I remember when I read the Civil War comic for the first time. It was an intense experience for me, watching these superheroes go head-to-head over their ideological differences, and while I was a bit too young to understand the nuances of the story fully, I was convinced Iron Man was an outright villain. As I grew up and my opinion of the world changed, I could relate to Tony stark’s view more, and softened my opinion of him, but I still couldn’t condone his actions and was firmly #TeamCap.
When Marvel first announced Civil War, in that same state of excitement, I pledged allegiance to Cap, and bought all the paraphernalia needed to show it. What I didn’t know at the time, was how different the MCU Civil War was going to be from the comic’s, but hey, you know fans.
I’ve been reconsidering my stance on which team I support having seen the footage and read the reports, and with a month to go, I still can’t decide whose side am I on, even though I can see the argument proposed by both sides and none of them are especially wrong.
This leads me to ask the question – is there even a right side? We’ve all been so focussed on trying to see things in black and white that we haven’t considered the possibility that perhaps there is no black and white here, they’re both grey.
The whole incident is kicked off due to the involvement of Sokovia Accords (which I’ve discussed in detail here) and the fight is primarily ideological in nature, with Captain America against them and Tony Stark for their enactment.
I’d first like to talk about Tony, and why he’s right. We’ve known Tony for 8 years now, and he’s not always been the most responsible, or sensible and levelheaded person, but I think about the guy in the Humvee who took shrapnel to the chest, and I think about the guy who created Ultron so the world could be safe, and you have to admire how much Tony has changed over the years. Tony has seen everything there was to see, from watching American soldiers gunned down by his own weapons, to watching an entire region destroyed by a robot he created, and I can’t imagine what the weight of something like that does to a person. While collateral damage is a part of being a hero, the collateral damage of the kind witnessed in Age of Ultron has to make one question what is the meaning of being a hero.
The Avengers have wreaked their fair share of havoc on the world, there’s no denying it - a grudge match levelled a small town in Thor, an alien invasion caused massive destruction of life and property in New York, The Dark World nearly levelled Greenwich, The Winter Soldier brought gunships raining down in Washington DC and we finally have Age of Ultron, that levelled Sokovia and caused the maximum damage. I can understand why the Government would view these people as vigilantes and want to establish a control system, because we clearly cannot have thee superpowered people running around as they please, teaming up whenever they deem fit because their actions have consequences, and Tony realizes that, having seen the destruction that Ultron caused.
Tony feels responsible and wants to do things the right way, as he believes and wants to bring everyone in the fray, while Captain America refuses. I suppose this ideological difference is made worse when Bucky, who might be framed for an incident, is on the run, and instead of having him brought in, Cap decides to aid him. Couple that with the fact that Bucky may have assassinated Howard Stark and takes a headshot at Tony, you have one pissed Iron Man. In his way, he’s right to resort to the measures he resorts to, and if something truly were to happen to Rhodey, he’d be pushed past the edge he’s on and declare a full on war because to him, Cap would seem like an unreasonable bitch-ass punk. As for his teammates, I can’t explain Natasha and Spider-Man just yet, but Black Panther supports Tony because their interests align, Vision is a lot like JARVIS so it would naturally make sense for him to support his creator (in a way) while Tony and Rhodey are best friends, so that’s a no-brainer.
Coming to Captain America, it makes sense for him to do what he does. This is a man who’s defined by his ideals and morality. He sacrificed himself for his country and the safety of the world, wound up losing is best friend, lost 70 years of his life being frozen, and just when he finally settled into the new world, everything came crashing back down and he found his friend alive, but with no memory of who he is. That is more trauma than any man has the right to experience.
Coming to the ideological side of his argument, he’s right. There are too many things that can go wrong. Can you imagine what would happen if there was another invasion, and the Avengers couldn’t react immediately due to the lack of proper clearance and jurisdiction? Who would explain that? Would the Government answer to the relative of every life lost and tell them their loved one died because the Government couldn’t clear The Avengers in time? It’s baffling. Tony’s argument about accountability is valid, but so is Cap’s.
As for Bucky, while a lot of people have expressed their disdain at making Bucky the heart of the conflict, I would say it’s a reasonable move, because that gives the film emotional stakes. I mean think from Cap’s perspective here – your long lost friend might be being framed for his actions, and you could be about to lose him, wouldn’t you try and risk everything for them? God knows I would do that for my friends, they know who they are, and sometimes we have to go against the structure to get our point across, and if we’re wrong about it, then so be it.
It makes sense for Falcon to be on Cap’s side seeing how they grew close during The Winter Soldier, and Ant-Man was recruited by them so it would make sense. I’m not so sure about Hawkeye, but Scarlet Witch needed guidance to deal with her brother’s death and channel her abilities, and Cap gave her that, so it makes sense she would support him.
At the end of the day, I don’t think we’re any closer to determining the answer to the question that’s on all our minds. Apparently the Russos aimed to make a movie whose connotations would be fiercely debated with people constantly arguing about who was right in the end, and with the way things are, I’d say they’ve succeeded even before the film released.
Civil War is out on 6th May (or 29th April, depending on your region) and it couldn’t come sooner.
What did you think of the article? Comment below and let me know, and if you liked what you read and you wanna read more, click here to check out my other articles.