The Avengers trailer explained

We break down the first trailer for the biggest superhero movie ever made

Superhero films have ruled cinemas for the last decade: they’re fun, they’re a spectacle and they’re modern civilisation’s equivalent of the Greek Gods brought to the big screen. 

In 2012 we’ll all be treated to the two biggest superhero films ever made. One is Christopher Nolan’s sequel to the billion dollar-making ‘The Dark Knight’ and the other is this barmy effort.

When Marvel decided to make its own films (previously the comic publisher licensed them out to studios) it made a bold statement with the massively successful ‘Iron Man’. It was a fantastic film, but it also teased us with their vision of the future.

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A post-credit sequence showed us Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury approaching hero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) about “the Avengers Initiative” and million geeks cried out in sheer, uncontrollable delight... but were not suddenly silenced.

‘The Avengers’ are the superhero team to end all superhero teams. They’re not a mish-mash of central and supporting characters like the X-Men, they’re a collective of the most powerful and most iconic heroes of the comic book hero age.

Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

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Each of Marvel’s films teased us post-credits with just a little bit more of what’s to come. As time went on the hints worked their way into the main plots - especially this year’s ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ films - and at the end of the latter we had the first little bit of ‘Avengers’ footage itself.

That was a couple of months ago. Now we have the first official trailer which gives us a taste of the ultimate superhero mash-up. Here’s our run through...

It starts out with none of the A-listers and none of the vivid personality that comic book films have. It could be a 'Transformers' film for all we know. The ante has most definitely been upped though, whatever that actually means.

A city street is being torn apart by explosions, the army are taking positions, police are firing at an unknown threat in the sky, and a voice [that of Tom Hiddleston’s villainous Loki, last seen in ‘Thor’] ominously declares, “You were born to be ruled”. He is referring to the human race.

Loki was sent packing from Asgard in ‘Thor’ earlier this year, presumed dead until the post-credit scenes revealed he had taken the form of Stellan Skarsgård’s Dr Erik Selvig. This is one of Loki’s powers (he’s a cunning trickster rather than a powerful juggernaut villain-wise) and it might be relevant later on.

“There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them they could fight the battles we never could,” says eye-patch-wearing Nick Fury. Shots of the heroes walking to various places, looking thoughtful and snippets of them in action follow before Fury asks, “Gentlemen, what are you prepared to do?”

The trailer then quick cuts to slices of action from the film. The overall plot isn’t described in detail but what we do know is that the Earth is in danger. The film has its heroes and villain in place, but it’s not as black and white as all that.

This is a group of larger than life characters thrown together and expected to work together. It won’t all be happy families, so expect a lot of bickering like the exchange between Cap and Tony Stark. It’s what director Joss Whedon is known for. In ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and the cult series ‘Firefly’ there was lots of top quality banter between the heroes.

Loki is Thor’s brother so there’s a conflict of interest for the Norse God as he treads the line between saving a planet that isn’t his and wanting to save his brother from apparent madness. Will it cause animosity between the only non-human in the group and his earth-bound chums? I’d guess so. The flash of Thor and Cap fighting may well be the most tantalising aspect of the trailer. Maybe one of them isn't actually the real deal. Loki and the Skrull (more later) are known to take on the forms of others.

Maybe it’s Cap who is in the wrong here. After all he has been frozen for 70 years, everyone he knew is dead and Earth is being attacked. I wouldn’t be in the best of moods either. Ultimately he’s alone but there are more important things at stake here.

The main focus of the trailer is on the destruction of New York, which we believe happens closer the beginning of the film. Why? well have a look at this screen grab from that battle and then look at the screen of Thor and Captain America above. Notice Thor is in his older costume here but not in the fight with Cap. Why upgrade your look only to change your mind?

There’s one hero who’s gone a bit unnoticed in the trailer. Mark Ruffalo took over from Edward Norton as Bruce Banner and how Hulk will look has been kept under wraps. There is a snippet at the end and a great exchange between Stark and Banner. “I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.” Classic.

There is lots we still don’t know about ‘The Avengers’. Loki can’t be unleashing all this destruction by himself, are the rumours true and he has brought the alien race known as the Skrull in to destroy Earth?

Here are few more tidbits that intrigued us...

Captain America unloading a machine gun? Superheroes typically stay away from that kind of stuff unless it’s mounted onto them like with Iron Man. It’s refreshing but what’s made the all-American hero resort something other than his immense strength?

It’s only there for a second but it looks like Tony Stark has a base of operations in New York. Is it the target of the attack? In a clever cut we see Loki throw someone and then Cap flying out of the window and onto a car. Slow it down and its Loki throwing Tony Stark. It looks high up too, is Tony about to take a plunge out of his own skyscraper?

No questions to ask here. Scarlett just looks lovely as Black Widow. There’s a strong rumour that the romance of the film will be between Scarlett’s character and that of Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. Maybe they bond because they’re the only two without super-human powers or an incredible tech suit.

“If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we'll avenge it.”

Feel that? Those would be goosebumps.

‘The Avengers’ hits cinemas on May 4th, 2012.