‘Avengers 4’ Trailer Breakdown: We’re in the ‘Endgame’ Now

Here we are, True Believers. The first teaser of Avengers 4. And we know what the subtitle is now, but I don’t want to spoil that for you just yet. Rarely has there been a trailer more anticipated than this one. Avengers: Infinity War left us hanging with a climax that turned this old fanboy into a weepy mess, and I’m craving some positivity. The time has come for our favorite heroes to assemble and crush that bumpy-chinned, diabolical Titan.

However, if you’re looking for some good cheer, this new trailer will not deliver. Anthony and Joe Russo are picking up immediately where the last film ended. That means all doom and gloom. The Avengers are looking a little worse for wear. Watch below.

Hey, there we go. We can call it Avengers: Endgame. What do you think of that title? Huh. It’s not one that we guessed last year, but it certainly fits. We’ll discuss its obvious relevance to the plot a little bit later.

I love how the trailer starts with Tony Stark alone in space and slowly moves towards Steve Rogers continuing to fight the good fight back on Earth. I’m very curious to see if Marvel Studios will keep the reunion of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans to themselves until the theatrical experience or if we’ll see them together in the next trailer.

Anyway, let’s buzz into this dour teaser and see if we can pick out a few bits of hope (or Scott) along the way.

We open on the remnants of Tony’s Mark 50 nanotech armor that proved fairly useless in combat against a gauntlet-enhanced Thanos. A hand reaches out towards the helmet and switches on the last bit of tech Iron Man has available to him, a recorder for his final goodbye to “Miss Potts.”

For the second time in his life, Tony Stark faces oblivion. Where he could not explain to Pepper why he carried that nuclear warhead through the wormhole in The Avengers, now Tony can at least say he’s sorry for putting her through the wringer alongside his world-saving. “If you find this recording, don’t feel bad about this.” Who’s he speaking to? Pepper? Or himself?

“Part of the journey is the end. Just for the record being adrift in space is more fun than it sounds.” You’re not fooling anyone, sir. He and Nebula managed to get The Benatar off Titan’s surface, but apparently, they can’t jump to light space, and they’re running out of food and water.

Tony stares out into the void. With 50 percent less life in the universe, it’s looking pretty lonely out there. The oxygen aboard The Benatar will be gone by morning, and he promises to the severed head of Iron Man that his last thoughts will be that of Pepper. Tony Stark has never been lower than he is in this moment. For that matter, neither has the Marvel audience.

Yes, indeed, we’re picking up right where we left off in Avengers: Infinity War and feeling pretty damn miserable regarding that utterly defeating Thanos snap. Marvel Studios pours salt in the wounds by dusting their logo along with Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, etc. Why you hurt us, Kevin Feige?

Cut to the Thanos farm where he’s retired his battle duds and is living a life of peaceful contentment knowing that he’s the most hated and feared environmentalist in the universe. This particular shot is my favorite from the trailer because of its resemblance to a classic comic panel.

The Thanos scarecrow seen in Avengers 4 is a direct reference to the one the Mad Titan constructed at the beginning of “The Infinity War” comic book miniseries. It is meant to represent withdrawal and his personal departure from the grand problems that plague life. His role in the adventure is over, and he can just kick back and tend to his crops. Yeah, Steve Rogers is not going to allow that to happen.

As Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) explains to Steve Rogers, “Thanos did exactly what he said he was going to do” we see the wretched creature walk through an alien field of flowers and the gauntlet appears to be as damaged as it was from the end of Avengers: Infinity War. It sure doesn’t look like it can muster up a second snap. The last film was Josh Brolin’s movie, but I’m guessing he’s going to take a pretty big step back so that this film can focus on the heroism of the good guys.

The last words Steve Rogers uttered in Avengers: Infinity War were “Oh god.” Based on that lone tear streaming down his face here, Cap still has a long road to travel so that he can pull himself out of that despair. The super soldier has never faced such a bad beat before, and for a World War II vet who prides himself on his persistence, jumping back on the horse of leadership for the remaining Avengers is either going to take many hours on the therapist couch or a good slap across the face. Good thing he has Black Widow by his side.

