Millions of Marvel fans worldwide now know the shocking surprises and tantalizing twists locked within Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and it's safe to say that nothing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever be the same. That phrase gets tossed around a lot, but – spoiler alert – it's accurate. A number of the film's elements, including a few of those big reveals, all come directly from Marvel Comics. We've rounded up some of those influential issues and compiled them in this reading list. And if you haven't seen "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" yet, steer clear of this list, because here there be spoilers!
It's no secret that a film subtitled "The Winter Soldier" pulls heavily from the storyarc that re-introduced the long thought dead Bucky Barnes as the eponymous metal-armed killing machine. The story kicks off in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, but the Winter Soldier lurks just off-panel until his first full appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA #6. Steve Rogers comes face to face with the amnesiac assassin for the first time in CAPTAIN AMERICA #8, and then gets the full run down on Bucky's transformation into the Winter Soldier in CAPTAIN AMERICA #11.
After failing to cooperate with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s nefarious plans in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," Cap has no choice but to go up against dozens of trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and some of the compromised organization's heaviest weaponry. In the comics, Cap's found himself wrongfully placed on a most wanted list on more than one occasion. In CIVIL WAR #1, Steve Rogers has to bust his way out of a S.H.I.E.L.D. stronghold after failing to comply with the Super Hero Registration Act.
Cap gets by with more than a little help from his friends in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." In the source material, those friends took the lead in Cap's ongoing series after his assassination in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25. If you want to see Falcon, Agent 13, Black Widow, and the Winter Soldier team up – as well as spar a few rounds – then this story's for you.
The biggest surprise in a film filled with surprises had to be that HYDRA had stealthily worked its way inside S.H.I.E.L.D., with loyal HYDRA operatives inserted into every branch of the peacekeeping organization. This twist comes directly from SECRET WARRIORS, a series depicting the covert battle between the remnants of the dissolved S.H.I.E.L.D. and the resurrected forces of HYDRA. The big reveal came in the debut issue, when Nick Fury revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. had actually been a branch of the terrorist organization from the very beginning.
See how these stories translated to the big screen in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," in theaters now!