Last week saw a lot of online chatter about the appearance of Captain America’s shield in the background of a scene from Iron Man. Is it just director Jon Favreau’s wink at comic fans, or part of an interconnected narrative that relates to those newly confirmed Captain America and Avengers movies?
A couple of days ago, I probably would’ve said the former. But now comes a new set of photos from The Incredible Hulk, which may include our first look at the Super-Soldier Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.
The new rumor is that the blue liquid in the photo at the right is the serum in question — used during World War II to create “a super soldier,” and again now to turn Emil Bronsky into the Abomination.
The shield or the serum separately is an Easter egg. The cameo of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man, by itself, is fan service. And the appearance of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in The Incredible Hulk is — well, I don’t know yet.
But taken together, these represent an effort by Marvel, or at least the writers and directors of these two films, to subtly and quickly create a “universe” — something not easily done in movies designed to stand on their own.
Oh, I know Marvel’s plan is to release an Iron Man sequel and solo projects for Thor and Captain America before bringing the characters together for The Avengers. I just didn’t expect them to be so deft in laying the groundwork.