Comic-Con: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Panel Recap; Steve Rogers Fights Through a Morally Murky Post-AVENGERS World

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The audience for Iron Man 3 had to ignore the absence of The Avengers.  Thor: The Dark World will deal with the problem by having the Asgardian away from Earth.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks like the first Marvel movie since The Avengers to actually have to deal with the post-Avengers world.  Although Cap’s name may be in the title, the sequel has Black Widow has a co-lead and wraps Steve Rogers in the intrigue of S.H.I.E.L.D. and forces him to reconcile his old-fashioned values with the complicated moral issues of the present day.  It’s a damn exciting prospect for a follow-up adventure.

Hit the jump for my recap of the panel.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4, 2014.

captain-america-2-winter-soldier-posterDirectors Joe and Anthony Russo come out on stage followed by stars Frank Grillo, Emily Van Camp, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans.

Hardwick starts off by asking Evans how it is to go back and keep putting on the suit:

-       Evans says it’s satisfying that the movies are good.  “It turns out Marvel knows what they’re doing,” says Evans, “so every time you put the suit back on, you get really excited and can’t wait to see what they’re going to do.”

How is Steve adjusting to the present day?

-       It’s not technology that throws him, but the societal changes, and it’s tougher to tell right from wrong than it was in the 1940s (e.g. “Nazis are bad”).

Johansson says Black Widow is integral to Winter Soldier, and she shares the movie with Evans.  There’s a shorthand between them, and they’re partners.  They’re running missions together, and these two characters who you didn’t really see together in Avengers now have a relationship that they’ve built.  We don’t really see the “civilian” side of Natasha, but we do see her casual working relationships, so it kind of breaks down the wall we’ve seen from her in the past.

In terms of the fighting, it’s gritty, and down-and-dirty.  In this regard, her relationship with the noble Steve Rogers is kind of an “odd couple” says Evans, which makes for a strange dichotomy, but they learn from each other.

Jackson says “it’s pretty badass” to put the eye-patch back on and go back into Nick Fury mode.  He says that in terms of the working relationships, he sees them as co-workers, subordinates, tools—it varies.  However, Cap come to cross-purposes with Fury in terms of the grey area Nick Fury lives in.  “And pretty much everything Nick Fury says is a lie anyway,” says Jackson.  He also says that Fury has a good idea what’s going on, but his paranoia keeps pushing him to look around every corner to learn more.

captain-america-2-winter-soldier-chris-evansTalking about how he fits in to the sequel, Stan says he was happy to find out that the Winter Soldier was going to come to life on screen.  Feige says this will stick fairly close to comic author Ed Brubaker’s story when it comes to the Winter Soldier.  It’s not meant to surprise the audience, but it will surprise Cap.

“I have wings and guns!  That’s all I need!  When you go to the grocery store, that’s all anyone needs!   We just handing out the business,” Mackie says about Falcon and working with Captain America.

Talking about working with the Russos, Feige say, “You want me to talk about why I hired them or just show you why I hired them?”  Roll Comic-Con trailer.

It begins with a fantastic scene of Cap riding in an elevator.  He’s alone, wearing his costume (no helmet) with the shield on his back.  He’s lonely.  The elevator stops and two men board led by Grillo’s character.  Grillo’s character and Cap tersely acknowledge each other, and the elevator continue to go up.  The process repeats with more men getting on at multiple stops—some are dressed as agents, others are soldiers.  It’s a great visual metaphor for the sinister forces working alongside and closing in around Rogers.  Captain Amerian can sense their malovelent intentions towards him and he says, “Anyone who wants can still get off.”  No one moves, Cap hits the emergency stop, and the fight begins.  Despite the cramped quarters and handheld cameras, it’s a thrilling fight with Cap taking on eight or nine guys.  The Russos capture the action perfectly, and it’s cut together in a way that we move with the momentum of the fight rather than just trying to keep up with it.

winter-soldier-captain-america-2After Captain beats up his attackers, we move on to the rest of the trailer which is a big montage.  One key moment is Fury telling Rogers, “We have to deal with the world as it is; not how we’d like it to be,” and Rogers responding, “That’s not freedom.  That’s fear”.  We also see the return as well as the destruction of the helicarrier.  We see Falcon fly and firing guns at a helicopter that’s chasing him and trying to shoot him down.  There are also a lot of fisticuffs on display from Natasha, and although the action has its own flavor, we don’t see much of the gritty spy stuff. Admittedly, it’s difficult to translate that an assault of images.  The closing shot is Cap’s shield embedded in the ground, and we see a bionic arm grab the top of it.  We pan up to reveal our first official look at the unmasked Winter Soldier.

After the trailer is over, Hardwick returns to the Q&A, and asks where Maria Hill is in this story.  Smulders says that after the Battle of New York, the world is still reeling from the reveal of superheroes and aliens, and SHIELD is trying to find its place in this new global climate.  “We’re trying to keep everyone in check,” and Maria’s part is to find her place in this new world they’ve created.

Van Camp talks about coming into the world of Marvel and how it was an awesome experience, and that she can’t really say too much.  Grillo agrees that they can’t say much, but it’s still a lot of fun.  This is what happens at a panel when you can show, but not tell.

Closing thoughts:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks like it’s going to successfully develop Steve Rogers’ individual story, move him to a different genre, and pay off the creation of the post-Avengers world.  There was a lot to take in from the trailer’s montage of action, but what really struck me the most was the elevator scene.  It was handled gracefully, thoughtfully, and then effortlessly segued into an entertaining brawl.  I hope the rest of the movie has the same level of excellence.

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  • pinkincide

    Can Cap’s shield BE scratched?

    • Cole

      No. It’s invulnerable. The paint is just paint, so it flaking off is no biog deal, but the metal itself is indestructible. The fact that this poster shows scratches worries me.

