W.W.A.Civil War: The Movie Edition

Captain America: Civil War (2016) Marvel Cinematic Universe

When the world first discovered that the third Captain America movie would be called Civil War, fandom’s reaction was, well, divided, to say the least, with some quite firmly against the idea thanks to the 2006 Marvel Civil War comic event on which the film is loosely based. Writes our Ivy Noelle Stevens:

“Let’s be real: Civil War was a hamfistedly allegorical post-9/11 pseudo-intellectual machoist posturing slapfight between Tony and Steve.”

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)
Bishonen Barnes.

With the release of the first official trailer for the film, WWAC’s reaction has been equally divided. Not necessarily because the trailer itself is bad, although some of us aren’t particularly impressed and/or are already jaded by the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings. Other staff members have high hopes for the upcoming movie, and positive recollections of the original Civil War event. Some question the film’s motivations and the questionable concept of centering the war around Bucky Barnes, whom Megan Purdy describes as “a sad bishonen with a metal arm and a dark past,” while others recall the strong political aspects that resonated with them at the time of Civil War’s original inception.

Our thoughts on the latter have us enacting our own civil war about the comic event, which you can read here. What we can agree on is that none of us expect the film to closely adhere to the Civil War storyline of the comics, which the directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, confirm:

“The comic book isn’t applicable to the storytelling that we’ve structured up to this point, but the concept of registration, the notion that heroes need to be either monitored or controlled because their power can be scary, is applicable.”

But a trailer that still shows us the same kind of “masochist posturing slapfight between Tony and Steve” has some of us concerned, while others see more in the images presented and are hopeful for the Russo Brothers’ next contribution to the MCU, especially because of their successful work on The Winter Soldier.

Here are some of WWAC’s initial thoughts on Captain America: Civil War:

Civil War #7 | Marvel Comics
Hercules sets the record straight.

Kat: I am hopeful because this interview touches on all the things I was hoping the trailer was implying, and because The Winter Soldier was my favorite MCU film. Plus, it seems to be barely related to the comics event, and while I’m sad that means we won’t see CLONE THOR, it is for the best.

The trailer doesn’t even say the words “Superhero Registration Act” and for that I am supremely grateful, because the MCU essentially has no secret identities, so making it an issue of government oversight rather than just registration neatly side-steps a lot of the incompatibilities in the comic arc with the MCU world-building. I’m wary of the number of heroes appearing in it, but I also think it’s sort of the nature of a character like Captain America, whose stories are often about how others react and respond to him. I liked the team up of Natasha, Sam, and Steve in Winter Soldier, but I think a movie just about those three finding Bucky (the assumed plotline of Cap3 before it was announced it would be Civil War) could have been treading worn ground, as well.

My biggest question coming out of the trailer—other than “where are all the women especially Sharon Carter???”—is why does Black Panther give a shit about Winter Soldier or anyone else in this movie? If Wakanda is still as isolationist as it is in the comics (and from the tiny glimmers we’ve seen, it seems to be), then why would he just show up out of nowhere to face kick some rando, even if the rando is the Winter Soldier? I’m not saying I’m not amped to see him in the film but it seems like a weird plotline to involve himself in—hopefully we get some backstory on a Wakandan assassination attempt by Winter Soldier or something, because T’Challa is pretty neutral as a character.

My other initial responses were: Damn, Sam’s wing deployment still stirs something within my chest, I am very concerned about Rhodey, and that I still love the fight choreography/cinematography the Russo Bros. are bringing to the game.

Anthony Mackie as Falcon in Captain America: Civil War | Marvel Cinematic Universe (2016)
Dance of the Falcon.

The fights are so clear and sumptuous even in the little clips we get, so at least we’ll get something that’s good to look at, and hopefully we get something that’s actually “about” something to contrast the muddy mess that was Age of Ultron, which ended up being thematically about nothing.

I’ll also throw in this link to Gavia Baker-Whitelaw’s interpretation of the “friendship” between Steve and Tony in the MCU, because it echoes my thoughts when I saw the trailer—Tony Stark in the MCU has no fundamental understanding of what friendship actually is.

“It’s easy to imagine Tony interpreting their interactions as affectionate bickering while Steve just thinks Tony’s being a dick. It’s even easier to see Tony taking it personally when Steve’s lifelong friendship with Bucky trumps any loyalty he had to Tony and the Avengers.”

