Perhaps threatened by the promise of a Star Wars trailer, or perhaps because the Super Bowl is one of the biggest TV events of the year, Avengers: Infinity War aired a teaser-trailer on Sunday Night during the game. To be clear, it was mostly just the trailer from November, with a small amount of new footage added to the front. But those small shots were important ones, including one Avengers: Infinity War trailer detail that suggests there's a new heavyweight player in the superhero game.
Let's recap where all our heroes are last we saw them. Tony Stark was trying to settle down with Pepper Potts, who has superhero abilities of her own now and has taken to mentoring Peter Parker. The rest of Team Iron Man lays low, with War Machine learning to walk again and Black Widow off on her own. Steve Rogers busted his team out of prison, where they are all proceeded to find hideouts, while Rogers and Bucky headed to Wakanda. Team Thor is in space with the Asgard refugees, The Guardians are still off doing their thing, and Doctor Strange is keeping an eye on everyone from his lair.
Here's the synopsis of the coming film:
As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
So, our heroes are all going to get back together. But there are still serious rifts that have not been mended. Stark may not have gone after Rogers and team Cap, but he's not going to be eager to see them again. Nor is he going to handle it well when he learns there's a dude who does actual magic, putting his technology in its place. (Note in the new teaser clip he flies right through the spell Strange is working on casting and disrupts it, which is all *sorts* of rude.)
Tony's ego has been a problem since the beginning, along with his paranoia, which is a lot of what drove the plot of Captain America: Civil War. But that's where the new footage also comes in. In the original trailer put out in November, we all heard a collective squee as T'Challa commanded "And get this man a shield," whereupon Steve Rogers stepped out from the shadows.
And lo, someone got this man a shield. Two shields, in fact.
Captain America's original shield — the one he's lost — was made from vibranium, a substance that is mined and exported from Wakanda. Someone in Wakanda outfitted Cap with these new shields. Someone else is wielding technology, and it's not Tony Stark.
That's right, it's Shuri, T'Challa's sister. Played by Letitia Wright, she's been described as the "smartest woman in the world" by the film's creators. They compare her to Q in the James Bond films, in keeping with their "Black Panther is Marvel Bond" sales pitch. The film's creators told ComicBook.com,
As far as the technologically-advanced side, in our mind and in our incarnation, Shuri is the head of the Wakandan design group. So, she is, in our mind, the smartest person in the world. Smarter than Tony Stark, but she is a 16-year-old girl, which we thought was really interesting. Again, black faces in positions of power, or positions of technological know-how, that's a rarity. So, it's something that a big part of the film.
Smarter than Tony Stark, and starting to outfit the Avengers without him. For those who believe this will be Robert Downey Jr.'s last ride with the franchise, it's looking more and more likely that that's true, especially if there's already someone smarter, brighter, younger and far better-looking coming up behind him.
Black Panther arrives in theaters Feb. 16, 2018. Avengers: Infinity War follows three months later on May 4, 2018.