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Headscratchers / Captain America: The First Avenger

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    Medals and training 

  • Stolen Valor Steve: Steve Rogers only had one week of basic training before undergoing the super soldier serum experiment (Colonel Philips comments, " the end of this week, one of you will be chosen...". From there, he went immediately into war bond tours with the Senator, and did this until rescuing the 107th. Later that week, he is shown putting his team together, in full dress greens. So a CPT after one week total of BCT...okay, that I'm fine with, whatever. He's proven himself effective. But where the hell did he manage to find the time to get his jump wings, AND his CIB, as shown on his dress greens?
    • He's entirely qualified to wear both. By World War II regulations, getting jump wings required successful completion of parachute training or one combat jump, and getting the CIB only required being assigned to an infantry unit and personally participating in at least one battle. Cap earned both those awards during the sequence where he liberated the POW camp; he jumped into combat, and he fought in a battle while assigned to an infantry unit.
    • Plus, all his "recreational reading" was military tactics and strategies; giving him the ability later to lead the Howling Commandos.
    • On a somewhat related note, when Colonel Philips is dictating a letter declaring Rogers KIA, he refers to him as "Captain Steve Rogers". Was Steve really a Captain at this point, I thought that was just his stage name? The only soldiering he's done at this point is go AWOL off the base to rescue Bucky and the other prisoners, and they couldn't have made him a Captain for that.
    • Rogers was directly commissioned as a captain when the Senator recruited him for the USO. It's mentioned in dialogue: Senator Brandt says something along the lines of, "Son, how would you like a promotion?".
    • Perhaps I missed something, but how do we know that Steve only had one week of basic training? After taking a semester long course, I've had professors say "at the end of this week, your performance will be evaluated…" blah blah blah and so on and so forth. Is there any other indication that his training only lasted a week?
    • Because Phillips uses the line at what is clearly the beginning of training. Peggy is just being introduced, and she's an evaluator. COL Phillips is another evaluator and he's introducing himself to them. It is indicated strongly that these aren't phase three BCT recruits, but utter boots. Furthermore, it still doesn't account for Steve's missing OCS.
      • True, but while he's officially a Captain his unit is only about the size of a single squad so it's not like he needs a ton of formal training and he's probably read enough books to pick up the basics.
      • Steve could have had Officer training on the sides during his time raising war bonds with the USO, and could well have received additional training after he started going into the field for real. Alternatively, it's possible that he was promoted without requiring OCS. This was not uncommon during World War II, and while it was typically restricted to battlefield promotions, the Senator may have pulled a few strings. After all, Captain America is much more marketable than Private America.

    Hitler and Africa 

  • While grabbing the Tesserect, Schmidt says something about the Fuhrer digging in the African deserts for trinkets. Is this a well-documented fact, or a Raiders of the Lost Ark reference?
    • Easily the latter. Don't know if Hitler ever actually ordered digs there, though.
    • It has been rumored Hitler was looking for the spearhead that broke off in Jesus Christ.
    • Rather silly, really, since it was in Vienna in 1935, and was moved to Nuremberg for the duration of the war. And now it's back in Vienna. See The Spear of Destiny and Hitler's Holy Relics for details.
    • It's both. Hitler had a well-known interest in the occult, but digging around in Africa is a reference to Indiana Jones.
    • Ghostapo is not entirely made up, and is a trope for a reason: Hitler had little interest in the occult beyond the value of the Spear of Destiny (which he didn't find) as a propaganda tool, but many of his advisors and inner circle did. Schmidt is just making a generalization here: Hitler isn't really digging around in Africa (technically, Egypt), but his forces are, and as far as Schmidt is concerned, they're stupid to do so. And yes, though exaggerated for fiction over the last 70 years, this really did happen.
    • More specifically the Nazi with the genuine interest in the occult and mythology was Heinrich Himmler. Indications are that Hitler thought Himmler's obsession with myth and legend was actually pretty silly. Of Himmler's archeological attempts to find evidence of a "lost" Aryan super-society, Hitler is reputed to have said to Albert Speer, "It's bad enough that the Romans were erecting great buildings when our forefathers were still living in mud huts. Now Himmler is starting to dig up these villages of mud huts and enthusing over every potsherd and stone axe he finds."
    • In the tie-in comics First Vengeance, Schmidt approached Hitler with a pitch for mystical weapons. Hitler is interested and schedules an appointment, but Gruppenführer Kaufmann throws Schmidt out for distracting the Führer with nonsense. However, Himmler approached Schmidt outside of the Deutsches Opernhaus and expressed his interest.

    Convalesce Room 

  • Regarding the "convalesce room" near the end: why do a baseball program at all? Why not use the news about Emperor Hirohito proclaiming the total surrender of Japan (and signaling the end of the entire world war), for example? That way, the Captain would've been MUCH more relaxed instead of totally freaking out, thinking that maybe the Germans got him and plan to brainwash him or something; if the plot demands that he find the room to be dodgy, there are many ways, such as noticing the "view" outside to be a cardboard cutout, for instance.
    • Uh, no. Waking up seemingly at the exact moment Japan announced their surrender to the Allies would probably make Cap extremely agitated and confused. He would have a thousand questions and the pretend nurse would have a hard time coming up with answers to all of them on the spot. He might become excited enough to try and run out into the streets of New York to join in the city-wide celebration that is surely happening... or he might become extremely suspicious that he can't hear any cheering crowds outside of his (fake) hospital window. Waking up in a warm bed as a baseball game plays on the radio is something a Brooklyn kid like Steve Rogers would (in theory) find very familiar and comforting. It probably would have worked fine if somebody had done the research and used a recording of a baseball game from after Cap was frozen.
      • Also, let's face it; a soldier waking up from a war wound at the exact moment that the war he's been fighting in is declared to be over is something straight from a film. It's incredibly unlikely. Any soldier who found themselves in that position would immediately smell a rat.
    • On a similar note, did SHIELD just assume that Rogers hadn't been to this game or heard it on the radio? Seems like a pretty silly thing to leave to chance. Even if they didn't have recordings of any post war radio broadcasts, it would've been trivially easy to fabricate one, at least one that would fool him.
      • In fairness: leaving aside the likelihood that recordings of 1940s-era baseball live radio commentaries are probably not easy to come by seventy years later and that faking one is a lot of time, effort and trouble just to give Steve a nice wake-up call, how in flying heck are SHIELD supposed to know which baseball games Steve Rogers has seen in person? The odds must be a million to one that Steve would have been at that exact game. The chips just happened to come down against SHIELD on this one.
      • The real question is, why didn't they just play a recording of a period-appropriate radio drama instead? Surely they investigated Steve's history before reviving him from the ice, and could've known better than to choose his favorite sport at all.
    • They may have thought they could fool him into thinking he dozed off listening to the game. It didn't work because, just their luck, he caught that particular game at Ebbets Field.
      • A play-by-play shouldn't have been that memorable, except that they happened to pick a game that contained a play (an inside-the-park grand slam) of which, as of 2015, there have only been 226 in the entire history of baseball. Random "two on, two out" stuff would have been fine.
    • Alternately - it's not always easy to turn a soldier 'off'. The only person who could've met Rogers was Nick Fury, and he never met Cap, so without knowing how he might react (psych profiles have changed considerably in 70 years or so, even if they had his) the safest method would be the 'calm' one.
    • The most straightforward explanation for the mistakes that enabled Cap to realize something was wrong is that they discovered that he was recovering faster than expected so they had to throw the facade together fast, and didn't have time to double-check every detail.
    • And the least straightforward, yet most appealing explanation, is that it was a Secret Test of Character that Fury set up deliberately, to determine if this Rogers guy's brain had come through the deep freeze intact and if his counterespionage skills were as sharp as Coulson's fanboying claimed they were. Why else would SHIELD's Director be right there in Times Square, waiting for Steve to come running out of the building and stop dead, flabbergasted? Ol' Nick was hoping and expecting Cap to pick up on the clue immediately.

    Cap's strength 

  • Not really a big deal but, Cap sent Hydra mooks flying some impressive distances and I could have sworn a couple guys got sent twenty feet through the air. I know Cap is supposed to be the perfect human specimen but this seems a little more along the scale of low level super strength.
    • The movies emulate the Ultimate Comics universe in a lot of ways (tying origins together by showing people trying to recreate the SSS, Samuel L. Jackson), and in the Ultimate Universe Cap is way stronger.
    • Exactly what constitutes low-level super strength is debatable. I can knock someone back a couple of feet with a hard punch, and I'm far from even the halfway point to the perfect human physique.
    • The good captain is shown holding up a bulky war motorcycle (Let's say, 250 kilograms) with three women on it (3 x 60 kg) during a propaganda show, with one hand. He didn't seem strained at all; it's possible Cap could bench press a ton.
    • That's presuming that was real—it is propaganda after all, and if anything they'd want to exaggerate Cap's strength in those films. They might've lightened the bike, or put it on wires or some sort of trickery in-universe.
    • In the comics, Captain America has knocked guys several feet in the air and once carried a motorcycle on his back, similar to the propaganda shows. Remember, he's supposed to be the peak of human physical perfection. Since no one has realistically gotten to that point, it gives writer the chance to be a little more dramatic with his strength level.
    • According to some of the guides Captain America is in the "1,000+ range" of strength. In other words: His normal "max" strength is given at being able to lift 1,200lbs over his head. Translate that into throwing punches and a full-force Cap punch will send you flying.
    • Its not truly superhuman. Check out some of those "Strongest Man" competitions on ESPN; you'll see real life musclemen dragging busses and other feats of eye-boggling strength. To be fair, those guys are generally titanic meat slabs of pure muscle, but what Rogers does is theoretically possible.
    • There's a difference between dragging a heavy wheeled vehicle with ropes or chains, benching /pressing 1000 lbs and throwing someone ten feet in the air vertically with one arm. They use different muscle groups at different speeds. Most of those worlds strongest man types wouldn't have the flexibility or explosiveness to hit as hard as Rogers, or throw a grown man in body armor like a rag doll. What Cap and Batman pull off in the comics and movies (particularly Cap's) is impossible for real humans. Movie Cap is also by default superhuman since he is an across the boards peak human. He can simultaneously bench half a ton, punch through reinforced glass and outrun a speeding car.
    • That's the point. If a human can do it - regardless of how specialized that human's level of fitness may be - then Captain America can do it.
    • Cap's not holding back against HYDRA?
    • The point's moot — Captain America: The Winter Soldier has since made it explicitly plain that Rogers is outright superhuman, to the point where he can jump out of a Quinjet at circa 500 feet of altitude without a parachute... and swim away from the landing fresh as a daisy. (Before somebody points out that Cap hit the water, to a normal human being hitting water from that high up is about as lethal as hitting concrete.)

    Howling Commandos 

  • Why change the lineup of the Howling Commandos? I can understand dropping a few of the members and adding Cap and Bucky, but why have a Percy Pinkerton-expy when you can have the genuine article?
    • Well if it had the real Nick Fury.
    • Union Jack isn't really much like Percy Pinkerton at all.
    • I don't know if you can call Falsworth in the film a Pinky expy. He doesn't have an umbrella, glasses or a pom on top of his beret. He looks like a British commando/paratrooper would at the time. Hell, he's pretty similar to Archie Hicox.
    • I do agree, though. In my opinion it should be Cap, Bucky (as second in command, subbing for Dugan who should have been kept for the role of the present day deputy director of SHIELD), Rebel, Dino, Izzy, Pinky and Eric. Maybe even Juniper as a red shirt.
    • The explanation they offered was that they wanted an international feel for the movie and have set up the movie Howling commandos to be a multinational team. But aside from adding the French soldier Jacques, it's not really all that more international: 5 of the 7 (Rogers, Bucky, Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, and Jim Morita) are American.
    • While the film was set far from the Eastern front, adding a token Russian or otherwise Eastern-European person would be probably appropriate. Otherwise, the America Saves the Day effect might be a reason the film was met with a lukewarm response in these countries considering their contribution to the war effort.
    • Even during WWII, there was a general consensus at least amongst the intel community that the Soviets and their allies were *not* our friends. They allied with Hitler in 1939 to devour Eastern Europe, so why should they be trusted with god-knows-what technology? As for the Poles or Czechoslovaks, that's a more valid point, but I'd largely guess it comes down to "Not enough people"
    • To quote the main page: "Shown Their Work: The Allied units that Cap rescues from a POW camp are the ones you'd find in the Italy campaign."


  • Before going into the SSI program, Steve repeatedly tries to enlist in the Army. He's turned down "4F", for medical reasons. In fact, he has pretty much everything on the chart, starting with asthma. However, these seem to be informed attributes - we never actually see him, for example, have an asthma attack. You'd think if these problems were serious enough to keep him out of the armed forces, they would be near-constant problems for him.
    • They disqualified him for military service. That doesn't mean they're going to constantly cripple him in every day life.
    • To illustrate further, during periods of the draft, civilian men were turned away if they had what's known as "hammer toes". This is when your toes curl up. It doesn't hinder a person's day-to-day life in any way, but it can affect balance a bit and make one less able to tolerate long-distance foot travel, which means... no army.
    • Also, he's clearly having trouble keeping up between getting accepted into the program and getting the serum. The serum probably was designed to fix all those little and not-so-little imperfections, so him not having the issues afterwards makes sense.
    • They disqualified him on purpose? Steve's a 95 lb. shrimp, and the more things they add to his list of disqualifications (they only found the asthma in Flatbush, and those hammer toes somehow didn't show up until the Expo...) the less likely he's going to die on the front lines.
    • Quite possibly he doesn't even have asthma, he just got out of breath during his physical exam in Flatbush. The Army physician might've exaggerated the diagnosis, in the hope of convincing this suicidally-stubborn kid that, no, someone as spindly and short as him really doesn't belong in the military.

    Muscle Mass 

  • How does the transformation from skinny little Steve Rogers to hunk Captain America is made? The effect I mean. How does movie magic does that? Seriously, it's driving me crazy.
    • According to Chris Evans in interviews, they used a combination of shots with him in baggy clothes with a skewed perspective (think how they mostly did the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings) and Evan's head pasted on a smaller body of another actor.
    • That was what they planned. From the IMDB, they "ultimately scrapped the idea since director Joe Johnston claimed that Evans moved in a unique way and that no body double could replicate his movements. Ultimately, the filmmakers utilized digital technology to "shrink" Evans down, essentially erasing portions of his physique, until they came up with what the filmmakers called "Skinny Steve". Over 250 shots were filmed like this, and because the shrinking process left empty space in the background, many of the scenes had to filmed in front of a green screen so that they could superimpose the backgrounds back into the scene."
    • Never mind actually it seems like they did like a combination of both of these; mostly the 2nd but the 1st for shots when he didn't move much.
    • The entire process of how they achieved this is shown here:

    Shooting the prototype shield 

  • Did anyone else find it ridiculous that, when Steve casually inquires about the effectiveness of his shield, Agent Carter's response is to SHOOT AT HIM with a .45 in the middle of a crowded lab? What if he didn't raise the shield in time? What if a ricochet killed someone? Discharging a handgun for no practical reason whatsoever, in a crowded room... she would have been either dishonorably discharged, or ventilated by a twitchy MP.
    • She could have been firing blanks, just to see how well he used the shield instinctively. Then later, off-screen, they tested real bullets against it.
    • Those definitely weren't blanks. The bullets are shown falling to the floor after hitting the shield.
    • As we saw earlier, Agent Carter is an insanely good markswoman, has nerves sufficient to take the time to aim while a car is barreling down at her without even attempting to dodge, and is firing at a peak human (read: Superhuman by all real life standards) who used a prop shield to invade a HYDRA base, who is currently using a shield made of a super-science shield that instantly stops all vibrations (hence why the bullet casings just dropped to the ground instead of ricocheting). And she just listened to the best weapons designer in America explain this to Steve, assuming that he didn't already know it from her work with the SSR. She's not going to miss and he's definitely going to block.
    • Simple answer: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned
    • ...would anyone else like to see that scene, where someone in a suit tries to discharge Agent Carter?
      • Yeah, you really can't sass your way out of being dishonorably discharged. She's informed of her status, handed the papers, and escorted out by men with guns. If she tries to come back, she gets shot with those guns. What's she going to do, break into the base, evade all the guards, show up to Steve and say "Alright, let's start the mission"? If they wanted Carter gone she'd be gone.
    • Honestly, this is what should've happened.
    • Why was the gun loaded in the first place?