So, I guess I’m tentatively hopeful, because I’m emotionally compromised by Chris Evans’ sadness faces, and the Russo Brothers tricked me into believing in them.

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)
Black Panther.

Desiree: I was extremely underwhelmed, and bothered by the over-hyped internet praise. I had flashbacks to when the Age of Ultron trailer hit and everyone thought it was going to be the next best superhero movie ever, but it was awful. There were three things I enjoyed about this trailer: the music, the fight choreography, and Sam Wilson. I want to be excited for T’challa, except he feels utterly forced into the picture. As if Marvel is saying, “Hey, Black Panther is getting his own solo, you should watch it!”

The trailer made no sense to me, and honestly, as someone who’s very apathetic towards Bucky and Tony, and Steve’s relationship with both characters, I found myself utterly uninterested. The plot doesn’t make much sense, and neither do the characters. The idea that friendship between Steve and Tony exists is utterly laughable to me, even if we go under the assumption that Tony views their bickering as friendly. To me, that gives Joss Whedon’s character focus in either Avengers movie way too much credit. Furthermore, we’ve seen how Tony interacts with people who he considers friends. His relationship with Bruce is an obvious friendship that was developed in both Avengers movies. So, I can’t really buy that Tony views their previous bickering as friendly. If anything that makes Tony look worse. How can he be so insensitive and blind to Steve’s feelings in that sense?

Sam Wilson’s wings were a thing of beauty, as is Chris Evan’s face; however, I was sucked into the Age of Ultron hype and was thoroughly disappointed. Given the overwhelming white cast, lack of overall female characters, over emphasis on Bucky and Tony, and the jumbled plot, I’m not at all invested in this movie. It feels more like an overcrowded Avengers movie than a Captain America one.

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)
Captain America and co.

Ardo Omer: It looked cool like all trailers do. I’m hesitant. The Avengers: Age of Ultron undid a lot of the things that other films set up especially in regards to character development. Oh, and meaningful consequences don’t exist. Why would I care about heroes fighting each other if I’ve been conditioned into thinking that it’ll yield nothing beyond setting up for the next film?

Desiree: That’s exactly how I feel Ardo. The previous films have setup a system that lacks accountability, even in Age of Ultron, which was the perfect time to deal with the fallout of S.H.I.E.L.D., and hold the characters accountable passed over in favor of more explosions. Which is basically a good chunk of Marvel movies in general. They’ve set a precedent that destruction is the way to go while glossing over loss of life and now they’re suddenly bringing it up after ten movies? According to Age of Ultron, the Avengers saved everyone. Now they didn’t? Or they did, and for the first time ever people have died and now the public (which up until now has shown no sort of discontent towards superheroes in the movies) is up in arms?

Kat: I’ll be honest, the biggest mistake I think Age of Ultron made was to not kill civilians to create that instantaneous need for accountability (like, from a narrative perspective, not in the sense that I think civilian casualties are necessary in other respects), and I think that would have done a better job of setting up Tony’s presumed position in this movie. The Netflix shows are filling in some of that public opinion backlash, which is nice, but it’s not quite enough. But I think the Russo Bros. are going to have to take some liberties and make some assumptions about what Ultron was meant to do versus what it actually did, and I’m fine with that if it improves on the character arcs (it almost has to, really).

Ray Sonne: So, I am utterly amped for this movie and this quote by Joe Russo in the Empire interview Kat provided sums up why:

“It was important for us to make sure that you very clearly understood that this is a companion to Winter Soldier,” says Joe Russo. “It’s not a companion to Age Of Ultron, this is not a companion to Infinity War.”

I’m getting the sense that a big reason people are skeptical about Captain America: Civil War is because Marvel’s last movie, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, was a bust in every single way. Its plot was an indiscernible mess, it understood none of its characters (while trying to be a movie centered around the characters and their relationships), and even its action scenes lacked any sense of innovation or excitement minus the part where Thor and Captain America somehow didn’t go deaf by their own hammer-to-the-shield trick. It had some idea of what its themes were (reproduction, responsibility to what you produce … even if you don’t actually produce it?), but fumbled throughout the entire two hours with no clear path on how to achieve a message behind them.

There is an important difference between Age of Ultron and Civil War, however. You ready for it to be tucked inside an unpopular opinion?

