When Avengers: Infinity War ended, fans were left in shock at Thanos' snap. There was no post-credits scene too but to, adding further weight to the fact that half of all life in the universe was indeed gone, and we needed to deal with it. As a result, everyone has been waiting with bated breath for at the first peek at Avengers 4, but apart from toy leaks and fan-shot set photos, the Russos have kept everything well under wraps.
However, after several rumored trailer premieres, we finally got our first glimpse at the sequel, aptly titled "Endgame," and Marvel Studios didn't just put out any random piece of marketing; it released the best teaser ever in the entire comic book movie genre.
This is a bold claim, but it's all but inarguable that the Avengers: Endgame trailer transcends anything we've seen before in marketing superhero films. We live in a digital age where marketing is social media-driven, ergo the endless clips that studios release, often giving away too much of any given film. This trailer, while providing a peek behind the curtain, sets up everything up in such a way that the audience really knows little more than before it dropped.
That's not an easy thing to do. Now, the teaser does give us some plot points, but the synch up with what we already assumed, so it doesn't feel revelatory or spoilery. What also makes this approach so profound is how the familiar elements seem vaguely strange. Tony Stark, aka the man who always has a plan, is defeated, both mentally and physically. More so, as he records a message for Pepper Potts, he admits that this time he has no plan.
Steve Rogers, the man who's never been broken, was left exclaiming "Oh God!" at the end of Infinity War, and here he's in the same state of mind. He's crying as he pores over Thanos' decimation. However, the trailer shows him clean-shaven, back in his Winter Soldier suit, basically illustrating he's back as Captain America. But what's very much apparent is that he's a Cap unlike any we've seen before, someone down and desperate. As he explains to Black Widow, his mysterious plan has to work because he doesn't know what to do if it doesn't. It's intriguing witnessing both heroes this vulnerable but it's nothing we couldn't predict after Infinity War concluded.
We also see the same being done for the main villain, Thanos, even though we don't even catch a full shot of him in the trailer (well, unless you count his armor being hung up like the Infinity Gauntlet scarecrow). There's simply a tease of him limping in Titan-2's fields, indicating the toll his snap took and how damaging a victory it was for the Mad Titan himself. The quick glimpse of his burnt-out Infinity Gauntlet tells us all we need to know -- and yet, no major plot beat is being sold out. All we know is, everyone is on a collision course.
For a trailer to do this with its main characters, yet maintain a sense of mystery, takes skill and Endgame's accomplishes this seamlessly. We bear witness to the tragedy resonating across the MCU, the feeling that hope and inspiration need to rebound. The comedy (as we ironically see Scott Lang popping up in a post credit moment, of all things) -- and all of this is energized via the narration. The Russos rely more on voiceovers and less on the visuals, building the emotive power of the clip, so that if feels steeped more in substance than style.
Ultimately, this teaser says nothing, and yet it somehow says everything. We don't even see most of the cast, but in just under three minutes, we know the stakes and get a sense of the overall scope of the upcoming battle. We we sense the impending dread looming, snd the icing on the cake is how the trailer hints that just because a sequel is coming, it doesn't mean we're going to get a happy ending.