A second trailer for Captain America: Civil War was released late last week and it showed quite a few more details about the film that I’d like to talk about – a mix of my thoughts on what was shown in the trailer, some speculation on the film’s plot, how the film relates to the comic book version of Civil War, and I’ll even throw in a comparison to how the second Batman V Superman trailer made me feel about THAT film.
Because I’m going to share a lot of speculation and details about the comic book version of Civil War that may play into this film, consider this article spoiler-ish – anyone who wants to avoid any spoilers should never have opened this article and should probably stop reading now.
Spoilers, you say? Anyone reading my posts here should already know what’s next:
Oh and one last thing – pardon the quality of the rest of the images here. These are iPhone screen captures of one of the many Civil War Trailer #2 videos available on YouTube (I don’t even remember the channel I got this from) so they’re very low quality. With that said, let’s get started:
The Civil War film is similar, but not the same as, the Civil War comic book series. One big difference between the Marvel Comics world and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that heroes on print have secret identities. That’s not the case in the films, where the identities of most of the heroes are known. Let’s do a roll call to validate – Romanov and Barton are/were S.H.I.E.L.D. special operatives, Sam Wilson was formerly military and James Rhodes is actively serving, the general public knows that Tony Stark is Iron Man (because he announced it in a press conference) and Steve Rogers is Captain America (because he is a historical war hero). The Vision has no other identity, the authorities know who Ant-Man is, Scarlet Witch’s identity also isn’t a secret.
Why is this important to call out? Because it removes one of the most memorable moments of the Civil War comics event – Spider-Man announcing his real identity to the world. Spider-Man’s involvement in the comic book edition of Civil War boils down to two things: (1) he was the biggest superhero to step forward and not only register his identity but he unnecessarily revealed it in a press conference to show how strongly he supports Stark’s side and (2) he was one of the superheroes who switched from Team Stark to Team Rogers as the series went on. Let’s revisit this thought again later.
The film is similar to the comics in a few ways – the U.S. government is using certain incidents like the New York Chitauri invasion to somehow rein the superheroes under control, which is part of the problem that the comic book heroes had with the idea of registration.The trailer also revealed a prison-like location that reminded me of Prison 42 – a detention facility created specifically for unregistered heroes in the comics. The prison reveal is very interesting – will any of Team Cap’s members be captured and imprisoned here? We’ll see.
The trailers revealed just enough about Black Panther. We know that he can catch up to a speeding motorcycle on foot and that he’s bulletproof. We also have an idea why he’s even involved in this, which is masterful given that the trailers are only a few minutes long. Obviously, Black Panther is after Bucky/Winter Soldier, and it has something to do with an explosion (possibly the U.N. building being blown up).
I like how the trailers are introducing the character subtly, and I think this is an effective way to get audiences interested in the solo Black Panther movie that’s coming soon.
Marvel’s doing the Ant-Man/Hawkeye maneuver!!! I was so happy to see this. I’m glad Marvel added a little fanservice to longtime fans of the classic Avengers comic books.
This is a Captain America movie, not Avengers 2.5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and it looks like this trailer is proving me right. Notice how the Avengers members are only really shown in that hangar battle? It’s like Team Cap is doing what the Warriors Three and Sif did for Thor and Loki back in Thor: The Dark World, where they’re really just there to help Cap, Falcon, and Bucky escape. This is still a Captain America movie.
And now let’s get to the trailer comparison. I want to talk about this specifically because despite revealing the flow of their respective films, there are key differences that kind of ruined the Batman V Superman film for me.
The Civil War trailers are hiding the true bad guys of the story, unlike the Batman V Superman trailers. I like how the Civil War trailers, the second one especially, laid out reasons why Stark and Rogers are on opposing sides and focused solely on that. The Batman V Superman trailers (at least the first two) did show why Batman didn’t like Superman and vice versa, but they also showed Lex Luthor too much. Obviously, Luthor is setting Batman up against Superman.
We do know that Civil War has bad guys. Crossbones was shown briefly, and we know Daniel Bruhl is playing Baron Zemo. But I like how Marvel is keeping both in the shadows, especially Baron Zemo. I don’t even think the character has been featured in any of the press releases or promotional images that Marvel has released about the film so far. Well played.
Speaking of hidden villains… Doomsday. Let’s compare the big reveals of the trailers – Doomsday VS Spider-Man. Fans already knew that Spider-Man was going to be in Civil War, and even if they didn’t, Spider-Man’s appearance doesn’t give any hints as to how the film is going to resolve itself. Spider-Man is not central enough to Civil War’s plot that he’ll affect the outcome. What, he’s the one that’s going to get Iron Man and Captain America to stop fighting and make up?
As for Doomsday/Zombie Zod, is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe that Batman and Superman will set their differences aside temporarily to overcome this common, and more powerful, enemy? And then realize that they’re not actually supposed to be fighting? The Doomsday reveal lessened the stakes of the Batman and Superman clash in my eyes because I know they’re going to be on the same side by the third act of the film.
Speaking of hidden characters… the main players of “The Death of Captain America” are in this film. Is this a spoiler? Around nine years ago, Marvel “killed” off Steve Rogers after the conclusion of their Civil War storyline. The characters involved in that storyline are mostly here in this film – Black Widow, Sharon Carter, Falcon, Bucky, and Crossbones. The only major player in that storyline who isn’t in this film is the Red Skull, but his role could easily be replaced by Bruhl’s Baron Zemo. Does Marvel have the guts to kill off one of their Big Three, a character big enough to headline three films?
Sorry, this is a tangent and has nothing to do with Batman V Superman, but this was the best moment to call this out. Back to the comparisons…
There’s more at stake in Civil War than in Batman V Superman. At least from my perspective. You see, we have two men, two heroes, who have fought side by side with each other several times, two men who have mutual respect for one another. Now, they’re at odds with each other, and the Civil War trailers were able to, in my eyes, effectively convey that. Is there anyone who has seen both Civil War trailers and can say that the Stark/Rogers beef isn’t personal? Tony looking distraught over the injured War Machine, his backhand strike against Cap, both heroes looking really beat up… I can’t even predict how this conflict is going to be resolved.
While I’m fully on board with why Bruce Wayne is going after Superman, Kent’s reason for disliking Batman’s vigilante antics is a little meh. Your battle just leveled an entire city and you’re concerned about a guy who’s branding criminals with the Batman logo? I’m not judging the Batman V Superman film, I’m talking about the trailer, please don’t forget that.
With all that said, I’m still likely to see Batman V Superman when it comes out regardless of how the trailers made me feel. But Captain America: Civil War is a can’t miss film in my eyes and I think it’s going to be a good jump start for MCU Phase 3.
What did you think about the second Captain America: Civil War Trailer?