While many are already calling [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) one of the most crowded superhero movies yet but the comic story was actually much more full than the film is going to be! Many heroes like Wolverine, Storm and the Fantastic Four can't appear due to studio issues (Fox owns the film rights to these characters), and there will also be characters missing like Spiderwoman, She-Hulk and Wonderman because they haven't been introduced into the MCU yet, or because other characters will be fulfilling their role in the film's story, but there's also several characters who were crucial in the comics story who won't be making appearances in the film. Some of this is due to budget restrictions as well as how the story will flow different in the MCU than it did in the comics.
Here's my breakdown of who will be missing, along with my opinions and hopes for how the story can change with their absences!
In the comic version of Civil War the incident that pushed the Superhuman Registration Act, or SHRA, into the public eye and quickly voted forward was not because of anything to do with the Avengers, but with the New Warriors. These young heroes were attempting to become famous by filming a reality show revolving around their crime fighting. They were in the process or attacking several super villains on camera who were out of their league when one of them exploded, destroying a city block and killing over 600 civilians including an elementary school and all the New Warriors but their leader Speedball.
The New Warriors have yet to make an appearance in the MCU, so the Stamford Incident that they were responsible for won't take place in the MCU. We do know, however, that angst and fear have been building up against our heroes in the MCU since Iron Man 2! Captain America: Winter Soldier even had Black Widow sitting on a panel of politicians complaining about the amount of destruction done to government property. In Age of Ultron the Avengers were responsible for creating a robot that attempted to destroy the planet, but (thankfully) was only successful in destroying a single city. It's obvious that the government isn't happy with our heroes, and due to Civil War's trailer focus on Bucky we can deduce that he's key to the next incident that pushes the government to finally forcing Enhanced Humans to register and be trained.
Nitro was one of the villains that was attacked by the New Warriors, he was the strongest hitter of the bunch! It was he who refused to surrender and be arrested, and instead used his energy powers to create a large explosion killing 600 people, and flattening a full elementary school.
Nitro is the very reason that the SHRA was pushed on Capital Hill! He wasn't the hero responsible, but he was the villain who murdered all the innocent people. Since he won't be appearing in Civil War it's likely that Crossbones could take his place as the instigator of whatever incident faces our heroes in the beginning action of the film!
We've already seen Maria Hill in three MCU film so far, and a few episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is likely that she's scheduled to appear in Civil War even though it hasn't been confirmed yet, but her role in the MCU has been much different than her role in the comics! Originally her character was introduced when Nick Fury went into hiding. Soon after the SHRA became law and Hill, as acting head of S.H.I.E.L.D., sided with the government and Iron Man. Before the war broke out between Cap and Stark she had asked Cap for his help in taking down the heroes who refused to register, Cap refused and she attempted to have him arrested but he escaped out of a window and off of the Hellicarrier.
Since S.H.I.E.L.D. in the MCU is small and being kept a secret it's unlikely things will play out like this in Civil War. I do, however, hope that Hill appears and we get to see her do some badass stunts and fighting like she did at the beginning of Avengers. Cobie Smulders has signed for seven Marvel films and has only finished three so it's very possible!
In the Civil War comic Pym is actually Tony Stark's right hand man! We know this won't play out similar to the comics in any way because of how much our MCU Pym despises the Stark family after his dealings with Howard Stark. However, in the comics it's very interesting to note that these two were working with Reed Richards to solve many of the Earth's problems, as well as bring in Cap's team of vigilantes. They'd come up with over fifty solutions to different crisis' and felt that the SHRA had brought them closer together in pushing them towards common goals! It's a shame we won't see this part of the Civil War story, it really shows more of Stark's perspective and why he so adamantly opposes Cap's point of view.
The Thunderbolts are a very interesting team that exist in the Marvel comics! They are "reformed" villains that are attempting to be re-introduced into society. During the Civil War Stark was desperate for help and he reached out to any villains who would fight at his side in return for amnesty. Several familiar faces joined up with him because they wished to take down some of the heroes that had imprisoned them. Villains such as Venom, Taskmaster, Lady Deathstrike and Bullseye fought against Cap's team with much more ferocity than Stark's Avengers! This move also pushed several of Stark's teammates away as they'd seen how far he'd fallen in order to win this war! One of these heroes was Spider-Man who was chased and almost killed by the Thunderbolts as he attempted to find safety within Captain America's Secret Avengers!
I do hope that one day the MCU stops killing off their villains so quickly so that we can see a team of villains come against our group of heroes but it's not going to happen in Civil War!
