6 Things I Want in the Captain America, Iron Man and Thor Sequels
The Avengers 2 is the most obvious decision a movie studio has ever made. It’s going to come out. But before we experience that awesomeness, we’re going to have to sit through Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2. Such suffering, I know. The first two are going to arrive in theaters as early as next year, and Captain America 2 is scheduled for 2014. These movies are already planned, with plot outlines and possibly even scripts at the ready. Iron Man 3 begins filming in only a few weeks.
This is all exciting news, because based on the movies we’ve seen so far, these sequels are going to be awesome. But what are they going to be about? How do you go from The Avengers, which has already broken the $1 billion mark in only a matter of weeks, back to individual solo movies? Which characters are going to appear? What’s the story going to be like? What kinds of hints and Easter Eggs will they include pointing towards The Avengers 2?
So to continue the celebration that has been The Avengers movie, here is my list of the 6 things I want to see in the upcoming sequels.
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
James “Bucky” Barnes was one of the main characters in Captain America: The First Avenger, so it makes sense that he should return for the sequel – and he shouldn’t let a little thing like being dead stand in his way! Bucky was not only Steve Rogers’ childhood friend, but he was also a badass soldier who gladly followed Cap into battle without any super-powers of his own. But then Bucky met a tragic end by falling to his death. His movie appearance has a lot in common with the comic book Bucky from the 1940s. Bucky was Cap’s sidekick, and he indeed died at the end of the war. But back then, Bucky was more of the “golly-gee-whilickers” kind of boy sidekick than the competent soldier we saw in the film.
That’s because, in 2005, comics writer Ed Brubaker did the impossible by not only bringing Bucky back from the dead, but he retroactively altered the “golly-gee-whilickers” attitude. Brubaker wrote that the ‘kid sidekick’ image was a cover identity for the news reels, and that Bucky was a highly trained commando. He was still a teenager, but Bucky was a master of stealth. While Captain America and the other soldiers charged into battle, Bucky was sneaking around behind enemy lines taking out snipers and guards on the down low. That’s the Bucky we saw in the film.
In Brubaker’s story, he revealed that Bucky didn’t die at the end of WWII. Yes he fell to his death, but his body was recovered by evil Russian scientists, who took him back to their lab and brainwashed Bucky into becoming a Soviet assassin, codenamed ‘Winter Solder’. For the greater part of the 20th century, Bucky was placed in suspended animation, unfrozen whenever the Soviets needed someone assassinated. He was put on ice in order to ensure that he didn’t break through the mind control. But this also slowed down his aging, and by the time the Winter Soldier is unfrozen in the modern day, he’s still a young man – one who doesn’t remember Captain America at all.
So not only would we have a familiar face return as the villain, but Captain America would have the added guilt of fighting his best friend. Not to mention the goal of somehow freeing Bucky from the brainwashing. Winter Soldier would make a great antagonist for the sequel, though not as the lead villain. He’d be great as someone working for whoever the lead villain turns out to be. And I think the movie-makers already have something similar in mind, considering the way Bucky died in Captain America: The First Avenger. He fell into a deep ravine and no body was ever recovered. I wonder why…
5. Iron Man: A villain who isn’t wearing a suit of armor
I wrote in a previous list that I would love to see the Mandarin as the villain in the next Iron Man movie, and that’s still the case. There is some concern with the fact that the Mandarin is kind of a horrible Chinese stereotype character, so there’s probably some hesitancy to use him. Though I think Ben Kingsley would be perfect in the role. Anyway, I would recommend simply changing the Mandarin into a Middle Eastern villain, and obviously dropping the name ‘Mandarin’. Just have him be a bad guy who wields the magical rings of the Mandarin, 10 rings that each have a different super-power, like fire, ice, electricity, light, darkness and more.
Whoever the villain is in Iron Man 3, I just want him or her to be somebody who isn’t just another guy in a suit of armor. Both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 had villains in suits of armor, with Iron Monger and Whiplash respectively. It’s as if Iron Man only fights guys who are exactly like him, as if the world of super-powered people only extends as far as people in suits. But considering all of the other heroes and villains in The Avengers franchise, we know that’s not the case. So whoever they use as a villain, please don’t give them a suit of armor!
