of which happens to be embedded in Vision's forehead. Here we see Shuri apparently working on the Vision, and that could be after that stone is taken away from him. The Wakandan military is gearing up for a serious battle, and it seems like a big chunk of the movie is going to take place in that fictional nation. The Wakandan army is especially well-suited to fighting an alien invasion, so if the Avengers can get Thanos pointed there, his forces are going to have a much rougher time.
Thanos' goals are similar to those of his comic-book counterpart, though it seems like it may not be for the same reasons. In the "Infinity Gauntlet" storyline, Thanos was trying to impress the living embodiment of Death, one of the many members of Marvel's Cosmic universe. In an effort to impress her, he eliminated half of all life in the universe, though she wasn't having any of it (she's just not into you, dude). Here, his goal remains the same, but it doesn't seem like he's trying to win the affections of any cosmic entities at this point. The story hasn't hinted at that at all, and that would be a lot to take in.
In the trailer, Thanos has already captured the Power stone from the Nova Corps, who had it following Guardians of the Galaxy, and he's dropping in the Space Stone. If you've seen Thor: Ragnarok, you'll remember Loki stopping and raising an eyebrow at the Tesseract from the first Avengers movie. It turns out that Loki did indeed snatch it, and it ends up in the hands of Thanos, who crushes it to extract the stone.
A few brief shots give us hints of things to come. Loki seems to have allied himself with Thanos in the process of losing the Space stone and is now hanging out with Thanos' Black Order. His dear brother Thor is with Rocket and Groot, and seems to be forging himself a new hammer, the Storm Breaker, which we know is in the movie thanks to the Avengers toy line:
Cap, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Thor each take a crack at Thanos, but what we see in the trailer is the aftermath – the huge warrior towering over each. Cap resists, but Thor and the Doctor are in considerably worse condition.
There are almost too many characters to count in the trailer. Captain America is sporting his Wakandan gear, and Black Widow has gone blonde. War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision are in tow as the group travels to Wakanda to meet T'Challa and Okoye. Bruce Banner is there just wearing a dad shirt like that's a normal thing to wear when the world is ending. Bucky Barnes, Peter Parker, and Steven Strange are there too, reminding of us how much Stan Lee liked alliterative names. All the Guardians are there in one way or another.
Missing, though, are Hawkeye and Ant-Man. Jeremy Renner is so ticked about the lack of attention that he's taken to posting fan art on Instagram:
Poor Jeremy. Meanwhile, Paul Rudd is probably too busy trolling Conan O'Brien with clips of Mac and Me to complain.
Of the six Infinity Stones, we see four in this trailer. Loki's Space Stone, Vision's Mind Stone, the Nova Corps' Power Stone, and Doctor Strange's Time Stone. The Reality Stone rests with Benicio Del Toro's Collector, and the Soul Stone is, to the best of our knowledge, yet to be shown anywhere aside from, again, the toys:
What did we miss? What are you hoping to see in Avengers: Infinity War? Who's going to bite it by the end? With the second part yet to come next year, closing out the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios has a lot to do in this first movie to both set up the second and make it stand well on its own. There are going to be a lot of threads left dangling, and Thanos will certainly be standing strong by the time the credits roll. But we're guessing at least one Avenger won't be.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.