Let’s get the obvious out of the way. I cried when I saw this 5 minutes ago. I absolutely did. It’s something Marvel’s really good at: Making something small and simple incredibly emotional. There’s no real reason to cry at this trailer. The only sad footage we see is everyone turning to dust, and we saw that a year ago in Infinity War. So what the fuck, man?
Is it Stark’s reminiscing about what kick started this whole journey? Is it PEGGY CARTER’S GODDAMN voiceover from Winter Soldier making a shocking cameo appearance? Is it Captain America saying for the second trailer in a row that they refuse to move on?
Probably, yeah. But it’s obviously much more than that.
But what really got me going was Natasha Romanov suggesting that even if there’s a “small chance” to bring our fallen heroes back, they” owe this to the people not in this room to try.” From here it’s a cornucopia of Avengers overload as we see Hawkeye and Black Widow sharing a moment. Hawkeye escaping an explosion. DON’T EVEN GET ME FUCKING STARTED ON SEEING ROCKET CLINGING TO WAR MACHINE’S ARMOR, HOLY SHIT!!
And Steve kicks off the mantra: Whatever it takes.
This becomes a repeated maxim for 8 seconds as we hear Hawkeye and Widow repeat the same thing. A brief montage of badassness. And then Tony Stark, the godfather of all, repeats the same thing:
Whatever it takes.
Did you guys see them as they’re walking towards God only knows where in their new suits? Did you really see them? Have you taken the closest look possible. I don’t mean for easter eggs or some shit, because this isn’t that kind of article. I’m talking about getting a long, hard look at our last line of salvation.
Captain Steve Rogers leads the charge, because of course he does. With utter grit and determination, he’s walking into almost certain doom, knowing this plan will work because he “doesn’t know what [he’ll] do if it doesn’t.” Scott Lang looks sad. Defeated. Quite possibly feeling out of his element. It makes sense. He’s the regular guy, the every man, who got sucked into the superhero role. Now that the fate of the universe is at stake, he’s walking among gods, robots, experiments, master assassins, soldiers, and geniuses. He’s just a man. Always has been, but he’s risen to the occasion every damn time. Nebula just behind him, walking as you’d expect her too. Full of anger, contempt, consumed with robotic vengeance. Her sister murdered (one might suggest needlessly so, but take that up with Thanos), her father a maniacal asshole who deleted half of all life. She’s clearly on a mission. Colonel James Rhodes, a soldier, paralyzed from the waist down, suiting up yet again because the job’s not done. No longer bound by the Accords, this is no longer a matter of politics and paperwork, but of right and wrong, evil and good. He’s honor bound to fight to the end. Hawkeye back in the fold looking a little distraught yet fierce. Possibly avenging his family, turned to dust by the snap. We really know very little about his story line, but whatever happened, it was intense enough to bring him back out of retirement. Natasha Romanov, quite clearly willing to go to extreme lengths for the sake of humanity. This is something she was never trained for, and yet she runs towards it, assuringly fiercer than ever, because you leave no one behind and you never leave them alone.
Finally, we see Tony. A possible linchpin in the whole ordeal, the only character Thanos mentions by name in Infinity War, back on earth, broken and fading fast, he looks like he’s got very little to give, but he’s never once given up, and he’s making his way toward a demise or rise. But in all reality, he’s a regular human guy. “A man in a can.” But I’m willing to bet he’s got one last surprise up his sleeve. The greatest thing about these last clips is how willing everyone looks to fight. It’s going to end bloody, but they’ve all made the conscious decision to go down swinging.
Whatever it takes.
This is the magic of Marvel. They take ordinary people. Everyday, regular human beings, and they’re put in positions where they can achieve greatness. Not a single one of the heroes in this last clip inherently have any powers. Scott, Rhodey, Stark all need their suit. Nebula, Rocket (not pictured), and Steve were all created from regular people/aliens/animals, Natasha and Clint trained for years to develop their particular skills, and it’s an absolute fact that a skill is not the same as a superpower. Carol Danvers (also curiously not pictured) received her power from a sci-fi engine powered by the tesseract. So…human.
And Thor is really the only one who was born with any sort of natural ability, but his core is human. He’s vain, arrogant, and proud, albeit a little less these days, and he makes mistakes, he has his faults, and he is (despite anyone insisting otherwise) mortal. It was proven with Loki and Heimdall’s deaths. One aspect of being a demigod is that you can live forever, but you can be killed. Sort of like lobsters. At the end of the day, these are all human beings, choosing to not only do the right thing, but also the most difficult thing they’ve ever had to do in their lives. They are human, like you and me, and yet when they’re faced with the opportunity to run away from the danger or sprint straight toward it, they go headstrong into it every time. There’s integrity there. Honor. Discipline. These are virtues that we here in the real world can attain and possess. Over the course of 10 years, every character featured in this trailer has done exactly that.
That’s why these characters are so relatable.
That’s why these movies are so successful.
That’s why I love Marvel.
And that’s why I cried when I first saw this trailer.
Okay, let’s take a quick second and journey back to Peggy Carter’s voice-over. It’s from Captain America: Winter Soldier. If you recall, the movie was essentially about tearing down old governments to build a new world and neutralizing threats before they even happen.
So why this particular quote? Why now? FIVE YEARS after Winter Soldier, this particular moment still seems to be relevant. Given what we know happened in Infinity War and what we’ve already seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home, what do they mean by “none of us can go back”? What do they mean by “the best that we can do is start over”? How does the quote set up the plot of Endgame and the future pf the MCU?
I guess we’ll find out in late April.
Avengers: Endgame, starring every actor ever in the history of Hollywood, comes out on April 26th.
Robbie Clark is a senior writer and contributor to Cinema Soapbox