'Captain America' reaction: Do you want more of Marvel's new movie hero? And about that ending...

Where and when will Captain America fight again now that Marvel Studios has launched the super-soldier as a cinematic superhero franchise? We know that Chris Evans’ shield-baring hero will become a charter member of director Joss Whedon’s The Avengers opening next summer. (What did you think of that teaser-trailer?) But think beyond that. With box office pundits currently predicting that Captain America: The First Avenger will generate a bigger opening weekend than Marvel’s sequel-bound summertime smash Thor, another dedicated Captain America adventure would seem inevitable. (The writers of the first film, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, are already working on a script.) But where in the world – and where in history – will the masked marvel find himself in his next big-screen outing?

If you’ve seen Captain America: The First Avenger (and MASSIVE SPOILERS loom ahead for anyone who hasn’t), you know that the movie concluded with the World War II hero crashing the Red Skull’s stealth-winged flying fortress in the Arctic, then waking up in present day New York City. The implication: Steve Rogers was frozen alive and then discovered, thawed and revived by agents of SHIELD, the super-secret espionage outfit run by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. We might assume that future stories will track the time-tossed patriot’s attempts to adjust to the modern world, plus battle other old WWII foes that somehow, someway also managed to cheat death. (I really want to see Toby Jones’ Arnim Zola make this bizarre, life-extending transformation.)

And yet, the movie never gave us the visual that most Marvel fanboys were expecting: A shot of Captain America trapped in ice. We saw his vibranium shield excavated from the Skull’s snow-filled bomber – but no body. All we got was a long beat of black screen between Cap’s crash in the Arctic and NYC wake-up. (Unless I dozed off and missed it; I saw a midnight screening after a long day at Comic-Con.)

So here’s a hypothesis: What if Captain America did not remain a human popsicle for 70 years? What if he was discovered by Howard Stark (Iron Man’s dad, played by Dominic Cooper) and continued to fight for his country and romance his true love Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) well into the Cold War? What if future yarns reveal that Cap was placed into cryogenic sleep in some other sci-fi way… or that modern-day, Avengers-era Cap isn’t the “real” Cap, but a clone, one that’s been given the persona and memories of WWII-era Cap? While the last line of the movie would seem to subvert this speculation, with Steve bemoaning his missed date with Peggy, I wonder if we were being set up for what will become a recurring gag in the next Captain America tale, with Steve always missing dates with his Peggy because of his super-secret super-soldier wetwork.

I’m enamored with this theoretical train of thought because I loved the evocation of mid-century America that director Joe Johnston created for Captain America: The First Avenger; I’m hoping (maybe in vain) that Marvel can find a credible way to tell more Captain America stories in that time period. But regardless of where and when Captain America will fight again in his own franchise, I predict he’ll be clashing with his best friend, Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan. We saw him plummet to his death… but we never got a shot of his corpse, either. In the recent Captain America comics written by award-winning scribe Ed Brubaker, Cap’s WWII-era BFF is also alive in the present: After his apparent demise, Bucky’s body was recovered and transformed into “The Winter Soldier,” a long-lived brainwashed sleeper agent/assassin. Also: Bionic arm! A movie pitting these wintry super-soldiers – former friends and allies turned rival agents of clashing superpowers — would make for a great sequel, no matter what time period it’s set. But how about you? Did you like Captain America: The First Avenger enough to enlist for a sequel? And do you want to see a story set in the past or in the present?

Twitter: @EWDocJensen

Read more:
‘Captain America’ premiere screening at Comic-Con: On the scene!
Comic-Con 2011: Star Portraits: Day 1

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • Jacob

    I really want your theory to hold up. I get pushing Cap forward for The Avengers, but most of the charm of this film was its setting, and losing that for just another modern-day one just seems sad. I have to believe that filmmakers intentionally kept Cap’s origins in the modern-age ambiguous for this very reason, so they could eventually fill in that gap of black either in The Avengers or in later films.

    • William

      i believe that because he was asleep for 70 years and he took it so well when he was notified that Cap. is gonna want answers, they will most likley find someone ( a villian , or son or daughter of someone living back in the day) who is gonna tell what happened to him and his love.

  • Rob

    I agree about the missing ‘frozen-in-ice’ shot but I think that will be shown in its full glory in The Avengers. Sometimes they need to hold something back to get the fanboys ultra excited, no?

  • Michael Sacal

    You should read the Heroes Reborn Captain America series by Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld. The first story arc explores the kind of thing you want, what it would have been like if Steve hadn’t been frozen and been kept alive since WWII into the then-present day.

  • AJD

    I suspect that any Cap sequel would play out like “The Highlander”… with significant portions of the film taking place in the 40′s, and the repercussions of those events going on today. They “montaged” their way through many missions… it’d be easy to slot a confrontation with Baron Zemo into one of those “wipe Hydra off the face of the map” missions, and then play out a confrontation with the current Baron Zemo in modern day.

    As for Bucky, it certainly looked like Zola had been experimenting on him when Cap found him… It certainly suggests that there might be some secrets coming from him in the future as well. One wonders what happened with Zola for that matter, since he apparently never shared the secret for harnessing the cosmic cube with the Allies.

