SPOILER CAUTION: This article contains a minor spoiler about the contents of the upcoming DVD release 'The Incredible Hulk'.
Now that Marvel's making their own movies, they've started capturing some of the fun of comics crossovers on the big screen. We've seen obvious things, like S.H.I.E.L.D. appearing in 'Iron Man' and 'The Incredible Hulk', as well as the famous codas to both those movies, where characters walk on and set up the 'Avengers' film.
And in 'Iron Man', eagle-eyed fans spotted Captain America's shield in Tony Stark's lab.
Now, when 'Incredible Hulk' was due to launch, director Louis Leterrier delighted in telling the press that Captain America appeared in the film. When we interviewed him back in June, just days before the release of the film, we tried to pin him down on what exactly he was talking about: Here's our exchange on the subject:
C2F: The Captain America thing has come up quite a bit this week. Are you sorry that you mentioned it to G4?
I love that. I could have said anything. I wanted to say I'm directing the "Smurf" movie.
No...it's true! It's true! You just have to open your eyes and you will see it.
C2F: Will we literally see a man who is Captain America?
Leterrier: You will see a man! [laughs]
You'll see it. You'll like it.
C2F: I did not notice it in the screening I saw earlier this week.
Leterrier: The entire movie has not been released yet.
And I'm not talking about the DVD extras [ED NOTE: emphasis added 10/13]. I'm talking about something else, something different.
There's a sequence that's going to be seen on the internet some time very soon. Maybe today or tomorrow.
Go see the movie again. Maybe you'll see it in the movie. That's what's fun about it. Don't you think it's fun? It's an easter egg hunt. That's what it is.
So...Louis promised some kind of Captain America nod IN the movie, not relegated to DVD extras and, nobody ever spotted it.
Well, last week a copy of 'The Incredible Hulk' arrived on DVD and we've gone through it twice, looking for some background element that suggests Captain America. As far as we can see there is no such homage.
The DVD does contain the famous alternate opening which we'll recap here: Banner, some days or weeks after having transformed for the first time and injured Betty in the process, has traveled far to arctic north, where he plans to kill himself on a glacier, and bury his body under the ice. His plan is thwarted when he Hulks out and causes the glacier to collapse beneath him.
Many thought that Captain America would be seen in this segment of the movie and...guess what...there really is a nod here. Sort of.
We watched the scene several times and saw no reference to Cap. We frame-by-framed through it several times and still saw nothing.
Then, a reader sent in a grainy still from 2:24 into that scene in that sequence you can see the faint image of Captain America's shield being exposed by the avalanche of ice! We had to bring the DVD into the computer and we still couldn't isolate the frame with Windows Media Player. But once we downloaded a better DVD software we were able to find and grab the frame. Check it out:
The appearance of the shield is subliminal at best. You'll never see it with the naked eye watching the sequence at normal speed.
As far as Louis' contention that we would see a "man" who is Captain America in the film...we're still not exactly sure what he was talking about. We figure he meant metaphorically, when we see Hulk carrying and throwing a shield. Or perhaps he meant it in a spiritual sense: with the super solider storyline figuring prominently into the film's plot.
Either way, the shield is there, and the avalanche scene could be seen as a fore-runner to the 'First Avenger: Captain America' film.
'The Incredible Hulk' arrives on DVD October 21st. Watch for our full review this week.