Okay, so we're getting Civil War. But without the X-Men, Spider-Man, or the Fantastic Four, are there enough heroes left for a war? By my count, we have 28 non-Guardians of the Galaxy characters to choose sides. Here's how they'll align:
In the comic books, the Civil War breaks out when the US government passes a superhuman registration act. Super-heroes have to reveal their secret identities and begin working for the US government. Iron Man becomes a leader of the pro-registration forces, while Captain America opposes the effort.
There is still one major question: who sides with who? This chart assumes that the Civil War will drag on throughout Phase 3. Those most loyal to each side appear closer to the top or bottom, while Black Panther sits dead center. From the top:
1. Iron Man: No brainer here. He feels guilty about creating Ultron and wants to bring the world under control.
2. Iron Patriot: A military man, Tony's best friend. He'll back Tony's play.
3. Bruce Banner: If anyone knows the danger of unchecked power, it's Bruce Banner. He'll side with Tony, his scientist friend (unless the reason they're fighting in the AOU trailer splits their relationship...hmm).
4. Deathlok: He suffered from being under the control of Hydra, so you might think that he wouldn't want to be controlled again. But we're not talking about control, we're talking about registration, employment, and the chance to rejoin his son.
5. Captain Marvel: We don't know anything about Phase 3's Carol Danvers, but if she;s anything like her comic book origins, she'll be pro-registration.
6. Vision: Registering super-humans would make perfect sense to a machine. Especially one that wants to prevent a threat like Ultron from ever returning.
7. Scarlet Witch: Again, we don't know much about her, but I'm assuming she and her brother will side with Tony. Why? Because someone has to be on Tony's Avengers team in the Avengers: Infinity War Part 1. Also, they'll want to put her closer to the Vision so they can pursue a romantic relationship (in the comics, Scarlet Witch and Vision married, then had hologram babies...long story).
8. Quicksilver: He'll side with Tony just to keep an eye on Vision and his sister.
9. Maria Hill: Firmly in Stark's corner. She's never fully trusted super humans. remember how she went behind Fury's back in the Avengers deleted scenes, because she was against the Avengers Initiative?
10. Coulson+ [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469): Even though Phil Coulson is a huge Captain America fan, I expect the government agents to side with the government. They'll probably be in charge of hunting down super-powered miscreants, if the show stays on the air that long.
11. Mockingbird: I hope she graduates from Agents of SHIELD to full-fledged (West Coast?) Avenger. If Black Widow sides with Cap, Hawkeye is going to need some company....
12. Hawkeye: This one might get controversial, since I have Black Widow on the other side of the spectrum. I don't think Clint Barton would like the idea of super humans running around the planet unchecked. Remember, he had a superhuman take control of his mind in the Avengers, and he seemed to hold a grudge.
13. Black Panther: I think he'll be the "Spider-Man" of this version of the Civil War. I look for him to be the neutral party that initially sides with Tony, but changes sides later.
14. Dr. Strange: He'll probably be neutral, because Marvel wouldn't want to bog down his origin with a bunch of other super-heroes. If he did join the fray, I couldn't see him wanting to register the Eye of Agamotto with his local Homeland Security office.
15. Thor: Probably won't participate. He'll be in Asgard, or maybe dead. Even if he was on Earth, the god of thunder would not bow to the will of mortals. I didn't include Lady Sif and the Warriors Three because they'll follow Thor (and I was running out of room on the chart).
16. Spider-Man: I can dream, can't I? if Sony and Marvel work out a deal, he'll obviously fulfill the same role as the comics: the moral center of the story, who is swayed from one side to the other.
17. [Ant-Man](movie:9048) I don't think a former thief like Scott Lang would want to register with the government. hard to say until we see the movie.
18. Daredevil: No way would Matt Murdock ever exposes his identity.
19. Jessica Jones: She has no secret identity, but she's fiercely independent. All the Defenders will side with Cap.
20. Nick Fury: He has always seen the value in superheroes. He was the one who wanted to assemble the Avengers, rather than use the tesseract to create weapons. After Hydra infiltrated SHIELD right under his nose, I look for Nick to distrust governments for a very long time.
21. Iron Fist: Just like the comics, Danny Rand won't want the Iron Fist come under the control of any organization.
22. Luke Cage: In the comics, Luke Cage is a former prisoner who acquires super-powers in an experiment. Instead of, say, jointing the police or military, he rented out his services for a fee. Now ay does this guy trust the government. Next to Cap, he was the staunchest opponent of registration.
23. Hulk: Interesting, because Banner is allied with Stark. Too bad Banner and the Hulk aren't the same person. Banner represents control, the super ego. Hulk is the id and will fight against anyone puny human trying to control him.
24. [Black Widow](movie:1070824): She's become so close to Steve Rogers, I could never see her siding against him. She saw Hydra's infiltration firsthand, and would distrust government agencies consolidating power. Natasha is done taking orders; she's her own woman now.
25. Winter Soldier: If they do de-brainwash him in Cap 3, he'll stand by his oldest friend, Steve Rogers. After being controlled by an evil shadow organization for 70 years, he's as anti-establishment as they come.
26. Falcon: He'll follow Steve into battle. They're super best friends.
27. Howard the Duck to the US government: "Screw you."
28. Captain America - The leader of the anti-registration faction, the moral core of the Marvel Universe. He sees superhuman registration as an affront to personal liberties, perhaps even a step towards Nazism. In the comic books, he died shortly after being taken in to custody. Will history repeat itself?
What do you think? Did I leave anyone out? Who sides with who?
(Special thanks to Cameron J. Bondy for his help on this article).