You’ve seen the trailer and basked in its glory. It’s huge-cast, heroes-fighting-heroes glory. Now it’s time to slow down and figure out what it all means. Spoilers in the form of references to rumor and theory ahead.

The trailer starts in what looks like the exact same garage as the tag from Ant-Man. We’ve got Sam standing watch while Steve asks Bucky if he remembers who he is. Good news—he remembers Steve’s mother and his newspaper shoes.


Bad news is that people are still really upset about the things the Winter Soldier did and they are coming for them.

Keeping track of Steve’s clothes, by the way, is the best way to match up the action sequence snippets. Note the grey t-shirt. It’ll come back.

Steve says, “You’re a wanted man.” And Bucky responds, “I don’t do that anymore.” I don’t think this explosion is meant to be a bad thing pinned on the Winter Soldier, but what is it? And why is Sam there?

Cap continues: “Well, the people who think you did are on they’re way right now. And they’re not planning on taking you alive.” These people have “Polizei” on their outfits, so they’re the local police of a German-speaking nation. The movie filmed in Berlin, so—barring the invention of a fake country—that’s probably where they are. Where the people are intent on getting to Bucky.


Update: Here’s another possible sighting:

Bucky and Cap are in sync, it looks like. But Cap somehow had time to get into uniform in this fight.

Bucky escapes and it might be on his own.

Meanwhile, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, upgraded to the U.S. Secretary of State, arrives at the Avengers compound built in Age of Ultron. It’s interesting that we’re getting a lot of a traditional Hulk opponent with no Hulk in sight.

Ross starts with: “Captain, while a great many people see you as a hero, there are some who prefer the word ‘vigilante.’”

Palm trees suggest this a new fight and not the same as the one with Bucky from the start of the trailer.

As Ross continues with “You’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision,” we see Bucky disappear:

This document says, “Sokovia Accords,” which are the same thing that Sam and Steve said would prevent Tony from helping them with Bucky in the Ant-Man tag. We know that these are new agreements for when governments can send in the Avengers, based (and named) for the country nearly leveled in Age of Ultron.



The Accords set up oversight and control of the Avengers. Granted, when it comes in the form of Thaddeus Ross, that’s not a good sign. And it’s not like Steve had great success working under a sanctioned organization in Winter Soldier. His skepticism is warranted.

Ross: “That’s something the world can no longer tolerate.”

Bucky’s still on the run, but now he has a motorcycle.

The split over whether or not to submit to the Accords has come to Steve and Natasha. She says: “I know how much Bucky means to you. Stay out of this one, please. You’ll only make this worse.”


Steve: “Are you saying you’ll arrest me?”

Is Cap suiting up or standing down? And I don’t see any insignias on this group. Ross voiceovers: “There will be consequences.”

And now Iron Man’s here!

But it is not a good reunion, as Tony says,“Captain, you seem a little defensive.” Steve snarks, “Well, it’s been a long day.”

Tony: “If we can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.”



Looks like the new administration has locked Cap’s shield away from him. Is it a permanent thing? A punishment? A way to try to control him?

Edited to add: commenter richl1 pointed out Sharon Carter and whoever Martin Freeman is playing in the above scene:

Here’s a tender bro moment where it looks like Bucky’s back to himself. Right after Cap responds to Tony with “That’s not the way I see it.”

“Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth.” Helpful, Tony.

Falcon jumps off a building. It’s cool, but not the best moment he has in this.

A helicopter shoots at a non-uniformed Cap. And he’s wearing the same grey t-shirt from the first shot of the trailer.

Sam says, “I just want to make sure we consider all our options. Because people who shoot at you usually wind up shooting at me, too,” while he and Steve are totally inconspicuous in a bar.

This is the bad-ass Falcon moment I was talking about earlier.

Natasha comes in with: “You know what’s about to happen. Do you really want to punch your way out of this?”

It says “IFID security” on the building and truck here. A quick Google search doesn’t turn up anything, but that looks like an outline of Africa on the logo, right?



Updated: As has been pointed out by a few of you, it’s the Institute For Infectious Diseases.

We’ve seen some things that hinted at the way the teams shake out, but these are the only two line-ups that the trailer gives us. Not a huge shock to see War Machine on Iron Man’s side.

But Cap’s got Scarlet Witch, Bucky, and Clint.

Enjoy the face Bucky’s making here, as he presumably runs for his life.

This explosion is in Germany, if the trucks marked “Flughafen Leipzig-Halle” are anything to go by. (That means “Airport Leipzig-Halle,” by the way.) The tiny running person is Clint, I think, by sheer virtue of carrying a long stck thing that looks like it might be a bow.


We’ve also got Sam asking, “What do we do?” and Cap answering, “We fight.”

When, with a literal halo of light, T’Challa, the Black Panther, appears. He looks so glorious and his eyes are pretty amazing in that mask.

Here’s a slow-mo version of the “heroes running” shot, just for kicks. This, and T’Challa kicking Bucky’s ass below, make it clear that this whole confrontation takes place at the airport.

On the other hand, this glimpse of Natasha taking someone in black down at a market is a different location. Maybe the palm tree one from before?

This running scene is cut to look like Cap is running after T’Challa, who looks like he’s chasing Bucky. I think we bet Wakanda is on the list of countries who want to try the Winter Soldier for his Hydra crimes. This puts T’Challa firmly on Iron Man’s side, matching what we’ve already seen.

Cap is literally holding on to a helicopter with his bare hands. Also, the earlier shot in the trailer had a blue crashed helicopter in the background, which may be the fate of this one.

Natasha is looking at either the same explosion from earlier (note the trucks) or another giant conflagration at the same location. She doesn’t seem happy about it. This, and her words to Steve, hint at her being on Iron Man’s side, at least for part of the movie, which is something else we saw in the early art for this movie. It is interesting to do that, given how close she was to Cap in Winter Soldier.

Bucky punches Iron Man, and then tries to pull the arc reactor out with his metal arm.

Cap runs through an explosion—in uniform again—I’d match this to the sequence which has Bucky punching someone out at the last second.

Something bad happened to War Machine, and Tony’s looking upset and determined. Note that War Machine’s arc reactor appears to be ripped out, like Bucky was trying to do to Tony. We’ve got best friends versus best friends.

Cap” “I’m sorry, Tony. You know I wouldn’t do this if I had other choice. But he’s my friend.”



Tony: “So was I.”

This fight between Cap, Bucky, and Iron Man just looks great. And is that Cap delivering the final blow to Iron Man?

There was a lot packed into this trailer, but what’s equally interesting is who we barely saw. No Hulk, Ant-Man, Sharon Carter, Baron Zemo, Vision or Crossbones. Hulk’s presence has been a likely “no” for a while, but the others are all confirmed to be in this movie. So where are they?

Contact the author at