(Namely, gay space pirates with a side of deicide…)

Prior to its release, Marvel’s upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder had set an MCU record previously held by 2008’s The Incredible Hulk for the shortest amount of time between a first trailer and the film’s actual release, much to the annoyance of fans. One post even joked that Marvel would release the trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder as a post-credit scene at the end of the film. However, on April 19th, just 81 days before its July 8th release date, Marvel released our first look at Thor’s latest adventure.

While most of the MCU’s Phase Four outings have felt unfocused and bland, Thor: Love and Thunder seems to provide a ray of hope for the franchise. Taika Waititi returns as director – as well as the loveable rock monster Korg – after previously helming 2017’s Thor Ragnarok. We’re also due to see the return of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who appeared in the first two Thor films, returning as Lady Thor from the comics.

The trailer which is set to Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine shows Thor attempting to get his life back on track after the events of Avengers: Endgame and takes us through a myriad of beautiful looking locations, (including a glimpse at the halls of Olympus, and a shot of the back of Russell Crowe’s Zeus’ head). Here we see a Thor film which actually attempts to deal with a character we clearly see struggling to cope with his trauma and grief – the representation of which in Endgame is another issue entirely – now that Thor has lost his mother, father, sister, brother, most of his close friends and planet, and three of his original Avengers teammates. Things have been rough for Thor, but this summer, he’s getting his life back on track, and discovering himself, complete with extremely homoerotic interactions with Chris Pratt’s Star Lord, which Waititi seems set on developing, especially after his work on HBO Max’s recent pirate series Our Flag Means Death. This could provide an interesting dynamic for Thor, whose romance with the now returning Jane Foster and the still absent Sif in previous films were so underdeveloped as to be completely pointless, and Thor is an inherently queer character, as adopted by internet users everywhere.

Sadly, Thor’s summer of self-love and self-discovery has to be called off due to some oncoming threat. We know, from even before the trailer’s release, that this comes in the form of Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, an important and powerful character from the comics whose sole mission is to kill any god he encounters and is absent from the trailer. However, Gorr’s influence can still be felt throughout the trailer: the shot of Thor and Korg standing over the dead body of a great beast and Thor’s grief-stricken face are taken straight from a panel in the comics where he mourns the passing of Falligar the Behemoth, a deity he had once met. Given Thor’s status as the last Asgardian god, complete with what is certain to be a typically dedicated and intense performance from Bale, this threat to the deities of other pantheons should prove to be a personal and emotional battle.The trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder gives hope to the MCU fan who is rapidly growing tired of the repetitive formula of the MCU, and the mostly bland filmic offerings of Phase Four so far. Even if the film isn’t objectively ‘good’, with Waititi’s direction and the star-studded cast assembled for the film, it should at least be a fun and enjoyable ride, and that’s all we can hope for. Thor: Love and Thunder releases exclusively in theatres July 8th, 2022.