Captain America: Civil War: Are We Sure Captain America And Iron Man Aren’t Switching Positions From The Comics?


Since it’s one of the better known Marvel comics events of all time, most people know that in the print version of Civil War, Iron Man was the face of the Pro-Registration side, while Captain America headed up the heroes who were against the Superhuman Registration Act. We also have a good idea how their teams will shape up in Captain America: Civil War thanks to some leaked promo art that was later confirmed as real by Jeremy Renner.

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So we’ve got our leaders and have a pretty good idea of who will be following them. But are we really sure that Iron Man and Cap are on the same sides they represent in the comics?

I’ve long thought that Marvel could pull a fast one on us in Captain America: Civil War and change things up. It’s possible the “Accords” or whatever the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the SRA ends up being called, aligns the two heroes in the opposite fashion from what we’d expect. I had put that idea to the side as of late, but a great post on io9 earlier today stirred them back up again.

You should really read Rob Bricken’s entire article because it’s a masterful look at the more problematic parts of the Civil War storyline and how it turned both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers into uncompormising jerks. It’s this paragraph that really got my wheels turning again:

"Yet Iron Man is somehow even more out of character. Iron Man has always enjoyed his autonomy, mainly thanks to being a rich genius. He is beholden to no one, and his resources have let the Avengers also remain independent through the years. In Civil War, he suddenly decides forcing all superheroes to register with the government, whether they want to not, is the Right Thing to Do. Based on his 50-plus-year career as a superhero, I would think that if Tony Stark chose a side on the issue at all—and I actually don’t think he would—he would come down on the anti-registration side, but whatever."

When you consider the MCU version of Tony, it’s even less likely he’d lead the pro-oversight brigade. he’s been established from the beginning as someone who doesn’t play well with others and has a serious distrust for government agencies. Witness his snooping around the SHIELD computers in The Avengers.

It’s possible that the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where one of his own creations almost caused a disaster that led to a tremendous loss of life, would make him feel differently, and that maybe he should have someone looking over his shoulder. But I doubt it. At the end of the day, Tony always thinks (with reason) that he’s the smartest guy in the room, and it’s hard to see him changing his mind on that after one mistake, no matter how large.

When you consider the rest of his team, it’s not hard to picture them as anti-registration. Black Widow as serious issues with being a lapdog for government agencies as we’ve seen in multiple MCU movies. Black Panther is the leader of his own country, and might object to submitting himself to the desires of other nations. Vision could find the whole thing simply illogical, that powered individuals would have to remain independent. The only problematic one is War Machine, since he’s a military guy, but let’s assume his loyalty to Tony outweighs his military ties.

On the other side, Captain America: The Winter Soldier would seem to give Steve trust issues with the establishment that he’d never get over. Thus, it’s harder to see him take the opposite stance from the comics … but not impossible. He might just decide that the masses need another layer of protection, and that the greater good is served by having super heroes work completely within the system. A lot depends on what event starts the MCU down the registration path in the first place.

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Falcon is also military and used to following orders. Ant-Man is desperate to go straight, and Winter Soldier would need redemption after getting his head screwed back on right, something he’d be less likely to achieve operating outside the law. Hawkeye and Sharon Carter have always been SHIELD operatives and might feel comfortable that the current Phil Coulson-led organization (assuming it would be in the picture somehow) is okay.

It’s not crazy once you break it all down. I think even the post-credits scene from Ant-Man works in this reversed context. When I saw it, I just assumed Steve meant he couldn’t contact Tony for assistance because he and Sam are on the run — but he could just as easily be explaining that it’s not an option because Iron Man is persona non grata.

Given the way just about everything else related to Captain America: Civil War has leaked out, I hope Marvel is able to keep the answer to this question a mystery until May. I still expect the positions to fall the same way they did in the comics, but let’s just say I won’t be stunned if they’re reversed.

Next: Captain America: Civil War Rumor: Who Does Spider-Man Fight?

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