It’s Team Cap against Team Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War and to say social media has been abuzz with pre-release hype would be a tremendous understatement. Many fans are excited for a chance to see how this film does in terms of recovering from Age of Ultron, which was not as universally well-received. It’s the biggest event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having well-spread roots in the comics, so it’s fun to see how this iteration, in which the Avengers divide against each other, stacks up against its in-print counterparts.
The general formula for the Marvel Civil War goes as follows: 1) Superheroes sure are exciting and brave. It’s good to have them around to save the day. 2) Those hero-types certainly have a lot of near god-like powers. Maybe someone should be keeping a closer eye on them. 3) Catastrophically bad things happen. 4) Yeah, maybe someone should be keeping an eye on those heroes. 5) The aforementioned heroes don’t all agree they should be policed, and so they divide and brawl it out. In the case of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Civil War, audiences are brought back to the devastating events of Winter Soldier and how Earth’s mightiest heroes were in many ways directly responsible for the events of Age of Ultron. Bucky Barnes stands at the eye of this caped-and-masked storm of how heroes should be handled by government entities versus governing themselves as though they are above the law, and Steve Rogers chooses loyalty to his lifelong friend over supporting a government -and fellow Avengers- that would likely be the end of his friend. To Barnes’ defense, the man was brainwashed when he went around blowing things up and killing people.
This movie could be a stumbling point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe…
Captain America: Civil War has enormous potential. It has already been boasted to be an even bigger movie than Age of Ultron, and the sudden arrival of Spider-Man (whose absence during both Avengers films better be explained off really well, or at least in a comedic fashion) has quite a few fans very excited. Alternatively, this movie could be a stumbling point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Civil War storyline is well-loved for its compelling story and how it divided fans. There are people who truly hate Iron Man or Captain America from the events of the established Civil War, so this film already has high standards to meet -and exceed- if it hopes to keep feeding the strong momentum that the MCU franchise has established in past years.
All things considered, the MCU can be a bit exhausting. Films are planned well into the next decade and beyond, with the line-up changing constantly. Big events like this are necessary to offset the glut of films focusing solely on hero origin stories or further building those characters, as the Avengers installments (including those Avengers films by title and those by character content) do more to showcase Marvel’s heroes and how they are all connected in some way. The wait until the release of Infinity Wars parts one and two is still a long one, so it’s easy to speculate that Civil War -for better or worse- will be just what the MCU needs to keep fans interested until Thanos shows up and wrecks everything, or at the very least, until audiences get to see if the next Spider-Man reboot is another unmitigated disaster.
By Phil Gorski
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