Say NO To A Marvel Cinematic Civil War

Today, Variety reported that Marvel, while it has not actually greenlit a third installment of Captain America, has moved to have Anthony and Joe Russo return to direct the film.  According to Variety, "Marvel prefers to get these deals done early so that the director can help develop future sequels."  This got people speculating, of course, as to what the third story could be.  I saw a bunch of people tweet something to the effect of "Captain America 3: Civil War."  I'm not sure if these tweets were meant to be humorous or serious, but it got me thinking how much I would never want to see this story come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

For those of you not in the know, "Civil War" is one of the biggest events in the Marvel Comic Universe over the last decade.  It follows several giant events, such as "Avengers Disassembled" and "House of M," that saw great amounts of devastation on the human populace at the hands of superhumans.  And so, the Superhuman Registration Act was passed.  The idea was that, in order to give superheroes the proper training and so that these superheroes wouldn't go off half cocked, all people with superhuman abilities would have to register with the government.  This would also include giving your secret identity away as well as government control of your actions while using your super powers.  The only thing is that not everybody agreed.  On one hand, you had so-called futurists such as Tony Stark and Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four who saw the Superhuman Registration Act as inevitable and chose to support it.  On the other hand, folks like Captain America and Luke Cage saw that this infringed on the civil rights of the superhuman community and chose to oppose it.  The story spanned over 7 issues as well as several tie-in issues.

While the concept of the storyline was interesting, I just felt it brought the Marvel Superheroes to a darker place than I wanted them to be.  On one hand, the Marvel Universe had seen so much wanton destruction and it made sense.  But, on the other hand, I just didn't like how dark it got.  The Marvel Universe has always been darker than the DC Universe (or, at least, it used to be), but I didn't like the fact that people who had, for years, laid their lives on the line for each other were now, suddenly, so easily capable of betraying and either endangering or, often, taking the lives of those who opposed them.  To me, it was just such a depressing thing to read.  In fact, at the end of the story, I could not stand Tony Stark and would rather have a fork jabbed in my eye than read one of his comic books.

Then, in 2008, Marvel Studios released a little film called Iron Man.  You might have heard of it.  I almost did not want to watch it because of how much I grew to hate him during the "Civil War" event.  But, ultimately, I decided to watch him and, I'm glad I did, because the movie actually made me love Tony Stark again.  Here I saw the Tony Stark I wanted to see.  In order to introduce him to more mainstream audiences, they broke him down to his core.  And, here I saw a man that had the complexities we all came to expect from our Marvel characters, but, in spirit, he is a hero.  Subsequently, every Marvel Studios film has been able to strip each of the characters of their giant continuity and breathe new, yet all together familiar, life to them.

And, when they formed the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I saw a new side to the Avengers that had previously been mired in back fighting and betrayal.  Despite their differences, in the end, they are there to save the world.  Pure and simple.  I don't have to think of their political ideologies.  I mean, we already live in a world full of divisive politic.  I read comic books to escape it.  And, this is from somebody who is very firmly planted on one end of the political spectrum.

When the Avengers all arrive at what we've come to know on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the "Battle of New York" and they form that iconic circle and then Captain America starts leading them, I have such a visceral reaction and I remember thinking, "This is why I read comics!"

"Civil War" would negate all the feeling of good will that I have.  But, honestly, I don't think Marvel Studios would develop this story.  At least, not right now during the Marvel Cinematic Universe's relative infancy.  Remember, it's still early in its Phase 2 stage. Aside from this, more than half of the Marvel Universe, unfortunately, still exist at other studios where such a crossover couldn't happen.  "Civil War" would require a giant number of superhuman heroes and villains.

I also do think that Marvel realizes that breaking down the heroes to their core has does wonders for their business.  They see that the movies have revitalized the industry and introduced these characters to people who have never read the comic books.  Not only can you see it in comic book sales, but in the growth of no only San Diego Comic-Con International, but even smaller conventions where more mainstream fans are going to check out.  And, all this is based on movies about heroes people can look up to.


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