Bloodborne #1 Review

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Bloodborne #1

Review by Paul Bowler

Get ready to delve into the dark world of Yharnam once more in Bloodborne #1: The Death of Sleep, from Titan Comics, written by Ales Kot (Generation Gone, Zero), with art by Piotr Kowalski (Wolfenstein, Dark Souls).

A nameless Hunter awakens in a foreboding, ancient, city, a place gripped by a horrifying epidemic. Here, terrifying monsters are waiting to strike at every turn and the streets are awash with blood. Into this nightmare the Hunter seeks a way to escape the seemingly endless Night of the Hunt that has damned Yharnam There is only one hope left and the Hunter must set out on a gruesome, blood-soaked quest to bring this nightmare to an end once and for all…

Based on the best selling videogame world of Bloodborne and its expansion DLC content The Old Hunters, Blood borne #1: The Death of Sleep will mark a welcome return to Yharnam for fans of the gory, tough-as-nails game. Indeed, writer Ales Kot ensures this first issue includes all the familiar Bloodborne tropes – and then some! From the lone Hunters introduction to his initial encounters with the beastly horrors stalking Yharnam’s shadows, Kot quickly sets the scene. One particular narrative thread – the pale blood – is a mystery that was never really fully explained in videogame itself, and as such it provides a rich vein of drama for Kot to tap and facilitate key plot developments in the issue.

Piotr Kowalski’s artwork brings every visceral, blood-drenched moment of Kot’s intense script to life while the gorgeous colors by Brad Simpson adds vivid clarity to the flesh-rending carnage. If you’ve played the game, you’ll know how hideous and grotesque the monsters in Bloodborne are, and Kowalski’s art impressively recreates the distinctive look and feel of these monstrous creatures. As you’d expect, the action is slick and brutal too, and like the games unforgiving nature that all-too familiar “You Died” moment is something that surprisingly feels almost serene here – rather than the almost throwing the controller across the room rage that the Bloodborne game often made you feel when your Hunter met a grisly end.

While obviously aimed at fans of the Bloodborne game, there’s plenty of mystery and terror for horror fans to enjoy as well without any prior knowledge of the game. Boasting a striking cover by Jeff Stokley, along with a choice of three variant covers, the strong story and impressive art in Bloodborne #1 gets this new Titan Comics book off to a great start and I’m eager to see where the Hunter’s quest takes him next.

Publisher: Titan Comics.

Writer: Ales Kot / Art: Piotr Kowalski.

Colors: Brad Simpson / Lettering: Aditya Bidikar

Cover: A Jeff Stokley, Cover B: Game Cover, Cover C: Potr Kowalski & Brad Simpson, Cover D: Andre Lima Arujo & Chris O’Halloran.

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Black Panther Film Review

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Black Panther Film Review

Review by Paul Bowler

Marvel studios kicks off 2018’s plethora of superhero blockbusters with Black Panther! Chadwick Boseman returns as T’Challa, the Black Panther, to his homeland of Wakanda in Africa to become king after his late father’s demise during the events of Captain America Civil War (2016). The reclusive African nation of Wakanda is secretly a technologically advanced marvel, crafted and powered by the metal vibranium – the same substance utilized by T’Challa in his armoured Black Panther suit and high-tech gadgetry.

As T’Challa prepares to inherit his throne, old enemies return, and soon T’Challa must confront a threat that will test his strength both as king and the Black Panther when he faces a conflict that puts Wakanda and the entire world at risk!

Based on the Marvel comic book character Black Panther (created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) introduced in 1966, Marvel’s new blockbuster Black Panther, from Director Ryan Coogler and his co-screenwriter Jo Robert Cole, is probably one of the most hotly anticipated Marvel films to date. It’s a radically different kind of comic book film in many respects from the other seventeen movies in Marvel’s juggernaut superhero franchise.

This is an origin story that celebrates the Black Panther and his nations proud heritage, it firmly establishes Black Panther’s place in the MCU, boasting an impressive cast, strong female characters, and the fictional nation of Wakanda itself is breathtakingly realized on screen with its futuristic buildings and floating hovercars.

Marvel certainly have another winner on their hands with Black Panther! Chadwick Boseman is on fine form as the erstwhile heir of Wakanda, his portrayal of T’Challa has steely resolve and emotional vulnerability, and the characters enhanced physical prowess and suits abilities really get a chance to shine in the films elaborate action sequences. The screenplay from Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole offers an engaging multifaceted plot that deftly balances the superhero action and strong characterization together with pertinent social, political, and contemporary issues to make Black Panther a richly textured and vibrant cultural experience.

