Captain America, the Winter Soldier and Black Panther are ready for war. Infinitely. Image: All Images Below: Marvel Studios
This morning, we got our latest huge look at Avengers: Infinity War. Amid the sound and fury of Thanos imposing his will upon Earth's Mightiest Heroes, we also got some very intriguing glimpses of the Avengers' plans to fight back against the Mad Titan. Here's everything we found.
The trailer opens with a trippy shot of New York City, with a mysterious object lighting up the sky; grabbing the apparent attentions of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and War Machine (Don Cheadle); then streaking across the window over the Sanctum Sanctorum. This red light is presumably the herald of that giant, ring-like structure we saw hovering over the city and menacing our heroes in the first trailer.
Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) offers us a history lesson on Thanos (Josh Brolin) via voiceover: "The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal - to wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with the snap of his fingers, just like that." This is a plan that matches up with Thanos' quest in iconic comics storyline The Infinity Gauntlet, but with a bit of a difference. In the comics, Thanos is trying to wipe out half the universe to court the literal incarnation of Death, who he'd long pursued romantically. In fact, The Infinity Gauntlet's first issue actually includes Thanos wiping out half the universe with a snap.
The way the trailer is cut implies Gamora is talking to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), but it's clear Gamora is onboard the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship, while Tony's footage asking about Thanos' name is from inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, which makes sense, since we've seen footage of him hanging out with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) before the giant ring-structure's arrival in New York. The end of the first trailer concluded with a dazed Thor (Chris Hemsworth) encountering the Guardians for the first time, so it's likely Gamora is filling in her new Asgardian friend.
We get our first good shot of Thanos here, removing his helmet. The lighting and background make this look as though it's from a scene we saw in the first trailer - the Mad Titan arriving on the ship Thor and Loki used to carry away refugees from the destruction of Asgard at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. You can briefly glimpse that Thanos only has one stone on his Infinity Gauntlet at the moment; it's the Power Stone, which we last saw in safekeeping on Xandar under the protection of the Nova Corps in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Presumably things didn't go well for the Novas, which to be fair is a running theme in their long comics history.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) swings into action - a moment which continues from something else we saw in the first trailer, namely Peter reacting to the giant ring-ship appearing while he was on his school bus.
"We've got one advantage - he's coming to us," Tony says as we see Iron Man, clad in his new "Bleeding Edge" armour, fly toward the ring ship. He does so in style, too, with the help of his armour's fancy new rocket booster.
Tony details the Avengers' plan: "We have what Thanos wants, so that's what we'll use." Under that, we see Dr Strange reveal the Time Stone embedded within the Eye of Agamotto, and glimpses of Mind Stone-wielder Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). The first trailer showed us Vision and Wanda hiding out in another city somewhere, but this makes clear something we learned this week as part of our set reporting from making the movie: Vision is moved to Wakanda in order to both draw Thanos out and keep him in the safest place on the planet.
Facilitating that deal is Captain America (Chris Evans), who greets King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the rest of the Dora Milaje. Along for the ride are Black Widow, War Machine, Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bruce Banner.
Black Panther's fabulous tech-genius Shuri (Letitia Wright) gets a brief moment in the trailer, as she excitedly examines the tech behind Vision's synthezoid body.
The gathered Guardians of the Galaxy land in a mysterious, unknown location (presumably after they have met Thor), before we quickly cut to a meeting Marvel fans have been waiting years for: Iron Man and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), while Drax (Dave Bautista) stands by. "Let's talk about this plan of yours: I think it's good, except, it sucks," Star-Lord says flatly. "So let me do the plan, and that way, it might be really good."
Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Puppy, is all of us here. Also, interestingly, this meeting takes place on the ruined orange-hued world we saw prominently in the first trailer, which we now know is actually Titan, Thanos' homeworld.
The Wakandan army rides into battle, with Cap, T'Challa, Widow, Falcon and War Machine in tow... alongside a shiny new version of the Hulkbuster armour. Aside from Wanda and Vision, the only hero not glimpsed here that we know came to Wakanda is Bruce Banner - and several toys for the film have given us hints that it's actually him inside this new Hulkbuster, for a nice bit of irony.
