Teaser Review: Captain America - Civil War

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Fearing the all too often trailer leaks the internet is known for these days, Disney/Marvel came up with a secret plan to debut their first teaser of the upcoming Marvel's Captain America: Civil War on Jimmy Kimmel this Tuesday night with help from Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). And damn was it incredible. Before I geek out, at length I might add, take a look see for yourself below.

Crazy right? Captain America is really going to fight Iron Man? Captain America: Civil War is the third Captain America film and a very interesting story choice for Marvel to take. Interesting in a good way.

Even though the majority of Marvel's MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is set in a fantastical world of mechanical flying suits, super soldiers, gods, monsters, and aliens just to name a few, they have always had elements in their films or TV shows that helped keep the stories grounded. They take the source material of the comics seriously by mixing mythology and realism with levity and practical themes. Civil War is no different.

Much like author Mark Millar's brilliant 2006-07 "Marvel: Civil War" comic series of the same name (which I'll come back to in a moment) Captain America: Civil War's story is a practical take on the position governments would persuasively have to take if these remarkable characters existed. Operating without any oversight or really any accountability, superheroes like Captain America and Iron Man would be considered vigilantes if not acting under some organization's or some government's authority. Again just like Millar's series, Tony Stark as Iron Man sides with the government to establish order or some form of a chain of command to hold them all accountable for their actions. Almost ironically, the constant soldier in Steve Rogers' Captain America refuses the obvious regulation both governments and their public demand. With those themes, this story, a stacked cast arguably bigger than the last Avengers film, and the Russo brothers (Anthony & Joe) returning to direct, Civil War is bound to deliver on all fronts. But what did Marvel and the Russo brother decide to show fans with this first teaser of the film?

What's there:

  • William Hurt's General Thunderbolt Ross returning to the MCU in a key role. From the looks of things Ross is on the Pro-Registration side (aka Team Iron Man) and is forcing Cap back under Uncle Sam's thumb where the US government can control him as an asset, rather than an unchecked Avenger.
  • First live-action shots of other heroes siding with either Captain America or Iron Man. There are still some notable absences from both teams, but from this teaser we see standing with Cap is Sam Wilson aka 'Falcon' (Anthony Mackie), Clint Barton aka 'Hawkeye' (Jeremy Renner), Wanda Maximoff aka 'Scarlet Witch' (Elizabeth Olsen). Then on Iron Man's side is Natasha Romanoff aka 'Black Widow' (Scarlett Johansson), James Rhodes aka 'War Machine' (Don Cheadle), a mysterious black suited figure (who I'll give his own tab on next), and from what it looks like the General Ross & the whole US government


  • Ok so that mysterious black-suited figure? Yeah, that's none other than the Black Panther, and my favourite part of this teaser. Black Panther, arguably one of the most over-looked and unutilized characters Marvel has in their wheelhouse, is finally getting his live-action debut with Chadwick Boseman portraying the King of Wakanda, T'Challa. You don't get to see much of his abilities here, but the look of the suit you do get to see is incredible.
  • Lastly, a possible death of an Avenger and Iron Man's closest ally is hinted at with Tony holding a badly battle-damaged, lifeless War Machine in his arms.

What's missing:

  • The teaser shows a bunch of explosions and attacks at what look like populated and government areas, with the nod that Bucky aka 'Winter Soldier' (Sebastian Stan) is the one responsible. Since there aren't any images or shots of the already-announced villains, Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), here in the teaser, my guess is Bucky is being framed for a lot of it.
  • On the hero front, there were some characters missing from either side. Thanks to some of the concept art that came out earlier this summer (images above) we know Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter (aka 'Agent 13') is returning to Cap's aid, along with Paul Rudd's Ant-Man. The only missing member from Iron Man's corner is Paul Bettany's Vision.
  • Spider-Man!?! Sure, people will be blown away from this teaser; Captain America vs. Iron Man and all. Yet knowing a certain web-head is making his first MCU appearance ever in this movie is what folks have been waiting years for... and they'll probably have to wait 'til May 6, 2016, because he was nowhere to be seen here. Not a shocker at all (Spidey pun-intended) that the teaser did not reveal the first look at Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Yes, he was a huge part in the Mark Millar "Civil War" comic story arc, but for legal reasons that take too long to go into right now, this new and young MCU version of Spider-Man will probably only have a cameo-sized role and Disney/Marvel will make you pay to see it opening day if you want to see him.

Even though the Marvel "Civil War" comic series shares the same name as this Captain America sequel, the two will have some major differences. Marvel's MCU is a big sandbox to play in, with all their multiple film franchises, yet the "Civil War" series was a massive event that crossed over with nearly every title they published at the time. AKA the entire Marvel sandbox. The main series was only 7 issues, however there were dozens of side stories that took place along the way that directly impacted the main narrative, something that this one film frankly will not be able to do in two plus hours. Millar's story didn't just separate Avengers onto different sides, it broke up other superhero teams, broke up characters' marriages, turned heroes into villains and villains into heroes. Millar's comic series will be nearly a decade old by the time this film comes out, yet I still don't want to spoil too much of it pointing out what can and can't happen, in case moviegoers decide on picking up the books or just want to see it for themselves. What I can say is if Captain America: Civil War is half as good as Millar's series, then May 6, 2016 is going to be awesome.

Tags: Captain America: Civil War, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Russo Brothers, Marvel

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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.

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