So if you saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, you probably noticed a couple of references that maybe made you curious. And if you stayed through the very end of the credits, then you saw 2 extra scenes that were cool, but maybe you didn’t completely understand…
Well, I’m here to help with that! I’m not gonna overload you with a ton of “Easter eggs”, but there are few things worth looking at a little closer.
The first credits-scene was our introduction to Baron von Strucker, played by Thomas Kretschmann, who you may recognize from Wanted, Valkyrie, or most recently the NBC show Dracula, where he plays (played? god I hope that show comes back) Abraham Van Helsing.
Baron von Strucker is a HYDRA leader who, in the comics, worked directly with The Red Skull. The version of the character in the films may be different, since in the books he was killed and then brought back as a Life Model Decoy, and then later officially revived (The only people that actually stay dead in comics anymore are Batman’s parents).
You also would have noticed in that scene that he has acquired Loki’s scepter form The Avengers, which was given to him by Thanos. This does not bode well for Earth, Humanity, or the Avengers.
Now, how about those “volunteers” that were mentioned or, more importantly, the “survivors”… The manic, blur of a man, and the serene-but-almost-sinister girl. That was Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Otherwise known as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
In the comics, these characters are mutant twins, and they are the children of Magneto. But, since FOX owns the film rights to everything Marvel “mutant”, they cannot be referred to as such in any Marvel/Disney films, and Magneto cannot be referenced either.
Based on the “volunteers” and “survivors” talk, my assumption is that here in the films their powers will be manufactured rather than some from-birth genetic. If you remember in Captain America: The First Avenger, Cap saved Bucky from being experimented on by Arnim Zola, but in this film he says that whatever Zola did to Buck must have been, at least partially, responsible for him surviving the fall from the train. I’m guessing that HYDRA has continued Zola’s experimentation and that’s probably where Quicksilver’s and Scarlet Witch’s powers come from. We’ll see more of these characters, though, in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Speaking of Arnim Zola, how about that return? To many of you that may not have made much sense but for us comic book nerds it was pretty epic. See, in the comics, Arnim Zola was able to transfer his consciousness into these robot/android things that he created. They all had a screen in the abdomen that displayed his face. Seeing him come back on those computer screens was just so awesome.
Another really cool reference was when Agent Sitwell (RIP) was telling Cap and Widow about the algorithm, that would allow HYDRA to target any threats to their plans, and he specifically name-dropped Stephen Strange, aka Doctor Strange.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been very open and honest about their intent to bring the Sorcerer Supreme to the big screen, and this little reference in Cap 2 seems like the evidence that they really mean it.
As far as the last scene of the film goes… that post-credits shot of Bucky (Winter Soldier) in the Captain America museum looking at his own history. That feels very much like the set up for future installments of the Winter Soldier/Bucky saga. In the comics, he goes on a journey to discover his past and what he finds very much rocks the core of who he is.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend reading as much as you can of Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America, as well as his Winter Soldier series. Both will give you much more insight into the nature of the character.
Additionally, everything that happened in Cap 2 will directly connect to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and will significantly impact Coulson and his team. I know a lot of people are disappointed in the show, but I never have been and I’m excited to see how it’s all connected.
For more on where Marvel is taking their characters, check out this great interview with Kevin Feige:
Kevin Feige Interview: Captain America, The Avengers 2 and Doctor Strange (source – Crave Online)