New York, New York
The sun rises over New York City, on just another ordinary day in Manhattan… except it’s not just another day, because all hell is about to break loose. As Nick Fury’s voice informs us, “the world has changed”. At first, it seems as though he’s addressing the audience, but as the trailer progresses, it becomes clear that Fury is briefing Captain America.
As you might recall from the end of Captain America: The First Avenger , Fury has brought Steve Rogers to present-day New York in order to face his biggest challenge to date. “Trying to get me back in the world?” quipped Cap at the end of that film. “Trying to save it,” replied Fury.
“At this point, I doubt anything would surprise me,” says Rogers. Seems like a fair sentiment, given that he’s just been woken from a seventy-year sleep by a man with an eye-patch.
It’s impossible to escape the sensation that Cap seems a little jaded here. Indeed, Chris Evans has spoken about how The Avengers will see Rogers struggling to accept his fate as a man out of time, charged with saving a world he no longer recognises as his own. At least he’ll have some team-mates to help share the burden…
Now this is exciting! The camera pans across what can only be the Helicarrier, with a number of Quinjets primed and ready for action. The Helicarrier is S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mobile aircraft carrier, and the Quinjets are souped-up fighter jets used by the organisation’s agents.
From previous images, we know that Hawkeye gets the chance to pilot one of these badboys, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the other Avengers employ them too, particularly as the threat they’re facing is largely airborne…
We will fight them on the beaches
Having assembled his team of superheroes, Nick Fury comes over all Churchill with a rousing speech designed to let his men (and Scarlett Johansson) know what they’re up against. “We are hopelessly outgunned,” he says ominously, before reassuring the troops that, “I believe in heroes.”
In contrast to the rock and roll, all guns blazing bravado of the first trailer , this one is at pains to stress just how big a task the Avengers face. Speaking of which, just exactly who is it that they’re up against?
Loki on the warpath
We saw plenty of footage of Manhattan under attack in the first trailer, but this time around, we get a much better look at who’s responsible. As we know, the trouble starts when Thor’s brother Loki heads to Earth with a mind to subjugate the human population. “You were made to be ruled,” he sneers, unkindly.
However, the new trailer also shows Loki getting his hands dirty with the actual destruction of New York, as he hurtles over a ravaged street on some kind of flying motorbike. That’s the technical name for it, anyhow. Looks like the Norse God won’t just be pulling the strings… he’ll be getting stuck in to the combat as well.
Whilst the last trailer focused on the tensions between the group, this one shows the various superheroes putting their egos aside for the good of the team. So instead of Tony Stark squabbling with Steve Rogers, we get Stark addressing his teammate as “Captain, and Rogers returning the favour to “Mr Stark.”
We also see Thor reaching out to a stricken Cap, helping him to his feet in the heat of battle. If there were teething problems to begin with, it looks as though the Avengers learn to function together when the going really gets tough.
It seems as though Tony Stark is sporting a shiny new coat of armour, and very nice it looks too. For those of you who are counting, Tony is now modelling the Iron Man Mark VII armour, capable of withstanding a nuclear blast and boasting weapons equal to America’s most advance battleships.
He’ll be getting plenty of use out of it too, given that the suit makes Iron Man the only member of the team capable of flying on his own steam. And as we mentioned before, much of the enemy assault will be raining down from above…
The new trailer also gives us a first proper look at Loki’s “army”, the airborne assailants whose hi-tech weaponry wastes little time in reducing Manhattan to a heap of smouldering rubble. And in spite of their admittedly blurry appearance, we reckon we know who they are.
Because despite Marvel CEO Kevin Feige’s long-running assertion that the Skrulls would not be appearing, these humanoid antagonists look very Skrull-like to us. A race of extra-terrestrial shapeshifters, the Skrulls are the oldest known race in existence, and have had many run-ins with the Avengers in the comic-books.
That said, we don’t have any confirmation as yet, and there are plenty more aliens or monsters the figures could still turn out to be. It seems that this one is going to remain close to Joss Whedon’s chest right up until the film is released…
As Iron Man takes to the skies, he encounters what looks like a portal into another world. This is presumably how Loki is transporting his army, from wherever they come from to present day New York.
The portal could in fact hold the clue to the identity of Loki’s collaborators, with a similar gateway appearing in a Walt Simonson edition of Thor . In that story, the Avengers teamed up with the Fantastic Four in order to battle the sons of Muspell, creatures from the realm of Muspellheim who appear through a portal above the Empire State Building. Whoever they are, it looks as though they mean business, with Iron Man finding himself under attack from some pretty hefty weaponry…
At long last we get to see the full team assembled, and don’t they look badass? Although we kind of feel sorry for Black Widow, who only gets to cock her revolver while the others are fingering hammers, shields or simply hulking up!
Just prior to this we also witness Thor pulling off arguably the most impressive feat of the entire trailer, shielding himself from a huge explosion using only his forearm for cover! How awesome is that? It’s going to take more than a few pyrotechnics to intimidate him.
Loki makes a full appearance, facing down a typically placid Tony Stark. “The Avengers,” he begins, pouring a whiskey as he goes. “It’s what we call ourselves. Earth’s mightiest heroes type thing.”
“I have an army,” snarls Loki. “We have a Hulk,” replies Stark. We’re glad he mentioned him, actually, because Bruce Banner has so far been conspicuous by his absence in this new trailer. Not for much longer, though…
And here he is in all his glory! The Avengers' big green weapon makes his most prolonged appearance to date, leaping into the sky to take down a couple of alien craft, screaming bloody murder as he does so.
That’s the second trailer the Hulk has had the pleasure of closing, and it seems as though Marvel are building up the giant rage monster as the weapon that can turn the tide for the Avengers. Let’s just hope they can keep him on-side, because once Bruce Banner gets mad, he’s not always a hundred per cent clear on the distinction between friend and foe.
The Avengers blast their way into US cinemas on 4 May 2012, although lucky UK audiences will get to see the film a whole week earlier, when it opens on 27 April 2012. We could hardly be more excited...
Sadly, we won’t be the first to see the Avengers assemble, with Australian cinemagoers able to catch the film on 25 April. The bottom line is that there isn’t much longer to wait, but in the meantime, you can check out the film’s official Facebook page here . Now if you’ll excuse us, we want to give that trailer another look…