Covert Ops Shield
When the first set photos appeared of Cap (Chris Evans) sporting a shield lacking his signature red-white-and blue paint scheme, eyebrows were raised. Was the shield a stand-in, battle-scarred, or a separate one entirely? The additional footage of Cap and Widow (Scarlett Johansson) parachuting into combat confirms that the blue and grey shield is a variant used for stealth operations - like Cap's new costume as a whole. And going by the photos of Cap's fight with Batroc the Leaper - played by UFC champ Georges St-Pierre - it would seem that Captain America encounters the athletic villain on board this same ship.
SHIELD's Secret BunkerGiven just how much the directors of The Winter Soldier have talked about the film as a political thriller, and a spy story more than a superhero one, it's no surprise to see a locked bunker filled with armed mean. But a closer look reveals that it is S.H.I.E.L.D. officers locking the room. Prior promotional photos and trailers have hinted that Steve Rogers will be exploring some of the oldest parts of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, and this room seems to be among them, since The Avengers showed that the group has progressed far beyond metal locks and underground bunkers. What could the government agency be keeping so hush-hush? The trailer may also provide the answer.
The Winter Soldier
That's right, fans: the same S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker looks to be housing the restrained (and shirtless) operative known as 'The Winter Soldier.' The man beside the former Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) even appears to be the same man seen in the previous slide image, so there's little doubt that S.H.I.E.L.D. has Barnes in custody, eager to find out what's making him tick. The most obvious question when faced with this fact is just how strong those restraints must be. The trailer goes on to show that Barnes and Rogers are at least of comparable strength and speed, so it's odd that the agency wouldn't have Cap on-hand to help contain their prisoner. Is it possible that, like Loki in The Avengers, Barnes has allowed himself to be captured? And if so, to what end?
A Wounded Fury
One of the most startling reveals of the first Winter Soldier trailer was the appearance of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on an operating table, with Cap and Widow looking distraught. Such a tease seems like one that the directors would not make if Fury was actually going to die at the hands of the Winter Soldier, and the most recent footage seems to confirm those assumptions. The Super Bowl teaser and the international trailer released alongside it seem to imply that it is Fury's vehicle which tumbles end over end past the steel-armed villain, but his appearance later sporting a number of cuts and bruises (and seated) suggests that the fight may have left him injured, but nonetheless recovering. We'll get to what questions that raises in a moment....
Agent 13Another brief scene featured in the international trailer for The Winter Soldier offers fans their first look at Sharon Carter a.k.a. 'Agent 13' (Emily VanCamp). While Agent 13 does not appear in her signature costume, there is plenty to draw from her encounter with Steve Rogers. To begin with, the lack of recognition between the two supports the notion that for time being, neither Nick Fury nor S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) have informed Rogers that she is the daughter of his lost love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Given what's been rumored about Redford's role, Carter being seen with him can make her seem similarly suspicious, or position her as someone Steve can trust going forward, if she questions S.H.I.E.L.D.'s motives as he does.
It made sense to feature the launch of a Helicarrier in the first trailer for Captain America 2, since S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters featuring an underground hangar was an impressive sight. But as the studio continues to feature the launch so centrally, we can't help thinking there's something we're missing. For starters, the footage of the Helicarrier launching seems to lack any presence of actual S.H.I.E.L.D. employees (guards, technicians, or deck crew). Combine that with the capture of the film's villain, and there is a chance - however slight - that we're witnessing a theft, not a sanctioned launch? Perhaps of a specially-equipped Helicarrier? That's serious speculation on our part, but make note of the number on the Helicarrier's side...
Once the trailer confirmed that Captain America would have enemies within S.H.I.E.L.D. itself, it was unsurprising to see one of the agency's jets open fire on Cap's motorcycle. But a close look at the plane's markings may reveal more. Presumably, the '42' markings on the jet imply that it has originated from the same Helicarrier seen leaving S.H.I.E.L.D.'s base earlier (assuming that the production designers or special effects team haven't chosen numbers at random). The question soon becomes: has the agency itself turned its back on Cap, or simply a small cell within it - a cell tied to the emergence of the Winter Soldier, intending to hijack a Helicarrier for their own purposes? Either answer has serious ramifications.
Helicarrier Free-For-AllMuch of the action featured in the Super Bowl trailer centers on what looks to be an aerial battle fought between multiple Helicarriers - another reason we're inclined to think the Winter Soldier's forces commandeer one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fleet. It appears to be on the winning end, which also supports our theory that the Helicarrier marked '42' may be far deadlier than those around it. It's safe to assume that this airborne battle will be the film's climax, and the rest of the action and fight scenes seem to fit into that assumption quite well. We're not worried about spoiling the fun by saying it, though, since the action itself looks guaranteed to thrill.
Classic Costume Returns
The decision to update Captain America's costume for The Winter Soldier was a logical one; the costumes used during World War II were designed to inspire by boasting the colors of the American flag, and the version seen in The Avengers was claimed to do the same. But as a realistic government operative, the new costume makes far more sense. Why, then, would recent photos feature Cap battling modern soldiers in his old duds? The trailer shows Cap wearing his classic costume alongside Falcon (Anthony Mackie) in what looks to be the same climactic battle set in the skies over Washington. Is the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s base what makes Steve dig his old costume out of a museum exhibit, or is the choice a symbolic one? Only time will tell.