Avengers: Endgame

5 takeaways from second Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - After Endgame, who is Mysterio, and can't fool MJ

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps on rolling. Though one stage of Marvel’s superhero epic reached a conclusion of sorts with Avengers: Endgame, the overarching story continues with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Technically, Phase 3 of the MCU ends with this film, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.)

If there was any question of where Far From Home fits in the MCU timeline, the movie’s new trailer makes that clear. (I speculated on the latest Amusement Park Podcast that it must take place between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, but was obviously wrong.) So clear, in fact, that Tom Holland issues a spoiler warning before the preview begins. If you haven’t seen Endgame, don’t watch this trailer because it gives away a major development from that film, one you won’t want spoiled.

Highlights from Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - Hey Nick Fury, there's Mysterio, and how many villains are in this?

So we’ll do our best to maintain that secrecy and make sure you go into Endgame fresh, able to enjoy its many surprises. It’s interesting that Marvel would go ahead with this when Endgame has only been in theaters for two weekends. But now we know why directors Joe and Anthony Russo declared that the spoiler ban would be over on Monday (May 6). There’s another movie to promote! And Marvel has about two months before Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 2.

It’s been a while since we’ve broken down a trailer with some key takeaways. But it’s also been quite some time since a big trailer debuted to provide that opportunity. (Did we miss the boat on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Maybe, but there wasn’t a whole lot to go on from that teaser.) This second look at Far From Home gives us a whole lot to chew on, so let’s dig in.

(Naturally, we’ll move past the first takeaway since it involves the major spoiler that Tom Holland warns viewers about from the start.)

Do superheroes get vacations?

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One perk of being a costumed crimefighter definitely isn’t paid vacation time. Most of them are too obsessed or dedicated to take time off. Bruce Wayne could take a vacation any time he wants, but Batman is always on watch. (Unless you count trips to the Middle East to take on Ra’s Al Ghul.) Tony Stark would probably take vacations, but he’s probably inventing two or three new Iron Man suits or creating new tech for the Avengers while on the beach with Pepper Potts.

Going on a trip that any high school student would covet, yet having his superhero duties eventually interfere with trying to enjoy himself and become closer with his classmates, is a classic Spider-Man conundrum. Peter Parker doesn’t get to be a regular high school kid. Something about great responsibility that comes with great power? Or Nick Fury stealthily barging into his hotel room…

Peter, meet Quentin

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In its recent summer movie preview, Entertainment Weekly ran a photo of an unmasked Peter Parker and Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) shaking hands that raised many questions among fans. Why would Spider-Man and Mysterio be shaking hands and revealing their secret identities to each other? (This seems even more peculiar for Peter, who has so much more at stake.)

But the new trailer fills in some blanks, revealing that Beck appears to be working with S.H.I.E.L.D. (or whatever agency Nick Fury is in charge of now). But the bigger, more important revelation is that, according to Fury, Beck isn’t of this Earth. Or at least the familiar Earth on which Peter Parker and our favorite cast of characters resides. Thanos’s snap played havoc with whatever walls existed between dimensions, somehow bringing Beck to this Earth.

Is Far From Home opening the door to a multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That path already seems to have been opened with the Quantum Realm in the Ant-Man movies and Endgame. Other galaxies and dimensions have been a big part of the MCU with the Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel films. Or is this something entirely new?

Who — or what — is Mysterio?

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After the first Far From Home trailer was released, I mentioned that Mysterio’s suit would fit right in on Asgard and his apparent powers resemble Doctor Strange’s. Maybe Beck is the Sorcerer Supreme of his alternate universe or something close to that? Could he be a demi-god of some kind? No need for Thor or Captain Marvel if someone of that power level is around to team up with Spider-Man.

If so, that’s a vast departure from the comic books, in which Beck is a failed stuntman and special effects whiz who uses his expertise and technology to fuel a life of crime. Spidey purists might take some issue with this, but Marvel’s movies have had no issue with veering away from the source material to best suit their stories. And those decisions almost always work out for the best.

Or is this all an elaborate scam — including classic Spidey villains Sandman, Molten Man and Hydro-Man — that Beck is playing on Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.? That would be more faithful to the character. (Mysterio’s costume, with that distinctive helmet globe, sure is.)

Nothing gets past MJ

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The MCU is taking a much different, fresher angle on Spider-Man mythology. One of the best examples of that is “MJ,” Peter Parker’s love interest (played by Zendaya). The “MJ” isn’t for “Mary Jane,” leaving the door open for Mary Jane Watson if Marvel or Sony ever wants to go there in the future. This MJ is listed as “Michelle Jones” on IMDB and presumably in the film’s credits.

