image

NOTE: The following contains spoilers for about 60+ years of Marvel Comics stories and thus may also contain indirect spoilers for this and other upcoming Marvel movies.

Finally, Captain America: The First Avenger has a trailer. Quick memo to all the lovely, not-at-all-mentally-unsound folks who still won't shut up about the vapid Battle: LA - this is what patriotic action/sci fi looks like.

As we have done so often before, here we go with the frame-by-frame. Might wanna pull up the trailer itself if you wanna play along:

00:00 - 00:07 Period costumes, 40s-style lighting. It's World War II. Incidentally, director Joe Johnston previously helmed The Rocketeer.

00:08 - 00:17 "Rogers, Steven," wants to join the Army ... but he's too small. Our first glimpse of the impressive (if unfinished) effects being used to turn hunky Chris Evans into the diminutive pre-super-soldier STEVE ROGERS. It's a jarring effect - he doesn't just look weak, he looks sickly.

I'm unclear as to what the current continuity says, but over the years the comics have gone back and forth over just what Rogers' disqualifying condition (re: his extraordinary frailness) was supposed to be. Because of the era and just how sickly he was sometimes depicted, a lot of people have speculated that he could've been a polio survivor, which is definitely what Evans looks like here.

00:22 - 00:25 Tommy Lee Jones, barking orders. Y'know what I love about this? If you don't know who "Steve Rogers" is, you might have no idea that this isn't just some other normal WWII movie.

Jones is playing COL. CHESTER PHILIPS. In the comics ("ITC" from here on out), Philips is the man who hand-picked Rogers - despite his 4F status - to join "Operation Rebirth" and ultimately become Captain America.

00:26 - 00:32 Lil' Stevie in a back-alley tussle, (probably in Queens - like 90% of the Marvel Universe, Cap calls New York home) grabs a trashcan lid to defend himself. Corniest, most "Old Tyme Hollywood" on-the-nose foreshadowing possible. I love it.

Hard to tell from this clip, but Cap's frenemy here may or may not be Bucky Barnes. Either way, more on him in just a sec.

00:33 - 00:36 Judging from the period and the d├ęcor (re: spotlights, readymade structures), despondent Steve is attending some kind of big public exhibition.Okay, serious blink-and-you'll-miss-it stuff here, but try freezing around 00:34 and zooming waaaay in: The building in the background has a lighted sign reading "MODERN MARVELS" (heh.) So this is a science/technology expo, in the vein of the World's Fair.

SPECULATION: This is an early (the first?) "Stark Expo," as in Howard Stark - Tony "Iron Man" Stark's dad. It's been heavily hinted that Stark Sr. was involved with Captain America during the war, and this would seem to hint at that.

00:37 - 00:41 Sebastian Stan as JAMES BUCHANAN "BUCKY" BARNES, saying goodbye to buddy Steve as he departs for the war. Okay, this is gonna need its own bit of space ...

ITC (the original WWII ones) Bucky Barnes was Cap's teenaged sidekick. I won't mince words: He was a Robin clone, basically. When Marvel revived Cap in the 60s, part of the retcon (retroactive continuity change) used to invalidate the short-lived 50s "Commie-Smasher" version of the characters was to have Bucky killed in the same act of self-sacrifice that got Cap frozen in suspended-animation towards the end of the war.

The idea was to give Cap a guilt complex, so that he could have a heroic flaw to go with all the other terminally-insecure Silver Age heroes, but later Marvel writers would give it an even deeper significance: The widely-known tragedy of a teenaged superhero sidekick being brutally killed in action is often cited as a reason why Marvel heroes generally don't have teenaged sidekicks.

The idea of Bucky and Rogers being buddies of the same relative age is a good change, I think - but Bucky (apparently) being the bigger one pre-Cap is a great one. The interesting character dynamic practically writes itself.

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on