Looking at the last ten years of Marvel movies, we’ve been through a lot of villains. A lot of them didn’t last more than one fight with the main character.
It’s not that I don’t trust the Russo Brothers (or that I don’t want to trust them). And it’s not that I don’t think that Thanos doesn’t have potential to be a GREAT villain in Avengers: Infinity War. But it is very hard to not buy into the online fandom rhetoric that Thanos hasn’t really done anything to show that he means business. He is willing to work with dangerous people to get what he wants. He technically ruined the lives of both Gamora and Nebula. And I don’t underestimate the amount of damage Thanos could do with a loaded Infinity Gauntlet. But most of what we know about Thanos in the MCU is by reputation.
The cool thing about science fiction and fantasy is that it allows us to examine what makes us human. Because more often than not, the genre features a protagonist or group of protagonists with capabilities beyond those of ordinary humans. And sometimes we watch how extraordinary humans cope with still living an ordinary life, or learning to adjust to a different one.
We’ve have a few months to marinate. The hype and overreactions are over. We’ve had a little while to step back and evaluate Captain America: Civil War. The spoilers are out. So what comes next? It concluded the Captain America trilogy, but the story of Steve Rogers–the man who carried the mantle of Captain America–is far from over. Some of the ideas I will be sharing are things I heard at two Captain America panels at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX back in March.
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.
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.