Age of Ultron failed because it was a sequel to The Avengers, which thematically and otherwise is really not that good of a movie. Age of Ultron failed because it had very little foundation to stand on and that little foundation mostly comprised of a transparent formula where The Avengers did cool stunts fighting each other for half the movie before doing cool stunts to fight faceless, leaderless aliens for the other half of the movie. There was no theme to The Avengers except shounen anime levels of “yay, teamwork!” and “yay, friendship!” if that. Age of Ultron arguably didn’t have anywhere to go, especially with Serenity director Joss Whedon at the helm, and so between the pressures of the now thankfully disbanded Marvel Creative Council and everyone else involved, it collapsed underneath itself. It’s nothing short of a miracle that The Avengers hadn’t done the same and we all are where we are now.

That all said, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a genuinely good movie. It is, in fact, probably the best movie Marvel has put out. It takes the better parts of Captain America: The First Avenger to explore the personal themes of loneliness, loss, and finally the ability to move forward and then branches out to the relevant politics of today (which you have to do for a Captain America work) to make a slightly weaker discussion about today’s technology, the immorality of military drones and surveillance, and the question of privacy. If you want a foundation for a film, The Winter Soldier has more foundation than any other franchise Marvel has put out (although they have made valiant attempts with Iron Man that don’t quite stick as well).

On top of that, The Winter Soldier not only introduces the very lovely Sam “Falcon” Wilson and has the best depiction of Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff yet, but also presents full character arcs for Steve “Captain America” Rogers and Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes. Steve’s arc follows him from meeting Sam in Washington DC, where it’s revealed how out of place in this world he feels, to him opening his eyes in the hospital to find Sam looking after him, and discovering through that that he now has a place. Bucky’s arc is more succinctly covered in about three scenes where he goes from silent, deadly assassin to loudly freaking out, in denial assassin, and remains on a cliffhanger by the end of the movie. The fulfillment of Bucky’s arc is something the Russo Brothers have probably been planning ever since The Winter Soldier made its budget back, so Civil War has likely always had some outline of what it needs to cover from Winter Soldier while Age of Ultron lacked that (and, more bizarrely, subverted what it did have from Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton?!) from the pretty well covered The Avengers.

So, those are my logical initial thoughts. My emotional thoughts are that I really love Bucky Barnes. I am READY.

Kate: Civil War was my favorite Marvel comics event, and the Cap movies are my favorite movies in the MCU, so I was already primed to like this storyline. To me, it’s a way of connecting the Cap movies to everything else that’s happening in the MCU. The events of Captain America: Civil War do not make sense without the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but they also don’t make sense without the events in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that’s something new really. It’s maybe a simple connection, but it feels important when you are trying to make a connected universe.

It’s also the first movie where we see consequences on a large scale, even a global scale, of what the Avengers mean for governments, and for people on an individual level, and what something world-changing means for someone on the individual level is something I always thought Marvel did well. So I’m excited to see that being explored in the MCU. Also, the lack of consequences was something people were unhappy about not seeing in AoU, so I’m hoping that having movies dealing with consequences marks the evolution of the MCU in Phase III.

Captain America: Civil War (2016) Marvel Cinematic UniverseI’m also a huge fan of the Steve Rogers/Tony Stark relationship in the comics, and so seeing such a big Steve/Tony storyline as the focus of this movie makes me really happy.

Desiree: I suppose, there in lies one of my main problems. It feels way too late to be pushing this storyline. Now after all this time, after setting this precedent of “no one dies in the movies!” light-hearted nature of the MCU, now this matters? We’ve had near ten movies now where civilians were always magically safe, where the damages never appeared to matter, and where the public discourse was mainly supportive of the Avengers.

So the question arises, where is this coming from? Why hasn’t this been built into the other movies? Why haven’t we seen the public upset or angry? It was briefly touched upon in Age of Ultron in one scene, and then completely brushed aside. It’s never been mentioned in any of the other Marvel movies to date—even the glorious The Winter Soldier, which is one of my favorite superhero movies of all time.

