Winter is Coming

The first trailer for <a href=""><b>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</b></a> is here, and it is spectacular. The internet exploded today, and Marvel Studios seems to have struck gold once more, if that two and a half minutes can be trusted. The only problem is, they may have taken some attention away from <i>themselves</i>; after all, they still have <i>Thor: The Dark World</i> in just a couple of weeks. <p>But today belongs to <b>Captain America</b>. The first trailer has revealed quite a bit about the movie inspired at least in part by the comic book storyline by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, even if it seems it doesn't show a single scene from the second half of the movie. We've poured over every frame and picked out the ten biggest takeaways from the trailer. Take a look at ours, and tell us what we missed in the comments or on facebook and twitter.

No Agent 13

Well this isn’t so much something you need to see in the trailer, as it is something that was missing. Where was Sharon “Agent 13” Carter? Marvel Studios hid her name when they first cast <i>Revenge</i> star Emily Van Camp, and now they’ve hid her from the introduction to the movie. <p>It brings to mind a few questions/possibilities. Is Sharon coming into the movie late, perhaps as a lone S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that Cap, Black Widow, and Falcon can still trust? Is she not in the movie much at all? Or does she have <i>such</i> a pivotal role that she couldn’t be revealed just yet? <p>Those questions will go unanswered until we see more from the film, perhaps even until the film itself, but a character who has been a major component of the comic’s last several years appearing in this film has to mean <i>something</i>, and her lack of presence in the first trailer has to mean something, too.

The Triskelion

If there was any doubt that the MCU was built on the ground the Ultimate Universe laid, it should be cast aside with the appearance of the Triskelion. The land-locked base for S.H.I.E.L.D. makes its first appearance outside of <i>The Ultimates</i> here, and it looks imposing and impressive. <p>Now, the appearance of a building wouldn’t normally mean <i>that much</i> in a teaser trailer, but it does lock this world even further into the one introduced this Century. It’s an intriguing inclusion, and establishes the organization in a real-world way that Helicarriers just cant.

Ready to Fly

And speaking of Helicarriers, they get two major moments in the teaser. First, they are clearly being used as a show of force, playing on the idealism of Captain America, as he notes “this isn’t freedom.” Second, and more spectacularly, one crashes into the water, after showing a major battle that seems to pit Captain America, The Falcon, and Black Widow against the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. It seems to be a major foreshadowing for the movie as a whole, where Cap and his tight-knit team will become disenfranchised with the spy agency and branch off to work on their own.

Redford's double-talking villain

We know a few things for sure about Alexander Pierce, the chief narrator of the trailer as played by Robert Redford. He’s been described as both a very high-up member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also as a villain in the film. It’s clear that Cap’s ideals clash with Pierce’s (more on that later), but the big question is, how directly involved is he with the Winter Soldier’s actions? <p> Speculate with us, if you will. They start out intentionally showing Cap while Pierce’s voiceover says "Your work has been a gift to mankind. You've shaped the century." then he says "But I need you to do it one more time" and the instant that sentence is over, Winter Soldier is grabbing a gun from someone. <p>In the MCU, is Pierce directly in charge of The Winter Soldier? Do the Russians have nothing to do with this version of the story? It’s an intriguing idea, and one that would be seen as even <i>more</i> of an abuse of power by Cap, especially when dealing with his old friend. One thing’s for sure, Redford/Pierce is featured <i>heavily</i> in this trailer, and nearly everything he says has deep subtext involved.

Increased role for Fury

Up until this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Nick Fury has largely been a spectre just on the fringe of the major superhero battles that decide the fate of the world. This go around, however, it looks like Nick will be strapping on his combat eyepatch and jumping into the fray. <p>It’s interesting to note, however, that it <i>also</i> looks like Fury gets massively hurt in battle with The Winter Soldier, and laid up in a hospital bed. Assuming that <i>is</i> him there, this could mark a major turning point for the character, and for S.H.I.E.L.D. as well. After all, especially where the MCU is concerned, what is S.H.I.E.L.D if not Fury’s organization?

