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What to Expect Next for the MCU: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War
As the next upcoming MCU film, we expect this one to be just as much of an Avengers film as anything, only special favoritism will be given to the Captain since it is his name in the title. In case you aren't familiar with the Super Hero Civil War in Marvel comics (which if you aren't, I'm not sure why you clicked this but thanks!) there are two major sides of which, as you might guess, heroes are facing off against each other. The sides are led by Captain America, the 'rebels' if you will, versus Tony Stark and his side of 'order.' The reason was because of the Superhuman Registration Act, a law that forced all masked vigilantes to give up their secret identities and work for the government/SHIELD as paid employees. Failure to do so marks that individual as a fugitive from the law, as was the case with Captain America's forces.
While it's difficult to say who exactly was the 'villain' in all this chaos, fans found themselves divided. Tony Stark, who at this time lacked the charisma that Robert Downey Jr. brought to the character, sought to enforce this Act to avoid something worse but ended up making several questionable choices, such as locking captured heroes and villains in a timeless Negative Zone largely without trial, making a clone of Thor that was responsible for killing a hero who was the only named casualty during the official 'Civil War' (the original Thor was thought dead at this time), and enslaving villains to force them to join his vigilante superhero hunting efforts.
Captain America, while a little better than Stark, wasn't a paragon himself. He becomes uncharacteristically stubborn and treats the entire affair almost as if it's a grudge match between him and Stark. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) but the Cap is the first to throw a punch in the battle himself. The conflict only ends when Steve Rogers realize the damage he's causing to civilians and turns himself end, which doesn't turn out that well for him in the end. The conflict between the two is confusing enough that many characters switch sides during the fighting because they are shocked by their leader's actions. It's a pretty big deal overall.
However, since the MCU really doesn't have masked superheroes with hidden identities (aside from Matt Murdock/Daredevil who I don't think will be used and potentially Ant-Man/Scott Lang), we know the Superhuman Registration Act will be different and focus more on super-powered individuals to be responsible for the destruction they cause.
A Possible Twist?
Age of Ultron is the world event in the MCU before Civil War. Superhuman Registration Act will now focus on these super-powered people being responsible for their actions. Could it be that we will be seeing Tony Stark against the government and Captain America and his team coming to collect him?
Granted, there's more evidence against this (such as Steve Rogers fighting SHIELD/HYDRA from using similar practices of keeping control during Winter Soldier) but it's hard to overlook Stark's responsibility in creating a robot that came pretty close to committing world-wide destruction. Obviously, they need to address this in the film.
I'm not gonna get into who was on what teams during the comics because, as you might expect, the teams are gigantic and most aren't shown in the films. However, I will give my thoughts on which side has which characters depending on revealed roles in the upcoming movie as well as character motivations and allegiances thus far in the cinematic universe, as well as the possibility that they may switch sides during said conflict.
Iron Man/ Tony Stark
- War Machine- Similar to the Falcon for Captain America, War Machine has been closely associated with Iron Man. There's definitely been some friction between the two, but if Stark represents the government control there's little doubt that Rhodes won't stay with Stark as he's a high ranking individual in the military himself.
- General Thunderbolt Ross- Even more obvious than Colonel Rhodes, Ross will be representing the military which in turn represents the government. Even if the Hulk films don't have a lot of love, we still acknowledge that Ross is not big on uncontrolled powerful elements. The big question is if we'll see him doing any fighting himself, either as a military general on the field or even in another form he's known for in the comics.
- Crossbones/Baron Zemo- Both are villains and both are very much against Captain America in the comics. Crossbones already has had a run-in with America as well. I can see the beginning of the film deal with the second generation of the Avengers taking down this 'Masters of Evil' group and locking them away, only for Stark to release them to use during the Civil War.
- SHIELD remnants- on Agents of Shield the group has been reforming but the films have omitted this fact (and almost anything made that's a show including Daredevil). Stark could be shown to assembling his own version of SHIELD (perhaps SWORD or HAMMER) to use as enforcers. Maria Hill will probably represent this element.
- Drones- Let's be honest, Stark has been scores of disposable Iron Man suits that operate on their own before, and we'll probably see it again since all Marvel superhero team up films resort to identical hordes for the heroes to carve their way through
- Falcon- Possibly one of the biggest shoe-ins, Falcon has been introduced as a character who practically idolizes the Captain and has been closely associated with him in the films. Furthermore, in Winter Soldier, he was fighting the very idea that they might be enforcing in Civil War, a large governing body with unmatched power and say-so. Unless something happens during the war that severely challenges Falcon's morals, I doubt he'll switch teams.
