The burden of a Cap sequel is the timeline. Captain America: The First Avenger was bookmarked on both ends with modern day scenarios. Having the character go back to the past for a full movie would not feel right and most likely cause confusion. After Cap battles alongside the rest of The Avengers there won’t be much of a desire to see him go back to the past. So how do you work with a guy who’s entire history is rooted in the 1930s? The best way is to give some links to the past, but focus on his life post Avengers.
One of the largest hurdles in the Cap universe is how so many of his enemies made it to modern times. If you just bring them all to modern day then Cap loses his uniqueness. Solving this is tantamount to making a solid trilogy. So whom does Cap go up against? The Red Skull can’t be rehashed as the villain, it wouldn’t be too amazing. So let’s look at his rouge gallery.
My choices consist of two guys working together to takedown the star spangled avenger. The first is Arnim Zola, right hand man and scientist to the Red Skull. Having Toby Jones return as Zola would help keep consistency between the movies. Of course Zola would need to take the form of a robot with Zola’s conscience. Now with the fantastic nature of the Avengers movie this will be easier to pull off. I would suggest the following design.
Done properly and this could look amazing on screen. Now you can explain that using the power of the cosmic cube allowed for such a transfer to be possible. Due to the nature of the cube anything is possible. Zola’s motivation can be to carry on the legacy of the Red Skull who died. You can now make Zola the de facto leader of a resurgence of Hydra. Cap will want to take them on because he is aware of the threat they posed in his first encounter. Of course Zola is not so formidable on his own and requires a ruthless partner who has a personal interest in seeing Cap dead, and that man is Baron Helmut Zemo.
Now Baron Zemo’s father, Heinrich is not shown or mentioned in the first movie, but here is a chance to show him and his origin in quick flashbacks. Take 10 minutes to explain that Heinrich Zemo was knocked into a vat of adhesive and so on. Show flashes of his son, Helmut, dealing with the new look and madness of his father. Show Heinrich instilling the hate for Cap over the years in the mind of his son. Fast forward to a training montage of Helmut Zemo becoming proficient with a sword and handgun. At the end of the montage we see Helmut Zemo reading a newspaper declaring Captain America is alive. Zemo is then seen putting on his infamous mask and coat.
Since the stakes will be much higher in the sequel and Marvel has no intention of just bringing in the rest of the Avengers to do the heavy lifting, nor should they, how do we handle this? Cap should have a partner. For a long time Cap and Falcon have been as thick as thieves in the comics. I don’t see why this should change now. However, having a guy in a bright white and red skintight suit that can talk to bird is laughable at best. So let’s use the Ultimate Falcon’s design instead.
Much like in the Ultimates universe Falcon will be a Shield agent and a scientist. Having Falcon in the film makes for some great moments of Cap having a close friend. The idea of him being friends with a black man considering the time in which he comes from also is great imagery. So needlessly to say you see where Cap and Falcon go out on Shield sanctioned missions to stop Zola and Zemo, who are now working together. Have Cap taking down hordes of robots while Falcon provides air support could make for some great popcorn moments. The Marvel Universe could use a little more color sprinkled in as well. Having Falcon there provides this as a path to more minority heroes. Also, Cap and Falcon should be equals. Falcon should not be considered Cap’s sidekick, that’s Bucky’s job.
This is just a rough outline of where to start with a Cap sequel. What are your ideas?