Captain America: Civil War's release date, May 6, draws nearer and nearer with each passing day. The movie looks so exciting! We see some of our favorite superheroes take each other on in battle in quite possibly the most action packed way.
Ant-Man riding Hawkeye's arrow, War Machine being shot down by (presumably) the Winter Soldier, and Spider-Man stealing Captain America's shield are just a few of the exciting moments depicted in the latest trailer. Now as fun as the fighting is, there is one question people keep asking:
What are they even fighting about?
This is actually a fair question. Though there is some discussion about the central disagreements in the trailer, they really don't give enough. When it comes down to it, the entire fight is political.
To analyze and predict why there are fighting in the movie, we should probably look at the roots of the story - the comic books. Though it has been confirmed that the fight in Captain America: Civil War will not be the same as the Superhuman Registration Act in the comics, it will be similar.
In the comics...
In the Civil War story arc by Marvel Comics, the fight was over the Superhuman Registration Act. This Act was put into place in order to restrict the use of superhuman abilities. It stated that a person could only use their gifts if they registered under the government and went through a training program. From there, the government would determine if they would be allowed to use their abilities.
The Registration Act also included the restriction of unregulated use of abilities. This meant that you could only use your powers to help people under government regulation. If a superhero saw something bad going down, they would need the government's approval and assistance in order to stop it.
Many of the superheroes did not like this idea, including Captain America, Daredevil, Falcon, and countless others. When the Act was put into place, those who used their abilities without registering became criminals.
Those who had registered, like Iron Man, Ms. Marvel and the Fantastic Four, now worked for the government and were used to hunt down criminals. Unfortunately, this included Captain America's resistance. This is how the war started - Cap tried to defend freedom from registration, while Iron Man tried to invoke justice to keep the world safe.
In the movie...
The movie will take a different approach, but still have similarities. The official synopsis of the film gives us some clues as to what we will see:
Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes the heroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.
Based on what we've seen so far, the movie version of the Superhuman Registration Act will not include registration. Instead, it will focus on the government regulation when using these abilities.
So, although superhumans will not have to register, they must have government permission and supervision when using such abilities, even if it is to save someone.
The Sokovia Accords
Instead of being called the Superhuman Registration Act, this new rule is called the Sokovia Accords during the movie. It is named after the fictional city we witnessed the destruction of during the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Like the Registration Act, the Accords regulate what the superheroes can and cannot do. It gives government power over the Avengers in an attempt to prevent collateral damage to keep the world safer.
In a conversation between Captain America and Iron Man in the latest trailer, Cap said:
"If I see a situation pointed South, I can't ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could."
This is a big glimpse into why Captain America is against the Sokovia Accords. Part of being a hero is constantly being ready to save the day. You can't do that if it becomes illegal. Captain America isn't prepared to wait for a signed permission slip from the government before he stops a crime. That is something he is not okay with.
This need to constantly fight for the greater good is why Captain America is against the Sokovia Accords, and Cap's defiance of the law is why Iron Man must stop him. Captain America and the rest of his team become criminals when they defy the law - and it takes superheroes like Iron Man and his team to hunt down these government-deemed supervillains.
Whether you are Team Iron Man or Team Captain America, these are the facts (that we know about). Captain America wants to keep fighting even when the law tells him not to, and his criminal activities turn those on Team Iron Man against those on Team Captain America. It's a political debate and, as the directors said, it will not leave anyone in a good state after the film - it becomes too hard to choose which side is right.