Tension and stakes within The Marvel Cinematic Universe are at an all-time high, with Avengers: Endgame finally arriving in theaters in a matter of weeks. 21 movies and ten years of filmmaking will come to a head in the blockbuster, picking up the narrative after the heartbreaking twist ending of Infinity War. Josh Brolin's Thanos succeeded in wiping out half of all life in the galaxy, and the survivors and moviegoers alike are eager to get back into the fray after the year-long wait between installments.
Endgame is nearly upon us, and Marvel Studios has been methodically revealing footage ahead of the film's upcoming release. While still keepings clips short and the movie's contents a mystery, the trailers show how dark things have gotten since The Decimation. A new trailer hit today as pre-sale tickets became available, and it had some seriously heartbreaking shots for the fandom. Here's my picks for the top 4.
If there's one love story that has been the MCU's signature coupling, it's Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. Starting back with 2007's Iron Man, it was clear that the character had emotional feelings for his assistant, and moviegoers watched their relationship ebb and flow over the last ten years. The two got back together around the time of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and were revealed to be engaged in Infinity War. But The Decimation left Iron Man stranded on Titan with Nebula, and it was unclear if/how he'd return home.
But Pepper and Tony will reunite in Endgame, after he somehow ends up back on Earth. This shot may cut down fan theories that Pepper would suit up and save Tony herself, taking on the mantle of Rescue in the process. Fans will still be hoping that Pepper suits up sometime during the events of Endgame, as she's been known to kick ass and kill villains in the past. And considering how dire things are in the MCU after The Decimation, it doesn't seem out of the question that she might get into the action, one way or another. Gwyneth Paltrow was given her own character poster for Endgame, so we should expect Pepper to have more to do than her last few appearances.
Regardless, it's great to see Tony and Pepper back together. Let's just hope they both survive the upcoming rematch with Thanos.
Rocket And Nebula Connect
The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is unique to the rest of the MCU, with zany characters and over-the-top comedy. But the motley crew have darkness and trauma they're grappling with as well. The Guardians were hit hard by Thanos' assault in Infinity War, starting with Thanos' murder of Gamora to acquire the Soul Stone. And once the snap happened, audiences were left to watch in horror as Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, and Groot all faded to dust.
Nebula and Rocket are the sole survivors of the Guardians, and are arguably the most damaged members of the crew. While they didn't share scenes in Infinity War, that should change with the upcoming blockbuster. The new Endgame trailer showed the two characters connecting in their grief, with Rocket taking Nebula's hand in a rare moment of empathy. The loss of Gamora and Groot should be hitting them both hard, so perhaps the two biggest outcasts in the Guardians franchise will share a deep connection in the upcoming threequel.
Of course, we're still not sure how Gamora actually gets to Earth, as she's stranded with Tony Stark in space following the Battle on Titan. Could Rocket be the one who rescues them, thanks to his pre-existing relationship with both the ship and Nebula? Fans are eager to know how that rescue mission is completed, and Rocket does have the most experience in space.
Tony Mourning Peter Parker
Thanos' finger snap of death was an iconic and emotionally devastating scene, as countless characters perished before our eyes. But there was one death that took the cake for the most heartbreaking: Tom Holland's Peter Parker. Spider-Man became an official Avenger during Infinity War, and joined Iron Man and Doctor Strange on their journey to Titan. His spider-sense caught onto The Snap before it the dusting began, and he begged for his life to Tony Stark, before apologizing for failing his mentor.
It's a truly gut wrenching scene, and one that highlighted how horrifying The Decimation is. The guilt seems to be weighing hard on Tony during Avengers: Endgame, as he united the survivors to once again battle the Mad Titan. Peter's death will no doubt be a major motivation, and it should be interesting to see if/how he's eventually resurrected ahead of Spider-Man: Far From Home starting Phase Four.
Speaking of Far From Home, there's already been a trailer released for the project, even if Peter is still dust at the moment. Peter will be interacting with Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Happy Hogan in the upcoming blockbuster. But Tony is noticeably missing, leading some to believe Iron Man may perish in Endgame. If that's the case, Spider-Man will be out of a mentor, and the Earth will be out of one of its biggest defenders.
Iron Man and Captain America Reunite
Phase Three of the MCU was kickstarted with Captain America: Civil War, proving how The Russo Brothers could balance a massive cast of iconic heroes. The Sokovia Accords split Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as they took either Cap or Tony's side on the argument. The battle lines were eventually drawn in the epic tarmac battle, while the duo of Avengers had another conflict with Bucky, ending their friendship and the Avengers as we knew it.
Iron Man and Captain America haven't shared any scenes yet, and were stationed on different locations during the conflict with Thanos in Infinity War. But they both survived The Snap, and will have to bury the hatchet in order to unite against Thanos in Endgame. The new trailer shows them doing just that, with Steve telling Tony he trusts him again. Cue the tears.
We'll get context for these shots once Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th.