As this epic, generational saga plays out, the extremely talented cast of Black Panther really comes to the fore, especially with the strong female characters in T’Challa’s life. T’Challa’s sister is the amazing scientist Shuri (Letitia Wright), the cheeky Q to T’Challa’s Bond-like vibe who designs all of the Black Panther’s nifty gadgets and weaponry. Angela Bassett stars as his widowed mother, Ramonda, Okoye (Danani Gurira) is the head of the Dora Miaje (The Royal Guard), and Nakia played by Lupita Nyong’o is a Wakandan agent and former lover of T’Challa.

The transition of power will soon test the young monarch as T’Challa must choose between maintaining Wakanda’s traditional ways of protecting its technology and maintaining his nation’s isolation, or adopt a more modern approach, as well as a challenge to his leadership. Other integral characters to the plot include the shaman-like Wakandan elder Zuri (Forest Whittaker), the border tribe chief W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), and the rival tribal leader M’Baku (Winston Duke). Martin Freeman plays Everett Ross from the CIA who inadvertently gets caught up in the Black Panther‘s mission to Busan, and subsequently ends up taking an enlightening trip to Wakanda as a result.

As for the villains, T’Challa must contend with the South African criminal Ulysses Klause (Andy Serkis) and his scheme to seal the precious vibranium, and the Wakandan exile Erik Killmonger’s (Michael B Jordan) plot to overthrow the throne! Superbly played with charismatic swagger by Michael B Jordan, Killmonger’s new vision for Wakanda poses the biggest threats to T‘Challa‘s homeland, and Jordan makes a perfect foil for Boseman’s noble T’Challa.

The slick direction by Ryan Coogler ensures the pace hardly lets up for a moment. The film has numerous exciting plot twists and spectacular set-pieces – a visit to South Korea, featuring a casino and an high-speed car chase, is just one of the films many highlights – that will keep you riveted to every scene, whilst also effortlessly immersing you in the beautiful African landscape and culture of Wakanda to make this easily one of the most unique and richly crafted locales that we’ve seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

King of all it surveys from its scene setting opening prologue to its frenetically staged climatic battle between T’Challa and Killmonger, Ryan Coogler’s film is action packed and lots of fun. A game-changing afrofuturist superhero movie in more ways than one, with a great cast, beautiful scenery, and spectacular action sequences Black Panther is an exciting 134 minute thrill ride that delivers on every level!

Images Belong Disney/Marvel Studios

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Teaser Trailer!

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Teaser Trailer!

Check out the Solo: A Star Wars Story Full Official Teaser Trailer!

Well, the trailer looks pretty good, what do you all think?

Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters May 25!

Been Feeling a Bit Under The Weather

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Been Feeling a Bit Under The Weather.

Hello everyone. Sorry there’s been no posts or reviews since Christmas. I’ve been recovering from flu and now a chest infection that has really knocked me for six. Hopefully I’ll be recovered soon, but for now I’m just getting plenty of rest and taking things easy.

See you soon.

Paul.

Doctor Who Christmas Special Twice Upon A Time Review

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Doctor Who Christmas Special Twice Upon A Time

Review by Paul Bowler

[Contains Spoilers!]

A glittering festive voyage awaits in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special: Twice Upon a Time as the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) teams up with his original self, the first Doctor (David Bradley – Harry Potter, Game Of Thrones), and former travelling companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) for one finale adventure in time and space.

The two Doctors with one destiny meet in the frozen landscape of the South Pole, each stubbornly refusing to regenerate, but soon the Time Lords and their TARDISes must unite against mysterious enchanted glass people that have been snatching victims from frozen time. A First World War captain (Mark Gatiss), fated to die on the battlefield, is also plucked from the trenches to play a role in the Doctor’s story. There’s an emotional reunion with Bill Potts for the Doctor as well in this moving tale of hope during humanity’s darkest hour. Twice Upon a Time brings the 12th Doctor’s era to a spectacular close as the Time Lord confronts his past to embrace the future, before a new lifetime of adventures begins as Jodie Whittaker becomes the 13th Doctor!

As well as being Peter Capaldi’s swansong after four years as the Doctor, Twice Upon a Time is also the final episode to be written by outgoing show runner of nearly eight years, Steven Moffat, and the special 60 minute episode is directed by the brilliant Rachael Talalay (Director of 2014’s Dark Water and Death in Heaven, 2015’s Heaven Sent and Hell Bent, and 2017’s World Enough in Time and The Doctor Falls).

