Whether or not you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, chances are you know the drill when it comes to watching any Marvel movie–stick around through the seemingly never-ending list of credits and be rewarded with a hint (or two or three) of what’s to come in the superhero universe.
This week’s latest addition to that ever-expanding universe, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” not only stuck to this tried-and-true rule, it doubled it, with not one, but two epilogue sequences, one during the mid-credits and one after the credits were (finally) done rolling.
Since I am not exactly what you would call a comic-book aficionado, I did a little digging to see what exactly these two scenes could be foreshadowing. So without further ado–although, I should put in a SPOILER ALERT! just in case–here is what I managed to find out.
The Mid-Credits Tease
Like the first “Thor” film did for “The Avengers,” this first scene hints at what’s to come in 2015’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Three new characters were introduced to the audience, none of which are looking too good for our resident heroes.
First, we see Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, whose original purpose in the comic books was to serve as an antagonist to Nick Fury (and he has a monocle, so you know he must be really bad). He and his henchmen are up to something very sinister, as we soon see they are in possession of the scepter Loki used in “The Avengers,” when he almost succeeded in taking over the world. The men mention how they’ve already found some new and pretty remarkable uses for the scepter, and we then get our first glimpse of Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as their “Avengers” characters, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
To say they look mentally unstable is a bit of an understatement. Locked captive in cages, Quicksilver moves around, well, quickly, like a human version of Mentos-Coke, while the Scarlet Witch seems to possess some sort of destructive telekinesis powers. The big reveal though, is that the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver don’t appear to be born this way, but instead, altered by Loki’s scepter. And as we’re all well aware, villains don’t tend to stop at two soldiers when creating an army.
Admittedly, less people in my theater stuck around for this scene than the mid-credits one, and although it wasn’t as gripping as the first tease, the implications were no less intriguing. In the scene, we revisit the Smithsonian’s exhibit of Captain America and his team from the 1940s. The camera then pans over to a damaged-looking Bucky Barnes, staring intently at his picture. Could he maybe be remembering what HYDRA forced him to forget?
When it comes to Bucky a.k.a. The Winter Soldier’s future, that’s where things get pretty interesting. One theory is that the Winter Soldier will somehow factor into “Avengers 2,” although whether that’s against or alongside his old buddy, the Cap, remains to be seen.
The second, and more compelling, possibility is that the Winter Soldier might take over as Captain America in “Captain America 3.” Thanks to my extensive research, I learned that in the comic books, there are times when Captain America, disillusioned with the state of America, takes off and leaves his spandex behind for his other alter-ego, Nomad. While he’s away, Bucky steps into the Captain America suit and assumes the missing hero’s place.
In “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” Bucky’s transformation into the Winter Soldier somewhat serves as the antithesis to Steve Roger’s own alteration, so it would definitely be exciting to see him holding the patriotic shield.