Here’s a Venn Diagram I’d never thought I’d find myself addressing.
On Wednesday morning, the trailer for Avengers 4 (the purported spoiler of a title still hasn’t been revealed) is supposed to drop. As someone who is far too invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and scours the internet for any drop of a preview, trailer, or toy release to uncover clues about the upcoming film, I cannot stress to those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about just how big of a deal this is.
Then, as 94-year-olds are wont to do, former President George Herbert Walker Bush went and croaked. There really shouldn’t be anything written after this, but God, there is so much more to explain.
In addition to an unending number of masturbatory, white-washing news stories and remembrances, Bush’s death sparked a number of situations unique to a former president’s passing—multiple services were planned, with one in Houston on Monday, one in Washington, DC on Wednesday, and the final burial in College Station, TX on Thursday. Since Wednesday will be the Big One, a number of government offices and operations, including the damn mail, have decided to close down as a way to pay respect to the former CIA director and vice president to Ronald Reagan.
Bush’s politics and presidential actions aside, this is simply How Things Work—presidents die, America rolls out the red carpet for a week, then folks remember some of the particularly evil things they did a few years later and think to themselves, “Damn, that guy’s dead as hell.”
What makes this specific instance a new entry in the Bizarro World log is that the anticipation for the Avengers 4 trailer reached a fever pitch in November, one that has only escalated into frothing madness, the kind that precedes foaming at the mouth and an Old Yeller ending. I include myself among this group of insane fans (example 1 and example 2), though I am not a constant Poster. I’m just an obsessive who has searched Twitter for “Avengers 4" every other day since October and then dumps thousands of words once the movie drops. And I am still tame compared to others—to give you a frame of reference, there are people out there that listen to weekly podcasts and watch two-hour interviews with the directors (I only watched half of it) just to get a single sound bite of new information. I am not shaming these fine fans, just letting you know they’re out there.
Now, if you haven’t been following the Avengers 4 fever pitch at all, here’s what you need to know: At the end of Infinity War, half of all the people in the universe were killed by the mad titan Thanos—in the Marvel movies, he’s Big Bad to end all Big Bads. This cliff-hanger was a recreation of one of the most famous comic book events of the 1990s, and in the movie the kill list included Spider-Man, almost all of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, and a host of other big-name stars. As Infinity War was initially pitched as a two-part film, it became clear that Avengers 4 would provide the answer to how the remaining Avengers avenge the dead Avengers.
But the year-long wait between the two films has left fans desperate for information about the new movie, which is set to premiere in May 2019.
Unlike the wait for Infinity War, which was relieved a bit by the fact that a trailer leaked from a comic-con in July 2017 and was available to watch on porn sites and other seedy internet locales, the amount of information leaking ahead of the official Avengers 4 trailer has been little-to-none. There’s been some costumes confirmed by toy mock-ups, a few interesting casting decisions that led to plot speculation, and the ending clip from this summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hinted at a potential time travel solution. This meant fans yearning for a morsel of information about what will supposedly be the end of the initial Marvel Cinematic Universe as fans know it were left thirsty.
Naturally, over the past several months, the internet has capitalized on this desire for news with clickbait blogs and Twitter fanboys and fangirls spinning their tires for web traffic, running out post after post filled with hot air and not much else. So, when numerous reports from Disney-fanboys and bloggers started popping up in the last two weeks stating that the Avengers 4 trailer was imminent, fans on the internet got hype as hell.
At the end of last week, these brand humpers started to tweet and blog that this week would be dominated by Marvel—the reports laid out that the new Captain Marvel trailer would drop during halftime of last night’s Monday Night Football game (it did), the Avengers 4 trailer would drop on Wednesday, and the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer would drop on Friday or Saturday.
This is an excellent time to say that Marvel did not confirm this schedule, ever; all the reaction and build-up was based on anonymous sourcing from access hawks and fans’ hope.
Then, Bush died, the funeral was set for Wednesday, the (unconfirmed) trailer was reportedly pushed back several days, and people lost their fucking minds. This sparked a number of responses, which can largely be filed away into two categories. The first group is simple: fans who value the trailer more than pretending to give a shit about Bush.
The second was fanboys smarming to hell and back, basically working free as Marvel PR and telling their followers to chill the hell out and have some goddamn respect for 41!
That’s it! That’s literally all that happened! The whole thing can be summarized in those two above tweets times but multiplied by a thousand.
In summation: Infinity War ruled, fans clamored for the sequel, Bush died, the marketing team of the studio behind the biggest movie of the year (maybe) decided to push back its insanely anticipated trailer, and the reactions from people who didn’t give a damn about moping around for a mediocre president were scolded by the very people they’d been bowing to in return for scooplets.
I love this country. Now, give me my damn trailer.