The Real American Hero

In this month’s latest Marvel Studios offering, Captain America returns 2 years after the events of The Avengers and this time, he’s set to be haunted by his past while he continues to adjust to modern times. Loads of familiar faces return and some new ones as well.

So before you rush off to cinemas to catch Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Let’s introduce and re-introduce you to the players in this Marvel Phase 2 movie.

What’s new

The Winter Soldier character, played by Sebastian Stan in the film, was created for Marvel comics by Ed Brubaker in 2005. Though the character of Bucky Barnes existed previously in the Captain America comic books, he was killed off in WWII and not resurrected until Brubaker brought him back as the Winter Soldier.

STEVE ROGERS aka CAPTAIN AMERICA (Chris Evans)

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After a top secret Super-Soldier program transformed Steve Rogers into the powerful and heroic Captain America, his amazing WWII exploits made him a living legend, but after awakening in present day following being frozen in ice for decades, Steve found himself alone in a modern world that he hardly recognized. Nevertheless, he quickly suited up as Captain America to help The Avengers defend Earth against Loki’s treachery. After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers team, Steve is living a quiet life in Washington, D.C., struggling to adjust to his new life, when he is drawn into a web of intrigue and danger to unmask a powerful but shadowy enemy that threatens to put the world at risk.

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The Elevator Fight was the first fight sequence shot for the film. It featured Brock Rumlow and ten guys in a crowded elevator with Captain America. The challenge was how much choreography could the filmmakers squeeze into a very small space. Realizing that Steve Rogers would have to be on the defensive, the stunt coordinators let Chris Evans use his hands and feet in close quarters until he gets a bit more room to use his fighting techniques and do some serious damage.

In Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Captain America gets a new “stealth” suit—a navy blue, utilitarian-looking suit that moves fluidly. Since Captain America is working in special ops in the new film, it was only logical that he would not be wearing a target on his chest when on clandestine missions. So the filmmakers opted for a suit that would have texture and look more real world with a Kevlar-based ballistic component that would protect Captain America but at the same time function like a military uniform.

NATASHA ROMANOFF aka BLACK WIDOW (Scarlett Johansson)

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S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, is one of the world’s greatest spies and quite possibly the world’s most skilled assassin. After the events in New York with The Avengers, where her specialized weapons and vast repertoire of martial arts skills helped the team defeat the invaders, Black Widow returned to S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters to take on new assignments, only to find herself joining forces with Captain America to expose an ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence them at every turn.

SAM WILSON aka FALCON (Anthony Mackie)

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Sam Wilson is an ex-military paratrooper who works with veterans in Washington, D.C. Secretly trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack, Falcon becomes an indispensable ally when he teams up with Captain America and Black Widow to run a danger-filled race to halt an impending threat in its tracks.

The filmmakers were interested in adding more of a tactical design to the Falcon costume than was represented in the comic books. Accordingly, they incorporated a lot of real-world webbing, straps and gear. The final result was a costume that retained the iconic parts of the Falcon costume but stripped away the more comic book elements that would not work in the modern day. The Falcon costume takes actor Anthony Mackie 25 minutes to put on.

NICK FURY (Samuel L. Jackson)

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Nick Fury, the legendary director of the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D, is back at headquarters in Washington, D.C. following the success of his special team, The Avengers, in repelling an alien invasion of New York City. Now Fury is faced with a hidden enemy that threatens to put the world at risk.

ALEXANDER PIERCE (Robert Redford)

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A high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and personal friend of Nick Fury, Alexander Pierce is respected and politically connected. Often the person who interfaces with prominent world officials, Pierce is polished and well spoken, and presents a credible face to the world on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.

WINTER SOLDIER aka BUCKY BARNES (Sebastian Stan)

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Steve Rogers’ best friend Bucky Barnes was thought to have died in World War II. However, he resurfaces decades later as the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed, megaenhanced Super-Soldier doing dirty work for a mysterious organization. The hardened Winter Soldier has no memories of his former identity and that suits him just fine—he is simply a killing machine.

Sebastian Stan, who plays the Winter Soldier, also went through rigorous fight and weapons training. He took a lot of good-natured ribbing from his friends because he would walk around all day practicing his moves with a plastic knife because he wanted his movements to feel natural.

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In battling the Winter Soldier, Captain America needs all the resources he can get, including his iconic shield, which has a lot more uses in the film. The shield is traditionally used mostly as a defensive weapon, but in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” the filmmakers wanted to explore using it more as an offensive weapon. There are two handles on the shield and Steve Rogers can hold onto the handles in order to utilize it in an eastern style of fighting.

BROCK RUMLOW (Frank Grillo)

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A highly trained operative on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E team, Rumlow is an excellent soldier and often battles side-by-side with Captain America, for whom he has great respect.

AGENT 13 (Emily VanCamp)

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Agent 13 is a young, attractive S.H.I.E.L.D agent with skills in martial arts and weapons whose mission is to guard Steve Rogers—and not let him know it. She is guided by a strong moral compass and is not afraid to speak out when her ethics are challenged.

AGENT MARIA HILL (Cobie Smulders)

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Agent Maria Hill proved her worth and her loyalty to both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury during the events in New York with The Avengers. When she is called to come to Fury’s aid, Hill is drawn into the wide-ranging conspiracy unfolding in Washington, D.C. that has completely entangled both him and Steve Rogers.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in cinemas 27 March 2014

Images courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Singapore

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