Captain America: Civil War is coming out May 6, and we’ve got everything you need to know about the movie right here. It looks like this is going to be maybe the biggest Marvel movie yet, bringing together characters from all over the MCU. It’s the third movie in the Captain America series, following The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier. In addition to cast members from the last two Captain America movies, we’re also going to see most of the Avengers, Ant-Man, a couple new faces, and Robert Downey, Jr. returning as Iron Man for what he calls his “Iron Man 4.” We’ll start with the basics on what you should know about Civil War from the comics.

Spoiler Alert: There are no direct spoilers for the movie in this article, but there are spoilers for the comic book. Big surprise events that happened in the comics might also happen in the movie, so be warned if you want to see the movie totally fresh. 

The original “Civil War” story was published in 2006. It was a massive crossover event demanding that every Marvel hero “choose a side.” The event was considered highly original at the time, because instead of offering a standard “good vs. evil” story, it had a much more complicated conflict. Marvel wanted to do a story that would divide their heroes, where both sides would have strong arguments and readers could debate for themselves who was right and who was wrong. The story focuses on superhero accountability, with Iron Man representing heroes who believed they should submit to government control and Captain America leading the underground resistance.

Civil War begins with an “incident” that forces the government to reexamine how they treat super-heroes. In the comics it was an explosion in the city of Stamford, Connecticut. A group of untrained teenage heroes called the New Warriors were filming a reality TV show, and they attacked a group of dangerous villains in hiding. This reckless behavior leads to the deaths of several hundred children in a nearby school when the super-villain Nitro blew up while trying to escape. In the aftermath of Stamford, there was a massive public outcry for the government to crack down on costumed vigilantes. It’s unclear exactly what’s going to happen in the movie, but we know there will be some kind of incident similar to Stamford.

The movie seems to be calling this “The Accords” and taking a slightly different spin on it. In the comics, a law was passed called the “Superhuman Registration Act” (SHRA) requiring anyone who had superpowers to register their identity with the government. Those who refused to register, even if they weren’t actively using their powers, would still be arrested unless they complied. Heroes were forced to either go into retirement, work strictly under the orders of the U.S. Government by joining an official team, or be placed in a superhuman prison. The official government positions would also come with a salary and health benefits. In the movie it seems like similar legislation will be passed requiring the Avengers to follow government orders instead of acting independently.

The SHRA was largely spear-headed by Iron Man, who viewed the Stamford incident as a “wake-up call” to the superhero community. Iron Man believed disasters like this were inevitable with untrained heroes running around, and the superhero community had to hold themselves to a higher standard. He viewed this as a natural evolution of their role in society, and the only way society would continue to allow them to exist. Tony Stark helped the government develop prisons for rogue superhumans and eventually became the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Captain America believed that giving the government this much control over superheroes would lead to an abuse of power, and nobody should be trusted with the secret identities of that many people. He refused to help hunt down heroes who had repeatedly risked their lives to save others. Captain America’s resistance worked to continue saving lives while keeping heroes out of prison. They were pursued everywhere by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents trained to take on superhumans called “Cape Killers.” Despite having previously been best friends, Captain America and Iron Man viciously fought against each other when the two sides met for a climactic battle.

This conflict is particularly interesting in the movies because it represents a lot of growth for both characters. When we were first introduced to Tony Stark, he believed the government should have no say in what he did with his private property. Iron Man 2 was mostly about him refusing to cooperate when the government demanded that use of his suit should be regulated. Recent events in Age of Ultron have caused him to reverse his opinion, having seen the kind of damage he can do when he’s not accountable to anyone. Steve Rogers, on the other hand, was introduced as an obedient soldier in the military. He followed orders and trusted the American government to know what was best. After events in The Winter Soldier, Steve has personally been the victim of high-level government corruption and he no longer has the blind faith he once did.

Source: Crash Course: Everything You Need to Know About ‘Captain America: Civil War’ – Fandom – Powered by Wikia

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