I have been waiting a little while before I wrote anything about Captain America: Civil War, in order to give everyone an opportunity to see the film without spoilers. However, I am sure that there are still quite a few people who have not been able to see it yet for any number of reasons. So, be warned. This post is going to have spoilers in it. I am not going out of my way to throw in a ton of spoilers, but I am not going to avoid them either. So, if you have not seen the film, and you are trying to go in fresh and spider free, then skip this post for now, but come back later. I’ll put the read more tag here, so as long as you don’t click on it, you will avoid having any major plot points revealed to you. Come back, though, and read this when you have seen the film.
Spoilers discussed but not really mentioned in detail.
The first time I saw Captain America: Civil War in theaters, I had my doubts about whether or not it actually was a Captain America movie. It doesn’t feel like Cap gets a lot of depth because there is so much else going on. The plot and exposition is really about the buildup to the two main battles at the end. However, it is still a Captain America movie because the events in this film shape the mantle of Captain America and how Steve Rogers carried it. While I and lots of other fans are disappointed because we wanted more resolution for Steve and Bucky’s stories, the ensemble of characters was still balanced, even with the show-stealing introductions of Spider-man and Black Panther.
We are just a couple of weeks away from the premier of Captain America: Civil War, so I thought it would be fun to make a few predictions about what will happen in the film. I’ve done this in the past with other films, and one time, my crazy theory was even right. We’ll see how I do this time around. Let’s get to it.
Let me preface this by saying that I have been waiting a long time to write this.
I haven’t read the comics, but those who have know that the plot of Captain America: Civil War will be making major deviations from the Civil War storyline in the comics. In particular, this version will depict Captain America’s pressing personal crisis of the terrible, tragic fate of his best friend, Bucky Barnes. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have teased that Civil War will be a psychological thriller. Having been through so much with Bucky and because of Bucky, Steve Rogers is tied heart and soul to his friend, perhaps so much that Steve could be blind to his dark side. Until the movie comes out, we will have to wait for the details of how Bucky’s situation will divide the Avengers Analyzing the last two films that Bucky has appeared in, we must ask ourselves the question, what is the appeal of the Winter Soldier to the legions of fans who, like myself, have fallen in love with him, and why is his story making such an impact on the Avengers?
You can reasonably expect as the time draws nearer for the release of Captain America: Civil War that I will write a few more MCU-related posts. As a fan, there is a lot at stake for me in this film. One of biggest, most burning questions that will be answered of course, is this:
Will Steve Rogers, our beloved Captain America, die?
In my Captain America post last fall, I said that I expected him to die in Civil War. Now let me amend that. It would be wrong to not expect anyone to die in this movie—as attached as we are to all of the characters, someone is going to bite it. Perhaps multiple people. There would be no emotional stakes otherwise. But I’m going to focus on Cap because he is the obvious choice for a dramatic, show-stopping death.
This is part 3 of the 3-part Road to Civil War series.
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR ANT-MAN BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
The question everyone seems to be asking is why the Civil War installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Captain America movie? The truth is, we won’t have all the answers until it comes out. However, here are some of my thoughts from what we’ve heard about the plot and based on my observations of Steve Rogers.
Captain America as a Leader
At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Captain America squarely in charge of a new Avengers team. The actions of this team under his leadership will lead to the debate over the regulation of superheroes.
Steve Rogers thinks of himself first and foremost as a soldier, but he has always been a leader. I f people expect Captain America to lead them, then he expects them to work like an army does. In Captain America: The First Avenger, he is the unquestioned leader of the Howling Commandos, and even the directors of the Strategic Scientific Reserve look to him to lead the fight against Hydra. We don’t see much of the men who followed him aside from Bucky, but I think he had a good working relationship with these guys that probably set his expectations for similar experiences a little high.
When Captain America goes to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., the situation is far from ideal. What Steve Rogers expects from those who work with him is trust. He prefers to know what other people are doing and what’s going on, whereas Nick Fury thinks it’s safer to “compartmentalize” assignments and secrets. Finding out that S.H.I.E.L.D. was controlled by Hydra is the last straw. From then on, Captain America doesn’t want to be in a position where he isn’t calling the shots. Being in control is Steve’s way of coping with the fact that he can’t trust other people’s motives.
