Before Captain America: Civil War hits theaters I thought I’d actually read it. And I wanted to read the whole event as Marvel has it listed, which is over 100 publications. The main parts are in Civil War #1-7, but the whole story spans over issues of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four and many more. And even more interesting is the Civil War: Front Line series, which takes a look at how “non-combatants” are affected by an event that basically tore the whole Marvel Universe to pieces.
Keep in mind that I still believe this may very well be a good movie
Civil War, and the Superhuman Registration Act, was Marvel’s way of facing, handling, and commenting on events that took place in New York on September 11 of 2001 and The Patriot Act that came to be following those events. It affects the whole Marvel Universe and we get to witness how everyone from the big names to the smallest are forced to take a stand on the issue. But the key word for what made the events of Civil War so enormous is “Marvel Universe”. When you have an established roster of hundreds of characters you get to show how these events resonate over a huge population of superheroes.
This is were the movie will differ. Keep in mind that I still believe this may very well be a good movie and a very entertaining chapter in the Captain America movie-franchise. But the roster of the MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe, isn’t that large yet. And while in the comics Cap takes a stand for the safety and rights of all superheroes and their families of the MU, in the MCU, while the point is principally the same, (in the trailer) he comes off as just choosing a friend over the other, and much of the great impact is missing. Let’s take a look at the second cinematic trailer before we move on.
A scene where half of the Avengers in the MCU clash with the other half is an epic event on the screen. But a 5v5 doesn’t really have the same impact as the great battles that took place in the comic books. But the premise is different as well, as the universe isn’t the same when it comes to events leading up to it and the players are different.For instance, Peter Parker has had a long relationship with Tony Stark as his mentor, due to his interest in science, and Spider-Man plays a big part in the events of Civil War. But in the movie-world, since Sony owns the rights to the cinematic version of the character, things aren’t as simple as Marvel Studios postponing the events of Civil War while they produce movies depicting their version of Spider-Man and how he came to befriend Tony Stark. We’ll have to wait and see how large of a role he actually plays in the movie, but we’ve already seen some big differences in the character just in the quick glance we get.
His moral being stops him from even touching it, afraid that he is not worthy
We can start by the costume he’s wearing, which is very reminiscent of the old school Spider-Man; a touch of fan-service perhaps. But that means he’s not sporting the Iron-Spider suit that he’s given by Tony Stark, which removes all those aspects from the story. And Peter Parker is also one of the characters that is depicted in the comics as being greatly affected by the SHRA. But the movie will not have time for the audience to get to know the character and his family, and how heavy he carries the burden of other peoples safety, especially that of his family, and how all those aspects make his unmasking resonated throughout the whole MU, But what is perhaps more important is what he does in the (very short) clip: He swipes the shield of Captain America out of the hands of Steve Rogers and wields it in his superhero landing. In the comics his moral being stops him from even touching it, afraid that he is not worthy and will taint the pure symbolism of it by placing his hand on it.
These are heavy scenes in the comics that grants the gravity of the whole situation a great sense of magnitude. In the clip we’ve seen it’s been condensed into a joke and a character reveal.
It’s understandable that a movie that is supposed to have a run-time of between 90 and 180 minutes to not be able to cover all the issues, storylines, moral battles, deceptions, social impacts, and characters that an epic sprawling over a hundred comics offers. And the world of copyrights, legal issues, ownership, and everything else that makes a cinematic endeavor hard enough to navigate can not contain all the characters that such events would require to stay true to its source. There’s actually no questioning why this movie will have its own take on the events of Civil War. And while it may be a great addition to the MCU, I fear it will do the canonical events of its inspiration unjust by appearing so early.
So imagine, instead, a world where there Marvel Studios owned all the cinematic rights to all their characters. And that Marvel had continued its march with movies and series that introduce more characters and minor events. Eventually it would all culminate in a gigantic series, featuring all of the characters, as they play out a storyline more along the events of Civil War from the comic books. That would perhaps do the whole arc justice.
But with the MCU version we may be spared one of the hardest moments to come out of a comic frame.