    Magic pants 

  • A relatively minor nitpick, but when Steve undergoes the procedure they just have him take his shirt off prior to the transformation. When the capsule opens up, he's a foot taller and twice the size he was before but the pants he's wearing still fit perfectly - and they weren't that baggy to begin with. What, did the Vita-Rays make his pants grow along with him?
    • Marvel universe pants do not obey your pithy laws of 'physics'. All this proves was that the people who make Hulk's pants were in business during WWII.
    • While it was somehow still fitting near the waist, it's obviously became too short for Steve's new legs.
    • Maybe they foresaw that this was likely to happen so they took the waistline of a pair of pants in with some stitches that would easily pop a bit and wind up fitting a bigger body.
    • It wouldn't even need to be foresight. Pre-serum Steve was undersized, odds are all his uniforms had some tacking stitches in them to make them fit. The military has better things to spend their money on than custom-fit uniforms for someone at least one officer expects to wash out. Granted, this doesn't explain why his belt still fit ... though it looks like it's loose before he goes into the capsule.

    Tesseract lasers 

  • The weaponized lasers of the Tesseract have some strange properties. They can apparently disintegrate organic matter and clothing, but they can't disintegrate anything mechanical (eg. tanks).
    • Maybe it only affects cells, which is certainly something that organic matter has that mechanical ones don't.
    • The lasers were clearly shown causing explosions and blowing up walls, IIRC, so it isn't an organic-only thing. Though perhaps there are multiple types of tesseract lasers, and one type only works on organics.
    • Or the beams can only instantly disintegrate matter of below a certain density/structural integrity. Soft targets like living things vaporize, while hard targets have a part explode violently.
    • Maybe... it's a very sudden burst of heat, that doesn't stick around long enough to affect more durable materials like metal?

    Valkyrie bombs 

  • Two from the final battle on the Valkyrie: 1. Why were the HYDRA agents trying to launch the bombs for New York and Chicago when they hadn't even crossed the Atlantic yet? 2. Why does a 'kamikaze' bomb have an ejection seat?
    • From the looks of the radar map, the Valkyrie was actually flying over the northern ice cap to reach the United States (the route you see most transatlantic jets take). As for how fast it got to its destination, chalk it up to a combination of Traveling at the Speed of Plot and tesseract-powered engines.
    • Still, it was weird how they talked about "If they cross the Atlantic, we're toast" when the plane never heads over the Atlantic in the first place. (Unless the Northern ice cap counts as the Atlantic, I guess.)
    • It's symbolic: this shore of the Atlantic = us, that shore = them. Even if the villain chooses a different route to get to "our" shore.
    • As for the ejection seats, the Nazis actually did install ejection seats in "suicide planes". Even though Germans were perfectly willing to do kamikaze missions where they rammed their planes into enemy targets, they weren't as fanatical as the Japanese about pointlessly wasting pilots so they would always eject if given the chance. However, whether these ejection seats actually worked was an entirely different matter...
    • Nobody ever said they were kamikaze bombs. They might very well have just been meant to drop bombs. Which given the power source need not be all that large to function as city-busters.
    • Why do the flying bombs have ejector seats but Valkyrie itself doesn't?
    • Even today, most bomber and transport aircraft do not have ejection seats, and presumably Red Skull probably didn't feel like stocking up on parachutes or Cap didn't want to risk the plane going wildly off course if he tried to bail out.
    • Large planes don't have ejection seats; escaping crew bail by jumping out doors with parachutes. Ejectors are only useful if your craft's pilot doesn't have room in the first place to grab a chute and jump out a door. That's why you see ejection seats in fighters but never in large transports.
    • Ejecting as a means of escape is very sudden, and would likely mean leaving the Tesseract behind. Schmidt would probably die before he did that.
    • And if he did need to evacuate, he could simply remove the Tesseract, grab a parachute and jump out of the closest hole in the plane.

    Self-destruct explosions 

  • When Cap is rescuing the prisoners, Red Skull hits the self-destruct. Once the timers hit zero, the facility manages to self-destruct continuously for a solid five minutes. It would make sense if they were just bombs that went off and afterwards there was a big continuous fire, but it seems that the facility is actually exploding, repeatedly, during that whole scene with Cap and Red Skull on the bridge. (And for some reason, it's only the space under them that keeps exploding. )
    • We saw several different times hit zero at slightly different times, and before that we saw Red Skull manually activating multiple timers. Presumably each one activated a different bomb. And the bombs are all at ground level.
    • That doesn't really explain it. We saw Red Skull activate something like 3 buttons (maybe it was 4 or whatever), and then there are 3 timers counting to zero, and then 3 explosions matching the timers. But then, five minutes later, new explosions keep exploding for some reason. The only explanation that comes to mind is that Schmidt actually hit like 200 more buttons beyond those 3 that we saw. Or maybe the original three caused long chain-reactions somehow. (Or, ya know, Rule of Cool.)
    • Actually, it makes perfect sense. He starts activated the self destruct bomb, then has to stop to briefly explain to Zola why he's blowing up the base, and then goes back to turning on timers. The pause between the first three explosions and the rest is when he was arguing with Zola.
    • In wider shots, you can see that the total number of switches is closer to something between 8 to 12.
    • As noted, the Skull activated several separate timers, which presumably set off explosives in critical areas. I don't think they were expected to bring the whole facility down themselves, although they presumably destroyed the most secret items in the base when they went off. The fires they started then spread to munitions stockpiles, which proceeded to cook off, causing numerous secondary explosions (which might well have been planned).
    • The timers mark when the primary explosions in each area start. But, because it's unlikely a single centralized explosion will both a) burn sensitive material and b) demolish the building, each area requires a few explosions. Or maybe those secondary ones are an insurance policy, in case the primaries don't work - when you need to be thorough, redundant backups are your friend.
    • Not all of those explosions were necessarily part of the self destruct sequence. The place was a giant factory/ lab for creating advanced weaponry, it's likely that explosive materials were just left around as part of normal operations. Since they weren't placed with the self-destruct system in mind, they would account for at least some of the oddly timed/ delayed explosions.

    Apprehending Zola 

  • In the train scene, Cap and Bucky bust into some random train cars and fight some guys, and then Bucky dies. Then we cut to Jones busting through the roof of another and apprehending Zola. Why didn't they just bust into Zola's car in the first place, and ignore all the other guys?
    • Probably they didn't know which car Zola was in. Jones just got lucky.
    • They probably also didn't want to have any Tesseract Cannons blasting at them after they bagged Zola.
    • There's also the little issue of how they boarded the train. Zip-line onto high-speed train isn't very precise and they didn't necessarily have the time or ability to locate him from the exterior and enter there considering wind resistance and possible tunnels.
    • Diversion. Get all the force in one place that's not the target with some bait (Cap, and Bucky just in case), then go after the target. They probably assumed that there'd be Tesseract Cannon-armed soldiers on the train, but you never know.

    Attacking alone 

  • Near the end, Cap attacks Red Skull's fortress alone and gets captured. Then when he's about to be executed, his teammates burst through a window and rescue him. Why the heck did Cap attack the fortress alone in the first place? He didn't seem to have any plan besides "punch people", and he didn't seem to accomplish anything important. So why wouldn't he just stick with his team and burst through the window along with them? The way he did it, there was a serious chance Red Skull would just shoot him before backup arrived.
    • Most likely he had one of Stark's transponders (like the one that got damaged during his earlier POW rescue mission) on him, to tell the Howling Commandos where Red Skull's command room is. And knew that Skull wouldn't be able to resist taking the time to gloat before killing him.
    • It's also a classic diversion. Captain starts attacking the main gate and all the troops rush up there to fight him, leaving no one to notice the commando team getting ready to smash in through the back.
    • Yeah, this. Red Skull clearly has an axe to grind against Cap (that much became clear in the factory).
    • You see Steve take down the Hydra soldiers guarding him right before the Commandos burst in. He had the situation under control the whole time.
    • Also, this is the guy who's gonna fly a plane into an ice sheet an hour later. He's not necessarily thinking of his own survival as Priority One.

    Planes and bombs 

  • On the plane at the end, we see a bunch of bombs. (They're all labeled with their target cities for some reason.) Then later we're flying around outside on some sort of minor aircraft. Are these the bombs? Or are they just fighter-craft that can launch from the main plane? And if they are the bombs, what happens to them? Do they land somewhere once they're off-camera? Do they explode? Did we just blow up a town in Greenland or something?
    • The planes are the things labeled with the city names, but IIRC it's not explicitly stated how they'll destroy the cities. It could be that they simply contain bombs (with the Cosmic Cube as a power source, they wouldn't necessarily need to be very large to take out a city) that are dropped and then the planes return to Skull's giant plane.
    • So the mini-planes that went offscreen just crashed somewhere, and the bombs they were carrying didn't explode? I guess that makes sense.
    • Not too surprising, most bombs are designed such that they need to be initiated in a specific way to correctly explode. Heck, nukes are such delicate piece of technology that a strong impact is actually a rather good way of disarming it. Maybe tesseract bombs have the same handicap.
    • They were man-guided bombs. The first devices for guided missiles were essentially kamikaze bombs that a pilot directed to their target. Obviously, they eventually improved the design so a trained pilot didn't need to die to get the bomb where it was going, but for the timeframe, that was how guided bombs worked.
    • The Italians devised a similar guided projectile, just it was an attack boat, not a missile. The pilot had to steer it towards the target (usually a large warship), set the rudder, block the throttle lever down and jump. An life raft inflated automatically and held the pilot on it until his comrades came to rescue him. A team of 3 boats disabled HMS York.
    • Naming the individual bombs was probably for morale. And they probably need to be primed in-flight or something, just in case.

    Warping Tesseract 

  • At the climax, Cap damages the Tesseract-device and Red Skull removes the Tesseract. Then it either kills him or warps him to another galaxy or whatever. Why? He's handled the Tesseract before without any negative effects.
    • I think maybe that was the first time he touched it with his bare skin? Or maybe it was an effect of the damage.
    • Correct, nobody ever touched it directly until that moment. First it was in the storage box, then it was placed into the device to draw power from it. Even in the Avengers movie, Fury touches it with gloved hands as gingerly as possible when moving it to a storage box, and acts like his fingertips had been touching something painfully hot when he lets go.
    • So, new question: Was Red Skull aware that touching the cube would have this effect? If so, why did he touch it? And if not, is it just a fortunate (for him) coincidence that he never touched it previously?
    • He had no idea. But he DID NOT COME ALL THIS WAY FOR SAFETY! Plus he was in the middle of a massive Villainous Breakdown.
    • A God Is Red Skull.
    • The Red Skull is alive and well in Asgard now, right? From what I saw, the act of the cosmic cube being exposed and being handled by a mortal caused Heimdall to notice it, which resulted in the person "worthy" enough to claim it immediately being pulled across the Bifrost into Asgard.
    • No, it's only hinted at that he may have been transported to one of the other Nine Realms any one of which (except Earth) he could have ended up on. And nothing states it was Bifrost, it could have been the Cube's own powers transporting the Skull. Besides Asgard probably wouldn't be the most welcoming place for the Skull.
    • Yeah, basically they did the comic book equivalent of benching him. If he comes back, it's because he got sucked into another realm. If he doesn't, it's because he died.
    • This question is answered in Avengers: Infinity War: he went to Vormir and became the gatekeeper for the Soul Stone.

    Stopping the bombing 

  • At the climax, Cap is flying the Valkyrie, and he decides to crash it into the arctic rather than bomb all the cities. Um... why the frick can't he just stop the bombing? He obviously has control of the plane, isn't there a button somewhere for disarming the bombs?
    • Yeah, maybe they should've just had it so the controls were damaged somehow so the plane was crashing whether he liked it or not. (Of course, that would sort of detract from his Heroic Sacrifice.)
    • Cap isn't a trained pilot. He probably has no idea how to land a plane, and the Hydra plane was, as he pointed out, flying very fast. It wasn't that it was going to bomb New York if it continued its current course, it was that it was going to crash into New York. With nobody on board with the necessary skills to land the thing safely, it was going to crash somewhere. Cap made sure it crashed somewhere with no people around.
    • Even a trained pilot wouldn't have been able to work those controls. HYDRA's technology was way, way ahead of the curve and the plane's controls were not only one of a kind, but probably also labeled in German on top of that. Cap is smart, but he's not that smart. The only part he was able to control is the descent of the plane through the only controls easily recognizable. There wasn't much else he could do.
    • I don't know. Couldn't Cap at least try to get some flying advice over the radio? (Unless it's really only like 2 minutes till he hits Maine.) And it seems to me that if you can figure out how to make the plane descend, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out how to make the plane fly in circles for awhile while you weigh your options. No need to rush into a Heroic Sacrifice if you can stall disaster and then maybe they'll get somebody on the radio who can figure out what to do. Heck, you think Cap could at least report his current position so they can find him after he crashes. (Though I guess he didn't expect to survive so why would he bother...)
    • I'm not sure why he wouldn't expect to survive, he took ridiculous abuse already and survived it. If he hadn't frozen solid upon impact he probably would have been OK. Doomed by Canon, I guess.
    • He still needed body armor and a shield to make sure he survived knives and bullets. Crashing a supersonic jet is much more traumatic of an experience. It's something of a minor miracle that the plane didn't just disintegrate from the impact itself.
    • Actual non-super powered humans can survive water crashes, given luck, good piloting, and calm seas. Cap is many times tougher than that but he gives up immediately. It just seemed defeatist to me.
    • The problem with trying to safely land the plan is that it was damaged. Several of the engines were out and the main power supply was missing. Not to mention the thing the Cosmic Cube was in spouting blue mist right behind him. And we clearly see Cap messing with control sticks that aren't entirely functional. That plane was going down hard no matter where it landed and Cap was going for a place that would cause the least amount of damage to other people. And I don't think he was being defeatist, either. He was making plans for a date with Peggy, after all. He may not have expected to survive, but I'm pretty sure he was hoping to.
    • Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but I think Peggy actually does suggest at one point that they get Howard over the line and have him try to figure out what kind of controls Red Skull's specially-made Tesseract ship is flying with, and talk Steve through it. Since Howard doesn't actually turn up, I'm guessing that they couldn't get him into the communications room on time. Which would also add to his possible incentives for constantly searching for Steve at the end of the movie, if he partly blames himself for not getting there fast enough.
    • She does indeed, and I think it's Cap that says there isn't enough time for that.
    • Which is true seeing as it was war zone and you wouldn't take a non-combatant anywhere near there until you were sure he wouldn't get hit by a stray blast.
    • This very issue is the main point of parody by How it Should Have Ended. They also ask why Cap didn't put the plane on a downward course and then attempt to escape, perhaps by flying away on one of those fighter craft or by looking for a parachute somewhere. (Come to think of it, if the fighter craft have ejection seats then isn't it at least plausible that the big plane has some kind of ejection/escape mechanism? Couldn't Cap at least try to find it, or some other option to save himself?)
    • When Cap is at the controls, he can see the radar with his position. You can also see him trying to get control of the plane and he doesn't fully understand the controls, which by that point the plane had been damaged. I'm not a pilot myself, but I do believe it is easier to make a plane descend than to guide it into any other movement, be it changing direction or gaining altitude. Cap is, quite frankly, NOT taking any chances. He doesn't know how much control he really has over the plane or how long it will last. I also think that he might not have been thinking with perfect clarity. It seemed that the assault on the Hydra Base at the end was, on Steve's end, a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Bucky's death.
    • It is also worth mentioning that before Steve takes over the controls, during the melee between Steve and Skull they managed to knock the flight seat into the control panel, pushing the plane into a dive and damaging several systems in the control panel as well. When Red Skull corrects the dive, he also flips a switch labeled 'Auto' so the plane won't divert from its radar defined course to the Eastern Seaboard. In all likelihood, this actually prevented Steve preforming any form of left-right yawing and only allowed for up-down pitch control, even then correcting as soon as the stick was released to allow for altitude modification during flight. In essence, Steve couldn't do anything to make the plan maintain a crash course because it was programmed to fly to the East Coast come hell or high water, and as it happened high water was on the way once the primary power source was removed and seven of the prop engines were down as well as both of the turbine engines being out. The plane was going to crash no matter what, but it was going to do so somewhere in New York City at what looked to be early morning rush hour. In essence: all Steve could do was direct the plane to the ground with forward motion on the control stick, and hope for a relatively soft landing. Even if he did have yaw control, the engines were out and I'd bet the entire Stark fortune that the plane handled like a flying brick with anything less than full engine power in a turn. As a result, it was 'Fly in a straight line into the ground in the arctic', or 'glide in a straight line to the ground over a densely populated major city'. It's not in Steve's nature to choose the second option.
    • Given his reaction to Bucky's apparent death, there's a non-zero chance Steve wasn't looking for a way out as hard as he might've, either—not actually suicidal, but not necessarily trying too hard to avoid death. (Nor do his actions in Captain America: The Winter Soldier do anything to refute this idea...)
      • He wanted to live a life with Peggy. In that sense, basically every movie does refute that idea.

