The comic book event from which Captain America: Civil War takes its inspiration from, Marvel’s Civil War, is ten years old this year. To mark the event (and, one imagines, to synergize with the film’s release) Marvel is staging a new variation on the same theme in the pages of its newly-refreshed comics line: Civil War II. Whereas the original story found Captain America and Iron Man at odds over The Superhero Registration act, this time around Steve Rogers is taking a supporting role in a team to be led by Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, with Tony Stark once again on the other side.
Details on the Civil War II comic book event have been kept a closely-guarded secret until recently. However, now Marvel has let the cat out of the bag; revealing the two main teams of heroes who will find themselves at odds in the struggle and what it is they’re fighting about.
Revealed along with a pair of posters setting up the event with a stylistic allusion to the infamous “Whose Side Are You On?” web banners that became ubiquitous during the original Civil War, the team lineups reflect an unusual set of divisions that exist in the new post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. Not only do old friends find themselves on opposite sides, but also dual inhabitants of the same superhero mantle and/or legacy. Less surprising is that heroes made popular again by the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV series (like Star-Lord and Deadpool) along with those newly-reimagined with a focus on diversity (Jane Foster as the female Thor, Sam Wilson’s Captain America and Amadeus Cho, the Asian-American “Totally Awesome” Hulk) find themselves front and center.
As to what they’re fighting over? According to Marvel’s official press-release, this time it’s a superhero-flavored riff on Minority Report:
“New York, NY—March 17th, 2016 — The Marvel Universe is at a crossroads. A new power has emerged, one that can predict the future—for good or ill— and the heroes of the Marvel Universe are faced with a choice: Wield the power of “predictive justice” to change the future as they see fit, or reject it and allow tomorrow to unfold unaltered. Protect the future. Change the future. Choose your side.”
Apparently the costumed-crimefighter community will be divided when a disaster similar to the one that launched the first Civil War is prevented by the “mystery entity” gifted with this new power; splitting opinions sharply over how to use it – i.e. whether or not to go after criminals and supervillains for crimes they’re predicted to commit. Iron Man’s team is opposed to so-called “predictive justice,” while Captain Marvel and her team are in favor of it. Whereas the original series’ Superhero Registration Act was cast as a metaphor for everything from The Patriot Act to gun-control, this time around the circumstances could be read as setting up a similar parallel to the currently hot-button topic of police profiling.
Team Iron Man consists of Black Widow, Deadpool, Captain America (Wilson), The Totally Awesome Hulk, Hercules, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Thor (Foster), Miss America (aka America Chavez, a relative newcomer), Star-Lord and Daredevil. The line-up is particularly interesting, given that many of the characters would not immediately be assumed to take this particular stance. While street-level heroes like Cage and Daredevil would understandably be wary of any sort of “jumping the gun” approach and Black Panther has frequently opted out of draconian approaches to do-gooding, figures like Thor, Hercules and Black Widow would appear more “used to” the idea of extra-level measures – being part of (respectively) godly pantheons and security-agencies. Deadpool’s position on any team feels especially bizarre, given that his unique understanding that he inhabits a fictional world usually means he already knows how things are going to turn out – presumably including this war.
Team Captain Marvel’s membership of Monica Rambeau (the African-American 80s Captain Marvel) She-Hulk, Ant-Man, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Blue Marvel, Medusa, Captain America (Rogers), The Vision, War Machine and Spider-Man (Peter Parker – the absence of Miles Morales from either team is especially curious) is also unexpectedly arranged, given that many of them (Cap especially) fought on the exact opposite side concerning the abrogation of individual liberty (re: “innocent until proven guilty”) in the previous Civil War. Additionally, She-Hulk is a defense attorney (like Daredevil) which one would think would put her on the other side of things; and while it makes complete sense for Peter Parker to jump behind the idea of being able to head-off tragic decisions before you make them, it sort of seems like he’d have realized by now that his big-scale “fixes” (read: making a deal with The Devil to save Aunt May during the previous Civil War – seriously, look it up) tend to not work out for him. At all.
Obviously, more twists and surprises await that will likely shed light on who chooses to fight on which side and why, but the central ethical quandry feels significantly less clear-cut than in the previous conflict. Fans will have to wait and see what happens for themselves when Civil War II launches in May just in time for the Civil War movie to be raising its profile in the pop-consciousness.
Source: Marvel [via io9]