Avengers: Infinity War will assemble the biggest franchises of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time, uniting the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange in the fight against Thanos and his legion of superpowered minions.
Almost every hero of Marvel’s shared universe made it into the trailer — including newcomers audiences have yet to meet, like fierce warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira), a member of Wakandan king T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) guard —but there were more than a few noticeable omissions.
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), real name Clint Barton, is the only Avenger not to make it into the trailer — a probable result of the family man’s retirement.
Barton was drawn out of his quiet farm life in Captain America: Civil War, recruited by Captain America (Chris Evans) to help thwart the threat of a supposed army of super soldiers.
Barton took part in the Germany airport battle against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and his team of like-minded Avengers, later being imprisoned in the ocean prison known as the Raft.
By the end of Civil War, a fugitive Captain America broke his loyal team mates out of prison — leaving Hawkeye a fugitive presumably on the run or in hiding.
Fans aren’t happy about the eagle-eyed Avenger sitting the trailer out, but the bowman’s failure to appear could have something to do with his wildly new look or the new identity he’s rumored to don come Infinity War or Avengers 4.
Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), real name Scott Lang, was also recruited by Captain America for that same mission, and ended up with the same fate as Hawkeye: locked away in the Raft.
Lang, who already has a history as an ex-con, is laying low (and little).
He’s repaired his relationship with his young daughter and his perennially disappointed ex-wife, and he’s a full blown superhero — one who just happens to, technically, be a fugitive at this point in time.
It’s unknown how the pea-sized hero will factor into Infinity War, but his Giant-Man abilities would come in handy in the massive, universe-threatening fight ahead.
Don’t expect new partner Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to suit up as the high-flying Wasp just yet — her superhero debut is being saved for Ant-Man and the Wasp, which trails Infinity War by just two months — and Hope van Dyne will be just one of the many superheroes taking part in the currently unnamed Avengers 4.
Nebula (Karen Gillan) — adopted sister of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and adopted daughter of Thanos (Josh Brolin), the big bad so tough it’s going to be all hands on deck just to oppose him — will presumably play an important part in both Infinity War and Avengers 4, considering her relation to the Mad Titan.
The blue-skinned assassin joined her sister and her team, the Guardians of the Galaxy, to defeat Ego (Kurt Russell) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but her time with the group was brief: after the day was saved, Gamora made a tearful plea to her troubled sister.
“There are many other girls out there, like us,” Gamora said, referencing their traumatic past as innocents scarred by the merciless Thanos. “You can stay with us and help them.”
“I can help them by killing Thanos,” Nebula said, having made peace with her once-hated sister. She left, alone, to seek out and destroy Thanos — but this first trailer doesn’t give any hint at Nebula’s plans.
One of the newest fan-favorite additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) forged a friendship with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Thor: Ragnarok.
The traumatized warrior left Asgard after the destruction of her team, eventually becoming a bounty hunter operating on the battle-loving planet of Sakaar.
Initially a selfish booze hound, Valkyrie returns to her noble ways when she helps Thor and Hulk in the fight against Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Asgardian goddess of death.
Valkyrie was last seen alongside Thor aboard the Statesman, as the Asgardian Avenger took his position as the newly crowned king of a just-destroyed Asgard.
As shown in the mid-credits scene in Ragnarok, the Statesman is confronted by the Sanctuary II — the massive, overwhelming ship belonging to Thanos.
The Infinity War trailer teased the death of at least some of the Asgardians — time to hope Brunnhilde isn’t among them.
Taneleer Tivan (Benicio del Toro), professionally known as the Collector, was at one time in possession of the Aether — better known as the Reality Stone, one of the six all-powerful objects sought out by Thanos in his attempt to “balance the universe” — which may currently be missing.
The Collector is confirmed to appear in Infinity War by the leaked footage that hit the internet ahead of the official Infinity War trailer, but he’s run afoul of an increasingly impatient Thanos — and the obsessive accumulator just may pay the ultimate price.
It can be assumed Shuri (Letitia Wright) — another yet-to-be-introduced character that will make her debut in February’s Black Panther — will reappear come Infinity War.
As shown by the trailer, the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda is attacked by a massive army of Thanos’ forces — and should Shuri survive the events of Black Panther, the master engineer will no doubt help protect her homeland when the events of Infinity War take us back to Wakanda.
Her regal brother T’Challa may be out in front leading the Wakandan forces in battle, but Shuri just may soon don a Black Panther suit of her own.
Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Tony Stark’s assistant, handler and then lover, most recently showed up in Spider-Man: Homecoming after sitting out Captain America: Civil War by way of a breakup with the troubled inventor.
Paltrow’s involvement was confirmed by a photo shared to social media by Jon Favreau (who plays Tony’s right hand man, Happy Hogan), and with their relationship renewed, the Tony and Pepper coupling could see a major development in their relationship come Avengers 4.
Pepper and Tony’s relationship was previously strained by his insistence on maintaining the Iron Man identity, and she’ll likely not want to see Tony suit up again in what will be the armored Avenger’s biggest challenge yet — but even the future Mrs. Stark (hopefully) has to understand there will be no benchwarmers when Thanos comes to town.
When Thanos attacks, he won’t be alone: he’ll be backed by his superpowered children, collectively known as the Black Order.
Two of Thanos’ bad news offspring — Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive — were spotted in the trailer attacking Steve Rogers and Vision (Paul Bettany), while the remaining pair, the hulking Black Dwarf and the lanky Ebony Maw, have yet to show in footage.
Marvel Studios unveiled a look at Thanos and his intimidating Black Order during San Diego Comic Con.
Thanos’ forces will see an assist from the ferocious Outriders, a seemingly endless horde of mindless minions created solely to fulfill the malicious intent of their creator.
A second Infinity War trailer could appear ahead of Black Panther in February, offering anxiously-awaiting fans another look at the superhero epic, which will showcase almost every notable character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Avengers: Infinity War opens May 4.