Steve may have found the time to shave, but Black Widow is keeping the blonde ‘do. As always, she’s a realist. Fifty percent of all living creatures are gone. That’s a fact. We can’t change that. Let’s work with what we’ve got. For her, there is no use crying over spilled milk.

We leave that task for Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). As always, the puny scientist is off in his lab. He looks at his computer screens and the blank expressions of his missing friends stare back. Scott Lang, where are you? Oh no, not Shuri too. I was actually holding out hope that she’d still be in Wakanda with Okoye and M’Baku.

Oh and hey, here’s just another reminder that Spider-Man is gone too. We’re all Bruce Banner with our head in our palm. Hopeless.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds a bench to sulk on. Where’s Rocket? Steve begins to find his strength again by acknowledging, “We lost. All of us.”

It doesn’t look like Tony Stark and Nebula (Karen Gillan) spend much time together as the contemplate oblivion inside The Benatar. They’re giving each other plenty of space, and they probably blame each other for what went down on Titan.

Steve Rogers continues his sad motivational speech, “We lost friends” and then we see Nebula reach out to a body. Is that Gamora? Did Tony and she make it out to Vormir to retrieve her squished corpse? Does that mean we could get another glimpse of one-time Soul Gem keeper The Red Skull? Fingers crossed.

When Steve says “We lost family” we cut to a cloaked figure wielding a mighty nasty looking katana sword. The costume immediately triggers with comic book fans. That’s the master assassin Ronin.

In Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch’s run of “New Avengers,” Ronin was first revealed to be Daredevil’s one-time girlfriend Echo. She was on a mission to slaughter the murderous ninja clan that Netflix watchers know as The Hand. When she accomplished her goal, Echo passed off the Ronin identity to…

…Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye a.k.a Jeremy Renner. The straight shooter can no longer keep himself out of this business. The Thanos snap stole his wife and kids from him. His only option is to get back in the game, and he’s not playing around this time. “We’ve lost a part of ourselves.” No trick arrows, no friendly quips. Clint Barton the Ronin is going full-American Ninja.

Steve Rogers is back in his stealth suit from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Like Clint, he’s not here to have fun while kicking butt. Avengers 4 will be a knockdown drag-out fight and while many heroes will return, a few certainly won’t. Steve looks down at his treasured compass containing the love of his life, Pegger Carter. “This is the fight of our lives.”

Black Widow, Steve’s partner-in-crime, offers an encouraging few words, “This is going to work.” The thing is, though, Steve Rogers is already back in his total self-confidence mode.

His response to her is a nod and “I know it is.” See, all good. We have nothing to fear. Oh, wait, what’s that last bit, Rogers? “Cuz I don’t know what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.” Golly, he’s still in a dark place. As we all are. There are no smiles in this trailer. Thanos has transformed the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the DC Snyderverse. I sure hope Doctor Strange knew what he was doing when he coughed up that time gem.

Speaking of Stephen Strange. That rascal. He gave us the title of Avengers 4 in the climax of the last film. Avengers: Endgame. What do you think? I was holding out for Avengers: Assemble or Avengers: Secret Invasion, but this one certainly works thematically. The most interesting aspect of the title to me is that it is the first one that does not originate from a comic book.

The trailer ends with the tiniest bit of comic relief. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the Ant-Man, has finally freed himself from the Quantum Realm and he’s at the gates of Avengers HQ. Do Cap and Black Widow remember him from their first meeting at the airport in Captain America: Civil War? You sure bet they do, and this tiny fella might ultimately be the key to reversing the horror unleashed by Thanos. They better buzz him in.

The last bit of good news is that Avengers: Endgame is opening a little sooner than originally expected. The new release date is April 26, 2019, and it can’t get here soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

Brad Gullickson :Trekkie, Not Trekker. Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects, co-host of the In The Mouth of Dorkness Podcast.