On Monday, Marvel made the news official that they were in fact leading up to the Civil War plot in their Cinematic Universe. The news broke in an article in Variety, detailing how Robert Downey, Jr. was in final talks with the studio to be in Captain America 3, and that the film would be following the Civil War storyline.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Civil War event that took place in the Marvel Universe back in 2006, it was basically a major event that involved every character in the Marvel Universe. Captain America and Iron Man were central to the story because they represented the two opposing views and sides. Basically, the government comes out with the new Superhuman Registration Act (not unlike the Mutant Registration Act), which requires every superhuman to come and register their identity and their powers with the government, then they would essentially become employees of the government, sent in as a high-powered police force whenever needed. Tony Stark gets on board with this act, and as a result he ends up running S.H.I.E.L.D., or what’s left of it at this point, and becomes the guy working with the government to convince others to get on board and to bring in those who don’t. Captain America opposes the Act. He feels it is an infringement of civil rights and individual liberties. He sees secret identities as a protection for the superhumans and doesn’t think they should be forced to give it up. Part of the marvel Universe follows Iron Man, and part of it follows Cap, Cap and his followers are breaking the law, and they become fugitives, and are forced into hiding.
The story was huge in the comics. There are countless Civil War graphic novels that give the account of different heroes during the event, so there is a lot of potential for this storyline to be a whole phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For sure, Captain America 3 will not be the only movie to deal with this story line, and the Avengers will never be the same after it is over. Some of them may not survive. No one knows for certain how this will all play out, or what Marvel is planning in the end, but it is always fun to speculate. Here are my top 3 theories for how the Civil War story will affect the MCU.
Spider-Man Will Make it into The MCU
Is it a coincidence that we have started to hear rumblings that Marvel and Sony have started talking again about Spider-Man rights right at the same time that we hear Marvel is planning to do the Civil War storyline? For those who are familiar with the story, it should come as no surprise. Captain America and Iron Man are the two big stars and central figures in Civil War, but the next most major role was played out by Spider-Man. He, like many of the characters, was caught in the middle between two men that he has always looked up to. His story was really a way for all of us to relate to what was happening in the storyline, as he had to choose which side he was on. One of the pivotal moments in the event comes when Spider-Man, swayed at this point to get on board with the program, reveals to the world that he is Peter Parker and that he is registering with the government.
Later, Spidey realizes it was a mistake, and ends up joining up with Cap to fight against the Registration Act. One of the things that makes Spider-Man so great is that he is so easy for the every-man to relate to. He is really just an average guy who happens to have super powers. As you read his story, he is trying to cut through all the confusion of super heroes on such opposite sides. He almost represents us in the story and sees the conflict almost through our eyes. Marvel could accomplish this with another character, and they might have to, but this may be the reason that the two sides have begun talking about it again.
Thanos and the Infinity Gems Might Bring them All Back Together
Remember this guy?
Marvel revealed that they had plans for Thanos when he showed up at the end of The Avengers. I, along with everyone else, thought he would be the big bad in Avengers 2. Right up until the y announced the name of the movie as Age of Ultron. They like to keep us guessing, those marvel guys. It became apparent again that they must have plans for him, as he appears in Guardians of the Galaxy. This latest news makes it seem that it will be a while before we see the Titan in an Avengers film. He plays no role in the Civil War story line, a story line where there is no traditional villain. I can’t imagine that Civil War will be contained in just Captain America 3, or that it will be wrapped up in time for an Infinity Gauntlet story in Avengers 3. I think Civil War will start in Cap 3 and go through Avengers 3. The Thanos/Infinity Gauntlet story will happen next, giving the heroes a really big bad to get united against, and bring everybody back together and begin the healing process. It may be Avengers 4 before we see the super team square off against Thanos.
Cap’s Not Going to Make it
In the aftermath of the Civil War Storyline, in the comics, Cap is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, and he gets assassinated as he is being brought in.
His old partner, Bucky Barnes, recently back from the dead in the Winter Soldier storyline, steps in and takes up the Captain America title. Could this also happen in the movies? We know Chris Evans is under contract through Avengers 3. After that, who knows. It could be that Marvel is just not planning on having him continue, but it could also be that they just haven’t signed him to any more contracts yet. Sebastian Stan, on the other hand is signed on to appear in multiple Marvel films going forward, which might suggest that this is exactly the direction that Marvel is headed. If that’s the case, Captain America may be in Avengers 4, to possibly battle Thanos, but Steve Rogers won’t be.
All of these are of course, just theories. It’s fun to speculate, but take it all with a grain of salt. One important thing to remember is that the Variety article states that the studio and Robert Downey, Jr. are only in talks. They may be final talks, but nothing is confirmed yet, and without Stark, the Civli War storyline can’t work, so they may have to go in a completely different direction for Cap 3, or have it only be at the very end and lead into it in Avengers 3. Who knows for sure. It is exciting, though. I really enjoyed the Civil War event in the comics. It was interesting and different, so I am looking forward to that playing out in the films.
What are your thoughts on the announcement? How do you think it will affect your favorite heroes in the MCU?