You can label the latest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron as an unmitigated success for one simple reason: it incurs the full gamut of monosyllabic exclamations. From moment one, the eerie instrumental of Pinocchio’s ordinarily wholesome number “I’ve Got No Strings” provokes a shuddering, “Ooh…” Plentiful shots of Captain America facing off with Ultron inspire the regular, “Wow!” The first piece of footage to institute a substantive place for one Nick Fury in the film elicits a welcome, “Hey!” And, perhaps most importantly, the odd flash to shadow-draped figures, mysterious artifacts, and otherwise curious happenings draws from any attentive viewer the enthralled, “Huh?”
Yes, the Age of Ultron trailer probes many questions. Questions about the identity of briefly revealed characters and regarding the ultimate consequence of teased plot points. We might not have all the answers, but we’re happy to engage the riddles thrust upon us by the latest (and surely not last) video for Joss Whedon’s forthcoming Marvel blockbuster. So watch the trailer once again — that’ll make about, what, 18? Maybe 19 times for you? — and hop in on the line of questioning. Our “Huh?”s must be transformed to “Ohhh!”s.
Where is Hawkeye leading all those people? (0:08)
We open on a backdrop of destruction and chaos; dozens of civilians are desperately fleeing some unseen evil as the city crumbles around them. Hawkeye — identifiable only by his backpack o’ arrows — directs foot traffic towards a large, nebulous structure. Some form of makeshift safe house. But what the heck is that thing exactly?
What is exploding in the background of that woods shot? (0:14)
Again, we’re saddled with Hawkeye, observing a distant explosion as he stands alone in the woods.
Also, what “woods” are those?
Central Park? Long Island? Jersey? Or does this movie find its way outside of the New York Metropolitan Area?
How far will the “Everyone creates the thing they dread” theme carry? (0:17)
Ultron mumbles this nihilistic maxim early in the trailer. Beyond being an ominous thing for a villain to spout, will this grave idea plant itself into the story arcs of each of the Avengers characters?
Why is Black Widow so dolled up when we first see the gang? (0:23)
What the heck did we just walk in on, a debutante’s ball?
Hey, Nick Fury! How’s he doing these days? (0:28)
Probably not great. Losing his job, faking his own death, man. Tough 2014.
Whoa, who is that mystery woman disrobing in the shadows? (0:32)
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, mysteries of the new trailer. Twitter’s most viable theories include the following Marvel characters: Shuri (sister of the Black Panther hero T’Challa), Amora the Enchantress, Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy, or a member of the Inhuman or Wakanda races.
Thor tells Tony Stark, “You’ve meddled in something you don’t understand” in the creation of Ultron. So, our pressing question: Harsh or on point? (0:34)
Little harsh, Thor. You’ve done a bunch of dumb stuff, too.
We catch sight of a mysterious instrument lain atop a table, upon which an even more mysterious figure performs a most-mysterious-of-all operation on a decidedly less mysterious victim. So… what the heck is going on here? (0:40)
Are the police fighting against the Avengers? (0:49)
A shot of an armed officer taking shooting stance occurs just a few moments after Black Widow wistfully states, “We have no place in the world.” This coupled with the very next shot — Hulk kicking a police truck with vitriol — doesn’t exactly bode well for the Avengers’ relationship with the law.
Hey, who’s that Bruno Mars-looking fella with the gun? (0:54)
That is none other than nefarious scientist Ulysses Klaw, played here by a nearly unrecognizable Andy Serkis. (And we thought his ape garb was a good makeup job!) He’s a big name in the Black Panther universe, which bodes well for the Shuri theory mentioned earlier.
Cap vs. Robotic sentinel! Who’s favored to win? (0:57)
Captain America. No brainer.
Is something going on between Black Widow and the Hulk? (1:00)
They’re just friends, guys. It’s not like that. They just… they get each other.
Ultron shocks Thor. Favored? (1:03)
Eh, I wouldn’t mind seeing a surprise victory for Team Robot here.
Thor grabs Tony Stark by the neck. Favored? (1:06)
No fair, he doesn’t have his Iron Man suit on! Stark is at the disadvantage, but we’re rooting for him.
And one more of these (the big one, in fact): Iron Man vs. The Hulk. Who’s your pick? (1:10)
The most important question to root in these many shots of Hulk tossing police cars, fighting Tony Stark, and locking mourning eyes with Black Widow — is this leading where we think it might be leading?
There’s a chance that Avengers: Age of Ultron might cap with a graduation to Marvel Comics’ Planet Hulk storyline, which effectively sent the Hulk into space (against his will) to protect the Avengers and planet Earth on the whole from his unpredictable rage. It seems like something big and bad is heading our tragic hero’s way. But if they do go this route, could this mean another shot at a Hulk movie? That’s the biggest question of all.
Check out the trailer below.
Images: Disney (17); Lionsgate