Furthermore, the trailer pushes the narrative that this is about both accountability, but also Bucky. Is Bucky really that important? I know he’s important to Steve, but is he that important to the rest of them? Why are Wanda and Hawkeye even involved with this? Especially Hawkeye who has a family to think and worry about? Why doesn’t Bucky turn himself in? He’s done a lot of terrible things, he was a terrorist, period. I understand he was brainwashed, but even Patty Hearst was convicted. I’m not trying to be unsympathetic—even if I’m apathetic towards the character—but you’d think, given the fact that Bucky is a good guy, he’d turn himself in for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The phrase, “too little, too late” comes to mind when I think of the narrative they’re trying to push in Civil War. Plus, I loathe MCU’s depiction of Steve and Tony’s relationship. I loved their relationship in the comics; it’s part of the reason why the original Civil War event was so emotionally powerful. That’s completely missing in the movies. They’ve been nothing but combative and rude towards each other. They don’t trust each other at all, and the only time they’ve ever even been nice towards each other is at the end of the Avenger’s movie before the credits roll.

Also, are you trying to tell me Steve Rogers, who’s all about accountability—so much so he took S.H.I.E.L.D. completely down—wouldn’t hold the Avenger’s accountable for the loss of life and damages? That he wouldn’t compromise if need be? And that Tony Stark who’s repeatedly spit in the face of the government would suddenly side with them? Who has repeatedly ignored and disregarded consequences suddenly cares about them? This seems to me like major studio interference, that’s twisting the characters to suit a name grabbing event movie that will compete with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Another thing, if the story is suppose to be about superhero accountability, because of the loss of life and collateral during superhero fights, why are they still fighting? Isn’t this the opposite of what they should be doing?

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)
Why are we fighting again?

Ray: I agree with you, Desiree, on “too late” because, I’ve waited for Marvel to show this kind of introspection for years now. Until recently, they seemed completely incapable of it. But even in a world of fantasy and superheroes, the Marvel universe presumably exists in a post-9/11 world and you don’t just get away with destroying Midtown. The idea that the destruction of a tiny country in Eastern Europe has caused the world’s populace to react against the Avengers more than an effective assault on New York City is patently ridiculous.

Then again, the phrase that also comes to mind is “better late than never.” Maybe the studio has finally realized it should at least pretend to attack real world problems over two-dimensional villains with scary names in order to not fall out of relevance. Or maybe that’s what accidentally happens when they bring on directors who can produce viable movies even after having to work around the Marvel Creative Council. Either way, I guess it prevents people from pointing out this deep plot hole in future films.

Did the trailer interest you in seeing the movie? Or the opposite?

Kat: The trailer mostly just made me impressed at how great the Marvel trailer editors are—it definitely eased a lot of my concerns regarding how the storyline was going to be adapted, while also starting with an emotional suckerpunch of Bucky remembering Steve. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it felt like a really interesting choice. I was already on board to see this, though, so it’s not really changing my mind.

Ardo: *Shrugs* I’ll see it because the Russo brothers won me over with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is the best Marvel film and one of the best superhero films overall.

Ray: I asked a friend to go to the midnight premiere with me months ago, a thing I haven’t done since the seventh Harry Potter movie came out. So the trailer was just a nice peek into what I already was going to see.

Kate: The trailer definitely made me excited for the movie. Although I am sad that the Civil War aspect has less to do with the political/ideological conflict from the comics event, I feel like this storyline—of questioning what it means to be a “vigilante,” of the value of friendship, of the value of a single person, of what it means to question the government and whether you can, or should, trust in the justice system—these are all questions that are timely. It takes the individual versus government conflict from the Civil War comics storyline and updates it for the current social and political climate.

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)
The Sokovia Accords: The new Superhuman Registration Act?

Desiree: If anything it solidified my feelings to not bother with the movie until people I trusted, who shared the same or similar worries about Civil War, said it was good. The best parts of the trailer was the music, the fight choreography, and Sam Wilson. I can throw Chris Evans face in there as well, but overall I just felt very apathetic towards the entire thing. The line Tony says about being friends with Steve made me body jerk in rejection; it was utterly ridiculous. They’ve never been friends in the movies. They’re not even close, and for Tony to compare himself to Bucky, Natasha, Sam, even Nick Fury in Steve’s life is simply delusional of him.

Let’s talk teams. Are you Team Tony or Team Cap?

Ray: Over at our Civil War Comics Roundtable, Kat mentioned that after reading the comic, she “felt like [she] had learned nothing about these characters except that [she] was going to hate Tony Stark until his characterization was fixed because [she] couldn’t handle any of his decisions.” And that’s generally the attitude I’ve gleaned from the majority of Marvel fans. It seems that early on in that series, the idea was to present two different arguments as equally valid, but due to editorial’s mismanagement it slid into the black/white morality schlock that most Big 2 superhero books turn everything into.