This MJ isn’t an aspiring model or actress, and she’s most certainly not interested in being defined as “the girlfriend” in this narrative or being appreciated solely for her looks. She’s smart, on par with Peter, which makes her amusingly intimidating. She’s also no fool, as revealed in this trailer, when she tells Peter that she knows he’s Spider-Man.

As she points out, wouldn’t it be kind of obvious? In Homecoming, Spider-Man appears in Washington, D.C. when Peter and his classmates are there on a field trip. In Far From Home, Spidey’s friendly neighborhood extends to London while the class is there again. And where is Peter when Spider-Man appears anyway?

Adapting classic comic book stories and narratives into movies often forces a postmodern take on these tales. That sometimes requires pointing out some obvious flaws which end up hurting characters. How could Lois Lane not know Clark Kent is Superman? (Man of Steel took care of that nicely by avoiding the issue entirely.) And how could at least one of Peter’s classmates not figure out that he is Spider-Man? Where Marvel goes with this in future Spidey films, presuming there’s at least one more, could be intriguing.

More Happy Hogan, please

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We don’t ask much from Marvel because they already do such an excellent job of giving us what we want and what we didn’t realize we wanted. But with Disney+ on the way and several Marvel limited TV series soon to come — including shows featuring Loki, Wanda and Vision, and The Falcon and Winter Soldier — how about providing us with the Happy Hogan series that we all want?

(OK, I shouldn’t speak for everyone. Maybe you don’t want a Happy Hogan TV show. But c’mon, think about it. Don’t you really?)

Will Happy get to visit Downton Abbey when he’s in London? We know from Iron Man 3 that he’s a big fan. Sure, this is a Spider-Man movie, but at least give the big guy his moment this time around. He works with Spider-Man, not for Spider-Man, after all.

He’s been a quietly underrated character in the Iron Man movies, upgraded to a more comedic supporting role in the Spider-Man films, and — without giving away spoilers — he also has one of the most touching moments in Avengers: Endgame. He’s the liaison between Tony Stark and Peter Parker, essentially being the surrogate mentor that Tony can’t or doesn’t want to be. He’s slightly miffed at having to be a babysitter because he really wants to be in charge of this high school kid. And we know he has delusions of being a bit more important than he really is.

Jon Favreau is busy with his own Disney+ project, overseeing the Star Wars Mandalorian series for the fledgling streaming provider. And he’s a man in demand, directing big blockbusters like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. But maybe when he’s done with those obligations, there could be some time to give Happy (and Favreau the actor) the showcase that he’s always deserved.

Highlights from final Avengers: Endgame trailer - Blasts from the past, new haircuts, Quantum suits, and Captain Marvel

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Surprise, surprise, surprise! Should we have expected a final trailer for Avengers: Endgame six weeks before the Marvel superhero epic hits theaters? Three trailers is usually the standard, and we’ve already seen one teaser and a Super Bowl ad, so maybe a third look at Endgame was inevitable.

It’s also possible that Marvel wanted to bounce off the Captain Marvel springboard and remind everyone — if anyone wasn’t actually aware — that far bigger things are on the way in the world of the Avengers and the newest hero we were just introduced to plays a role in that story.

Like with the previous teasers for Endgame, there’s a dark, somber tone here. Our heroes have been defeated and the bad guy won. Is a comeback and retaliation possible? If Captain Marvel taught us anything, it’s that the hero’s journey is often getting up after being knocked down. We don’t know who’s making it out of this story alive, and some of our favorite characters likely won’t, but they’re not going down without a fight. (And it looks like there’s a big one on some devastated, fiery landscape.)

Interestingly, we don’t see Thanos at all here. But we know he’s the reason for all of this. Maybe that does raise the question as to whether or not another threat is at hand. Can there really be a bigger adversary than Thanos? (And for that matter, where are the Guardians of the Galaxy other than Rocket and Nebula? Did their role in Endgame change when James Gunn was fired from GotG, Vol. 3?)

As we like to do for big trailers (especially for superhero movies), here are some takeaways from this final preview of Avengers: Endgame before we’re served the whole enchilada:

These Guys Have Come a Long Way

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The first thing we see in the trailer is Tony Stark in the Afghanistan desert, the remains of his Mark I Iron Man suit scattered across the sand after he escaped from The Ten Rings. Now he’s broadcasting (or recording) a message to Pepper Potts across galaxies with his Mark L helmet.

Then we’re taken back to skinny Steve Rogers in 1942, yearning to join the Army and fight in World War II but deemed too frail for battle. Nearly 80 years later, he’s the quintessential superhero, leading a group of heroes — all of which are more powerful than he is — into the ultimate battle.

