Captain America: Civil War. A guide for beginners!
So, Batman v Superman pulled in $170 million in its opening weekend in North America alone, haha, suck it critics. Anyway, next month the other really big superhero movie of the year Captain America: Civil War is dropping and I imagine dominating the field of blockbuster cinema as is typically the case when Marvel gets involved. I’m pretty excited for Civil War, partly because I loved the comic and also because I really liked Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Without further ado a beginners guide as to why this movie is happening;
Why are Iron Man and Captain America fighting?
So, Marvel’s done a really good job of building up to this point of conflict; Tony and Steve have always walked a fine line between best buddies and aggressive rivals, for the most part they’ve always settled their differences but they’ve gotten close to blows a few times, notably; the first Avengers film and Age of Ultron’s penultimate scene involving The Vision. Anyway, this time they’re finally going to throw down and there’s two reasons at play; After the huge amount of damage caused to various cities around the world over the course of the last few films, the government and the public have gotten sick of superheroes having huge battles without any accountability for their destructive activities, as a result they’re being required to register as official government employees with public oversight. As one might expect that doesn’t sit well with everyone, in particular Captain America who isn’t particularly trusting of the government after several high ranking senators, military officers, government agents and even the Vice President had been found to be working for various terrorist groups (HYDRA and AIM).
Iron Man on the other hand thinks government oversight is necessary which is interesting as previously he’d been staunchly opposed to any government or military involvement in Iron Man’s existence. That said Tony’s been a lot more cautious since his experience nearly being sucked into a black hole during the battle of New York City. In addition to the registration act, Tony’s not happy about The Winter Soldier; Captain America’s best friend Bucky Barnes. In the previous Captain America film it was implied that Bucky was responsible for assassinating Tony’s parents, now we the audience are fully aware that Bucky was being brainwashed by HYDRA but somehow I get the feeling Tony couldn’t give less of a fuck. Needless to say the two major heroes end up at odds with one another and everyone else is left picking a side.
Tony’s team is made up of Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther, War Machine and making his Marvel Studios debut The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Spider-Man! Meanwhile Captain America’s team features Falcon, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, The Winter Soldier and Ant-Man. In addition to the two super teams there’s also a few extra characters listed as being involved; Frank Grillo will be returning as HYDRA operative Brock Rumlow/Crossbones, I’m interested to see how Crossbones is depicted, he worked well as a secondary antagonist in The Winter Soldier and now that he’s getting a super upgrade I’m happy to see it play out. Also featured is Agent 13-Sharon Carter, Baron Zemo is set to appear and the Hulk’s arch-nemesis General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross as a major figure in the registration act.
Anyway, I’m pretty damn excited for this movie so I’m closing out this piece with a guide to each of the characters being featured on Team Iron Man and Team Captain America.
Team Iron Man:
Tony Stark/Iron Man:
In his own words Tony Stark is a billionaire, genius, playboy and philanthropist. He’s also one of the smartest characters in the Marvel universe. His identity is that of Iron Man, the man in a highly advanced tech suit that can fly, give him super strength and use a variety of weapons ranging from miniature rockets, lasers and energy blasts among others. Iron Man will lead the government sanctioned Avengers against Captain America’s rogue Avengers team.
Natasha Romanov/Black Widow:
Black Widow is a former Soviet Spy turned SHIELD agent, an expert in a variety of hand to hand combat styles, as well as firearms, she combines her physical ability with a strong intellect, technology and attractiveness to conduct espionage against enemy targets. In Civil War she’ll be siding with Tony Stark and the US government, agreeing to function as a registered agent. Black Widow notably has no powers or special abilities and instead relies almost entirely on her physical skills to overcome stronger opponents.
T’Challa/The Black Panther:
Okay, T’Challa is a pretty big deal he was one of Marvel’s first ever black superheroes and still to this day one of the most powerful. T’Challa comes from Wakanda a fictional African nation with technology far beyond that of the rest of the world. In particular they have access to large supplies of Vibrainium, the metal Captain America’s shield is made out of. T’Challa has a pretty awesome power set, as ruler of his tribe he’s endowed with the powers of a Panther god that greatly enhances his strength, speed, stamina and endurance. Physically he’s at a level of performance above that of Captain America, who has roughly five times the physical attributes of the average adult male. In addition to his enhanced abilities T’Challa’s suit is made entirely of Vibrainium making him virtually bulletproof and able to withstand serious impact without noticeable damage.
Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine:
War Machine is Tony’s BFF, Rhodey! Like Tony he operates a high-tech armoured combat suit, although Rhodes’ War Machine model uses a wider variety of firearms, including a high-powered minigun. War Machine’s armour is also slightly heavier than Iron Man’s due to his role as a man-sized tank making him less vulnerable to small arms fire but also slightly slower, he also doesn’t have the advantage of more updates than iTunes that Tony’s suit comes with.
