Disclaimer: This article contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for both "Captain America: Civil War" and its source material, "Civil War". You have been warned.
"Captain America: Civil War" is undeniably a great movie, and is easily one of, if not the best MCU movie so far. Is that a bold statement to stand behind only three days after its United States release? No. It is not. If you have not seen it yet, go see it. You will understand.
Firstly, this is not a praise review article. The above paragraph is all that is going to be written about the quality of the movie. From here on out, this article is really only going to be about the similarities and differences between the gargantuan Marvel crossover event that came out in 2006, and the movie that was based off of the graphic novel released in 2016. (Just a heads up, I will refer to "Captain America: Civil War" (the film) as "CA: CV" and the graphic novel "Civil War" as "Civil War".) So for those comic book nerds out there who were disappointed by the lack of Thunderbolts, or the fact that the sides were a little mixed up, this article is for you!
(Also, these are broad similarities and differences between the movie and the comics, I'm not being super nit-picky because you could probably right a couple of books about all of the things different between the two.)
Let's get started with the positive.
3 Ways "Captain America: Civil War" Got it Right
1.) The Action
Throughout the first hour or so watching this movie, I was becoming increasingly nervous. Besides the extremely disappointing fight with Crossbones (what a waste of a character), there was little to no action. Now, for those comic nerds out there, you know that "Civil War" is packed tight with almost non-stop action. Fight after fight after fight. To name a few:
- Captain America vs. SHIELD
- SHIELD vs. Wiccan, Hulkling, Patriot
- Yellowjacket vs. Goliath
- Spider-Man vs. Captain America
- "Thor" vs. Goliath
- Spider-Man vs. Iron Man
- Spider-Man vs. Thunderbolts
- Captain America vs. the Punisher
- Thunderbolts vs. Namor
- Hercules vs. Thor
- Captain America vs. Iron Man
Luckily, about an hour into "CA: CV" the action eventually picked up and movie goers and Marvel nerds were subject to a plethora of intense and astounding fight sequences. I mean we were able to see:
- Avengers vs. Crossbones
- Black Panther, Black Widow, Iron Man vs. the Winter Soldier
- Black Panther vs. Captain America
- Falcon and the Winter Soldier vs. Spider-Man
- Scarlet Witch vs. Vision
- Giant Man/Ant Man vs. Iron Man
- Hawkeye vs. Black Widow
- Black Widow vs. Black Panther
- Iron Man vs. Captain America and the Winter Soldier
- Iron Man vs. Captain America (obviously)
We were a lucky audience, guys. That list above is pretty awesome.
2.) The Tragedy
Mark Millar gave readers an almost overwhelming amount of soul-crushing moments, from the deaths of Goliath, Captain America, and others to the emotional, tear-jerking moment when the citizens of New York tackle Captain America to the ground.
The drama and tragedy in "CA: CV" is definitely equal to that in the comics. We saw War Machine become crippled for the foreseeable future, and we watched the fear, anger, and sadness in Tony Stark's eyes grow as he witnessed his parents being murdered by the Winter Soldier. Not only that, but "CA: CV" also gave the audience the most emotionally powerful fight between two heroes that we have ever seen in a super hero movie. Ever. This movie has definitely changed the way the MCU will work from here on out. This universe is no longer a nice place with evil robots and aliens. This is a universe where people have real genuine emotions, real genuine hate, and a real genuine lust for revenge. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the next Avengers movie was called "The Revengers". This movie left so many questions unanswered and so many problems unsolved. (I am so excited for Infinity War, you guys!)
Tom Holland was just so god as Spider-Man. Finally, Marvel fans are given an actual awkward teenage Spider-Man, rather than a 25 year-old acting like a teenager (Andrew Garfield) or a 30 year-old Spider-Man who is (almost) getting married and going to college (Tobey Maguire). Don't get me wrong, I grew up watching Tobey swing around the New York skyline (and even stood by him during his emo Venom days) and I loved Andrew Garfield's take on the web-slinger (especially with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy), but Tom Holland just felt right. He was awkward. He was funny. He was curious. He acted like every other teenager would if they were approached by a multi billionaire superhero to help him tackle America's beloved genetically mutated superhero, Captain America. Tom Holland's one-liners were perfect and completely in-character, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing him in Homecoming.
(If I had to make a fourth point, it would be that the movie got Black Panther right too! Respect to Chadwick Boseman and the writers on that one. Panther was probably my favorite character in this movie.)
3 Ways "Captain America: Civil War" Got it Wrong
1.) The Sides
For those of you who think that the movie should be a carbon copy of the source material (first off, don't watch The Watchmen), you were probably cringing when you saw the teams in this film. In "Civil War", Iron Man sided with:
- Mr. Fantastic
- Yellow Jacket (Hank Pym) - later to be discovered as a spy
- the Thunderbolts
- Ms. Marvel
- Spider-Man - later to switch alliances
In the movie, Iron Man has:
- War Machine
- Black Widow
- Black Panther
- the government (SHIELD)
Pretty big difference, if you ask me.
In the comics, Captain America had:
- Invisible Woman and the Human Torch
- the Punisher
- Spider-Man - once he switches over
- Luke Cage
- Ant Man - once it's revealed that he was a spy
In the movie, Captain America has:
- the Winter Soldier
- Ant Man
- Scarlet Witch
Once again, kind of a big difference. Now, I get that a lot of the characters from the comics (like Fantastic Four and the X-Men) could not be in "CA: CV" due to contractual issues, but some of these members, like Black Panther, are on the complete opposite side in the movie compared to what side they were on in the book.
2.) Traitors and Spies
"Captain America: Civil War", despite its genius, missed out on many opportunities to add even more tension and drama to the mix through traitorous members. The "Civil War" graphic novel was stocked full of twists and surprises, most of which were provided by members switching sides (Spider-Man) or being revealed as complete spies (Yellow Jacket/ Ant Man). I would have really liked to have seen a fight between the teenage Spider-Man and the emotionally distressed Iron Man, but I understand why it was not added to the already action-packed movie.
3.) The entire plot
Wow, that's pretty brutal right? No, it's actually an understatement. Go read "Civil War", and tell me where they even mention the Winter Soldier, much less have the entire movie revolving around Bucky and his whereabouts. Don't get me wrong guys, I absolutely loved the subplots (or was Civil War the actual subplot since this was a Captain America movie??) involving the other Winter Soldiers and Zemo, but it has no place in a source-material-accurate "Civil War" adaptation. Had we not been given the back story and added depth to the character of the Winter Soldier, however, the audience would not have received the emotional powerhouse of a finale that we were given. Let's be honest, the "Civil War" graphic novel really lacked any actual emotional depth. Sure, it was "emotional" that two best friends were arguing over a cause, and people were dying left and right, but Iron Man's parents being killed by the man Captain America worked so hard to protect? That's just ruthless!
"Captain America: Civil War" is a great movie. If you haven't seen it, go see it! This isn't a definitive list guys, so I want you guys to comment below how you felt about "Captain America: Civil War" compared to the Marvel's graphic novel "Civil War"!