Peter Capaldi is on sparkling form in Twice Upon a Time as the Doctor struggles to hold back his regeneration. Tired of becoming other people his world is turned upside down when he encounters the first Doctor! From its wonderful opening recap of events from The Tenth Planet (1966) – the 1st Doctor’s final story which also featured the first appearance of the Mondasian Cybermen – Twice Upon a Time magically revisits this momentous point in the programmes history via original footage, some digital wizardry, recreations of the Snow Cap Base and the interior of the Cyber-Ship, together with David Bradley in the role of the 1st Doctor (originally played by the late William Hartnell who Bradley also portrayed in 2013’s An Adventure In Space and Time, and featuring Jared Garfield and Lily Travers in the roles of the 1st Doctor’s companions Ben and Polly.

“Its far from being all over” for the pre-regenerative Doctors just yet, as this Christmas Special sends the Time Lords to the South Pole in 1986, the Western Front in 1914, a spaceship, and ruins on a distant alien world at the heart of the universe. The fabulous chemistry between Peter Capaldi’s 12th incarnation and David Bradley’s 1st Doctor positively lights up the screen. It creates a really fun and spiky dynamic too as each Doctor confronts the reality of who they were and who they will ultimately become. At times the 12th Doctor is clearly embarrassed and frustrated by his former self‘s old fashioned attitude, while the 1st incarnation is aghast as his future self’s reliance on sonic sunglasses and the like, making for some delightful moments that are sure to raise a wry smile – especially when Bradley’s Doctor steps inside his 12th incarnations TARDIS! The 12th Doctor epitomises the heroic force of nature that the Doctor has become, while the 1st Doctor is the adventurer he was before he fully became Earth’s protector, each has their own strengths and flaws, but it is their journey together and the respect they gradually find for each other that makes Twice Upon a Time feel truly magical.

Prolific writer and guest star of Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss, also gives a strong performance as the British captain taken away from a bomb crater frozen in time during the Great War as he was confronting a wounded German soldier (played by fellow Doctor Who writer Toby Whitehouse), and his subsequent adventure with the two Time Lords and Bill has a profound affect on how events gradually unfold in the episode – even influencing the Doctor’s own timeline.

It’s great to see Pearl Mackie back as Bill Potts for the Christmas Special as well. Her character was the undisputed highlight of Season 10, and Mackie excels once again in the role of the Doctor’s former travelling companion. She also gets to meet the Doctor’s original self, her scenes with the 1st Doctor are glorious fun, especially when the action shifts to the original TARDIS (Its interior recreated in exquisite detail), but it is the moving reunion of the 12th Doctor and Bill and the dynamic between their characters that really steals the show. Twice Upon a Time brings a nice sense of closure to Bill’s time with the Doctor, and I’m so glad Moffat brought her back for Capaldi’s last story.

Unusually there are no real monsters of bad guys to speak off in Twice Upon a Time, aside from the eponymous Glass Woman that’s actually an advanced AI controlling the Testimony, whose vast spaceship takes people out of time to harmlessly record their memories before death and returning them to their fate. They’ve now set their sights on the 12th Doctor’s TARDIS because the captain has somehow become removed from time to and embroiled in the Doctor’s adventure, and they must return him to his proper place in time. Its only when the Time Lords, the captain, and Bill escape in the 1st Doctor’s TARDIS to the most comprehensive database in creation at the centre of the universe – controlled by Rusty the Dalek from 2014’s Into the Dalek – that the 12th Doctor finally realizes there is no foe to fight as Bill reveals she is part of the Testimony as well.

Along with providing a fittingly epic finale for Capaldi’s era, Moffat peppers the scrip with numerous call-backs to various elements created during his tenure as show runner, but Twice Upon a Time never feels overly burdened by the need to explain every obscure nuance or overloaded with gratuitous continuity references. Twice Upon a Time is easily one of Steven Moffat’s finest scripts for the series. It works on so many levels, profound underlying themes resonate powerfully, there’s a beautifully philosophical speech for the 12th Doctor, and it brings some mystery back to the Time Lord while celebrating his past and of course some emotional goodbyes. Its all impressively directed by Rachael Talalay, from the battle scarred landscape in WWI, to the glimpses of the Doctor’s other incarnations the 1st Doctor witnesses in the Testimony spaceship, and of course that beautifully nostalgic original TARDIS interior, Talalay brings Moffat’s script to life amidst a wealth of stunning action set-pieces and dazzling special effects to ensure this Doctor Who Christmas Special provides a rousing send off for both showruner and leading actor.