- Scarlet Witch- Despite her limited character in Age of Ultron, we get a few things about her. 1) she lost her parents to Stark technology which became the reason she fought the Avengers, and 2) she most closely connected to the Captain and Hawkeye. She was never given resolution with Stark which I believe was purposeful, giving her more reason to oppose Iron Man
- Ant Man- fresh off of his own movie, Scott Lang is a thief and clashes against government control for that fact alone. Also, his mentor Hank Pym, seems to hate Stark and his technology. Based on that info, it seems that Ant Man might join up with Cap especially due to Falcon's interest in meeting him again. Then again, there's the element that Pym hates the Avengers (though it could just be because of Stark) so Ant Man might be an third-party character, or relations between Pym and Lang could plummet (personally I really just want to see a kind of villainous Douglass playing Pym) and that could throw everything into the air.
These are named characters I really don't know how they'll interact, and I'll give reasons why.
- Spiderman- No, I didn't forget him and no I don't think he'll be switching sides. This is the first Marvel Studios film with the character, so unless they plan on introducing the youngest version of Spiderman yet with a backstory to hinge his original arc on (since he's a pivotal individual for public opinion of the Civil War), I doubt they'll try to reuse him, especially since they got the rights to the character during the script process. That being said, I still kinda think Spiderman will end up on America's side, but we don't really know anything about him. Especially since the question is not superhero identities but control of super-powered assets, I don't think Spiderman's character would support that alone.
- Vision- This is probably the biggest question. I'm not sure what he chose in Civil War, but we know he treasures life, meaning he might try to quell the fighting by choosing the dominant side, which will likely be the government and control. That being said, I would not be surprised if he chooses to sit it out (similar to Dr. Strange in the comics) or perhaps even go on his own personal 'adventure' to discover more about himself or life elsewhere. Maybe even towards the end of the film we'll get a scene of Thanos ripping his head to pieces to collect the Mind Gem? That'd be far better than any scenes of the Mad Titan we've received thus far.
- Black Widow- True, I can see her joining America more likely than not, but we still don't have a lot of info about the way she processes things. She helped the Captain stop HYDRA because what they were doing was corrupting a SHIELD design, not because the original design was bad. In other words, Widow has no trouble with a larger body controlling smaller elements in a 'Big Brother' kind of way. She might end up with Stark just as easily as Rogers.
- Black Panther- as another character we haven't seen yet, I haven't got a clue what he'd do. As a prince of his own country, I'd see him side with government control but that's the only hint I feel I have.
- Hawkeye-While he's cast for this film, I'm not sure if he'll actually do much and may remain a side character. There are enough new characters to focus on that I'm perfectly fine with this.
- Hulk and Thor- They haven't been cast, and I hope we don't see them. We have enough destruction if they decide to go with Red Hulk (who could fill in for the Thor clone really well in my opinion). As with Hawkeye, we've got other characters and a large plot to focus on in order for it to become a good, quality film instead of something filled with cameos and Easter eggs.
- Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier- Another big question, we see him captured in an after-credits scene in Ant-Man by Rogers. Will the Winter Soldier be rehabilitated before, during, or after Civil War? If he'll be fighting, then it's likely he'll be fighting Rogers at some point, possibly as a villainous agent enslaved by Tony. It will definitely be interesting.
- Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Agents of Shield- With the current track record, it doesn't look like these elements won't even be mentioned, let alone take center stage at any point. Are the cast of characters enough to be considered responsible for a Civil War, or will it be more like a 'Civil Battle?' Time will tell.
- Speculation- There's also the chance that Marvel Studios hasn't revealed everyone who's going to be in the film so we can always expect/hope for individuals like a reborn Red Skull, Ms. Marvel, and Dr. Strange.
Comics Explained coverage of the original Civil War
The above clip links to a playlist that I really enjoy. Comicsexplained does a really good job covering small and big comic stories, and while he might not get into each character's personal story lines, it's a really good listening if you're at work.
Team Tony or Team Steve?
Also, if you would pick one character to place in Civil War that has not been cast yet, who would it be? Tell me in the comments below.