    • Lyndsey

      Love the Highlander idea for Captain America! One of the things I loved the most about the original movie & TV series!!

  • Temp

    I cant see them doing this, only because one of the main purposes of Cap in the avengers is to be a solid old fashioned man of the 40s, shocked by the state of our modern times. If he stuck around and saw some of the cold war, he would be more cynical and less naiive. If Cap lived through the swinging 60s, he may not be so shocked at Tony Starks hedonistic excess.

    I think the further back you have cap frozen, the more fun you have with his modern shock. If he is frozen in the 40s he doesnt even know about Nuclear bombs, or space sattelites (or any space stuff period) Even putting him into the 50s gives him a much broader understanding of our modern world with nuclear power, televisions, etc

  • Jerry

    Enjoyed the movie, but the ending was TERRIBLE. They really should have just waited for The Avengers to do that stuff like they seemed to be doing with Thor.

  • Toy

    pretty soon you’ll be seeing Porn Captain America ….

  • Channing

    I’m not a big reader of Marvel titles, but I believe Bucky was killed off during the current ‘Fear Itself’ storyline/miniseries, clearing the way for Steve to resume the role of Captain America.

  • Mdb

    Really enjoyed the movie, but did not like how it ended. It’s starting to get really annoying that Hollywood can’t do anything without some sort of cross promotion for some future clunker movie. If the producers were smart, they’d take the core of this movie and expand it within the same time frame (hello Indiana Jones) and just maybe have something that’s workable. (Avengers? hasn’t that already been badly done with crazy weather, Mrs Peel–oh, you mean comic book Avengers for 14 year olds….). I’m sorry, but I am *not* looking forward to the Avengers movie next year–I think the fan base and premise are too narrowly targeted and Hollywood is going to once again have another poorly executed movie on its hands.

    • Stephen Hawking

      Narrowly targeted? Featuring characters from multiple potential franchises would seem to be an attempt to go for the widest audience possible.

      • Mdb

        “Narrowly targeted” in the sense that the Hollywood summer tentpole movie in the past few years seems to be increasingly aimed a the Comics Con crowd of males 12-18. Yes, sometimes you get a big bang on opening weekend, but where’s the sustainability? This years crop of movies such as Green Lantern and Thor have been sorely lacking for all the lead-up hype. I’d much rather try and produce a movie that just might have a bit more carrying power with a larger demo–including the overseas box office–than aim at the narrow demographic that can praise you at a showing of sneak peaks and then desert you in droves on final release.

      • Capt. Obvious

        I think what Mdb is trying to say is that superhero movies aren’t very profitable . . . ummm . . . wait, that can’t be right. (Lol!)

  • AJD

    Just a reminder to people… Captain America as a comic book character was portrayed in WWII for a few years, and even then a lot of it was domestic, spy-and-saboteur catching adventures and not battlefield stories. However, he’s been portrayed as a man revived in modern times for nearly 40 years worth of adventures by now.
    The “Cap in Modern Day” is by far the more regular version of the character, with WWII simply being the origin of him.

  • Maxwell

    At this point I will follow Cap wherever Marvel decides to take him. Chris Evans performance and Joe’s adventurous tone make for one of the most satisfying superhero films I’ve seen. I would definitely love to see Cap fight against Bucky, particularly if they can somehow go back into the past.

  • Lori R

    Loved the movie. Reminded me of Indiana Jones franchise. Great story and full of action. My kids loved it too even though none of us have seen Iron Man, Hulk, or Thor!

  • NYCREX

    Really, really well done. I’m happy to see the true Cap geeks dug it, too.

  • Chris Paquet

    My only problem with Captain America, is the choice of Chris Evans. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great actor! But to me, he’s the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four, another Marvel creation. Aren’t there enough actors in Hollywood to choose from? C’mon casting directors, be a bit more original!

    • CJ

      I kinda agree. It wouldn’t bother me if he had portrayed a DC character previously. Regardless, I think he is a great Captain America

    • Brett

      MY only problem with the movie was Tommy Lee Jones – he’ll always be U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard to me. Oh, and Samuuel L. Jackson – he’ll always be Jules from “Pulp Fiction.” Come on, Hollywood casting directors – give some of the other actors out there a chance! (See how ridiculous it sounds?)

      • Chris Paquet

        My only point was that Chris Evans was already playing a Marvel super hero…Sorry if I offended anyone.

  • Juan in Austin

    The fact that they had Bucky using a sniper rifle gives me great hope that future Captain America movies will give us the Winter Soldier. In my perfect world, I imagine they introduce Winter Soldier in the next one and end it with Steve getting killed, have Bucky take up the mantle and rescue Steve from his “death” in the third one, ala Captain America: Rebirth. Two movies might be alot, so why not make it the next three movies to give it some cinematic breathing room. Besides, who says that everything has to be a trilogy. Its so limiting sometimes, and as a comic reader, I enjoy a sense of continuity.

    • Brett

      They’ll never kill off Steve Rogers in the movie. Unfortunately, the Winter Soldier storyline is recent, so they might end up using it. It’s a weak storyline, and would ruin a movie the way including Venom in “Spider-man 3″ ruined that movie.

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