Most comic book movies choose a central story arc from the comics and mimic it in the movie. For example, the upcoming Days of Future Past movie is mimicked off the story arc of the same name. Captain America: Winter Soldier is obviously based off the Winter Soldier story arc from the comics.
That being said, could the events have also set up for future plots? Or was the movie also based off more story arcs? Two story arcs come to mind. Spoilers will follow for the Captain America movie.
Those familiar with Marvel or who happened to see a couple of my former posts about the alien race known as the Skrulls are familiar with the Secret Invasion. Basically, aliens invaded earth, replacing numerous heroes with Skrulls.
In Captain America 2, we saw that Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD. Okay, so it’s not exactly aliens. In fact, it’s not even replacing anyone.
But what we do have is the spirit of the Secret Invasion. The whole arc was based on not knowing who to trust. Anyone you’ve been around for years could actually be a Skrull and you would never know. In Winter Soldier, we saw the same spirit. Sitwell, who die-hard Marvel movie fans have known for years, was actually a member of Hydra. Senator Stern from Iron Man 2 was Hydra. The very council member who announced a nuclear strike against New York was Hydra.
We can see their effect in the past years. Stern wanted the Iron Man suit for Hydra purposes. The nuclear decision was very obviously based on Hydra ideals. I don’t believe this was intended at the time the movies were made, but it provides a nice continuity.
Also, the end of the Secret Invasion arc sees SHIELD being disbanded. Sound familiar?
Although not existing in merely one story arc, Captain America 2 paved the way for the organization known as HAMMER. First, the background:
HAMMER was the replacement organization for SHIELD in the wake of the Secret Invasion. Headed by Norman Osborn (yes, the Green Goblin), the organization created a new group of Avengers, comprised of Supervillains. The organization at one point even led a siege against Asgard, but I don’t think the movies will go that far. Also, if you’re wondering what HAMMER stands for, don’t. Osborn just chose the name, devoid of meaning.
So why do I think we will see HAMMER? Three reasons.
First, Victoria Hand has been in Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Recently, (SPOILER) we saw her confirmed as a villain. Hand was Osborn’s right hand woman in Hammer. She is known for very little else.
Second, the Iron Patriot suit in Iron Man 3 was originally worn by Osborn in the comics. It was his way of replacing both Iron Man and Captain America as leader of the Avengers. The inclusion of this suit is a very interesting choice, especially considering that Rhody never wore it in the comics.
Third, we have seen opposites of the heroes the entire MCU. Literally every one of the Phase 1 movies saw the villains as just the evil versions of the primary characters (in terms of abilities). We also know that three of those villains (The Abomination, Loki, and Justin Hammer) survived. If Osborn’s Avengers were the same abilities as the original members, it could be a very convenient way of introducing the Anti-Avengers.
Also, just to be clear, Osborn’s name is not allowed, due to Copyrights. It would be another person to step forward and create HAMMER, if that is indeed the route that the MCU is going.
So these two story arcs came to mind when thinking back over the Winter Soldier movie. If this is the route that the MCU is going, surely time will tell.