     70 years 

  • Why did it take 70 years to find the plane in the arctic? I mean, yeah, the arctic is big. But 70 years?
    • You can take a page from the Transformers book of thought and say that the ship was probably very hot when it hit the ice, melted through, and was buried.
    • It was shown starting to fall through the ice right before the flash-forward ending. Presumably since they didn't know exactly where to look, Cap was covered by re-frozen ice before Stark's crew got to the right place, and it took 70 more years before it melted again to the point that the plane was visible.
    • Even then, they couldn't exactly recover the remains of the Valkyrie out of the ice in one piece, seeing how, as one of the researchers put it, they'd need "one hell of a crane" to pull it out.
    • The Arctic scientists in the prologue even point out that it's difficult to find stuff in the polar ice caps because the ice is always constantly shifting.
    • And as a larger verse continuity bonus, apparently the plane was only where they did find it not due to natural shifts but because when Bruce tried to kill himself as he says in Avengers, he was in the Arctic, and the resulting Hulk-out knocked the piece of ice the plane was in loose.
    • That version of the scene probably isn't canon anymore. Not only is Cap vaguely visible in the ice with no plane in sight, but Bruce doesn't even shoot himself like he said he did; he hulks out before he fires or even points the gun at himself.
    • I figured it was something like global warming melting enough of the ice to make part of it visible. In fact, I'm very surprised they didn't say so in the movie—it would've been a perfect reason for why they found him now.
    • They were explaining it in the movie. The didn't track the plane, Howard Stark tracked the energy signature of the cube, which of course let them to a wrong position, since it fell out earlier. They probably searched every inch of sea floor around it, but eventually gave up.
    • It's not unprecedented. A group of five P-38s and two B-17s were buried beneath 260 feet of ice for 50 years and wasn't found for all that time due to decades of blowing snow and drifting glaciers after an emergency landing on an icecap in Greenland. One of the P-38s was recovered and restored to flyable condition and was dubbed the "Glacier Girl".
    • Extrapolating from the above suggestion: perhaps the bomber was made of, or coated in, a material that made it difficult to find? Something that big is going to have trouble flying down the East Coast without being spotted, and it doesn't seem like HYDRA had trans-Atlantic bomber escorts lined up - so they just gave the bomber a stealth coating instead, and that ended up interfering with attempts to find it for the next 70 years.
    • Makes sense, as the bomber was based on the Horten H.XVIII, which was the bomber version of the Horten Ho 229, which was built for stealth. A mockup of the 229 was built in the modern days and tested under radar. It was proven to have a reduction in detection range of 37% considering contemporary British radar.


  • How is it that Cap crashes into the arctic, and then somehow freezes in just such a way that they can revive him 70 years later?
    • Canonically the Super-Soldier serum makes it so that his body fluis can't crystalize; so when frozen his blood and cells don't rupture, so he has basically a cryp-sleep treatment already built-in. Now, it only looks even more far fetched because in the original comics Cap wakes up about 20 years after the war; not 70.
    • Super Serum?
    • But the super-serum was never designed to prepare Cap for cryogenics or hibernation or whatever.
    • Super-Duper Serum? There's no solid explanation, really. I think they should have arranged the plot so Cap was put into cryogenics on purpose. Like, maybe there's a flaw in the serum, so it's burning him up somehow and he's gonna die, so they freeze him until they can find a fix, and then they manage to fix him 70 years later and thaw him out.
    • The serum altered Cap's biology in lots of ways, and nobody actually knew the full effects. That's all there is to it.
    • Comic book logic. That's the way it happened in the comics, that's the way it happens in the movie.
    • Pretty much the comics had established that a side-effect of the serum was an anti-freeze effect. Yeah, a rationalization, but not too unusual given the format.
    • It's explicitly stated that one of the benefits the serum grants Cap is an accelerated healing factor, similar to Wolverine's but not nearly as potent. It was probably the only thing that was keeping him alive after his body shut down from the cold.
    • I figured it had something to do with that busted up containment unit for the Cosmic Cube that was belching blue vapor. Does anyone really know how the Cosmic Cube works? I seem to recall at least one continuity claiming it could grant wishes (probably with a hefty price tag). Cap wanted to survive, so he did.
    • The cosmic cube is pretty much omnipotence in a box and does whatever it is the writers want it to. It can grant wishes (with or without a price tag) if the user wants it to or you can use it as a battery or you could use it the same way Thanos uses the infinity gauntlet. Depends on how much you know about the cube. My guess is that Red Skull didn't know how the cube actually works (Whoever is holding it can do anything they want) so the cube just defaulted on his deepest desire to ascend to godhood. The easiest way to do that? Shoot him to Asgard and call it a day. He already thought he was a god so why not just send him to the realm of the gods.
    • Cap doesn't sleep, because he can't sleep, but when he does... (Replace that with 'drink' or 'party' as needs dictate.)

    SSR base 

  • So the SSR is operating a secret base in Brooklyn which is accessed through the back of an antiques shop. How do the dozens of MPs manage to come and go from work without anyone noticing, not to mention the senators, super-scientists, and other notaries constantly streaming in and out of a nondescript storefront? It's no wonder HYDRA knew where to send their assassin if this is how the Allies were running their covert operations.
    • The "senators, super-scientists, and other notaries" weren't "constantly streaming in and out". The senator and notaries were explicitly only there that one time because the experiment they'd spent so much money on was happening right then. As for the MP's? They can get changed out of uniform on the way out, you know. And who says that's the only entrance?
    • For that matter, who says the scientists and the MPs go home? Maybe the base has dormitories for the scientists and barracks for the guards so they can sleep on-site.
    • Plus, this was America in the middle of the Second World War. Men in uniform weren't exactly an uncommon sight.
    • More than one entrance? The antiques shop being the one they brought Steve through.
  • They built the base in Brooklyn because it uses a lot of electrical power and the Senator would not approve the requisition of generators for the project. So they hook into the city's power grid and "may dim half the lights in Brooklyn". It would probably have been more practical to build the base near the Hoover Dam, with huge amounts of hydroelectrical power available at the drop of a hat. Easier for security too, as you can build the base in the middle of the desert. No need for a storefront, and no chance of spies escaping by using a submarine.

    Security guy 

  • More of a mistake than anything else, but one of the MPs doesn't fight the HYDRA spy after the transformation scene, he runs into a room and shuts the door. WTF security MP guy? You had one job to do!
    • That bugged me somewhat as well, but he might not have realized the guy was a HYDRA spy. IIRC, the guy didn't actually see the spy shoot anybody. He came out of a side door and ran past, probably to see what all the commotion in the lab was about. Perhaps he assumed the spy was just some guy also in a hurry.

    Speaking English 

  • How come everybody in Nazi Germany speaks English even when there's no reason to? I mean I know English is a common second language to most Germans, but why is it necessary in every single scene where it's nobody but Germans speaking to other Germans? I'm tempted to add a Gratuitous English entry to the YMMV page regarding this...
    • Translation Convention, of course. They're actually speaking German, but the director didn't want to use that many subtitles.
    • So I figured, though I still find it baffling that hardly any German is heard at all in a movie set in WWII Europe. At least they could've had Red Skull exclaiming in his native tongue for a split second or something when fighting Cap.
    • When he's being dissolved by the Tesseract, Skull does indeed shout "Nein!" rather than "No!" At least, the vowel following the initial N sounds way more like the German word than the English one, though he doesn't make it to the end before his fate befalls him.
    • Actually there was a throwaway line in a comic once about how The Skull learned English specifically to be able to gloat over his fallen foes and have them understand him.
    • So this would be the explanation for why the bombs at the end of the movie were labeled in English? That's something that bothered me...
    • What is "New York" in German, anyway? Is it actually different?
    • New York City in German is... New York City. Boston and Chicago (the other two labeled bombs) are also known by their familiar names in German.
    • Moreover, the actors are all native English speakers and most of them probably have none or very little ability to speak German. Your choices are German-accented English, or painfully mangled German lines that would be hilarious to any German-speaker.
    • The Trope list for the film mentions that in pulp movies and such, this sort of Translation Convention was common. Cap is all about the pulp, so this fits with the film.

    War bond shield 

  • The shield. Not the iconic one he gets for actual combat, the one he used while he was selling war bonds. When Red Skull punches it, it gets dented, so it's pretty clearly made of metal. The American propaganda film at the beginning shows little kids scavenging scrap metal for the war effort, but they make a stage prop out of metal instead of wood.
    • They probably made an exception for Cap due to his status as a propaganda symbol at the time, plus he was being backed by a US Senator.
    • I'm not an expert on this or anything, but I'm preeeeeeeetty sure metal wasn't so rare it was going exclusively into the war industry. The kids gathering scrap metal was more a propagandist "look, even little Timmy is helping the war effort! Why aren't you?!" message and as a jab against pre-serum'd Steve.
    • Actually, metal was really rare during World War Two. For instance, most cars had wooden fenders, and the Oscar statuettes were made of plaster, because not even Hollywood could get their hands on enough metal (and/or they wanted to seem patriotic by prioritizing that metal towards the war effort). These plaster Oscars were exchanged for metal Oscars once the war was over. So it is pretty weird that Cap had a prop shield made out of metal, though I guess it helps that he had the backing of a senator.
    • They may have tried to make one out of other materials and found that it just didn't look good. Cap's a pretty important part of raising money for the war effort, so if he doesn't look good, they'd probably sacrifice a few pounds of metal to make sure he did. Sure it's probably one less battleship gun shell, but it's one less battleship gun shell in exchange for people buying a lot more war bonds, which they can then use to buy more shells.
    • Here's a thought- the shield already existed as a prop for some other theatrical purpose. Metal was rare and lots of it went to the war effort, but I doubt every single prop in the country was sent over. Easily could have been commandeered from some Hollywood studio or more likely a stage acting troupe (where the clang of a metal prop sword on a metal prop shield would have had more impact than in films where they could substitute a wooden one)
    • Or alternatively they gave him a metal shield for the durability of it. Cap's strong enough to bend metal with a moderate amount of effort, a wooden or plastic one might break apart mid-performance. He does use the same shield everywhere he goes as well. Plus, propaganda purposes. A wooden shield, no matter what you did to it, will still look like a shield made out of wood. The whole purpose of the shows was to give people the impression that this was the kind of guy they had on the front lines.
    • Yeah, this. There's probably a meet-and-greet after the stage show too, and while a metal-coating might work during the show, it would need to be metal to sell it afterwards.
    • It's also possible that some of the stunts in Cap's stage performances would require a metal prop to be carried out, like having him block Nazi punches, truncheons, or (given 1940s work-safety standards) actual bullets with it. Much more entertaining if the shield audibly goes "bong!" when faux-enemies strike it.

    Trained pilot/paratrooper 

  • When did Cap become a trained pilot and paratrooper? He couldn't have got his jump wings pre-serum, and the government wouldn't have allowed it after.
    • We don't see Cap have any flying skill at all until the end of the movie... which is post-Hydra-smashing-montage, and that montage covers circa one year of time. Which is plenty of offscreen opportunity for Cap's buddy Howard Stark, "the best civilian pilot", to give Steve some crash course instruction. As for being a paratrooper on his first "real" mission, pre-montage, in real life the British Special Operations Executive stopped running their civilian agents through jump school before dropping them into Occupied Europe... because they were losing more agents in training accidents than they lost by simply giving them a very little bit of basic instruction, strapping a chute on their butt, and kicking them out the door. After all, unlike the Airborne, the guy only has to reach the ground successfully once. Peggy was very likely following the same logic as far as dropping Cap on his first mission. (Add in that unlike all of them, Cap is superhumanly coordinated, and hey.)
    • We also never see Cap (or Steve, for that matter) hitting the books. Cap shows a very good mind for battle tactics in The Avengers (enough that Tony, Thor, and Hulk don't hesitate to follow him), and that had to come from somewhere, yeah? So... maybe he's actually very good (either with or without the SSS) at studying an action then letting his superhuman coordination do the work?
    • We don't know whether or not Cap hit the books during the war, but he did have some downtime in the 21st century before the Avengers started. Considering his mind frame at the time, he probably did a lot of reading.
    • Actually in the Boot Camp montage, we see Steve unloading a bunch of books. They could just be novels, but even if they are he's obviously an avid reader. Considering his mind frame (weak of body, strong of mind and heart), I would bet that Steve would've been reading books on tactics that he bummed off Bucky as he went around to recruitment stations. Steve may have figured he'd do best in an officer's role given his physique, though he'd be the type to lead from the front.

