Tony Stark doesn’t die alone in space.
Technically speaking, this is a spoiler for Avengers: Endgame, but we learned it from the latest trailer for Marvel’s epic crossover, which dropped this morning, so it doesn’t really count. In the first trailer for the film, we discovered that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man was able to escape Titan following Thanos’ genocidal snap. But drifting in space with no hope for rescue (“more fun than it sounds”) put him in a sentimental mood (us too, buddy!) as he recorded one final message for his betrothed, Miss Pepper Potts.
The Super Bowl commercial released a few weeks ago revealed a few other tantalizing details, like a support group for snap survivors (a bad Leftovers episode that Steve Rogers really isn’t into) but the ad was mood lighting rather than illuminating.
The newest trailer is also more morsel than meal, but it includes a few more clues, including the aforementioned “spoiler” of Tony Stark returning home from space, as well as a post-trailer stinger in which Thor meets Captain Marvel (we like this one, too, Thor). Outside of that, the trailer is largely focused on revisiting the origins of the Avengers’ figureheads in crimson-highlighted black-and-white.
With the release of Endgame now just six weeks away(!), these trailers are most notable for what they HAVEN’T shown: specifically, any of the characters who were snapped away or the whipper/snapper himself, Thanos. If you thought, as I did, that Captain Marvel would give up some of the Endgame, nope, wrong.
When it comes to the specific plan to defeat Thanos (the one that “has to work” according to the first Endgame trailer), we don’t know much more than we did last summer, except that Ant-Man and Hawkeye (/Ronan!?) will be involved after sitting out Infinity War. Oh, and the Avengers will be rocking space/ quantum realm suits that reminded me of nothing so much as the late-period Fantastic Four costumes.
Withholding all of the juiciest bits of the story is a luxury that can only be afforded to a sequel to the fourth, sixth, and eighth (and if you count Black Panther, ninth) highest grossing films in history. Compare the marketing for Endgame to that of Infinity War, which was heavy on exhilarating (and misleading) action sequences. Marvel already knows that audiences are going to show up for what promises to the conclusion to the MCU saga thus far. From a box office standpoint, the only real question is how many records Endgame will break.
From a story standpoint, there’s a lot more uncertainty; Marvel has been wisely playing that up. Despite our best guesses, no one outside of Marvel Studios and Disney really knows how the Endgame will play out. In our culture of tea-leaf-reading trailer breakdowns and premeditated political judgments, that’s a precious thing.
Plus we can take comfort knowing that whatever happens, at least Tony Stark doesn’t die alone in space.