Sunday, June 12, 2016

Geeking out about Marvel's Civil War

It's been a few weeks since Captain America: Civil War hit theaters.  I purposefully waited a little while before writing about it.  I figure it's been long enough that if you're worried about spoilers you've already seen it.   This post will actually have more spoilers for the comic book than the movie, but be warned that if you are worried about spoilers for either medium then you should close your browser now.

Okay, I warned you.

So I probably need to write a couple more paragraphs before diving in, just in case anyone is super concerned about spoilers.  In those couple paragraphs I'll explain what this post is and what it isn't.

This post isn't a review of the movie.  I loved it.  That's my review.

Now there are things that I really would have loved to see in the movie that weren't there.  But that doesn't change the fact that I loved it.  The comic book storyline consisted of over 100 comic books with dozens of characters with different motivations, different backstories and allegiances.  It makes for a very complex and interesting story but there just isn't time to introduce all of those characters and cover all of their different nuances, so I liked the movie for what it was.  It's a different medium and it executed the story beautifully in my opinion.

That being said, I wanted to compare and contrast the movie with the comics. Of course, as I mentioned above, there are lots of things I would have liked to see in the movie.  But there are actually some things I was glad I didn't see.  Let's start with those first.

(By the way, if you'd like to take a closer look at any of these comic panels, just click on the image to enlarge.)

Things I was glad weren't in the Captain America: Civil War movie

The Initiative
The Initiative was Iron Man's plan moving forward after he won the Civil War.  The Superhero Registration Act has passed and now he continues to hunt down heroes that have not registered.  It also includes superheroes who do register being forced to be trained as superheroes and ending up fighting Hydra and other villains.  It amounts to forced military service, and it depicts teenagers being killed because they followed the law and did what they were supposed to.  (And ended up being killed in the line of duty.)

Iron Man did some awful things during the Civil War, but in my opinion The Initiative was actually worse.  I like that movie Iron Man never did anything I couldn't forgive.  Comic Book Iron Man was essentially the villain of the story.  I'm glad movie Iron Man was still a hero, even if he was a little misguided.

The Unmasking of Spiderman
In the comics, Iron Man manipulates Peter Parker into joining his side.  He then asks him to unmask before the press, which has all sorts of terrible consequences and makes Spiderman one of the worst victims of the Civil War.  This is one of the many things that make me hate Iron Man.  (You'll notice a theme to all the things I'm glad weren't shown.  They basically all make Iron Man awful.)

The Death of Aunt May
One of the repercussions of Spiderman's unmasking is that Kingpin comes after him and his family.  He's able to protect Mary Jane but Aunt May gets shot.  There's some really cool stuff where he injects her with his radioactive blood in an attempt to save her, but it doesn't work and Aunt May dies.

The Death of Captain America
After the Civil War is over and Captain America surrenders, they take him into custody and put inhibitors on him that eliminate his super human abilities.  While in that weakened state (that stupid fat Iron Man put him in) Crossbones shoots him and he ends up dying.

After that the Winter Soldier dons the shield and becomes the new Captain America.  The first thing he does is hunts down and tries to kill Iron Man.

I honestly thought this was going to happen in the movie.  I knew they had cast Crossbones, and Cap's death is his entire role in the comics.  I also had seen trailers and the scene where Bucky and Tony are fighting hand to hand and Bucky tries to shoot him just totally seemed like it should come as a result of Cap's death.  (It turns out that he was under Hydra control in that scene.  I probably should have anticipated that.)

After the movie got over, Robyn asked me how I liked it, and I said with much relief, "I'm just so glad Cap is still alive."

Because of the things above, I actually think I liked the movie better than the Comic Book.  I rarely like the movie better than the source material, so this is a big deal.  Despite that, there were a few things I really loved from the comics that I would have liked to see.  Here are a few of them:

Things I wished were in the Captain America: Civil War movie

Cap's speech
This speech was one of those iconic moments that you just want to experience over and over.  Spiderman has just seen the prison where superheroes are being kept who refuse to register.  He realizes that a life sentence without a trial is a pretty terrible violation of human rights.  He seeks an audience with Captain America because he starts to feel he's on the wrong side.  Their discussion results in this epic speech.  The movie gave a small piece of this speech to Sharon Carter (who was quoting her aunt Peggy) and I appreciated the nod to the comic, but it would have been cool to see the speech in its entirety.

Spiderman switching sides
The panel above is basically right after the speech.  Spiderman is on the good team now.  His story arc was so interesting.  Spiderman is in many ways the point of view character through whom the reader gets to experience the civil war.  We get to see him struggle with the ethical dilemmas posed by both sides.  I totally get that his full story arc is much too complex for a 2 hour movie, but I would have loved to see it.

Black Panther vs War Machine
I know they were on the same team in the movie.  They weren't supposed to be.  This battle is epic for so many reasons.  War Machine is not in his normal suit for this battle.  He's actually piloting a sentinel.  When the sentinel attacks Black Panther he takes it down, which is super cool.  But what's even more cool is that when the crowd sees Jim Rhodes inside the sentinel, they start mobbing and trying to attack, which causes Black Panther to stand and defend Rhodey until Iron Man arrives to protect his friend.  It showed how much integrity the Black Panther had.  He fought those who were aggressive against him but still fought to preserve the lives of his enemies.  Sooo cool.

Iron Spider
When Spiderman joins Iron Man's team, he gets an upgrade.  Iron Man makes him a new suit with lots of sweet upgrades.  He has super cool spider legs and he can even fly.  Of course, unbeknownst to him, the suit is also running all sorts of biological tests on him so that when Spiderman ultimately changes sides Iron Man has intel on him and is able to mess with his spidey sense.  The whole story with this suit was just cool.

Storm vs Thor
Storm is one of the coolest X-Men and probably the coolest female superhero.  I know that Disney doesn't own the rights to her character, but when she and Thor go at it, it's pretty dang awesome that she can tangle directly with a god.

Spiderman dominating Kingpin
Kingpin is one of my favorite Marvel villains.  Spiderman comes after him as revenge for what he did to Aunt May.  I'm glad Aunt May wasn't harmed in the movie, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this was one of Spiderman's coolest moments.

So there you have it.  That's everything I wished for and everything I was relieved not to see.  Was there anything from the comics you wished to see?  Was there anything you were glad wasn't there?

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