Civil War as a Cap Story

I think Civil War can and will be a story that centers on Cap’s quest to redeem Bucky Barnes from the Winter Soldier. And here’s how I think that will happen.

To start, we have to remember that Avengers: Age of Ultron will end with a united team, more deeply committed to each other than after The Avengers. If it doesn’t, the Avengers sequel will be a terrible movie and poorly set up Civil War. That said, the governments pass the MCU version of the SHRA—whatever that will be. The key is that Ultron has united the team when the governments respond to Ultron with a controversial law.

There will need to be a catalyst, something that shows just how committed to the law the Avengers are, and I think that is the Winter Soldier. In The Winter Soldier we learned that Bucky killed Howard and Maria Stark, Tony’s parents, in a faked car accident. We also have Captain America villain, Baron Zemo, in this film. In the comics (Captain America #606–610 [2004–2011]) Zemo outs Barnes as the Soviet assassin Winter Soldier. He can do the same thing here. He can be the political figure, similar to Aleksander Lukin in Captain America #1–42 (2004–2011), that can be bent on manipulating the world against Captain America for actions in World War II. Thus he turns the Avengers against Cap with this new SHRA.

Iron Man would support the SHRA because he created Ultron. He would be wracked with guilt, similarly to in the comics his guilt over his actions as a drunk lead him to endorsing the SHRA. When he finds out that Barnes killed his parents he argues that the SHRA is there to bring him to justice—now demanding revenge, even. Barnes would agree, guilty over his complicity in 70 years of murder and covert war against America.

Cap would oppose the SHRA because the law can’t see the grey that comes with justice. It can only see black and white. Cap knows that Bucky was not in control of himself when he carried out those actions. The SHRA is just another way the world is responding with fear and taking away the freedom he died to give them.

At this point Iron Man and Captain America would have changed perspectives on the law. And their conflicting agendas would drive the conflict, and the emotional resonance of the battle comes from the uniting during Age of Ultron. Also there is more drama underscored by the need to redeem Bucky, not lock him away. The audience needs Cap to get this one part of his past back because everything else is gone.

This would allow the Avengers who have been cast in the film to pick sides in a dramatic fashion. Widow and Hawkeye oppose each other. May be even the Falcon chooses Stark’s position over Rogers, that would up the ante a little bit.

Zemo outing Barnes would preserve the unmasking theme of Civil War in the comics, a theme explored by Spider-Man in the book. But I think, given the political nature of the film, Bucky being unmasked would do more to ask America, as well as individual audience members, to take a deep look inside at who they have become over the last 15 years. Spider-Man just isn’t needed to advance Civil War as a Captain America story.

Also, Panther and Peter Parker should only have cameos. It looks like Cap’s shield is broken in Age of Ultron and Panther can repair it as a token of gratitude for saving Wakanda from that evil AI. Parker is at the press even where the SHRA is announced as law. This will introduce the characters to the audience but not bog the movie down with origin details best left to their own solo films. Cap’s mythology belongs in his solo films, same with Panther and Spider-Man.

Captain America: Civil War is in danger of losing the Captain America in its title. I don’t mind seeing the Avengers challenged by their actions in creating Ultron, and then destroying him in a costly battle. But Captain America 3 should be a Captain America story that ties up the threads created in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I fear Civil War will background that all-too important story of Steve Rogers.

I trust the filmmakers to do their jobs. I ‘m beginning to wonder if this should have been Avengers 3, instead of Captain America 3. It can be done as a Steve Rogers story, but will RDJ have stolen that spotlight?

~ by hankimler on April 24, 2015.

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