The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is becoming a tangled web. Once populated by just 4 core heroes – Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor - it’s become an increasingly busy place.
And Captain America: Civil War shows what happens when all these superheroes have... a difference of opinion.
So, where’s the best place to start when preparing for this cinematic extravaganza?
Which comics to read? The Civil War story line was one of the most popular comic books of the modern age. While the core of the story is told in a 7-issue run, there are in fact dozens of comics that cover the events leading up to, and the after effects of the central story.
And while the comics are a good place to start, they tell a very different story to the film.
The events in the comics start when a group of young superheroes end up causing vast destruction and death. This forces the government to act, creating a Superhuman Registration Act – a decision that creates a divide in the superhero world with Captain America on one side and Iron Man on the other.
But the comics involve a number of key players that aren’t in the Marvel world (as of yet) such as the Fantastic Four, the Watcher, the Young Avengers and more.
Which films to watch?
The plot of the movie takes only the basic concept of registration and the heads of the two sides from the comics as inspiration. It follows on more directly from previous MCU stories, especially the Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which a whole country was destroyed.
To prep for Civil War, we suggest watching:
Avengers: Age of Ultron – The events of this movie kick-start the plot of Civil War. It’s also here the seeds of disharmony between the various heroes start to show their roots.
Captain America: The Winter Solider – Plot wise, it’s the crumbling of SHIELD that probably plays the biggest part in Civil War. Without this agency watching the watchmen, the need for the new act becomes more apparent. It also develops the relationship between Cap and his old buddy turned evil assassin Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier.
Captain America: The First Avenger – This move helps establish the relationship between Bucky and Captain America before either became super-human.
Iron Man 3 – Worth watching to help get into Tony Stark’s mind as the death, destruction and aliens of the Avengers Assemble film play on his mind. It’s this – along with his unwitting creation of Ultron – that leads him to believe their powers need to be monitored.
In with the new, out with the old
After a dozen movies, there’s a feeling that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs some fresh blood. And it’s in Civil War that we start to see this passing of the torch.
Recent new introductions like Ant-Man and the Scarlet Witch will appear along with characters that are yet to appear on film for Marvel. These include Black Panther, who will have his own stand-alone movie soon, and a new version of Spider-Man.
As for who might be leaving, we’re not 100% sure, but the trailer suggests War Machine could find his time coming to an end, while there’s talk of some characters taking over others. Could we see Cap’s shield being handed to his successor or a new man inside Iron Man’s suit?
What to wear for the screening?
It all depends on whose side you’re on. Cap’s line-up includes Hawkeye, The Falcon, Ant Man and the Winter Solider – so get out your military gear and metal wings.
Team Iron Man consists of the Black Window, Black Panther, War Machine and the Vision – black metal body armour seems to be the team’s uniform of choice.
Just make sure to wear your superhero socks to show which team you’re supporting.