With the timeline in Ypres 1914 restored amidst the Christmas Armistice the Time Lords also discover that the captain is actually Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart (an ancestor of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), and he asks the Doctors to look after his family. As the 1st Doctor and 12th Doctor finally go their separate paths to face their regenerations Twice Upon a Time will have made you laugh, it will almost certainly have tugged at your heartstrings too, and there’s even a surprise return appearance from Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald and Matt Lucas as Nardole to bid a fond farewell to the 12th Doctor as well before that moment of regeneration finally arrives and Capaldi’s spiky eyebrows and fierce-yet-sad eyes blaze away as the Time Lord becomes Jodie Whittaker – the female incarnation of the Doctor! Her debut is, quite frankly, “oh brilliant”, and the turbulent cliff-hanger aftermath of the regeneration will leave you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for the beginning of the 13th Doctor’s adventures!

Now the stage is set for Series 11 and the beginning of Chris Chibnall’s tenure as Doctor Who’s show runner. The new season will comprise of ten week run of fifty minute episodes (with an hour long episode for the series launch) that will air in the Autumn of 2018. I’m sure Jodie Whittaker will be fantastic as the new Doctor, she was great in Broadchruch, and no doubt her portrayal of the Doctor will be just as riveting and special. The 13th Doctor will be joined by a regular cast of new friends, including Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. We’ve already seen the 13th Doctor’s new costume and the TARDIS exterior (it reminds me a lot of the TARDIS exterior from the 1975 classic series story Planet of Evil) in publicity pictures, we can be sure that Chris Chibnall has plenty more surprises in store for us, and I can’t wait to see the 13th Doctor and her friends new adventures in Time and Space in 2018!

Happy Christmas Everyone!

And here’s that fantastic regeneration scene!

Images and Clip belong BBC

Doctor Who Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time 2017 Trailer #2

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Doctor Who Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time 2017 Trailer #2

Check out the new trailer for

The Doctor Who Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time!

Two Doctors, one destiny! The magical final chapter of the Twelfth Doctor’s journey is coming. Don’t miss ‘Twice Upon a Time’ this Christmas!

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Offical Trailer!

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Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Offical Trailer!

It’s been four years since theme park and resort of Jurassic World was destroyed when the dinosaurs got of containment. Isla Nublar is now abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs inhabit the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano roars into life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) set off on a mission to rescue the surviving dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, the expedition discovers a conspiracy that could change the our entire world!

Check out the trailer for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom!

Get set for the next chapter of wonder and adventure in one of the successful series in cinema history, as Jurassic World Forbidden Kingdom sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—together with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before! The stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return along with executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They are joined by co-stars James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles. Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the movie is written by Jurassic World’s director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this stunning new instalment with Belén Atienza joining as a producer.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is in Theaters June 22, 2018

The Walking Dead #174 Review

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The Walking Dead #174

Review by Paul Bowler

It’s a solitary life for some in The Walking Dead #174, as the spotlight falls on the series’ infamous big bad and former Saviors leader, Negan. Because of his help during the Whisperer War, Rick granted Negan his freedom, on the condition that his lived alone and away from all of the surrounding communities. Negan’s solitary existence has given him time to reflect on the past, but not all off Rick’s allies agreed with his decision…

The Walking Dead #174 is a challenging, unexpected, and welcome change of pace from recent issues as writer Robert Kirkman offers us a powerful insight into Negan’s character and what he’s been up to since the Whisperer War. Some might say it’s about time we had a Negan centric issue like this, others might worry it will demystify Rick’s foul mouthed, bad-ass, nemesis too much, but they’d be wrong on both counts.

Negan’s been around for seventy five issues now, but here we finally begin to get an idea of the inner rage, torment, and grief that drives him. Never in a million years would I have dreamt that Negan would have green fingers either! However, the glimpse of Negan simply living day-to-day in the Zombie apocalypse ultimately proves as moving as it does unsettling, especially when dark echoes from the past start creeping in to tarnish his new found freedom.

Charlie Adlard’s art in this issue magnificently captures the uncanny blend of ordinariness and the macabre that seems to permeate every scene. Negan’s life away from Rick and the other communities plays out amidst a series of seemingly unrelated events, the inks by Stefano Gaudian and gray tones by Cliff Rathburn stylishly accentuates the emotional beats of this issue, and the way an old love from Negan’s past returns – albeit briefly – hits home with chilling clarity as we realize exactly where the narrative is leading us.

