Every detail counts when it comes to the MCU.
The MCU is great at hiding all sorts of clues in plain sight in just about any and all promotional material, from trailers to tweets. Naturally, this means that even the official movie poster is more than likely hiding some juicy details just waiting to be noticed.
We did our best to comb through every inch of the newly released Avengers: Endgame poster with that in mind, plucking out every possible clue and character angle we could uncover, from the major (what’s going on with Thor?) to the minor (look at Steve using his shield to protect little Rocket) and everything in between.
He may not be the largest figure in the mix, but Thor drew a ton of immediate attention thanks to his peculiar pose. Virtually every other hero on the poster is looking to their right, while he’s facing away, to his left. It seems like an innocuous bit of composition until you really stop to think about where Thor’s arc has taken him since Ragnarok. After all, the whole snap is pretty much his fault, right?
Bleak (and unfair) as that level of blame may be, it’s absolutely the sort of thing Thor would internalize in the worst ways. Just look at his brief appearances in the trailers — he’s constantly set apart from the rest of the team (with the exception of meeting Carol, of course), and doesn’t seem to be included in the lineup as the Avengers walk through the hangar in their new space suits. So it really only makes sense that he’s set apart in a similar way on the poster. Thor’s arc in Endgame is likely going to be structured entirely around his guilt and getting revenge on Thanos, whereas the rest of the heroes seem focused on saving the many lives that were snapped away. What better way to show he’s got a different agenda than by having him literally face another direction?
Sure, Thor’s positioning might just be meaningless choice by the poster designer, but what are we going to do until April 26 if not read way too much into even the tiniest detail?
Okoye’s in a strangely similar position, facing away from the rest of the cast in what looks like an exact duplicate of her pose from her Black Panther promotional poster. This isn’t particularly surprising — we haven’t seen Okoye in any of the Endgame trailers yet (unless you count a glimpse of her seen in flashback) and we can only assume that with T’challa dusted and Shuri among the missing, her country is in abject chaos. While the rest of the Avengers are scrambling to pick up the pieces elsewhere, Okoye is very likely back at home trying to keep Wakanda from falling into chaos so it’s only natural that she’s got her eyes on a totally different horizon compared to Captain America and co.
We can also read her pose as one of guilt. While there’s no way she could have stopped Thanos, protecting the king was still her number one job as the leader of the Dora Milaje. She’s a character of honor and duty, so that failure has to be eating away at her. She likely feels as though she left down herself, her fellow Dora, the royal family, and the people of Wakanda. Looking at it that way, it makes sense why both Okoye and Thor would be facing the opposite direction. They’re in a totally different headspace than everyone else.
It’s appropriate for Thanos to be looming large and ominous behind our heroes, but interesting that he’s being shown decked out in his full armor. The last we saw of Thanos in Infinity War, he was really in pretty rough shape and looking to “retire” to his peaceful farm. Later, in the first Endgame trailer, we caught a glimpse of his armor being used as a sort of scarecrow — we can only assume as part of his new farming lifestyle.
There are a few possibilities here for why Thanos would be suiting up again.
You’ll remember early on in Infinity War we saw Thanos remove his armor after collecting two Infinity Stones — a sign that he no longer needed protection because the Stones made him that much more powerful. If he’s putting the armor back on in Endgame, that may mean he’s lost a great deal of his power. The Infinity Gauntlet did look pretty busted the last time we saw it, but Thanos could still use it to heal his chest wound and teleport away, so there’s at least some juice left in it… but maybe not enough to face down all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes at once.
The other option is the Thanos we’re seeing on the poster is, one way or another, from the past. After all, the rumors and speculation about a time travel twist in Endgame have been swirling for a while — maybe the Thanos featured here is wearing his armor because he never took it off.
Carol Danvers is arguably the most anticipated character in Endgame’s roster, which makes every scrap of info we get about her all the more valuable — and all the more calculated. This is the first poster Carol’s been on with her fellow Avengers, and she’s wearing a costume without the gold shoulder details she was sporting during her appearance in the Captain Marvel mid-credits scene.
From what we’ve seen of Kree technology and armor, we know that color shifting and design changing are part of the deal so there’s a chance that this look is just a slight modification to her old suit for the sake of aesthetics — but it could be a new suit entirely. Either way, it calls the timeline of events between Infinity War, Captain Marvel’s mid-credits scene, and Endgame even more into question. When did Carol change? Why did she change? Why was she in civilian clothes when she met Thor in the most recent trailer?
Steve Rogers may be occupying the most prominent and eye catching spot in the poster, but Bruce Banner is actually in the center, a fixed point in which all the other heroes are positioned around. Given that Endgame is intended to be the end of Banner and Hulk’s “trilogy,” it’s likely we’re going to see something major happen for the Strongest Avenger — but what that could actually amount to is really anyone’s guess.
Concept art, however, has shown a look at Hulk in the same sort of white “space suit” style costumes the Avengers were seen wearing as they walked through the hangar in the most recent trailer, which leads us to believe we’ll be seeing him — and not Banner — somewhere in the final showdown. After all, Hulk does have a bit of a personal score to settle with Thanos, that is if he ever decides to show his face again.
Either way, the fact that Bruce is positioned so front-and-center makes us think whatever Endgame has in store for him is going to be important.
While we’re talking about the poster, watch the video below to learn why a big mistake made Marvel the target of fan backlash.
And be sure to check out our Endgame trailer breakdown, what we think all the red in that trailer might mean, or why we don’t trust Tony and Nebula’s presence on Earth!
Meg Downey is a freelance entertainment journalist who specializes in cape and cowl comics, superhero movies, and fan culture. You can find her on Twitter @RustyPolished where she’s probably having a meltdown about something embarrassing.