You know what I loved best about Cap2?
That even though the plot itself was a thoroughly modern plot—the question of liberty versus security, Big Brother and how long we’re willing to let the arm of the government grow—Steve wasn’t modern. Marvel didn’t take away Steve’s optimism, his hope, and his goodness and turn him into something cynical, dark, and gritty.
In the climactic scene of the movie, the day was won by Steve believing in others. He believed that there were still good agents in SHIELD. He believed that there was still goodness inside Bucky. He believed in others, and he inspired them. He motivated people with optimism, not pessimism. He pushed through it all because he has hope, not because he’s afraid.
Steve’s damaged, but he’s not ruined. He’s down, but he’s not out. And even against a modern, cynical backdrop of government surveillance and evil intentions infiltrating even the best of good intentions, Marvel let Steve be GOOD. Be himself. And I’m so, so happy they did that.