The final confrontation in this issue between Negan and Maggie is one that I’m sure many will think has also been a long time coming. Love him or hate him, Negan’s impact on the Image Comics series (and indeed the TV series), has led to some of The Walking Dead’s most talked about storylines. He’s been a divisive character at times, his actions have been heinous, evil, and truly horrifying, and his ruthless glee in dealing out death with Lucille is probably only matched by the rapturous barrage of four letter words and twisted comments that constantly pepper his dialogue at every given opportunity.

Although the main storyline has had a few up’s and down’s since the Whisperer War, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard get things back on track with The Walking Dead #174’s great story of revenge, redemption, and closure to make it one of the best issues of TWD of the year. Where Negan’s character goes from here will be interesting to say the least. Whatever the future holds for Negan, one thing’s for sure, with the six-part New World Order story-arc beginning in January, big events are in store for The Walking Dead in 2018!

Publisher: Image

Writer: Robert Kirkman / Pencils & Cover: Charlie Adlard / Inks: Stefano Gaudiano

Gray Tone: Cliff Rathburn / Letterer: Rus Wooton / Cover Colors: Dave Stewart

 

Old Man Logan #31 Review

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Old Man Logan #31

Review by Paul Bowler

Old Man Logan #31 begins the first major Marvel Legacy adventure for the man formerly known as Wolverine, as he confronts a deadly new threat – the Hand! Upon his return to Tokyo, Old Man Logan becomes drawn into a ferocious conflict involving the Hand, and they are now stronger than ever! In his battle with the feuding clans, Logan will also have to face the mysterious Scarlet Samurai, a lethal adversary like no other he’s faced before…

Friends and foes, both past and present return as the adventures of Marvel Comics grizzled time-displaced alternative dimension version of Logan continues with Scarlet Samurai Part 1, the brand new story arc from writer Ed Brisson, artist Mike Deodato JR, and colorist Frank Martin. Following his run in with the Maestro and the Hulk gang in Canada, Logan’s travels bring him back to Kabukicho, in Tokyo, where his reminiscing about this place he once called home briefly eclipses Logan’s apocalyptic future in the Wastelands.

Violent action, drama, and brooding intrigue permeate every aspect of Ed Brisson’s tautly woven scrip as Old Man Logan’s momentary peace is shattered by a brawl with henchmen from the Crazy Thunder Clan empowered by a new drug that gives them uncanny regenerative abilities. You can’t have a slug-fest like this in Tokyo without the Silver Samurai being involved somehow, and sure enough the Yashida Corporation developed the drug, Regenix, and the mystery of who has been supplying it to the Crazy Thunder Clan is soon ruthlessly uncovered.

From the shadowy, neon lit side streets, to the gleaming vista of the Tokyo skyline, the fantastic work of artist Mike Deodato and colorist Frank Martin effortlessly brings the various locales featured in this issue to life. Dedato’s trademark open-panel style and dramatic use of perspective places you right in the thick of the action. Every scene feel larger than life, especially when Logan tracks down the Crazy Thunder Clan, and the battle which follows – just like their earlier confrontation – is a blood splattered collage of visceral action and severed limbs as Logan’s berserker rage kicks into high gear! Frank Martin’s colors accentuate the action perfectly, with urban grey tones contrasting beautifully with the shiny modern hues of Yashida Corp, while the brutal violence and unflinching detail jostles with ominous shadows amidst the crimson carnage.

As the issue races towards its devastating high-rise cliff-hanger, Logan makes a fortuitous discovery, Gorgon – who has also led the Hand into battle against Wolverine in the past – makes his move, and the Scarlet Samurai finally steps into the fray!

From the moment you see that gorgeous cover by Mukesh Singh, you just know that you are in for something special with this issue of Old Man Logan. The first part of this new saga is a real scene setter. There’s plenty here for long term fans to enjoy, but this issue is also a great jumping on point for new readers too (especially as it also features a brief recap of Old Man Logan’s back story by Robbie Thompson, Andrea Sorrentino, Lee Loughridge). The Tokyo setting is impressively realized, the plot moves along at a blistering pace, and the mystery surrounding the Scarlet Samurai will no doubt prove an intriguing and bloody one for Logan to solve. The creative team of Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin are really hitting their stride now, this series continues to go from strength to strength, and Old Man Logan # 31 gets this new story-arc off to a great start!

Publisher Marvel Comics

Writer: Ed Brisson / Art Mike: Deodato JR / Colorist: Frank Martin

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit  / Cover: Mike Deodato JR & Frank Martin

Marvel Studios’ Avengers Infinity War Official Trailer Released!

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Avengers Infinity War Official Trailer Released!

Check out the first awesome Avengers Infinity War official trailer!

Avengers: Infinity War. In theaters May 4.

So excited for this movie, what do you think of the trailer?