Captain Marvel is still burning up the box office, saving Hollywood from a lackluster first quarter of 2019. Might she do the same for the embattled Avengers, reeling from their staggering loss? It sure looks that way, based on the latest trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: End Game. And since it would take several days at this point to re-watch all the earlier films in the franchise, we also get to revisit the origins of our surviving Avengers in black-and-white footage from those movies.
(Some spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and prior MCU films in this series below.)
For the two people on the planet who don’t know this yet, in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (an intergalactic supervillain from Titan) successfully collected all six Infinity Stones: the Power Stone, the Space Stone, the Time Stone, the Reality Stone, the Soul Stone, and the Mind Stone. Once collected and placed in the Infinity Gauntlet, they gave Thanos the power to wipe out half of all living beings in the universe. And despite the valiant collective efforts of pretty much every superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe, Thanos succeeds. With a single snap of his fingers, half of the universe dissolves into dust, including many of our beloved superheroes.
The first trailer for End Game dropped in December, giving us just a tantalizing glimpse of the Avengers who survived the Snappening. That’s about all they could show us without giving too much away, although we did get a scene with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man showing up, having escaped the quantum realm where he was presumably trapped at the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Blast from the past
A second trailer aired during the Super Bowl, using footage from just the first 20 minutes of End Game. We saw the fallen/dusted in rapid succession, in striking black-and-white hues with red highlights. But we also see them finally starting to regroup. The last shot is our trusty crew striding forth together from their high-tech headquarters to face whatever brutal fight lies ahead.
The new trailer takes us back to beginnings of the remaining Avengers. For instance, we see Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) moments after his escape from a cave in the desert, in his very first makeshift Iron Man suit, and recalling the first time he realized he loved Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). “I know you said no surprises, but I was really hoping to pull off one last one,” present-day Tony tells Pepper, recording one last message while floating in space.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) reflects on his former pre-Captain America self: a skinny weakling desperate to join the fight against the Nazis, continually rejected on the basis of his asthma alone. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) remembers his days at Asgard when his father, Odin, was still alive. And there’s an idyllic shot of Hawkeye teaching a young girl archery, rejoicing when she hits the bullseye. His daughter, or perhaps a young Natasha/Black Widow?
But as tempting as it is to revisit the past, we’re not allowed to do so for long. Steve recalls the dying words of his beloved Peggy Carter, and they have particular resonance in light of all that’s happened since. “The world has changed. None of us can go back,” she told him. “All we can do is our best. And sometimes the best we can do is to start over.”
If that’s not a hint of a dramatic forthcoming shift in the Marvel cinematic universe, I don’t know what is. And we have a pretty good idea of what this new direction forward might be. Our last shot is Thor meeting Brie Larsen’s Carole Danvers (aka, Captain Marvel) for the first time—showing off a bit with his hammer because he’s still Thor. It’s all coming together, just like Marvel always planned. We’ll soon find out who will move forward into the future and who might just hang up their Avengers suits for good.
Avengers: End Game hits theaters April 26, 2019.
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel Studios