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Who is Captain America? The Real "Winter Soldier"

by Anthony Kaufman
October 25, 2013 3:26 PM
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U.S. soldier Scott Camil testifies on war atrocities in "Winter Soldier"

The Marvel property "Captain America" is an easy target for ReelPolitik, one in which I took great joy in aiming at when the reboot was released (see: "Captain America" review: Old-fashioned propaganda or just old-fashioned?). Now I wouldn't have bothered to return to Cap except that I recently discovered the subtitle of the sequel: "Winter Soldier," which coincidentally or not, shares a name with one of the Vietnam era's most virulent anti-war docs. 

Did Paramount Pictures fully vet their new title before going forward? Or maybe they did, and decided to go with the name despite the fact that for some audiences, "Winter Soldier," brings to mind horrible stories of atrocity: "Asian farmers mutilated and slaughtered as a kind of imperial bloodsport—tossed out of helicopters on a bet, disemboweled alive, [and] thrown down wells with grenades," as Michael Atkinson once wrote.

Strangely enough, the recently released trailer of "Captain America: Winter Soldier" espouses some possibly lefty political perspectives, with none other than liberal giant Robert Redford donning the role of a suspicious high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. official, telling Cap, "To build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down. And that makes enemies." And later, borrowing an ideological critique reminiscent of the "Dark Knight," Captain America and Nick Fury share this exchange:

Captain America: I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.

Nick Fury: S.H.I.E.L.D. protects the world as it is. Not as we’d like it to be.

Captain America: This isn’t freedom. This is fear.

I'm not sure if the winter soldiers back from Vietnam said the same thing, but they might very well have.

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  • dfsafdadfs | January 23, 2014 3:20 PMReply

    Bucky barnes caps best friend believed dead was programmed to be a Soviet assassin for Department X, under the code name the Winter Soldier.

  • Josh | January 18, 2014 5:22 PMReply

    There is a major character called "The Winter Soldier", it was also the name of the comic story line. Captain America comics have a consistent anti-Military Industrial Complex tone, check out the stories that came out a year after 9/11. Everyone relax. It's a pulp action hero. Liking it doesn't mean you support Drone strikes and torture.

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