With therecent reportsof Marvel Studios ‘testing’ candidates for a new female role in 2014’sCaptain America: The Winter Soldierplus one forAvengers 2 (who might be Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel nee Ms. Marvel), we can’t keep from speculating what other icon or icons of comicdom will make the leap to the big screen. Fortunately (or unfortunately in one case, as you will see) when you are a specimen like the post-transformation Steve Rogers you attract quite the cadre of opposite sex admirers and allies. From the obvious to the obscure, let’s wager a bit on who this new star could turn out to.
The niece, or grand- niece (see below) , of Hayley Atwell’s Captain America: The First Avenger character Peggy Carter has been a long time supporting character in Captain America’s new life in the modern era. Inspired by her heroic relative’s stories of Steve Rogers, Sharon follows Peggy’s footsteps and joins S.H.I.E.L.D. where she becomes not only a highly capable agent, but a partner to (and on and off again romantic interest of) the Captain. She also had a large role in the comic book storyline about The Winter Soldier, and has largely stuck around since, telling because of that title to Cap 2: Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
However there is a hitch to the seeming certainty that Sharon will be the undisclosed new female lead character, one which the movies can only barely escape. Despite the elastic nature of time in in comic book continuities there are few points more fixed than the facts that Captain America was ‘born’ and frozen during World War II and revived into modern times. While this works great for storytelling purposes, always being able to contrast the ‘values’ of the “greatest generation” against how things are now, it makes connections like the one that might exist between Peggy and Sharon Carter harder and harder to maintain. World War II is nearly 75 years ago. How will the stories of Peggy’s adventures with Steve Rogers effect/inspire Sharon when they are told second hand?
Who is Connie Ferrari? Long time Captain America readers will recall her as a New York area defense attorney with whom Steve Rogers became romantically involved. Their relationship became serious enough for Steve to reveal to her his identity as Captain America before that fact became public knowledge. The pair had a standard comic book superhero romance, with tension springing up over Connie’s guilt over the idea that she could be holding the hero back from saving the world and Cap afraid that the danger that follows him around could lead back to her. An added wrinkle was Connie’s work in the defense of various villains in her role as an officer of the court. Their relationship had a happy ending (as far as most comic book romances go) as the two parted amicably. Connie was largely forgotten as real-world events of that year, 2001, would change the direction of the Captain America comic for some time.
While it is unlikely that Connie will appear just as she did 12 years ago in the comics, she is more a reference for the possibility of a modern ‘everywoman’ character that the still-freshly time displaced theatrical version of Steve Rodgers could meet/come to the aid of/fall in love with, opening up and exploring Cap’s struggle to adjust to life in the 21st Century.
A founding member of the Avengers but often overlooked in adaptions (and not just because of her size) Janet Van Dyne has been an active part of the Marvel Universe since 1963. Despite her relatively meager power set: shrinking, flight, “bio-electric energy bolts” characterized as little more than ‘stingers,’ Janet Van Dyne has nevertheless used intelligence and creative strategy to take down some of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful forces, rising to the level of leader of the Avengers several times in her career.
Taking a page from the acclaimed (but canceled) animated series,The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the theatrical version of the Wasp would share her counterpart’s enthusiasm for superhero work and be drawn to Captain America for the prospect of adventure he holds. Training up a rookie hero would also be a great gateway for Marvel Studios to ring in their “Phase 2” heroes and start working their way to a balance of the genders, following up the Cap sequel with the first solo outing for a female hero.
With Marvel Comics’ most significant femme fatale, Viper, taking a role in the upcoming Wolverine movie, another borderline good/evil female character with a history with Captain America could find a place in The First Avenger’s next film. Rachel Leighton, the most significant Diamondback in comic history, could aptly be described as someone who fell in with the wrong crowd, in this case The Serpent Society, a gang of snake-themed supervillains. Her complicated relationship with Captain America started when the hero came to her aid after she was betrayed by the Society, and had her working on both sides of the law several times.
Casting the new female lead as Diamondback would do double duty for the producers of the new Captain America movie as she comes with not only a romantic angle but a large set of villains for the hero to battle. In what might take the spotlight from Cap himself, a love/loyalty triangle between her feelings for Captain America and her allegiance to the Serpent Society would make for a strong source of drama. Of course, with The Winter Soldier as the focus and a rumored appearance from Baron Zemo, that may be a few too many new villains for one solo hero to handle.
Revenge is a powerful motivator, and who better to deliver it than the secret daughter of the Red Skull, Sin? Originally a failed experiment by the Red Skull to create an heir to preserve his legacy (he wanted a son), the girl who would become Sin was artificially aged and did battle with Captain America several times during World War II. More recently it was discovered that she had stopped ageing entirely and was freed by those loyal to her father from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody to resume creating havoc in her father’s name.
This anti-Sharon Carter could be replicated in the next Captain America movie largely in the same manner as Sharon herself, inspired into revenge by the story of Steve Rodger’s foiling of her family’s plan of world domination. A better twist would be to have both Sharon and Sin play large parts in a story that looks like it might spend a lot of time dealing with the legacy of Captain America during the war.
Rikki Barnes, the Counter-Earth Bucky
…Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
Heh, I really hope we get Diamondback in a movie. That would make my year.