quantum realm

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.