New Avengers: Infinity War trailer: Decoding all the references and revelations
The World Turned Upside Down
Ten years of world-building is about to end with some world-smashing. The opening shot of the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War begins with Manhattan upended. Let's venture through shot-by-shot to break down what Marvel is shaking loose...
Black Widow, Bruce Banner, and War Machine
No doubt from the etching design on this platform, these characters are staring up at the sky of Wakanda. We hear Gamora's voice setting up the looming threat: "The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal."
That goal: "Wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with a snap of his fingers," Zoe Saldana's character tells... someone.
Iron Man Names Names
The trailer suggests she's telling Tony Stark, but Gamora seems to be in space, while this backdrop looks more like the Sanctum Sanctorum. "Tell me his name again?" Robert Downey Jr.'s character asks.
You Know It
Thanos, a.k.a. The Mad Titan. Josh Brolin's violet-skinned death-dealer, who in this shot (seemingly set aboard Thor's ship from the end of Ragnarok) has already collected the purple Power Stone. R.I.P., Nova Corps and Xandar?
That's what this extra-terrestrial craft is called, seen here hovering over Manhattan and attracting the attention of local do-gooders. Why it's here, and what it means... we don't quite know.
But we know Peter Parker (Tom Holland) ditches his school field trip to race across the river and hitch a ride on it.
Iron Man's armor fires up its rocket boosters to chase the Q-ship back into space. This presumably is how Tony Stark and Spidey end up in the company of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in the ruins of Titan.
That's how directors Joe and Anthony Russo describe some of the Infinity Stones that Thanos is pursuing. The green Time Stone is known as the Eye of Agamotto, and it hangs around the neck of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange.
Vision's Mind Stone
The yellow Infinity Gem is the Mind Stone. Once it powered Loki's staff. Now it's embedded in The Vision (Paul Bettany) and was the key to bringing the Vibranium-infused synthezoid to life.
Shuri sees The Vision
Like GE, Letitia Wright's genius Wakanda tech chief is used to bringing good things to life with their stores of Vibranium, but even she seems impressed when Bruce Banner and Scarlet Witch show her how the rare mineral led to the creation of a literal living being.
Welcome to Wakanda
A picture postcard of the land that will help Earth make its stand against the forces of Thanos. You haven't been gone from Black Panther's country very long, but chances are you're happy to be back.
T'Challa, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje
Chadwick Boseman's king stands alongside Danai Gurira's security chief as they roll out a rare welcome for colonizers.
Cap, Black Widow, and Co.
Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) lead the delegation of heroic refugees seeking sanctuary in Wakanda. Behind them: The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Vision.
Q-Ship Crash Lands
We don't know why it goes from Manhattan to this ruined place (apparently Thanos' homeworld of Titan), but we do know how Iron Man and Spider-Man end up there, riding on the starship that drifted over NYC.
Star-Lord vs. Iron Man
It's a sass-off. Tony Stark summons epic side-eye as Peter Quill outlines another option to his plan to use the Infinity Stones as bait: "It sucks. So, let me do the plan, and that way it might be really good." Peter Parker just looks delighted to be at the grown-up table.
Star-Lord and Doctor Strange
We see Strange throwing out flaming discs for Quill to leap across amid the wreckage of Titan. It looks like an epic game of The Floor s Lava, and shows two disparate heroes using their powers in tandem: Strange's magic, and Star-Lord's Jackass-style willingness to put himself in danger.
There may be no more brutal burn before a fight than: "I hope they remember you."
Doctor Strange saw the Q-ship over New York along with Spider-Man and Iron Man? Apparently, he gets captured. Most likely, this is why Iron Man and Spidey give chase and end up in deep space.
This creature shushing the Sorcerer Supreme is one of Thanos' children — a mastermind of what's known as "The Black Order" in Marvel Comics. We can put a few pieces together now: Ebony Maw may have piloted the ship to New York on a mission to get the Time Stone. He brought back trouble, too.
Children of Thanos
These were once young, powerful beings taken by the Mad Titan to join his army of assassins. Some broke free, but these "siblings" did not. Here we see them surrounding Tom Hiddleston's Loki: (from left) Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, and the mammoth Cull Obsidian.
They help Thanos seize the blue Space Stone, giving him two of the six elements he needs to complete his reality-warping Infinity Gauntlet. We've followed the Tesseract since the first Captain America movie, and it has been one of the MCU's central MacGuffins time and again.
There are other "children of Thanos," of course. We know Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan, unseen in this trailer) were also child soldiers kidnapped by the tyrant before pulling free. Here we see Thanos and his forces holding Gamora's people at bay as he walks off with her.
The Children of Thanos
Brolin says Thanos may be cruel, but he does not consider himself heartless and professes to care deeply for Gamora. We see some of that supposed tenderness in this shot of the little girl's green hand reaching out to hold his giant one. He thinks he's treating her well. So does every abusive parent.
Once this was the Hulkbuster, but this time the big suit and the big green monster will be brawling side-by-side against the horde of Outriders attacking Wakanda.
Outriders are hybrid alien warriors, genetically engineered to be an infantry swarm as Thanos invades new worlds.
Iron Man Gets Mauled
Here you see the Outriders pouncing on Iron Man like a pack of jackals taking down a buffalo.
I suppose this is Chris Hemsworth as Thor, but this shot initially threw me: A headless character? But more likely his head is just bowed. For a split-second, it seemed possible that this might be a tease of the character Adam Warlock, which has been hinted at for a while in the MCU.
Rocket's Red Glare
But no, it seems from this shot that the red-caped figure is just Thor, being watched by his furry new friend.
Thunder, Thunder, THUNDER!
He no longer has his hammer (Hela crumbled it in Ragnarok), but at some point in Infinity War, Thor collects a new weapon: the battle-ax Stormbringer.
Black Panther Rises
T'Challa activates his armor and vanishes beneath the mask of the Black Panther. This time, he's not just protecting Wakanda, but the universe.
Falcon and War Machine streak over the tribal soldiers of Wakanda and some of their superhero friends below as the good guys race toward the Drop Ships that Thanos has sent crashing through the African nation's defenses.
Captain America is a little worse for wear this time around, but he can still hold back the Mad Titan's gauntlet, even with two Infinity Gems embedded in it.
Look at the bemused irritation on Thanos' face. You get the sense that he could smash this puny human, Hulk-style. But he seems to be equal parts fascinated and perturbed by the strength of this person.
The trailer sends us out on a laugh. "I'm Doctor Strange," says Stephen Strange, who didn't spend all those years in medical school and studying under the Ancient One to be called "Mister." But Peter Parker mistakes his unusual real name for a nom de guerre.
"We're using our made-up names?" Tom Holland's character asks. "Then... I... am... Spider-Man." They'll straighten this out when Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on April 27.