By this time, it is quite safe to assume that most of you here have experienced the glorious superhero masterpiece that is Captain America: Civil War. It was a brilliant film, to say the very least. It was a Marvel fan's ultimate wet dream come true. But by the end of the film, every fan and admirer was left with one question: what does this film mean for the future of the MCU?
Well, to say that the events of the film drastically affected the course of the MCU would be an understatement. In this article, I try and analyse some elements in the film which could have a major impact on a few of the films scheduled to be a part of Phase 3 of the MCU.
NOTE: There are going to be major spoilers ahead, so if you have not yet seen the film, do not proceed.
1. Spider-Man: Homecoming- July 7, 2017
Ever since the critical failures of Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, fans had been desperately hoping for the iconic character to come back home, that is, to Marvel. Our dreams came true when Marvel and Sony announced that they had come to an agreement, according to which Marvel would have the license to include Peter Parker/Spider-Man in their future projects. We were officially introduced to the MCU's version of the friendly neighborhood web-slinging hero in Captain America: Civil War, where he was played by Tom Holland. Marvel also snatched up this opportunity to add a solo Spider-Man film in their Phase 3 schedule, aptly titled Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Now, obviously, the events of Civil War will affect Spider-Man: Homecoming. Most notably, the dynamic between Peter and Tony Stark/Iron Man will be explored further, because it was recently announced that Robert Downey, Jr. was going to reprise his role as Iron Man in the film. It is not yet known whether he is going to play a major supporting character, or whether it is just going to be a cameo. They are most probably going to have a mentor-pupil relationship, some of which we already saw in Civil War. In Civil War, Tony recruits Peter to be a part of his team, that is, the side of the superhero conflict which is pro-registration. In the post-credits scene of the film, Peter receives a gadget, presumably from Tony, which projects a large Spider-Man logo with a laser. I really hope that we get to see the Iron Spider costume in Homecoming due to Tony's inclusion.
2. Black Panther- February 16, 2018
It is an almost unanimous review: Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa/Black Panther was one of the best things in Captain America: Civil War. Not only was he one of the best things in the film; his inclusion was also very significant for the future of the MCU. Early on in the film, T'Challa's father, King T'Chaka of Wakanda, is killed in a bombing by Helmut Zemo. This makes T'Challa the new King of Wakanda. I believe this is one aspect of the film which will be very important when Black Panther releases in 2018. We will see T'Challa dealing with his new responsibilities as King of the most technologically-advanced nation in the world, and how he overcomes his struggles to become the ruler that his people need.
Aside from that, an extremely crucial scene was the mid-credits scene of the film. At the end of the film, Steve Rogers/Captain America breaks out all of his teammates (Sam Wilson/Falcon, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Scott Lang/Ant-Man, and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) from the Raft prison. He then goes to Wakanda to seek refuge, accompanied by his best friend, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes/Winter Soldier. In the mid-credits scene, Bucky is seen in with Steve, and he chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a permanent cure for his brainwashing is found. Steve warns T'Challa that the government might try to take Bucky away from Wakanda, if they found his whereabouts. T'Challa promises his new friend that he will not let any harm come to him. There is sufficient reason to believe that this will play into the story of Black Panther.
Additionally, Civil War introduces us to Martin Freeman's Everett K. Ross, a member of the Joint Counter Terrorism Center. In the comic books, Ross is primarily associated with T'Challa and Wakanda, so it is not totally out of line to expect that he might make an appearance in the film. Besides, Kevin Feige has stated that Ross's brief appearance is going to better serve the purpose of setting up the character's role in future films. All evidence seems to point in this direction.
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp- July 6, 2018
Of all the superheroes involved in the conflict regarding the Sokovia Accords, Scott Lang/Ant-Man turned out to be, quite literally, the biggest surprise. During the physical confrontation between the two factions at the Leipzing/Halle Airport, Scott demonstrates the amazing ability to grow in scale, therefore providing us with a live-action version of Giant-Man. When he demonstrates this ability, something very important for Ant-Man and the Wasp is also revealed: Pym particles can not only be used to shrink in scale, they can also be used to grow. It is unknown at this point whether Dr. Hank Pym himself is aware of this particular ability that the Ant-Man suit grants its wearer, or whether Hope van Dyne/Wasp will possess the same ability or not.
Regardless, this revelation promises us that many more huge things are in store for us in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and presumably also in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. Speaking of which...
4. Avengers: Infinity War- Part 1 on May 4, 2018, Part 2 on May 3, 2019
At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Steve defeats Tony in their final fight, and prepares to leave with Bucky. However, Tony declares that Steve's iconic shield is not rightfully his, as it was made for him by Tony's father Howard. In a scene which shocked many people, Steve drops the shield on the floor and leaves. The scene, I believe, was more symbolic than people might imagine. It signified that Steve no longer wants to owe anything to anyone, and he wants to live his own life on his own terms, which is probably why he rescues all his teammates from the Raft prison, to lead a new version of the Avengers which will have no ties to any regulatory or governing body. Tony leads his own team of heroes who want to operate under direct government supervision.
Now, we all know that all of these issues will be rendered obsolete by the time Avengers: Infinity War rolls around. It will be catastrophe on a grand cosmic level, and government authority will not matter. Everyone will have to put aside these petty differences to battle Thanos, who will have collected all the Infinity Stones by then. Not to mention, they will also need a leader. This is where Steve will come in. After all this time, he will pick up the shield once again to lead the greatest team of superheroes ever assembled, to fight the greatest threat ever known. I do not think that Civil War in any way directly sets up Infinity War, but these are symbolic references which will definitely be there in the two-part epic.
What are your thoughts on the film? Do you think these are valid analyses? Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments.