By Michael Nacey ‘19
Aside from reveling in the omnipotence of Marvel Studios at this point and the immense love/hate relationship many people have with its now-iconic characters, the Avengers 4: Endgame trailer did….pretty much nothing. There was an obnoxious Marvel studios trailer still displaying a ten despite the fact that 2008 plus 10 is not 2019, and a faux-depressing speech by Iron Man meant to drive in the fact that Iron Man is probably going to die in the next Avengers movie while actually driving in the fact that the only expiration date Iron Man has is on a contract.
For those of you who have seen the trailer, one of its main facets you may have noticed is its intolerance for anyone not going to every Marvel movie while it is in theaters. It spoils Avengers 3, and Ant-Man and the Wasp, making it either immensely frustrating or intensely confusing for a large percentage of the people-who-don’t-know-they’re-ruled-by-Disney to spend 2 minutes and 45 seconds on. Thus, analyzing this trailer means wandering into the twisted dystopian wasteland that is the spoiler zone: and if you keep reading, we’re going to go through all seven levels.
First, there are the obvious reveals, those that spoil previous Marvel movies in a blatant attempt to forgive Marvel fans for not feeding the beast by shattering their dreams. That would be the pictures of Spider-Man, Shuri, and Ant-Man after the line “50% of all living creatures,” alluding to the Thanos treatment, the spoiler of the Avengers 4 trailer within the trailer by revealing Ant-Man outside of the quantum realm, and the curious coincidence that Spider-Man shows up dead in this trailer but has another movie out (it might even have its own trailer…). To make it more obvious, Marvel even has their logo disintegrate in the trailer.
Second, the implied success of the protagonists within the Avengers 4 trailer. It may be called Endgame, but no Marvel movie up to this date has made audiences feel depressed leaving the theater because of character deaths. War Machine falls from a more than lethal height (using Christopher Nolan Batman logic: more than five stories), is paralyzed, and miraculously receives glowing CGI technology thingies that make him walk. Iron Man needs an arc reactor to live…until he doesn’t. The list goes on and continues in this trailer. Black Widow even says it: “This is going to work.” Don’t doubt her. One, because of Marvel’s history with tragedy, and two, for the skeptics, because Spider-Man: Far From Home is coming to a theater near you on July 5, with Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 not far behind.
Third, the character reveals in the trailer. Many Avengers will be returning, specifically Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, Ant-Man, Hulk, and a few others like Nebula and Rocket Raccoon. The biggest news in that list is Hawkeye, who is actually no longer Hawkeye but Ronin, is one of Hawkeye’s alter egos from the comics.
Next are the implied character reveals from the trailers, which come with a quick warning that the pressure changes which come from diving too deep into a Marvel trailer can be dangerous, because of scenes made specifically for trailers and the magic of post-production. Anyhow, we (Marvel die-hards and the nerd community in general) know Hawkeye is Ronin because of three facts. One, Hawkeye becomes Ronin in the comics, and two because Ronin is introduced in the trailer after the lines “we lost family.” 65% chance that’s not a coincidence. The second character that may or may not appear in this movie is Pepper Potts as Rescue. In the comics, Pepper has an Iron Man suit specifically used to rescue people from dire situations. Her appearance in Endgame can be implied by Iron Man saying the word “rescue” in the trailer (means its definitely going to happen), him being stranded in space on Star-Lord’s ship, and him sending his last dying message to none other than Pepper Potts.
This fifth level of Avengers 4 trailer analysis is plot prediction. First, how will Tony escape the Milano? Two theories: one, as per the Avengers 3 end credits scene, Captain Marvel could rescue Tony (as well as Nebula, who appears to be on board the Milano as well) on her travels through space. If you paid attention to the verb in that last sentence and the implications of Pepper’s new character in this trailer, you have the other theory: Pepper could become Rescue, find Tony somewhere in Act 2, and bring him back within ten minutes of the climax. That’s my favored prediction, but it’s not the only inkling of plot that can be scavenged from this elephant graveyard of a trailer. There’s more beneath the surface.
The other prediction that has been floating through Marvel fandom is that the plot of Avengers 4: Endgame will be centered around quantum energy and the backbone of keeping any multi-billion-dollar franchise confusing enough to be successful: time travel. Guessed through the sheer power of nitpicking and backed up by a surprising consensus of people who analyze Marvel content, this is the main idea for the plot of the next Avengers movie. Here is the proof. Captain America wears his Winter Soldier suit in this trailer, Ant-Man shows up at Cap and Black Widow’s door with a van that just so happens to have an entrance to the quantum realm is, and he does so after somehow escaping from that realm. Ant-Man is the key, and although I don’t know the full powers of quantum energy in the Marvel universe and the fact that I’m now curious is distressing, I know it has something to do with time manipulation. Moreover, Cap and Black Widow seem to be skeptical, and perhaps the line “This is going to work” refers to some scheme to right the wrongs of Thanos by going into the past.
And finally, at the core of this twisted, convoluted, but really very simple trailer for a movie thousands of people are already going to see is the most insignificant morsel of information that can be drawn from the new footage from Avengers 4. But first some background. In the comics, during the Infinity War storyline, Thanos concludes “the snappening” and goes into retirement as he does in Avengers 3. The catch is that what Thanos decides to do in that retirement is become a farmer. That’s right, after cavorting in his Thanos-mobiles and Thanos-copters and Infinity Gauntlets and the like, Thanos becomes a farmer, and that’s what he’ll do in Avengers 4. Why else would the only directly Thanos-related shots in the trailer be of Thanos stroking space-wheat and using his armor as a scarecrow (which he did in the comics)? Because of his interest in agriculture, something that makes Avengers 4 less like Game of Thrones and more like Interstellar without Matthew McConaughey. That’s what you get for reading this entire article.