Captain America: Civil War is something of an unofficial prequel to Avengers: Infinity War and, judging by the new trailer, it seems as though quite of its dangling plot threads will be paid off the next time Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assemble. At the end of Civil War, the Avengers were divided and scattered: Tony Stark was leading the remnants; Steve Rogers and his band of rebels went on the run; Thor and Hulk were lost in space; and T’Challa returned to Wakanda with Bucky Barnes (who prepares for indefinite stasis). However, as chaotic as the finale might have been, Infinity War seems like it’ll tie up some of loose ends.
Having butted heads over the Sokovia Accords in Civil War, Iron Man and Captain America go their separate ways – but they’ll soon be back together. The final lines of Civil War come from a letter Steve has delivered to Tony along with a flip phone at the new Avengers headquarters:
“I know you’re doing what you believe in, and that’s all any of us can do. That’s all any of us should. So no matter what, I promise you, if you need us—if you need me—I’ll be there.”
That isn’t just a neat tease of the pair reuniting, nor the last time we see that phone. It turns up again in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, and may reveal a lot about the plot of the film; Tony’s just closing it during the uniting of him, Doctor Strange, Wong and Bruce Banner, presumably just before Thanos arrives in New York City.
— Marvel__News (@Marvel__News) November 29, 2017
This means one of two things, both of which are pretty seismic: either Tony has put the past firmly in the past and forgiven Steve completely or he’s just that desperate. Considering the level of destruction that Thanos is delivering in the trailer, it’s obvious that he could use a few helping hands. And, as Cap appears to turn up saving Vision from the Children of Thanos, Tony may be calling ahead to have his old friend help out an obviously-targeted Vision.
That’s not the only broken relationship that will be addressed in Infinity War though; surely, at some point, Tony and Bucky will have to team up. Now, it would be in Thanos’ best interests if the two give in to temptation and duke it out, but the most satisfying arc would be to see the two men come to terms with what happened (the Winter Soldier killed Iron Man’s parents) and put the potential destruction of humanity ahead of their rivalry.
In retrospect, Civil War could risk looking just like setup for Avengers: Infinity War. However, it’s clear the Russos are trying their hardest to make sure its smaller beats are paid off properly.