What turned out to be an embarrassment of a Superbowl was made much better by Marvel’s releasing the second full-length trailer for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, based on Ed Brubaker’s comic book run of the same name. Truth be told, I barely cared about the game after seeing this, which cranked up my already-high anticipation to three hundred. [It almost doesn't need to be said that this post will contain SPOILERS GALORE.]
The following analysis comes from the perspective of a longtime comic book fan who never even gave Captain America a second thought until Ed Brubaker got his mitts on the property, giving us fantastic spy stories along with the Winter Soldier character. [Read: my dog's name is Bucky, after said Winter Soldier.] And although the character’s design in the film is nearly flawless, several questions arise for fans of the comic.
1. Are they really going to try to keep the Winter Soldier’s identity a secret? Of course, unless you live in a drawer or never go on the internet or into a comic shop, you should know by now that the Winter Soldier is actually Cap’s World War II sidekick Bucky, revived and brainwashed into being a Russian assassin. Several shots in the trailer show his face, but several show it masked; and there is no mention of the personal nature of Cap’s fight, nor are there any hints given. To a newbie watching the trailer, Winter Soldier could be just another archvillain. How long is that going to last?
2. There is virtually no sign of Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, who plays a massive role in the comic. Instead, it appears that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is the major female presence. Does this mean she is going to take up the mantle of romantic interest, as well? Reports show that Sharon Carter does exist in the movie–but in what capacity?
3. Given that in the original CAPTAIN AMERICA movie Bucky dropped from a train and was not blown up over the English Channel (like in the comic), how are the films going to explain the loss of his left arm? Moreover, will the impact of seeing Bucky again be lessened for movie fans who only waited three years to see him brought back? After all, when Brubaker resurrected the character in the comics, he had been dead for literally 50+ years—and that’s in real time, not comic book continuity. It was the comic book equivalent of resurrecting Batman’s dead parents as military zombies. Will the shock be gone this time around?
4. Obviously the code name “Winter Soldier” is a function of Bucky’s being an assassin for Russia’s Department X (“… we Russians have nothing but our winter”). From the looks of the trailer, Marvel Studios has combined the characters of Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and, from the comics, Aleksander Lukin, heir to the Winter Soldier program. Robert Redford is clearly not Russian in the film. How is this going to work? Are they going to abandon the Russian angle entirely?
5. What is going to be the role of the cosmic cube in the film? Will it even have a role?
Also, CHECK OUT THAT BRUBAKER CAMEO at 20 seconds in! Bravo, Good Sir!