Marvel Studios are currently akin to a kid on a skateboard. First they jumped over a car, and everyone clapped. Then they jumped over five cars, and everyone thought it was awesome. Responding to this praise, they're now jumping between skyscrapers while balancing a rabid wolverine on their head. You can't help but think "woah now, Marvel! Be careful there!" but this kid's sheer confidence and will to please keeps you quiet.
This is exactly the mindset I'm taking into [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). The effort is admirable, but there's an undercurrent of danger in jumping into such a pivotal storyline like [Marvel: Civil War](tag:2346746). If anything, this is a litmus test for how Marvel will fare when they reach the Infinity War storyline. Exhibiting that patented confidence, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley are taking Captain America 3 in a direction away from the Mark Millar comic.
Not to pander to those completely not in the know, but what's the deal with all this Civil War business anyway? Well as you begin to explain the thrust of Mark Millar's story arc, you realize just how awkwardly it would fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. An explosion brought about by the overly eager New Warriors (characters who don't even exist in the MCU) results in the deaths of many civilians, and paints super humans in a poor light in the eyes of the government. The Super Human Registration Act comes about in an effort to out any heroes who keep their identity hidden. Tony Stark comes out in favor of this, Captain America comes out against. Boom. We got us a Civil War!
The issue that Captain America 3 runs into is that masked superheroes aren't even a thing in it's universe yet (unless you count Daredevil, which the cool kids don't). The Avengers are very much a public entity. I mean did you see that New York battle? How could they not be? Until Spider-Man shows up literally at the last minute, the idea of secret identities in Captain America 3 just isn't a factor. So if the Superhuman Registration Act isn't playing a role in Captain America 3, what are Marvel going for?
Marvel's Appropriation for Captain America 3
Marvel seems to be circumnavigating the issue of adapting Civil War by tying everything back to the Avengers, right down to whose fault it is that the Civil War begins. Allegedly, the movie will see Cap leading the newly formed Avengers in protecting the world before a particular event results in some collateral damage and SUDDENLY gets the attention of the US Government. Marvel claims that Captain America 3 is following straight on from the events of [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), which I'm guessing involves that one time an entire city rose into the sky and exploded. This seems an odd turn to take, in that the entire theme of irresponsibility and not understanding the power you wield was targeted at Tony Stark in Age of Ultron. Is he suddenly gonna become a total hypocrite and get up in Cap's grill for whatever goes down in Captain America 3? At least that would be a character motivated conflict, which would suit the MCU nicely.
Is this jumping the gun?
While I am impressed by Marvel's willingness to adapt such contentious material, there are a few details of their approach in making it work that set off alarm bells. Were issues of government legislation ever a pressing theme in the MCU so far? It seems we're suddenly asked to care about the personal freedoms of superheroes while every movie up until now has been dedicated purely to a sense of fun. Again, I'm not saying this won't work, but Marvel are no doubt running a gambit here, and testing the waters for how to approach [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027). Captain America 3 will be a make it or break it movie for Marvel, in that they're either going to scare off dedicated audiences, or seal the deal forever!
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