Ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has led us to this team-up, and it looks monumental.

Superhero movies are the ultimate escapist fantasy. These days, they just so happen to all be interconnected in a giant web of story that drives even the most casual moviegoers to keep up with their shenanigans. Whether superheroes are part of your regular movie diet or not, perhaps everyone hopes that these disparate groups of ragtag heroes find their way to each other, join forces, and partake in something epic.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been teasing its particular brand of escapism for a decade. It won’t be long now before their biggest team-up to date hits the big screen. The first official trailer for Avengers: Infinity War has finally dropped, bringing together heroes old and new. Watch it below.

Where most trailers provide a full synopsis of a film to accompany their trailers, the only thing in the YouTube video description box for Infinity War is a single line: “There was an idea…” The trailer speaks for itself, revealing only what we already knew beforehand: Thanos (Josh Brolin) will arrive for the Infinity Stones, and some big battling will ensue between him and all the heroes we’ve met up to this point in the series. But this lack of information is a good thing, because there is nothing worse than having the marketing campaign spoil the heck out of one of the most anticipated movies of the last 10 years.

I’ve been following the MCU since the first Iron Man film came out back in 2008; it’s become second-nature for me to see them all and have a baseline enjoyment level set. I even count at least one of them as a definitive favorite. These days, I don’t go into these films believing they’ll be the best things ever. But the Marvel marketing machine is just so effective in the way it pinpoints those old, nostalgic emotions and draws them out again each time.

The studio keeps the movies fresh for the most part. It’s a good deal for the general public — the ones who still don’t stay for the post-credits scenes and the ones who barely remember the plot of a previous installment. Admittedly, the plots get rehashed as more origin stories got told. But for those who’ve been on this extended journey of escapism like I have, and don’t mind for it to go on as long as it has, the idea of an ending for at least some of the heroes we’ve seen for years makes the experience even more impactful.

Vanity Fair published an Avengers-centric cover story this week, in which Chris Hemsworth tellingly states, “[The cast are] all aware that this is going to be the last time we get to hang out like this.” Stuff like this does contribute to the overall whirlwind (and let’s be real, manipulates us into certain predisposed emotions). Of course, Infinity War will be about finally meeting Thanos and the ass-kicking that’ll occur. So much is riding on this villain to perform; Thanos has to be the best Marvel villain by sheer virtue of how present he is in the background of all the MCU movies to date. But without the heart that goes with these films and the characters that audiences have grown to love, a film like Infinity War wouldn’t be half as powerful, lasting, and relevant. Here’s to hoping Anthony and Joe Russo have found that perfect balance.

Avengers: Infinity War lands in cinemas May 4, 2018.

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