As an addendum to our already stellar review of The Winter Soldier I thought I would do a quick primer on some of the more iconic characters that received their new introductions to the Marvel cinematic universe, of which there are many.
We should probably start with the title character. No, I'm not talking about Captain America. I'm talking about the Winter Soldier. The brainchild of Ed Brubaker, the Winter Soldier was introduced in Captain America: Out of time. Through the six part event we learn that not only is bucky alive but that he has been reprogrammed as a rogue Soviet agent. Up until this event, Bucky was one of the very few people in marvel who stayed dead; up there with Peter Parker's Uncle Ben. A casualty of the transition from the World War 2 Captain America adventures to The Avengers issue 4 where Captain America reappears after being frozen in an iceberg for over a decade after his waning popularity with the end of the war. The original bucky was Captain America’s 15 year old “boy” sidekick assigned to be a symbol of hope for the youth during the war in the fight against the Nazis. If you look into most of their interactions it is very reminiscent of the Batman and Robin stories of the time with Cap in a mentoring role. With the advent of marvel’s silver age the decision was made to bring Captain America back but leave Bucky gone as someone to mourn that has added to his character ever since as one of the only times he failed. That brings us to how much of a shock it was when it was announced that he was being brought back after over 50 years. Not only was he coming back, but he was coming back dark *spoilers for a ten year old comic follow*...... the first thing we see him do is to blow a large hole in Red Skull’s chest. Coming back as an assassin with bionic arms and a history of being unthawed whenever needed, as his programming wears off he eventually ascends to take over as Captain America after “Steve Rodgers” death at the end of the war.
Onto “the Falcon” a 1969 Stan Lee creation who has the distinction of being the first African-American character in a mainstream comic. Sam Wilson a.k.a The Falcon has a history as a partner to Captain America since his inception, usually accompanied by his pet falcon, Redwing, and wearing a red and white gliding rig. With an original origin as a former social worker who gets tired of seeing the rising amount of crime around him he is dedicated to bettering the lives of the kids around him. Sadly, with the rise of blaxploitation films, his origin was retconned to where before he became the falcon he was not only a gangster but a pimp wearing a pretty laughable costume. During the same Retcon he also gained the ability to mentally control birds thanks to the red skull and the mind cube. Though rarely able to carry his own book he is a long time member of The Avengers and, also, part of some pretty amazing team books with him and Captain America fighting crime together. There is also a Marvel Now relaunch rumored to be happening soon. Lets just hope this never happens again.
For now I am going to let the villains exist as they did in the movie and instead give just a few thoughts on what I, as someone who has read a thing or two about the people in the movie, thought about it. Firstly, as a movie, it was one of the best spy thrillers that I have seen in quite sometime. As a Marvel movie, for me, it is neck and neck on whether it is the greatest marvel movie yet, slightly beating out The Avengers. For the eagle eyed viewer, there were plenty of cameos to look out for, from Brubaker, as one the doctors who worked on the Winter soldier, to Garry Shandling’s senator Stern, to a certain bible verse that Quentin Tarantino and Samuel l Jackson fans will be familiar with.
This far in, since we already did a spoiler free review, I am going to talk about the end credits scenes and where I see them going. In the first scene we see Sebastian Stan Bucky at the Smithsonian listening to a lecture about him and Cap during the war, and we are led to believe the he may be getting his memory back about who he is. This scene was done for a few reason’s. The first one being that, assuming there are no catastrophic bombs, Marvel has movies planned from here all the way to 2028, and Captain America 3 has been planned since before they had any idea how this would do. With the records that are being broken it is a safe bet that it was successful. Another reason for the setup is that Chris Evans has been vocal about his desire to retire from acting after his Marvel contract is up, so Marvel is needing to sow the seeds to be able to continue the character when that happens. What I see happening is that at the end of Avengers 3 Steve Rodgers “dies” for a while to give Events a chance to try some other things and take a well deserved break with Sebastian Stan taking up the shield until he wants to come back.
With this being the last official movie before Age Of Ultron, the second end credits scene was taken up with setting up the next movie. We see a scene of Baron Von Strucker reacting to the new status quo, talking up the experiments that he is carrying out with the help of Loki’s staff that was left behind at the end of the first Avengers movie. We then hear him talk about “the twins,” them being Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch, who was looking especially creepy. From what I can see, this may be them testing out a way around the fact that due to the deal they have with Fox, they can’t mention anything to do with mutants or the fact that they are the children of Magneto by giving them powers based on a infinity gem.