The Civil War trailer is here and threw me a huge curveball

The trailer for Captain America: Civil War has premiered on Jimmy Kimmel and I for one, do not understand what I just saw.

Civil War is one of the most infamous story lines in recent Marvel history; a story that pits brothers in arms against each other, and made readers question their own morality. Sounds like a fantastic story, right? Who wouldn’t want to read an epic that addresses real ethical questions and delves into the politics of its universe against the backdrop of a plethora of heroes battling each other for supremacy? Unfortunately, that is not the movie that Marvel is making. If the trailer is to be believed, the entire power struggle that defines the fate of so many key characters is boiled down to a juvenile nostalgia for a childhood friendship. Have you seen the trailer yet? You should. Check it out below and I’ll just stew patiently until your done.

Now that you’re caught up, you maybe saying that the movie looks awesome, that the blend of drama and action looks like it’s going to make a captivating movie experience. I’m not saying that it won’t be fun to watch, returning directors Anthony and Joe Russo know how to make a blockbuster. My problem is that Marvel studios is sucking the soul out of the story. Obviously the transition from panel to screen demands changes since no two mediums are perceived the same way, but I really wish that Marvel would keep the spirit of Civil War alive.

For the uninitiated; the civil war kicks off with a debate over whether or not superheroes and those with powers should have to register their true identities with the government after an incident that caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians. With Tony Stark’s support, the government mandated the Superhero Registration Act, but Captain America and his allies stood against them. The story arc saw a divide in the Avengers and a schism in the entire Marvel universe as every superpowered character chose a side. The resulting comic event was a parable about civil liberties and generated a lot of conversation around what our rights mean and cost.

Fast forward, and Marvel is adapting this monstrous cross-over into the third instalment of the Captain America franchise; only they aren’t really integrating the entire Marvel universe, just a few key characters who are more concerned with old friendships than the politics of their actions. This trailer worries me, I am terrified that the Civil War story will be reduced to a cheesy face-off between Captain America and Iron Man. Of course, all of the previews so far have only reaffirmed my concern. I’m not saying that Captain America: Civil War won’t have it’s charm, but I am very worried that it will pander to blockbuster audiences and as such lose its potency.

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2 Comments on The Civil War trailer is here and threw me a huge curveball

  1. Sunny

    It does have a bit of a bromance like triangle vibe (“He’s my friend” “I was too”) instead of a deep philosophical basis of the division.

  2. Matthew Kirshenblatt

    I think it is possible that they could get it to all connect. For instance, look at the premise of the other films and the Agents of SHIELD series. SHIELD got shattered by the monster it supposedly vanquished as the SSR, just as Captain America was supposed to have killed HYDRA with the defeat of the Red Skull. Then the alien invasion happens and suddenly everyone is now painfully aware of these super-powered and augmented beings operating on different laws and levels then themselves.

    Then HYDRA destroys SHIELD: with the Winter Soldier being their most prominent weapon. Suddenly all the Gifted SHIELD was protecting or documenting are all over the place. Then Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create Ultron. Obviously by this point many governments, such as the US government that is already less than impressed with SHIELD that created the these loose-cannon Avengers to begin with (hence why the ATCU is formed in Agents of SHIELD to deal with the sudden spread of Inhumans), will want to have Gifted people registered publicly and with government oversight: especially superheroes that take the law into their own hands.

    What I can see happening here is the American government offers the new SHIELD and the Avengers a deal. First, they want a public registration. But as a sign of good faith they want them to hunt down and turn over villainous Gifted or augmented beings to — let’s say — the US government. The Winter Soldier is #1 on their list. SHIELD definitely wants to take him down as well. But Cap is already having misgivings about these registrations and now they want to find his best friend Bucky and “make an example of him” when a lot of what happened to him wasn’t even his fault.

    Meanwhile, Tony Stark wants to make up for creating Ultron and correcting as many mistakes as he can while being transparent about it. And then all the philosophies and agendas of the Avengers and company come to the fore. Yes, the focus is on Cap and Bucky in this trailer, but it could be symptomatic of that great philosophical debate of superpower registration.

    Or it could just be an epic bromance. We will just have to see just how potent the power of continuity truly is in what is to come.

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