      • Steven Ray Morris

        it’s a metaphor.

      • Lance

        It is a metaphor.

        But if a real-world explanation is desired, maybe the “scratches” are just traces of whatever other metal (like swords? bullets? shrapnel?) TRIED to ding up the Sentinel of Liberty’s favorite weapon.

      • Nerdgasm

        LOL worries you? It’s aesthetic for the movie for our brains to go… OKAY he’s getting hit with heavy stuff. It’s really not that big of a deal. Plus it’s not indestructible it gets shattered in the comics.

      • Random Bystander

        By gods and aliens and shit, not conventional earth weapons.

      • Lex Walker

        A shield that gets shattered by shit isn’t much of a shield.

      • Random Bystander

        Gods’ shit. His is gonna be more durable than the average bear’s.

    • tertiaryintervention

      Nope it’s adamantium with a vibranium core. Can’t be damaged. And it’s not paint. It’s baked on enamel that they use to color it, but yes, THAT can be damaged.

      • ellid

        Not quite. It’s vibranium with a bit of steel. Adamantium was developed to try to recreate the shield after Steve went into the ice.

      • tertiaryintervention

        Really? I thought the new shield was Admantium and Vibranium.

      • pinkincide

        OK, thanks for all the replies. Sounds like the consensus is even the silver parts have some sort of paint.

  • pinkincide

    Can Cap’s shield BE scratched?

  • Ben

    Not sure how present day America is more morally ambiguous than 1940s America. The past had segregation, Japanese internment, widespread institutionalized racism & sexism, the fire bombing of civilian targets and some very nasty behaviors by American soldiers in Europe and the Pacific. Yes, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were far worse, but the US wasn’t better back then. Rogers should be amazed at the vast progress America and the World has made towards equality and prosperity.

    By the way perhaps the scratches on the shield are marks left behind due to a primer coat that was applied to vibranium in order to get the paint to adhere in the first place.

    • Random Bystander

      You kind of just answered you own question. 1940s US definitely had all those things and their presence was very prevalent and obvious and even accepted, now it’s not everywhere, it’s not accepted and it’s not always obvious. In that era, morals were straight forward and nigh universal. These days it’s difficult to chart people and their beliefs, their morality can be a moving target. So, indeed America, much like most of the rest of the world, has become morally ambiguous.

      • Ben

        Perhaps, but even though these behaviors were more prevalent many people still knew they were morally wrong. Yet they remained widely acceptable. That seems like a very big morally gray area. Rogers should be able to see this and understand that while Fury and SHIELD behave in a manner he disapproves of, much of American society has gotten a lot better for everyone. Every generation tends to look back on the past and wrongly refer to them as “the good old days.” They weren’t better; unless one is really fond of racism, sexism, increased poverty, more pollution and shorter lifespans.

        My point is, and I admit it’s a bit rants; I’d like to see Rogers take some time to admire the social progress, revel in the new technology and stop being portrayed as that grumpy grandpa who can’t figure his new fangled i-device. Of course I haven’t seen the movie yet so my entire point may be way off base.

      • Random Bystander

        Your problem is that you’re confusing ambiguity with being bad, which it isn’t. It can be bad, but it can also be good. The world is more ambiguous now because of the progress in equality, etc. Morally ambiguous means that you can’t tell what their morals are which becomes more and more the case with more people being raised as more tolerant and open-minded.

        The average white male American in the 40s, by today’s standards, was an optimistic racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic christian and that was most of them. These days it’s a mixed bag. It’s much more difficult to tell how people will react to something from person to person because it’s more likely that they won’t be any of these things, but they still may be to varying degrees. And it’s still more likely to, for example, find an American who is racist today than it was to find one who wasn’t back then, or sexist or homophobic etc, its closer to a 50/50 split but with a flipped majority.

        It’s morally grey now there are a multitude of opinions. In the 40s, whatever was society’s opinion was basically the individuals opinion as well, which is not morally grey. The 40′s were as they seemed, but now the world has become ambiguous.

      • ellid

        It’s also comic book canon that Steve Rogers never had any problems working alongside black or Asian colleagues; that several of his girlfriends have been fellow agents (including Peggy Carter and her niece Sharon); and that his best friend growing up, Arnie Roth, was gay. He’s always come down on the side of equality and freedom, to the point that he’s quit being Captain America a couple of times when he’s gotten fed up with government corruption.

        And no, the world has NOT become ambiguous. It’s always been ambiguous. Please, please, PLEASE read a few books that were written during that time period and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

      • ellid

        And how do we know the movie won’t acknowledge that? The scene filmed in Washington with Anthony Mackie sounded very much along these lines.

  • Khan

    I Wonder how the poor man would react to him finding out on the
    pretext-Wars for oil and resources conducted in other parts of the
    World, and the countless US sponsored coup d’etats to “accomodate us”,
    like the 1973 massacre in Chile, how would he react to Ke,rry’s
    statement which was at least disrespectful, of the entire middle and
    south portion of a continent being a back garden, Jesus Christ, how
    would he feel about Cuba, even if we tried to starved them to death,
    it’s quality of life has been praised by way too important organizations
    and ours hasn’t, and we can’t even get rid of a bunch of hobos in an
    alley in New York, an entire state just declared itself Bankrupt my god.

    • IMPYEMU

      You’re putting WAY too much thought into the movie.

    • ellid

      No STATE has declared bankruptcy unless somehow Detroit managed to secede from Michigan. Good God, how ridiculous.

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  • http://villings.tumblr.com/ [A]

    How to beat the Winter Soldier? Attack him during the summer.

  • wcw43921

    Is Natasha Romanoff actually going to be called Black Widow in this movie? Or is that too cheesy and campy for a modern superhero movie?

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