There were a lot of naysayers and pessimists who put down this summer's action blockbuster release, Marvel's Captain America. But I was not one of them and neither was WhatCulture! We gave the film a cracking full 5 stars in our review! As a dedicated Avengers fanatic (so excited for summer 2012!) it is impossible not to be romanced by the straight forward good versus evil action of the boyscout in blue. And I loved the popcorn-style fun and adventure that this year's movie offered. Now with the online hub-bub informing us that Captain America 2 will be on screens in 2014, there is one bone I would like to pick with Marvel. And I do so in the hopes that perhaps they will correct the one critical failing in the first. What happened to the mega-awesome, action-packed, final throw-down between Cap and the ever-terrifying Red Skull? The long-awaited battle-to-the-death? SPOILER WARNING - I'm not sure who thought that dematerialising the Skull into nothingness with the cosmic cube was a good idea. They barely even traded blows before he was whisked away via a plot line setup for another film (anyone else think the Skull might be popping up alongside Loki in the new Avengers movie?). Why couldn't Cap win the day and triumph over his arch nemesis instead of watching his victory dissipate? Sure he was going to end up on ice for decades either way, but I was calling for blood and my hunger was not satiated! So following are my suggestions for villains to go toe-to-toe with Cap in his impending sequel. Bad guys who I want to see try to knock him back into the 40's:
5. BATROC THE LEAPERI will admit that Batroc is not the first choice most people would make when picking an adversary for Cap. Yet there are few other villains who have opposed him so constantly across the decades. With his expert knowledge of savate (French kickboxing) Batroc has managed numerous times to overpower Steve Rogers and has even gotten away with his ill-gotten gains on a number of occasions. Georges Batroc is a French national with a flair for the dramatic and a horribly cliched grasp of the English language. He takes on jobs for a wide array of Super Villains and evil organisations, usually employed to steal something, and never seems to want anything more than the thrill of the crime. Confronting Captain America (or 'Mon Capitan' as he calls him) is a challenge that he lavishes and takes every opportunity to prove that his leaping, flipping and barrage of flying kicks are more than a match for the Sentinel Of Liberty. What I like most about Batroc is his devil-may-care nature and the comedic potential inherent in his character. He even has a strong, though twisted, sense of honour that he abides by (a criminal's code, if you will) and has been known to switch sides and aid Captain America against his momentarily former colleagues. He may not be the major Big Bad in the sequel but would be a fun choice for a subplot, or as the tongue-in-cheek member of a villainous group. One who may even defect at the least expected moment. Fantasy Casting - Jean Claude Van Damme (well... 10 years ago anyway)
4. TASKMASTERWhat isn't there to like about a baddie with a skull as a mask? But this time it is white instead of the usual red. The Taskmaster's costume looks to be a hodge-podge of heroes' costumes all sewn together; a little Cap, add a dash of Moon Knight, and a teaspoon of Hawkeye. This makes sense though once you realise that his power (is it a power? There is a confused consensus on this. Once he was even pointed out as a mutant) is photographic reflexes and the ability to instantly mimic the moves and styles of anyone, super human included, that he watches. He is literally the 'anything you can do I can do better' guy. So bloody smug. Having studied all of the Avengers and their moves, not to mention the number of times that he has faced down the Captain, Taskmaster is a highly dangerous opponent. He can mirror any fighting style that Cap can call upon and predict actions before they begin. Luckily in the comic book world Taskmaster has relegated himself predominantly to the role of instructor; originally being hired by villainous leagues to train their underlings and crowds of cannon fodder. More recently he had been drafted into the world of registered heroes and was working for the 'good' guys (this view depends on whether you were a Cap or Iron Man kind of person during Civil War). Put him in the sequel however and he can be a perfect foil to Captain America. How could Cap possibly fight against someone who can out fight him? What new skill is he going to have to master to be able to win in the end? (He could just hire Deadpool who is able to confuse Taskmaster's reflexes with his insanity and unpredictability!) Fantasy Casting - Jason Statham
3. MADAME HYDRA/ VIPERFirst she was the femme fatale who stepped into the leading role at Hydra before being unceremoniously outwitted by Captain America and then turned upon by her organisation. Then she became the new Viper (after murdering the original) and has since left a trail of bodies and broken lives in the wake of her murderous career. In fact, this lady is so dangerous and demented that other Super Villains tend to keep their distance (except for the ever-loving Red Skull who tried to woo her). Originally an orphan named Ophelia Sarkissian, she was kidnapped as a child and trained by Hydra to become an elite commando and assassin. However Hydra has only one answer to failure, so in order to survive she adapted and began trying to create her own version of the Serpent Society. Viper has no powers but is deadly in all forms of hand-to-hand combat and with most weapons. Viper or Madame Hydra (she really doesn't seem to be able to make up her mind these days) is the perfect counterbalance to Captain America. She is nothing more than a peak human, much like Cap. She is a skilled fighter and leader, just like Cap. And it would be amazing to see an all-out no-holding-back brawl where Steve Rogers has to hit a girl. A lot. Or she will kill him. Fantasy Casting - Megan Fox
2. CROSSBONESBrock Rumlow is a psychopath. Trained by Taskmaster at his school for ne'er-do-wells, he sets out on a career as a mercenary for hire and eventually winds up under the tutelage, not to mention acting as the right hand man to the infamous Red Skull. It is the Red Skull that gives him his costume and the non de plume Crossbones. Rumlow ends up shacking up with the Skull's daughter and heir Syn, and together the pair make violent, murderous music together. There is no length that this madman will not go to in an attempt to appease/ impress/ reanimate his Aryan Master. A lover of all things explosive and an expert with every firearm, Crossbones makes the most of his one potent skill - death. Crossbones is the polar opposite of everything that Captain America stands for. He revels in the pain, misery and suffering that he causes in others. He maims, he tortures, he kills. Whilst Cap stands up for the little people, Crossbones stands on top of their rotting carcases. There is little that could be more amazing to watch than a final confrontation between these two; knowing that Steve Rogers will be forced to reconsider his mantra about not killing. Fantasy Casting - Vin Diesel
1. WINTER SOLDIERWe've reached the number one spot and who better to be the arch nemesis, the Big Bad for the upcoming Captain America sequel? No one could create more dramatic tension than the Winter Soldier. That's right, Cap's very own best buddy and sidekick who originally went by the name Bucky Barnes! We all saw Bucky fall to his 'death' or at least toward a distant river in the first movie. And we all knew that there was no way that it was going to be the last that we saw of him. His death was too quick, too hurried over. If Bucky was going to be terminated permanently there would have been some sort of reverie. A moment. A lingering look. In the comic books, after seeming to be blown to pieces by a bomb, Bucky is recovered by the Russians and brainwashed into becoming their ultimate covert operative. A communist assassin who can pass as a democratic dog (that is Commie speak for American. Or at least that's what comics have taught me). If the Winter Soldier is sent to take out America's Super Soldier then watch the drama unfold as old friends come fist to face. I never felt that Marvel did this traumatic relationship the justice it deserved by returning Bucky's memory too quickly and bringing him back to the side of the good guys. What if Bucky is aware of what he is doing and who he is facing, but keeps on fighting anyway? Will Cap be able to stop his boyhood pal? Or will he let the past get the better of him? This is the final fight that I want to see! Fantasy Casting - Well there's no need. Sebastian Stan played him the first movie....
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