In the Empire interview, however, Joe Russo says:

“Tony has a very legitimate argument in the movie that’s a very adult point of view, about culpability, about the Avengers’ responsibility to the world, and the world’s right to have some sort of control over the Avengers.”

While I think it’s too early to say whose team we’re all on, especially since we don’t know exactly what Captain America is fighting against, I’m hoping both teams will have solid logic behind them. From the glimmers of what we can see in Age of Ultron, regarding the advancement of Tony’s terror and his feelings of responsibility toward the world, there lies something salvageable. Probably. Maybe. Let’s hope so.

Kate: I’m not sure there are sides here the way the trailer is presenting them—or at least the way the trailer is presenting the “sides” isn’t clear. The trailer is framed in a way that pits Steve’s relationship with Tony against his relationship with Bucky—and of course Bucky is going to win. But if Team Cap believes that the moral imperative supersedes the institutional, and that the personal has to be valued more than the ideological, then I’m Team Cap.

Kat: I’m Team Cap, even though I have no idea what is actually happening, because I have accepted some fundamental truths about myself and that is that I am totally invested in MCU Steve Rogers.

So, I’m team, “you’re all adults, why aren’t you talking rationally about this situation you bunch of superpowered babies.”

Desiree: Steve has a relationship with Tony? If they attempt to play up on the imagined, barely existing friendship between Tony in the movie as they did the trailer, it’ll ring horribly false to me. They have no friendship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Tony has shown next to no remorse for his actions, nor has faced any consequences for his actions since the original (and brilliant) Iron Man. Furthermore, the emotional element barely exists unless you’re invested in the relationships between Steve and Tony—and Steve and Bucky—as they were presented to be the most important in the trailer. Well no, I’m wrong, also Steve and Natasha.

But the “teams” are highly uninspired and ultimately shallow. Hawkeye is barely a character, Wanda isn’t a character, Rhodey is Tony’s best friend, T’challa isn’t friends or close to any of these characters and is anyone gonna mention baby Spider-man? Why is he even being included at all in this mess?

Furthermore, I don’t like even having to pick “teams” in Captain America’s own movie. So, I’m team, “you’re all adults, why aren’t you talking rationally about this situation you bunch of superpowered babies.”

Do you feel the characters are behaving in a narratively organic manner?

Ray: If we’re referring to that “He’s my friend.” “So was I.” confrontation, I am of the opinion, yes. Despite this, I admit that MCU Steve and Tony are very different beasts from Marvel Comics Steve and Tony. Whereas the latter has fifty years of friendship between them and enough intimate moments to justify the Stony ship, the MCU versions do not. You have to do a little reading in between the two Avengers movies and their quibbling (hey, they ate shwarma and partied possibly multiple times together and Tony didn’t leave Steve out of being dead in his Scarlet Witch terror scenario) and a little bit of accepting of that quote at face value. It works just enough for me, especially since I like to do some of my own conjecturing when watching films.

I’m a little more concerned about Natasha’s position, based not only on what we saw in this trailer, but from what people who saw the SDCC trailer reported. Age of Ultron exposed how much stock the fandom puts into her, her being the only consistent female character until this movie we’re discussing, and her handling has to be really, really delicate for that reason. I can’t imagine Marvel will ignore that based on how even my male non-Marvel fan boss hated that romance between her and Hulk, but Marvel has done a fantastic job of ignoring female fans’ demands so far so once again, we don’t know.

Kate: Natasha, T’Challa, and Clint are the people I’m worried about the most. I don’t feel like there’s enough footage that has been shown to justify which sides they’re on, or what the line exactly is.

As for whether it’s in character for Tony to think he’s friends with Steve? 100% agree with Kat and Ray that if you look at the friendship on Tony’s terms, of COURSE he thinks that he and Cap are friends. I disagree with the article that was linked to earlier that asserts that Cap thinks Tony is just an asshole he has to deal with, though. When people dismiss other fans opinions when their own opinions have just as little “evidence” it feels like gaslighting to me, and I’m not comfortable with that. This is ALL conjecture. What Tony represents to Steve, we don’t really know, and vice versa. Suffice to say that I think there is enough evidence for multiple interpretations, and I call bullshit on people who claim otherwise just to put other fans down.