Cap in the Age of Ultron
Steve decides to take out the remnants of Hydra, but it is unclear whether he asked the other Avengers for help or if they volunteered. But destroying Hydra is Steve’s project, so they let him decide what they do. To an extent they consider him the leader, and he may even think of himself as one.
Tony Stark referred to Captain America as “the boss” at one point during Age of Ultron, but Tony doesn’t treat him the way Steve expects he would if he really thought that. In The Avengers Tony is condescending and even resentful toward him. After the two work together for some time, there’s a little more respect and even some liking. Yet Steve expects that the other Avengers follow his directions and not do anything to jeopardize them or their mission. Tony Stark does his own thing. And Steve mistrusts Tony for this.
Steve is more concerned at first about preventing Ultron from causing more problems. But then Wanda Maximoff warns Steve the being Ultron was creating with the Mind Stone could be put to use by Tony Stark—and Steve takes it very poorly. His only thought is to prevent Tony from creating another Ultron, and he’s offended that Tony’s attitude and behavior are hurting the team as well as the world. Civil War as good as almost started over Vision’s cradle.
It would be wrong to say that Steve isn’t sad to see the breakup of the original Avengers. But at the same time I think he’s looking forward to working with the new team that has come together, probably more or less at his invitation. He has an advantage with this new team because he can set new terms for their working relationship. He can teach them how to work together, trust each other, and rely on each other in ways that the original Avengers never could: the way he wants them to.
So one of the hard parts of Civil War will be watching all of Steve’s hopes and expectations for the new Avengers go down the drain.
A Product of War
Captain America was created to fight a war that, for the rest of the world, ended seventy years ago. But the war never ended for Steve, and the best thing he can think of doing is continuing to fight.
During World War II, all civilian resources—food, clothing, and even entertainment—were redirected to the military and to mustering support for the war effort. It was a time period when people ate, slept, and breathed war. Cap went on the ice. The rest of the world had time to transition, but Steve didn’t. So a part of him still eats, sleeps, and breathes war because he didn’t get to see it end. And whatever closure he thinks he has—Hydra being vanquished, for instance—is an illusion.
When he got up, furthermore, he was asked almost right away to help save the world from Loki. Steve never intended to be Captain America for the rest of his life, but that’s what nearly everyone else wants him to be. So he has chosen to be a superhero: that is “home” for Steve now. And if it is his job to keep the world safe, then he will do whatever he thinks is right to get the job done. His job from the war, stopping Hydra, was left undone, so he is going to finish it. And his mind, it is an army—in this case, the Avengers—that is the best chance of stopping Hydra.
Doing the Right Thing as a Weakness
A lot of people don’t see why Steve had to crash the Valkyrie at the end of The First Avenger. My explanation is that Steve didn’t want the world to have access to the Hydra weapons or technology that was on that plane: Hydra was so evil that he wanted to destroy it and every evil thing it created. And, of course, he held Hydra responsible for Bucky’s “death.”
Steve does whatever he thinks is right at all costs, and if you disagree with him about what it takes to keep the world safe, then he is not giving you the benefit of a doubt.
In Captain America: Civil War, Steve will encounter a serious barrier to his goal of fighting Hydra just as Hydra is regaining strength, and his attitudes and choices in that time will put him in conflict with Iron Man and other superheroes. And then we have the Ant-man post-credit scene. From the dialogue and other inferences about the situation, we know that Bucky Barnes turning up again in this manner only complicates an already difficult situation. But why did Marvel choose to show this scene in particular? Steve wants to help his best friend, at whatever cost to himself, and if he has to break the rules—if he has to fight Tony Stark—to do so, needless to say it’s going to get ugly.
Bucky is the only thing Steve has from the life he used to know: before he was a soldier, before ANYTHING. If Steve can save Bucky, then he will be able, in some small way, to “come home.” It isn’t right this time: it’s personal.
But Steve, however, will put his personal happiness on the line to do what he thinks is right. I am prepared at this point to accept the possibility that Steve might even die in Civil War. What I am really worried about is, can Steve put up with all of this and still be a good person?
That’s the best speculation I can give you for now. But of course, it could all change the moment the trailer comes out.
This is Part 1 of the three-part Road to Civil War series.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN, AND CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR INCLUDED BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I would have been perfectly happy if Marvel hadn’t announced anything and we had no idea who was on who’s side until next May. But now that we have the names, it’s only fair to speculate. I don’t know much about the comics so this is entirely based on the movies, the discussions of other online fans, and what we know so far.
