Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr With AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR looming on the horizon, it is good to step back and remember exactly why Captain America and his team are in exile. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR was the last movie with an impressive lineup of superheroes and Hollywood names. Released in 2016, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR was inspired from the CIVIL WAR comics by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. The cinematic universe adaptation was used to explore the impact enhanced beings would have in politics on the big screen. While the Avengers were out dealing with supernatural threats, governments around the world came together and decided that superheroes needed a rulebook. With the damage we have witnessed in these movies, can we truly say that they are wrong? Casualties Catch Up CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opens with the Winter Soldier being activated to carry out a mission. It soon cuts to the Avengers in Lagos, there to capture Brock Rumlow and his team of Hydra agents. With the local government and authorities unaware of the Avengers’ presence, there is a lot of confusion and civilians present. Hydra uses the populated market as a means to evade the Avengers. Cap and his team manage to subdue their targets, but not before Rumlow attempts suicide bombing. To contain the blast, Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, redirects it upwards. Instead of going off in the air, Wanda loses control of the bomb. It sweeps out a large chunk of a nearby building, reportedly killing eleven Wakandans as well as other Lagos citizens. PODCAST: What does CACW mean for the CIVIL WAR comics? The movie cuts to Tony Stark, who is introducing the September Foundation at MIT. After his speech, Miriam Spencer, the mother of Charlie Spencer, approaches him while he is alone. She accuses him of contributing to the death of her son. Charlie was in Sokovia on a post-college trip to help build sustainable housing. He was, unfortunately, one of the many casualties of the battle between Ultron and the Avengers, since the entire country was lifted into the sky. The Sokovia Accords After the Ultron incident in Sokovia, politicians across the globe came together and started drafting the Sokovia Accords. The world was calling for accountability. These documents were meant to de-privatize the Avengers and set guidelines for superhero missions. In fact, James Rhodes, aka War Machine, noted that as many as 117 countries supported these documents. Among them is the United States. Known amendments include: having the Avengers operate under the United Nations, respecting sovereign boundaries of individual nations, registration and biometric data of enhanced beings who have agreed to sign, and, arrest if any of the approved amendments are violated. The Accords honestly do not sound like a bad idea. Countries all over the world should have a say in the actions of the Avengers. The Avengers are working internationally, and they should not be entering and leaving without notifying local government. If the government doesn’t know what’s going on, they can’t help evacuate citizens. The damage in Sokovia alone cost $474 billion, with a death toll of 177 civilians. After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the Avengers essentially became a private army. They no longer worked with the World Security Council, nor the United States government. The Avengers are a group of enhanced beings who are solely funded by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. They use his weapons and body armor, as well as transportation, housing, and other resources. It is also notable that the majority of the members are American. With Thor in space and Vision not even human, the only non-American is Wanda Maximoff, who is a fugitive of her own country. Steve Rogers, the former leader of the Avengers, is code-named Captain America. It’s no wonder other countries are wary. Captain America Is A Political Figure Steve Rogers is and will always be a political figure. Created in 1940 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America was their response to the United States’ inaction again Germany during World War II. Both Simon and Kirby were of Jewish descent. Not to mention that Cap is famously known for punching Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party. Captain America is meant to represent the ideals and morals of the United States. There is something so chilling about having Captain America be anti-Accords. These documents have 117 countries supporting them. Our heroes claim to be saving the world, but when the world calls for accountability, Captain America decides not to listen. READ: Comics reflect the political atmosphere. Check out five times Marvel does this! If Steve Rogers believes that he, one man from the 1930s, knows better than the governments of 117 countries, he’s on the fast track to dictatorship. Among those of Team Cap, Sam Wilson is