I recently re-watched the original Captain America, and one thing stuck out at me. [Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen it.]
In the original film, Cap is fighting HYDRA, a spin-off group of German forces devoted to science and mysticism. Each HYDRA soldier states that, if you cut off one head, two will grow back.
It’s pretty clear from the trailer for the new movie that Captain America will be fighting the Winter Soldier, aka his former friend Bucky:
But I’m guessing that there’s a second villain. Bucky was being tested on midway through the original film, and I’m assuming that’s how he, too, became a super-soldier. But either a) he wasn’t the only one, and we’ll find out that Captain America has to fight a second former ally, or b) HYDRA and its remnants aren’t the only villain. And if I were a betting man, I’d bet on B. The way that the trailer hints at SHIELD itself being a corrupt institution means that SHIELD is going to be housing Cap’s second antagonist. Whether it’s Robert Redford himself, or Nick Fury, or someone working at SHIELD, my money is on someone there being the true villain.
Now, I may be one of the only people still watching Agents of SHIELD regularly, but that show’s whole first season has been building up to Agent Coulson finding out what truly happened to him after the events of The Avengers, and learning to distrust the large government organization that he’s spent his whole life working for.
While the SHIELD members are at this point tracking down Ian Quinn, the Clairvoyant, Deathlok, and any number of other villains, I’m guessing that there is a bad seed somewhere in SHIELD, someone who is antagonizing both Coulson (on the TV show) and Captain America (in the film).
Captain America defeated Red Skull in the 1940s, seemingly cutting off the head of HYDRA. But remember: when you cut off one head, two grow back.