There have been many rumors about Avengers 3. It will see the Avengers team up with the [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), they will battle Thanos, along with many more. This film, and all of Marvel's Phase 3, seem to invite speculation like nothing else can.
However, when San Diego Comic Con saw the confirmation of what many had predicted as one of the major story lines of Marvel's Phase 3, Ragnarok, the Norse end of days - the Avengers 3 speculation once again went into overdrive.
Actor Chris Hemsworth is reported to have said of [Thor 3](movie:956858) that the "Armageddon aspect is probably the direction in which it will all head in."
You can read more on Ragnarok and what that means for Thor (and Loki) here.
However, the confirmation of this rumored storyline, has had the unintended effect of making fans more confident that ANOTHER widely speculated plot for Marvel's Phase 3 will also come about. And what is that?
Avengers 3: Civil War!
There are a number of reasons why this storyline makes sense. However, fully explaining them runs the risk of revealing several *spoilers*, not just about this movie, but about other movies in Marvel's Phase 3.
You have been warned.
It is no secret that Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will see the expiration of a number of key contracts. Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, and (though he recently hinted he would be willing to stay on as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man).
Thor aside, his fate may well be dealt with in Ragnarok, that leaves a big exit needed to two of Marvel's major stars, Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, and Chris Evans' Captain America.
And [The Avengers 3](movie:738027) looks to be the movie that will finish at least one of them off.
So what happens in the Marvel's Civil War, the potential basis for Avengers 3?
The plot revolves around the Superhuman Registration Act. The public have grown tired after a number of incidents involving Superheroes, many of which end in death and destruction (notably, there a Hulk rampage in Las Vegas, and another attack on Manhattan). And they want everyone who possesses Superhuman powers to be put on a register, so that the government can monitor, surveil, and, if necessary, restrain them from doing damage to the public.
Instantly, superheroes begin to take sides, for and against this measure. One of the most opposed is Captain America, whose disagreements with the overbearing nature of SHIELD could even be seen in his last movie [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973).
Do you remember this interaction with Nick Fury?
Fury: (SHIELD is) "going to neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen,"
Cap: I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.... This isn't freedom. This is fear."
On the other side, however, is Iron Man, who (along with [Ant-Man](movie:9048) and others) sees fighting the measure as pointless, and believes that a measure of oversight with regard to superheroes is something to be welcomed.
The Crisis Escalates
Battle lines are drawn, and each side become increasingly entrenched. Spider-Man reveals his identity, going over to the pro-registration side. (It is unclear whether they will manage to include Spider-Man in the Marvel universe by the time of Avengers 3, but they could always use another character in this role).
Then, at a seemingly peaceful discussion over the registration issue, with Captain America and Tony Stark set to have a friendly discussion, Cap disables Iron Man's armor and sucker-punches him. In the following brawl, Goliath is killed.
In response to this, Tony Stark builds a prison called Project 42. (Incidentally, this was an Easter Egg in the first Avengers movie, "42" being the title of one of the files Agent Coulson brings Tony).
Non-compliant superheroes are set to be rounded up and imprisoned. Once again, the heroes are firmly set against each other. Spider-Man, shocked at Tony Stark's zealousness, goes over to the anti-registraion side.
Final Battle, and the Death of Captain America
This comes to a head when The Punisher discovers the plans to the prison, and the anti-registration crew decide to infiltrate the complex and break out all the unregistered superhuman prisoners. This leads to an all-out battle, former friend pitted against former friend.
In the fight, Captain America is able to take down Iron Man, whose armor has been crippled. he is about to deliver a finishing blow, but several emergency personnel hold him back. Wishing to avoid further bloodshed, Captain America does the noble thing, and surrenders.
Cap is placed in jail, while Tony Stark is promoted to become head of SHIELD. The war seems to be won by the pro-registraion side. However, when Captain America is leaving the courtroom, he is shot and killed by Crossbones, acting on orders from Red Skull. After this, the Civil War is declared over.
It is one of Marvel's most complicated, epic and brutal stories (and of course, I have skipped over much detail here) - but could it be the plot of The Avengers 3? Write in with your thoughts below the line!