Later, we’re reminded of how much Thor’s world has changed. Once the heir to the throne of Asgard and an admiring son to Odin, Thor has lost virtually everything. Asgard is gone. Odin appears to be dead. Mjolnir has been destroyed. And his hair is much shorter.

How often have we seen characters develop and evolve across a multi-film arc of stories like this?

What’s Happened to Hawkeye?

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Hawkeye was curiously missing from Avengers: Infinity War, presumably retired after the events of Captain America: Civil War, which left him jailed and away from his family. We saw a glimpse of him in the first Endgame trailer, sporting a sword and new costume in what’s likely the Ronin identity he assumed in the comic books.

The scene of Clint Barton tutoring his daughter in archery is an allusion to the family he lost when Thanos eliminated half the universe. With his family gone, he’s apparently become something else — something Black Widow is visibly upset to see. Judging from the shot of him shooting arrows again later in the trailer, he becomes Hawkeye (with a mohawk) again. Will he get his family — or his hair — back?

Black Widow Goes Back to Red

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OK, it’s probably sexist to highlight Black Widow’s hair, and not anyone else’s appearance. (Although Thor’s haircut was noted earlier in this post.) But what is going on there? Natasha Romanoff has gone through several hairstyles throughout the Avengers and Captain America films.

When we last saw her, she’d gone platinum blonde with shorter hair. Now we see her apparently growing her hair back out, likely an indication that a significant chunk of time had passed. (Hey, Steve Rogers shaved his beard off too.) Maybe Natasha has become Bonnie Raitt in the post-Thanos world.

Off to the Quantum Realm?

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Ever since the release of Ant-Man in 2015, fans have speculated as to what role the Quantum Realm will play in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was wrong to guess that it would tie in with Doctor Strange. Many others thought there might be a connection to Captain Marvel.

However, the Quantum Realm almost certainly plays a role in Endgame. We know Scott Lang was trapped there at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, but he’s returned home based on his presence in the Endgame trailers. But how did he get back and what may he have found there — even unwittingly — that might help the Avengers defeat Thanos?

The merchandising for Endgame revealed the new suits that the Avengers would wear in the movie. (Unless the new looks were simply a means to sell toys.) Even the Hulk — who might be digitally hidden here — wears one in some of the marketing that’s been revealed. Is there a practical reason for the suits, such as surviving in the Quantum Realm? Based on set photos, it also appears that a time-travel element is part of this story. Does that happen through the Quantum Realm?

Another notable glimpse: Tony Stark and Nebula are with the gang here, so either they were rescued from space or made it back to Earth on their own somehow.

There She Is, Captain Marvel

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We’ll try to avoid spoilers if you still haven’t seen Captain Marvel (although we’d love for you to listen to our special episode on the movie or check out my written review), but the movie serves as both an introduction to Carol Danvers and something of a prequel to Avengers: Endgame. Of course, the timing of Captain Marvel’s release isn’t a coincidence. Marvel’s newest hero is part of the Endgame storyline and possibly the key to the Avengers defeating Thanos.

So it’s really not a spoiler to say that Danvers eventually meets up with the Avengers. After all, we saw Nick Fury’s signal go out to her at the end of Infinity War. What we know now is that Carol got the signal and is ready to join the fight. But the Avengers have no idea who she is and Fury isn’t around to vouch for her. The same goes for Carol; she doesn’t know these people and the world has obviously changed very much in her 24 years away from Earth.

Thor tries to test her by whizzing Stormbreaker past her head, and Carol doesn’t flinch. That’s apparently enough to impress the god of thunder. Those who think Carol (or Brie Larson) doesn’t show enough emotion in her portrayal miss the point that she acts this way for a reason. She’s been doubted and tested by men throughout her life. Plus, she thinks — knows — she could take Thor in a fight if she had to.

As fun as Captain Marvel was, it’s going to be exciting to see her interact with the Avengers.

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[UPDATE: Many discerning fans noticed that Danai Gurira’s name was not listed above the credits on the poster, despite her character Okoye, being one of the heroes featured. Marvel has since changed that.]

This is a good final trailer to whet the appetite for the big meal coming in six weeks. Just enough new goodies were revealed to add a little bit more understanding of the story and generate excitement for what figures to be the movie event of the year. (OK, Star Wars: Episode IX will take issue with that.)

But really, enough with the trailers. We’re ready to see this thing, right? We’ve waited not-so-patiently for the past year and, just like Steve Rogers, aren’t quite ready to move on.

Avengers: Endgame — and its rumored three-hour runtime — surges into theaters April 26.