‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Have Tony Stark and Steve Rogers reconciled?

ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 15: (L-R) Actors Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, and Chris Hemsworth, producer Kevin Feige, and actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, and Anthony Mackie of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR took part today in the Walt Disney Studios live action presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR will be released in U.S. theaters on May 4, 2018. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

The ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ trailer still remains elusive during Marvel’s SDCC panel, but there’s reason to believe Tony Stark and Steve Rogers have already found common ground before Thanos comes to shake things up.

Easily the biggest thing to come out this year’s Disney’s D23 Expo was something a majority of the population has yet to see. Marvel brought out most of the case for an exclusive trailer for Avengers: Infinity Wars.

A similar act was followed today at San Diego Comic Con during the Marvel panel. It’s unlikely that those of us suffering from fomo will get to see any of it, but we can look forward to something official sometime in the fall at the earliest. However, that didn’t stop those who have seen elusive and exclusive footage from taking all forms of media to share just what we might be in for in the next few months (I am aware that there are a number of low quality videos circulating but if we’ve learned anything from Marvel it is worth the wait for the highest quality version). While there was a lot to parse out, even from just a description of the whole thing Thanos (Josh Brolin) clearly gains the upper hand, and we’re in for something very dark next year.

And while throwing planets at the Avengers (tearing up just thinking about this!), the Infinity Guantlet, and the new tech in the Spidey suit we saw at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming are all of far more important. I couldn’t help getting stuck on the major changes we’ll see in Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Based on the in-depth description from Collider:

“Cap steps into frame, with a BEARD and looking like he’s seen some sh–. […] Black Widow has bleach blonde hair.”

With Captain America and Black Widow’s new look it’s not hard to figure out what might be going on here. Considering how things played out in Captain America: Civil War, with Steve breaking everyone out of The Raft it’s no surprise that Avengers: Infinity War catches up with those “war criminals” in disguise and hardened from being on the run.

There’s also reason to speculate the potential that some of this will be better pieced together in Black Panther – especially considering Bucky’s (Sebastian Stan) role alongside T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).

Interestingly enough, despite being very much its own movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming has already started to lay the groundwork on just what the fractured Avengers were really up to.

Potential spoilers ahead

Fans either love or hate post-credit scenes (and after nearly 10 years there are still people who walk out of the theater!) but the ones used in the latest iteration of the everybody’s favorite webslinger were kept very low-key. Perhaps it has more to do with Sony’s involvement of the film. But where the first post-credit scene hinted at future films, the second scene was used less as an actual teaser of what’s to come and more as a meta teaser for fans who stayed till the end. Exceptionally funny in the most wonderfully meta-way possible (especially since I just criticized people who still leave before them altogether) this didn’t lend any further information on anything related to Avengers: Infinity War and that felt deliberate.

Still, that didn’t stop us from hearing the whereabouts of some of our favorites. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) makes sure to namedrop a few, including that great nod to Vision’s (Paul Bettany) lack of fondness for doors. The movie did more showing than telling, complete with moving Avengers tower from Manhattan to upstate New York. Though there were two instances where we were told some things very explicitly, and both surprisingly had to do with Captain America and not all in the way I expected to see or hear about it in.

In Civil War, Steve walked away from his fight with Tony, very nearly beating his former friend to death. When Tony tells him the shield doesn’t belong to him and he doesn’t deserve it, Steve leaves it behind. The movie ends in a lighter note, with the prison break and Steve’s letter to Tony apologizing for trying to protect Tony (and Bucky) and everything that happened between them after Tony learned the truth. Ending with Steve formally handing over leadership of the Avengers. It’s all very poignant, but we were left wondering if the two could truly ever reconcile?

Considering Captain America only appears in semi-outdated PSA’s and a reference to potentially inviting him to a party in this promo spot – Which was met with a “Too Soon” from Happy (Jon Favreau) – there was little in the indication of where Tony and Steve currently stand.

Tony does mention Steve once when he tells Peter (Tom Holland) that if Cap didn’t want to let him off, he wouldn’t have. The level of respect the two have for each other appears to remain. In fact, Tony definitely had Steve more on his mind than he even realized when he punishes Peter by taking his suit away. But it’s not until the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming when Happy is giving directions to the moving company that we get anything of substance when he off-offhandedly says, “Be careful with that! It’s a prototype for Cap’s new shield.”

It’s an easy line to miss in a universe that drops off-hand comments like that constantly. But these types of lines are always purposeful and hold a greater weight in rewatches as things progress throughout the next movie phases. Nevertheless, nothing says “working together” better than Tony making Cap a new shield, an iconic part of Cap’s suit as well as a fundamental representative of the kind of hero Steve is. We knew that he would get a new shield given the massive amounts of vibranium Wakanda has, but it’s interesting that Tony is willing to make a new one. Perhaps Steve is deserving of a Stark Industries shield after all.

We’ll have to wait until spring of 2018 to find out exactly what brings about Iron Man and Captain America’s reconciliation in Avengers: Infinity War, but there’s hope for the future – yes even with Thanos out there gearing up to destroy everything.

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