    Howard and Tony 

  • How old are Howard and Tony Stark? If they're a similar age to their actors, Howard didn't father Tony until he was almost 60, and it seems like Tony Stark is supposed to be younger than his actor's 46.
    • More or less. A healthy male could father a child in his sixties, and beyond even. Its only a matter of finding a young healthy woman to be his wife, which the charismatic, intelligent and absurdly wealthy Howard Stark could've done.
    • This sort-of tracks with the second Iron Man movie, we only see Tony interacting with his father when Tony was a pre-teen so it's entirely possible that Howard died before or shortly after Tony reached his 20s (not unreasonable if his father was 60 years older than him). On the other hand in those scenes Howard looks more like someone in his late forties than someone in his sixties or seventies.
    • He aged really well
    • The Iron Man movies only amp up the confusion, actually: the first scene says that Tony's parents died when he was eighteen, and in IM2, Tony offhandedly mentions his dad's been dead "almost twenty years", making Tony in his late thirties. Yet, the Howard Stark in the video in IM2 (when Tony looks about seven or eight) is not in his seventies. There's a few decades spontaneously missing from this continuity...
    • This whole thing hinges on whether the actors are the same age as the characters—which they probably are not. If we assume that Howard is in his mid-20s during World War II, that would track a lot better with what we see on screen, so that's probably what the case was.
    • If you go re-watch the first Iron Man, pay close attention to the summary of Tony's life and achievements at the award ceremony near the start of the movie. There's a newspaper headline that says Tony's parents were killed in a car crash. How old Howard was when he fathered his kid doesn't really matter. He can still be taken out of the picture before Tony is legally an adult (another headline talks about Tony finally taking over Stark Industries when he turns 21) without being in his 60s, since he didn't die due to natural causes.
    • According to these SHIELD files, Howard was born in 1917 and Tony was born in 1970.

    Chris Evans 

  • Maybe I missed something, but is the man in the poster really Chris Evans? He looks different. Also, he has brown hair instead of blond.
    • He had brown hair in Fantastic Four (2005) as well, it's just longer here. Unlike Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers, who both have blonde hair in the comics, Chris is brunette.
    • It's weird they didn't dye his hair before taking the photo for the poster.
    • It could be that his hair was actually darkened post-production for the poster — because Real Is Brown and they didn't want the whole thing to look too bright and shiny and perky, despite the film itself being pretty straightforward to the point of being almost a reconstruction. It's a "this is a gritty Captain America film!" thing — stupid as that is. It seems like Evans' hair is naturally brown or a light brown/dark blond anyway.


  • Cap's military awards. The first time we've seen him, he's blown off an awards ceremony, and is seen wearing the the Purple Heart ribbon with one OLC. How exactly did he get wounded on two separate occasions? And about a year later, his ribbons are the same, which seems unlikely, as would have at least gained the one for whatever medal Senator Brand was going to award him.
    • Perhaps because he honestly doesn't care about the awards he wins, so he's not concerned with presenting them properly.
    • Well, that would be insulting to other soldiers who do wear their ribbons, and he DOES display some awards, but not all of them?
    • Maybe it wasn't an official military award, but rather one of the propaganda awards (like a key to the city) that people sometimes get when don't exactly qualify for any specific existing award, but they certainly qualify for something, or the person who intends to present the award isn't authorized to present the official award (for example, the senator wouldn't have been authorized to present the Medal of Honor).
    • What would being a guinea pig for what amounts to a full-body reconstruction process qualify him for? Would the pain he suffered while being bombarded with Vita-Rays qualify?

    Origins of Captain America 

  • How much does the public know about the origins and identity of Captain America? The early Timely comics and the wartime serials are presented as having actually existed during his time as a mascot - it would be pretty hard to have avoided a "Steve Rogers as Captain America" billing in the opening credits, and assuming the in-verse comics are comparable to the real versions, they'd have the whole story laid out about the super-soldier serum and the vita-rays.
    • It's safe to assime the in-universe comic books only share the covers with the real comics, and it's more or less implied throughout the movie that this version of captain America doesn't have a "secret identity"; so the public at large knows that Steve Rogers is an actual Captain in the US military whereas in the real world comic books his title is honorary nad he doesn't have an actual military rank. The guy has a museum dedicated to him in-universe, so he is an actual historical figure in the MCU.
    • It's difficult to say without reading the comic itself, but since they considered the Super soldier program under Erskine a failure, it's probably safe to say they didn't consider it a huge security risk to tell them about it. It's not like they're giving out schematics on how to make your own Super Soldier.
    • If the in-universe comics did talk about Cap's origins, they probably screwed it up on purpose. For instance, maybe the comic simply claimed that Steve did a lot of training and muscle-building, with no mention of the super-serum. Or maybe they mentioned using super-science to boost his muscles, but they deliberately fouled up the details ("and then he had to eat a lot of seaweed!") so as to mislead any enemy who might try to copy the process. That seems realistic for wartime America, and of course the audience wouldn't know the difference.
    • The comic versions of his origins were probably inserted as a form of Plausible Deniability. Other than that there doesn't seem to be any great effort to protect his identity. The mask was most likely just a holdover from the original costume.
    • If nothing else, the soldiers who worked with him would know him as Captain Steve G. Rogers, so there's no hiding the fact that Steve is Captain America.

    Super-Soldier Propaganda 

  • Why would they use their Super-Soldier for propaganda instead of having someone else who looks good and can speak like, say, an actor?
    • Probably because all the actors who had the appropriate heroic build had been conscripted. Also since they had Steve, why not give him something to do...
    • They pretty much state that he is used for propaganda because there is only 1 of him, rather than the many super-soldiers they wanted.
    • The other guys can't simultaneously lift a motorcycle and three stage dancers above their heads. (Or they thought it'd be easier to train a soldier to be an actor than vice-versa.)
    • Also, since he was the only one, they didn't want to actually use him in the war because he might be killed in action, and there goes all that money. They wanted a return on their investment, so they gave him something to do. It helps that he's handsome, muscular, white (hell he's Aryan), and willing to help out.
    • Steve's picture had already appeared on the front page of the newspaper. They didn't have the time or opportunity to find a lookalike actor, particularly not one who was built like a Greek god and could hoist motorcycles over his head.

    Making prototype out of Vibranium 

  • So this shield Cap ends up choosing for battle: Steve picks it up only for Howard Stark to tell him not to bother with it because it's just a prototype. He then tells him that the Vibranium metal that this prototype is made of is extremely rare - all the known Vibranium available on Earth was used to create it. Why did he waste every bit of this incredibly rare, incredibly useful metal to make a prototype? Wouldn't you be wanting to save all that 100% vibration-absorbent stuff for, you know, a real weapon?
    • Like what, exactly? They only had enough Vibranium to make a single shield-sized object out of it, Stark wouldn't have been able to build one tank out of it.
    • True, but the fact that he says (paraphrasing) "Don't bother with that, it's just a prototype" bugs me badly. Stark talks about it in such a throwaway manner as if it wasn't worth anything to Steve. Yeah, it's a prototype made of an indestructible, 100% vibration-absorbent, extremely rare metal. Don't bother with it indeed...
      • Because it doesn't do 'anything interesting' in Stark's eyes; remember that only Cap has the strenght to throw and catch the shield and develops the skills to ricochet it off surfaces; the real catch with the shield is that it absorbs kinetic energy without damage to the user and a side benefit it doesn't lose momemtum when rebounding off surfaces. Steve develops an entire combat style out of those uses, wich Stark couldn't have even imagine would be possible. Chances are they DID test the shield and found it's ONLY indestructible, but couldn't figure out a way to weaponize it.
    • Another thing too: prototypes are typically expendable models of less quality and function than the finished models they precede. If the "prototype" is made of the rarest, strongest metal on Earth, what the hell could it be a prototype for?!
    • Prototypes for weapons and new technology are actually much hardier than production models most of the time since the idea is to test it to its breaking point. If you do that with flimsy materials there's no way you're going to get an accurate idea of a weapon's performance and capabilities. The question you should be asking is why isn't lovely patriotic paint job stripped off after one shot from HYDRA's guns?
    • It's not vibranium paint, it's some form of more common paint on vibranium that obviously doesn't take vaporizing/insta-explosion blasts as well as the shield itself does.
    • I interpreted it not as a prototype shield, but as a prototype use. When new materials are developed they're often tested by making them into a practical shape. Thus they didn't make a prototype shield out of a very valuable metal to see if the shield would work; they made their very valuable metal into a shield shape to see if they could, then to find out what it would do. Likely Stark was hoping to poke around at the Vibranium some more.
    • The "don't bother with that" was probably more along the lines of, "We're not finished testing it," or some such. The other shields Howard wanted to show Steve were probably just more battle-ready, made from known materiel. The vibranium was probably seen as experimental, and they wanted more time to see what it could do before sending it out into the field.
    • My take on that scene was that most of the other shields had features like built-in machine guns, concealed blades, attached grapple lines, or other such mechanical doohickeys.
    • And Stark still hadn't figured out how to instal the doohickeys on the Vibranium shield without compromising all of it's cool properties. No point of having a Vibranium shield when the other guy can just shoot the gun ports. The bullets would either ricochet or go through.
    • In the original comics, Cap's circular shield was an accidental creation. An American metallurgist was trying to fuse vibranium with iron but fell asleep during the process. He woke up to find the experiment was a success because of an "unknown catalyst" entering the process while he was out. They couldn't think of anything else to do with it so they poured it into a mold for a tank hatch to create a metal disk which eventually became Cap's signature shield. Perhaps Movie!Cap's shield was created the same way.
    • About the only possible use for that shield is to charge someone who's firing at you, pretty much the exact opposite of safety when compared to the others he had lined up. Stark hasn't seen Cap in action at that point, so he might not be aware that a form of protection that can only be used suicidally by anyone else would be the perfect 'weapon' for someone like him.
    • A couple reasons come to mind. It may have been a case of the metal being so valuable that it became worthless; any industrial use for it (like plating tanks) would have required more of it being made, which was seemingly impossible. Similarly, metal of any sort was valuable due to the war effort, and it would have been much less taxing on resources to outfit Cap with one seemingly-indestructible shield made of an insanely rare material unsuitable for other use, versus a brand new steel shield every mission because the last mission destroyed the last brand new steel shield especially given HYDRA's weaponry.
    • Howard, like his son Tony, is an uber-obsessive inventor, with an insatiable need to build the next big thing...and the thing after that, and the thing after that. The senior Stark's first attempt at crafting the ultimate weapon for the ultimate soldier was an indestructible, perfectly balanced ranged/defensive combat tool like no one had ever seen up to that point, and he still said to himself: "I can do better". Howard was probably hoping to get his hands on some more Vibranium down the line (perhaps not realizing initially quite how rare it was), and was looking to "jazz up" later versions of the shield with mini-guns, blades and such. By Iron Man 3, son Tony had built 43 different versions of his strength amplifying armored battle suit, the third iteration of such able to battle a Thunder God to a standstill, and still wasn't satisfied. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    Allied forces 

  • The Allied Forces. While I was impressed to see British, French, and Scottish (Scots are also British) soldiers, the movie seems to have forgotten that there were also Australian, Canadian, New Zealander, South African, Dutch, and Scandinavian soldiers fighting as well (to name a few). Considering that the Howling Commandos were intended to be more multinational, and that the POW camp was supposedly holding soldiers from multiple battles, there are a disproportionate amount of Americans.
    • I can only speak for the Australian and New Zealanders, but you wouldn't have found any of them in North Africa/Italy in 1943. They were all in the Pacific. Someone actually did their research.
    • What?! No we weren't. The Australian and New Zealand forces were heavily involved in Europe and North Africa - Rats of Tobruk, anyone? Although after 1943, the Australian military's main focus was on the Pacific theatre, significant numbers of Australians still remained in Europe. A cousin of my grandfather, who served in the Royal Australian Air Force, was shot down over Normandy in 1944. That said, Australian troops would have seemed to be fewer in number by comparison simply because we had a small population.
    • As far as Canadian soldiers are concerned I have heard from multiple sources they had planned to include a Wolverine cameo, which would have represented the Canadian troops, but were not able to get the rights from Fox who own the X-Men rights. As far as minor or background characters, its pretty difficult to tell a Canadian from an American or Brit in a small amount of time unless you ask them about hockey.
    • Fridge Horror in effect; the POW camp was also a factory complex where the prisoners were being worked to death as slave labor. By the time the Americans joined the War in Europe, the camp must've started running out of prisoners from previous European battles.
    • Also, the filmmakers probably assumed that viewers wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Dutch and Scandinavian soldier anyways.
    • Because the film is called Captain America, not Captain Multinational.
    • This. The G.I. Joe movie went from "Real American Heroes" to "Real Multinational Heroes" and it didn't do them a lick of good.
    • The Netherlands were conquered in 1940. Most Dutch soldiers didn't really have a chance to fight after that. There was of course the Dutch resistance, but that was mostly in, well, the Netherlands.
    • Plus, let's be honest — it's an action-adventure film, not a precisely detailed catalogue of the participants on the Western Front. The producers clearly made an effort to show that WW2 was more than just an American thing, but in two-or-so hours of screen-time, there's only really so much you can include before it starts to distract from the plot and just looks like you're following a checklist. Given the sheer number of participants in World War Two, someone was always going to be left out. Sucks, but them's the breaks.

    Hodge's obedience 

  • Why does Philips praise Gilmore Hodge as obedient? The first thing he does in the movie is disrespect an officer.
    • He obeyed the officer's order to put his foot forward in that same scene. Disrespect =/= Disobedience. And that scene was the only time we see any disrespect from Hodge towards his superiors. We can easily assume he proved himself to be a great follower over the training process.
    • Philips didn't see that. He only arrived in time to see Agent Carter hit him.
    • Or alternatively and/or in addition to, deadpan sarcasm.
    • "Hey, that kid can take a hit from Agent Carter. Someone get me more like him."
    • Plus Agent Carter is a British agent, and at the time her position in the chain of command was not clear.
    • Steve is a late addition; Phillips has already seen Hodge in action.
    • Hodge doesn't hesitate to follow orders, even if they're dumb. He blatantly insults Carter, but when she gives him orders, he obeys, even if he still runs his mouth. At the start of the movie, Philips believes that the best soldier for the super soldier program is an obedient one. After all, if you're going to have a super soldier, you're going to want to be able to control him. Erskine, on the other hand, is in the program to bring about peace, so he wants to make sure that the super soldier he creates can live in peace time.

    Captain America as the first Avenger 

  • How is Captain America the First Avenger? Isn't Thor like several centuries old by the 1940's?
    • Maybe his successes in WW2 were the inspiration for the Avengers Initiative.
    • First Avenger, not first super powered being.
    • It's "first Avenger", not "oldest Avenger". Cap was a founding member of the team, since in the Marvel Cinematic Universe he's explicitly unfrozen before then, unlike in the Marvel Universe. And when they write down that first roster, the only way anyone else could go ahead of him is if they write down the aliases in alphabetic order and count Black Widow first.
    • Alternately, they consider his activities during World War II as part of the Avenger's mission even if no group by that name existed at the time, so he's an in-universe Ur-Example of the trope. And that would predate Thor, since while he was alive at the time, he wasn't an Avenger. Also, it sounds like a cool subtitle, so who cares?
    • Cap was around in the '40s. Thor didn't show up in the MCU on SHIELD's radar until 2011ish, in the exact same week Iron Man 2 and the Incredible Hulk happened. Going by that timeline plus the fact that Thor was a late arrival in the Avengers movie, Thor is the last Avenger.

