Captain America: The Winter Soldier Trailer Analysis

The trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier was jam-packed with nods to the comics and the wider Marvel universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrived today, and it’s sure to set comic fans’ heads on fire. What makes The Winter Soldier special is that it’s the first Marvel (or DC, for that matter) superhero film based explicitly on a particular story from the comics, in this case Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s highly-regarded “Winter Soldier” arc. While the film clearly isn’t following the comics to the letter, there’s plenty to be drawn out here, both from the source material and from what has been established about the Marvel Universe in Captain America: The First AvengerAvengers, and even Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD TV series. There are potentially MAJOR spoilers ahead (assuming we’re right about any of this), especially if you haven’t read the comics, so read on at your own risk!  
 In an apparent callback to Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates #1, two SHIELD agents ask, “Was he wearing a parachute?” “No…no he wasn’t.” Hopefully they leave out the “he says parachutes are for girls” line that Mr. Millar so charmingly put in the comic. UPDATE: Sharp-eyed commenter “FunButNutz” pointed out that’s Frank Grillo (the man who will be Crossbones) who points out Cap’s lack of a parachute.  
Robert Redford (!!!) is Alexander Pierce, the director of SHIELD. “To build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down.” While this may be a nice bit of realpolitik thrown in for a dash of realism, there’s something else here. Anyone notice the lack of a real supervillain in this trailer? If you think it’s the Winter Soldier, think again. And no, it ain’t Crossbones or Batroc, either. In the comics, The Red Skull had a politician he was manipulating, a presidential candidate who had bad plans for the USA should he get into office. Could Redford’s Pierce be the cinematic stand-in for Red Skull proxy, Gordon Wright? “Are you ready for the world to see you as you really are?” he asks. Is he talking about Cap, or is he talking about himself? 
So, we spent some time on the Helicarrier in Avengers, and we spend a whole lot of time ummmm…on a plane in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD series. But what’s a global security organization do with what is certainly an unlimited budget? Welcome to our first look at the inner-workings of what SHIELD is really capable of. It doesn’t look like this film will be short on hardware and gadgets! Don’t be surprised if we see some SHIELD agents from TV show up, especially since Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, who has appeared in both Avengers and Agents of SHIELD is present and accounted for in the cast. 
That sure looks like Nick Fury in there, doesn’t it? This can’t be a good thing.
UPDATED! How did we miss The Triskelion? Known to comics fans as the Ultimate Universe’s SHIELD headquarters, this was pointed out to our poor-eyesight having editor by commenter “Mike S.” Thanks for that! 
Cap sports his costume from the Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier series (also written by “Winter Soldier” scribe, Ed Brubaker) for most of this trailer, perhaps indicating that the bright colors he wears when adventuring with the Avengers aren’t exactly right for the secret missions SHIELD are sending him on. “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime,” Steve says to Fury. Looks like SHIELD is overstepping their bounds, NSA-style, at the behest of Alexander Pierce! 
We scoured this scene in the hopes of spotting Frank Grillo’s Crossbones, but we just can’t find him. And the bald guy appears a little too big to be Georges St-Pierre’s Batroc! UPDATED! Grillo, in his non-Crossbones guise, is certainly there in the elevator at 1:24. Thanks to commenter “Augustus” who has eyes that must surely have been enhanced by the super soldier serum! 
Any Captain America fan will tell you that most of the great Cap stories feature a World War II flashback! There should be plenty of room for those in The Winter Soldier, given who the title character actually is and all… 
Anthony Mackie is Sam Wilson/The Falcon. While not wearing his red and white duds from the comics, Falcon looks plenty badass, and should be a spectacular on-screen visual. The sequence of him getting chased by a SHIELD jet fighter looks like a doozy. Between Captain America, The Falcon, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, the Winter Soldier, Crossbones, and Batroc (plus whoever else is lurking in the shadows), Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks to have more costumed heroes and villains than any superhero flick this side of The Avengers! This should hold us over until Avengers: Age of Ultron! 
A battle between Steve and the mysterious winter soldier in the streets of DC looks pretty cool. We wonder how long it’ll take Cap to figure out who this guy really is? 
Because it’s not a big action movie these days unless something enormous falls out of the sky into the middle of a city. Still, we’re not used to seeing Helicarriers compromised like this. 
Black Widow is awesome. At New York Comic Con, Marvel honcho Joe Quesada hinted that Black Widow would have a MAJOR role in this one, and that this could be the proving ground for a potential Black Widow solo film. We hope so! 
Another shot of the Winter Soldier. SPOILER TIME! This is Cap’s old partner Bucky, and it’s Sebastian Stan reprising his role. Make no mistake, though…there’s more to this than meets the eye, and Winter Soldier is almost certainly FAR from the big baddie of this movie. But let’s not forget, in Brubaker and Epting’s comics, Bucky’s return was merely a precursor to him taking on the red, white, and blue uniform himself after Cap’s untimely (albeit temporary) demise. Is it possible that we’ll see Sebastian Stan headlining a Marvel movie of his own in the future? What did we miss? Sound off in the comments! If you hit on something big, we’ll try and update this! We’ve got a long way to go until Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4th, 2014…so let’s try and work through this tough time together, shall we? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!