The Asgardian, Thor, has had his fun. The Avengers won’t assemble until 2015. Holding down the chunk of Marvel’s fort between now and then will be the return of the star-spangled patriot, the frozen popsicle of superhero glory known as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. And with Cap ready to get back in the suit, we’re starting to get new promotional images showcasing our hero, his beautiful sidekick (not you, Anthony Mackie), and his nemesis.
Cap takes center stage by himself above, and it’s funny how that pose calls to mind the poster for The First Avenger, only with a mask on. I guess there’s only so many things one can do with a shield!
The alternate Empire cover brings in the rogue’s gallery of Captain America: The Winter Soldier players. Scarlett Johansson strikes an over-the-shoulder hero’s pose. We also get a clear shot of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), formerly Cap’s war buddy, Bucky.
Everything that we have been hearing about The Winter Soldier is that it’s Marvel’s answer to the political intrigue pictures of the 1970s, so it makes sense on some level to bring in Three Days of the Condor and All the President’s Men star Robert Redford in a key role. The rest of the faces are a mix of Marvel veterans, and steely newcomers. Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell co-star, joining Samuel L. Jackson, who is back for his Nick Fury role.
It’s expected that Captain America will pass the baton, somehow, to James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which comes out in August and will be the last of the Phase Two movies before Joss Whedon unveils The Avengers: Age of Ultron… quite possibly the most anticipated movie on Marvel’s slate due to the overwhelming success of the first endeavor. As you prepare, scan the images in the latest Cap 2 trailer and tell us if you catch any Easter egg hints for The Collector (Benecio del Toro), or anything that suggests which direction Marvel might head in Phase Three.