Will ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Stay True to Its Roots?


With last week’s world premiere trailer for Captain America: Civil War I felt I should share some plot points from the Marvel: Civil War graphic novel, which inspired the film’s title, to help people gain a better understanding of what to expect from Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster. Due to character rights disputes between Disney, Sony, and Fox, we unfortunately won’t be seeing some of the key players in the Marvel: Civil War book. Despite this, the trailer for Captain America: Civil War still looks like it may live up to its namesake.

Marvel: Civil War the graphic novel opens with a group of inexperienced, teenage superhero wannabes called “The New Warriors” taking on an escaped group of super-villain convicts who are hiding out in a residential neighborhood. The kids are shooting a reality series in order to gain notoriety and fame. What they didn’t expect is that these villains are no-nonsense criminals and when cornered the villain Nitro uses his nuclear powers to obliterate a nearby elementary school and the surrounding residences. This leads to the mother of one of the children spitting in Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) face at the funeral for the victims. She blames him and all people with masks for bringing such mass destruction to the normal citizens. After Johnny Storm (Human Torch) is refused entry to a club and accosted by the people waiting in line, The Avengers get together to discuss the publics outcry for a “Super-Hero Registration Act.”

When Commander Hill, current director of S.H.E.I.L.D, informs Captain America that he would be in charge of rounding up any ‘masks’ who refuse to comply, he fights off Hill’s agents and goes underground, creating a resistance movement called The Secret Avengers. Because anyone who doesn’t agree with the new law now has a figurehead, Tony decides to enlist Spider-Man’s help to become the public face of super-hero registration by revealing his secret identity to the world. This is a milestone in Marvel history as Spidey’s identity has never been public knowledge and has always been closely guarded. With news from Disney that Spider-Man will be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have to wonder if he will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War to recreate this seminal moment from the comic book.

Luke Cage, Daredevil and many of the other Defenders are members of Cap’s resistance in the graphic novel, which begs the question if some of Netflix’s Marvel characters will finally make their big-screen debut. There is a fantastic moment in the book when some villains come to The Secret Avengers to offer their assistance and they are gunned down by The Punisher. Captain America beats the hell out of him calling him a murderer. Spider-Man makes an off comment to a fellow hero that Captain America and Punisher are the “Same guy, different war” due to Cap fighting in World War 2 and Punisher fighting in Vietnam. It is a brilliant commentary on the different perceptions of veterans from both of those wars.

Luckily for Disney, The X-Men refuse to interfere with the superhero civil war in the graphic novel, so Disney doesn’t need to beg Fox for the rights to Wolverine and the gang. However, the Fantastic Four do play a fairly integral part of the story so it’s unfortunate that they won’t be appearing in Captain America: Civil War. Despite the shortcomings that the movie will have compared to the comic book, it still looks amazing and will definitely earn my $15 when it comes out next year.