ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

There's a lot to look forward to this year when it comes to the superhero thoroughfare winding its way through 2016, and for us here you'd be hard pressed to beat [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) in terms of anticipation.

Civil War is set to throw a pipe bomb into Phase 3, scattering the Avengers team to two sides over the Sokovia Accords introduced following the destructive events of [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) and the damage wrought by Tony Stark / Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) accidentally antagonistic creation Ultron (James Spader).

But the Accords aren't the only tension point for the team in Civil War, as the first trailer explained why this is a Captain America film rather than an Avengers film.

Passing The Buck

Directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo have reiterated on numerous occasions that Civil War is intended as a follow on from [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](tag:254973), not Age of Ultron. Because of this it will deal heavily with the repercussions of the reappearance of Steve Rogers / Captain America's (Chris Evans) best friend James "Bucky" Barnes / Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and Steve's refusal to let Bucky be taken down for crimes he may not have committed.

The emphasis on Bucky throws a few spanners into the works both emotionally and narratively as he doesn't actually appear in the original Civil War comic, his input is mainly relegated to the aftermath in The Death of Captain America - though there's no word yet if this part of the story will be adapted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

An "Emotional Horror"

Civil War has been described as "an emotional horror movie" via reports of advance screenings of the unfinished movie, and said to focus largely on the relationship between Steve and Bucky, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of other drama going on also.

We saw the beginnings of this in Anthony and Joe Russo's The Winter Soldier, which up to now may have delivered some of the biggest emotional gut punches in the form of Bucky's brainwashing and his traumatic reunion with Steve.

Clearly we'll be seeing a lot more in terms of examination of their relationship in Civil War - especially as the film is set to explore who Bucky is as a person and chart his redemption now that he is no longer Sgt. James Barnes, or the Winter Soldier - but it's not just about Bucky and Steve oh no.

Steve and Tony

The original Civil War was a big event in the comics history because of the division between Captain America and Iron Man, whose relationship at this point was definitely that of close friends and teammates. Both men struggle with their decision throughout the comic book arc, and both fear the path which they head down.

With the MCU it's a little different though. Whilst the "Sorry Tony. You know I wouldn't do this if I had any other choice. But he's my friend." "...So was I." exchange was meant to be the most affecting part of the trailer it felt more than a little flat (despite Downey Jr's excellent delivery).

This was largely due to the fact that there's not really much time been given over to solidifying them specifically as friends rather than just teammates. In fact there's been more development between Steve and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) than there has Steve and Tony.

However Tony Stark has developed as a character a lot over the course of the MCU, even if he hasn't quite gone as dark as his comic book counterpart. There's been a lot said about Tony and Steve's relationship, from the suggestion that Tony has an inability to form functional relationships to the idea that he's projecting his daddy issues of rejection onto his "friendship" with Steve, the man whom his father Howard Stark held in such high regard.

But regardless of how you view their relationship the division in Civil War will pull all these issues to the surface, especially in terms of Tony and his neuroses. Will they be able to reconcile things by the conclusion, or will the worst happen and (like in the comics) Tony lose the man who he held in regard as his friend?

From the sounds of it Captain America: Civil War isn't pulling any of its punches, as it's been described as everything from a story of redemption to having an ending so traumatic it's going to shake up the MCU forever.

It's a little early to say right now for sure, but right now it's looking as though Civil War is set to be the emotional centrepiece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Are you ready for it?

'Captain America: Civil War' is set to release 6 May 2016 in the US.


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