It feels strange now to think of a time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before we knew of two momentous words – “snap” and “blip.” For those of us who were less comics-aware, and basing most of our knowledge on the movies, Thanos’ actions in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) were truly jaw-dropping. No one could believe it as we watched first Bucky, then T’Challa, then Groot, then Wanda, then Sam, then Mantis, then Drax, then Quill, then Steven Strange, and worst of all – Spider-Man – disappear before our very eyes.
All we knew before the release of Infinity War and Endgame was that we were in store for a meet up of Marvel characters the likes of which we hadn’t seen before, and that an epic battle against Thanos was in store. Our first clue as to just how downbeat Infinity War would be, came with the release of the first full-length trailer five years ago today.
The trailer begins with Nick Fury saying; “There was an idea…” and he’s joined by various members of the Avengers continuing the sentence “…to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if we could become something more. So when they needed us, we could fight the battles that they never could.”
Thanos voice then comes in; “In time, you will know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, and yet to fail, all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.” His voice is heard over unforgettable images, such as all of the hairs on Peter Parker’s arm standing on end – his spider senses certainly tingled. T’Challa can be heard saying; “Evacuate the city. Engage all defences. And get this man a shield.”
We see Thor desperately opening the stargate with those biceps in order to create Stormbreaker, and we see Cap emerge from the dark shadows WITH A BEARD. Of course, Thanos gets the (almost) last words; “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe, but this does put a smile on my face.” The money shot at the end involves Bucky, Black Widow, Cap, Hulk, Okoye, and Black Panther running towards the camera, with Rhodey in his War Machine gear flying in support.
The last few seconds of the trailer reveals a one-eyed Thor (gasp) meeting the Guardians for the first time and saying; “who the hell are you guys?” While the trailer certainly had everyone excited, nothing could prepare us for what would happen at the end of that movie. And then we had to wait a whole, tortuous year for Endgame.
While Phase 4 hasn’t quite lived up to the epic one-two punch of Infinity War and Endgame, we are now gearing up for Marvel’s Phase 5, which will centre around the first proper rival to Thanos in the villain stakes – Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror.