Captain America: Civil War is finally upon us. By far the most anticipated film of the summer, it’s now time to take a stance and choose who’s side you’re on. Should superheroes be forced under the supervision of the government? Is that the only way to keep innocent civilians safe? Or, is government control only going to hinder our favorite superheroes’ capabilities? To help make your final choice, here’s a look at our favorite World War II veteran: Captain America.
Captain America has easily become one of the more fascinating members of the Avengers in the MCU. Mainly because his movies keep getting better and better. Because of this, we expect a lot to come out of Civil War which will be based on the seven issue limited series of the same name.
Civil War focuses on events leading to the government introducing the Superhero Registration Act. As the name suggests, the act would force superheroes to reveal their secret identities and those who refuse would be considered rogue superheroes. Tony Stark is all for the act while Steve Rogers is completely against it. This leads to an epic battle between superheroes as they fight for their rights.
It’s important to note that it has been stated the film will not focus on the Superhero Registration Act but rather on the broader concept of government controlling superheroes. It’s a change that makes sense given most of the superheroes do not have secret identities in the MCU. However, it does put a large hole in Steve Rogers’ argument. In the comics, it made sense for Captain America to fight for the right of privacy. Here, it’s a little muddled seeing as the Avengers have been working for S.H.I.E.L.D. (or, a small division of S.H.I.E.L.D.) up until this point.
And this is where Bucky Barnes seems to come in. Bucky Barnes will undoubtedly be considered a rogue superhero, one that has to be brought under government control. And suddenly, Civil War just got personal for Steve Rogers. It’s an ingenious idea but does that diminish Captain America’s argument? Is he just acting on his longtime bromance with Bucky? Does his argument have any validation anymore?
It would certainly make sense to paint the story as if Steve Rogers is in the wrong. The original Civil War comic seemed to be rooting for Captain America up until the very end where there was a tonal shift. All of a sudden, Iron Man seemed to be in the right rather than the character we had been following the entire time. By making things more personal for Steve in the movie, the tonal shift certainly won’t seem as abrupt and it would certainly add to his already immense character development.
However, there’s one very important event that trumps this idea of Captain American being in the wrong. Or, at the very least, it’s an important even that makes Captain America’s arguments completely valid. And that’s the ingenious setup in Captain America: The Winder Soldier that spilled into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: the dismantlement of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It’s an important event for a number of reasons. S.H.I.E.L.D. was, in essence, a government controlled organization that worked with the Avengers. But as we saw in Winter Soldier, that idea quickly went south when members of Hydra infiltrated the organization and resulted in a complete takeover. Considering Steve Rogers was at the forefront of this conflict, it only makes sense he would now be completely against the idea of the government controlling superheroes. If Hydra under the guise of S.H.I.E.L.D. could do as much damage as was done in Winter Soldier, imagine what the government could do with superheroes wrapped around their fingers. This will undoubtedly be a concern Steve Rogers has during Civil War.
Let’s also not forget that it’s because of Hydra Bucky Barnes is the way he is. It’s the perfect example of how an organization controlling heroes could go south very quickly.
Anyone who has read the original material has a pretty good idea where Civil War might take us. But we know regardless of where the story leads its audience, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
So who’s side are you on? Share your thoughts on Twitter!