So, you're here, in an article filled with [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) spoilers. You know the drill. If you haven't seen the film yet, turn around and remedy that. If you have, we're good to go. And for those who need a visual warning...
In many ways, Civil War is an ending, a culmination of the trilogy that began with The First Avenger and continued with the excellent Winter Soldier. The story of Cap's relationship with Bucky Barnes and his shifting dynamic with Tony Stark is framed against the fallout from both Avengers movies, giving this one the feel of an epic climax, a tying together of threads.
But if it feels like the bittersweet final chapter of a long and very satisfying book, it shouldn't be forgotten that this book has a sequel. It's called Avengers: Infinity War, and if you look closely you'll see that Civil War does quite a bit to subtly set up that epic final Avengers story.
Scarlet Witch's Powers
During the scene at Avengers HQ in which Hawkeye arrives to break Wanda out to fight with Team Cap, Wanda completely overpowers Vision. On the one hand, this scene is significant because it fractures the budding relationship between Wanda and Vision, who've become somewhat close in a way that seems to pay homage to their long-established relationship in the comics. Having Scarlet Witch cause Vision pain, however temporary, fully establishes her commitment to the cause and rejection of the Accords.
But it also works on a dual level, demonstrating beyond doubt that Wanda's powers, gifted to her by the Mind Stone, have grown to the point that they can torpedo power from the same source in another outlet (i.e. Vision).
The real significance of this scene is that Scarlet Witch now has the ability to overpower an Infinity Stone — and guess who'll have six of those by the time Infinity War arrives? Yup, it's your friendly neighborhood Thanos.
It's pretty exciting that, almost from nowhere, Scarlet Witch has become the Avengers' greatest secret weapon, her powers more important to their chances of defeating Thanos than the super-strength or combat abilities of Captain, Black Widow, Hulk or Thor. Way to go, Wanda.
To go deeper into this, check out What does the Scarlet Witch Infinity Stone reveal mean for Avengers: Infinity War?
'United We Stand, Divided We Fall'
Could Civil War's own tagline prove prophetic for Infinity War? The movie ends on a note that does little to suggest that Team Cap will be operating above board anytime soon, all on the run after having broken out of the Raft, presumably with a price on their heads.
Joe Russo said it best when talking to CinemaBlend recently:
"The greatest threat that the universe has ever seen is coming, and they're completely fractured."
Against Thanos, though, the Avengers will have no choice but to present a united front. It may be that one faction will operate on a more legal plane than the other, but strategically and ideologically, these guys only stand a chance against the Mad Titan and his Infinity Gauntlet if they're on the same page.
Essentially, Civil War goes out of its way not to set up Infinity War in its decision to make Team Cap a band of wanted vigilantes, and that makes the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe look very interesting indeed.
There are two Avengers missing from Civil War, and both are conspicuous by their absence. At one point, General Ross quizzes Steve on the whereabouts of Hulk and Thor. Steve has no clue.
The decision to exclude the Asgardian and the big green guy doesn't just make sense in terms of this movie's plot — Hulk fighting on either side would give them a major advantage and therefore reduce the tension of not knowing which side, if any, will win — it also serves to highlight that these two heroes, who are almost Gods, are going to have a major role to play.
It makes sense that the Falcons, War Machines and Black Widows of this world should have their moment now because, realistically, they won't be half as important as Hulk or Thor in Infinity War. Think of it as the calm before the storm.
Captain America: Civil War is out now, finally, in the US. I want to know: