'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Super Bowl ad hints at major death

O Captain, my Captain …

We’d issue a spoiler alert here, but all we know is what the new trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier is trying to tell us: Somebody big is going down. Like, 6-feet-under down.

The Super Bowl spot accomplished a handful of things:

– It got fans even more riled up for a film that already has tremendously strong word-of-mouth.
– The uninitiated got a brief primer on who/what The Winter Soldier is.
– Marvel Studios is really trying to make us believe a particular character is headed toward an untimely end.

(We won’t mention who until after the jump. Not that we know. As Springsteen says, “we’re just dancing in the dark …”)

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First up, good on Marvel studios for giving a clever cameo to Ed Brubaker, the comic book scribe who invented the character of The Winter Soldier for an acclaimed run in the Captain America series back in 2005. He’s the goateed gentleman who is there literally helping to build the bio-engineered assassin (known for his impervious metallic arm.)

Stan Lee’s not the only cameo-worthy comic-book creator. Here’s hoping we get more than this quickly-faded-out glimpse of Brubaker in the movie.

But while The Winter Soldier is being born, another character is seemingly being groomed for death.

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Let’s skip around the trailer a little bit. All seemed fine until we got this split-second shot: Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Cobie Smulders’ Agent Maria Hill, standing around a hospital room, apparently mourning the body beneath that sheet.

They’re taking this pretty hard — so, it’s got to be someone important, right?

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Working in reverse now, we saw this shot earlier in spot: Cap, Black Widow, and Agent Hill again — looking in on … Samuel L. Jackson’s gravely wounded Nick Fury.

As Fandango’s Scott Huver recently noted in an interview with the actor: His Marvel contract is almost up.

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But in the same interview, Jackson notes that he is doing Avengers: Age of Ultron, suggesting he will indeed survive this epic SUV flip orchestrated by The Winter Soldier. Or is that merely a diversion? Or will he appear in flashback.

Ask Clark Gregg, who died as Agent Coulson in The Avengers, only to return again for the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sometimes … they come back.

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Poking holes in this “Fury Dies” hypothesis, we do see Jackson’s spymaster in conversation with Cap while sporting the wounds he apparently suffered in that car crash. So now the needle is tilting toward “HE LIVES.”

Still … Who’s under that sheet?

Fans will have to wait until April 4 to find out for themselves.

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