The excitement for Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger film has been building steadily since last year when the announcement came out that director Joe Johnston (The Wolfman) would be at the helm. After a wild and rumor-filled casting process, Marvel chose Chris Evans to don the red, white and blue tights and put fans at ease with a fantastic Comic-Con presentation in San Diego last summer.

It was here they unveiled the iconic shield Captain America will use in the movie and teased lucky fans in the audience with a quick glimpse of Captain America in action and the first completed scene of the film. While we saw the shield and know what the live-action version of the iconic costume will look like, we still haven’t been introduced to the other key character of the film: The Red Skull.

Today we have a look at what Comic Book Movie claims to have verified as legit concept art for the Red Skull as well as our first look at the Cosmic Cube thanks to our friends at SFX Magazine in the U.K.

Hopefully audiences will get to see Hugo Weaving in full Red Skull makeup sometime soon – if that rumored trailer releases this month.  And if they manage to make him look like the the character depicted in this concept art, then he’ll look bad-ass.

And for our readers that aren’t able to buy the British version of SFX Magazine, they were kind enough to send us a copy of the pages containing the new Captain America pictures. See them both below:

In the Marvel canon, the Cosmic Cube is an artifact that was originally created by the alien race called the Skrulls. Knowing the Cube is in the Captain America film may help give some weight to the rumor of the Avengers battling the Skrulls and/or the Kree. If for some reason you aren’t familiar with the story for Captain America, here’s how he came to be:

After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals.

On a fun note – we’ve singled the picture of Hugo Weaving holding the Cosmic Cube and couldn’t help but notice that it makes a pretty darned good meme. What do you think?

It’s no surprise that expectations for Captain America: The First Avenger are very high since the character remains one of Marvel’s beloved creations and so far – other than the film being converted to 3D in post – all of the casting news, pictures and concept art look fantastic.

Captain America: The First Avenger pounds evil on July 22nd, 2011.

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Source: SFX, Comic Book Movie