4. Thor: Enchantress and Executioner
Not only is the world of Norse mythology rich and expansive, but comic book Thor has his own sprawling mythos from which to draw new characters, villains and locations. The first movie had to focus on Earth to better ground the story and capture the audience. Well for the sequel, they are now free to look back at the world of Asgard with greater focus, get a taste of who else is out there in Thor’s universe. And while Loki will no doubt be in the movie in some capacity, I hope they can move on from making him the primary villain. Which leaves the sultry Enchantress and her muscly bodyguard the Executioner as the perfect Thor villains to star in the sequel.
Amora the Enchantress is a powerful sorceress from Asgard, who would have all of the sneakiness and magical power of Loki, but with the added benefit of boobs. She’s a seductress of the highest order, with her eyes set squarely on the big, hunk of blonde man-meat that is Thor. So she would be both a villain and a rival to Jane Foster, which would give her plenty to do on screen. Not to mention the whole drop-dead gorgeous, busty blonde thing. Hollywood loves putting those into movies.
Skurge the Executioner is the Enchantress’ bodyguard, a big, scary hulk of a man who wields a massive battle ax that can cut through the fabric of reality. Skurge is in love with Amora, but she has him totally friend-zoned. Still, a fool in love is easy to manipulate, and Skurge would provide the kinds of epic fight scenes that a Thor movie needs. Thor and his hammer vs. Skurge and his ax would be quite the battle, with Enchantress twisting her plots from the sidelines.
Together they are beauty and the beast, brains and braun; everything one needs for a good villain team. Plus they would fulfill the sequel’s need to have two villains instead of just one.
3. Captain America: Union Jack and other international heroes
America does not have a monopoly on superheroes or super-soldiers. While the Ultimate Universe went a little silly by just putting the word ‘Captain’ in front of different countries in order to make their heroes (Captain Italy, Captain Spain, Captain Britain, etc.), the normal Marvel universe has a whole slew of international superheroes that I think would really expand Captain America’s world. Great Britain’s Union Jack would definitely be cool. Especially since the original Union Jack, James Montgomery Falsworth, appeared in Captain America: The First Avengers as one of the Howling Commandos. He may not have warn the fancy flag-inspired costume, but he was still in the movie. So it would only make sense that his descendant should appear in the sequel. Or someone following his legacy. Union Jack is a badass British super-spy, like James Bond in a costume. He would make for an awesome team-up with Captain America.
Or perhaps Sabra from Israel.
There are a lot of international heroes, many of whom work for their country’s various spy organizations. SHIELD doesn’t have a monopoly on spies. While it would be fun to see Captain America team up with other superheroes, like the Falcon, I would prefer if they gave the Cap movies an espionage angle. Cap will have enough superhero team-ups with the Avengers. In his own movies, to make them unique, Captain America should continue to be involved in wars and soldiering. Maybe send him to Afghanistan, though I don’t know if Afghanistan has any superheroes or super spies. Captain Afghanistan, maybe?
2. Iron Man: ‘Demon in a Bottle’
Tony Stark is a drunk. The big difference between the heroes of DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman), and those of Marvel Comics (Spider-Man, the Avengers), is that DC has the kinds of heroes that we aspire to be, while Marvel has the kinds of heroes who are just like us, who have flaws and the same weaknesses of the average man. Case in point: Iron Man is an alcoholic. Nowadays in the comics, he’s a recovering alcoholic, all because of a 1979 storyline in which Tony realized that he had a drinking problem and strived to correct it. That story, written by David Michelinie, was called ‘Demon in a Bottle’, and it is highly regarded today as one of the greatest Iron Man stories of all time. Because it would be pretty dangerous for Tony Stark to be totally sloshed when he gets behind the ‘wheel’ of the Iron Man suit.
Oh that’s right, they’ve already teased this development in the previous two movies. Tony was drunk off his ass and abusing his Iron Man armor when he fought War Machine in Iron Man 2. The movie-makers have already established that Tony is a heavy drinker, because they obviously recognize the power of a story like ‘Demon in a Bottle’. It doesn’t get much more human than someone struggling with a disease like alcoholism. Plus considering what Stark saw in The Avengers, he could probably use a stiff drink. This story would make the perfect character focus for the threequel. While Iron Man must fight whatever super-villain appears in the film, Tony Stark and his loved ones have to deal with the fact that Tony is drinking more and more. He’s a wreck, so how can he be the superhero that everyone needs him to be? ‘Demon in a Bottle’ is the absolute perfect story to put on screen as a personal, emotional and internal struggle for Tony Stark to overcome. Superhero movies aren’t just about the punching.