    Greek names 

  • The Nordic-themed villains name their organization after a monster from Greek Mythology.
    • Using an object said to have been in Odin's vault does not make them Nordic themed.
    • Because "Jörmungandr" is not as catchy as "Hydra" and way too complicated.
    • It's interesting that they resorted to Germanic mythology with the plane Valkyrie.
    • Valkyries are Norse Mythology.
    • Norse mythology and Germanic mythology are the same thing.
    • Nothing says Hydra is exclusively into Norse mythology. There are many realms, after all. Most likely the Tesseract was just their best lead for something mystical and powerful, and that happened to be connected to Asgard.
    • Marvel universe doesn't only feature real Norse gods but also a set of Olympians. It's possible that both have artifacts worth perusing.
    • There's a Cap "flashback" comic (from the Nineties, but hey) wherein HYDRA was codenamed "Project Kraken" by Heinrich Himmler, just to make it sound more Germanic and "Aryan"
    • Lots of Nazis were also interested in Greek mythology. See the Thule Society, whose membership included several well-known Nazis.

    Flying into the ice 

  • Why did Cap have to pilot the flying wing into the ice? As soon as he destroyed the mechanism that connected the Cosmic Cube to the engines, the plane should have been powerless and started crashing on its own.
    • I don't think the cube was powering those engines. I think the Red Skull just decided to take it with him when the base was being overrun by the Allies.

      And even if it was, planes don't just drop out of the sky when their engines turn off. It was going ridiculously fast, probably fast enough that it could've coasted to the eastern seaboard if Cap hadn't made it crash early.
    • I think the chance that WW2-era engines could have gotten a plane across the Atlantic would be about zero (especially without in-flight refueling). Plus, Schmidt very obviously plugged the cube into the plane when he boarded it. True, planes don't drop out of the sky instantly upon losing engine power, but this one didn't even seem to be losing altitude. I don't think modern flying wings have good glide ratios. Besides, the engines still seemed to be running, although they shouldn't have had a power supply.
    • Charles Lindbergh, Spirit of St Louis, New York to Paris, 1927. WW2-era engines were easily capable of such distances.
    • That's a single-engine, not a multi-engine bomber. The fuel's gotta go somewhere.
    • Of course that's based on an assumption. We are talking unseen before tech that are is mostly unknown. Cap isn't engineer nor pilot. He could make an educated assumption and bailed but if he was wrong a lot of people would have died.
    • Not to mention that bailing out presents it's own set of problems; the plane is currently heading straight down towards the ground so getting back to the hanger is going to be a challenge in the time span available, he has to find a bomber and open the blast doors, get into the bomber and eject before the plane is too close to the ground for the bomber to be able to maintain enough speed to continue flying, then he has the same problem as before, just with a smaller plane. But assuming he found the one parachute onboard (because considering the Skull's personality, he would expect everyone else to die while he escaped with the cube) and bailed out and landed safely and the Valkyrie did crash without him, he's still stuck in the middle of nowhere with no means of contacting his allies, no food or provisions, inadequate clothing and kilometers from anyone period, let alone who would help him. He realized that he had no other option but to sacrifice himself.

    Serum amplification and requirements 

  • If the Super Soldier Serum "amplifies everything inside: good becomes great, bad becomes worse", why were they focusing on pure physical requirements in the first place? It demonstrates a dichotomy between the good-hearted Rogers and his less-fettered fellow trainees, but Erskine tells Rogers that using the SSS on the wrong kind of person would turn them into a monster - and of his personal experiences of how it turned Schmidt into the Red Skull. Colonel Phillips wanted to use it on a Jerk Jock - and we saw the result of that with Blonsky. If this is the case, Erskine never told anyone besides Rogers about that wrinkle.
    • More likely, he did try to tell them, but they believed that he was exaggerating or applying superstition to it out of guilt for having created the Red Skull. Anyone in the military brass who heard about Schmidt's deformity probably just attributed it to the formula being unfinished.
    • IIRC Erskine never actually states it as a fact, he says he *thinks* it *may* bring out the bad or good but never in a way that flat out confirms it as 100% fact. Which makes sense since as far as we know Schmidt was the only person he had actually given it to before talking to Steve. Red Skull's disfigurement could simply have been the result of the Serum he took being imperfect and Erskine was wrong about it being because he was evil.
    • Also, they can more easily measure the physical - and it's probably the physical characteristics that might have convinced Phillips to allow them to use Steve. It'd be one thing to have an already well-built soldier undergo the procedure, but the change is a heck of a lot more dramatic and visibly obvious with Steve. The second that capsule opened, the Senator who didn't give Phillips his generators completely changed his mind about the project.
    • There's also the survival factor. You don't want to kill the human test subject. So, you choose someone who is physically fit that hopefully won't die. They almost didn't complete the procedure because they thought they were killing Steve. With the power spike and no sign from the capsule, they thought they had killed him.
    • No sign from the capsule? Steve's screams of pain were what prompted Peggy to tell them to shut it down prematurely - the only reason they completed the procedure is because Steve insisted he could take it. (Otherwise, I agree; in the first few seconds after the power finally spikes and the capsule is dark and silent, they probably did wonder if he'd survived.)
    • If they could find a physically tough guy with Steve's heart, that would've been great. Instead they found a bunch of physically fit guys, and Steve. The serum was guaranteed to make the subject extremely fit anyway, so they went with the guy who seemed most likely to not go insane.
    • Note that this seems to be exactly the reason why the "Weapon Plus" program referred to in TIH was eventually shut down. While we haven't been told the story yet, I imagine that after the first couple of test subjects went crazy, enthusiasm diminished.
    • Being able to turn a 90 lb. pipsqueak into Cap is better PR than turning Hodges into Bigger Hodges.
    • On Erskine's theories about bad into worse, etc—this could be his philosophy about giving power to people in general, not specifically the serum. Give a bad person the power to do as he pleases, they'll go off the deep end of evil. Give a good person power, and they will do great things. The thing is, there is no more direct way to give a person power than to give them the serum. Even if it hurts a lot, they get all the benefits in, like, five to ten minutes.
    • More importantly than whether the person is bad or good, the person should have empathy. Erskine knows that because Steven has lived his life as a weak man, he has empathy for others who are weak, or otherwise treated as less than. If you give a person with empathy power, they will use their power to help the weak and will, by their nature, not abuse it. But if you give that power to a privileged Nazi asshole like Schmidt, you get a super villain.
    • Plus Erskine's cooperation with the Allies probably hinged on his ability to have complete control over the project. He left no notes on purpose—this was his creation and he wanted to remain in control of it. The Allies got impatient and picked a bunch of candidates and told Erskine he'd have to pick one. When Erskine signed Steve up, it was a last ditch effort to get a good man into the pool of candidates. You can see him in the movie when Steve and Bucky are talking outside the recruitment office at the fair. He overhears Steve talking, decides to dig out his file and talk to him, and overall he likes what he finds.

    Hitler's retaliation 

  • The moment Schmidt decided to kill the SS officers sent to monitor his progress, (or rather when they missed their check-in time with their superiors), why didn't Hitler (or at least Himmler) treat him like he did Rhoem and von Stauffenberg? Seriously, his actions by that time had shown that he was off the leash (if he was ever on it) and HYDRA itself had definitely become an institutional rival to the SS.
    • This is what bothered me about the script; it relied on the audience knowing a couple of things beforehand. Red Skull gets so much leeway because in canon he's Hitler 2.0 (and in Marvel U canon, Hitler is alive and well and goes by the name of the Hate Monger). Adolf basically chose a random boy on the street and claimed he could make the ultimate Nazi out of him and there you go. The Red Skull was second to no one in the German army and in the MU he IS worse than Hitler ever was. Adolf would never punish him because Skull is the ultimate Nazi.
    • Hitler's a little busy with, you know, the war and all. And Schmidt has gone rogue with his own personal army, with stupidly advanced weapons. Makes it kinda hard for you to bring him up on disciplinary action, all things considered.
    • The SA was 3 million men strong in 1934, but that didn't stop Kristallnacht. Operation Valkyrie and its immediate aftermath happened during a much more delicate point in the War, but that didn't stop Hitler from exacting a terrible justice against those who had plotted and carried it out. And the fact that the Cosmic Cube based weapons weren't reaching the Eastern Front (where they could reverse the Soviet advances and free up more men and materials for the Western Front) would only have made Hitler foam at the mouth for Schmidt's head that much more. Say what you will about his ideas of strategy, he knew treason he saw it.
    • The SA didn't have laser guns and a doom fortress and Nazi Germany wasn't fighting on three fronts in 1934.
    • The problem is that those events took place inside Germany, where Hitler's power was the strongest and where he still had many men loyal to him. Once he was back in charge, he could use the full might of his armies to bring the conspirators to justice. However, due to what is probably poor judgement, Hitler effectively banished the Red Skull to a remote mountain base that was heavily fortified and defended with men fanatically loyal to the Red Skull. There was no way he was going in there without suffering heavy casualties.
    • All true, but the problem here is, what can Hitler do about it? Send assassins to kill Schmidt? Runs into the problem that he is personally badass, superhumanly powerful, and surrounded by his own loyal troops 90% of the time. Kill him with main force? Now you actually do have to fight your way through his personal army, which has better technology than the Wehrmacht.
    • Equally likely, Hitler probably did intend to do something about Schmidt. However, this was probably one of the few cases when Hitler was going to be cautious. Given the way the Red Skull operated, it's likely he knew Hitler would come after him but would strike before whatever plan he had to get him was implemented.
    • Hence, Berlin's appearance on the first-strike-target map.
    • Not to mention that it would take time for Hitler to realize that his agents haven't reported back in, and he still has a war on two fronts to deal with in the meantime. Even if he decided to strike, Schmidt is the head of an uber-secret group who have manufacturing plants hidden around Europe, is a super soldier in his own right, and managed to launch a full-scale incursion into another nation and annihilate a town. Hardly the kind of person you'd want to take on with less than half your full armed forces.
    • "Schmidt did WHAT?! And the Americans know?! ...bollocks. Okay, fine, let's just ignore them until only one's left."
    • While Schmidt and Hitler had plans to off each other (Schmidt definitely and Hitler almost definitely), they were both fighting against the Allies as well. They probably both decided to focus on the Allies first, and hope that their enemies softened each other up for them.
    • For all we know, the Wehrmacht and HYDRA did have dozens of ferocious battles all over Europe. We just don't see them because it's a movie about a hero, not about Evil Versus Evil playing out in the background.
      • We actually get to see a bit of this in one of the deleted scenes showing the Howling Commandos getting captured by HYDRA in the first place. Bucky's platoon are pinned down in trenches by German soldiers when a HYDRA squad shows up and uses their Tessarect based weapons to take out the SS fighters. Then the tank turns on the Allies and captures them.
    • HYDRA are infiltrators. Hitler probably needed to weed out Schmidt-sympathizers and potential HYDRA assassins within his own forces before he could concentrate on taking out Schmidt himself.

    Escaping on a fighter 

  • Why didn't Captain America escape on one of the fighters when he crashed Red Skull's giant plane? He didn't actually need to go down with the ship.
    • Because by the time the plane was descending hard and fast enough to be assured to crash, there wouldn't be time left to get into one of the fighters. Assuming there were any still in the plane.
    • There were a few planes left. All of them bomb planes stuck in the hanger when he crashed the first one back in. Those weren't planes you could escape in. They were short range suicide bomb planes. There may not have been a way to land them if he hadn't destroyed the hanger without it going off. And are you going to chance taking the New York bomb to New York?
    • Also this is no ordinary hero, this is Captain America. He won't risk the slightest possibility someone might get hurt, so he personally puts the plane down even though he knows it will probably kill him. Someone like Indiana Jones might have managed an escape, but it's not in Cap's Character.
    • He still could have flown in a circle until they got Stark to figure out something, or make a forced but safe landing somewhere less icy.
    • Steve did say that there wasn't enough time to get Howard Stark on the line to help.
    • Because he thought it prudent to crash the plane as soon as possible, rather than fly in the said circles.
    • Cap's not a pilot, he has no clue how to get it to spin in circles, and a plane moving that fast is not going to handle circles very well. Considering that it was the fate of the Eastern seaboard at stake, and trying to keep it flying in circles merely increases the risk of something going wrong on the experimental and entirely unknown super science plane the safest bet for all concerned was to crash it down in the one place where if it did explode nobody was around to get hurt.
    • Also, the bomber wasn't exactly in good working order by that point, so it may have been physically impossible to turn the thing at all.


  • Captain America's shield is made of vibranium, which absorbs all vibrations (bullets fired into it drop at his feet). How then does it ricochet?
    • Very well, apparently. ;) More seriously, comic book physics. It has the same properties in the comics.
    • Maybe the edge and back had to be made from another material. Maybe they didn't have enough vibranium for a whole shield.
    • ^ This. IIRC, in the comics Steve's shield is not 100% vibranium.
    • It's made of vibranium mixed with a steel alloy in the comics.
    • I figured it was due to the fact that even though the shield itself is made from vibranium, whatever it's bouncing off of... isn't. Honestly, I'm more interested in why it makes such large amounts of noise, being as vibration is all that sound is. No matter what Cap hits with the shield, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, it's KANG this, and WHONNNNG that. I mean, sure... it sounds cool. And I guess Comic Book Physics could be at play. Just sort of kills the suspension of disbelief a little.
    • Consider it from this perspective: Conventional electrical superconductors transmit electron flow without energy loss. Theoretically, it should be possible to transmit other forms of energy(like, say, kinetic) in the same manner. Vibranium is a particular stable superheavy trans-uranic element that when bonded into a molecular structure(perhaps with iron, who knows in the Movie-verse) forms a kinetic superconductor when all molecules are aligned a certain way. The characteristic WHONNNG sound is a result of the energy being emitted along the edges of the 2D plane of the vibranium molecule, which also explains (combined with Cap's parahuman strength) why he can cut through almost anything. Neatly explains all the observed properties of the shield, including its incredible durability (on a molecular level, thermal energy is kinetic energy, so it'd be just as immune to that as anything else).
    • If there was no energy loss in this sense, there would be no sound either. Unless you're saying that the kinetic energy absorbed by the vibranium is converted into sound. In which case, the sound should be much louder.
    • It bounces because it's American! Actually, the way I look at it, the shield had momentum from the throw, and was spinning. So when it hits the wall, it deflects because it's spinning with the almighty force of a Captain America throw. After all it 'absorbs' energy, it doesn't 'destroy' it, so if you filled it with energy (i.e. the momentum of the throw) it would be more likely to spin off and ricochet, because the energy is 'caught' in the shield.
    • I always assumed that the different layers of Cap's shield were made with different alloys of vibranium, or possibly metal compounds that include the element. While pure vibranium completely absorbs vibrations, it could react differently to vibrations based on what sort of compound or alloy it's made from. Also the way the atoms are arranged within the shield may affect how it reacts to, say, impacts (ricocheting vs. stopping bullets dead). Basically, the shield was designed to stop bullets and bounce around and act like a boomerang frisbee. Stark probably had a lot of fun messing with it, but was ultimately disappointed because it would take a superhumanly skilled wielder to take advantage of it, and he didn't know that Steve would qualify.
    • My understanding was that the kinetic energy absorbing properties of the shield were dependent upon what part of the shield was being impacted. If the shield was struck on the broad surface or "face" the energy would be absorbed. As witnessed in CA:TWS, when he jumps and lands on the pavement crouched on his shield, which absorbs all the energy of impact and leaves him unharmed. (I assume that's also how he can jump out of planes without a parachute, a trick he DIDN'T know in CA:TFA) Whereas if the shield is struck on its EDGE (essentially, the vector of the force of impact being 90 degrees away from the previous example) it doesn't absorb any impact and is free to ricochet or bounce. Since it is essentially invulnerable, this is what also allows him to use the edge of the shield as an axe or cutting edge (like when he uses it to cut the lock off a tank hatch to drop a bomb in)

    Sharon Carter 

  • Bit of a minor one, but the girl who was in the recovery room with Steve at the last scene has been confirmed to be Sharon Carter. How exactly did she keep the "Carter" last name, though?
    • Sharon Carter was Peggy's niece, not her daughter.
    • If Peggy was in her 20s or older during WWII, it's more likely that Sharon Carter, who appeared around the similar age, would be at least two generations down from Peggy—granddaughter or grand-niece.
    • There's no reason that the name couldn't have been changed and then changed back or that Peggy could have never married or that she kept her name. That is, of course, assuming that she's a direct descendant rather than indirect relative.
    • One possible explanation is that Sharon's father simply happened to have the surname Carter. Coincidences do happen, after all.
    • Roosevelts, anyone?
  • In either case, this has been retconned. The real Sharon Carter first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, portrayed by Emily VanCamp. She is Peggy's great-niece and implied to be the granddaughter of Peggy's brother (who appeared in Agent Carter). The woman who spoke with Steve was just another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent coded "13".