ex-military, and Clint Barton is ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. These two members should understand the need for structure in an attack force. I am curious as to why they are so opposed. As for “lojacking,” MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has shown us that S.H.I.E.L.D. is already monitoring and collecting a database of enhanced beings. When Daisy Johnson was hit with the terrigen mist, she was quarantined until Leopold Fitz faked some test results to clear her. As soon as Daisy, then known as “Skye,” was confirmed to be Inhuman, she was entered into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database. She continues to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., even with her Inhuman status. Superhuman Does Not Mean More Superior Than Humans Ordinary invasive task forces would never dream of entering a sovereign country without explicit permission unless they are prepared to start a war. Steve Rogers outright invaded Germany, even after he was warned off by Natasha Romanoff. Cap then proceeded to attack the German task force that was sent to detain the Winter Soldier, aka James “Bucky” Barnes. None of these incidents even involve the Accords. Steve Rogers broke international laws. He is absolutely the criminal in this scene, which is further enforced when James Rhodes (War Machine) is sent to neutralize him. First and foremost, Captain America helped a known terrorist escape. The German government does not know that James Barnes escaped from Hydra, but they have proof that the Winter Soldier has been terrorizing the world since the 1940s. Cap did not explain to the German government why he was in the country in full tactical gear. Nor did he explain to the German task force why he was attacking them. At one point, Steve intentionally dangled a German agent in the gap between the winding staircase, forcing another agent to grab him less he falls to his death. This fight escalates when T’Challa, the Black Panther, joins. Steve calls Sam Wilson for backup. Bucky then runs to a populated highway, with the other three superheroes chasing him. READ: What was CACW even about? Let’s revisit character motives. The Battle On The Highway Once the battle is on the highway, German law enforcement is heard telling Captain America to stand down. Steve’s response is to stop the police van, throw the driving officer into oncoming traffic, and then continue to chase Bucky in the van. Considering that Steve has superhuman strength, the officer will be heavily injured, if not dead, because cars were still driving on the highway. Bucky also threw a civilian off a motorcycle into oncoming traffic before collapsing an entire bridge. German citizens were driving cars on that bridge, as were German citizens on the highway below. Are their lives less important than Steve’s or Bucky’s? The Accords are important because enhanced people should not be allowed to act as rashly as Steve did here. People died in this chase. Bucky Barnes set off a bomb in the middle of a highway where people were still driving, and Steve helped him ward off local authorities. Why Is Wanda Maximoff The Breaking Point? Steve was so close to signing the Accords until he heard that Wanda was under house arrest. Then all bets were off. Honestly, I don’t get it? Wanda Maximoff had just killed several people on a mission, eleven of them Wakandans. Understandably, people are unhappy with her. So, why is it that Steve reacts so harshly to the news about Wanda? It is not the first time a superhero has been put under house arrest against their will. In fact, in IRON MAN 2, Nick Fury sent S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to occupy Tony’s house in California. Phil Coulson threatened to taser Tony if he left his own house. READ: What does it mean to be a team? Do Marvel movies not have enough build up? I understand why Steve would not want Wanda to drown in guilt because the deaths in Lagos were an accident. Wanda did not mean to kill people; however, people did die because of her, and Wanda should take responsibility. Telling Wanda that those deaths were not her fault does not help her. Also, insisting that Wanda is a kid is quite frankly just sexist. Unless Marvel Studios hired a 28-year-old actress to play a teenager, Wanda Maximoff is not a child of any sort. At 21, Tony Stark became CEO of Stark Industries, and Steve Rogers became Captain America. Plenty of the ex-Avengers were also serving in the military. If Wanda Maximoff is indeed a teenager in the MCU, Steve is being plain hypocritical. He later sent Clint Barton to recruit her to fight on his side. Criminals Are Criminals, Even If They Are Superheroes It may be jarring to see our heroes in prison jumpers, but that is what happens when superheroes become criminals. They get arrested. Steve Rogers told his team point blanket that they were “outside the law” when they decided to assist him. So why is Team Cap so set on blaming Tony Stark? The Accords were never Tony’s idea; they existed before Tony gave them his support. In fact, the