After many months of anticipation, Marvel Studios has finally released the first official trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Along with making a rather awkward debut on the ever-so annoying Jimmel Kimmel Live, Civil War looks to be promising less of a Captain America movie and more of Avengers film. The trailer features an appearance by almost every superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, save Thor and the Hulk. Check out the trailer below and be sure to let us know how many Avengers you manage to spot.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from the villainous Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl).
The trailer spends most of its time showcasing the number of heroes set to star in the film, as well setting up the supposed origin of the conflict between Cap and Iron Man. Unlike the original Civil War comic, which had heroes fighting against one another over the Superhero Registration Act, the central conflict between Cap and Iron Man seems to revolve around Bucky, and Steve Rodgers refusal to turn in his once brainwashed friend to the authorities. Little else is revealed in the trailer, though we do get a glimpse of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).
I have never hidden the fact that I utterly despise Marvel’s Civil War, the comic-event mini-series written by the equally infamous and overrated Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Nemesis).For those who were privileged enough to have never read the comic, Civil War follows the U.S. government’s passing of the Superhero Registration Act, an act that requires all super-powered people to not only register as federal agents, but to also reveal their secret identities to the government. A number of heroes are divided by the act, with an anti-registration faction led by Captain America, and a pro-registration faction led by Iron Man. A conflict ensues between the two groups resulting in the death of a number of heroes. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the mini-series was a massive commercial success for Marvel and spawned numerous spin-off books.
Look, I can understand why people would be excited by the premise of Captain America: Civil War. The idea of heroes fighting heroes is something that many comic book fans fantasize about since they were kids, but I believe that is why stories like these rarely work. The original Civil War comic is the literary equivalent of a five-year-old smacking their actions figures together. It hides behind its supposedly mature allegories of real-life events in an attempt to cover-up its enormous faults. It not a story about the debate between freedom and security, but a story about poorly written characters making terrible decisions that inevitably leads to the next bloody brawl across a city block.
Perhaps the Russo brothers recognize the obvious flaws of Millar’s work and are making the necessary decisions to address those problems. I’m willing to give Captain America: Civil War a chance on account of what they accomplished with The Winter Soldier, but I remain skeptical of the decision to shoehorn the entirety of Civil War into a single Captain America movie.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.