Oh man, I have waited so long for this; so far not a lot has been said about Spider-Man’s involvement, however it would appear he’s on Iron Man’s side due to his brief appearance in the latest trailer. Bitten by a radioactive/genetically engineered spider, Peter Parker developed the ability to cling to walls, greatly enhanced strength and a spider sense that alerts him to nearby danger, he also created a costume and web shooters that allow him to function in his role as The Amazing Spider-Man, this version is actually the youngest Spidey ever seen, he’s only 16 in the film and so I’m very excited to see how it goes. He’s also technically the strongest character in the film as Spider-Man can lift approximately 10 tons.
Vision was introduced towards the end of the previous Avengers film, Age of Ultron. He’s a synthezoid a half robot, half human with a variety of powers; he can phase through solid objects, in particular he can short circuit electronic objects by doing this. He also has enhanced strength, flight and the ability to shoot a concentrated energy beam out of the stone in his head. Vision is an interesting character and hopefully gets a little more screen time in this film than he did in the previous outing.
Team Captain America:
Steve Rogers/Captain America:
Captain America is the world’s greatest super soldier. Originally the frail, asthmatic, Steven Rogers, after undergoing a secret treatment in 1940 Steve Rogers was endowed with the speed, strength and stamina of five men. After being frozen in ice after World War 2, Cap was revived in Washington DC and set to work as leader of the Avengers. He wears a bullet and knife resistant combat suit, in addition to this he carries his iconic vibrainium shield that can deflect bullets, survive a 30 story fall and completely reflect a full force blow from Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. Steve leads the anti-registration team of Avengers against Tony, in addition to siding with his best friend James “Bucky” Barnes.
Sam Wilson/The Falcon:
Sam Wilson is another of Cap’s close friends, a US army veteran and owner of a specialised flight-suit that combines a birdlike exoskeleton with combat armour. As The Falcon, Sam is able to fly at extraordinary speeds and change direction faster than any other known hero due to the wings attached to his harness. Sam has standard military training and uses a pair of submachine guns as his primary weapon. In addition to this Sam also has access to a special pair of flight goggles that allow infrared, telescopic and night vision modes to assist him in targeting enemies and scouting locations.
James Buchanan Barnes/The Winter Soldier:
Captain America’s best friend and fellow World War 2 Vet, Bucky Barnes is The Winter Solider. A highly skilled assassin used by the Soviets and later HYDRA to take out anyone they desired, Bucky has experience with a variety of long and short range firearms, an assortment of hand to hand combat styles and his left arm has been replaced with a bionic prosthesis that grants him vastly superior strength to the average person. The Winter Soldier also has access to a hybrid Kevlar/Nomex specialised combat suit resistant to small arms fire and knives.
Hawkeye is a long time SHIELD operative and expert sniper. Using his custom-made multi-purpose bow, Hawkeye utilises a variety of long-ranged attacks. His specialty arrows range from explosives, standard projectiles, grappling hooks, trip wires and taser varieties. He’s also accomplished in standard firearms usage and hand to hand combat. Hawkeye’s combat suit is light-weight Kevlar offering limited resistance to low impact weaponry. Barton appears to have sided with Captain America likely to his anti-authority attitude and also his general distaste for Tony Stark.
Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch:
Wanda was introduced in Age of Ultron as one of the new enhanced human beings; in comics she’s actually a mutant and Magneto’s daughter, however issues over legal rights between Marvel Studios and FOX studios means the word mutant isn’t allowed to be used in Marvel Studios movies. Wanda has the power to manipulate the world around her using an ability called Chaos Magic, so far Wanda’s magic has allowed her to manipulate the minds of others and function as a blasts of telekinetic energy and shield her from various attacks. It’s likely Wanda will showcase an even greater range of powers, of note is that in the comics she becomes increasingly powerful when emotionally distressed and this was touched upon in Age of Ultron when her brother Pietro/Quicksilver was killed, she was able to let out an incredible psycho-kinetic explosion that crippled a huge number of Ultron’s drones.
Scott Lang is a brilliant engineer and thief, gifted with a special suit designed by scientist Hank Pym, Scott becomes Ant-Man, able to shrink to the size of an insect while retaining the strength of a full grown man, Scott is able to infiltrate almost any facility. Scott also has the ability to control ants, using them to create bridges, tunnels and attack his opponents. Scott has also modified the suit allowing him to venture into sub-atomic realms of shrinking which so far has allowed him to infiltrate a sealed opponent’s battle suit. Also of note, in comics Scott has gained the ability to reverse the shrinking formula and use it to grow to massive size, some insiders have leaked rumours that Giant Ant-Man will feature at some point in the film.
So that’s it for our beginners guide, for more information feel free to contact me. I’ll likely be doing some more articles of Civil War in the lead up to the event.