I have no problem thinking that, even if Steve understood the Avengers needed some regulation, if that regulation threatened Bucky he’d be out in a minute.

Kat: I don’t really know why Hawkeye would be on “Team Cap,” since he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalist who also has a family and isn’t superpowered, so I think it would make more sense for him to be in favor of regulation of superheroes. His family would, in my opinion, make him more pragmatic and less moralistic. I’m hoping Natasha is a mole? Maybe Clint is a mole?

Captain America: Civil War trailer (Marvel - MCU)Again, I’m not really sure what Black Panther is doing there either. As far as whether or not I think Steve Rogers would literally punch through the Earth to rescue Bucky Barnes, let alone betray everyone that isn’t Sam (or Nat), yeah I definitely buy that. I have no problem thinking that, even if Steve understood the Avengers needed some regulation, if that regulation threatened Bucky he’d be out in a minute.

Desiree: I’d say there’s plenty of evidence in the movies that Steve and Tony aren’t friends, at best they’re colleagues. They tolerate each other, but they’re not close. Tony is close to Rhodey, his canonically best friend. He’s close to Bruce whom we’ve seen interact with on a friendly level for three movies. There’s nothing really in the movies—that I can see—that show Tony and Steve are friends. If you look hard enough maybe, but all I can see is two people who work together but have no foundation of trust or affection towards one another.

I’m confused as to what T’challa, Natasha, Hawkeye, and Scarlet Witch are doing. I get why Sam is siding with Steve; they’re good friends. I get why Rhodey is siding with Tony; they’re best friends (can we also point out the problem with Marvel movies giving their white male heroes a black best friend who follows him around everywhere?). But why is Hawkeye joining a fugitive? Doesn’t he have a family to protect? Wasn’t he pro-S.H.I.E.L.D.? I don’t mind Natasha siding against Steve; it gives the movie some sense of emotional impact since they’re really close. However, in The Winter Soldier, she literally dumped a ton of information on HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. on the internet, and when the government board called her out, she openly challenged them.

I can’t get past this moment, because it was a really fun, great moment of Natasha taking control of her life. Now she’s pro-government? I’m confused as to how this turnabout happens. I’m confused at to what T’challa (or Spider-man for that matter) have invested in this fight.

The reason this worries me is because the movie feels overstuffed. The movie has to deal with establishing why each of these characters cares. Why they’re siding with Steve or Tony. What they have at stake in this fight. Then they have to deal with the Bucky issue, and then the superhero accountability issue. It’s a lot to cover in one film. We saw how Age of Ultron couldn’t do it all, yet we see Civil War seemingly trying to do the same. I trust the Russos more than Whedon, but even great directors can fail if given junky material.

Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus both wrote The Winter Soldier, but they also wrote Thor: The Dark World, Pain & Gain, and the Narnia series. So, color me pessimistic.

One criticism of the movie so far has been the inclusion of various other characters. Does this hinder your potential enjoyment of the film? Does this argument have any merit?

Ray: This is my one huge doubt in the movie.

Black Panther looks fantastic. But even the directors are reporting that he has different motives for coming in, which seems like a terrible opportunity to tangent a film away from its direction. You only have two hours of story for God’s sake. What are you thinking?

And then apparently Scarlet Witch is there after all? You can’t put that Age of Ultron mishandle of a character into this movie and expect it to go well. MCU Wanda is such a mess, she’s a full-time job. I’m saying this while I love the idea and potential of both MCU and comics Wanda.

Oh God. Oh god, oh god, oh god.

(On the bright side, at least Thor isn’t involved.)

I’m cautious although let me say this now: fuck new Spider-Man.

Kat: I’m cautious although let me say this now: fuck new Spider-Man. I love Spider-Man; I even enjoyed the Andrew Garfield movies, but the MCU does not need Spider-Man, and I don’t want him in the movie. Shoo, child.

Kate: I agree with Kat. Spider-Man was a really important part of the Civil War storyline in the comics—but as a fucking adult, I don’t think that brand-spanking-new teenage Peter Parker has any place in this story. Also, Andrew Garfield will always be my Spider-Man, and I’m not over it. But I am excited for T’Challa and more Scarlet Witch, because as I said earlier, it’s clear that post-AoU in the MCU, we get to see a global (if not galactic) superhero community (other than the X-Men, of course, because reasons). I will also add that while I’m super happy that Sam seems to be such a big part of the movie, it also makes me nervous, knowing that Sam becomes the next Captain America. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Steve Rogers yet.