Team Iron Man
Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes is Tony Stark’s best friend and sidekick. I did ask a fan website what else would motivate him to take Tony’s side in this controversy. The response was that Rhodey works for the U.S. government, so he will support whatever the government decides. This didn’t make sense to me, but then I remembered the scene in Iron Man 2 where Rhodey took the stolen armor to the Air Force Base. If that doesn’t speak volumes about Rhodey’s priorities, little else will.
I have never liked Spider-Man, but when they announced that Marvel had bought the rights from Sony to include him in Civil War and reboot him within the existing universe, I decided to deal with it. In the comics, Spider-Man plays an important part in the Civil War story. The film version, however, will differ since we are seeing Peter Parker at the outset of his career. Tom Holland was cast as the teenage webslinger based on how he performed with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, so Parker’s relationship with the heads of these two factions, specifically with Iron Man, might be crucial. There was also a mock news interview with Scott Lang released as a promo for Ant-Man, and someone on Tumblr mentioned that in the crawl on the bottom of the screen said Tony Stark had established a scholarship for inner-city students. Peter Parker probably looks to Stark as a patron. Given Tony’s relationship with Harley in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark looking for a protege makes sense.
Vision used to be JARVIS, but I have to scratch my head because Age of Ultron did little to establish how much of JARVIS is left inside of the android. As Vision, however, he might have good personal reasons for siding with Iron Man. Vision states in Age of Ultron, “I am on the side of life.” Perhaps Captain America is doing something he finds morally reprehensible.
In the comics, Vision is in a relationship with the Scarlet Witch, but since they are on different sides I wonder if that relationship is ever going to occur, if it hasn’t already.
Natasha Romanoff making Team Iron Man was certainly a shock. The fandom is disappointed because after everything that she and Steve went through together in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they seemed to have earned their mutual trust. I for one would have expected her to at least fight on the same team as Hawkeye. We may have to wait and see what Natasha’s motivations are more than for the other characters.
Team Captain America
Scarlet Witch was not involved in Civil War in the comics, and her presence alone indicates that the film is going to be very different, Wanda Maximoff was my new favorite character in Age of Ultron, so I am really happy that she is on Steve’s side. It’s not surprising, though, because if you remember in Age of Ultron she and Pietro volunteered for Hydra’s experiments in the first place because of their grudge against Tony Stark. A part of me says that Wanda hasn’t gotten over that. And the twins, if you remember, were close to Clint Barton, it’s no surprise that Wanda is sticking with him.
Sam Wilson, of course, is extremely loyal to Steve Rogers. Considering his role in Ant-Man, Sam will be the one recruiting Scott Lang and he may be the one pulling other people to Cap’s side. He might even be considered a co-leader of the team. I am interested to see how he will interact with Hawkeye/Clint Barton. They both have superhero names based on birds of prey and so naturally the fandom thinks they belong together. In-between all of the other shenanigans there is a chance we might get to see the “bird bros” bonding onscreen.
If you haven’t seen Ant-Man yet, go see it! Those of you who have, you know he’ll be called in to do Steve the ultimate favor. Scott Lang is a huge Avengers fan to start with. But what’s interesting is that in Ant-Man, Hank Pym mentioned to Scott that he could never trust Howard Stark with his technology and he doesn’t want Tony anywhere near it either. That impression probably stuck with Scott. I think Scott Lang will be Steve’s new go-to man for equipment, since he is burning bridges with Tony, and heaven knows Steve and his teammates are going to need some tech to compete with Stark.
This was the surprise for Cap’s team. I mean, he is a really loyal friend to Natasha so I am surprised and disappointed they weren’t on the same side, but that’s what’s going to raise the stakes, right? At the end of Age of Ultron, Clint went back to his family at least for a little while, so I wonder what might get him to go back into the field. The registration act from the comics storyline is not going to work out, but in Age of Ultron the other Avengers except Natasha did not know about his family, so he still had at least some degree of privacy. Something may be threatening his family and he is siding with Steve in order to protect them.
