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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Captain America: Civil War Allegiances Revealed

Edited by Robert Beach

As Captain America: Civil War looms closer to us, a lot of questions are swirling around the film’s plot. Though the film is based on a Marvel comic event, it’s been largely assumed a lot of key details will be changed for the adaptation. The comic book Civil War was essentially shot over the question of secret identities, which more or less don’t exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

There’s also been a lot of rumors swirling around unconfirmed characters like the Hulk, Red Hulk, Dr. Strange, and Captain Marvel.  Finally, there are a ton of Marvel superheroes confirmed for the film without any real indication of how they’ll side in the eponymous conflict. Thanks to Heroic Hollywood, we now know who is siding with who, and I’m gonna break down those characters one by one, starting with Captain America’s side. 


Falcon was probably the most obvious Captain America ally in the entire cast. Falcon is one of Cap’s closest allies and oldest friends in the comic books, so having him on Cap’s side is a bit of no brainer. On the flipside, Falcon in the films shares a major bond with Cap after the events of Winter Soldier, and the fact that they’re both veterans.

Falcon will probably be a major character in the Civil War as one of Cap’s closest lieutenants; however, I’m not sure how much of a powerhouse Falcon will be for Cap given that his whole power set is being able to fly and shoot guns, and, as we’ll see, Iron Man’s side has a lot more firepower.   

This is a bit of curve ball choice, but it does make a certain sense. Hawkeye was dead during the actual Civil War event, so he didn’t have any affiliation in the comics; he was always going to be a wildcard for the film. Casting Hawkeye on Cap’s side is probably keyed into a lot of Hawkeye’s development from Age of Ultron. In the film, Hawkeye got more definition as a family man first and foremost and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Avenger secondly. In fact, Hawkeye’s family was depicted as so wonderful and idyllic, Hawkeye basically had a “Kill me” sticker all over him. 

My theory is Hawkeye will probably side with Cap after something happens to his family, pushing him more onto Cap’s side of the line. Partially that’s a just a fairly basic dramatic turn, yet it’d also be something of an adaptation of the Ultimate Comics Hawkeye who also became far more dark after the death of his family. What would be a real surprise is to see Hawkeye take on the role of Goliath, a giant size-changing hero who used Pym particles to grow huge. Given Ant-Man is already confirmed on the cast, I wouldn’t be shocked if Hawkeye took on the role of Goliath after something happened to his family. 

This choice is a little off base in a lot of ways. In the comics, the Winter Soldier storyline ran concurrently with Civil War, so Bucky ended up fairly removed from the actual conflict itself before taking up the mantel of Captain America in the aftermath.  In the films, Bucky’s mental standing was left fairly unsure at the end of Winter Soldier, though the implication was he was slowly regaining his autonomy and identity. The ending teaser of Ant-Man seemed to confirm this. 

Of all the Cap allies confirmed here, this is the one I find the least believable. Bucky’s identity has always been predicated on being willing to do the things Cap wouldn’t, so if the dividing question of this civil war is based on superheroes registering with the government, it’s hard to see him going against that. There’s always the chance that Bucky really is just hanging with Cap as they are incredibly close. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up betraying the team by the end. Alternatively, this could be an indicator that the emphasis of the civil war will be on something other than heroes becoming the storm troopers of the government. 

The ending to Ant-Man basically teased that he would appear in Civil War after meeting the Falcon earlier in the film. All we have confirmed for the film is Scott Lang’s Ant-Man with no word on whether or not Wasp will appear in the film and Michael Douglas reportedly not signed for more Marvel films.  Honestly, I’d be surprised if Scott is in the film for anything more than just helping Bucky out of the vice he was trapped by in the Ant-Man stinger and maybe to help in a final battle. 

If he is in more of the movie, Ant-Man siding with Captain America says a lot of things about the conflict at hand.  I had assumed he would’ve sided with Iron Man because Stark’s legal side would’ve had the ability to legitimize Scott and ensure he could spend more time with his daughter. The fact that Scott’s siding with Cap is probably the result of his small role in the film, but he could be acting as a double agent for Iron Man. After Winter Soldier, Ant-Man seems the most likely to betray the team for Stark. 