"The end is near," Thanos growls, as we watch Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel/Sean Gunn) witness a very interesting moment with Thor - who suddenly finds himself with his cape repaired and summoning a storm of lightning out of his hands. The toys and previous rumours have hinted that Thor goes on a quest in Infinity War to forge himself a new weapon, after Hela destroyed Mjolnir in Thor: Ragnarok. Fans long believed that weapon could be either Jarnbjorn, the axe Thor currently wields in the comics as Odinson the ex-God of Thunder, or even a design inspired by the Mjolnir from the Ultimate Marvel comics universe.
It turns out, neither is the case. Athough the weapon does look a bit like the axe/hammer combo of Ultimate Mjolnir, toys have named this new weapon "Stormbreaker" - the hammer wielded by none other than Beta Ray Bill in the comics. Bill had a tiny visual cameo on Sakaar in Rangarok, but it's most likely this new Stormbreaker has a completely different origin unrelated to him in the movie.
After we catch a glimpse of the ring-ship we saw above Earth crashing on Titan (perhaps that's how Tony, Spidey and the other Earth-bound heroes get there?), we cut to another very intriguing moment in the trailer: A flashback to the moment Thanos first took a young Gamora as his adopted daughter. We see other members of her race being subjugated by Thanos' armies, so this is presumably on Gamora's homeworld. In the comics, Gamora's home planet Zen-Whoberi was ravaged when a dystopian religious empire known as the Universal Church of Truth attacked, and Thanos picked up the future Guardian in the wake of most of her people being wiped out. Seems as though it could be Thanos doing the wiping out this time around. "When I'm done, half of humanity will still exist," he tells us.
Meanwhile, we're back to Thanos' attack on the Asgardian refugee ship, which is presumably very early on in the movie. We see him give an eyepatched Thor a quick squeeze, and then crush the Tesseract to get at the Space Stone inside it, but we also get our first really good look at Thanos' henchmen, the Black Order:
From left to right: Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive and Black Dwarf, all surround a poor captive Loki (Tom Hiddleston), presumably watching as Thanos takes the Space Stone for himself. First introduced in The New Avengers in the comics, the Black Order are a mysterious group of henchmen who acted as both commanders of Thanos' armies and his heralds during his galaxy-conquering attacks.
From here, the trailer breaks into two major battles: The first sees Wakanda come under attack from a massive sea of Thanos' forces, the Outriders. The latter features the Guardians, Dr Strange, Iron Man and Spider-Man tussling with Thanos on Titan.
But things quickly go poorly for our heroes. We get a glimpse of a very distressed looking Wanda, as well as Dr Strange being tortured with some very nasty looking spikes. It's cut as though it's Ebony Maw doing the torturing, but the environments look just different enough that these could be two separate scenes. The brief profile we get of the figure witnessing Strange's torture does look like Maw, though - and Maw has history with Strange in the comics, even dominating his will and using him as a double agent in New Avengers.
Things aren't going well in Wakanda, either, as a swarm of Outriders surge over the Hulkbuster armour. Once again, pinch of salt here, but the toys have teased that Bruce actually hulks out while inside the suit at some point during the movie. This seems like a good moment for it to happen.
"I hope they remember you," a seemingly triumphant Thanos tells Tony Stark, whose armour has been torn up pretty severely. Considering the first trailer gave us glimpses of Thanos laying the smackdown on Spider-Man, it's clear the battle on Titan doesn't go in the Avengers' favour. We then get a very interesting cut of Thanos leaping into an attack on Titan (no 3D manoeuvre gear required)...
...and smashing right into Captain America in Wakanda. From what we can see of the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos still only has the Power and Space Stones at this point, so clearly he's there to take the Mind Stone from Vision. But this implies that the Titan scenes take place before the battle in Wakanda.
The trailer ends with a light moment as Peter and Strange swap "made-up names" and then a snippet of action-porn as Spider-Man dances through wreckage on Titan. It's hard to tell where this jokey moment between Strange and Spidey actually takes place. Given the environment around them, maybe it's the ring-ship seen elsewhere in the trailer? We know Peter at the least gets on it at some point, thanks to the first trailer.
This latest look at Avengers: Infinity War isn't as cryptic as the first trailer - at the very least, it confirms what Thanos' plan for the stones is, specifically, and it gives us a hint of the general flow of the movie, as well as how this massive cast of Marvel heroes is going to be split up among the events of the film. But there are still plenty of questions to answer - where does Thor's quest take him? Could defeat on Titan mean Dr Strange loses the Time Stone? And who is inevitably going to kick the bucket?
We don't have much longer to wait to find out: Avengers: Infinity War assembles in theatres April 25.