The Winter Soldier
All signs indicate that Bucky will be getting at least some of his memory and personality back, but his external circumstances will remain less than ideal. Other people aren’t going to care that he’s no longer Hydra’s brainwashed assassin, and in fact if you saw the Ant-Man post-credit scene you KNOW that he’s vulnerable for it. The more I hear, the more I think that the resolution of the Winter Soldier’s storyline will be the pin on which everyone hinges. Steve might take his stance based on how people respond to Bucky, and Steve may or may not trust certain people based on who agrees with him.
The Double Agent
When the team lineups were announced, it was also rumored that one of the superheroes was going to be a double agent. Everyone thinks (and wants) it to be Natasha, but I think we need to give the other character a look. To be brutally honest, Bucky fighting at Steve’s side is almost too good to be true. Spider Man is a new character and his motivations are unknown, but if he’s a young teenager who looks up to Tony Stark I doubt he would do anything that gutsy. Scott Lang/Ant-Man might become disillusioned with his superhero idols after watching them fight each other. Maybe Tony does something that Vision disagrees with, but once Vision makes a decision I doubt he would go back on it: he is too much pure goodness.
I would say that Team Iron Man has the advantage as far as technology, but for powers I think they might be even. As for the characters I like I think Captain America’s team took the vast majority of the cool people. However, much remains to be seen about what the actual conflict is and what will really motivate these characters we know and love to take sides.
To be fair, the title of this post is a bit misleading. Salt Lake Comic Con (no dash) has always been legit. From their very first show, up through their most recent FanX, SLCC has done an incredible job listening to fans and bringing them the experiences they want. As of yesterday, though, Salt Lake Comic Con is more legit, maybe even 2 Legit, 2 Legit 2 Quit (I’m sorry, I know that was lame). I’ll be honest, the guest lineup this year was pretty good for some folks, but I wasn’t really feeling it as much as previous years. There were a few guests I was excited about, but it just didn’t seem like there were as many as for me as previous cons. Of course, part of that may be that anything short of a David Tennant or Peter Capaldi feels like a let down after Matt Smith came in January.
Then this happened:
Yesterday, Salt Lake Comic Con announced that Chris Evans would be attending the convention on the Saturday of the event. This is huge. You know where Chris Evans wasn’t? San Diego Comic-Con (with a dash). You know what he has never done at other conventions, that he’s doing at SLCC? Photo ops and autographs. Do you know how awesome that is? Epic. Oh, and to add to the awesomeness, there was this little bit of information, leaked from Hayley Atwell’s twitter account:
— Hayley Atwell (@HayleyAtwell) July 17, 2015
Hayley was asked if she might be joining Chris for the con in Salt Lake, and she said yes. Which would be pretty cool. These are two huge names who are currently in the MCU. I think the fans in Salt Lake would love to see these two together. I know I would.
What is even cooler about Chris Evans coming is the story about how the booking went down. According to an article written by a local reporter for USA Today, Dan Farr made contact with Chris Evans agent in Houston at Comicpalooza (apparently the agent was there with Hayley Atwell, so that might explain why she is also coming to SLCC). He was talking to them about coming to Salt Lake, when Marina Sirtis (aka Deanna Troi), a SLCC alum, came up and told the age that they had to come to Salt Lake Comic Con. She said it was the best event around, and that the fans were the best. That’s pretty high praise. Now, the result is that we are getting these two mega stars here in Salt Lake.
I am so excited about this and how it all went down. We are building a reputation for being a premier spot for celebrities to come and meet their fans. We are building a reputation for being an awesome geeky fan base, and that is pretty cool. The fact that our fans played a role in why this happened seems to just fit. SLCC has always been about the fans and what we want.
I think the other thing that makes me so excited about Chris Evans coming here is that this will open the door for other huge, epic names to come here. Assuming Chris will have a great experience here (how could he not?), he’ll go back and tell his friends that this is the place to come, and then when they get contacted, they’ll want to come because they will have heard how awesome we all are. This is huge, Chris Evans coming, but I have a feeling that this is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Salt Lake Comic Con is legit.
What did you think of the big announcement yesterday? Was it as epic as advertised, or are you still holding your breath, maybe a little, for someone else? (David Tennant) Let me know in the comments below. Or on my Facebook page or Google +, or send it to my email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a couple of minutes today? Take that time to lay your eyes on this 8 bit masterpiece from Cinefix. It is Captain America The Winter Soldier in 8bit. So much awesome in one video should be illegal, but it’s not. Enjoy!