1. Thor: Hel
Of all the realms Thor 2 could visit from Yggdrasil the World Tree (we’ve already seen Asgard, Earth and Jotunheim), the one I want to see the most is Hel, the underworld. It doesn’t hurt that the place is ruled over by another total babe, Hela. What better adventure for a character of mythology than to descend into the Underworld for some reason? I don’t know why Thor and his companions would go to Hel…save Odin, maybe? Or Sif dies? Who knows, but it would be a sweet adventure. Mainstream audiences could understand Hel, since it’s basically just Hell (note the single and double hockey sticks). The other realms of Yggdrasil include a dwarven realm, an elf realm and a dark elf realm. Those are silly places, uninteresting and no different from Asgard or Earth. Give audiences some place exciting, give them Hel!
I also have a second reason for wanting Hel, and it has to do with my #4 entry. There is a fantastic story out there about the Executioner and Hel, which could be a great subplot in Thor 2. Basically Thor and his crew have to travel into Hel on a quest, and the Executioner asks to go with them. He saw Enchantress macking it with some other God, and he has nothing else to live for. This doesn’t have to be the plot for Thor 2, but somehow Executioner could end up in Thor’s crew while they’re all down in Hel. Then while everyone is trying to flee Hel and return to safety, they find themselves chased by an unstoppable army of demons. On the bridge out of Hel, named Gjallerbru, Thor offered to hold off the demons at bay while everyone else fled. That’s when Executioner steps up and knocks out the noble Thor. The Executioner volunteers to hold off the demons, knowing that his life is not as important as Thor’s. Executioner takes two machine guns (because hells yes!) and battles the army of demons all on his own, successfully holding off every single one so that his party can escape.
That would be an utterly amazing sequence to see on the big screen. Here is a guy that everyone would write off as just this big, dumb brute of a villain. But when the chips are down, when there’s no other recourse, he reveals himself to be a far more complicated and noble character. Granted, the movie would have to continue because the Executioner shouldn’t get the climax of Thor 2, but it could be part of the big ending. Can you think of anything cooler for the plot of Thor 2? Of course not. He stood alone at Gjallerbru. And that answer is enough.
Honorable Mention: Beta Ray Bill
Let me make myself absolutely clear: I do not want Beta Ray Bill to appear in any Thor sequels. That being said, Beta Ray Bill is one of the coolest comic book characters of all time, and a live action Bill would be one of the most awesomest and spectacular things ever filmed. However, despite how great he is and how cool his story is, Beta Ray Bill would not work in the Marvel movieverse. If the producers hope to maintain their firm grasp on realism, they cannot give in to fan pandering by giving us this wonderful, horse-faced, alien monster god! Some things are just best left in the comics.
But don’t let these words or that weird face fool you. I can sum up the awesomeness of Beta Ray Bill in one sentence: He is the only other being in the universe worthy enough to wield Thor’s enchanted hammer, Mjolnir!
Unfortunately, that doesn’t save Beta Ray Bill from being a weird-looking alien. Though don’t hold that against him. Created by legendary Thor writer Walt Simonson in 1983, Bill is an alien from the korbinite race, and is very popular among comic book fans. The korbinites had to flee their home planet, and they needed a champion to protect them on their exodus through space. Bill competed in an epic and brutal tournament to win the right to be his people’s protector, and then underwent intense and extreme science in order to become their living weapon. His look is designed after the most fearsome creature from his home planet.
Then one day, his people’s spaceship entered our solar system, and Thor went to investigate. Believing Thor to be a threat, Beta Ray Bill fought to protect his people. During the fight, Thor dropped Mjolnir, and Bill picked it up. If you remember the movie Thor, nobody could life Mjolnir except Thor, because of the enchantment placed on the weapon by Odin. Not even the Hulk could life the hammer, because he wasn’t worthy. But Beta Ray Bill was worthy. He was the first character in comics, other than Thor, who could lift Mjolnir! And so Bill got the power of Thor along with the hammer.
In the end, everything got sorted out between Thor and Beta Ray Bill. Thor got his powers back, and Odin gave Bill his own hammer, giving him his own power. Bill saved his people and joined Thor on Asgard, becoming his brother and friend. I love me some Beta Ray Bill, and any Thor story that includes Bill is just that much better.
Just not Thor 2, sad to say.
So what do you think of my choices? What are some things you want to see in the upcoming sequels? Tell me in the comments!