This prestige mini-series from the early 90s was a retelling of Cap’s origin in the vein of Byrne’s MAN OF STEEL, bringing disparate elements of continuity together into a cohesive story for the first time. Considering that Cap’s origin hasn’t been re-told nearly as many times as Supes’ or Spidey’s have, I’m sure it was referenced during this new movie's writing process.
Adding to G-Man’s breakdown of the teaser, what similarities can I already see?== TEASER ==
PEGGY CARTER OR CINDY GLASS?
The most noticeable link is that Peggy Carter seems to have been re-worked to serve the same role as Cap’s first lost love from the mini; army intelligence officer Cynthia Glass. Traditionally, Peggy was an American spy who served as an embedded freedom fighter with the French resistance. Cap only met her once he got in the field and their romance only got to blossom in combat, with Cap not even getting to learn her real name in some versions of the history. The spot, however, makes it look like Peggy will be Steve Rogers’ minder throughout the entirety of Operation: Rebirth, which is precisely what Cindy was. I don’t expect the similarities will stretch into the horrifying surprise about Cindy’s allegiances, though...
THE ORDER OF CAP’S CREATION
We see a scrawny Steve Rogers going through some overwhelming PT prior to his transformation in the trailer. While the original comics from the 40s made it look like he went straight from 4F rejection to super-soldier serum injection, the mini shows the months of intermediary steps in-between. Steve was very much part of a program and he underwent rigorous physical testing with a handful of other candidates whose physiques ranged from overweight to slim-but-physically-fit. One of the best scenes from the mini showed Rogers impressing his supervisors with his heart by busting his hump to finish a lap race even when he’d already lost to all the other potentials. Whether or not we get a classic training montage, I’m sure that such clarification of how Rogers’ character made him best-suited for the job will be stressed beyond just the scene of Erskine’s heart-to-heart about the importance of being a good man.
The Howlin’ Commandos weren't to be seen in the mini because Cap actually didn’t see that much action abroad. He actually wasn’t supposed to fight anyway, as the Army was a bit hesitant about making their only super solider get his hands dirty in the field. We already know that Cap will be a USO performer in the movie and he’ll get frustrated enough with the comedy of his situation that he'll rebel against the army’s plans for him. While I don’t think the movie will get as deep into it, I do figure we’ll see at least some threads of the mini's scenes where a combat-hungry Cap starts his crime-fighting career as a masked, unnamed vigilante who targets fifth-column saboteurs on the home front. Maybe he'll go sneak off on a field mission as Captain America without his supervisors knowing?
Getting back to the Howlin’ Commandos (who I suspect will be led by Dum Dum Dugan instead of Nick Fury,) it looks like they’re going to be aiding and abetting Cap's unusual secret identity. In the mini, Cap takes the usual Clark Kent conceit a step farther by playing Pvt. Steve Rogers as a Gomer Pyle-style doofus who somehow keeps getting taken away for secret government business. Considering that fans are already concerned about Chris Evans playing this role in a jokey way, I sincerely doubt this flick will feature any of those shenanigans. Dugan may be the one to keep taking Rogers from his unit, though.
HYDRA DREADNAUGHTS OR GERMAN SUPER-SOLDIERS?
The prospective commonality I’m most excited about concerns Cap taking on Germany’s super-soldiers. In the mini, Cap’s pitted against the Red Skull’s trio of assassins who’re armed with suits that let them shoot acid and electricity from their hands. In the trailer, we see Cap pitted against a couple of Hydra soldiers who’re armed with suits that let them shoot fire from their hands. Considering how Hydra’s been set-up to be Nazi Germany’s special weapons division (merging the organization with A.I.M., basically) I suspect we’re going to see more than a few of the outfit’s failed attempts to duplicate Cap prior to the Skull’s own transformation. Facts are, Cap's going to be fighting more colorful foes than just Johann Schmidt, and I doubt Arnim Zola will be one.
If five months seems like a horribly long time to wait for a Cap movie, then I strongly encourage you to go seek this mini-series out. Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire intended it to be CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE MOVIE on paper and it succeeds so well in that goal that Joe Johnston and his crew have a hell of an act to match (ironically enough, the mini actually came out around the release of Johnston's last superhero movie, THE ROCKETEER.) Even if five months doesn't seem like a long time for you, my recommendation still stands firm, because this is one of my all-time favorite Marvel stories - - a charming, ripping yarn with gorgeous, full-painted art that infuses real humanity and heart into an icon's earliest years.