The long-anticipated teaser trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War finally arrived this morning, delivering most everything fans could have wanted -- and then some. Crammed within its nearly two and a half minutes of footage are alien invaders, widespread destruction, the armies of Wakanda and, yes, the Avengers reassembled, with some new allies.
And at the center of it all is Thanos, with one eye on conquest and the other on the Infinity Stones.
Needless to say, there's a lot to unpack from this trailer, which answers some questions but raises so many more. It's a difficult task, but we try our best below.
Oh, No! ... Pepper?
At the risk of starting out on a down note, the opening shot of Infinity War's teaser trailer does not bode well for Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts. Robert Downey Jr.'s tearful Tony Stark sits amid rubble, pressing his lips against a muddy -- or bloody -- hand. It's fairly clearly not his own, and its difficult to imagine what other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would stir that sort of reaction, or sentiment, from Tony Stark.
Welcome Back to Earth, Bruce Banner
In a callback of sorts to a scene from 2012's The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner awakes to find himself in a crater, although this time it's not in a warehouse. Instead, it's in the basement of the Sanctum Sanctorum, whose residents Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) are unsurprisingly alarmed by his arrival through their roof, and staircase.
We can safely presume the same encounter with Thanos' massive vessel Sanctuary II in Thor: Ragnarok's mid-credits scene that hurled Chris Hemsworth's thunder god across the galaxy delivered Banner back to Earth. We're left to wonder, though, what happened to the rest of the passengers aboard the Asgardian refugee ship, and what the odds are of Thor ending up in the vicinity of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Banner in Doctor Strange's home. Are those merely convenient coincidences that move the plot along, or is there an invisible hand at play as the heroes of the MCU march toward their showdown with Thanos?
New York City Street Fight
Strange, who previously met Thor and Tom Hiddleston's Loki, expands his Rolodex, not only with the unexpected visitation of Bruce Banner, but with the addition of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. We previously caught glimpses of this team-up in leaked set photos, but this teaser trailer suggests that the fight against Thanos takes place on three primary fronts: in New York City, the traditional center of the Marvel Universe; in Wakanda, homeland of Black Panther; and in the outreaches of space, where Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy are (at least initially). Judging from later footage, we might surmise that New York City is the scene of the 0pening battle, which may not go well for the heroes, leading them to take a stand in Wakanda.