  • It's said that Steve's metabolism now works four times as fast as that of a normal human. Wouldn't that mean he has only a quarter of the lifespan?
    • That's not really how metabolism works.
    • But wouldn't he always be hungry?
    • Probably. Or he'd need to eat a lot of protein, at least. They didn't show him eating at all, though.
    • I wonder how much shwarma he can eat in one sitting... and how much it cost Tony.
    • My concern was, wouldn't it make him a lot more vulnerable to suffocation, and why does he almost never need to breathe hard or exceptionally quickly when he should be breathing heavily all the time? Four times the metabolism means (roughly) four times the oxygen use and carbon dioxide buildup, and while he can survive a lot more than a normal person, with a lot more strength and endurance, those gases still need to come from and go to somewhere.
    • Four times the lung capacity? Lungs four times as effective? It's a comic book movie!
    • That's 'metabolism' as understood during WW2?
    • So that's four times as badass, right? Sounds about right.
    • It may speak to Steve's lack of scientific education and understanding of his condition. More likely, his metabolism is probably four-times more efficient than that of a normal human, meaning that not only does it process intake faster, but more effectively. In other words, it works more quickly to cycle toxins out of his system, but also draws more nutritional benefits from the food he takes in, which might normally just go to waste in a regular human metabolism. This translates over to his breathing as well, as his lungs can more effectively process the oxygen he takes in, allowing him to hold his breath longer and do more with less air.
    • This. At least I know that our breathing is quite ineffective, expelling out more oxygen than what was absorbed.
    • That's not the lungs' fault though; it's because diffusion can only move so much gas before it stops, regardless of surface area available for exchange. Rather, Steve's blood is probably much more rich in hemoglobin than a normal person's, more like a hummingbird's or a high alpine animal's. Hence, his ability to stay underwater longer than a regular swimmer can hold their breath, and his failure to perish from anoxemia while sealed alive in solid ice.


  • When Schmidt is getting his portrait painted, he's listening to opera. Cool, but why not slip in what's canonically his favorite tune in the comics, Chopin's funeral march? It wouldn't change anything and would be a fun Mythology Gag to anyone who knows both the comics and the piece.
    • Probably because it would remind people of the Imperial March from Star Wars, or they thought a piece from one of the operas in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen sounded more ominous, perhaps?
    • The opera is actually a bit of Fridge Brilliance - Wagner's works were incredibly popular with the Nazi movement.
    • Further Fridge Brilliance in that Wagner's ring cycle was all about Norse mythology: which Schmidt happens to be obsessed with.
    • That's what the session started with. They've changed the disks a few times since then?
    • Watch the scene again—the timing of the music is perfect for the scene.

    Still in 1940's 

  • Did it bother anyone else how SHIELD's ploy to convince Steve that he was still in the 1940s seemed half-assed? Why play a baseball game from 1941 without considering the possibility that he would recognize it? And if you're trying to convince someone they're in a recovery room, I don't think dressing them in civilian clothing and laying them on top of the bedsheets with their shoes on is the way to go.
    • They probably threw it together at the last minute when they realized he was almost completely thawed and likely wouldn't be unconscious for much longer.
    • Bigger question is why they put him in the middle of Manhattan, instead of some secret military facility in the middle of nowhere. It would have been much easier to keep up the ruse in a controlled space, and he could have been kept a secret until they figured what to do with him.
    • Probably for the authenticity. Either that, or Nick Fury knew that Cap would eventually catch on with the ruse, hence placing the simulated 1940s New York in the real New York City.
    • It's also a homage to the 'Cap wakes up' scene in ULTIMATES, where Cap is simply in the Triskelion's hospital wing, thinks he's woken up captured by the Germans and fights his way out, and makes it to the Triskelion's roof — where, of course, he's struck dumb looking at the modern NYC skyline.
    • Really, the whole point was most likely to ease Cap into the modern world. They present him with something familiar so when he wakes up he won't flip out immediately - only they didn't count on the fact that he recognized the game playing on the radio. Otherwise his introduction to the modern world would be much more gradual and less traumatizing.
    • What doesn't make sense is why they would play a baseball game that predated his crash. They ought to have precise records, so why couldn't they use a game that happened afterward?
    • Probably just a case of not knowing better. They were setting it up in a hurry and the person responsible for getting the tape of the game just grabbed the first one he found from the correct year without thinking about the exact date. It's the sort of thing that happens all the time in real life, people get focused on the major parts of a project and forget the little details.
    • Also, I imagine that not many live radio recordings of 1940s-era baseball games even exist these days; they'd have been destroyed or recorded over for the most part since, well, who'd want to listen to a 1945 baseball game seventy-plus years in the future? They might not have exactly been spoiled for choice and had to go with what was available.
    • The part that got me is that Cap figured it out after about listening to about two batters. Baseball situations tend to repeat frequently, so I'd think he'd need to hear more to make the huge logical leap to "It's a trap!" If he had been listening on the radio the first time around, they could blame it on an announcer's unique phrasing, but he specifically says he was at the ballpark.
      • It was an inside-the-park grand slam by a star player of his favorite team. That's the kind of detail you remember, even four years later. If they hadn't picked a game with such a dramatic play, they'd probably have been OK—and without listening through the whole thing, who'd know?
    • He seemed to already believe that it was a trap the moment he woke up. His last memory was flying a plane into the water/ice. Then all of a sudden he is in New York. I'm sure that he felt something was off, and the radio was just his confirmation.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I clearly recall the words 'bases loaded' and 'they're going to wave (the batter) around'. An inside-the-park grand slam, in other words. That's something Steve would remember seeing.
      • Whoever picked that particular play by play recording may not have been a baseball fan. Just some guy who got saddled with the job of "Hey, find something 1940's-ish to play on the radio."
    • Why didn't they just play music instead of a recording of a Dodgers game? There are plenty of CDs of popular WWII era songs around.
    • You are in fact correct, the commentary explicitly identifies the play as such. Not only is it a rare play, it's a real play; Pete Reiser of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit in inside-the-park grand slam on 05/25/1941 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Given that Reiser would have been one of Brooklyn's studs back then, a fan like Steve would definitely remember seeing that play unfold in person. For reference, there have only been 226 of these plays in baseball history, and eight since 1990.
    • Playing a baseball game would, in theory, help cement the illusion that Steve is back in America. Music is played around the world but baseball is the Great American Pastime.
    • It could also simply have been a case of necessities-must: how many WW2 era baseball games have been preserved for future listening and are easily on hand for such a situation? They might have just been forced to go with the first one they came across. Furthermore, what's the likelihood that the person they're trying to convince it's the 1940s will remember that particular game?
    • No one had any idea that Steve (NOT Cap) even went to that game. Or they weren't aware of the timing (the SSS project being under deep secrecy). Come to think of it, Cap didn't even leave the country for a while - it may just be that they wanted him to think he passed out during the Vita-Ray portion. Or they don't know how good his memory is - any normal human coming out of ice after 70 years is probably going to have some memory loss at the very least.
    • It's obvious that they were going to use the ruse only briefly—look at the cheap set they stuck him in, it was clearly meant to be temporary. Their only mistake is that some idiot chose the wrong game. Humans have done stupider things—look at the Mars rover.
    • The thing is, that wasn't their only mistake. In actuality, the efforts to make Steve feel like he was in the 1940's WERE half-assed. Over on the Fridge Brilliance page for this movie, there's a few posts that detail just how brilliantly unrealistic the nurse's outfit was. She was allegedly in a military hospital, so having her hair loose like that would have been considered entirely unprofessional for the era. The tie she was wearing was clearly a man's tie, and the bra she was wearing was very visibly a modern bra. I doubt SHIELD would have problems procuring a proper outfit for the era, and while those small details might work to fool someone from the modern age looking back, they'd have immediately stood out to Steve when he woke up. If you pay close attention to his face, you can tell he immediately recognizes something is wrong. The baseball game was likely just the final nail in the coffin. This also suggests that either they rushed the setup of the scene, or they were counting on him to recognize it all along.
    • Given that it's Nick Fury who would've arranged for the fake 1940s room, the possibility that it was a test to determine if Steve's memory and wits had survived the ice well enough to Spot the Thread seems very plausible.


  • When the SS officers took a closer look at Red Skull's map of the hostile capitals in European that he plans to attack, Dublin was one of his main targets along side with London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and Moscow. But Ireland was a neutral state and played a relatively small role in the war. So why did he put it as one of his priority targets? Shouldn't he first focus on other more strategically important targets instead?
    • Considering the Skull vowed that he's got the power to destroy every capital on Earth, it can be inferred that he really did mean that, and planned to destroy every single world capital, whether they're enemy nations or just mere neutral countries.
    • Plus, he's a megalomaniacal power-mad evil dickhead who wants to control the world; what does he care about neutrality?
    • Plus he did work with the Nazis for years, perhaps he's just that racist.
    • Schmidt hates Guinness with a passion? (For some unexplained reason.)
    • If you're not with Schmidt, you're against him.

    Cosmic Cube 

  • What exactly is the "cosmic cube"? is it the same thing as the cube from the Thor movie? is it something similar? Does it have an entirely separate and different role in cannon altogether? All I know at this point is that it provides limitless power.
    • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Cosmic Cube/Tesseract is exactly the same thing seen in both Cap and Thor. It provides limitless power, and can even bend reality to the will of whomever wields the power. As for why the Skull didn't do such, he probably just assumed it as an infinite power source and decided to use the Cube as such, not taking into account its other uses.
    • When does the "bend reality to the will of whomever wields the power" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come up, exactly?
    • It has been confirmed in several Phase Two films that the Tesseract is not only MCU version of the Cosmic Cube, but also one of the Infinity Stones, specifically the Space Stone. As shown in Avengers, it has the ability to open wormholes and teleporting those who hold it.

    Cap's rank 

  • Is Cap an actual Captain (US Army rank O-3)?
    • Considering that he is referred to on more than one occasion as "Captain Rogers", I had assumed that at least in this version, he was.
    • Fits with his actual actions in the movie. Teams of commandos weren't usually lead by lieutenants, and he definitely was the commanding officer of the unit.
    • It's also implied that the U.S. Senator promoted him to the rank of Captain to go along with the USO Bonds Tour thing. So, basically just doing it just for show, well, until Cap does his thing and opens various cans of all-American whoop-ass.
    • His dress uniform shows him with the appropriate rank insignia for a Captain.
    • Also, when dictating a letter to the Senator (informing him of Steve's apparent demise), Philips refers to him as "Captain Steve G. Rogers." Considering his low opinion of Steve at that point, there is no way in hell that he'd refer to Steve as a captain if he wasn't actually a captain.


  • "Then how come you're running?!" Why didn't Red Skull point out "Because my idiot scientist here was a coward and pulled back the bridge before I could finish you off."
    • Because the Skull had already made the decision to self-destruct the base and vamoose before he even came face-to-face with Captain America? Steve was right; the Skull was running.
    • And the Skull's mannerisms indicated that he acknowledged the point, as well.

    Fan of films 

  • When Schmidt/Red Skull first meets Captain America in the detonating HYDRA base, Schmidt says "Captain America! How very exciting! I'm a really big fan of your films!" How on Earth was Red Skull even able to see any of Captain America's films in the first place, let alone be a fan of them? I mean, barring the fact that it was because of Red Skull that the scientist leading the project resulting in the Captain's creation was dead, and thus very unlikely that the US Government would actually loan reels of his films to Red Skull for that reason alone, the Captain America films were made as USO showings for the troops and to bolster morale of the American populace, making it unlikely for Red Skull, a Nazi German, to acquire them anyhow.
    • Sarcasm, dude. He was making fun of the fact that Cap had been doing nothing but making propaganda films. It doesn't actually, literally mean that Red Skull sat down, watched them, and is actually a fan of them.
    • Considering that the Red Skull knew that Steve Rogers/Captain America was the only other super-soldier in the world, I wouldn't be surprised that Red Skull had taken the time and resources to acquire Captain America's films, no matter what the expense, for the purposes of learning all he could about the man who shares the same origin as him.
    • Then again, we do see a scene where Steve is seen watching one of the Cap propaganda films in a theater with regular audiences, so it's not out of the realm that a HYDRA spy did some "intel" on the fate of the SSR's Super-Soldier candidate. Add with the fact that the U.S. government weren't exactly being discreet with the existence of their Super-Soldier, it's a possibility that HYDRA could've gotten some sort of dirt on Steve.
    • HYDRA agents managed to infiltrate the uber-secret test facility where Cap was created. Stealing a film reel from a movie theater is a complete cakewalk.
    • Spies. Lots of spies. Lots of spies with far too much time on their hands and tired of writing reports about crops and condom usage. "Hey boss, I saw this filmstrip, and this guy might be a problem..."
    • And it could also be a clever reference to the fact that Hitler and Goebbels were actually big fans of Walt Disney's films.

    Assault at the end 

  • Why did the SSR mount an assault on the alpine base at the end? They knew the Red Skull was planning on launching a plane of some kind, and bombing/shelling the base would have ruined the runways, trapping the Red Skull there, to be dealt with at their leisure. If the SSR had the military force to take on Hydra in a fortified position on Hydra's terms, they definitely had the military force to keep the Red Skull from escaping.
    • It was an Elaborate Underground Base, hidden below 500ft of mountain. The runway was 90% inside that mountain. They might have ruined the hangar doors with a bit of luck, but the Skull would probably just blow them up and launch the plane anyway.
    • This and not to mention bombs and artillery had almost comically horrible accuracy during WWII. Unless you get a couple of dive bombers flying there is almost no guarantee you would actually hit the runway and the base may have had air defenses to keep smaller low flying planes away.
    • And to further mention, they had less than a day from finding out about it until the Skull's master plan would be executed. Even if they had weapons that could be accurate enough to target the runway they don't know the location of, they could not drag it into position, set it up, get enough ammunition to keep it firing, and aimed at the runway in less than 24 hours, it's not logistically possible in that period of history to pull off.

    Role in propaganda 

  • Aside from punch out Hitler and tell everyone to buy war bonds, what exactly did Cap do in those propaganda stage shows? Did he have a song and dance routine with the girls as backup?
    • Stand there and look sexy.
    • He had a whole speech promoting war bonds. We only see parts of it, but the gist of the shows would involve him giving his speech, the girls dancing and singing, maybe a feat of strength or two like lifting the motorcycle with the girls on it, and punching out Hitler.
    • "The army made a man out of me..."


