'Avengers: Infinity War' Trailer: Is This the End for Loki?

Could Marvel's most lovable villain finally meet his end for real in Avengers: Infinity War? Today's trailer certainly makes it look possible.

Since the first teaser trailer for Avengers: Infinity War debuted, fans have wondered what Loki's status might be in the upcoming mega team-up.

The trailer, which showed the god of mischief tentatively offering up the Tesseract (presumably to Thanos) touched off debate on social media: had Loki returned to his villainous ways? Was this some arcane, serpentine plan all along? Or was he actually working as a double agent on behalf of the heroes?

The latest trailer gives us a scene that appears to make the last of those options look the closest to true, with Thanos's Black Order holding Loki hostage in what appears to be the same stronghold where Loki was seen offering up the cube in the previous trailer.

Black-Order-Loki
(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Certainly it is possible that Loki is there of his own free will -- he does not have his hands bound or anything -- but "large weapon pointed at your head" tends to be a fairly universal language for "help, help, I'm being held hostage" even in far-away galaxies where the weapons have strange and exotic looks.

After the Tesseract -- which looks similar to the Cosmic Cube from the comics, but does not have as much power -- appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger, Loki used it in his bid to take over Earth in Marvel's The Avengers. It was revealed in that film that Loki had formed an uneasy alliance with Thanos, who appeared for the first time in a post-credits sequence.

Following his defeat at the hands of the Avengers, Loki lost the Tesseract, which was later revealed to contain an Infinity Stone, and it was relocated to Odin's vault on Asgard.

Fast forward to the end of Thor: Ragnarok. Asgard is in peril, and Loki has been charged with killing Hela by unleashing Surtur. In order to do so, he has to head to Odin's vault and place Surtur's crown on Asgard's eternal flame. Along the way, he is distracted by the Tesseract.

When Thanos's giant ship showed up at the end of Ragnarok, dwarfing the Asgardians' getaway vehicle, the most obvious conclusion to draw was that they were looking for Loki and/or the Tesseract.

If that is the case, and this is the next step in the story's evolution, it feels like bad news for Loki. Worse news, perhaps, is the fact that Thanos crumbles the Tesseract to have easier access to the Infinity Stone inside. The visual shorthand of callously breaking something so valuable and so intrinsically tied to Loki within the context of the film universe is an effective shorthand for Loki's own lack of value to Thanos.

Black Panther is now in theaters. It will be followed by Avengers: Infinity War on April 27th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.

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