Late last night on the Jimmy Kimmel show, the much-anticipated Captain America: Civil War trailer exclusively aired. An exciting piece of two and half minutes which has not just myself but every fan out there drooling. The trailer hit the social media circuits no more than a few minutes after it was shown on television, which we were given an even longer segment online. We’ve all known this movie was coming for a good year now but what most don’t know is that this film version is only Civil War in name, than it actually is from the comics source material.
Like it or not, Civil War was a Marvel Comics event that split fandom as much as it had split the superhero community in the story itself. What started in 2006 had only been building up over a series of events a year or two prior to Civil War #1. To make a long story short, the American people had enough when an entire town is obliterated due to a battle between the villain Nitro and the 3rd incarnation of the New Warriors who were playing superheroes on a reality TV show. When the New Warriors jumps into action Nitro detonated his nuclear powers killing himself and causing a national tragedy that resulted in enormous loss of life.
This sparked a knee-jerk response from the government, which was aided by Tony Stark who was then Head Director for SHIELD. What Stark proposed was a Superhero Registration Act. The need for costumed heroes to reveal their identities to the world and become sanctioned by the United States Government. This beings a long chain events which begins with Captain America going rogue and an Avengers Initiative which places heroes on two sides. One side backing Iron Man and his Registration Act and another side backing Captain America and his vigilantes rebellion. Along the way there are many surprises and deaths, Giantman is murdered by a cybernetic clone of Thor later named Ragnarok. Spider-Man’s identity becomes publicly known to the world with a huge unmasking on CNN and as Captain America surrenders he is shot dead! Like I said, a long seven month event with seven main issues, a boat loads of tie-ins and crossovers filled with plenty of surprises. Not the most fantastic story but worth a glance if you have never read the series.
But keep in mind, you don’t have to know this story in order to understand Captain America 3: Civil War the movie, which releases this May. The two are so completely different that they may as well be two alternate stories altogether. This is something that comic book fans in general are almost always very reluctant to accept. So I thought I would take the time to cover some of the larger, more well-known bullet points of the movie versus the comic story.
From Page to Screen:
This May we will be graced with the 3rd Captain America movie of the same name, Civil War. Only this movie is like the comic story in name alone. For starters the comic was about superheroes and their secret identities being removed. There are no secret identities thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a matter-of-fact, Kevin Feige had explained that was a major difference back in October of 2014 when the Civil War news broke.
What has started since the events of the first Avengers movie and has been spiraling throughout most of the Marvel films is who do these heroes answer to. When they destroy a city or drop a small nation on its ass like in Age of Ultron who has accountability? This is what General Ross presents to Steve Rogers in the trailer, world governments are demanding accountability, that up until now the Avengers have been running around like a group of recluse vigilantes. Needless to say, Captain America is not happy with this.
Another similarity but yet a difference is the events regarding Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes. When last seen, he had gone rogue from his being under control at the hands of Hydra. Obviously there is an event, an explosion similar to the one in the comic which becomes the final straw. The movie seems very centered around the need for Captain America to prove his friend, Bucky’s (The Winter Soldier) innocence. If anything, this movie seems to serve as a continuation from Captain America: Winter Soldier and incorporate what has been building in the Marvel movies not the comics. We see the ‘Road to Civil War‘ in shows like Agents of SHIELD and Jessica Jones. Which this past weekend’s debut of the series, Jessica Jones delved into how the public responds to super humans; perfect example when Jessica takes Luke Cage to the hospital, the doctor on call has a very strong reaction to Luke being “One of them“.
Also the movie seems to be using Iron Man as someone to come in and talk a rogue Captain America down. A rogue Captain American who seems to be bucking the system only to prove the innocence of his best friend, Bucky Barnes. In the comics, the Superheroes Registration Act was Stark’s idea. Which in the film it is renamed Superhuman Registration Act.
Also it leaves one to wonder if Black Panther replaces Spider-Man? See with T’Challa being the leader of a huge African nation, Wakanda, if he isn’t stuck somewhere in the middle with having to choose a side. Black Panther must have to hunt the Winter Soldier down for the Adamantium used on his arm and that metal belonging to T’Challa’s nation. Once Panther meets Captain, Caps ideologies will undoubtably rub off on the honorable African. This would offer an interesting parallel to what we saw in the comics with spider-Man being perplexed to choose a side and then last-minute switch sides due to the fallout in his private life.
Some Exceptions We Won’t See on Screen:
Some things which obviously will not be in the film. There will be no Clone Thor/ Ragnarok. Back in 2004, Marvel gave the Avengers their first real shakeup with Avengers Disassembled, during this story Thor’s own comic dealt with a story called Ragnarok where all the Asguardians died including Thor. During Civil War we discover Reed Richards, Hank Pym and Tony Stark built a cyborg clone of Thor who goes nuts and kills Bill Wilson, Giant Man in battle. We also had Punisher moving through killing off 3rd rate villains, we won’t be seeing that. Being as Spider-Man is not a huge part of this film I doubt his unmasking will be an issue in the film as well.
There will also be no major huge battle scenes involving a good chunk of the Marvel universe. With no X-Men, Fantastic Four (who were a huge part of the story) and the iconic scene in the comics where the Punisher saves Peter Parker from a brutal beating at the hands of Iron Man.
Do We Really Know What’s in Store?
No, it honestly is too early to tell. However, one can use their own reasoning by taking all the panel discussions as well as interviews and clips and build an understanding of what can come. We’re rabid fanboys and we want to see everything on the printed page make it to the big screen and that sometimes is not possible. Civil War as a comic, is too large, to wide range to encompass in just a film. So what did Marvel do; they took aspects of this story and used it to fit their own Cinematic Universe. What we do know; this movie serves as the linchpin for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Avengers served for the initial films. It is taking all the fringe characters such as Ant-Man, Falcon, Black Widow and the supporting characters of both Captain America and Iron Man films, throwing them into a soup mixture which is what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been all about. It’s still rather ingenious and a whole lot of fun for us comic geeks!