Well, we are less than a week away from Age of Ultron opening in the United States, which means I should be getting close to the end of my trip back through the MCU. Today, it’s Captain America The Winter Soldier, and then there is just one more film left, Guardians of the Galaxy. I really feel like the best have been saved for last. These last two films are two of my favorite films in the MCU. The Winter Soldier is not just one of my favorite MCU films, but it might make my overall top ten of all time (which would make an interesting post…hmmm…). This movie has it all. Action, intrigue, comedy, story, really a little bit of everything. It is a solid storyline that stays true to the original source material, without being too married to it that it loses out on being a great film. This is a hard balance for movies to hit sometimes, but his one pulls it off.
One of the best things about this movie is the continuing evolution of Captain America. In First Avenger, we get his origin story see how he becomes a legend during World War II, and how he ends up in our modern-day. In Avengers, we see that Cap has not fully adjusted to his role in this new world, in fact, by the end of Avengers, he has barely figured out what his role should be. He is still sticking out like a sore thumb in the modern world. We really see that adjustment in The Winter Soldier, as Captain America realizes how he can fit in, how he can make the world a better place. It’s not just joining in and blindly following orders. He realizes he can make SHIELD better, even if it means starting over like Peggy suggests. At the beginning of the film, Cap is somewhat content with the idea of Fury sending him on missions, and him completing those missions. He is bothered by the fact that Fury seems to keep secrets from him, like giving Black Widow a separate assignment on one of their missions, without telling Cap, but he is still somewhat on board. After everything really starts going down with SHIELD, IE Fury gets “killed,” Cap begins really questioning his role, and SHIELD’s role and how different is SHIELD than HYDRA? There begins to be a shift, as Cap begins to settle into his natural role as a leader. You can see this happening with Sam Wilson, The Falcon, who is simply there to follow Cap. The big scene where the full shift finally occurs is when Cap and Black Widow and Sam and Agent Hill are meeting with Fury (who is not really dead), and they are discussing what they are going to do to take HYDRA out. Fury wants to keep the three helicarriers, but just get rid of HYDRA. Cap says no, they are going to take them out, take out SHIELD as well as HYDRA. Fury protests, but Hill speaks up and is with Cap, and then Black Widow says she is too, and Sam says he only does what Cap does, only slower. Fury then says it looks like Captain America is calling the shots now. That’s the moment when Cap is in charge, where he takes his place as the leader in this new world, and not just a soldier.
The supporting cast in this movie are fantastic. In the middle of everything that is going on, we have the appearance of the Winter Soldier, who we find out is really Bucky with a metal arm. His memory has been wiped (numerous times it looks like), so he doesn’t remember Cap or his previous life during World War II. The role is played very well by Sebastian Stan. He doesn’t have a lot of lines, to make his character dark and mysterious, but that can sometimes be harder to play a role with no lines. He does it well, playing the part of not recognizing Cap, and wanting to kill him. He also plays the part well at the end of the movie when he saves Cap, and then goes off to find himself, as it were. He is supposedly locked into a contract for multiple future films, so I assume we will be seeing the Winter Soldier again.
The highlight of the film, however, is Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon. He was fantastic from his first scene where Cap keeps lapping him as their jogging, to when he puts on the wings and becomes Falcon. Mackie has great timing throughout the film, and offers a lot of heart when Cap is trying to figure out his place in the world. In fact, he is the moral compass in the film, which is one of the most important roles of any sidekick, or partner as the case might be. I am hoping he is in Age of Ultron (that’s the rumor) and in Civil War, and in any number of future MCU films. He was just so good, I came out of the film thinking he was one of my favorite characters in the MCU now.
Overall, Captain America The Winter Soldier is one heck of a film. Marvel’s best to date, in my opinion. Age of Ultron looks good, but it will be tough for it to top this movie. When I sat down to watch it earlier today, I was thinking that I remembered it being really good, but as I watched it again, I was surprised by how good it was. That’s the sign of a good movie, I think. If it surprises you with how good it is each time you watch it. It’s rare for me to give a movie 5 stars across the board, but this is a rare movie.
What did you all think of The Winter Soldier? Did it live up to the hype? Is it one of the better MCU films, or are there others you would rank above it? Let me know in the comments.