1:10pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel's Mobile Game Teaser Hints at Appearance by 'Avengers' Villain Thanos
It's beginning to look a lot like Avengers: Infinity War in the teaser trailer for Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2, the newly announced sequel to the massively successful mobile game featuring Marvel's mightiest heroes.
The trailer — which features Iron Man, Thor and the Vision flying towards New York City as it burns (the city is identifiable by the sight of a similarly aflame Avengers Tower, which is traditionally situated in Manhattan) — teases a new storyline wherein cities across the world are vanishing in mysterious circumstances, with supervillains attempting to take advantage of the subsequent chaos.
Although Disney Interactive's launch PR doesn't name the villain responsible for the disappearing cities, the trailer makes it clear to those familiar with Marvel's comic book mythology: it's Thanos, the cosmic threat glimpsed in both Avengers movies to date, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy. In comic book lore, the villain is in love with Death, who is portrayed in the same way as the mysterious cloaked skeleton who shows up at the end of the trailer.
Whether or not the vanishing cities concept, which mirrors both Marvel's original Secret Wars comic book (wherein the heroes and villains fought on a planet created out of areas stolen from other planets, including Earth) and, to a lesser extent, Infinity Gauntlet comic book (Thanos didn't steal physical areas, but did eliminate half of all living beings using the eponymous glove), will factor into Avengers: Infinity War is unclear — but bringing in that project's big bad as the game's primary villain is certainly an indicator that Marvel as a whole is beginning to plan ahead for Infinity War's 2018 release.
(The connective thread between Alliance and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is evident elsewhere: Other villains in the game will include similarly movie-centric characters as Ultron and Baron Strucker, and promotional art for the game features characters who have appeared in Marvel or Sony's movies to date.)
The original Marvel: Avengers Alliance was released in 2012, and went on to become the most successful Disney-published social game with almost 70 million players worldwide across two "seasons" of gameplay.
Pre-registration for Avengers Alliance 2 is currently open, with those signing up before the game's release receiving a randomly selected member of the Guardians of the Galaxy to play when the game begins. The game will enter beta release soon, according to Disney.
Watch the new trailer below.