  • Bucky's 'death'. We all know he survived to become the Winter Soldier, but I can't help but feel like his death was, well, meaningless. He got shot out of a train and fell into some ice caps, as if he's just another Red Shirt. I know they wanted to 'kill' him off and all, but couldn't they have made it more dramatic?
    • He was blasted out the side of a train speeding along a mountain and his best friend in the world tried and failed to save him. His "death" actually drove Captain America to drink. I'm sorry but I must ask, precisely what about that was insufficiently dramatic? The fact that they didn't give Cap a Big "NO!" afterward?
    • The fact that it seemed to only be there to motivate him to have a fluffy moment with Peggy, and/or shock value. He spent one scene afterwards depressed over it, and then, that's it. No 'It's Personal' or Roaring Rampage of Revenge. When he sees HYDRA next, he acts like he did previously: Stoically kick ass without emotion. I don't know, it just seems like his death didn't mean anything to the plot, in other words, turning him into another Red Shirt.
    • It's a war. You know how many friends Steve has watched die? Bucky is the only one we see who led him to try and drown his sorrows. Also, when Jones captures Zola, it looks a lot like he's seriously considering killing him because his friend just died, IMO.
    • ...But, that doesn't explain why he doesn't appear to be any different afterwards, except for that one scene with Peggy. While he likely lost other friends, Bucky was the only member of his squad to die, and the only one who he'd known since before the war. When he thought Bucky was captured he went ballistic, but when he dies instead he just tries to drink then have a heart to heart with the girl he likes. It just feels like the only reason he died, other than to set the stage for the future, was to give him and Peggy a reason to talk, and I just find that stupid.
    • It's war. All death is sudden.
    • He vows to have every Hydra trooper killed or captured. That seems pretty dramatic.
    • We see him set Hydra troopers on fire, and later beats the crap out of one of them and throws him out of a fucking airplane.
    • I'm not complaining about it being sudden, but that adds to it. My complaint is that nothing is done about it that wouldn't have had Bucky survived. He vows to have every Hydra trooper killed or captured? That was already the plan. They were doing that since Hydra first came knocking. Setting one on fire? Didn't they try doing that to him, and he just turned it against them? Beating them up? He was already doing that. Throwing out of a plane? That was literally self defense. I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the death, but from a story telling perspective, it doesn't seem to affect the plot, or Steve. His reaction was far less shocked than when Bucky was captured. It just comes off as a regular Red Shirt death.
    • When Bucky was captured there was actually something that he could do about it and he damn well did. But he didn't gnash his teeth, tear at his clothes and wail, he went in and beat the crap out of some guards to get his buddy back. When Bucky died he proceeded to finish the fight, capture Zola (while looking royally pissed off and ready to kill) and then he goes to drown his sorrows in a bottle. Now there isn't much they really COULD have done with it besides show Cap wallowing in it for a bit. All you can really do in a movie without making it a huge plot point, which lets be honest it really isn't, is to have Cap fight Nazi's in anger (not his style), go on a roaring rampage of murderation (definitely not his style), mope about it (also not his style) or show or a funeral and then move on to the after effects. Seeing as how they're living in a bombed out city (IIRC that is) and the body is likely to be sent home (and there is no body) there is literally nothing they could have done besides have him drink and have someone console him. The only person to do that was Colonel Philips or Agent Carter. The Love Interest is the one most likely to do it so they have a heart to heart and then Cap goes back to the front line to do what he was always doing in Bucky's memory. There is literally nothing more they could have done with it post-death scene. And really his death scene was vague enough to leave it open for Winter Soldier while not doing anything to get in the way of that for later on so it did just about everything it could with the topic.
    • It's war. Meaningless death happens all the goddamn time.
    • Also, Cap is a consummate professional on the field. He's not going to let his emotions influence his actions.
    • I never understand what people who complain about this aspect of movies expect. A half hour of the characters weeping and rending their garments, howling inconsolably, and never again smiling? Going through the rest of the movie with tears running down their face, constantly moaning "My friend is dead, my friend is dead!"? And yes yes, I know, that's totally not what they're saying, and yet when people point out the actual signs of mourning and sadness that were shown the answer is almost always "Well that's practically the same as nothing." Look, a 2 hour movie only has a certain amount of runtime, and dwelling on character death can very easily cross over the line into Wangst. Steve is sad that his friend dies, this is shown in a number of ways. Considering that said friend ends up being the entire plot of the sequel, and the important role Bucky has in later works after that, I'm sure you'll get to see some more emotional reaction. So let it go.
    • It's entirely reasonable to point out where you think a movie failed to sell an important emotional beat, but it's not really a headscratcher. There's not a baffling choice here, just an earnest attempt to tell a story point well and an arguable fumble in achieving that. The story beats between Bucky's demise and the end seem well thought out: Bucky's death spurs Steve to reckless action and eventually a heroic sacrifice he didn't necessarily have no way out of. Shared mourning/sympathy also heals the rift between Steve and the more important emotional connection, Peggy Carter, pushing their arc towards its close. What mainly lets down the emotion of the death and aftermath is not those scenes but the preceding ones. It's the failure to ever establish Bucky or his relationship with Steve in any way after the first few scenes. As Film Crit Hulk says, Bucky is a prop best friend given a prop death in the movie. You can't expect a death to have much weight when the relationship that preceded it was made up of about three brief exchanges of dialogue and the odd shared look.

    Promoting Steve 

  • At the end of the film where Steve was presumed to be dead, shouldn't he be promoted to a higher rank in the military? At the present when he woke up he shouldn't be a Captain anymore.
    • He was Captain America to everyone. That was his identity, and how he was remembered. And not everyone gets a promotion on death.
    • Major America or Lieutenant Colonel America doesn't have the same ring.
    • Let's not forget he was given the whole "Captain America" thing as a USO ad campaign to promote War Bonds sales and to give America's kids a flashy symbol to look up to in the U.S.'s war effort. Plus, there's the fact that Steve himself did grow to like the moniker, so it's safe to assume that he's owned the name like how Tony Stark openly embraces "Iron Man" for his superhero nom de guerre in his film.
    • He doesn't have the training or qualifications to advance, and certainly not in the modern age. Plus, they couldn't find his body - he's MIA, not KIA. ...I'm not familiar enough with how the US Military does this sort of thing, though.
    • If memory serves a person is "MIA Presumed Dead/KIA" after a certain time. Steve was 20 or something during the events of World War II? I believe protocol would dictate that after 30 years (when he's 50) he'd be marked as "Presumed Dead". Then again he did crash-land in the arctic. It's kind of cold out there. Him getting marked KIA would likely be a case of No One Could Survive That!.
    • Actually, there are separate distinctions because people don't always understand what KIA means. KIA is a more specific term than people realize. It is specifically killed in action. For example, in most militaries you get the DOW (died of wounds) designation if you are shot on the battlefield, but die at the base hospital. MIA simply means missing in action. You may be dead, captured, or just missing. MIA benefits are paid to the beneficiaries, and change based on time frames (after 5 years they are basically the same as death benefits). The exception is when there is enough circumstantial evidence to assume the person is dead even without a body (crewmen who were known to be on the Arizona for example). But as of 2014 there were still over 70,000 persons listed as MIA from WW2. Their surviving beneficiaries would be receiving MIA benefits that are equivalent to death benefits. Having said that, Steve may have been classified as KIA since the presumption would be no one could survive the crash. But there's also the legal one in civilian courts. After all, it's not reasonable to assume one is going to stay married to someone who is missing forever, esp. if the assumption is that they are dead. So the court can declare someone who is MIA deceased. In most US jurisdictions that is 3-7 years. So even if Steve was declared MIA, he was probably declared dead by a court. Even better, there is one nice bit of retroactiveness. Anyone who is MIA does technically accrue pay and leave, and if they are recovered alive (and assuming the MIA was for legitimate reasons), they collect those ON TOP of any benefits that may have been paid. And if a KIA is actually determined to have been alive (and again assuming no fraud), then their status is retroactively changed to MIA as well. Since the movie has Steve resurrected in 2012, he picked up about 67 years of back pay and leave. It's very fascinating stuff.
    • Someone worked it out on Reddit as $1,367,400 back pay in a lump sum (if he did not receive any promotions).

    Returning men 

  • How the fudge did their surveillance flights fail to notice the huge column of men and armor heading straight towards their base? Peggy implies that the last one returned minutes before Captain America and the guys he saved marched in; was the crew blind? Seriously, the guys are using the main road.
    • Because they're not bothering to look down right next to their main base. Their job was reconning enemy territory at grid square #wayoverthere; perimeter defense was someone else's job. Being deployed on the front line already fills up your full normal workday and more; few people go enthusiastically chasing extra work on their own initiative.
    • Still, someone should've seen them and notified Col. Phillips of the large number of armed men coming right at him.
    • Large number of armed men who have already clearly been identified as friendly troops just to get anywhere within miles of the place, seeing as how they had to have already crossed the front lines without incident.
    • If you're visible to your allies, you're visible to your enemies? The last thing they need is to be shot in the back, so they hid and slipped away through the forest, avoiding the main road until it became practical to do so for morale reasons?
    • My question is, how did they not not notice that the Hydra base was blown to shit?
    • The Hydra base that was 30 miles behind the lines that Phillips' base was an unknown number of miles on the other side of? They weren't even trying to do aerial recon on it, because anyone who flew too close to it took anti-air Howard, Peggy, and Steve.

    Timing of final attack 

  • So, the big final attack on the main Hydra base. How did the Howling Commandos know when to storm in through the windows to commence the attack? Did Cap tell them that Red Skull would likely try to kill him, and that would be the cue for them to strike?
    • I haven't watched the movie in a while, but I think Cap's plan was a Batman Gambit involving the tracking device Stark gave him. By bringing Cap deep into the base for a private interrogation the Red Skull unknowingly allowed the Howling Commandos to pinpoint the location of the Hydra base's command center.

    Zola's brilliance 

  • You know, Zola doesn't get half the credit he deserves. Not only did he design vehicles and weaponry on Schmidt's word that they would find the massive, cosmic-level power source to fuel them, but they actually worked the very first time he inserted said power source! And then went on to extract this power to use in batteries and removable packs. As of Iron Man 2, we learn that Howard Stark never could synthesize the same kind of element for his arc reactor because he was "limited by the technology" (even though they had Zola's tech, and Zola himself, right there in government custody.) And now, by The Avengers, we also learn that SHIELD has had the Tesseract for seventy years, and despite their modern tech they are only now figuring out what to do with it, and have plans but no working prototypes (that we can see) of HYDRA-style weapons. Clearly, the guy was an unsung genius beyond either Howard or Tony Stark.
    • And the Fridge Logic here is...?
    • What do you mean "unsung"? In the scene where Howard is examining the Hydra mini-sub he says (with the typical Stark modesty) that he is, quote, "the best mechanical engineer in this country" and yet he has no idea how the sub works or what it's made of. This to me is basically confirmation that Zola is way smarter than Stark.
    • Research hours count for something? Or maybe Stark doesn't have the same access to materials that Zola did.
    • Note that Zola had the benefit of dealing with a 'live' Tesseract. Stark and SHIELD had been working on a Tesseract that had gone 'dead'.
    • Tony Stark was not involved with SHIELD's Tesseract project. And where on Earth did you get the impression that the Tesseract was "dead"?
    • The Other at the beginning of The Avengers says that "the Tesseract has awakened", suggesting before it was inert in some sense before. Perhaps the resurgence of Asgardian activity "reawakened" it somehow.
    • Dialogue at Project PEGASUS in the beginning of The Avengers explicitly states that the Tesseract has been inert since it was fished out of the ocean. Dr. Selvig was brought in after the events of Thor to try and get it working again. It didn't start producing energy again until Loki did whatever he did to use it to bring himself to Earth.
    • Here's what I wonder: The SSR had captured Zola himself. Why not have him work on creating tech from the Tesseract for them just like he did for HYDRA?
    • Yeah, that's a great idea, let's give the Nazi war criminal a source of unlimited power and all the materials he needs to make weapons. That's as unlikely to go wrong as locking a super genius IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
    • That's how we got the rocket, remember. Besides, the SSR already knows the guy's a coward who just wanted to work on his inventions. He sold out the Red Skull on a simple threat of death. If Zola knows he'll be treated fine, then there's no reason for him to break out if he can build.
    • As seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we know exactly how harmless Zola was when given access to SSR labs and told to build things. So harmless that he re-founded HYDRA and infiltrated SHIELD with it from the very beginning. Good God.

    Tesseract handgun 

  • If the Red Skull has the tech to build himself a personal tesseract handgun, why do all his Hydra minions have to carry those bulky blasters?
    • For the same reason there are rifles when we have pistols. Two-handed weapons tend to be more accurate, more powerful, and have a greater range. Pistols are weaker, so they're for close range and surprise attacks.
    • The Red Skull's pistol didn't seem any weaker than the tesseract rifles. And you could easily turn it into a two-handed weapon by adding a lightweight stock.
    • Ammo capacity? The bulk of the larger blasters could account for larger Tesseract batteries, whereas the handgun could hold only smaller packs.
    • Rule of Cool.
    • It's hard to see out of the HYDRA helmet-masks. They need them to be rifles, not handguns, for accuracy.
    • I guess a handgun is an officer's weapon?

    Anti-grav device 

  • So... Howard Stark invented an anti-gravity device in 1942. And then he, I dunno, tossed it into the back of his closet for the next 50 years? Seriously, an anti-gravity device. In 1942. Sure, there were kinks, but clearly the fundamentals were sound. Why aren't all cars running on anti-gravity boosters instead of wheels by the 21st century?
    • The repulsor technology eats up a lot of energy, which is not cheap and easy to produce. Even if you manage to miniaturize an arc-reactor type of thing, Tony demonstrated that you can weaponize it rather easily. Vanko reproduces the technology and what did he do? Weaponize it. While Tony Stark has been shown as a rather genius level thinker, his dad had far more wisdom; he probably realized very early that arc-reactor tech and derivatives should never be mass produced. Think of it this way: you can already make car bombs "easily" and they are effective to at least a city block. Now imagine what an arc-reactor powered car could do: blow a whole city. Iron Man repulsor tech is derived from his dad's, and it can punch holes through concrete.
    • It works for a grand total of five seconds before shorting out. It's likely that in his time, he just never figured out a way to get it to work for extended periods of time—remember, it's not until Tony absolutely has to that he figures out how to miniaturize the arc reactor, which is probably exactly the kind of power source it would have needed.
    • The technology and physical materials to make repulsor tech stable didn't actually exist until the 21st Century. (The power source was external in Howard's time, note, but that just means it would be a large power source strapped to a bunch of repulsors - so it's not the power source that's the problem.) Also, it's hard to believe that Tony never thought to build a man-portable flight pack or anything, or use repulsors in a different way - maybe their first commercial application ever was as Jericho?

