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Does Captain America: Civil War Need Villains?

Written by Kevin Harkins

We are less than a month away from the release of Captain America: Civil War which promises to be one of the biggest movies Marvel has made yet. While most of the focus so far has been put on the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, and rightfully so since this is Civil War, there are actually villains in the movie in the presence of Crossbones and Gen. “Thunderbolt” Ross. But does Civil War really need villains in the movie and it would have been enough to focus on the conflict between the Avengers, or do the villains add something to the movie that only they could bring.

With Crossbones the Avengers are facing off against a character who connects them to the recent past. He was there when S.H.I.E.L.D. fell at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and can be seen as another reminder of the consequences of the heroes actions that is what lead to the Sokovia Accords. He has been left scared after the helicarrier fell on him and now is out for revenge on Cap and the others. If the reports are true about the incident that leads to the Accords involves him then it can be said that he is partly responsible for the events of the movie and would be more than happy to see Cap suffer especially by helping to keep Cap from saving people, which is what he does best.

Gen. Ross is the one who pushes the Accords through and gets the Avengers to be regulated by the governments of the world. In a trailer breakdown on Empire magazine’s website for the first trailer Joe Russo states they used Ross because of his anti-superhero views and that now he is outmanoeuvring the heroes politically. He has learned that it is better to control them and use his power to corner them since Hulk taught him that they can not be beaten. He also states that Ross was used to remind the audience that The Incredible Hulk is relevant to the MCU since it seems to have been somewhat forgotten.

Marvel seems to be talking roles that are part of the Civil War story and using them to add the villains. The story calls for an incident that causes the government to regulate the Avengers so why not use Crossbones there. Someone needs to be the figurehead of the Accord so Ross is a good fit. This allows them to use characters with history who bring more dimensions to the roles that could be used by just some random character.  It is a great way to make what could be seen as obligatory roles in a story more fun and mean more to the audience while also including more villainous characters but keeping the focus of the movie on the rift between the heroes.

In the end, no, Civil War did not need villains in it. There is enough story to draw out of the idea of a team of superheroes taking sides and fighting over legislation that interferes with their lives. Instead Marvel is using the villains who have a history with the heroes and thus can add extra layers to the conflict that is unfolding within the ranks. This is the best way to use villains in the movie while not distracting from the main conflict of Captain America vs. Iron Man.

What do you think? Does Captain America: Civil War need Villains? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter.

About the author

Kevin Harkins