MovieBob - Intermission
What’s What in Captain America

Bob Chipman | 22 Jul 2011 12:00
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NOTE: The following contains major spoilers for Captain America - which is awesome and which you should totally go see before reading this.

Like all the Marvel Studios movies before it, Captain America peppers its story, character roster and background details with sly allusions to the unified "Marvel Universe" leading in to the Avengers movie. Did you spot them all? Well, here are the big ones - how many did you catch?

Howard Stark

This needs no explanation at this point, but for completion's sake, yes, the young inventor Howard Stark - who helps build most of Cap's equipment and the experiment that creates him - is the father of Iron Man's Tony Stark, thus explaining why a prototype Captain America shield was found among the junk pile in Iron Man 2.

Yggdrasil, Odin, Etc.

Johan Schmidt, "The Red Skull," is tearing up Europe looking for magical Viking artifacts. He's obsessed with the idea that the Norse Gods were real superpowered interlopers, and that their magic totems can be harnessed as super-science. He is, of course, entirely correct - audiences found that out earlier this year in Thor, which even included the title character explaining Yggdrasil, "The World Tree" that Schmidt monologues about in his first appearance.

To make it more explicit, when The Skull finally releases too much of one object's power in the film's climax, it briefly rips open what looks like a dimensional portal ... and the "cosmic" space seen within is the nebula-like "true" Yggdrasil wherein Asgard hovered in Thor.

The Cosmic Cube

Referred to as "The Tesseract" in the movies, this is the magical macguffin lost from Odin's treasure vault that Red Skull is after. In the comics, The Cosmic Cube is the all-powerful super-weapon of the Marvel Universe. In the movies, it was seen having been recently rediscovered and held in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility after the end credits of Thor. Damn near every Marvel heavy worth their salt is tied to or wants to possess The Cube, so look for it to figure prominently in The Avengers.


For the film, "HYDRA" is serving the vital purpose of allowing Marvel to have Nazis as the villains of a Captain America without having to make action figures with Swastikas on their uniforms. But in the broader sense they're Marvel's version of "SPECTRE" - and I really, really hope they turn up again as heavies in later Marvel movies. They'd make great enemies for a tech-based hero like Iron Man, for example.

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