Scarlet Witch is by far and away Cap’s most powerful ally. Her telekinetic/telepathic powers make her a major powerhouse for Cap’s side; she’s basically the only hero who could conceivably go up against Iron Man without breaking a sweat. She’s also probably the most dedicated ally Cap could have after the Falcon. As established in Age of Ultron, a Stark bomb killed Scarlet Witch’s parents when she was a child, and she’s hated him ever since

Additionally, I feel like she’s the Avenger most likely to die in this film after Cap and Tony. As much as I like Scarlet Witch, she’s fallen into the unfortunate role of no one’s favorite, especially given how little development she has outside her role as a quasi-villain. I’d seriously like for her to get some more development and identity through this film, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if she ultimately ends up a casualty of war.


A big part of Marvel’s problem with representation is that they weirdly tend to relegate all of their black characters to the role of “best friend.” Thor has a black friend (Heimdall), Captain America has his black friend (The Falcon), and Iron Man has his black friend (War Machine). War Machine siding with Iron Man was basically a given from the start of this whole Civil War enterprise, but the idea that he might still be in the Iron Patriot persona speaks volumes about the nature of the conflict at hand. 

Everyone has so far been assuming that Captain America’s side in the conflict will be the scrappy rebels while Iron Man will be the official, government troops.  If that’s true, there’s a very bizarre undercurrent of enlisted vs. veteran characters that defines the heroic divide. What’s more, Iron Patriot fighting for Iron Man rather than War Machine would imply this is going to be a PR Battle as well as a physical conflict. That would actually harkens back to the origins of the Iron Patriot costume when Norman Osborn designed it, so that he could serve as both Iron Man and Captain America on his Dark Avengers team. 

Black Widow is one of the weirdest members of team (Tony as well) as the one most likely to be a traitor for Captain America. Her relationship with Captain America was thoroughly established over the course of Winter Soldier and even during Age of Ultron. Black Widow seemed a lot closer to Cap than Iron Man. Black Widow’s final scene in the film was a legitimate heart-to-heart with Captain America about Hulk’s disappearance. 

If the rumor that a Hulk attack is what kicks off the issue of superhero registration, I could see her siding with Tony in order to try and help Bruce in some way. The biggest thing that stands out to me about Black Widow on team Tony is her checkered history. Aside from Winter Soldier, Black Widow has a seriously dark and morally compromised history, for I wonder if that has any relation to her decision to side with Iron Man. Like Bucky, she’s a character willing to make moral compromises for a greater good, which seems like an ideology more in line with Tony’s security over liberty ethos. 

Of all these characters, Vision’s allegiance is the most engaging. He’s easily the most powerful hero confirmed for the film. Part of me is surprised he’s chosen to engage in the Civil War at all. It’s established that he has the power to do a ton of serious damage, for I had assumed he would refrain from combat in order to avoid doing more harm than good. The fact that he is going to engage, and take Tony’s side, is a major curve ball. He’s easily Tony’s strongest asset and will probably come into some big-scale conflict with Scarlet Witch, or possibly the Hulk depending on whether or not he actually ends up in the movie. 

The most telling thing about Vision’s choice is the question of his worthiness.  In Age of Ultron, a big deal is made out of the Vision’s ability to lift Thor’s hammer as a worthy hero. It’s the emotional crux of the film’s conclusion and a big part of defining the Avengers: as a team, as legitimate heroes and not just people perpetuating a system to validate their own existence. The Vision’s choice and his worthiness will almost undoubtedly show up again in this film, probably as a claim from Tony to prove that his side is truly the right one. 

This is the decision we know the least about. We still don’t know anything about Marvel’s cinematic Spider-Man beyond the fact that he’s a white nerdy high schooler from Queens who’s just beginning his superhero career.  Spider-Man siding with Iron Man did happen in the comics, but that was more due to Tony’s ability to take care of Peter’s family rather than any ideological alignment. 

Movie Spider-Man siding with Tony honestly strikes me as a strange alignment, making me wonder if Spidey won’t actually be a big part of the Civil War. It’s been said that Spider-Man will only have a cameo in Civil War, so I could believe that he won’t pop up till the end of the film after the conflict is over. If that’s this case, his allegiance is a major indicator that Cap’s side will lose for some reason. 

Honestly, Cap losing the Civil War has only seemed more and more likely as Marvel’s phase 3 plans have materialized and their contract negotiations have arguably stalled. Cap losing and Spider-Man having no choice but to throw in with Tony makes the most sense to me as I feel like Cap would have more pull with younger heroes. Still, both Peter Parker and Tony Stark are scientists, so it’s possible that’s what will unite these two, possibly as a replacement Science Bros if something really is going to happen to the Hulk.  

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