The first trailer for the much anticipated Captain America: Civil War dropped last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, giving movie fans a taste of what will happen when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes clash on the big screen in May. While we have known for some time which characters side with Cap and which side with Iron Man, the trailer provides us with a little more insight into the events which lead to this conflict. Even for fans like me who know and love the popular comic series by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven which the movie is based on, the trailer clearly shows that the film will deviate from its source material. That said, here are five takeaways from this trailer.
When Marvel first announced the team rosters, I was a bit surprised that Hawkeye appeared on the anti-registration side lead by Cap. Given that Clint Barton was a government agent long before the Avengers assembled and has worked with Black Widow for years, I would’ve guessed that the two of them would be among the first to back their friend Tony Stark and remain loyal to the government. Yet while this is true for Black Widow, Hawkeye has gone the other way. Looking at the trailer though, it now makes sense.
Unlike the comic, the movie will put heavy emphasis on Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. Specifically, it appears that the government is after him following the events of the last Captain America film. Despite the fact that Bucky was brainwashed and forced into being a killing machine, people still blame him for what he did. Furthermore, it appears that he is linked to some sort of catastrophic event which takes place at the beginning of the film and is mentioned in the plot synopsis, much like the elementary school incident which takes place in the comic.
Going back to the whole brainwashed element, remember when Loki controlled Hawkeye’s mind and used him to do his will in the first Avengers? That may be enough of a motivation for him to side with Bucky and Cap. He understands what it’s like to be manipulated and used to commit acts of evil, and as such is prepared to turn on Tony in order to protect an innocent. If I’m right, this could be an interesting twist and would open doors for the Hawkeye/Black Widow showdown which everyone wants to see.
Where are Vision and Spidey?
I get why Spidey is not in the trailer, given that this movie will mark the web-slinger’s MCU debut. In fact I hope none of the trailers or promos will feature him, as I want his appearance to come as a surprise. Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt Marvel to mimic Bad Robot’s marketing department in the future and try to keep story details under the wraps. The only upcoming Marvel movie doing an excellent job of this is Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, thanks to James Gunn being careful not to spoil anything. I’m curious to see how a new cinematic version of Spider-Man will fit into a story as big and explosive as Civil War, and I much prefer to wait until May to find out.
The Vision, however, is one I expected to appear at least briefly in the trailer. We know he is a character who will do anything to maintain peace as best he can, basically the MCU’s sentient being. While he is listed as a member of Iron Man’s team, if there’s anyone in the movie who will switch sides or leave altogether I’ll bet it’s him. Given his absence in the main Civil War comic, I’m excited to see what role he’ll play in the movie.
General “Thunderbolt” Ross
It’s about time that the long forgotten 2008 solo Hulk movie The Incredible Hulk became a relevant component of the MCU. While Bruce Banner himself is sitting this conflict out (I wonder if Black Widow will miss him), his adversary General “Thunderbolt” Ross is making his return, with William Hurt reprising the role. When Marvel first announced this, I wasn’t sure how vital a role this character would play as the cast was already huge. Yet based on the trailer, it appears Ross is the central military figure behind the Sokovia Accords (the MCU equivalent of the Registration Act). This makes sense, given that the post-credits scene in The Incredible Hulk suggests that Ross and Tony go way back and would be allies during an international crisis. And with S.H.I.E.L.D. disassembled and Nick Fury still in hiding, hopefully Ross will get plenty of screen time this go around.
First Look at Black Panther
Like Spidey, Civil War will introduce Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) to the MCU while also marking this character’s big screen debut. We know little about his role in the movie other than that he’s on the pro-registration side. Given that this will take place before he becomes an Avenger, it seems that his only concern will be to protect his kingdom of Wakanda, which if you remember was referenced in Age of Ultron. That said, I’m curious to see the global impact of this conflict. Also, the suit looks badass.
Cap Wouldn’t Get Far Without Falcon
While Civil War will pivot longtime friends against one another, one thing that Cap and Iron Man share here is that they each have loyal sidekicks. The parallels between Falcon and War Machine are insurmountable. Both are military minded, humble, tech-savvy right-hand men who will do anything for their superhero partners. With the MCU starting to incorporate darker material, this theme of loyal brotherhood in times of trouble is an important one which reflects the true essence of these characters.
Conclusion: Big things are coming for Phase Three of the MCU, and we can only hope Civil War will turn out as epic and satisfying as it looks. Best of luck to the Russo brothers. What else caught your attention in the trailer? Sound off in the comments below!