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With the Captain America sequel due out next summer, a lot of filming is happening in D.C., causing traffic detours/cursing everywhere and speculation on what the film is about. Already from the title alone, The Winter Soldier tells us that the events in the second movie will be loosely revolving around the comic book story arc of the same name by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting.

But why D.C.? My best guess is Captain America is upset about Obamacare, and is set to repeal it. The sequester obviously hasn’t affected S.H.I.E.L.D., which is why Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Natasha Romanoff are set to return and help Steve Rogers in battling the ongoing corruption in Washington.

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All kidding aside, here are a few indicators of what the sequel might be covering in the District (and the reasons you’re probably suffering through downtown filming traffic right now, reading this on your iPhone).

• According to the Marvel press release, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier will pick up where The Avengers left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C..” The Winter Soldier is a highly trained Russian assassin, probably looking to terminate an American target, perhaps the president, in Washington D.C..

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In an interview with Variety, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be a political thriller; “Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller. They all have their own textures and patinas, and that’s what is exciting about it.” Does a politician know something S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t (they are quite devious, you know)? Do we have the comic book equivalent of The Manchurian Candidate on our hands?

• Garry Shandling was seen being filmed as his Iron Man 2 character, Senator Stern. While not officially announced as a cast member yet, Senator Stern’s appearance will make for a nice tying-in of other minor characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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While the Winter Soldier seems to be the main villain, it’s been reported that we’ll also be seeing Batroc the Leaper (played by Georges St-Pierre–perfect casting choice), Armin Zola and Crossbones. The inclusion of Crossbones is an interesting one because he has a major part to play in the comic books, specifically being the one who assassinates Captain America in the aftermath of the Civil War event. With the film switching back and forth from modern day and the past, it’ll be interesting to see what era each villain pops-up in.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters July 4, 2014.

Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. You can share with him your candid photos of the Black Widow on Twitter at @CamComicCorner.

[Ed. Note: last night the Captain America crew shot right next to our friends at iStrategyLabs, who then of course threw on a bear costume and led the gathering crowd in Captain America chants. We salute you, guys.]

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