Yesterday, Marvel Comics unveiled the teaser trailer to their upcoming super-mega-crossover event, Infinity, written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by a veritable harem of sexy superstar artists: Jim Cheung, Jerome Opena & Dustin Weaver. The trailer awed eager fans around the world with its dazzling special effects and impressive narrative vision. The trailer has been universally lauded by critics as an unparalleled masterpiece in the world of comic book trailers. But will it be a trailer to nowhere?
"Marvel spent so much money making this magnificent trailer, we're on the brink of bankruptcy again," said Publisher Dan Buckley.
With an initial budget of five hundred dollars and an office pizza party, Marvel's creative staff set out to create a simple, fifty-five second video advertising their upcoming blockbuster comic event. By the time production wrapped, the company had spent three hundred million dollars, an extremely large budget even for a feature film.
The trailer opens with cosmic villain Thanos, surrounded by mist, sitting upon a throne. The camera pans in on the Mad Titan's face as larger-than-life lightning engulfs the screen, punctuating the chilling words of a golden-throated narrator.
"That sequence cost twelve million dollars," said Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. "That's $1.2 million a second."
But the trailer was just getting started. Quick cuts reveal fantastic creatures, stunning locations, and mind-boggling science fiction space armadas. By the time The Avengers are pictured floating above a brilliantly photoshopped, blurry space background texture, the viewer finds him or herself immersed in what is, quite possibly, the greatest cinematic work of the twenty-first century. At this point, a moody techno score picks up in the background as the trailer winds up to its epic conclusion, finally finishing with a majestic graphic of Infinity #1 with some information about its release.
There's no question that this is an accomplishment in the world of filmmaking. But who could be responsible for such a wondrous piece of art?
"They tell me, 'Vlad, make graphics go whoosh,'" said unpaid intern Vlad Kozinkerov. "So that is what I do."
Vlad Kozinkerov may have created his generation's Citizen Kane in the form of a teaser trailer for a comic book, but at what cost? With Marvel facing bankruptcy, will they even be able to release the comic book itself?
"It doesn't matter," explained Quesada. "What we do, we do because we're artists. When we make a youtube video advertising a massive, line-wide crossover event comic with foil-embossed variant covers and probably hermetically sealed polybags and promises to change the status quo of the Marvel Universe forever, we don't do that to make money. We do it to make art."
And make art they will. A shitload of art.
Infinity #1 hits stores in August.
Marvel's press release insisted that we run the following text alongside the video or else we'll go to comic book media jail or something. Enjoy:
Infinity, the six part blockbuster comic event of the summer, brought to you by the star studded creative team of Jonathan Hickman, Jim Cheung, Jerome Opena & Dustin Weaver, takes fans to every corner of the Marvel Universe, and beyond! Earth has been marked as an “Avengers World”, protected by Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and more from the deadliest threats facing humanity. A powerful and destructive race is on a collision course with Earth and the only thing in their path is the Avengers! But even Earth’s Mightiest Heroes realize the one hope of defeating this dire threat is to unite every great hero across the cosmos…because only with a united Avengers Universe is there any chance of survival!
With our heroes at the other end of the universe, who is left to protect Earth? Enter Thanos, the galaxy’s most ruthless threat and an unparalleled force of brutality who brings order to the chaos of life through murder. The greatest threat to the Mad Titan’s work—and perhaps the universe’s greatest hope—is something he created leaving no world safe. Earth’s last hope may lie in the hands of a man who can level cities with a single whisper – Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans. But can the fearsome leader of a race hated and feared by his world, lead his people against Thanos? If they fall, so does the Earth—and the entire universe with it.
The Biggest Heroes. The Biggest Threats. The Biggest Sacrifices. This is Marvel’s INFINITY.