The Avengers have disassembled, Robert Downey Jrs Tony Stark is very sad indeed, and William Hurts General Ross is gunning for superheroes
The debut trailer for Captain America: Civil War has hit the web, ushering in a new era which sees the worlds superheroes at each others throats. So whos on whose side, what happened to set them at odds, and why does everyone look so miserable?
This almighty superhero smackdown has multiple sparks
In Mark Millars Civil War, the 2006 comic book from which the plot of the Russo Brothers new film is loosely drawn, Captain America and Iron Man find themselves on opposite ends of the argument when authorities attempt to introduce a Superhero Registration Act to keep costumed crime fighters under control. In the movie, the act goes by the name of the Sokovia Accords, an international agreement to limit superhero activities sparked by the destruction of the fictional Eastern European nation during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But theres more. Cap and Tony Stark also find themselves duking it out following the actions of Sebastian Stans Bucky Barnes during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While Chris Evans Steve Rogers seems willing to forgive his old pal for crimes committed while the latter was under the spell of Hydra, Stark takes the opposite view. Marvel has cleverly tied this new central conflict to the natural fallout from previous episodes, in the process creating a much more satisfying reason for superhero fisticuffs than we ever got in print.
William Hurts General Ross is back, and he still hates superheroes
Bringing back a character from the less-than-well-received Incredible Hulk, from 2008, seems like risky business. But who better to put a stop to all that unchecked superhero fun and games than Bruce Banners old nemesis? Ross has been given the unenviable task of telling Captain America to accept official oversight or face been taken out of the equation. A conversation that was never going to go down well with a guy whose last boss turned out to be a stooge for a bunch of Nazi crazies, still fighting the bad fight 70 years after the second world war.
Tony Starks new superpower is a palpable sad face
The tension between Captain America and Tony Stark, the two unofficial leaders of The Avengers, began during the events of Ultron when the latter accidentally created an artificially intelligent tech demon hell-bent on destroying all sentient life on Earth. But things have clearly taken a distinct downward turn in the meantime, and Downey Jrs face is sadder than that of a small boy whos just been told Christmas is cancelled.
The two opposing teams have begun to form
At the end of Ultron, Captain America had recruited a new team comprising War Machine, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Black Widow. But it looks like hes lost a few of those, namely Scarlett Johanssons Black Widow and Don Cheadles War Machine, to Iron Man, and picked up Hawkeye and Bucky along the way. Visions allegiance is more mysterious, but its a fair bet that the god-like being formerly known as Jarvis sees such mortal spats as being a bit beneath him.
Black Panther has arrived in the Marvel cinematic universe
Chadwick Bosemans African warrior seems to be going up against Team Cap, but its not clear if hes on Iron Mans side. TChallas introduction is a rare instance of a superhero being introduced in an Avengers-style ensemble flick (which Civil War clearly is) before getting his own spin-off in 2018. Marvel is adopting the same dynamic, apparently borrowed from rival studio Warner Bros DC Comics-based universe, for another notable trailer absentee Tom Hollands Spider-Man.
War Machine is in trouble
If Bucky is Steve Rogers best pal, we can be assured that Team Iron Man isnt going to be at all happy at the state of James Rhodes, aka War Machine, in the trailer. Is Rhodes dead, or just injured? In any case, we might just be about to see Tony Starks angry face.
Its already looking better than the comic book
Millars graphic novel dragged just about every Marvel superhero under the sun into the fight, but Captain America: Civil War looks likely to benefit from keeping the superpowered antagonists to a round dozen or so. We can also expect to see Paul Rudds Ant-Man in his debut non-solo outing, and Martin Freeman as some sort of US government stooge.
At first glance, theres little here thats not to like, though you do wonder why producers didnt simply title the movie Civil War. Perhaps Marvel is keen to build Evans Captain America up to the point where his solo movies feel like the kind of event that Downey Jrs Iron Man films have become, especially with the latter now past 50 and expected to set the suit aside for good after the events of back to back Avengers: Infinity War movies in 2018 and 2019.