Are you ready for The Avengers on May 4th? We are, but you might need some help (And if you do, you might need some serious help).
We're going to tackle each movie leading up to the Avengers, and while we've already tackled The Incredible Hulk,The Invincible Iron Man, and The Mighty Thor, it's now time to tango with star spangled man with a plan, Captain America!
Like Thor, Captain America The First Avenger is a standalone movie. There's no prequel or sequel yet, and the movie starts so long ago and ends pretty much at The Avengers movie, there won't be a sequel for some time. Let's get started with this movie.
The first thing this movie has to offer is confusion. If you've never heard of Captain America's origin story, you'll be confused easily. There are some men excavating a site in the arctic region, noted only by the snowfall and the icy terrain, having found a ship of sorts. Once inside the ship, a large block of ice is found and we can see the infamous shield of Captain America peaking through. The film breaks back to the 1940's now, but don't worry, we'll return to this side of the story later.
The film really begins in Norway, with Johann Schmidt and HYDRA breaking into someone's...well...house, I guess. It's a really big room with a dead guy in the center, and Schmidt is looking for a "Tesserect". He finds a small cube in the casket in the center of the room, and shatters it. He mentions that the Tesserect is the jewel of Odin, which ties it minorly to the Thor storyline. He then makes his way over to a wall sculpture of Yggdrasil , where after pressing a snakes eye finds what he is looking for. In the movie, it is known as a Tesserect, but us Comic Book people know all too well that he's found the Cosmic cube.
Star Spangled Man With a Plan
Now we get to our hero. Well, sort of. This part of the movie you're going to either love or hate. We get to see the story of how Captain America came to be. You see, Steve Rogers was a flimsy little boy, and failed getting drafted five times in five different cities. Before the fifth failure, he learns that his friend Bucky is enlisted in the 107th. Dr Erskine noticed not his failures, but that he tried. For that, he enlisted him as a volunteer for one of his projects. Undergoing a procedure, his body is changed to the peak human performance. Dr Erskine is killed by a HYDRA spy, and Steve chases him down. The spy commits suicide, warning Steve that if you take down one HYDRA head, two more take it's place. With Dr Erskine gone, the division that would have grown as a powerful force diminishes, and Steve is left without direction. Agent Peggy Carter, an agent that trained candidates and grew a budding relationship with Steve, also falls into this group.Steve does do something successful however, he is given a costume, ironically it looks like the modern day Captain America costume you'd buy for Halloween, and is thrust into a musical advertisement for savings bonds across the country. It's a cute little skit, and he even gets to punch an actor dressed as Hitler. Finally, there's a show across seas, and he's booed off the stage by the surviving infantrymen of the 107th.
The 107th? Surviving? Yes, Steve caught on, and to his unfortunate news, he finds that Bucky was on the list of MIAs, but found out also that there's a possibility of him being held prisoner, with no intent on rescue missions of course. Believing he is something more, he convinces Peggy to drop him in on the base, wearing his stage costume, a helmet, a gun, and a weak shield prop.
Now this base is special- let's rewind back to the Cosmic Cube we mentioned earlier. Johann Schmidt has harnessed the power of the Cosmic Cube and is developing weapons with the help of Arnim Zola. These weapons are beyond powerful, and can disintegrate a target with a single shot. The 107th is being held at one of the development bases. Cap drops and sneaks into the base, and frees the prisoners, but no luck on finding Bucky. During the breakout, Schmidt notices Cap and orders Zola to leave the base, setting it for self destruct. Cap finds Bucky, but it is too late as the base begins to explode. On the way out, Cap and Bucky run into Schmidt and Zola, and Schmidt aims a well placed punch, denting the metal shield. He reveals that he was Erskine's first experiment, and pulls off his face, revealing a Red Skull. The Red Skull and Zola make their exit, as Cap and Bucky make theirs.
Cap returns with the 107th, unexpected by everyone else. Having an inside look at the base helped gain intelligence on HYDRA, and attacks on remote bases begin. Cap gets a new round shield and a wardrobe change that we all know, and HYDRA's bases are picked off one by one. On a special mission to apprehend Arnim Zola, Cap and Bucky infiltrate a moving train. During the raid, a soldier bearing one of the Cube-guns blows a hole in the side of the train, with Bucky barely hanging on. Bucky can't hold, and falls down the canyon in front of Steve. This is the end of Bucky as we know it.
Having captured Zola, one final attack is made on HYDRA, on the base where Red Skull is. Cap infiltrates the base with the army and Peggy, and manages to get on the Red Skull's stealth bomber as it takes off. Inside the ship, Cap notices the various bombs set to target various cities for global domination. After neutralizing the bomb and any HYDRA personal, Cap makes it to the cockpit where Red Skull attacks. After a small fight, the Cosmic Cube container is damaged and Red Skull retrieves the cube. In his hand, the Cosmic Cube reacts, seemingly teleporting the Red Skull into the cosmos. With the ship still on course for New York, Cap decides to override the controls and crash the ship into the snow to avoid any casualties. A last minute radio transmission with Peggy, a promise of a date, and the ship crashes into the ice, saving it's target from destruction and ending the threat of HYDRA for now. Cap is considered a hero back at home, with the war over and America having won.
It's not over. Steve wakes up in a bed, and the Dodgers game is on the radio. A woman enters the room, and he becomes weary of his situation. He mentions that he was at the Dodgers game on the radio, so he knows he's being tricked into something when two soldiers enter the room. Steve takes them out, breaks out of the room he is in and heads outside...to Times Square in New York City?
Remember the opening scene? Well, not only did they find Cap frozen in the ice, they took him out of it and let him thaw out. He woke up 70 years later. Nick Fury meets with Steve, informs him of his predicament, of SHIELD, and Steve begins to realize everything he knew is gone, including that date with Peggy.
But wait, there's more! If you watched this movie in theaters or on DVD, there's a scene after the credits- Nick Fury meets with Steve in a boxing gym, and begins to talk about saving the world one more time.
AND ONE MORE THING! If you held on this long, wait a few more seconds, because you'll get to see the first official trailer for The Avengers!
So what does this have to offer towards the Avengers? Well for one, we saw with the Cosmic Cube an opening to the cosmos...which honestly looks like Asgardian space. If you remember the reference to Yggdrasil, it is possible the Red Skull will make a return with Loki. Secondly, Cap lost 70 years, so we can expect to see him adjust to the current times, as well as the awkward adjustments that don't work out in his favor, such as trends from the past. If you haven't seen this movie, make the effort to do so, it is well worth your time to get you geared up for the Avengers and the return of Captain America. With the super soldier back in action, can you wait any longer for the Avengers!?