(Spoilers, but I’m kind of assuming that you’ve seen Civil War by now.)
All of three of the female leads in Captain America: Civil War are amazing. The following thoughts are not comprehensive character analyses but what I liked best about each. The pivotal roles that each play demonstrates how highly Steve Rogers values the women in his life.
Wanda Maximoff: “I Cannot Control Their Fear”
I think it’s pretty obvious she’s my favorite, considering Scarlet Witch takes up most of this article. Wanda Maximoff is the character I am probably the most like in personality. She is powerful, but at the same time she is incredibly insecure about doing her job the right way. When she messes up in Lagos, the look on her face says it all—she feels TERRIBLE. She didn’t mean to hurt/kill that many people, but Rumlow was going to blow up himself and Cap and she did the best she could in the heat of the moment. And the news calling her out for it just makes it worse. My favorite action scene with her is during the airport battle when she throws all of the cars at Stark. I also cheered quietly when she saved Bucky from the Black Panther. And I already knew she could block bullets with her powers. 😉
The thing about Wanda is, she’s still young and learning how to be an adult as well as a superhero. She doesn’t have everything figured out yet–which is what I picked out about her character in Age of Ultron. Several of the men she works with want to protect her, but for different reasons. Tony locking her up on base was unfair, but it was his way of showing how much he wanted to protect her and the rest of the Avengers from public criticism. But seeing her in that straightjacket on the Raft destroyed me—and I think that’s what made Stark realize maybe he’d let Ross go a little too far.
I loved the scene where Steve goes to talk to her in her room to help her feel better and I wish it had been longer—plus it kind of serves as a foil for the part when Tony sits down for a chat with Peter Parker. I really like the thought of Cap being her mentor. Also, just when Steve was about to compromise with Tony, he found out that Wanda was being kept locked in the Avengers base. Some fans on the internet have pointed out that this was the moment that sealed the deal for Cap—not Bucky, Wanda. Captain America has always stood up for those unable to defend themselves, and he stood up for her.
I know that Vision and Wanda were married in the comics, but I was not surprised and also grateful that they were not dating in Civil War. I liked that they were friends and that they had that cute kitchen scene together. Maybe Vision is smitten with her a little, but I don’t see them hooking up in the MCU. I would rather they didn’t.
Wanda’s most important relationship, however, is with Clint Barton. Clint has a wife and family of his own, but Wanda is his kid too. He wanted to fight with Cap but he knew that Cap would also need her help.
The only thing I really want as a fan is Wanda having more of an on-screen relationship with Natasha. They’re both female Avengers—why not be friends?
Sharon Carter: ”No, You Move.”
Considering how she had to share so much of the plot with all of the other characters, I think Sharon had an adequate amount of screentime. It was enough to satisfy my need to see more of her after Winter Soldier. I feel bad that we haven’t seen more than just than her secret agent side. Sharon was there for Steve at his most important moments in the film. She listened when Steve questioned what Zemo was up to. She was with him after Peggy’s funeral. She gave him the heads-up on Bucky’s location.
Getting to see her in action was a treat. True, she had to face off against a reactivated Winter Soldier, but she held her ground. I want to see more of her in action—and more of her working together with Natasha.
I also liked the kiss with Steve—the approval of Cap’s bros made it really amazing, but by itself it was a good moment for both of them. Cap was probably literally kissing goodbye his chance at a normal life when he kissed her (and Sharon was sacrificing her credibility to help him out, too), but he was also letting go of the hesitation he has had towards committing to relationships. I think Steve and Sharon could have a future together—unpopular opinion, I know, but still.
Natasha Romanoff: ”You’re not going to stop, are you?”
Let me start off by saying that this new Avengers team was everything it needed to be, and Natasha is its MVP. Her best fight sequence? Lagos, kicking butt and looking fashionable at the same time. I love when she catches the weapon that Rumlow was after in midair—just flawless.
Natasha is probably the most rational person in this entire movie. She doesn’t see the Accords as 100% a bad thing. She tries to keep everyone she knows—Steve and Tony especially—from doing something stupid even though it backfires in her face every time. At the summit in Vienna we seeNatasha breaking the ice with T’challa, definitely an important moment for her character that helps to bring out his as well. Like T’challa, she always has her own agenda and doesn’t go along with what higher authorities tell her to do.
Natasha is also great because she’s there for Steve. Not going to lie, after Winter Soldier I felt like her and Steve weren’t really compatible enough for a romantic relationship. Natasha and Steve being friends who look out for each other? That hug she gives him after the funeral? Her talking to him about Peggy? That was what this movie needed. (It’s probably the only time in Civil War that anybody hugs, considering all of the problems that could have been solved by people hugging). Just because they didn’t agree on the Accords didn’t mean they weren’t friends anymore. She is genuinely torn about his actions, which is probably the only real vulnerability she shows in the film. And Natasha understood that Cap just wanted to stop Zemo, and in the end, she knew helping him was the right thing.
And just because she did agree with Tony didn’t mean she was going to do what he wanted, either. She wants the best for the team as much as Tony does, if not more, and she was not above calling out Tony for his errors. I wish we had had more of an idea of where she was going next after she said goodbye to Tony, but that’s a small quibble to have with such a great character.