Clint and Kate don’t care that they have the same codename so why does everyone else?
Y’ALL THOUGHT I WAS DONE BUT I’M JUST GETTING STARTED APPARENTLY.
So now let’s talk about the Winter Soldier uniform.
As treblemirinlens informed me, Steve’s Winter Soldier uniform is a play off of his Commander Rogers uniform from the comics, while Bucky was off being Captain America. And while I’m focusing on the MCU, I think it is important to note that the Winter Soldier uniform is based off one that Steve wears when he’s not Captain America.
Now don’t get me wrong: this is a good uniform. Compared to that monstrosity Steve wore in Avengers, this is a godsend. In fact, it’s helpful to compare it directly to the Avengers uniform, because it really emphasizes Steve’s role in each movie: In Avengers, Steve was meant to be overtly visible, the returning hero from the Golden Age, the living legend, the symbol made flesh, here to save the earth with some good ol’ fashioned warfare. At the beginning of Winter Soldier, Steve’s meant to be invisible. He works for SHIELD, now. He takes down hostiles on the Lemurian Star with near-silent efficiency – only when he fights Batroc do you get any glimpse of that overconfident kid from Brooklyn who picked fights in back alleys.
Steve says to Peggy that he thought he could throw himself back in and serve, and it’s a testament to how lost Steve is that he loses sight of how much he rebelled against serving, in the traditional sense – how he disobeyed direct orders from his superiors, convinced Howard and Peggy to fly him behind enemy lines, and jumped out of a plane in order to save his best friend who was already basically pronounced dead. Hell, this is the kid that said screw the system and lied on his enlistment form four times. Steve has always wanted to serve his country, but he’s always been insistent on doing it his way. When he gets pushback, he shoves harder.
Steve might still be Captain America, but at the beginning of Winter Soldier, he’s not the Captain America who hunted HYDRA across Europe with a hand-picked squad. His uniform is not a Captain America uniform: it’s a SHIELD uniform, tweaked for Captain America, but made for a spy.
But when Sam Wilson says, “I’m more of a soldier than a spy,” he might as well be speaking for Steve. Steve’s not a spy, and it’s important to note that throughout the middle of Winter Soldier, Steve’s wearing no uniform at all.
Probably the most iconic shot in the movie right there, and Steve’s not wearing a uniform. He’s in hiding, on the run from SHIELD, so naturally he can’t go parading himself around in the stars and stripes, but more importantly, this is Steve Rogers, for the first time since he’s been out of the ice, on his own. Not in the sense of allies – he has Nat; he has Sam; Steve Rogers will always have allies – but in the sense of an organization. He’s not working with the Avengers, he’s not working for SHIELD, or the Army. For the first time since the ice, since the serum, really, since a back alley in Brooklyn, it’s him and a shield against the world.
It’s no surprise that this is how Bucky begins to recognize him.
Not as a spy, but as a scrappy, fearless kid barreling into a fight with a shield and a prayer. (Sure, the kid has pounds of added muscle now, but that’s still tiny!Steve’s spirit in big!Steve’s body. Always.) Steve without a uniform is not Steve lost – it’s Steve finding himself, finding his allies, finding out who’s trustworthy, what’s important to protect. Nat is important. Sam is important. Bucky is important. SHIELD is not.
The next time Steve puts a uniform on, it’s by choice – “If you’re gonna fight a war, you gotta wear a uniform.”
This is the uniform he chose some 70 years ago. Steve’s choice to put on this uniform
IS SO THAT HIS BRAINWASHED BEST FRIEND WILL RECOGNIZE HIMis an exercise of agency: He’s not the Avengers dancing monkey, he’s not SHIELD’s silent spy. He’s the Captain America he chose to be when he climbed into Stark’s machine and let Erskine inject him with the serum. He’s the Captain America who rescued the 107th, who lead the Howling Commandos. Sure, this uniform’s not exactly the same, there’ve been a few alterations, but nothing really stays the same, does it? And change is good, is necessary – “Food’s better…no polio’s good…internet, so helpful.” What’s important is the spirit, the intention, the choice.
The Captain America in this uniform isn’t the Captain America who’s content to follow orders and serve blindly. This is the Captain America who challenges the system. Who destroys the system, when necessary.
This is Steve Rogers, ignoring his superiors, ignoring his orders, putting on a uniform he was never supposed to wear and following his best friend into war.