Black Widow in her element

When asked about “female-led Marvel Studios movies,” executives like Joe Quesada and Kevin Feige have pointed to <b>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</b> as a step in the right direction, promising Black Widow’s increased role will please clamoring fans. While it’s not what fans want (need?) just yet (let’s get maybe a name in the marquee, folks), it does seem that Black Widow will be more in her element here than she was in <i>The Avengers</i>. There, she was a superspy – fighting aliens. Here, it’s spy vs spy, with major explosions and worldwide implications. This is what Black Widow was born for. Sure, she only gets a couple of teasing lines and one well-timed-to-music series of gun shots in this initial trailer, but Marvel faithful should stay true – this could be what leads Widow into her own film. We don’t know the Phase 3 movies (aside from <i>Ant-Man</i>) yet, after all!

Idealism vs Realism (& Cap vs S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Captain America’s idealism comes from a lost age, a time where right and wrong at least seemed easier to distinguish. <p>S.H.I.E.L.D., especially as led by people like Nick Fury and Alexander Pierce, looks at the world as it exists and genuinely wants to make it better – at virtually any cost. <p>It’s impressive to see a major theme for a film emerge in just a couple of minutes of footage, but it’s also clear that is the case here. Cap’s idealism will be tested in this movie, no moreso than when he comes face-to-face with The Winter Soldier and discovers his identity. It gives a strong weight to a film that otherwise might be “just another superhero movie,” and continues the Marvel Studios tradition of layers, especially for their solo films.

Super (Soldier) Costume

Let call Cap’s uniform in <i>The Avengers</i> a noble misstep. It was understandable Joss Whedon wanted to differentiate between his 40’s era costume from <i>The First Avenger</i> and offer a more contemporary, closer approximation of his comic book costume, but it remains perhaps <i>the</i> most distracting element of an otherwise near flawless film. There was an unfortunate ‘figure skater’ vibe to the get up (though we mean no offense to figure skaters). <p>The <i>Winter Soldier</i> production team has solved the problem. Cap’s Super Soldier-style S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform looks spot-on here and <i>much</i> more ‘of’ the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it appears that given the betrayal/back room S.H.I.E.L.D. shenanigans Cap uncovers during the course of the film, he ditches those duds and puts on his original uniform, probably as part of a climatic reaffirmation of what Captain America really stands for. <p><i>Avengers: Age of Ultron</i> is still more than a year and a ½ away, but melding the simple elegance of the Super Soldier version with the iconic elements and color scheme of the original seems like the way to go moving forward, and Cap should look cooler than ever fighting alongside his less “costumey’ comrades.

Falcon: More Diverse Superheroes

Sure, Nick Fury is a badass. And sure, Nick Fury has been the glue holding the Marvel Cinematic Universe together. But Nick Fury is no superhero. <p>Sam Wilson, the Falcon, however? Sam Wilson <i>flies</i>. One of the seminal moments of this trailer is seeing Anthony Mackie’s Wilson with the backpack on one second, and soaring underneath a Helicarrier, wings out the next. <p>It’s about damn time we started seeing some more diversity in our superhero films. Sure, we had the Blade trilogy years back, and it still doesn’t get enough credit for the ground it broke, and we have War Machine/Iron Patriot, but this is the Falcon flying high in a major supporting role in a MCU film. It’s great to see, and hopefully a portent of things to come for the Studios and franchise.

Winter Soldier is a BAD ASS

To most movie-goers, this 2:31 was their introduction to the Winter Soldier. <p>And hot <b>damn</b> is he awesome. <p>We try to stay impartial here outside of actual reviews where bias needs to happen, but it is impossible not to geek out over two beats here in particular – Winter Soldier shoots a proximity mine at a driving Nick Fury, and Winter Soldier <i>catches Cap’s shield with his awesome bionic arm</i>. <p>In a trailer with great moments for several characters, it also makes it clear why one new one gets his name in the title. Cue the hundreds of Winter Soldier cosplay and Halloween costumes next year.

10 Must-See Moments in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER First Trailer

Date: 24 October 2013 Time: 09:00 PM ET