Most of us know Osborn as the original Green Goblin, but at the time of the Civil War he was becoming a reformed villain and had (supposedly) expelled the Mr. Hyde-like Goblin from his mind. Osborn was trusted by the government at this time so he was made leader of the other villains; the Thunderbolts. This made him especially desirous to target Spider-Man once he revealed his secret identity!
Eventually the Thunderbolts became a staple team in the comics, and even went on to replace the Avengers for a time when the Avengers lost face with the public. Even though Osborn wasn't a major player in the comic story, he was a major push for Spider-Man to switch sides. Not long after the Civil War Osborn took on the armor of Iron Patriot and created a team of Dark Avengers to create more public angst against our heroes. It was at this time that he was revealed to still be controlled by his Green Goblin persona.
How awesome would it be to have Norman Osborn become an ongoing villain in the MCU? With the upcoming re-introduction of Spider-Man it's more than likely, I'd say it's a guaranteed thing! I would love to see Osborn pulling the strings behind the curtain, manipulating the SHRA and eventually even take Iron Man's place as a hero to the public, but the most evil villain we've seen yet!
Even though Namor rules over Atlantis and was not directly affected by the SHRA he and his Atlantean army assisted Captain America's team in the final fight against Stark, his Avengers and reformed villains. Without their help Cap's team wouldn't have stood a chance!
Namor largely appears in the Fantastic Four comics as a villain, and he became obsessed with marrying the Invisible Woman. Namor is actually considered a mutant, like the X-Men, but since his film rights don't belong to Marvel we can expect him to not appear in the MCU anytime soon!
Even though the X-Men remained neutral during the Civil War, Wolverine sided with Cap's Avengers and ultimately left to apprehend Nitro, the villain who had caused the Stamford Incident. Wolverine took a small team of heroes to arrest him, but instead his team was killed and Wolverine was left lying in the dirt re-growing his skin after it had all burned off!
With all of the mutants and X-Men's film rights over at Fox we know it's unlikely that Wolverine will be joining the Avengers anytime soon! We'll have to pray for a miracle if we ever want to see this happen!
While we haven't seen Frank Castle show up in the MCU yet, we can be excited that he's been announced to be joining the second season of Daredevil! This does mean that he will not be appearing in the upcoming Civil War film, even though the events will take place AFTER Daredevil season 2!
In the comics Punisher is initially disinterested in the SHRA, but he then sided with Captain America and the Secret Avengers after the government started using villains to help bring in Cap's team. When Spider-Man was beaten to an inch of his life, Punisher swooped in to rescue him and brought him to Cap for medical attention.
Ragnorak (Thor Clone) and Goliath
We know that Thor will not be appearing in Civil War, and in the comics Thor didn't actually appear either. He was MIA. However a clone of Thor that Stark had created did play a huge part in the SHRA! During one of the biggest battles between Cap's team and Stark's the Clone, Ragnorak, appeared giving everyone on both's sides pause. Several of Cap's team yelled out for mercy believing it to be the real Thor that they knew. Bill Foster, who had taken on the code name, Goliath was shot through the chest by Ragnorak and killed. Foster didn't play a huge part in the comics, but he was a size changer similar to Ant-man and Yellowjacket. He originally had worked with Hank Pym on perfecting the Pym Particle.
Storm had a very unique story during the Civil War, this was when her engagement and wedding to Black Panther took place. Since the SHRA was only becoming law in the United States all their friends were invited and asked to put the war on hold. Both sides of the fight showed up but, of course, couldn't look past their differences.
The marriage between Storm and Black Panther was compared to be the Marvel marriage comparison of Lady Di and Prince Charles. The two skipped the honeymoon and instead left on a world tour meeting leaders of many nations including Dr. Doom, Namor and the President of the United States where they hoped to discuss the SHRA. The President refused to see Storm unless she registered so she was refused. With the death of Goliath Storm and Black Panther decided they couldn't stay neutral anymore and joined Cap's team of Secret Avengers.
Even though the three Fantastic Four films have been met with less than favorable reviews I am very disappointed that these four will not be able to appear in Civil War! This team and family have, arguably, the best story arc of the entire comic! Originally they fought together with Tony Stark on the side of the government, mostly because the FF have always been public with their identities. However as the story progressed Sue and Johnny became increasingly disheartened with Reed and Stark's choices. Once Goliath was killed by the clone of Thor Johnny and Sue left to fight alongside Captain America, while the Thing just simply hated fighting against people he'd once called friends and left for France where the SHRA couldn't touch him.
