During NYCC, Marvel flashed a teaser for a new Civil War series in 2015, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. The following Monday, rumors started flying that Robert Downey, Jr. had signed on to be in Captain America 3, and the internet put the puzzle together: oh God, they’re going to make a Civil War movie.
Civil War, for those not in the know, was a 2006 crossover event primarily written by Mark Millar that put Captain America and Iron Man at odds over a proposed Superhero Registration Act, which would force superheroes to go public with their identities and essentially become agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Let’s be real: Civil War was a hamfistedly allegorical post-9/11 pseudo-intellectual machoist posturing slapfight between Tony and Steve.
Okay, maybe I’m editorializing a bit. But it is true that Civil War has long been one of the most contested and disliked events in Marvel history, with the major critique being that the behavior of all the characters involved was way off the map and that it dismantled years of continuity for what ultimately was not that compelling of a story. In my experience as both a fan and a retailer, Civil War is often cited as the reason a lifelong reader dropped Marvel for a while.
Once the movie rumor gained traction, the Internet exploded:
There is, of course, another side to this story: people who liked Civil War. There are many who stand up for the concept of the event and overlook its sloppy execution. Since my Twitter dash has been an unending barrage of hatred since the announcement was made, I asked, directly, who enjoyed the event and why:
There is also the point that Black Widow’s actions at the end of Winter Soldier (SPOILERISH) undo the idea of Civil War as she comes forward and basically shoves the Avengers in everyone’s faces—and a Captain America movie is going to stay faithful to the MCU timelines first and foremost. If Marvel does do an adaptation, it’s likely we won’t see one that is entirely faithful to the original event; it could be different altogether, possibly based more on this upcoming Hickman title than the Millar books of old. Either way, it’s a hotly contested announcement that will definitely be forgotten about in a few hours.