After the Captain America: Civil War trailer debuted Tuesday night, I read a lot of negative commentary. Most of it centered around the relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes and a perceived notion that this film would focus on this relationship exclusively.
This came as a genuine surprise to me.
This first peek at the film gave me everything I wanted. It confirmed that the film would continue the Cap/Bucky story arc, likely to its conclusion. And it showed me all the touchstones of the Civil War storyline I expected to see in the film.
I like to think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of Marvel’s parallel universes, where the stories play out the same, even if the way the song is sung is different. (Secret Wars be damned.)
At first blush, this Civil War seems to focus exclusively on the friendship between Bucky and Steve. Don't get me wrong. This film should do so, in part, as their relationship is the biggest character arc through the trilogy. At the same time, this is only two minutes of film that highlights one arc in the story.
I also believe we'll see a story closer to the Civil War comic because of everything we didn’t see in the trailer. Like:
One of the more intriguing components of Marvel’s Civil War was the media’s in-the-trenches reporting. We may see some of that same ground-level perspective with The Daily Bugle’s Christine Everhart. In the films, she doesn’t work for the The Bugle (but with Spider-Man joining the cast, maybe The Bugle makes an appearance as well). Will she provide the voice of the common man?
Technically, he does appear in the film, if only briefly. But we really don’t know too much about his character. Is he General Ross’s liaison? Does he work for the government? Well, yes, we know that because Freeman told us as much.
In an Italian media interview, he said, “He works for the American government. He works in conjunction with the superheroes and certain agencies that help to…tame…the superheroes power. You’re not quite sure which side he’s on. It looks a little bit like he’s playing one game when actually he’s playing another.”
A lot of folks think he might be Henry Gyrich, in the comics Gyrich is part of the Commission of Superhuman Activities (CSA), a government entity dedicated to keeping the Avengers accountable for their actions.
If so, then there’s lots of clashing and gnashing of teeth with respect to the right and wrong of the Superhuman Registration Act.
Also missing in action! We’ve seen snaps of Frank Grillo’s Brock Lumlow, but no battlin’ Crossbones in this first trailer. Grillo must work for Baron Zemo (we can assume, anyway). He’s definitely part of the proof that the world needs superheroes - and maybe needs to give the heroes some leeway and privacy to protect the world they way it needs protected.
Did you really think Spidey would turn up in the trailer? Of course not. He’s the best worst-kept cameo out there. For those lamenting that the movie is avoiding the slings and arrows of the Superhuman Registration Act, Spidey’s your surrogate here. Expect that scene, whatever it may be, to reflect every hero’s pains with the decision to register or not.
Remember him? Oh, you don’t? He’s likely the big bad of the film. The villain Tony and team reconcile to do battle with. Yes, this is a diversion from the Civil War storyline, which focused on the “bad guys” incarcerating the “good guys” and the blurry line between doing what’s right for the greater good. Zemo’s inclusion, however, could lay the groundwork for a shocking conclusion - one that featured the Red Skull in the comics, as well as a devastated Sharon Carter. Speaking of Sharon Carter ….
Agent 13 is very much a part of this story, carrying over from her work in The Winter Soldier. I expect she’s moved up S.H.I.E.L.D.s ranks. (Will she make an appearance on Agents of SHIELD before the film’s release?) And may even work alongside Maria Hill. She may even be the mirror image of Hill, who, as far as we can tell, is just following orders in Civil War. This would correspond with her role in the comic book version. Maybe she even has a bigger role to play? Ah, ah, ah. Spoilers.
Still think Civil War is a Cap and Bucky love story?
Remember that there's still a registration act in play, which will reverberate throughout the story. Heck, Agents of SHIELD is setting up some of that foundation in its series right now.
So maybe we get glimpses of how the act affects heroes throughout the MCU. Could we get a peek at Daredevil hiding from the S.H.I.E.L.D. or the ATCU? Maybe. Will we see Daisy saving some Inhumans on the run? Could Luke Cage and Jessica Jones keep things quiet in Hell's Kitchen? It’s all possible.
Even ground level heroes have to choose sides.