You can take the shield away from the man, but you can't take the man away from what the shield represents.
The first teaser trailer for Avengers: Infinity war was released earlier today, giving us a first taste of the scope of the cosmic superhero team-up movie. We saw Spider-Man leap into battle, Thor meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy and, most notably, Thanos begin to assemble his precious Infinity Gauntlet. While the trailer was light (and rightfully so) on actual plot points, we did manage to piece together some tidbits regarding how the storyline will fall into place, especially when it comes to the shattered elements Captain America: Civil War left us with.
At the end of the Captain America threequel, Steve Rogers had dropped the Captain America mantle and gone on the run from the government. Essentially a fugitive, he broke his trusted friends and teammates -- Avengers who had stuck by his side during the Sokovia Accords disagreement -- out of The Raft prison facility. The last we saw Steve in the flesh, he was with Bucky in Wakanda, under the protection of King T'Challa, the Black Panther.
The Infinity War trailer gives us a glimpse of the bearded and tattered Captain America who exists after these events. Although he may not have his trusty shield in his grasp, nor a bright and shiny new suit to wear into battle, Steve Roger proves to be the leader he always was when we see him flanked by his team of "Secret Avengers" as he leads them into battle against the invading forces of Thanos' army.
With Captain America hunted by the government and hiding in Wakanda, Steve's missions have likely become quieter, and much more discreet. Thanks to leaked pictures of the film, we already knew that Sam Wilson/Falcon is going to be at Steve's side through thick and thin, and that a now-very blonde Black Widow -- who is likely hiding under a new identity -- will join the duo.
But there are also quite a few additions to this new roster. This looks to be, after all, a battle that requires all hands on deck. After battling each other in Civil War, we can now see that the Black Panther, a king, is one willing to follow Captain America into battle. But T'Challa isn't the only Wakandan to answer to Steve's call. There is also Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje, who we will first see in action next February in the Black Panther solo movie. Bucky Barnes, the former Winter Soldier, was also last seen in Wakanda, going into cryogenic sleep while the country's scientists worked to purge the HYDRA programming from his mind. Clearly, Bucky will be back in action, lending a helping hand (and a new vibranium arm!) to help protect Wakanda.
Perhaps the most surprising, and the most noteworthy, members of the team are the last two: the Hulk and War Machine. Hulk's presence signifies that the Jade Giant will not only find his way back to Earth after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, but will quickly travel to Wakanda for reasons as yet unrevealed. Finally, and perhaps most unexpectedly, is the presence of Colonel James Rhodes, who fiercely opposed Steve during the superhero Civil War, a battle that left him crippled. To see him reunite with these Avengers truly makes you wonder how War Machine goes from hunting Captain America to helping him defend Wakanda from Thanos.
Captain America, Black Widow, Okoye, Black Panther, Winter Solider, Hulk, War Machine and Falcon, all united against a common foe. All of them, putting past differences aside to stand together to protect Wakanda. The only thing missing now is a red, white and blue shield.
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.