*Minor spoilers for Captain America: Civil War lurk within*
We're going to discuss this by dropping as few spoilers as we can, but we can't discuss it without at least dropping a little one. If you don't want to know even a little baby spoiler, then get outta here! If you're okay with that, take this adorable GIF of Chris Evans getting the stars and stripes scared outta him on Ellen by a guy dressed as Iron Man to decide, and if you're still cool with it, then read on.
The Sokovia Accords
The odds are that if you've clicked on this article you may suspect that the Civil War adaptation ends something like the comic books. You'd be wrong in many aspects of that assumption, except for the fact that when Civil War wraps [SPOILER] the Sokovia Accords are still, as far as we know, in place.
Just as in the comics, where Team Iron Man essentially wins the conflict by default, the Superhuman Registration Act remains in place and the Fifty State Initiative is established, until after Secret Invasion and Siege when the act is repealed by Steve Rogers.
If you haven't seen [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) yet don't worry, this doesn't necessarily mean that Team Iron Man wins — oh no — the ending is a little more complex than that. That's all we're saying on the matter. Don't ask us anything else until Friday.
How Will This Affect The MCU?
But yes, when the events of Civil War wrap, the Sokovia Accords are still firmly in place, and this clearly has big repercussions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe from here on out — at least for those films that take place in America.
Next up on the earthbound side of the slate we have November's Doctor Strange, which will properly introduce the concept of magic and other dimensions to the MCU, then Spider-Man: Homecoming, then Black Panther before Infinity War - Part 1 wraps it all together.
The events of Black Panther shouldn't be too affected by the Accords given that it will likely take place mostly in Wakanda, but then again the surprise ending of Civil War could suggest otherwise (but we won't discuss that here too much because, major spoilers!) But what about Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming?
Doctor Strange is a tricky one to call in terms of how the Accords will affect the narrative, given that it's going to be mainly concerned with Strange's origin. It would be all well and good to assume that his journey to Tibet and encounter with the Ancient One, who teaches him the ways of the mystic arts, would be set in the present — but then, remember that The Winter Soldier Easter Egg?
When Cap, Falcon and Black Widow confront Hydra double agent Jasper Sitwell on the rooftop, he spills the secrets of Zola's algorithm and the true nature of Project Insight, he mentions the fact that a character never directly mentioned in the MCU before is one of Project Insight's targets.
Jasper Sitwell: "Zola's algorithm is a program for choosing Insight's targets."
Steve Rogers: "What targets?"
Jasper Sitwell: "You! A TV anchor in Cairo, the Under Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who's a threat to Hydra. Now, or in the future."
This does seem to suggest that Doctor Strange has already at least begun seeking out his powers, in order to be notable as a threat to Hydra. This was in 2014, remember. The popular opinion is that there will be a time skip between Strange's origins and whatever is going on currently in the MCU, and if this is true it means that Strange coming to power would've happened prior to the events of Civil War.
The fact that he was mentioned by name here seems to suggest that Stephen Strange is known to the authorities at this time as a sorcerer — or someone possessing some measure of power. The particulars of the Accords are yet to be completely clarified, but it sounds like they extend beyond just the Avengers team and out into the world of the superhumans in general.
When Strange was first introduced, he was well known as a mythic figure in his community, and recent iterations have kept this particular facet going, so will he also be dealing with the government knocking on his door when Doctor Strange rolls around in November?
Given that this was Spider-Man's first foray into the MCU, he wasn't exactly a major character in Civil War, but he wasn't exactly relegated to a cameo either. Tom Holland's fresh-faced take on the iconic Marvel character was one of the standout pieces of the film, and the back and forth between Peter Parker and Tony Stark was as laugh out loud funny as it was an effective way of quickly wrapping up Spidey's origins.
So clearly Spider-Man is going to be very important going forward, and [Spider-Man: Homecoming](tag:3874051) was bumped up to a 2017 release ahead of Captain Marvel and Black Panther. So how will the Accords affect him?
In the comics, Spider-Man takes a central role in the Superhuman Registration Act as he's initially Team Iron Man, and shows his support of the act by unveiling his secret identity, which was — until that point — still one of the most closely guarded secrets in the Marvel Comic Universe.
We don't yet know if the Accords mean that, like the SHRA, the heroes registering under the act have to unveil their identities publicly, but it's a safe bet that the MCU Spider-Man wouldn't be having any of that. In the Civil War comics he was a grown man with years of superhero-ing under his belt; in the MCU he's a 15-year-old who has been Spider-Man for all of six months — and he'd definitely get grounded by Aunt May if she found he'd been swinging around the city as Spider-Man.
Spider-Man's links to Tony Stark (which we all saw in the promo material, so don't go calling spoiler alert) will be crucial going forward here. And we all know by now that Robert Downey Jr. is set to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so does this mean Spider-Man will get a free pass from the Accords, or will he be drawn further into it? And how will this affect his homework? So many important questions here.
Doctor Strange is set for release November 4, 2016, with Spider-Man: Homecoming swinging into theaters July 7, 2017.