References/parallels to Indiana Jones and the Raidersof the Lost Ark (1981; Steven Spielberg)• Both are set in the same era, so costumes and iconography often look similar• Schmidt refers to the Fuhrer digging for treasure in the desert – in Raiders, we see the Nazis in the desert seeking to find the Ark of the Covenant – like Schmidt, they believe possessing a treasure will give them access to great power.• In Raiders, the Nazis end up having the flesh melted off their bones and we see their faces ‘melt’ – likewise, in the pursuit of power, Schmidt has had his face disfigured and the flesh burnt away, as he tries to use an artefact too powerful for human control• The moment the Tesseract blazes and kills Schmidt is reminiscent of this moment (see slides next page)
There are links to other Marvel films like Ironman (2008)
And to Nick Fury, Head of SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters,International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division) and head ofThe Avengers:
Even the Tesseract links this film to The Avengers, as it isLoki’s theft of this artefact in this second film thatprecipitates the main action:
Why this degree of interconnectivity through references?The Marvel Cinematic Universe:a film franchise and shared fictional universe that isthe setting of superhero films producedindependently by Marvel Studios, based oncharacters that appear in Marvel Comics. The settingwas established by crossing over shared plotelements, settings, cast, and characters.Six films are set in this shared universe — IronMan (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The FirstAvenger (2011), and Marvels The Avengers (2012) —have been released theatrically, with six additionalfilms in various stages of production as of July 2012
Allusions to Captain America can also be found in these other filmsin the Marvel Cinematic Universe:•In the 2008 film Iron Man, Captain Americas shield can be seenin Tony Starks workshop when JARVIS is removing his armour
•In the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, GeneralRoss mentions to Emil Blonsky that there was a WorldWar II program that created a super soldier serum.Bruce Banner was involved in an experimentcombining the serum with gamma radiation, whichresulted in his transformation into the Hulk. Blonsky isthen injected with the serum in order to take on theHulk, the subsequent combination of the serum andBanners blood transforming Blonsky into theAbomination.
• In the films deleted opening, Bruce Banner goes to the Arctic to commit suicide but transforms into the Hulk, smashing the glacier. A buried human figure and shield are visible, who are meant to be Rogers and his shield.
• In the 2010 film Iron Man 2, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson discovers an incomplete replica of Captain Americas shield inside a box.• There is also a Captain America comic book (which made an appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger) in Howard Starks crate delivered to Tony from Nick Fury.
So, intertextuality here has afunction – it links filmstogether and gives theillusion of a world bigger thanan individual film. Thisappeals to the fan.The little cross-referencesand appearances in each filmallow fans to feel clever atspotting them and adds anextra dimension to the film.The intertextual referencesalso help to market each filmthrough other films…
Stan Lee is a comic book writer (first job was on Captain Americathe comic) and was the chairperson of Marvel Comics – he oftenmakes cameo appearances in the films. Here he play a general atthe ceremony where Captain America is meant to receive amedal but has been called away on a mission. Fans would enjoytrying to spot Stan!
It’s not just the films that are referenced but there are alsoreferences to other comics too:
The film also echoes the work of the USO.The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) is aprivate, non-profit organization which providesprograms and services, most famously liveentertainment, to United States troops and theirfamilies.During World War II, the USO became the G.I.s "homeaway from home" and began a tradition of entertainingthe troops that continues today.The organization became particularly famous for its liveperformances called Camp Shows, through which theentertainment industry helped boost the morale of itsservicemen and women. Hollywood in general waseager to show its patriotism, and many famouscelebrities joined the ranks of USO entertainers.