“Here, in the dead tribunal of last resort, valor contended against valor…”
-Adlai Stevenson I
Captain America: Civil War is coming this Friday and is the climax of all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s movies since 2008. This movie has a lot of expectations to live up to, it’s the third Captain America movie, a sort of Avengers sequel, the introduction of Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU and, most importantly, a chance for people to see Tony Stark get punched in his smug, smart ass face. If you aren’t excited for this movie I am going to get you excited, and if I don’t, what the hell do I care? I already got your click.
In 2008 Marvel embarked on a vision never before seen in cinema, the chance to not only build sequels, but an entire all encompassing universe for it’s superheroes to share. Met with skepticism by many, this Universe not only led to high box office results, but also critical acclaim. Well, except for The Incredible Hulk, but no one remembers that movie. With each movie we met and fell in love with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, resulting in every fan boy’s wet dream 2012’s The Avengers. We were finally able to see our favorite heroes interact and fight together on the big screen. What a great time to be alive. Alas, such beauty is always fleeting and Phase 2 of the MCU brought upon much change to our beloved heroes. We saw Iron Man dealing with the PTSD brought upon by the events during the Chitauri invasion of New York. Thor was left to deal with Loki and try to mend his now broken family. Captain America was a man without time, and ultimately without bosses as it turns out Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D and some of the highest levels of our nation’s government. 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the Avengers acting autonomously as a result of this, trying to protect the world from evil in all its forms. This desire led Tony Stark to create an artificial intelligence being, the titular Ultron, to serve as a protective blanket over Earth. With his hubris, Stark caused one of the most destructive events in the MCU’s history, as Ultron tried to destroy the planet by using the nation of Sokovia as a literal asteroid. When the hell will people learn artificial intelligence will NEVER see humans as anything besides self destructive? Wait, I hope Siri isn’t reading this.
All these events led us into Phase 3 of the MCU and Captain America: Civil War. The government has created the Sokovia Accords, in which all superheroes must report to the U.S. Government and adhere to congressional oversight. Tony Stark is all for this, as he believes the Avengers must be kept in check, probably because he’s responsible for like 75% of the bad stuff that has happened in the MCU. Captain America is opposed to this course of action, most likely due to his first hand knowledge of how easily the government can be infiltrated and, you know, freedom and shit. This will be the catalyst for the rift between the two heroes and ultimately their allies.
There are other factors at play besides the philosophical divide amongst the superheroes. Bucky, aka The Winter Soldier seems to have a large roll to play in this movie. Is he one of the causes of Captain America and Iron Man’s strained relationship, or is he simply a man being framed and running to Captain America’s aid? We will also get our first look at Black Panther and Spider-Man in the MCU. Black Panther seems to be intertwined with Bucky’s storyline, perhaps trying to exact revenge on him for past misconduct as the Winter Soldier. Spider-Man’s role remains unclear; however, he is one of the most anticipated pieces of this film. We see in the latest trailer that he is initially on Iron Man’s side. Will he keep this allegiance throughout the film? Or will Stark cross a line that causes him to switch his loyalty to Captain America? Also, while the two teams of superheroes are fighting each other, is there a larger more malevolent force at play, taking advantage of the distraction this war has caused?
The biggest question that people are interested in is: “Will someone die?” Without spoiling what happens in the comics, I believe the answer is yes. We see in the trailer a fallen, seemingly dead War Machine, but I do not believe he will be the one to die. While the death of Rhodes would be sad, its larger impact on the MCU would be mostly ignored. My belief is that as a result of this war, either Captain America or Iron Man will die. I not only think this will happen, I think it is necessary that this happens. The past movies have featured deaths, but mostly to minor and insignificant characters. The killing of Tony Stark or Steve Rodgers would shake the MCU to its very core and raise the stakes of every Marvel movie going forward.
What do you think? Are you as excited as I am for Captain America: Civil War? Do you believe someone will die? Let me know your theories in the comments below. And check back in next week for my Civil War review, same Clock Dodger Time, same Clock Dodger Channel.