Building to a Cinematic Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is shaping up to be the next big event in the Marvel cinematic universe. No offense to Ant-Man, But Civil War will include many of the characters that survive Age of Ultron and some new exciting faces too. Everything Marvel touches seem to turn to gold, Daredevil is a hit, Captain America: Winter Solider was an excellent war espionage thriller, and Guardians of the Galaxy was a thrilling space epic. So expecting the best when it comes to their own properties is a given, but Civil War has been the one fans have been dying to see on the big screen. Everyone wants to see Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. square off just like in the famous comic panels. That’s why this story, above all else, needs to be great. It takes a beloved modern story and the two actors who have spent the past five years or more fleshing out and living in these characters. And these are the things that they will need to make it the next great event in its cinematic universe.
A horrible tragedy that kills hundreds of kids are what sets off this civil war, and feeling the guilt that it’s somehow his fault Iron Man takes it on his shoulders to do something about it. Now this is all before Cap, and Iron Man disagree it’s merely a horrible thing that shows these heroes that something needs to change. And we already see the set up in the movies, Steve Rogers has seen the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D and doesn’t know who he can’t trust anymore while Tony feels guilty for creating the Ultron Program. The movie isn’t out yet but he says as much in the trailer, so this sets up a nice divide in their mindsets. Neither of them is wrong Tony wants to protect the world and so does Steve but they think about those things in very different ways, which is what the comic did so well. Granted everyone will eventually pick sides it’s a solid grounding for a break in their friendship were no one has to be the “Bad Guy.”
But something needs to send this simple disagreement among friends into something more. Something that affects the world and its leaders. Maybe that’s what Age of Ultron is all about, Tony trying to help backfires, and he wants to make up for it. So he starts a “Registration Act” or something similar to it with the government. The Marvel movies do a fantastic job of keeping close to the source material but also making it they’re own. So while its seems as if this film will be set up in a different way, we still are all lead to the same destination. That’s what is really important.
The Fall of our Heroes
Secret identities are not as big a deal in the MCU, in comics; most heroes are hidden under their mask. So something else has to be at stake. While Secret identities might be a bigger deal to the new characters, we meet in the movie. Something needs to drive people like Tony and Steve so far apart that they form their teams. And something that needs to push that gap even wider is the people inhabiting these cities, everywhere these heroes go they destroy everything. The Avengers Destroy New York, Thor Destroys London, Iron Man blew up an oil rig with 50 different iron suits, and Captain America sent three giant heli-carriers crashing into Washington DC.
The People and the Government should become bigger voices in the sense that these heroes need to be controlled. Which is what the comic revolves around. Tony Wants to control everything while Cap believes that control can only lead to more problems. So the trust for these people starts to diminish the more buildings they topple and the more explosions they cause. And the only way they can fix that is by becoming Government sanctioned heroes, something Tony laughed at during the second Ironman movie. Apparently creating sentient death machines that try and take over the world really messes with your head.
Heroes Caught in the Middle
The reason this movie is garnering so much attention is the fact that so many people are signed on to appear in some form. Weather it as a sidekick role or just as someone talking through a tiny monitor. New to old, people like Black Widow, Hawkeye, Black Panther, and (Probably) Spider-Man. One of the things the comic does so well is that it shows you the effects that this ‘War’ has on them as people. Spider-Man is a titular part of the book, Giving up his secret identity was a big deal because he had kept it secret for over 15 years (close to 53 in real-time.) so seeing a Kid we’ve never met before take off his mask in front of the world may not be as rewarding as it was in the book. But you can still play with the things that lead him to that decision.
Now one major roadblock in the way of the movie is the fact that they can’t tell the exact story from the books, whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, but they don’t have the X-Men and Fantastic Four, but they do have certain replacements for those factions, the Inhumans will take center stage, and in many ways already have due to Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. Someone needs to be canon fodder for Cap and Tony’s High stakes battle, and these will be the ‘soldiers’ that chose sides. And beyond these red shirts will be characters like “The Defenders” to fill in this point in the Marvel cinematic universe, none of the Defenders will probably be in Captain America: Civil War due to only so much screen time. But you can probably bet on this shaking the foundation the same way Winter Solider effected Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Casualties, Coercion, And Capitalizing
This movie shouldn’t need a happy ending, we should leave thinking “Man I can’t believe it ended that way.” It should have a solid end that pushes the point across that things will never be the same for these heroes, we are never getting that happy go lucky Avengers movie again. It should also signify the changing of the guard, just like in the book, things were much different for a while for some very drastic reasons. Kevin Feige has been mulling this universe around in his head since 2007 or so. And seeing the massive slate of new heroes on the horizon is no mistake. Marvel is banking on characters like Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther to become smash hits like Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon became. Obviously the card up their sleeve is Spider-Man because everybody loves that guy.
This movie may very well be the last time we see Robert Downy Jr and Chris Evans on screen together until 2018 at the earliest. (That is if we see them at all again.) So this movie needs to function as an ending and a Jumping off point for everybody else. Watching heroes fight can be a bit tiresome, why are they fighting when there is a crime going on at every moment of every day. But the reason this book became so icon was because these two titans of the Marvel universe were fighting for what they believed in, and it was something we could agree or disagree with and still see the other point of view. Simply fighting because it’s a misunderstanding doesn’t mean as much. That’s why this movie is the most important superhero movie to date. It not just about being pitted against one another by outside forces this is about whether you trust the people looking out for you, especially when the list of people that are trying to protect you keeps growing along with the damage rate.