When Marvel announced in 2013 the listing for its upcoming movies, everyone was hyped to hear about Captain America: Civil War. It’s practically impossible to be a fan of the comic books and not have heard about the infamous storyline that the film is going to be founded on. The Civil War plotline was launched in 2006, with no other arc living up to the impact it had on the Marvel universe. Our heroes were no longer dealing with villains that threatened to render Earth to a pile of ashes and dust. Instead, the conflict was internal, gnawing at the morality of those who suddenly had different points of view when it came to humanity’s defense.
After the release of the latest trailer and with the premiere of the third Captain America installment quickly approaching, it’s time to put the movie and comics side by side. From what we’ve gathered so far, here are 6 Differences Between The Civil War Movie And Comics.
1. The Catalyst
Every fire needs some sparks before being ignited. Civil War is no different, although the reason why superheroes are now forced to pick sides is different in the movie than in the comics.
In the comics, at fault is a rather obscure group of heroes called The New Warriors. They naively try to defeat Nitro, a villain that proved to be way beyond their powers. He causes an explosion so big that it, unfortunately, takes the lives of roughly 600 innocent civilians. Needless to say, the government was furious and decided that the superhero's way of dealing with villains was damaging the cities and population too much. Therefore, they needed to find a way to ensure that superheroes’ powers would be kept in check. In other words, they would be (unfairly) held accountable for all the damage caused by the villains.
On the other hand, the movies chose to tie the reasoning behind the superhero registration with the damage left behind by the Avengers’ missions. From the destruction caused to New York and to the untoward side effects succeeding Ultron’s defeat in Sokovia, it all became too much for the government to handle.
2. The Characters
One of the things that made Civil War such a memorable arc was the sheer scale of the event. However, for understandable reasons, it’s a factor that’s rather difficult to transfer on the big screen.
Essentially every single character in the comics gets involved in the conflict, one way or another. And it’s not just the heroes that get affected; villains are thrown into the mix too.
The Marvel cinematic universe is considerably more limited than the books, so to include all of the characters in a two-hour long film would be practically impossible. For starters, we won’t be seeing the Fantastic Four getting involved in the strife. Reed Richards was a pivotal player for the pro-registration side, relentlessly working alongside Tony Stark so their cause could emerge victoriously. But since FOX insists on keeping the rights to the team, we can be absolutely certain they won’t ever become a part of the MCU. Other big names that won’t participate in the Civil War will be Bruce Banner (Hulk) and Thor, who’s probably just busy preparing his upcoming installment, Thor: Ragnarok.
3. The Sides
From the trailers and teasers shown, we’ve managed to get a clear look at the two opposing sides. Iron Man leads the pro-registration side, backed up by Black Widow, War Machine, Vision, and Black Panther (supposedly Spider-Man too). Captain America leads the anti-registration side, followed by Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man.
The teams aren’t very different from their comic counterparts, but there are indeed some changes. For starters, Vision was on Cap’s side in the comics. Black Panther was also in the anti-registration group since he wanted to leave his people out of the quarrel. In the trailers, however, he is shown to be by Tony’s side. Producers have said, though, that he is more of a wildcard, so we can expect the unexpected.
4. The Villains
The government decided that those who opposed the Superhero Registration Act are too dangerous to be left to their own devices. Cap and his allies were declared public enemies and have started being actively hunted down.
Some of the most odious supervillains started working under the government, pretty happy with the opportunity to legally kill some superheroes. It made for a good plot point and a definite obstacle for Cap’s side that rendered the conflict more intense.
It doesn’t look like this scenario will be transmuted to the movie, though. And it’s, again, understandable. There are enough characters squeezed in a mere two-hour runtime as it is, adding villains would complicate things even further. Moreover, MCU’s villains are either too big (see Loki and Thanos), either forgettable, either dead.
5. Spider-Man’s Side
It seems like the other wildcard character in the movie is going to be Spider-Man, whose arrival to the Marvel cinematic universe has been long awaited. The latest trailer definitely made quite a fuss out of his climatic appearance right at the end. But what’s his role going to be, exactly?
In the comics, Peter Parker is squeezed in the middle of the conflict. He is more or less bribed by Tony to the pro-registration act and managed to shock all readers by publicly revealing his identity. Ultimately, Spider-Man’s morals clashed with the lengths to which Tony and Reed went to, and switched sides to Cap’s team.
One could say that this seems like the trajectory the MCU Spider-Man will take, but it’s not that likely. For starters, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is only sixteen years old, a big difference from the adult, married, mature Peter Parker in the comics. The circumstances are different and with this factor considered, Spider-Man might see the Civil War differently.
6. The Deaths
Arguably the most anticipated moment of the movie is the ending. More specifically, the imminent death of one of the characters. The streak of deaths in the comics is started by the New Warriors and then ends with the assassination of Captain America himself.
Producers have been teasing the death of one of the characters for a while now, and theories haven’t failed to surface. Many fingers point towards War Machine (who seems to be in a bad place in the trailer) while others believe the victim will be Scarlet Witch. Naturally, the outcome that many fear is that the movie will stay faithful to the comics and kill off Cap. Don’t worry too much about that, though, since Chris Evans is signed up for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War.
In the first two phases of Marvel movies, we were introduced to a set of brilliant characters, getting attached to many of them. With Civil War, it looks like our affinity towards one character or another is going to be tested, forcing us to also pick sides. The movie is going to come soon, and then we’ll be able to decide if these 6 Differences Between The Civil War Movie And Comics have been accurate.