2016 really is the year of the Superhero, and Marvel fans are gearing up for possibly the biggest event of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's history: the long awaited Civil War. As the semi-adaptation one of Marvel's most popular and explosive comic arcs, [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) has a lot of fan expectations riding on it.
Yet for all the hero vs hero drama, the Russo brothers (directors of both Civil War and Winter Soldier) have been quick to remind us that this is first and foremost a film about Steve Rogers. And there might be a few surprises along the way that none of us expected...
The Steve Rogers we meet in The First Avenger has changed a lot. For one thing, he's taller. But he's also gone from a fierce patriot to something of a political revolutionary. Things were simpler back in the 40s: there was a big bad enemy to fight, and the American Way mostly seemed to consist of punching Hitler in the face.
Nowadays it's different, and after Steve fought against government conspiracy in Winter Soldier, he's about to become even more revolutionary...
Captain America: The Political Soldier
Let's be honest, the idea of Captain America breaking down corruption within US defense agencies is not something any of us expected from his story. And yet, it makes total sense for his character. Steve Rogers loves America, but sometimes to fight for your country you have to cast a critical eye on how it's governed.
This was the crux of the story in Winter Soldier, and through his actions Steve Rogers stopped being a propaganda figurehead and started going against the grain. Steve's journey away from the stereotypical patriotic role is a key theme in the Russos' films, and Civil War is no different.
"The arc we’re tracking for Captain America, the thing we thought would be most interesting with this character when we came on board to direct Winter Soldier was to take him from the most ra-ra company man that you could get, this character who was a somewhat willing propagandist, and by the end of the third film he’s an insurgent." - Anthony Russo, for Empire Magazine.
So why the change of pace? While this seems like role reversal, actually it makes a lot of sense for Steve's character: considering how many times he disobeys orders in The First Avenger, we probably should have seen this coming.
Ultimately though, almost all of Steve's decisions to challenge the status quo, or disobey, have been motivated by the safety of one Bucky Barnes...
The Power Of Friendship
There's a lot going on in Civil War, but the one thing the Russos don't want us to forget is that this is Bucky Barnes' story too. The question of whether Bucky is the world's most feared assassin or the longest running prisoner of war might finally be answered, as the man in question starts to discover who he really is.
"To me, he’s never really going to be Bucky Barnes again. There’s going be recognizable things about him, but his path through the [experiences of] Winter Soldier is always going be there, haunting him. He recognizes his past, but at the same time he’s sort of a new character, too." - Sebastian Stan, for EW
But Bucky might not have long to do much soul searching, as the US government seems adamant to capture him. Or something.
The trailer doesn't really make this clear, but it's certain that Bucky's in trouble and unless Captain America takes a stand, something horrible will happen. And Iron Man's kinda pissed about that. Ultimately though, the reason Steve is willing to risk everything for Bucky isn't just because they're friends, but because Bucky is the only connection Steve has left to his past.
"He doesn’t have any peace with his youth. He doesn’t have any peace from his life, so Bucky and whatever happens with Bucky in this movie… That’s a big piece in terms of him kind of finding his own purpose in what he’s fighting for and how that friendship can come back to life. Not just them as soldiers, but them as friends." - Chris Evans, for EW
So when it comes down to it, Captain America's stance in Civil War has a lot to do with rights and freedom, but more to do with his pal Bucky.
Which, honestly, is exactly how it should be, as this takes what could be an overblown and melodramatic story down to a personal level. And we can't wait to see how all of this plays out.