Avengers: Endgame will show that Thanos was right - to a point. The Avengers: Endgame Super Bowl trailer gave fans their first real look at the world after Thanos' snap where the Mad Titan erased half of all life in the universe. In Endgame, cities are distinctly quieter, vehicles have been abandoned, and stadiums and landmarks are deserted. And among the new footage is Steve Rogers attending a support group for survivors of the event who are wondering how to carry on with their lives now that billions have vanished.
It's a dark state of affairs, and it gives audiences an understanding of the life after the Avengers' catastrophic loss against Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. People who weren't there and have no idea what caused this to happen have, to some extent, carried on, something that surely bothers Steve as he restlessly bites his tongue. As much as he might hate it, those who remain can only rebuild and move forward, not exactly grateful as Thanos had predicted, but accepting of these new circumstances.
The villain had won this time around, and in his wake was a universe living on with his choice, justifying his belief that what he was doing was necessary to the betterment of all life. All except for the Avengers, who are ready to take the fight to Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet once more and teach him the difference between acceptance and gratitude.
- This Page: Endgame Teaser Confirms People Accept The Snap & Thanos As A Vengeful God
- Page 2: The Avengers Don't Accept Thanos & Why Thanos Was Wrong
Avengers: Endgame Super Bowl Spot Confirms People (Somewhat) Accept The Snap
The central motif of the trailer is Rogers' voice-over stating, “some people move on... but not us.” This is paired, most prominently, with the poster for a support group of those who lost family-members or friends in the snap, a session of which Steve is attending. There may have been chaos in the immediate aftermath of Thanos activating the Infinity Gauntlet, but once everything died down, the population left had no choice but to go on. To regular people not in Wakanda, all of this is like some bizarre quasi-religious rapture. A sudden, immediate reckoning that swept across the entire planet and picked its targets at random. It's Noah's flood or the seven plagues - an event that is inescapable, with the only logical conclusion being whatever happened was beyond us, and, therefore, from some form of higher power.
That makes Steve and the rest of the Avengers' position difficult because, on the one hand, they're heroes and must do what they can to help victims of this tragedy, while on the other hand living with their failure to prevent it, and trying to find a way to reverse it. The Captain America audiences see here is one unsure of himself, sitting with other survivors, trying to work through the intense emotions of losing Bucky again - this time for real - and reconciling that with being the brave, unbeatable Captain. Steve is a man of action, but what action can he take? Is it all futile? Letting go isn't in his nature, even if it's him against the greatest powers of the universe.
Thanos Is Almost A God, But A Vengeful One
To us mere mortals, made of skin and bone, just about evolved beyond being monkeys, the snap is an act of God. The suddenness of the snap without any corollary evidence to the contrary makes it seem like a spiritual validation that we are being watching by some ruler and they are vengeful and we must live how they expect us to.
Thanos' view of himself as some universe-altering deity isn't wholly incorrect. He does have this incomprehensible level of power - with the Infinity Gauntlet possibly fused to his skin - and there's no stopping him from using it. Where he's wrong is that his methods of “cleansing” the universe aren't mutually understood among the populations he's affecting. His cleansing is our end-of-days, and his grateful universe is our shocked, grief-ridden, fearful desire not to watch anything fade away in front of our eyes. He's not a fair, just arbiter of what is necessary for the universe to survive; he's an antagonistic, ruthless, power-hungry abuser who hasn't so much proven everyone wrong as made everyone afraid of him.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019