So, we all remember The First Avenger, right? The movie that started it all, in a sense. Obviously Iron Man was in theaters first, but the original Avenger's first solo outing was a taste of what that avenging really meant. Chris Evans starred as the star-spangled hero, beating the hell out of Hydra with his vibranium shield and all. The casting of Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci was a stroke of genius, although the likelihood of them showing up down the line is highly unlikely (ya never know, with the growing Civil War roster. Please do not quote me on this!).
The original combat outfit Cap wears was pretty cool- far better to do battle in rather than the costume he wore on stage to hype the troops up, they even hated it. But, in 2011's The Avengers, what happened? It looked as though they upgraded his outfit from the forties that he had worn on stage, and fought the Chitauri in that! Below is the evolution of his superhero outfit, from his original Howling Commandos gear to Age of Ultron.
My favorite so far: The Winter Soldier. Not only did the look get a lot more bad ass from the previous two films, but the overall tone of the movie could have been set just by the look of his combat gear. We, as an audience, were use to a lighter blue and stark red, tight fitting outfit. Yet, the Russo's first Marvel outing introduced a primarily navy blue costume. It had the whole nine, including padding, ventilation, even a cooler belt. One of the very first scenes exhibits the suit being used to it's full potential, as Cap pummels a crew of baddies on a ship.
This film stands alone as Cap's, but brings change to the Universe. Now I don't mean our universe, I am referring the the MCU. The Russo Brothers tonally set the franchise by making this film edgy, and that's what Steve Rogers needed. Not only did this solo franchise need it, but the MCU did as a whole. The films before it in Marvel's Phase Two were good, but they definitely had been outshined by the quality and story behind The Winter Soldier.
This is my own opinion, but Captain America is my favorite part of the MCU these days. At least on the big screen, I am a diehard Daredevil fanatic. But because of this movie, I don't see Cap as a Boy Scout any longer (I am an Eagle Scout, actually, he could have easily been a Scoutmaster!), I see him as a hardened soldier who still holds on to what he believes, no matter what the stakes are.
The next film in the Captain America trilogy is Captain America: Civil War, loosely based on the highly popular comic book story line. This will turn the earthbound heroes worlds upside down, so lets see if the Russos can pull off yet another stellar film with Steve Rogers as lead!