By now, I suspect you’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I was a huge fan of the film, and if you’re looking to dive deeper into it, you can read our review here, check out the ways the story deviates from (and stays true to) the comics in our editorial here, and watch our interviews with the cast right here. From here on out, though, consider yourself warned: I’m about to spoil the ending and talk about those two (you stayed for both, right?) post-credits sequences.
The film ends with S.H.I.E.L.D. in ruins and the gang basically going off the grid as Cap and Falcon begins their adventure to find Bucky Barnes (the titular Winter Soldier). It’s a great ending that sets up a variety of questions for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the most important of which being: if S.H.I.E.L.D. is no longer in operation, are the Avengers going to be able to reunite and fight evil on their own? Fury (and Phil Coulson) were the guys working behind the scenes to maneuver the pieces in such a way that the team joined forces to take down the Chitauri, but without the infrastructure in place, will they be able to call upon Earth’s Mightiest Heroes once again? (Spoiler alert: I’m guessing the answer is “yes.”)
So let’s talk about what happens after the credits roll in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We see Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), a HYDRA agent, talking to some underlings about the mysterious plans of the organization. I guess Robert Redford was only the tip of the iceberg. We see that he has a team performing tests on Loki’s Chitauri staff – the same one used to turn Hawkeye and Dr. Selvig into mindless villains – so that pretty much clears up any remaining speculation that this is the mind gem of the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos wants all of these so he can take over the universe, but we’re guessing the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to have something to say about that when we see them later this year.
Also, we get our first look at two young people locked in side-by-side cages. These are the twins, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). In case you couldn’t tell from their quick little displays while they were locked up, he has super speed and she’s telepathic and has the power to cast hexes that reshape reality, so her abilities should be a nice lead-in to the more magical and supernatural elements that will surely be coming through the Marvel pipeline soon. (Did you catch the “Stephen Strange” name drop during Cap 2? We expect the long-rumored Doctor Strange film to be officially announced at Comic-Con this year.) How will the twins end up joining forces with The Avengers? We’ll have to wait until Joss Whedon’s Age of Ultron to find out.
And finally, the last post-credits scene showed The Winter Soldier coming to grips with who he really is by checking out a WWII exhibit at the Smithsonian. This little scene was anti-climactic and probably just should have been tossed into the film somewhere before the end credits, but hey – Marvel has established a pattern of these post-credits teases now, so they needed something to get people talking about Captain America 3. Here’s another potential spoiler alert – will Bucky ultimately become the new Captain America if Kevin Feige and Co. decide to follow the comic book storyline and “kill off” Cap? It’s certainly possible, considering actor Sebastian Stan signed a 9 picture deal with Marvel, so maybe, just maybe, he’ll one day be suiting up as The Star Spangled Man with a Plan.
What did you think of these post-credits scenes? Excited about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
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