Steve Rogers and Tony Stark didn't part on the best terms in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, where they were at odds over the terms of the Sokovia Accords, which led to the discovery that the Winter Soldier played a role in Howard Stark's death. Now, with Earth in danger from the villain Thanos, could we see Iron Man and Captain America reconcile in Avengers: Infinity War?
Marvel Studios certainly wants to make you think the two heroes reunite after watching the trailer. Stark's Hulkbuster armor, first seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, makes an appearance in Wakanda, as the Mad Titan's forces face off against Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Cap is among those heroes assembled, looking rather Nomad-like with his beard, so one would think there must come a point where he and Tony bury the hatchet.
However, there's a good chance that Tony and Steve won't share a minute of screen time, because Iron Man will be off in space fighting Thanos while the Wakandan battle unfolds. Also, if you pay close attention to the trailer and know your comic book history, the clues are there for you to see.
Among the comic book storylines that appear to influence Infinity War, one that stands out is Infinity, the 2013 Marvel Comics crossover by Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opena, Jim Cheung and Dustin Weaver. The story saw the Avengers split up into two groups; the first heads into space to unite different alien races against a threat to the universe, while the second group remained on Earth to defend it against an invading Thanos. As you can see, that looks to play out in a similar fashion in Infinity War, except Thanos is behind both the cosmic and Earth-based assaults.
After seeing Thanos rock Iron Man with a vicious right hand, we can assume these events take place on some unknown world, especially when you factor in the orange skies and alien objects floating in the background.
On Earth, there's the rather large issue of the Hulkbuster armor. Iron Man 3 introduced the idea of Tony controlling his suits remotely, but that still involved him being present. But what if another hero of high mental capacity is able to hijack his armor and use it as a defense system against Thanos' forces?
Once Bruce Banner arrives on Earth (which still needs to be explained, as we last saw him in space in Thor: Ragnarok), he may decide he's done Hulking out. However, with his friends heading into danger, he decides to help by reverse-engineering Tony's old Hulkbuster armor. He's familiar with it, if you remember his scuffle with Tony in Age of Ultron. Bruce is even shown in the trailer standing next to a Hulkbuster arm, except it's not attached to the rest of the body. He could very well be tinkering with the armor to work out the remaining kinks before it's fully operational under his control. Another fun theory is he's the one inside the armor, which played out in Avengers Assemble #6.
One of the lasting images in the trailer has Captain America leading the troops in a slow-motion sequence, with the Hulk lumbering in the background. You might ask, "Why did Banner change into the Hulk if he's controlling the Hulkbuster?" That can be explained away by remembering that, although the armor is big and highly durable, it most likely can't hold up against a host of aliens. Once that happens, Bruce will have no choice but to turn into the Green Goliath to even the odds.
Fans are eager to see Steve and Tony put their differences aside for the greater good. Avengers: Infinity War may seem like the perfect place for a reunion between the heroes, but we think the wait will continue until 2019's Avengers 4.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film opens May 4, 2018.