It's finally here. The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War promises the Marvel battle to end them all.
Directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War directors the Russo brothers, it's the culmination of 10 years and 22 movies that reshaped the entire concept of the movie franchise.
From the arrival of Thanos to a glimpse at the epic action sequences, here's what we learned from the apocalyptic new trailer...
At this stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a sense of heritage is paramount. A reprise of Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) monologue from Avengers Assemble reminds us why the Avengers initiative was established in the first place, "to help protect others who couldn't protect themselves."
But what happens when the Avengers themselves are in dire threat? What does this mean for Earth? In a neat move several of our heroes then divide Fury's narration between them, re-enforcing their almost mythical standing within the MCU.
We pick up with a distraught-looking Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.); a seemingly wounded Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who is discovered by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch); Vision (Paul Bettany), who's now close with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen); Thor (Chris Hemsworth); and a newly blonde-locked Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
Amazingly, that little montage is the mere entree to the biggest Marvel movie yet, one that sees 32 primary characters competing for our attention.
Within the aforementioned montage we get a fan-pleasing glimpse of Bruce standing next to Tony's armour, previously destroyed to city-levelling effect in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In that movie we saw our two heroes (briefly) go up against each other, but this time they're facing a deadlier threat than anything before. What's equally intriguing is where he's standing: judging by the lush vegetation and background detail we might assume that the location is Wakanda from the soon-to-be-seen Black Panther, more on which momentarily...
The Avengers theme
Ordinarily the Marvel logo wouldn't get a mention in a trailer breakdown. But when accompanied by the rousing strains of returning composer Alan Silvestri's Avengers theme, we get a distinct sense that the music is threading together all the disparate MCU strands for the most gargantuan superhero conflict we've ever seen.
Meeting of minds
Infinity War groups together numerous characters who, until now, haven't crossed paths with one another. Here we have Doctor Strange and cohort Wong (Benedict Wong) standing alongside Bruce Banner and Tony Stark – we can only imagine the mind games and quick wit that will ensue.
Plus, the concept of Strange's magic melding with Bruce's raw Hulk strength and Tony's technological prowess is enough to make us dizzy with excitement.
Josh Brolin's super-villain has been teased on and off throughout the MCU ever since his post-credits appearance in Avengers Assemble. Only now is he making his grand entrance, marching into New York and making all kinds of apocalyptic statements that bring bad tidings for the Avengers. (Hasn't the Big Apple experienced enough bad luck in these movies?)
"In time, you will know what it's like to lose... To feel so desperately that you're right, but to fail all the same. You can dread it, run from it, but your destiny still arrives," he intones. And this is no empty threat: although the Avengers have seen off any number of would-be world-conquering baddies over the years, both as a team and individually, the power Thanos wields is enough to destroy any and all of them.
As has become apparent throughout the MCU, Thanos is in pursuit of the Infinity Stones that will grant him all-conquering power. Sadistically, he is not only steadfast in his resolve but takes pleasure in the knowledge that the mystical artefacts will make him essentially invulnerable to our greatest heroes.
We love how Brolin's recognisably bass tones give Thanos' speechifying added weight and menace – a great piece of casting if ever there was one: "Fun isn't something one considers when balancing the universe... But this does put a smile on my face."
Home turf war
He first appeared in Civil War and this summer got his own gloriously entertaining standalone movie, Homecoming. But now Tom Holland's Spider-Man faces the fight for his home city – we love the subtle touches like the hairs on his arms standing on end, a pretty accurate reflection of what's happening to us as we watch the trailer. Our own Spidey senses are certainly tingling.
The Captain returns
Having been pitted against his old mucker Tony in Civil War, the upstanding Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) went off-grid. He transported his old pal Bucky (more on whom below) to the vibranium-producing kindgdom of Wakanda so that the latter's metallic arm could be healed.
However, his super-strength is now needed in the conflict against Thanos, and his entrance scene (complete with hard-living beard) is foreshadowed by a kick-ass line from returning Wakandan leader T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman): "Give this man a shield!"
Intriguingly this would appear to mark a change in loyalties: upon his first appearance in Civil War T'Challa was firmly on the side of Team Iron Man, battling Team Cap during the central airport fight sequence. This time however T'Challa (soon to be getting his own standalone movie) recognises the super soldier's strength and nobility.
Fingers crossed this is just one of several fascinating character dynamics put in play by the Russos.
Spidey's new suit
In Spider-Man: Homecoming Peter's costume was equipped with all kinds of technological gubbins. But it appears that it's been stepped up a gear as he prepares to battle Thanos, now possessed of a metallic sheen and with new glaring orbs for eyes. Where do we get one?
Loki and the cube
It was one of the great questions left hanging after the recent Thor: Ragnarok. Did trickster-turned-apparent-good-guy Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steal back the Tesseract (one of the coveted Infinity Stones) prior to the destruction of Asgard? It's the weapon he used to threaten so much destruction in Avengers Assemble and in the below shot we see him brandishing it again.
We reckon he's either stolen it or he's been granted it by Thanos in an attempt to stoke further divisions within the Avengers team.
Thanos vs Spidey
No-one likes to see fledgling Avenger Peter Parker getting his butt handed to him – but Thanos is distinctly lacking in sympathy for our heroes. And in this shot he's laying the smacketh down on the Spider-Man.
Winter Soldier no longer
Both Rogers and his old pal Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) have been through a lot over the course of the Captain America movies, veering from allies to enemies and back again. It appears that Bucky is still firmly on the side of the good guys as we see him armed and ready to fight Thanos alongside a host of Wakandan fighters. On that note...
Wakanda vs Thanos
Infinity War appears to be putting a great deal of emphasis on Black Panther's mythology, perhaps not surprising since the character's standalone movie (arriving in February 2018) is poised to open up significant new dimensions of the MCU.
This is the shot that gets us going, as the reclusive Wakandan forces go head-to-head with Thanos' minions, lizard-like things that are ugly and deadly. The fact the army is fronted by T'Challa himself, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Bucky, Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Wakandan warrior Okoye (played by The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira) is just the icing atop a very tasty cake.
The Guardians are back!
Few things are capable of fazing the God of Thunder, but one-eyed Thor (he lost an eyeball at the end of Ragnarok, remember) appears confounded by the arrival of a group of misfits.
Cut to the shot we've all been waiting for: Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), whose casual vibe indicates they're still taking this kind of stuff in their stride. These are the guys who have been called in to help the Avengers in their do-or-die mission.
And yes that's teenage Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) standing behind Star Lord – if his hilarious Guardians Vol. 2 post-credits scene was anything to go by, he could steal the show. Just as long as he leaves the adolescent angst out of the battle with Thanos.