Warning: Spoilers for Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is the biggest Marvel movie to date. It has a large roster of characters, numerous (but manageable) subplots, and fan expectations like no other. While everything was handled quite perfectly, there's no doubt that the successful juggling of characters was nothing short of spectacular. Not only did each Avenger get their time to shine, but the focus was kept squarely on Cap, even when he wasn't in the scene.
A decent number of new and pre-established superheroes played a role in Civil War, and despite only being in one or two scenes, they were there. What with the MCU's interconnectivity, this inclusion has to be addressed in the characters' upcoming movies. So let's talk about the ripple effect Civil War will have on the rest of Phase 3:
Release Date: November 4th, 2016
The first post-Civil War movie, Doctor Strange looks set to be completely independent from the ongoing issues of the MCU (I'm looking at you, HYDRA). That's not to say that it can't be weaved in with some snappy dialogue or post-credits scene cameo, but in relation to the plot, Civil War will likely have a small effect on how this one plays out. Registration Acts don't really matter when you're skipping through dimensions, especially if the act itself has barely come to pass (and you're not really a hero).
Impact: 0.5/5 Eyes of Agamotto
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Release Date: May 5th, 2017
If you thought Doctor Strange was independent, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is even more removed from Civil War's central storyline. You know, what with the whole space thing. And if you're thinking we might see an Avenger cameo, James Gunn confirmed that there are no human characters in the movie.
Impact: 0/5 Awesome Mixtapes
Release Date: July 7th, 2017
Fourteen months after his MCU debut, Tom Holland's Peter Parker swings into his own feature film. And thanks to a corporate agenda, Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark is going to join him! Seeing as Spidey was on Iron Man's team in Civil War, there's definitely going to be some callbacks to that. Additionally, having Tony (a supporter of the Accords) with him, there's a strong chance we're going to see young Peter thinking about signing it himself. But it's important to keep in mind that this is firmly Spider-Man's movie, and most of the attention will be on cementing him as one of the upcoming leaders of the ever-growing MCU.
Impact: 3.5/5 Web Shooters
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder returns for his final outing next November. After being conspicuously absent in Civil War, there probably won't be much in the way of human conflict (especially with the extremely believable rumor that Earth isn't a central location in the film). At the very most, I imagine Heimdall will drop a line or two on what Thor's Earth-based comrades have been up to.
Impact: 0.5/5 Mjolnirs
Release Date: February 16th, 2018
One of Civil War's greatest assets will be headlining his own movie in two years' time. Black Panther played a central role in the conflict, so it should come as no surprise that his solo outing will add continuity to the one of the things it must juggle. In-universe, T'Challa's new role as king is something that has spun directly out of Civil War assassinating T'Chaka. Pair that with the fact that Bucky is currently being kept in a Wakandan fridge, it's fairly clear that much of this movie's plot has been kicked off by Civil War. And that's the bare minimum. Who knows what happens if "they" end up coming for the now armless Winter Soldier? Suffice it to say, Civil War will have a heavy presence in the Panther's solo film.
Impact: 4/5 Claw Necklaces
Avengers: Infinity War — Part 1
Release Date: May 4th, 2018
With the strange situation both Avengers groups are in right now (yes, both), Infinity War Part 1 is going to have a lot of prior issues to juggle. The movie is already bringing in the long-teased villain Thanos, is likely resurrecting a couple baddies, and, as we've heard many times, will be the "culmination of everything that has come before it." While that's all well and good, it doesn't change the fact that Tony and Steve aren't on the best terms right now, half of the Avengers are outlaws, and that there are two separate teams right now. All of that is just from Civil War. It's no wonder people called that movie Avengers 2.5, seeing how much the third installment relies on it.
Impact: 5/5 Infinity Gauntlets
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release Date: July 6th, 2018
Marvel's third 2018 release will feature the return of Scott Lang, who played a giant role in Civil War. This time, however, he'll be accompanied by lady friend (and shrinking badass) Hope van Dyne, taking on the mantle of the Wasp. Although the movie will have its own plot(s), including (but not limited to) saving Janet van Dyne, it's possible to escape the fact that Scott took part in the superheroic Civil War, became a giant, got imprisoned, and subsequently broken out. If it was something minor, like Falcon's appearance in Ant-Man, it could be written off with a line or two. But the degree that Ant-Man factored into Civil War was far greater, and therefore will require quite a bit of exposition and second-hand explaining. In fact, it might be our only insight as to what went down with the prison break, as other members of Cap's team don't have solo movies, and the Avengers movies are going to be quite stuffed already. Adding to that, with Scott regaining his fugitive status, there's no way he can maintain all his relationships, specifically with his daughter.
Impact: 3/5 Pym Particles
Release Date: March 8th, 2019
Captain Marvel will be the first female-led superhero movie from Marvel Studios, so it's easy to understand that the extended universe might be put on hold so as to perfect what they're going for. That said, this is the first solo movie after the dust has settled, meaning there's definitely going to be some new rules in place. Coming from a military/government background, Carol Danvers is going to have to abide by some serious new laws when she starts superhero-ing (if she's on Earth). Either way, the Accords and/or government are definitely going to factor into the movie.
Impact: 2/5 Cool as Hell Mohawks
Avengers: Infinity War — Part 2
Release Date: May 3rd, 2019
Phase 3 comes to an explosive conclusion with Infinity War — Part 2, where the universe's mightiest heroes band together to combat a rotting plum with a magic glove. The conflict will likely head into space for this one, so it's only appropriate that the Earth based subplot phases itself out. Infinity War — Part 1 was more to familiarize us with the new Avengers groups, if not return them to their original status quo. The point is, their dynamic should be the least of our worries when they're fighting Thanos. That said, it's highly unlikely that what went down can ever be truly forgotten or forgiven, so expect some leftover hostility to seep into the movie.
Impact: 2.5/5 Rotting Plums