Marvel fans on Monday, 27 November gained revealing new insight into the plot of Avengers Infinity War.
Even casual fans likely took note of the curious superhero groupings.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is flanked by Thor (Chris Hemsworth with his Ragnarok haircut and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) crouches in front of them.
Captain America (Chris Evans, without his beard from teasers) and Vision (Paul Bettany) stand behind Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly).
Spider-Man (Tom Holland) hangs over Avengers he’s never met, and, surprisingly, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who gets a spot on a cover despite disappearing from the MCU for four years. (She did show up briefly in Spider-Man: Homecoming
Here is the possible meanings behind the covers. Check out their analyses of each and three new photos from the Vanity Fair shoot below:
At the end of Ragnarok, Thor had lost both his hammer, Mjolnir, and an eye to Hela (Cate Blanchett), Asgard had imploded and the ship he used to escape that destruction has just encountered a huge spacecraft that likely belongs to Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Thor still has the short haircut he got on Sakaar, but his Odin-like eye-patch is gone. Most importantly, he got his hands on a new Mjolnir, or at least a lookalike. It’s possible that Thor has his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) use his trickery magic to make Mjolnir—and his eye—reappear.
Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, is a former Russian spy and current Avengers operative, so she’s no stranger to being a chameleon. But Romanoff hasn’t yet appeared in the MCU as a blonde, though each new shot of her in Infinity War features an icy white-blonde bob.
According to the MCU timeline, Benedict Wong’s Doctor Strange character is currently guarding the Time Stone (that green gem in the Eye of Agamatto) until Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) decides he’s completed enough training to wield it.
If Wong appears in Vanity Fair, that suggests he may not be killed immediately by Thanos and the Black Order as Thanos goes after the stones.
Linda Cardellini appears among female members of the Avengers in one Vanity Fair shot, which is surprising. Her character, Laura Barton, has only appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron when it was revealed that Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, had Laura and their three children at home.
Civil War tore Barton away from his family again, and it appears his wife, Laura, will have a role to play in the events of Infinity War.
We’ll find out for sure if these promotional images are cryptic treasure chests of knowledge, badass pics, or both when Avengers: Infinity War blasts into theaters May 4, 2018.