Desiree: The amount of characters in this film is ridiculous. They don’t need a baby Peter Parker. He was only included in this film after production started and Marvel got the rights back, which worries me that that speaks about the overall quality of the film itself. How much studio interference has there been?

I love that T’challa is there; I just want there to be a good reason. I want them to do him justice. This will be his first time in a live screen adapted feature and they’re just tossing him in like a side character. Like Ray said, Wanda is a full time job since Age of Ultron screwed her over so badly. But then comes the question, can they focus on all these individual characters?

That was one of the problems with Age of Ultron. It had too many characters to focus on, and thus they all suffered terribly. I can see the same thing happening here. There’s no way they can focus on each character’s motivations to create that emotional connection without pulling away from the action. And we know that Marvel won’t allow more emotional moments over explosions.

Finally, why so many white people. There’s not a single woman of color in the entire cast. And there’s only three characters of color in the movie at all. There are eighteen top billed cast members in this movie. Eighteen. Three of them are black. They could have had four, if they included Nick Fury—since he’s only the creator of the Avengers and their original overseer—but it’s like Dwayne McDuffie used to say. More than three black characters—or any characters of color—and the movie becomes “urban.” Oh, and let’s not forget there’s only three women included in the top billed cast as well. Out of eighteen top billed cast members. This is ridiculous.

What are your hopes for the movie, or is all hope lost?

Desiree: Dispute my claims otherwise, I’m still hopeful. I’m going to wait after it comes out—the first time ever I won’t see a Captain America movie on premiere night—and friends I trust tell me it was good. Maybe the Russo’s will pull out a miracle; I’ll keep an open mind. But at this point, I’d rather see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—oh yeah I said it—because at least their conflict makes sense to me.

Kate: I am 100% hopeful that this movie could be a gamechanger for the MCU the same way the first Iron Man was and the same way the first Avengers was. I’m excited to see it when it comes out in six months.

Ray: I am optimistic and think it’ll be at least decent. I hope so because it’s my last Marvel movie. Any emotional investment I have in the MCU solely originates from Winter Soldier, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion of its loose ends. Further use of the characters beyond it would be stretching them too far and I have no interest in that.

Ray Sonne

Ray Sonne

A comics reader since the first Raimi-directed Spider-Man movie, Ray now works as a copywriter. When not writing or training in Krav Maga, she likes to expand her queer comics knowledge and talk with fellow nerds on twitter @RaySonne.

2 thoughts on “W.W.A.Civil War: The Movie Edition

  1. Bucky wasn’t Patty Hearst, that’s a stupid comparison. Patty Hearst came to sympathize with her captors and acted of her own accord. Bucky was following directives that were being implanted into his mind by people who had absolute physical and mental control over him. That’s not simple brainwashing. It’s more like mind control.

    Bucky has a lot more in common with Jessica Jones than Patty Hearst. He didn’t know who he was, he had no control over what happened to him, he was violated and victimized, he had his will usurped and the contents of his mind wiped clean and replaced.

    Further, it’s clear from the trailer that what’s happening to Bucky is that he’s being framed for committing acts of violence that he had no part in, that took place after he ran. So in all likelihood, he’s running because he’s trying to get that sorted out before they execute him for something he didn’t do.

    If I were him, if I knew that I’d be railroaded as a terrorist, locked up in a secret military prison and killed for things I wasn’t responsible for by the super asshole General Ross? I’d run, too.

  2. I’m not going to see it even if the reviews are good. After shoving in all this Spider-Man crap, pushing back Captain Marvel twice in favor of this Ant-Man nonsense, Feige’s “we’ll definitely see a LGBTQ character by 2025” idiocy, and many more reasons, I will not spend money on this at all. I’m not spending money on any of the films from hereon in until at least Black Panther, since that one will FINALLY start to break the mold. And that’s only because that’s the one currently listed as first to do so. Who the Hel knows if they’ll actually stick to even that?

    Pushing back their first female-led movie in favor of a sequel to yet another male-led movie and expecting a pat on the back for putting a woman in the title by this point, when it’s ten damn years since you started and she’s still sharing billing with a dude from whom the concept was a spin-off in the first place? Dig the comics, dig the shows, but the movies? Screw off, Marvel.

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