former King of Wakanda, T’Chaka, was the most vocal supporter of the Sokovia Accords. His support directly correlated to Wakanda opening up their borders to the world again. Tony Stark And Clint Barton Tony’s and Clint’s exchange on the Raft does not make any sense to me. It is evident Clint is unhappy with Tony, saying that Tony stabbed Clint in the back. However, Tony tells the truth in his responses. Clint broke the law, and nobody made him. At the end of AGE OF ULTRON, Clint Barton had retired from avenging, settling down with his family and newborn son. The only person who dragged him back into this mess was Captain America, and Hawkeye did not think twice about abandoning his family. READ: The CIVIL WAR comics is a political story line, but what about? AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has demonstrated that detainment buildings like the Raft existed because not all enhanced beings are benevolent. Why are we so outraged when we see our heroes in the Raft? Enhanced beings like the Abomination from THE INCREDIBLE HULK are put away somewhere. These prisons are meant to contain superpowered people, and our heroes have just proved themselves as criminals. Yes, it may be harsh to see Wanda in a straight jacket. However, she just helped take out an entire airport, and her magic is connected to the motions of her hands. She can also influence the actions of people, as we have seen in AGE OF ULTRON. Are the Raft employees wrong in taking precautions? They seem to be standard military personnel. This is also not the first time in the MCU that we have seen special reinforcements on magic users. At the end of THE AVENGERS, Loki was handcuffed and gagged before being taken back to Asgard. “If We Can’t Accept Limitations, We Are No Better Than The Bad Guys.” Steve Rogers said that governments “have agendas and agendas change.” I sure hope that is true. Governments are meant to have agendas. People run for leadership on agendas. Moreover, these agendas appeal to the citizens of their countries. That’s how leaders get elected. Agendas are intended to change with the times, as countries and ideas progress. The events in Sokovia influenced people around the world. 117 countries mean 117 countries full of people, not governments. People who are affected when the Avengers battle in their cities. Citizens who vote for their officials to call for accountability. Civilians who lose loved ones when Cap decides attacking local authority is okay. Sure, it is true that some politicians are corrupt. However, if we start assuming that all government officials are corrupt, then who do we trust? Is Steve Rogers calling for anarchy across the world? The Accords Can Work The Sokovia Accords called for the Avengers to be put under the leadership of the United Nations. Every country who is a member gets a voice in how this enhanced task force works internationally. It may not be the best solution, but it’s the beginning of a better one. As noted in CIVIL WAR, these documents can be amended. As seen in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, this does not mean that superheroes are suddenly not allowed to use their powers. We see the Iron Man suit a few times in the movie, and the U.S. government is not demanding requisition. The ferry scene in HOMECOMING is an excellent example of how the Accords should work. READ: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING review! Beware of spoilers! Spider-Man and Iron Man were aware that civilians in New York were selling alien weapons. Tony notifies the U.S. government because alien weapons could turn into a national threat. FBI agents were present and monitored the scene. Since the sellers are ordinary humans, the Avengers did not need to be involved. However, when Iron Man was necessary, he was there. Of course, we saw that the sequence in HOMECOMING did not go smoothly. But it is a start. It shows that the Avengers can work with a government to prevent disasters. It also proves that the Accords can work. Superheroes do not always need to interfere with every incident, but when they are needed, the U.N. or sovereign countries can reach out. We Need A Captain America Of Today Steve Rogers was a hero back in the 1940s. He honestly should be in intensive adjustment therapy now, not leading superhumans around the world to fight. Everything about him is outdated, including his military expertise. It is also unfair to ask a person who lost 70 years and the world around him to jump back into action immediately. There is no reason why James Rhodes cannot lead the Avengers. He is a decorated colonel in the Air Force and the pilot of War Machine. He saved the life of the President of the United States in IRON MAN 3! Rhodey is also a genius engineer, graduating from M.I.T. with his classmate Tony Stark. Sam Wilson is another alternative leader. The trusted second-in-command of Team Cap, Sam also has military experience. The Falcon wings originated from his pararescue missions in the Air Force. Sam has also already taken up the mantle of Captain America in the comics.