Decoding the first Avengers: Endgame trailer: Hawkeye lives, Shuri may not...
"Part of the journey is the end..."
The Avengers: Endgame trailer begins with a mournful message in a bottle — Tony Stark sending a farewell to "Miss Potts" while lost in space. After months of lockdown, the trailer for the April 26 film is sending a powerful signal itself. Let's dive in...
Iron Man is out of tricks. The last one is a holographic goodbye to the love he left behind as he drifts, starving and dehydrated, through the void of space. (But he's probably not alone — Nebula also survived the fight, and later in the trailer appears to be aboard this ship.)
His Arc Reactor has power, but he does not. So Tony Stark has given up, telling Pepper Potts that he's awaiting rescue, but no longer expecting it. More likely, he's about to join the half of existence that was just wiped out.
At first I thought this was a side view of one of those asterisk-shaped attack ships he found abandoned on Titan during the final battle with Thanos. But it's actually more familiar than that ...
A little hope...
On closer examination, it's clearly the Benatar, the Guardians of the Galaxy starcraft. It got him off-world, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of ship that has the power to get him closer to Earth — at least not in time.
...but not enough.
Marvel Studios and directors Joe and Anthony Russo are starting on a downbeat note. Iron Man must survive, of course. No question about that. But we're beginning with grief. There will be more to come.
Back on Earth, Bruce Banner is at Avengers HQ in upstate New York, cycling through images of the missing.
Shuri is lost
What happened to Shuri, Black Panther's genius little sister? We didn't see her fate in Infinity War, but this tells us she is among the "missing."
But is she?
We know from Ant-Man and the Wasp that Scott Lang is merely trapped in the Quantum Realm. Are these people whose decimation is believed but can't be verified? Perhaps Shuri survives to bring her ingeniuity to the fight.
The "Mad Titan" is enjoying his victory in peaceful solitude. His old armor is propped up like a scarecrow, which is an homage to the Infinity Gauntlet comic book storyline. Still intimidating, but now a relic of another life for him — one spent trying to take the lives of so many others.
Thanos the farmer
It's unclear what kind of crop the former galactic tyrant is growing. (What are the odds that a being who kills half of everything would have a successful harvest?)
Black Widow's report
It's up to Natasha to keep it together to deliver some kind of official report on the Decimation, explaining to the powers that be (by way of exposition) that Thanos was victorious in his quest to kill half the universe.
"All of us," Steve Rogers says. "We lost friends, we lost family." A tear runs down Captain America's face.
The God of Thunder is mourning, too. Remember, in Ragnarok he lost his entire home world. Has there ever been a trailer that emphasizes grief this powerfully?
After spending so much time hating her "adopted" sister Gamora, she finally connected with her in shared scorn for their kidnapper and enslaver Thanos. Now that she's a "hero" instead of a villain, she grieves with the good guys (or at least her marooned shipmate, Tony Stark.)
Amid Cap's lament about how much is lost, we see a new figure — Marvel Comics fans will recognize this sword-wielding mystery character as Ronin.
Who is Ronin?
This was a lone warrior who was created in 2005, and the mask has passed to several characters since that time. After the events of the comic book Civil War, the mantle was taken by Hawkeye, who had been resurrected from the dead.
Looks like that's exactly what happened after the cinematic Civil War, too. Clint Barton was absent from Infinity War, but now he rejoins his friends to fight again under this new identity.
The new plan
"This is the fight of our lives," Captain America says. But fans are going to have to wait a little longer to know exactly who they are fighting, and how they intend to do it.
"This is going to work, Steve," Black Widow tells Cap. But what will work? All we can assume is that there must be a way to return the Decimated. (We have sequels to make, people!)
But not everyone who was lost vanished in the snap. Steve Rogers is carrying a compass that still has Peggy Carter's photo inside it. She died of old age, after a long, full life.
Another lone warrior
And yet, to Stever Rogers, she may as well be among the lost. She is lost to him.
A title, finally
"Endgame." This was among the rumored titles, and now we learn that guess was true. The MCU will continue, we know that for sure. But this cycle of it is clearly drawing to a close.
A new hope
A bright spot arrives at the end, almost like a post-credit sequence. We don't know how he escapes the Quantum Realm, but here is Scott Lang, knocking on the Avengers HQ door.
"Is this an old message?" Cap asks. "It's the front door," Black Widow tells him.
"Can you buzz me in?" Lang asks. We don't know how he will fit into the plan. Maybe the surviving heroes are just glad to see a familiar face. Or maybe he is a critical part of what they need. We'll find out April 26 — or maybe sooner.