In the comics Reed and Sue have a pretty unstable marriage as he often puts his work above her and their children. It would have been awesome to see he and her on opposite sides of such a huge issue! I would have loved to see this depth explored in a Civil War story! Eventually when Cap is arrested and his team is offered amnesty Johnny, Sue and Ben take the deal but Reed and Sue leave to work on their marriage. The two are replaced by the newlywed Storm and Black Panther as the leaders of the Fantastic Four!
The Young Avengers were some of my favorite characters in the comics at the time of the Civil War and the SHRA! They were teenagers that came together because the Avengers were on hiatus after the Scarlet Witch's children disappeared and she lost her mind, and killed teammates Vision, Scott Lang and Hawkeye.
The Young Avengers introduced us to a new Hawkeye; a young girl trained with a bow and arrow. Patriot; the grandson of Isaiah Bradley a man who had been given the super soldier serum after Cap's disappearance, and his attributes and powers were passed on. Stature; Cassie Lang (yes Scott Lang's daughter that we met in the Ant-Man movie!) who inherited her father's size changing powers. Vision; who was rebuilt after Scarlet Witch had destroyed him. Hulkling; a half Skrull, half Kree alien who was raised on Earth with the powers of shapeshifting. Wiccan; one of Scarlet Witch's lost children who inherited her magical powers, and Speed; the other lost child who inherited his Uncle's speed abilities.
These teenagers were prime examples of the vigilantes with no accountability that the government was afraid of, so they were asked to register and be trained in order to fight evil. Since the team idolized Captain America they refused to join and hid out with his Secret Avengers. Wiccan with his teleportation powers, and Hulkling with his shapeshifting powers were both extremely helpful to Cap's cause as Wiccaan could teleport the team anywhere, and Hulkling was able to pose as Hank Pym for a long period of time.
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage
This year's Jessica Jones television series did not disappoint! We were not only introduced to the awesome heroine, but her future husband, Luke Cage! In the comics at the time of the Civil War Luke was engaged to Jones and she had just had their baby. Luke was a part of the Avengers along with Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man and more, but as the SHRA came out their team split down the middle with Cap going underground, Spider-Man sided with Stark and Cage followed Cap serving as his second in command. He made Jessica and their baby leave for Canada where the SHRA couldn't touch them.
Eventually when Cap was arrested and his team was offered amnesty Cage and several others refused still not wanting to register and stayed underground. Cage become the leader of their group of Secret Avengers alongside Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spiderwoman and more. It's too bad we can't see this play out on the big screen and we could see the after affects of the SHRA keep the Avengers split into two factions, or who knows maybe we will but with different members!
Cloak and Dagger
Fans are still begging for these two to enter the MCU so it's not a surprise that we won't be seeing them during Civil War. These two are more of the "street type" heroes that, not surprisingly, joined Cap's team of Secret Avengers until their arrest and incarceration. However they were later released by Hulkling who was posing as Hank Pym, and because of Cloak's teleportation powers he was able to transport all of them to safety.
The pair may not have been as influential during the Civil War as some of the others on this list, but with Cloak's powers he was a huge asset for Captain America in their final escape! Without him all the Avengers would have died, whether they were on Team Cap or Iron Man! I'm still holding out hope we'll see a Netflix announcement for an new series about these two!
Just like how Luke Cage sided with Captain America when the SHRA became law, and the Avengers splintered Ms. Marvel sided with Tony Stark. She, however, was not swayed like others after the death of Goliath, or the knowledge that Stark had cloned Thor.
During the Civil War Ms Marvel served as one of Iron Man's lieutenants, and after the war was over and Cap had turned himself in she was left to lead the core team of Avengers while Iron Man himself left to become the director or S.H.I.E.L.D. Not only would it be awesome to get a female lead in a superhero film, but how awesome would it be to have a female leader of the Avengers?! Man, I hope this translates to the big screen eventually!
Carol is one of the strongest Avengers in the history of the comics, and it's no surprise that fans are dying to see her appear sooner than later, so with her announced film Captain Marvel set for release in 2018 it's unlikely that she'll be making any sort of appearance in Civil War. We have yet to learn of confirmation in her casting, but I'd also be surprised if we don't see her pop up in the MCU before that film, similar to Black Panther debuting earlier than his solo title, she just won't be appearing in Civil War.
I am beyond excited for Captain America: Civil War, I think even with all these missing characters the movie is going to kick some serious ass! The characters we do have are awesome, and it'll give them more time to shine! Hopefully, soon, we'll start to see some of these other wonderful characters enter the MCU!