The Cap is back! “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” hits theaters nationwide on April 4. It’s a heady mix of standard superhero fare and a political thriller. People who aren’t familiar with the Marvel movies might get a little lost – there are lots of references to the first Captain America movie and to the other Avengers. Either way, it’s a lot of fun. Especially if you’re a Marvel nerd. (Full disclosure: Marvel is owned by Disney/ABC Television Group, who are co-owners of Fusion along with Univision.)
In an interview with Fusion, Joe Russo, the film’s director, said they like to do fanservice moments in their movies.
“We love layering things, like putting in easter eggs and background jokes,” Russo said. “That’s part of the fun of making a movie like this. People who love that kind of thing, they can access those and have a lot of fun discovering them on a second or third viewing. For the general audience, who doesn’t care about those things, it doesn’t affect their viewing.
With that in mind, I kept an eye out for superfan details. Here are some of the key blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo directed “Winter Soldier.” They also directed a few episodes of Community. Apparently, after graduating from Greendale, Abed Nadir got a job working in the control tower at SHIELD HQ. Watch for him when Captain America and Black Widow go storming through the building. He opens the door for them.
“Danny (Pudi) is a very good, very dear friend of ours, and we asked him as a favor to come be an easter egg in the movie,” Joe Russo said.
2. Captain America speaks French and knows how computers work
This movie takes place two years after what happened in “The Avengers,” and it seems like Steve Rogers spent some of his time off learning to speak French and hardware geek.
In an early scene, Captain America faces off against French pirate Georges Batroc (played by MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre). Batroc has some words for him. Some French words. Cap responds in kind. (And then kicks his ass, obviously.)
In a tense moment in “The Avengers,” Steve revealed that he was not so keen on the whole computer thing.
Above: Captain America shows off his tech skills in “The Avengers.” CREDIT: Marvel
In this movie, Falcon and the Captain work together to swap out satellite drives on supercomputers. We don’t find out exactly how Captain America bridged that knowledge gap, but I have a theory: Iron Man taught him.
Chris Evans agrees that this is what happened, so it’s canon now.
3. Cap’s list of things to look into
In the opening scene of the movie, Anthony Mackie’s character (Sam Wilson / Falcon) tells Captain America he needs to listen to Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” album to understand all the history he missed while he was frozen. Cap makes a note of it. But if you look closely, you’ll see he already has a long list – Steve Jobs, Star Wars and the Beatles are on there, as well as a bunch of other things that flashed on the screen too quickly for this reporter to read. Someone please tweet me when they see it and tell me what else was on there.
4. (Old) Men at Work
Stan Lee makes an appearance in every Marvel movie; this one is no exception. Watch for him as the janitor who realizes the authentic WWII Captain America uniform is missing from the Smithsonian display. But there’s another possibly-familiar face in a scene with the Winter Soldier: Ed Brubaker. He’s the comic book artist who created the original Winter Soldier comic that this movie is based on.
Fans noticed this in a trailer, and Ed Brubaker confirmed it by making his cameo his Twitter background photo.
5. Hydra is still around (!), and they murdered Iron Man’s parents (!!!)
This is a two-part spoiler. Part one: Hydra didn’t die with Red Skull and the Nazis. Part two: They may have had something to do with Iron Man’s parents dying. As one character discusses how Hydra has affected history, you see a quick flash of a newspaper headline about the Starks dying in a car crash.
“The implication there is that Hydra was involved with it,” Joe Russo told Fusion. “Hydra did in Howard Stark.”