The “Item 47” Conspiracy: A New Look at a Marvel One-Shot

shield-finale-posterIt was the plot twist heard ‘round the world: in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier,  Captain america and Black Widow learn from the computerized version of Doctor Zola that HYDRA never died. It was alive and well, and in control of the highest levels of government…and S.H.I.E.L.D.  It was also revealed Agent Jasper Sitwell was really on HYDRA’s side, along with a US Senator.

Many fans say they never saw it coming. If they remember a one-shot Marvel story from The Avengers blu-ray, maybe they should have.

The story was “Item 47”, about a couple named Benny and Claire (Jesse Bradford and Lizzy Capwell) who rob banks with the help of a Chitauri gun that literally fell into their laps after the Battle of New York. Somehow, Benny was able to make it work. Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) is briefed on the situation by Agent Felix Blake (Titus Welliver). He’s told to find the weapon, and “neutralize” the couple.

Marvel Item 47 BSitwell has no problems finding Benny and Claire, although their battle ruins two hotel rooms in a major way. However, he doesn’t kill them. He hires Benny to reverse-engineer the gun, while he assigns Claire to be Blake’s assistant. While “Just What I Needed” by the Cars is played, we see Benny’s progress.

Sitwell’s decision does seem to be a bit compassionate, until TWS was shown last  April. There, Sitwell meets Senator Stern (Garry Shandling)  about the search for Cap. When Stern whispers “Hail HYDRA”, we see that Sitwell was a HYDRA mole all along. That may explain why he let Benny and Claire live.

It’s possible Benny’s modified gun wasn’t given to S.H.I.E.L.D., but to pro-HYDRA agents. It’s also possible Benny may have made other guns that weren’t given to S.H.I.E.L.D. Also, did Nick Fury ever find out about Benny and Claire, or was it just Agent Blake making the call?

We may not know for a while either, since Blake’s still recovering from injuries after he tried to stop Deathlok in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, “End of the Beginning”.

Marvel Item 47 COf course, this is all speculation, but a sequel to “Item 47” may just fit into future stories of the Marvel-verse….most likely on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Benny could appear again, begging S.H.I.E.L.D. to help him after he finds out his modified Chitauri gun was being used for all the wrong reasons. He’s likely to say he didn’t know, but whether that is true will be another matter. As for Claire, her fate may remain unknown, unless Capwell can come in during a break from her role on Masters of Sex.

The story of “Item 47” may not be over. It wound up revealing the real Jasper Sitwell more than a year before TWS, and it may still have ramifications that will affect the world and the future of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently available as a digital download. The DVD and blu-ray editions will be on sale on September 9th. The Avengers blu-ray, with the “Item 47” short, is available at Amazon.com and most stores.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008