First Avengers: Infinity War trailer has Thanos ready to take on the Marvel Universe

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Mar 26, 2021, 11:03 PM EDT (Updated)

The trailer for Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War has arrived, and it's much bigger than we ever could have expected. Jam-packed with so many superheroes from the studio's last 17 films, the blockbuster is not only poised to make a sizable dent at the box office and permanently change the MCU, but this one trailer alone will likely keep fans busy speculating about its many easter eggs. 

We begin with Nick Fury's monologue about bringing the Avengers together, spoken by Jackson, Downey, Bettany, Hemsworth, and Johansson. This offscreen narration is spoken over some interesting shots, like a solemn-looking Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, and Wong looking at a Bruce Banner who has clearly fallen out of the sky, and a human-skinned Vision in a tender moment with Scarlet Witch. 

From that quiet opening, which incorporates Alan Silvestri's iconic Avengers theme, the heroes and cuts come fast and furious. Tony's hanging out at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York, Black Widow's now a blonde, Peter Parker's hairs stand on end (Spidey sense?!), Loki holding out the Tesseract to someone amid a destructive landscape, the return of Hulkbuster. Oh, and of course the titan himself, Thanos.

"In time, you will know what it's like to lose," says the movie's villain, played by Josh Brolin. If anyone can solve the MCU's villain problem, it's this guy. We finally get our first good look at him in action on his quest to "balance the universe" as he steals the Infinity Stone off Vision's forehead and clocks Iron Man right in the kisser. 

The trailer teases some really great battle scenes, including one on a Wakandan savannah and the defense of a yet unknown city (New York again?). Cap's getting his shield back, and Thor shacks up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Hey, we told you this preview was big!

Described by its directors, the Russo Brothers, as a "Thanos-centric heist film," Infinity War brings together all the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to face off against the Mad Titan. Leaked trailer clips, particularly the one with the Guardians of the Galaxy, support the Russos' claim of a heist storyline. Although we don't see Thanos, we can hear him shaking down the Collector in his Knowhere showroom for one of the Infinity Stones.

The disfigured alien from one of Saturn's moons is obsessed with Death herself and wants to wield the six Infinity Stones, each with its own unique ability to manipulate reality. Having all six will give him near-unlimited control over the universe. The colorful nature of these precious yet powerful gems is reflected in the movie's first poster, which you can see below:

In 1991's "The Infinity Gauntlet" saga from Jim Starlin, Thanos wiped out half of life in the universe with the gauntlet just to impress Death. The entire MCU has been building up to a loose adaptation of Starlin's classic story. Ten years and 17 movies have been laying the foundation for this epic of A-list actors and characters. Life goes on in the MCU after each movie, but Thanos has been steadily built up with each passing film. 

We saw Thanos smile at the thought of "courting Death" after the first Avengers; then we got a good look at the character (first time Brolin played him) in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, hiring Ronan to bring him one of the stones; we watched him don the golden gauntlet at the end of Age of Ultron with the malicious intent of "doing it" himself; and finally his massive spaceship dwarfed that of Thor's after the events of Ragnarok. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige played his hand well, having Thanos hide in the shadows of this universe, causing mayhem behind the scenes or inexorably hurting the heroes fans love, like Gamora and Drax.

He's the linchpin that will bring all these characters (both cosmic and earthbound) together, united under one cause in what's sure to be the It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of the Marvel Universe. 

Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on May 4, 2018.