    Sub with one seat 

  • The Mole's escape sub only has one seat. He had two accomplices. How were they going to escape? And if they were disposable, why them and not him? His cover was blown; there's might not have been.
    • Perhaps the accomplices weren't HYDRA agents, just mob guys that were paid off by the Skull. They'd pick up Kruger, drive him to the dock, then drop him off and hide.
    • Hydra agents are happy to kill themselves for their cause. It's entirely possible that once The Mole got away the rest of them would just crunch a suicide pill.
    • The Mole was the one who needed to get away immediately to carry the formula back to HYDRA as quickly as possible (all else being equal, one agent could move with more speed and stealth than a team of three). The others could lie low, take slower alternate escape routes, or if all else failed get captured with only limited need-to-know information (if they were just hired goons) or kill themselves (if they were actual HYDRA agents).
    • The other two had alternate escape routes; having just one is never a good idea in any age. Plus, the more information, the better, so there would be greater yields in having all three survive the mission.

    Circular shield 

  • Why didn't the screenwriters have Rogers ask Stark why the vibranium-shield was the only circular shield in the room? All the other shields' shapes were strange, but clearly Medieval-inspired, and then we see a shield shaped like a perfect circle? The screenwriters should've realized that was going to raise some questions from the audience.
    • On top of that, the shield sticks out like a sore thumb, but Steve instantly treats it like it's the most worthy of his possession. Why was Steve so interested in a plain-looking circular shield instead of the other ones that were specifically designed for combat? One again, the screenwriters should've realized that was going to raise some questions from the audience.
    •'s really not that big a deal? The shield gets all the exposition it needs. "What's this?" "Oh, that's a prototype made from an indestructible metal. That's actually all of that metal we have, so none of these other shields have it." "Oh, hey, it completely and perfectly blocks bullets." Would the movie really have been improved by a bunch of discussion about it?
    • It's a mild-level "deal" because it makes Steve's reaction come off as unnatural and contrived. If he had actually listened to what Stark was telling him about the others, then noticed the circular one and asked "oh, what about this one?" it would've seemed pretty normal. But he basically ignores all the rest and latches onto just one for no apparent reason.
    • He saw the shield and liked it. Seriously, what would the movie have benefited by having Steve listen to Stark explain a bunch of shields that we all know he isn't going to use? The scene illustrates the difference between Steve and Stark. Steve goes for simple utility, Stark goes for a bunch of gadgets and gizmos.

      Doing the scene the way you want it would be like having James Bond go through the usual routine of Q showing him all the neat gadgets, only Bond goes, "Eh, no thanks. I'll just use my gun." and walking off without so much as a single exploding cigar.
    • Not to mention that in contrast to all the other shields, which have weird contraptions attached to them, the circular shield would've been most familiar to Steve - in the beginning of the movie, we see Steve attempting to defend himself from the bully with a shield-like trashcan lid, in a manner that can be interpreted as him having done this before. Not only that, but all those weird contraptions on the other shields would've made the shields themselves highly impractical as a melee weapon, which is what Steve would need most out of a shield based on the kind of field situations he is expected to enter in (close-quarters combat, where his new super-soldier body would be best put to use).
    • The REAL question is if they made the Vibranium shield, why did they decide to give him the option for other shields?! When Rogers first notices it, Howard actually tries to dissuade him from picking it! Exactly why did they make the most useful shield there, out of the only sample of an ultra-rare mineral on the planet, if they never intended him to actually use the damn thing?!
    • He said it's a prototype. What do you do with prototypes? You test them and then improve on them. Stark tried to dissuade Rogers from taking it because he wasn't done playing around with it yet, while the other shields were more or less ready for deployment.

      Also, think of Stark's (both generations) mindset: Gadgets and toys are cool and the way to go. Stark waved off the vibranium shield because it was just a shield, while the others had all kinds of neat gizmos attached that Stark thought would be useful. Stark is the kind of guy who, when building a shield, immediately thinks, "Okay, but it needs to shoot stuff too."
    • Well, I always thought that it was the only shield in the room that resembled a trash can lid, which he'd used as a shield at the beginning of the movie.
    • I think all of these questions can be answered by simply considering what exactly Captain America is: a scrawny, unassuming nobody who was singled out and given a chance for exactly these reasons (Rogers' natural Heroic Spirit helped, of course, but that's beside the point). It makes sense that he would notice the shield with the most basic design (and untapped potential) amid all the fancy-looking, intentionally souped-up shields.
    • As a side note, circular shields weren't exactly unusual during the medieval period. There were quite a few versions used by different cultures at different times. In fact Cap's shield bears a distinct resemblance to a targe (other than the material used since they were generally wooden).

    Bomb under the tank 

  • During the montage with the Howling Commandos, why was it necessary to stick the bomb underneath the tank. If all they wanted to do was destroy the tank, then why not just stick it to the side? That way, there's no risk of being squashed or hit by something sticking out from the underside.
    • Tank armor is thickest on the sides and thinnest on the bottom.
    • Uh, no. Tank armor is thickest in the FRONT, because typically when a tank is shooting at something, that thing is probably going to be shooting back. The bottom of the tank is still weaker than the side armor, though.
    • Also, that tends to be where the fuel tanks are located.

    HYDRA economics 

  • HYDRA has betrayed the Third Reich and fights the Allies, this meaning they are practically fighting against the entire world, but their bases and factories are in the Reich-dominated Europe. How do they supply them with money (they never seem to have any legit businesses running), raw materials, rail and road transport, construction crews?
    • It could be that HYDRA stole some funds from the Nazis, and by this point Schmidt could just disguise his purchases as anti-Nazi resistances.
    • And/or just plain stole resources from whoever had them. With an army of fanatically loyal soldiers armed with super tech, it's not like most forces could keep Hydra from just hijacking shipments of minerals and chemicals.
    • Then again, once you start wondering about economics in the Marvel Universe, it brings up questions about how any organization can afford all their Technology Porn.
    • HYDRA is really more of a cult than a military regime, at least the labor and materials could have been "donated" by members, and it seems like the Reich was sinking a lot of money into them before the actual betrayal; maybe HYDRA was also embezzling? It's not too hard to imagine if you're willing to just accept that that much money exists in the first place.
    • Come to think of it, this could also ironically explain why the rest of the Reich's forces are strapped to even hold the line. Hitler and the Nazis poured so much into HYDRA that it came at the expense of the German war effort.
    • Schmidt tells Zola that "we know HYDRA could grow no further under the Furher's shadow," or words to that effect, implying HYDRA was regularly funded and supplied by Nazi Germany up until the point they came knocking at Red Skull's door asking for a return on that investment. Once Skull dealt with the "auditors," he still had whatever resources he'd been given before then, so all the bases, troops, vehicles, etc. were constructed before Red Skull basically went completely independent. The only thing he didn't have before then was working Tesseract weapons, but all the infrastructure and material to mass-produce them was already in place, since that's what Schmidt had been working towards the whole time.

    HYDRA going rogue 
  • Why didn't Schmidt just stage an assassination on Hitler in 1943 and pull off a Valkyrie-esque coup? He had to have had followers and admirers in the Heer, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, SS, and even possibly the Nazi leadership, so I don't see why he couldn't have planned and executed such an attempt. Honestly him taking over as Fuhrer would have been a much smarter move, and a lot of German generals who disliked Hitler's increasing incompetence might come to see Schmidt and his advanced weaponry as a much better chance of winning the war. That would have also been a far better explanation of how HYDRA could get its nice toys, by replacing the SS as the State Sec of Nazi Germany.
    • Where, exactly, are you getting the idea that he "had to have had" all those admirers and supporters? Nothing in the movie suggests such. What the movie does show is that his division is about to be shut down, ergo, he doesn't have the kind of widespread support you're asserting he does.
  • So, how did HYDRA continue to operate their bases without arousing suspicion from the Nazis and the Wehrmacht? Pretty sure that, even with advanced tech, they'd still be outnumbered and outgunned. And getting caught in a Mêlée à Trois with the Allies ain't exactly good for business...
    • The Nazis had a slightly bigger problem called, "Fighting the rest of the war."

    Shield in Iron Man II 

  • If Cap had his shield on him when he got frozen in ice (as evidenced by the beginning of the movie), what was Tony Stark using to prop up his machine in Iron Man II?
    • Probably some kind of prototypical attempt to recreate it in some fashion.
    • Let's see...I am making shield prototypes and I have just enough 'vibranium' to make one. Don't you think you'd make at least one practice one first? And maybe, just maybe, some of my junk was then left to... I don't know... MY ONLY SON!?
    • Not only that, in The Avengers, Tony was less than impressed with "the guy his father couldn't shut up about". Plus Howard Stark had been trying to re-create vibranium, something he couldn't do (Tony eventually did as a next-gen power source). Seems likely he would have used the same test mold the original sample used to test any experiment (the original shape had known test properties). Phil Coulson immediately recognized it (he was a known Captain America fan) and may have thought it was the original before common sense took over.
    • I always figured Howard was working on a new shield with some extra features and stuff just before cap ended up on ice

    Crashing the plane 

  • Why does Steve need to crash the Valkyrie before it reaches New York City? The plane itself wasn't the thing that was going to go boom, it was just going to drop the (labeled by city) bombs it was carrying.
    • Recent evidence suggests that planes themselves, when they aren't properly piloted and crash into populated areas, do plenty of damage even without bombs.
    • Because— get this— Steve isn't a pilot. Even if he can figure out how to get it to go in the direction he wants, he can't land it, so whether he was in the Valkyrie and dumping the bomb-planes into the ocean, or crashing the Valkyrie and flying away on a bomb plane, he wasn't getting out of it alive (as far as he knew). Crashing the Valkyrie with the planes inside it just kept the damage as localized as possible.
    • When the Tesseract got ejected from its connections, most of the flying wing's engines shut down. It was basically just a giant glider by that point, riding out its pre-established ballistic trajectory straight into NYC. There was no way to land it, only to bring it down earlier.


  • Why does the Red Skull wear a mask for the first half of the film? He's clearly not ashamed of his gruesome appearance.
    • Certain people would be shitting their pants if he went out in public with his Red Skull face being what they saw.
    • And meeting with Nazis who consider death camps an appropriate way of dealing with the deformed and disabled isn't going to go well when you've got a head like a lipstick-covered Halloween mask. Schmidt didn't ditch the pretense of looking human until he was ready to test out his new toys on Hitler's errand-boys and tell the Fuhrer to go to Hell.

    Kruger's assailants 

  • Kruger appears to have two accomplices: a getaway driver and a second guy who lays down cover fire for Kruger while he's getting into the car. Who are the two guys on the street who shoot back at Kruger and are killed by Kruger's Thompson submachine gun? I assume they have to be Army soldiers.
    • They're disguised SSR agents. Notice how they were sitting at the door to the "shop" the whole time from when Steve entered to when Kruger fled.
    • Plainclothes SSR soldiers. It's hard to tell, but it looks like they're positioned in front of the storefront next door to the antiques store, not in front of the antiques store itself.

    Explosives car 

  • Speaking of Kruger's escape, I know that he blows up that car parked out front (the one with the plate SS-879T) and it temporarily distracts Peggy before she draws a bead and shoots Kruger's getaway driver. Is that car with the explosives supposed to be the car Kruger arrived at the installation in? (RK-657H is the car Rogers arrives in and it gets shot through when Kruger is using the Thompson to kill the plainclothes SSR soldiers. Kruger's first getaway car is SM-553A)

    Apathetic Moviegoers 

  • So no one in the theater stood up for Steve and just let the guy drag him off into the alley to beat him up? It's pretty clear from the looks on everyone's faces that Steve was just saying what everyone else was thinking.
    • Yes. Bystander Syndrome.
    • Indeed. Most everyone's thought process in there was something like: "Augh, will that annoying guy shut up?! Oh cool, someone told him off; he's being quiet now. Is he standing up? Oh wow, he's huge! And he's dragging off that kid! Someone should help him. Should I help him? But then I'd get beat up! I'm sure the theater guards will do something about it. Haha, funny cartoon!"
    • Alternatively: "Augh, will that annoying guy shut up?! Oh cool, someone told him off; he's being quiet now. Is he standing up? Oh wow, he's huge! OK, kid, shut up now...why aren't you shutting up? No, telling him to take it out back is not shutting up! ...oh wow, that kid is gonna get pasted—why don't his friends look out for him better? Haha, funny cartoon!"
    • Back in those days, theaters had ushers, and dealing with people who were disrupting the show was part of their job. Where were they?
      • Probably thinking, "Augh, will that annoying guy shut up?! Oh cool, someone told him off; he's being quiet now, and I don't have to deal with it. Is he standing up? Oh wow, he's huge! I'll pretend I didn't see anything so I don't get beat up...."

    HYDRA soldiers 
  • Does it bother anyone else that Red Skull is able to muster up an entire army of men who are fanatically loyal to him, even though he intends to attack his own country, doesn't seem to have much of an ideology beyond 'I want to rule the world' and in general treats them as completely expendable? What, exactly, is it that accounts for so many soldiers being so completely dedicated to him, to the point where they almost all commit suicide rather than risk capture and cheerfully use as their motto a phrase which lampshades their own expendability? I could buy it if it were just a handful of these guys, but as I said, he seems to have recruited an entire army of lunatics with no sense of self-preservation.
    • Given that suicide bombers are a very real thing, that these guys were already Nazis, and that Schmidt's lab was admitted to be a dumping ground for folks too crazy even for the Nazis, it's hardly implausible. Especially when he's shown he actually can back up his claims of power through channeling the Tesseract. As Zola puts it: "The sanity of the plan is of no consequence. Because he can do it."
    • The instant HYDRA declared its independence from Hitler, all of those guys would've also known that they'd be under an instant and mandatory death sentence - after some heavy torture, with their actual deaths to be featured in "So Perish All Traitors!" propaganda newsreels for maximum humiliation - if they ever fell into the loyalist Nazis' hands. And given a double-dose of brainwashing (German and HYDRA) about what to look forward to if the Allies (especially the Soviets) took them alive, it's entirely plausible that they'd assume Better to Die than Be Killed applies: sure, we know Captain America is above that sort of thing, but try telling the ones whose forces he's been tearing to ribbons that's the case.

    Build huge ass plane + bomb the world = profits? 
  • What was RS' actual plan? barring bombing major cities with a big plane (IMO a massive waste of the power he had) it has been shown that tesseract weapons are not invincible so what was the plan?]
    • Howard Stark says they don't have anything that compares to Red Skull's weapons. He had a major technological advantage, which would have won him the war. It's not just "bombing major cities with a big plane," it's, "Wipe out anyone who could resist me using my superior, nearly untouchable technology and take over the world."
    • Or, to put it another way...
      Col. Phillips: You do know that's nuts, right?
      Zola: The sanity of the plan is of no consequence... because he can do it.

    Shoutout Poster 
  • What's the poster in the Shout-Out page a reference to? Really scratching my head at that.
    • The cover of Captain America Comics #1, a version of which is also shown in the film.

    Serum's Workings 
  • Erskine basically claims that the serum somehow understands what/who is evil and what/who is good, is capable of assessing people's character, and is capable of having different effects on different people on this basis. Everything screams "What/how the fuck".
    • That's the way it happened in the comics, and it didn't really make any more sense there. It's ultimately a plot contrivance so Steve can start being Captain America, who does cool Captain America things.
    • I took it to mean the serum simply enhances the recipient for good or bad.
    • Right, that was my thought as well. The serum isn't sapient, it just makes you more of what you already are. A good man like Steve becomes great, a bad man like Schmidt becomes worse, and a guy with anger issues becomes, well...a guy with REALLY MAJOR anger issues.

    HYDRA Base Wall/Ramp 
  • Is there an advantage to the first wall defence to the final HYDRA base having two large ramps that could be driven over from the outside?