The first full trailer for "The Avengers" is here, though at first glance, it seemed much more like the work of Michael Bay — a little citizens-ominously-watching-the-skyline "Armageddon" here, a bit of city-block-destroying "Transformers" there — than the handiwork of Marvel and writer/director Joss Whedon.
But that voice-over you hear in the beginning (the one assuring us humans were made to be ruled) is none other than Loki, who makes his first appearance about 20 seconds into the new footage, kick-starting a furious visual procession of superheroes, superheroes and more superheroes. While the trailer didn't deliver everything we were hoping for — nor did it have the ineffable coolness we might have expected — it gave us a whole lot of Marvel goodness to unpack, which we did with another MTV News expert trailer analysis:
We've known for a long time that Loki is the central villain in "Avengers," though whether other villains pop up to wreak havoc (like those persistent rumors about the alien Skrulls) remains to be seen. What we didn't know was how Loki would travel to Earth, considering the Rainbow Bridge — that mythic intergalactic transporter — was destroyed at the end of this summer's "Thor." Yet in that film, before tumbling into some kind of cosmic abyss, Loki announces there are other ways to get to Earth besides the Rainbow Bridge. In this early shot of Loki crouching in a warehouse, we see what just might be the bad guy's new mode of space transportation. What exactly this "Stargate"-esque contraption is remains to be seen.
When Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and the rest of the Avengers assemble, they have to do so in style. In Marvel lore, when they take to the sky, they do so in a super-slick aircraft called the Quinjet, which flies overhead around the 55-second mark of the trailer. So that's cool. Except the sucker's on fire and looking like it's about to crash-land in Manhattan, perhaps as part of the epic urban battle the trailer teases again and again. We can't say for certain it's Quinjet — it could be a Skrullian craft — but we doubt it, based on visual comparisons to the comics and the fact that the jet just doesn't look alien. But do the Skrulls have a hand in the Quinjet's fiery situation? Or is that all thanks to Loki? Hmmm ...
This Is Assembling?
Who are we kidding? We wanted to see the Avengers assemble — not around the boardroom table, but in action. And the trailer, in this respect, just doesn't deliver. Alas, the shot (around one minute, 11 seconds in) of our heroes in a lab is the best look at the team together. Hawkeye isn't even there. Black Widow is mostly hidden. Captain America and Iron Man aren't even in their suits. Bruce Banner is just Bruce Banner, no hint of the hidden green beast within. We appreciate that Whedon is a writer who loves to pen a witty exchange between characters — we get a lot of that in the trailer, and we're not complaining — but we also maintain Marvel missed a chance in the trailer to show off the Avengers assembling for the first time in an unforgettable way.
Thor vs. the Captain?
At about the one-minute, 25-second mark, we have what looks like Thor battling Captain America. Now, the simple explanation is that these Avengers don't always get along and, hey, even superheroes might come to blows with one another from time to time. No harm, no foul. But here's a little conspiracy theory for ya: The Skrulls are notorious shape-shifters, and we just might be seeing one of them taking on the guise of an Avenger. So what we might — and we can't emphasize might enough — be seeing is actually a Skrull-vs.-Avenger throw-down. That kind of can-you-trust-your-buddy paranoia could be a lot of fun to play with in the film.
Say Hello to Your Hulk
We've seen Mark Ruffalo in character as Bruce Banner before. What we haven't seen — and what honestly makes the whole trailer worthwhile — is this first look at Banner transformed into the Hulk. Ruffalo has spoken often about how his Hulk will be a motion-capture creation modeled on the actor himself. So can we see the Oscar-nominated Ruffalo lurking somewhere inside the green beast? Hard to say in so brief a glimpse. We'll have to wait to see more "Avengers" footage, which we can't wait for and which is the clearest indication that for all our quibbles, the trailer is a superheroic success.
Check out everything we've got on "The Avengers."