ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, when it comes to keeping secrets, Marvel is pretty darned good at it. Even though we were all hoping for a big reveal of some epic new Marvel movies, their recent laying out of the entire Phase 3 slate was still a massive surprise for pretty much everyone, as were a whole lot of the details within it.

Sometimes, though, Marvel seems to be a whole lot more willing to offer up their secrets than you might think - they just have a tendency to hide them in plain sight, is all...

A perfect example of that is the recent announcement of Captain America: Civil War's working title - which might just tell us a whole lot more about the plot of the movie than you'd ever think one word could...

And the Working Title Is...

...rapidly approaching?
...rapidly approaching?

That word? The one that'll be the codename for the entire production, all the way through filming?


As in Sputnik 1, the Russian satellite that was sent into space in October 1957.

Which, in and of itself, doesn't sound like all that much. I mean, sure, Sputnik was the first man-made satellite to be sent into orbit, making it one of the most important scientific achievements of all time, and, sure, it totally started the Space Race between the US and Russia - but in terms of Marvel movies? It's not quite got the same resonance as some of the newly announced movie titles, like Ragnarok, or Infinity War.

So, Why's It So Important?

Cool it, Buck. I'm  getting to it...
Cool it, Buck. I'm getting to it...

Well, that's got a whole lot less to do with the significance of the original satellite, and a whole lot more to do with the way Marvel picks their working titles.

So, for instance, the first Captain America movie, which ended with Cap being frozen in Antarctic Ice, was 'Frostbite.'

The Avengers, a tale of the super-hero team finally, at the film's conclusion, coming together as a team for the first time, was 'Group Hug.'

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the story of Bucky Barnes being repeatedly defrosted and put to dastardly use - which, at the story's close, he's seemingly suffering brain damage as a result of) was 'Freezer Burn.'

The key thread running between them all?

The Working Titles Describe the Ending of the Movies

Sorry, Buck. No 'Bucky Gets a Bonus' this time...
Sorry, Buck. No 'Bucky Gets a Bonus' this time...

And that means that 'Sputnik' most likely tells us a whole lot more about Captain America: Civil War than it first seems...

The big question then?

What's 'Sputnik' Telling Us?

Other than that Sputnik was AWESOME...
Other than that Sputnik was AWESOME...

Well, that's where that legendary Russian space mission comes back into play.

The most likely possibilities, it seems to me?

  • The movie sees a Russian-inspired scientific wonder spark the beginning of a bold new era - which, with Bucky having been involved with the KGB for much of his time as The Winter Soldier (albeit while secretly controlled by HYDRA), suggests we might even see him take up the mantle of Captain America.
  • The movie sees the first of the established earth-bound Marvel heroes take to space - though whether that's The Hulk (as rumored to happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron), Iron Man, or someone else entirely remains up in the air.

and, my personal favorite...

  • The movie sees the beginning of an iconic conflict between two immensely powerful forces, both of whom are vying to define the status quo of the world. The only difference from the real world? Instead of the Cold War, and the Space Race, it's Marvel's Civil War. Which suggests, if true, that the Civil War storyline may not actually resolve itself within Captain America 3...Could it even be teasing a secret extra Marvel movie?

The thing is? Sadly, we can't know for sure - and most likely won't until 2016.

Which leaves one big question: What do you guys think?


What does the working title 'Sputnik' mean for Captain America: Civil War's plot?



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