Through all the sheer excitement and spectacle, and the hype of ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's growth, it's sometimes easy to forget that all the characters who have graced the screen so far started out in the comic books. The comics are the source material, after all, and although the MCU movies tend not to feature literal adaptations from page to the screen, Marvel Studios still does look to them for inspiration, for a brief moment here, or full-blown crucial scene there.
Avengers: Infinity War will see the Avengers unite to fight against the might of Thanos, and it's clear from the first trailer that the movie will borrow a few pages from the classic 1991 comic storyline The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, George Pérez and Ron Lim. In fact, one of the key scenes from the trailer just so happens to be lifted straight from the comic series' first issue, albeit with a bit of a twist.
Fans of the original comic might recall the opening scene of the story, where the Silver Surfer crash lands right into Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in New York, smashing through the roof. Strange and his trusty friend Wong rush to the Surfer and, as it turns out, their surprise visitor's presence wasn't an accident at all. He had arrived with a warning: "Thanos is coming!" This is the scene that launched the entire event, and one that prompted the heroes to come together and take the fight directly to the Mad Titan.
Now, in the Avengers: Infinity War teaser trailer, we can see that this scene is brought to life -- there's a hole in the roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and Doctor Strange and Wong rush to find who stumbled into their home. But there is one big difference: instead of the Surfer, Bruce Banner is the one that crash lands into the Sorcerer Supreme's Sanctum.
The last we saw of Banner, he was aboard an Asgardian ship along with Thor, Loki and the rest of the Asgardian survivors in Thor: Ragnarok. A ship that, as we saw in the mid-credits scene of the film, was about to come under attack by a much bigger vessel.
From what we can piece together from the trailer -- Loki surrounded by the dead, with the Tesseract in his hand -- it stands to reason that this attacking vessel belongs to Thanos, which would in turn mean that this is how Hulk comes to learn of the maniacal purple tyrant. Therefore, in the fires of this space battle, it seems like the Hulk will be thrown back to Earth, whether through a blast or a portal perhaps, and this will lead him right to Doctor Strange. There, in the hole he created in the Sanctum, Banner, now fully aware of the threat of Thanos, will be the one to warn of his coming.
After that, all of the pieces will fall into place. Banner and Strange will call Stark, whom we saw visit the Sanctum in the trailer, and that is when Stark will have no other choice but to use the phone Steve Rogers left him, and call in the cavalry.
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.