During WWII, Japanese American soldiers were among the first to liberate the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. “U.S military commanders decided it would be bad public relations if Jewish prisoners were freed by Japanese American soldiers whose own families were imprisoned in American concentration camps,” therefore, these Japanese American soldiers who liberated hundreds of Jews are missing in our history lessons.
See, that implies that our history lessons actually talk about the fact that our government put Japanese Americans IN camps - and that by our silence we LET them. We condoned it. That’s on the heads of every white person who stood silently by and said nothing.
Also, yeah, not regularly taught.
I never learned about the American camps until my junior year of high school, and that’s unacceptable. If you want to fight past injustice, you have to admit to your own failings in that respect. And yes, maybe it’s shameful and embarrassing that you made the mistake, but at least have the decency to take responsibility for it.
America, I’m looking at you.
# death is preferable # to the pain in my soul # don’t talk to me about the concept of belonging and family without blood on a starship # because it’s all you have it’s just you out in the black and these souls these connections are all you have # these imperfect infuriating shining brave souls and you would die for them and they would die for you # in a heartbeat # and once you serve together once you’ve spent those years in silent endless space together once you’ve seen the best and worst of each other # it’s for life # ten twenty thirty years from now you will love them just as fiercely and die for them and with them without a second thought # i need air (via spacedocks)
Archangel Michael’s victory over the Devil, sculpture above the main entrance at St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg
I was watching CA:TFA the other day when I had a revelation of sorts.
I’ve made it very clear how much I hate Steve’s Avengers uniform. Everything about it is terrible to me. It’s super tight, there are like 17 unnecessary pouches, candy apple red boots and gloves, and oh yeah, THIGH ZIPPERS. WHY.
It’s in such contrast to Steve’s TFA uniform which, for all intents and purposes, is just a fancy flight suit. It’s made from a practical material, at least capable of withstanding a bayonet, as Howard says. There’s a bit of breathing room. It’s not particularly decorative in the way the Avengers uniform is – as in, of course it’s red, white, and blue, but it’s that way because different components of the uniform happen to be different colors.
The Avengers uniform, on the other hand, looks like it was basically painted on. It’s shiny, and flashy for flashy’s sake. Nothing about this feels practical:
I know that’s a behind the scenes pic, but come on, does that look like the face of a man who is comfortable in his uniform? In fact, Steve doesn’t look particularly comfortable once during that entire movie, but specifically when he has the uniform on. A lot of Steve’s discomfort in Avengers can be attributed to his recently de-iced state,
(and some of it can certainly be attributed to the writing)but I think there’s a good case to be made that Steve absolutely doesn’t feel comfortable in that uniform. And here’s why:
The resemblance between Steve’s Avengers uniform and Steve’s Star-Spangled Man With A Plan getup hit me like a ton of bricks. And it makes sense, too. Whereas Steve’s TFA uniform is a direct result of Steve’s own ideas about the uniform, as presented to Howard, Steve’s Avengers uniform is a direct result of this:
Coulson’s the one who says he had input on Steve’s new uniform, and the movie makes it very clear that Coulson’s cultural touchstone for Captain America is his trading cards. Even after Steve rescued the 107th and started leading the Commandos, you can stand to bet that Steve in his original costume was the Captain America most seen by the public back on the homefront. The Star Spangled Man with the Plan was still the symbol, and he never stopped being so, even when Steve became something much, much more.
So here Steve is in Avengers, fresh out of the ice, trying to find his place in the world, struggling to fall back into line and serve his country and help people
(except Steve was never really in line, ever, but whatever), and he’s presented with this uniform, bright and shiny and crisp and new, and he puts it on and it’s stiff and awkward and tight and what are these zippers even for, and suddenly he closes his eyes and he’s back 70 years, on stage, under the lights, sweating, all eyes on him, surround by singing girls in short skirts and ol’ Adolf creeping up behind them, ready for a sock on the jaw, and there’s that familiar pit in his stomach, that pit of embarrassment and shame and worry and you’re not enough.
70 years in the ice, and they’re still trying to parade him around. 70 years in the ice, and they still just want him to dance.
We’re the only ones left.
|Tony:||Just chill out--|
|Steve:||I DID MY CHILLING|
|Steve:||SEVENTY YEARS OF IT|
|Steve:||IN THE ARCTIC|