4/27/16

Civil War - Predictions, Anxieties and Potential Spoilers


I wish I could tell you I'm Team Cap, it's his movie after all. But I'm currently Team Iron Man.

Captain America has been on the straight and narrow, narratively speaking, for so long. At this point, in order to raise the stakes, Cap might have to be...you know...wrong. Or in the grand tradition of flawed heroes, correct in his mind but lacking his trademark self-sacrificial, good judgement.

Please know this is not necessarily what I want to happen. What I want is for all the Avengers and new superheroes to get together, hold hands and sing "Aquarius".

I also seriously doubt I'm correct. After all, I thought LOST was going to end when Jacob and the Man in Black revealed they were God and Satan who had rebooted humanity seven different times so humans could prove they were worthy of existence. The seventh try was humanity's last and the stakes were high because humanity failed the previous six.

(Hence the four-toed statue and a plethora of other things I retconned to ensure the pieces fit together. This is what happens when writers watch TV. The little elves that live in our brain are too busy picking things apart and trying to reconstitute them into us-shaped plots that it's hard to accept things as they are.)

So you've been warned.

Also I briefly talk comics here. So remember...




I'm Team Iron Man for several reasons:

1. I trust the very different journey MCU Tony has taken from comic Tony couldn't possibly produce the WWE version of Iron Man that exists in the Civil War comics.

2. It's true we've seen Tony make the same mistake repeatedly, taking control into his own hands by any means necessary to fix problems he has created. But again, he's been on a journey. I'm not saying he's going to be 100% correct.

But I feel like Iron Man has earned our trust by demonstrating he can make mistakes, learn from them and change. Compared to Cap, who has sort of...never made a real mistake before. Certainly not compared to the whoppers Tony has made. So Cap's first mistake is bound to be a huge one born of naiveté.

3. Though I trust Black Widow's judgement infinitely, I think she's likely working as a double agent for Team Cap. This makes me feel just a touch sorry for Tony. I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of Natasha Romanoff.

Her judgement in the MCU may be corrupted as well since we've seen her grow attached to Steve Rogers. In fact, other than the relationship she attempted to forge with Bruce Banner, Steve may be the only other human with whom she has created any kind of real bond. (She confessed to him in "Winter Soldier" that she only acts like she knows everything. That's as vulnerable as that character gets.) She may be even more attached to him now that Bruce is gone and no, I'm not talking romantically attached. I doubt the Bruce/Natasha arc is donezo. I hope it's not. I was a fan.

4. Speaking of good judgement, if Vision is on Team Iron Man, I sort of feel like that's the final word, right? He's the only one worthy to wield Thor's hammer. He's got one of the infinity stones. He's sort of...godlike. If you wanna talk big picture, Vision probably has it.

5. Outside of my writer's brain, there's another reason. It's in Robert Downey Jr.'s performance, specifically the shot from the preview where Bucky (Or maybe he's still operating on brainwashing orders in that moment?) tries to shoot Tony in the face. You just don't shoot Iron Man in the face. Not cool. Cap's hero complex and black and white thinking may be contributing to his need to save Bucky at all costs, even if it's not what's best for the safety of the public.

When I say "hero complex", I don't mean to insinuate that it comes from ego. He was the first superhero, after all. At one point, he was literally the world's only hope. Against Hitler. So his black and white thinking makes sense in that context. But here in our post-Watergate World (Someone call Costner, I have a horrible idea!) things are unfortunately not so clear.

What if, while protecting Bucky, Steve takes actions that accidentally lead to Tony's death instead of the finale in the comics that saw Captain America assassinated? (And utterly, tragically betrayed in the process.)

We're headed in the cosmic direction anyway, nothing would build that rainbow bridge more quickly than the death of the first post-modern man of iron, he who was strong enough to protect the world, but not the galaxy. He had the anxiety attacks and the foresight to know that himself. When a genius is worried, you should be too. Or have we learned nothing from TED Talks?

Of course, if the original comic ending doesn't make the leap to the big screen, that would rob us of any potential hope, albeit one thinly connected by the most gossamer of threads, that Steve could reunite with Peggy in the afterlife somehow via Thor's upcoming shenanigans. (Shut up...I know that was a run-on sentence and the odds are slim and it would be a real shoehorn plot-wise.)

Perhaps the time gem could take care of that somehow in the upcoming Infinity War films? Or maybe I should let it go and it's never going to happen. Whose team are you on before this, our painful Marvel civil war?

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