My only disappointment is the film moving up the time of the story until after the US entered World War II in 1942. In the comics, Steve Rogers became Captain America in 1941 months before the Pearl Harbor Attack, motivated by a pure idealism that was competing with both larger public indifference and/or isolationist sympathy for the Nazis. Putting into the war itself makes Rogers' ideals a bit less heroic as he rides a larger patriotic fervor in 1942. As it is, the original setting obviously didn't preclude the existence of Project Rebirth anymore than the development of the Rocketeer's jetpack in 1938 in that movie; both can be justified as the US government's precautionary efforts to create secret weapons for a possible war.
Aside from that, this film was a joy watch to see Captain America done right compared to the unwatchable 1990 film embarrassment, although I found the 1970s live action TV attempts decent ones for the realities of the medium at that time. Just the hidden references to Marvel Comics things like the Original Human Torch, The Invaders and The Howling Commandos are lots of fun to spot. Furthermore, Chris Evans gives the title character just the right feel of idealism and humanity as he, portrayed in a sickly body that makes Woody Allen look studly, shows how Rogers has all the inner qualities that would make Captain America. Furthermore, Hugo Weaving is deliciously bad as the Red Skull, a Marvel villain movie adaptation rivaled only by Alfred Molina's Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2. After, the 1990 movie inexplicably made the character Italian, it was awe inspiring to see such a memorable villain done right.
With all that said and with the film being such a big success, it's time to think of sequels and there are over 40 years of just the character's post-revival comic book stories since the 1960s to consider for adaptations as Cap:
- The major plot arcs of when Rogers temporarily gave up being Cap in the 1970s and 1980s to become Nomad and The Captain respectively could be easily combined into one story. For instance, Rogers could feel compelled to give it up in a period of patriotic disillusionment, only to realize that he could still be Cap and fight for the higher ideals of America without blindly supporting his government or public sentiments. Furthermore, the requisite action can be supplied also by the struggles of John Walker trying to be his replacement only to be pushed over the brink and needs to be rescued by Rogers. On the other hand, the film could go more black and while by the US government creating Nuke who is the subject of a later attempt to imitate Project Rebirth, only to become an irretrievably insane supervillain Rogers must bring down.
- The discovery and revival of the 1950s version of Captain America and Bucky, who used a flawed Nazi copy of the Super Soldier Serum and became violently racist and paranoid and Rogers needs the help of a new friend, Frank Wilson aka The Falcon, to help bring them down. However, Rogers must confront the frightening similarities and fate of his counterpart as he struggles to realize why he is truly better than them.
- The fight against the Serpent Society, a team of repitlain themed supervillains who are so well organized and slippery that Cap is really frustrated trying to bring them down.
- The Red Skull's Sleepers, giant robots designed to automatically devastate the world in the event of the Third Reich's defeat.
- The rise of The Winter Soldier, who is revealed to be Bucky who was captured, modified, preserved and controlled by Soviets for decades and all the emotional baggage coming from that discovery.