Sunday, August 25, 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Potential SPOILERS

If you're not familiar with the Winter Soldier story line from the comics and you want to walk into this film next April 4 and be surprised by a few of the twists and turns you're going to see then you should STOP READING NOW!!!!  If not, carry on below and I'll give you a little hint about where things MAY be heading.
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Still with me?  Ok then.

You'd think that'd hurt
First and most obvious: The Winter Soldier, who will begin the film as a mysterious antagonist, is, at some point, going to be revealed as Steve Rogers best friend and believed-to-be-deceased James "Bucky" Barnes.  We saw Cap rescue Bucky, who was being experimented on by Arnim Zola, in the first film only to see him fall from a train, apparently to his death...except Bucky did not die.  As a result of some of the experiments that the good Dr. Zola had been doing on Bucky, he survived the fall.  In the books Bucky was picked up by some Russkies, brainwashed into being an assassin and put into stasis between missions.  The Winter Soldier is an excellent marksman (we saw a little foreshadowing of that in the original film as well when Bucky picked off a Hydra-Nazi with a sniper rifle.  Recap: the Winter Soldier and Bucky are the same dude...so don't be all shocked when the big reveal happens.  Read a book...geez.  I know that the vast majority of you who have kept reading already know this, but if just one person gains from this...I've done my job (remember, I'm a teacher!).

Given the fact that Bucky is "the bad guy" and remembering that, as my friend Zangeif says, "you are bad guy, but this does not mean you are BAD guy," it is pretty evident that Cap will not kill Bucky.  In fact, if things follow the comics, Cap will be able to bring Bucky back from his brainwashing at some point in the film.  Yeah, they're going to do some hardcore fisticuffs, but at some point, Bucky will break free of his crazy training and, if not join, help Cap and his good guys.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is exactly what will happen in the film and add, that in my opinion, it is a GREAT thing.

Now, let's get somewhere.  Two recent reports bring me to my point.  First, the report that the final scene filmed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier focuses on Bucky, free of the Winter Soldier persona, visiting a Captain America and his amazing friends exhibit at a museum (probably looks a whole lot like the two pictured below from SDCC '13).


It is interesting that the photos show the old Cap and the Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D Cap that we will see in the next film.  

Onto the next piece of info...the upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly features an interview with Joss Whedon and in that piece Whedon was asked about killing a Marvel icon.  Whedon replied, "I'm always joking about that. Um...maybe?" Whedon goes on to say it's not something you just do and realizes that in doing so he may cut off a franchise but still, the option remains open.  And, as many of you know, Steve Rogers did, in fact, bit the big one in the books and, as many of you know, Bucky took his place and took up the mantle of Captain America.  In some respects, Steve Rogers being dead serves a larger purpose going forward in the MCU then him being alive.  Captain America is a symbol, meant to inspire and, alive or dead, Steve Rogers always seemed to do that.

So, I offer you this one thought that passed through my head.  All of us that watched the original Captain America film remember the small, pre-Cap Steve Rogers standing in front of the Army display and not being able to fit his head into the mirror...I believe at some point we will watch Bucky repeat the process in one of the two museum pieces he visits above, foreshadowing him picking up where his friend Steve left off.  Could I be wrong?  You bet!  But I could be right and, if I am, I won't be stunned.  Killing off Cap would absolutely STUN the audience.  You can't really kill Thor or Hulk with Earth-bound villlains.  Hawkeye and Black Widow are just too obvious and Stark is already moving to the backdrop.  Killing Steve Rogers will stun the non-fanboy fanbase and will give Joss Whedon the type of momentum he needs to propel the MCU forward.

No guarantees, readers...but don't be surprised if we see the Death of Captain America either in The Winter Soldier or Age of Ultron.